You have to see this updated new listing in Waterways

This is a pretty special new listing for a number of reasons in the community of Waterways of Naples. The owners have taken care of the home incredibly well and have done a number of upgrades that make this property a cut above the competition. It is located at 3385 Mystic River Drive and you can see the full listing here. It is offed either furnished or not.

The Basics

  • 4 bedrooms, 2 baths
  • 2,249 square feet under air and 4,291 square feet total
  • Saltwater swimming pool
  • Premium lot directly on the main Waterways lake
  • 2 car attached garage
  • Fenced back and side yard
  • Accordion shutters on the lanai

The Roof

So many homes still have their original roof but the roof at 3385 Mystic River Drive has been replaced after Hurricane Irma. Tile roofs can costs tens of thousands of dollars but you will not have to worry about replacing a roof for years to come.

Upgrades and Updating

There are quite a few upgrades that have been added to this home so here is the summary list:

  • New porcelain tile flooring
  • The interior and exterior have both been recently repainted
  • New hot water heater
  • Impact garage door
  • Both bathrooms fully remodeled
  • Kitchen counters and backsplash updated
  • New ceiling fans and lighting throughout
  • New saltwater pool chlorinator

Inside the Home – Upgrades are everywhere

The first thing you notice as you enter this home is the beautiful porcelain plank tile and how great it looks against the neutral tones of the freshly painted interior. Then, looking straight ahead gives you a great view of the main Waterways lake and the saltwater pool through the sliding glass doors. There are other little details like the crown moulding and new light fixtures that just make this feel a step above the other properties you may see at the same price.

One of the things I noticed and loved right away the first time I saw the home was the wainscoting in the dining room. I see so many homes where they’re empty and the walls are just bare, textured walls from floor to ceiling. I’m a sucker for wainscoting anyway but this was really well done.

The kitchen is to the right and has some really nice white cabinetry but the real stars are the counter and backsplash. The counter is epoxy and has these grey veins that look great against the tile backsplash. Plus, look at the beautiful light fixtures! There are newer stainless steel appliances as you’d expect and there’s a deep kitchen sink as well. The kitchen also has bar seating for three for casual meals.

The family room has surround sound speakers that the seller will leave for the buyer and the room has plenty of space for a sectional sofa. The wall mount stays so you can easily hang your television without the wires hanging down. This one is done right! There are sliders that lead outside to the saltwater pool as well.

I really love the master bedroom pictured above. There is a beautiful tray ceiling and you get lots of natural light from the sliders that lead to the pool & lanai. The picture doesn’t do it justice since it was taken from in the room and doesn’t show the full size of the master bedroom. But, have a look at that master bath!

I mentioned before that both bathrooms were remodeled. Well, take a look at the master bath! There’s a soaking tub and separate glass-enclosed shower. Of course there are dual vanities with lots of storage as well as an enormous, framed mirror.

Outside the Home – Pool, Lanai, Pergola and Lake

We have to start with the open-air saltwater pool. It’s a really good-sized pool and overlooks the huge lake. There’s a non-slip surface too that is easily maintained or cleaned.

The best part about the pool deck though is that the portion that is covered/shaded is huge and ready for entertaining. It is wired for cable so you can put a nice TV out there and enjoy it from the pool! It’s worth mentioning too that the lanai is protected with accordion shutters for hurricane protection.

If you’re ready to entertain or just relax by the lake, you’ll love the covered pergola. It sits right near the pool and is awesome for relaxing on cool Florida evenings. There’s a fire pit that comes with it as well. If I lived here, I’d be out at that pergola quite a bit!

See the canoe and boat to the left of the picture above? Those are included in the sale so you can really enjoy the lake. Waterways of Naples allows boats with electric motors so you can cruise around and fish for bass at your leisure. Just slide them into the water and off you go!

Final Thoughts on 3385 Mystic River Drive

There are a lot of great features that I just couldn’t fit into the article. For instance, did you know the full backyard and side yard are fenced in for your pets? There are so many of those little things that make this house stand out amongst the competition. You’re buying a house with a brand new roof that you won’t have to worry about, the painting has been done, the remodeling is complete, and you’re in one of the best neighborhoods in the area with great amenities. Top-rated schools are walking distance from the home and did you know there is a boat and RV storage lot so you can live in the neighborhood and have your toys close by for a low rental fee?

