Posted by: swfloridarealestate | June 9, 2009

How much home can you for $500K? Islands, acreage within reach

A lake view, wood floors, a recently remodeled kitchen, a pool and a double lot.

This Sanibel Island home serves as an ideal example of how today’s single-family housing market in Lee County compares to that of the super-heated atmosphere of its 2005 peak.

The asking price for the home in the island’s Gumbo Limbo section is $539,000. In 2005, it probably would have been in the $700,000 range, said Brian Johnson of VIP Realty Group on Sanibel, which is handling the listing.

“It’s just a beautiful house. I didn’t think I’d see a house that nice at that price point. Around $500,000 for that? That’s a great deal. Certainly, times have changed.”

This is the fourth installment of the News-Press’ examination of how the 2009 version of the county’s housing market stacks up against that of 2005, when it was at its zenith. The overview started the series, and we are looking at six different price points, including this week’s focus — $500,000 — or what’s available for between $450,000 to $500,000.

Realtors say the inventory of such homes is generous and as with other price ranges, house hunters can find much more for their money than four years ago.

Larger lots, upgraded interior finishes, more square-footage and a more desirable waterfront location can all be had by shoppers able to swing roughly $500,000 for a home.

Activity in that market is brisk currently, said Dru Martinovich, a Realtor for Premier Properties in Bonita Springs.

“The market is like lasagna,” she said. “It cools in layers and it heats up in layers. $500,000 is pretty hot right now.”

On Fort Myers Beach, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, furnished home along a deep canal, with a dock and boat lift, is available for $425,000. A short, unobstructed cruise to the Gulf of Mexico, deeded beach access and shopping nearby are a just a few of the home’s other qualities, said Patricia Reidy of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, which is handling the listing.

In 2005, it would have sold “I would say for the $600,000 mark,” she said.

The price range was dominated by older, off-water homes and an off-water listing probably would have been a “little shack” that people bought for the land,” Reidy said.

A 10-acre spread on a rural lane in Alva, with a remodeled home designed by its architect owner, is on the market for $498,000. The grounds also contain a three-stall barn and a detached building that can serve as an office or small apartment. Bedman Creek flows through the property.

“It’s really pretty,” said the listing agent, Randy Lauer of Intracoastal Real Estate in Alva. “It’s got tons of oak trees on it and Bedman Creek has a sandy bottom, so the water remains clear all year long.”

The list price was about $900,000 when the home hit the market roughly 18 months ago, which is what it might have fetched during the market’s peak, he said.

Susan DeShong of Premier Properties cited the Copperleaf section of the Brooks development in Bonita Springs to illustrate what buyers in the price range couldn’t have accessed in 2005, but can today.