You need to see this one in person! Please feel free to contact Laney Farrugia or I to set up a private showing.

We can also be reached by phone or text at (239) 248-8171.

What do I do all day? Here’s what I do all day as a Realtor®

It seems like every person you meet in Naples is a Realtor® or knows someone that is. In fact, Florida Realtors® says that our local board has over 6,000 members! With that many people competing for their piece of the pie, I have no choice but to work incredibly hard every single day for my customers and earn their future business and referrals. So, how do I do that?

Monitor our #1 source of business

My wife and I founded the Naples, FL group on Facebook with nearly 60,000 members so that is a great source of business for us. My mornings always begin with me moderating that group and keeping it a welcoming and helpful asset to our members. Please join if you haven’t already!

Dive into the MLS

The MLS is my next stop. I look at the hot sheets (a report showing new/changed listings) to try and find properties for my buyer customers or see what new competition there is that could affect my sellers. I’ll then scour the MLS for listings that may work for my buyers that may not have showed up in their saved searches because perhaps only one of the criteria is different.

Advertise our listings

Next up, I set up (or monitor existing) advertising for my listings and track the performance of those ads. I can tell you with 100% certainty that most Realtors® put their listings on the MLS and simply wait for someone to come along and make an offer. I find this incredibly offensive. Customers pay good money to have their agent sell their home and deserve to have someone actively selling and searching for buyers. This generates a lot of leads for me to contact so that’s an ongoing daily activity.

Send out hundreds of letters

Since the market is so competitive and there isn’t much inventory at the moment, I usually have a mailing project going. I often send letters to every single homeowner in neighborhoods where my buyers want to be in order to find off-market property. Right now, I have a mailing going to Tuscany Cove in North Naples.

Keep in touch with everybody

I spend an awful lot of time in my Customer Relationship Management software following up with current customers, checking on future customers and reaching out to past customers to make sure everyone has their unique needs met. This benefits my sellers and buyers too as I can sometimes find a match that meets their needs.

Go on appointments

I often have appointments scattered throughout the day as well. Sometimes I’m touring properties with my buyer customers. Other times I’m sitting at future sellers’ dining room tables discussing the specific steps I will take to sell their home and hopefully earn their business.

Compare notes with my wife

Almost daily, my wife and I discuss our team (we sit 8 feet apart in our office!). We discuss what we could do better, what additional steps we could do to get our listings sold, and discuss the challenges we have with finding homes for our buyers. By discussing every facet of our business throughout the day, we’re able to achieve our goal of constant improvement and learn from each other which benefits our clients.
Those are the main areas of focus each day. There are a lot of other things below that pop up as well.

Other tasks along the way

  • Respond to emails and calls from clients, mortgage brokers, title companies and lawyers and anybody else that needs my assistance.
  • Attend closings. Yes, I go to every single one.
  • Write listing descriptions that showcase the unique features and benefits of our clients’ homes to encourage potential buyers to see them.
  • Hold open houses for my seller clients or work on marketing material to disseminate at the open house.
  • Attend inspections. It’s surprising how frequently the other agent isn’t there on behalf of their customer. Here’s why I attend every inspection .
  • Write blog articles that hopefully help buyers and sellers stay informed on various topics.
  • Create packets to give to appraisers to give them the information they need to give an accurate appraisal on my sellers’ homes.
  • Tour listings and do FaceTime showings for my buyer clients up north.
  • Handle necessary paperwork that is needed for a closing.
  • Attend trainings on topics that will make me a better Realtor® for my customers.
  • Write this newsletter!

These activities above keep me awfully busy but I’m never too busy to have a chat and answer your questions.

Want to discuss this further or talk about buying or selling? Give me a call at (239) 248-8171 or email me.

You are Being Watched! Is it ok for Sellers to Have Cameras on During Showings?

You’re being watched. At least that is what you should assume when you go to see properties these days. With the low cost of high-quality security cameras, it isn’t uncommon for sellers to record potential buyers as they tour the home. Plus, when you walk in or out of the home you will likely pass a Ring doorbell that is recording both video and audio! It’s all perfectly legal (it’s their home after all!).

I give my buyers a quick talk about how they shouldn’t say anything they don’t want the sellers to hear when we’re seeing their home. However, I still have buyers that have said things like, “This home is perfect” as they walk past the doorbell on their way out. That comment could cost a buyer thousands of dollars when it’s time to negotiate an offer.

When you’re looking for a new home and doing your tours, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Do not discuss price! You don’t want to say the price is too high or too low as both could hurt you in negotiations.
  • Don’t talk about how great the home is!
  • Don’t talk about how bad the home is either. If the sellers are listening, we don’t want to offend them.
  • Leave the home in the same condition it was in when you entered.

That’s it, friends! We’ve reached a point where so many sellers are going to have recording devices in their home and it will only become more common. Be careful out there!

How to find childcare or daycare in Naples

Get on every waiting list you can while you decide

This is without a doubt step one to finding childcare in Naples. Nearly every daycare will have a waiting list and you don’t want someone else to beat you to an opening. Sure, you’ll have to make some phone calls and apologize for removing yourself from a number of lists later but you need to be on the lists early.

Check with the local schools

Once you know the part of town where you’ll be moving, reach out to the local school to see what their childcare options are. I also recommend joining the school’s Facebook group (if they have one) and ask other parents for recommendations. Ask around and you may uncover a great option.

Ask around to find an in-home provider

In-home providers are a mixed bag—some love them while others hate them. If you’re looking for traditional daycare and are running out of luck, this could be a great option. You will have to ask a lot of questions! Are they CPR trained? Is the in-home daycare in its own space or shared family space? Are they insured? Do your due diligence and see if this could be an option for you.

Hire (or share) a nanny

It may be cost-prohibitive to hire a nanny but it is worth looking into. Some come from abroad and you may be able to sponsor them and save some money. Hiring a nanny will bring a new person into your home so you’ll have to decide if you need a larger home now to accommodate that extra person.

Another option is to share a nanny. More than one family will have access to the nanny so ensure the nanny isn’t taking on more than he or she can handle.

Look for out-of-the-box ways to get child care

I recently heard a story about 5 Naples moms that watch each other’s kids in their homes in a very structured, almost businesslike way. Each mom takes a day of the week and watches all of the kids from their group so the other 4 moms can work. That gives you 4 full days to work or do what you need to do while your child is in competent hands.

Look at your family for opportunities

You may have family members that could use some extra spending money (retired grandparents maybe?) and this could be a win-win. Ask your family members and you may uncover a good option!

How to be a “Cash” buyer but still get a mortgage to buy a home

In a real estate market as competitive as ours is here in Naples, Florida, we sometimes have to pull some tricks out of our sleeve to get offers accepted. We all know that “cash is king” and when faced with similar cash and financing offers, sellers will almost always choose the cash offer. If you need to get financing, how in the world can you compete with someone paying cash?

The answer is simple… make your offer a cash offer and get financing behind the scenes. The fear here is that if the financing doesn’t go through, you’ll lose your good faith escrow deposits. We can almost guarantee that won’t happen though.

When we write an offer on the Naples contract, there is an area where we can check off if the offer is contingent on being approved for financings (and so we get our deposits back if it doesn’t go through) or it is cash with no contingencies. Here is how the cash portion reads:

METHOD OF PAYMENT – CASH/FINANCING WITHOUT CONTINGENCY: BUYER will pay cash, but may obtain a loan for the purchase of the Property; however there is no financing contingency. If BUYER elects to finance BUYER’s purchase of the Property through a creditor/lender, BUYER shall be required to timely perform all BUYER’s obligations under the Contract and to close on the Closing Date, notwithstanding any terms and conditions imposed by BUYER’s creditor/lender and/or any applicable disclosure, delivery and compliance requirements of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule (“CFPB Rule”)

This is a bit scary—if you can’t get financing by the closing date, you’ll likely be out your deposits. However, we can work around that.

The answer is simple. Have your lender do more than just write a pre-qualifiaction or pre-approval. Get fully approved by the lender’s underwriting department before you make the offer on a home. A good lender can get you nearly guaranteed to get a mortgage so you can waive your financing contingency without fear of financing not going through. Now, you’re competing on the same level as the cash buyers for your next property!

How could this go wrong?

It can go wrong without proper guidance. One of the most common ways loan applications are declined is when something changes. What if you lose your job before closing? What if you finance a new car, furniture, etc. and your debt-to-income ratio changes? These are all things that can and do happen most are easily avoidable.

Would I do it if I were a buyer?

Heck yes! First of all, it eliminates a lot of doubt and worry but more importantly, it would let me compete with the folks bringing cash. I would just be absolutely certain to not let anything happen between the time I applied and the time I close on my new home.

Who should I speak with to get approved?

Give me a call or text at (239) 248-8171 and let’s discuss some options. You can also email me at

What do Homeowners Association Fees (HOA) Cover

What do HOA fees pay for?

Generally, homeowners in HOA communities will write a check to the association governing their community every quarter. The amount paid has a huge range between neighborhoods but often hover between $300-$500 a month for a non-golf subdivision. What those monthly fees cover can also vary widely with some associations paying for very little with others paying for everything! Here are some of the items commonly paid for by HOA fees:

Professional Management and Services

Every HOA is going to have part of their budget dedicated to paying the management company that oversees the neighborhood. These management companies help the neighborhood’s Board of Directors, control the fining committees, keep an eye out for items needing repair, enforce the rules of the neighborhood and more. Also, HOA’s will have an accountant and an attorney that represent the neighborhood as well.

Cable TV and Internet

One of my favorite things that HOA fees often cover are cable television and Internet. Neighborhoods negotiate a much lower bulk rate with the service provider and the homeowners receive the equipment and service as part of their quarterly dues.

Why do I love this being included? It’s simple—most of us will use both services yet paying for them as an individual consumer can be very expensive. I frequently hear of people paying $150 a month or more for cable television and Internet so by paying for it through the HOA fees, the neighborhood residents all save a little money.

Lawn and Land Maintenance

What’s better than spending your weekend mowing the lawn and taking care of the flowers and shrubs? Not into it? Neither are most of the homeowners. Your quarterly dues more often than not will include landscaping in various degrees. Some will only take care of the cutting of the grass while the owners take care of shrubs or flowers. Others take care of absolutely everything that has to do with the landscaping. Paying for this as a member of an association will help you avoid doing that tough work on your own.

I do have to mention here that landscaping is the #1 item I hear homeowners complain about. There are a few reasons why. First, some landscape companies just don’t do as good of a job as others. Some may cut corners or not pick up any debris/trash as they work. Second, landscapers tend to increase in cost year after year when working with an association. That increase gets passed down to the homeowners in their quarterly dues. Finally, I hear a lot that people ask for additional services from the landscapers or gardens cut a certain way and the landscapers refuse to do it without management approval.

All-in-all, I love that landscaping is included in my neighborhood. I really don’t want to have to purchase the equipment to do it, nor do I want to spend my time working in the sun when I could be spending it with my family or working a bit extra.


A big expense your quarterly dues go to is insurance. However, this can be a lot different depending on if you’re in a condo or a single family home neighborhood.

Condo insurance will generally cover the buildings exterior or the “common elements.” Condo owners will usually have to purchase “content insurance” or similar for the interior of their units. There’s a grey area here because if someone were to break in a common element (such as a roof leak), the insurance should pay for the interior of your condo.

The other big insurance condo communities generally purchase is flood insurance on the building. There are a few communities, Glades Country Club for example, where the flood insurance is the responsibility of the owners. However, more often than not the flood insurance is going to be paid through the HOA fees.

Single family home neighborhoods will have insurance on the common elements of the neighborhood but owners are going to have to purchase their own homeowners insurance on top of their quarterly HOA fees.

Pest Control

Many HOA communities have exterior pest control included. You’re going to be on your own for the interior of your property but the exterior will often be maintained through the HOA fees.

Neighborhood Facilities

Do you have a clubhouse? Is there a tennis court? Fitness center? All of these items require management and upkeep which your HOA dues will cover. In fact, most of these facilities have a useful life defined before major work needs to be done. Take a pool for example—it will need to be resurfaced at a very high cost down the road. Your HOA fees are going to that project!


My neighborhood has a gatehouse with a 24 hour a day guard. Who pays the guard? That’s right! Your HOA fees pay that salary.


We see water paid in HOA fees most often when we’re talking about condominiums. That’s a big expense that your fees cover in some instances.

Irrigation Water

Irrigation water can come from a number of sources such as reclaimed water, using a lake as a source of irrigation, or sometimes central city water. That city water doesn’t come free so your HOA fees pay that bill so that the community’s landscaping can remain beautiful.

Repairs and Maintenance

Light post bulbs, cracked sidewalks, broken entrance gates and more will happen at any community and require some cash to repair. That money is going to come from your HOA fees!

How should I evaluate if the fees are reasonable?

It can seem a bit confusing when you look at two homes to buy and they’re in very comparable neighborhoods yet the HOA fees are very different. This happens all of the time so ask us what the HOA fees cover.

For me, the three big categories I look at are landscaping, cable television and repairs. I know that cable TV and internet is going to cost me around $150 a month from my own pocket. Plus, if my neighborhood has a lot of really great amenities, I expect to pay a lot more in HOA fees for those privileges since they must be maintained and repaired/replaced in the future. Finally, I want to have a look at the quality of the landscaping and what exactly is paid for by my HOA fees. If it is just mowing versus full landscaping, that will influence my opinion of the value of the dues.

Don’t forget to evaluate the reserve balances and contributions.

Quite simply, reserves are the money set aside every quarter from the HOA fees to cover big projects that will need financing later on.

Many neighborhoods (especially condos) will cover roof replacement on the buildings. Imagine the cost of that! In order to have that benefit, the management will need to set aside a lot of money in savings to pay for the project.

How do we know if the reserves are enough? The first thing to do is look at the neighborhood’s balance sheet and do a sanity check—are the numbers in the reserves reasonable? Then, take it a step further by seeing if the reserve contains 70% of the item’s estimated cost. Also find out if there have been special assessments that may show deteriorating conditions in the neighborhood and therefore more spending or if the special assessments were simply due to mismanagement.

4 Dirty Truths About Real Estate Teams

Let’s state the obvious and get this out of the way right now.

We are a real estate team so this article may seem odd since it is coming from us. However, not all teams are created equally and we do our very best to avoid these pitfalls below. With that disclaimer out of the way, here are some tough facts about some real estate teams.

Many real estate teams are the starting point for brand new agents.

One of the main reasons agents join a team is for the training, leads and support that the experienced team leaders provide. When you’re selling your highest valued asset or buying a new property, do you want a brand new agent to represent you? Probably not, however that’s likely what you’re going to get when you call a team to buy or sell your property.

You may never see or hear from the team leader once your home is under contract.

Team leaders are usually the big names in real estate in each town. They’re the face of the team and should be providing excellent service to customers through the members of their team. The team leader may be the reason why you chose to work with that agent or team however you may only see the leader once. Then, you will likely be working with the team members that do not have the same level of expertise. Is it a “bait and switch?” I personally think it is, especially if it is not disclosed to the customer that someone else will be doing the work for them. It’s important then when hiring a team that you ask who you will be working with from start to finish.

The sales volume number they advertise may be misleading.

Our MLS system has limitations on reporting team sales so it will normally show all sales under the sole team leader’s name and the “co” listing/selling agent will be the actual agent that you’re working with. What that means then is that the team leader boasting an absolutely astonishing amount of real estate sold may not have sold anything! It’s the team members doing the work and producing those numbers. Want higher numbers? Just hire more and more agents!

The team leader may be the only person on the “team.”

You’ll be able to spot this unethical behavior by looking at printed material from the “team” and comparing it to what you hear when you speak to the “team leader.” They might:
* Say “we” on printed material or their website but “I” when you speak to him or her.
* They refer to themselves as a “team” with “associates” they are the only name on the website.
* They cannot name any agents that are on the “team.”

My personal opinion is that agents that mislead the public in this way should instantly lose their license. If they’re that deceitful, why would anybody want to work with them?

Other people in town are members of the “team”

This is one of my major pet-peeves. Many teams leaders want their team to appear bigger than it really is so they list every person they know that is remotely connected to real estate as their team members. They will list lenders they work with, inspectors, appraisers, and even the office receptionist as “team members” just to inflate the number.

4 Reasons NOT to Hire a REALTOR®

Do not hire an agent that will not let you out of the listing agreement should you not be satisfied.

The Naples Area Board of Realtors standard contract to list property contains a section that says that should you terminate the listing for any reason, you still owe the broker commission.

If the transaction is not closed because of the refusal, failure or inability of SELLER to perform, or if SELLER fails or refuses to enter into a contract with a ready, willing and able buyer of the Property, SELLER shall pay the Compensation to BROKER in full upon demand by BROKER. In such event, this Listing Contract shall not be terminated, but shall continue in full force and effect.

What? So it doesn’t matter if you’re unhappy with the services of your agent. You’re stuck and in it for the long-haul until your listing agreement terminates.

I tell my customers that they can fire me at any time. If I have a client that is truly unhappy with my services then I want to part ways. Although, in all of these years of listing properties, I have never been fired. You can be my first!

Do not hire an agent that does not pay for professional photography.

This is one of my pet-peeves in this industry. With nearly all buyers starting their search by looking at photos of properties online, why wouldn’t an agent hire a professional photographer to really catch the eye of buyers?

The answer: These agents are dirt cheap and do not deserve to have your listing.

It is the agent’s job to pay for marketing. When you hire your next listing agent, make them put in writing that they will hire a professional real estate photographer to capture the best pictures of your home.

Do not hire an agent that works for a brokerage with a high commission split.

When you hire a REALTOR® to list your property, you agree to pay a certain commission to the brokerage. The part you may not know is that all of that money doesn’t go to your REALTOR® in many cases. Many brokers take a piece of that commission (sometimes up to 50%!) and pay the remainder out to the agent.

To be clear, let’s say you list a $500,000 home and agree to pay 6% which comes to $30,000. Of that 6%, 3% will go to the listing side and 3% will go to the buyer’s side meaning each brokerage will get $15,000. Then, a broker may keep 50% of that $15,000 and pay out the remaining $7,500 to the listing agent that listed the home.

At my brokerage, I keep 100% of my commission—the entire $15,000. Compare that to the agent that only gets $7,500—who do you think will do more advertising? Me, of course! I have a much larger budget for advertising because I’m going to keep twice what the other guy would get!

In no way is it out of line to ask REALTORS® you interview to tell you what their split is at their brokerage. Please, do so and make an informed decision on who has the budget to truly serve you in your sale.

Do not hire an agent that rents.

I’ve always found this funny. There are a lot of agents that rent their homes yet turn around and tell you that you should buy. Does that seem right to you?

I was recently discussing this with another agent and she said, “Well, maybe the REALTOR® is new to the area so they want to figure out where they’d like to buy during their lease.” Really? Now you really don’t want to hire them. They are just learning the area and completely lack expertise on the subject.

I’ve yet to come up with a reason why a REALTOR® would rent yet encourage others to buy. Maybe you can come up with one and enlighten me!

A gorgeous, secluded and remodeled pool home just minutes to Collier Blvd.

I originally sold this home (see the MLS listing here) to some great clients and they had quite a vision for what they would do to it. The home was in amazing shape but was simply dated. These buyers have transformed this home into a work of art and I’m proud to have it back on the market for sale as my customers move on to the next chapter in their lives.

Quick Features of 90 31st Street NW in Naples, Florida

  • Roof replaced in 2017
  • Huge swimming pool and spa
  • Fully remodeled from top to bottom
  • Paved driveway with paved turnaround
  • 1 Mile to Collier Blvd.
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • No HOA fees, no HOA rules and absolutely no leasing restrictions

When you turn on to 31st Street Northwest from Golden Gate Boulevard, it really hits you just how close-in this home is to Collier Boulevard/951–it is only one mile to get there! You can walk to Big Cypress Elementary in about 6 minutes. In fact, this home is so close-in that it is actually zoned for Gulf Coast High School and Oakridge Middle!

When you turn onto the paved driveway with a paved turnaround area, you go just a bit and suddenly you’re surrounded by trees. The privacy is really amazing. One of my pet-peeves is when lots are fully cleared in the Estates and the neighbors are adjacent. You don’t want people staring in your windows or you to have to stare into theirs. People move to the Estates for privacy and this home has it! It’s really great having that much privacy when you’re in this home’s swimming pool and spa.

Golden Gate Estates Real Estate

When you open the front door, you’ll instantly notice the luxury vinyl plank flooring and working fireplace. It’s so rare to see a fireplace that works here in Naples but this one sure does. You’ll see the seating and dining areas and a view out of the back slider into the pool area and large back yard. There are two guest bedrooms to the right and a master bedroom split to the left, just past the family room.

Golden Gate Estates luxury vinyl plank flooring

The kitchen is a masterpiece. There is built-in shelving for spices and cookbooks, newer stainless steel appliances, a huge farmhouse sink with pendant lighting above and my absolute favorite feature–the backsplash. The subway tile backsplash is oversized and looks absolutely amazing against the butcher block counters. Even though there is a lot of cabinetry for storage, there are additional shelving units that look so beautiful against the backsplash. Just imagine cooking in this kitchen and being able to see what is going on in the back yard or pool.

Right at the front of the home is the family room with some really nice features. First, it can be completely closed off from the rest of the house by shutting the french doors. See the barn doors in the picture below? They’re awesome! The one on the right gives access to a huge walk-in closet. It’s perfect for storing board or video games, blankets, or anything you might want access to in your media room. The barn door on the left provides access to a beautiful, fully-remodeled bathroom with a gorgeous vanity and tiled shower. It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. I really like the vaulted ceilings there as they make the room feel bigger than it already is!

The last room I’d like to point out is the master bedroom of course. The sellers have a king-sized bed and still have so much space surrounding it. It has lots of natural light and one of the best walk-in closets I’ve seen in ages. Really, this isn’t a walk-in closet… it’s its own room. There are great built-ins for organization, a window for more natural light, and plenty of room for your dresser, clothes, shoes and more.

Let’s go outside. There is a pool that is quite a bit bigger than what you’re used to seeing in Naples and it also features a spa as well. What’s really nice is that there is this large pool deck plus a huge screened-in lanai. What’s better than that? It really makes evening entertaining nice since you can swim (without an HOA telling you that you can’t) and have some dinner outside without worrying about any bugs.

Further back on the property is a shed, a fire pit and the sellers even constructed a movie screen when COVID hit so they could enjoy staying at home even more. The area is fenced and ready for new owners with dogs.

I absolutely love this house and all of the features the sellers have added to it. I really can’t believe how secluded and private the lot is and how large the swimming pool is. It’s one of those homes that you need to tour. Even if you don’t buy it, you’ll see so many great upgrades that it will give you ideas for your own home.

If you’d like to see this home in person, please contact us for a private showing on your schedule.

➡  See the full MLS listing here.

9 Things That Scare Me as a REALTOR®

Buying a car/furniture while under contract and before closing

Few things are scarier in real estate than a buyer that drives up in a new car after going under contract on a house. The problem is that lenders approve buyers for homes based on a number of factors with one being the debt-to-income ratio. Simply put, if you take on more debt, you’re now a riskier buyer for that lender. I know it’s really temping to hit the 0% financing offers on new furniture for your new home but don’t do it! You’ll scare me to death!

Other agents that have no idea what they’re doing

As with every profession, some people are simply better at it than others. Real estate is no different in that regard. We have come across agents where it’s clear that they have never even read the standard contracts! We have just recently seen:

  • An agent that didn’t know how to open a lock box to get a key out
  • An agent complain about the condition of a home at the walkthrough when the contract was “as is.”
  • An agent that did not know that garage refrigerators convey with the sale on a given contract
  • An agent that did not understand the timing of earnest money deposits
  • An agent that did not know to have their buyer apply to the homeowner’s association
  • An agent that did not understand which items are considered defective vs. cosmetic
  • An agent that forgot to write in the washer and dryer on a particular contract that does not include them
  • An agent that did not understand the financing contingency (very scary!)

This is why people need to thoroughly interview the agents they are hiring. Do not use an agent just because she’s your aunt or friend. This is too serious of a transaction to not use experts.

Part-time agents

I don’t think anything scares or bothers me more than part-time REALTORS®. Real estate transactions are very serious business and have very serious timelines. Do you really want someone that dabbles in real estate?

I once had a transaction where I was representing the seller. We were under contract and that contract has very specific dates and times for different things to be done. Well, the other agent’s buyer hadn’t made their second earnest money deposit and it was getting late in the day. I called the buyer’s agent but no answer. I texted. No response. Called again. This went on for quite some time until finally my phone rang. The other agent says, “What do you want? I saw you kept calling but I can’t simply leave my job at Hallmark because you need something.” I couldn’t believe it! The fact was, if her buyer failed to make the deposit that day, my seller could have gone after the first deposit and likely kept her buyer’s $25,000. Can you imagine losing $25,000 and the house you want because your agent is working a part-time job elsewhere? Scary!

Not having enough money for closing costs

Buyers must show so many financial documents to lenders in order to prove that they can purchase a home. However, many of these buyers do not think about the money they’ll need for closing costs. It’s really simple—you can get a closing cost estimate from your attorney or title company within minutes. It’s worth it to ask for one so you don’t wind up in a mess!

Sellers trying to take fixtures

This comes up often and I see it even after explaining what items must stay to my sellers. That makes me a bit scared when I’m driving to final walkthroughs. Will everything be there?

Typically, if an item is “screwed or glued” it is a fixture. Lighting, TV mounts (not the TV itself though), home automation, etc. would be fixtures. I’ve also had sellers try to take down fixtures and replace them with other ones. This is not permitted in the contract and also pretty unethical.

If a fixture is important to you, make sure it is an exclusion in your contract.

Sellers not leaving the house in the condition it was in when the buyers entered a contract

Sellers have a duty to maintain the condition of the home from the time the contract is executed to the time the deal is closed. However, life happens and damage can be done to a home during that time. I once had a deal where a leak occurred during this period and did damage to the ceiling. Although it didn’t leave much of a mess, the moisture meter still showed that there was water there. The seller wasn’t happy that he had to fix it and I was surprised at his reaction. Since appliances (think A/C’s!) can and will break at some point, I just always hope it isn’t in that short window of time.

Buyers not getting a full inspection when there are signs that mold may be present

Mold is scary. Plus, it doesn’t just show up in older condos. It can show up in brand new construction too. If there’s water damage, there’s usually a possibility of mold.

What scares me about mold is that sometimes we can see that there was water damage in a given area of the home so a mold test is a must in my eyes. I just had lunch with another agent that’s a good friend as well. He was telling me how the ceilings were very water stained and a moisture meter showed they were wet! That means there’s a current leak somewhere yet his buyers simply wanted the sellers to fix the leak and they would paint over the stains. No, no, no! This is the worst part—they did not have a mold test done because it would be an extra $350. They’re buying a $450,000 house and skimping on the $350. That scares me as an agent.

Inspectors that don’t know what they’re talking about

There are good REALTORS® and bad REALTORS®. There are also good and bad inspectors and you really do not want the bad ones when you’re buying or selling a home. It’s scary just how bad some can be.

I sold a home in Golden Gate Estates once that was built like a northern cottage (complete with a front porch and a rocking chair). I loved the home. We were having beautiful weather the day I did the listing presentation so the owners had all of the windows open. Wouldn’t you know it—their buyer uses an awful inspector who writes that every window downstairs fails to open. She simply did not know how to open windows with the newer window locks. She also said that the gas stove didn’t work. The deal almost fell apart! Luckily, I was able to go to the home and take video of each of the items she said were defective and send them to the buyer’s agent. It held the deal together but this could have been a disaster.

So how do you get a good inspector? Ask your REALTOR®! I have a list of inspectors I think are great and would be happy to share that list with you.

Buyers choosing a home that I don’t think I could resell later

Maybe the scariest of all items on this list is when buyers fall in love and want to purchase a home that I do not think I could resell for them in the future. There are a lot of reasons why this may happen. Sometimes the house is just so overpriced that the buyers would never get their money back out of it. Other times, the home is just “unique” but not in a good way!

One thing I like to do with these types of purchases is look at the home’s history of when it was bought and sold in the past. It isn’t uncommon at all to see a home that sat on the market for 6 months and didn’t sell, 6 more months without a sale, and then on the 3rd or 4th time around they find a buyer at a discounted price.

Please don’t do this to yourself. I will absolutely tell you my thoughts on reselling a house you’re looking to purchase.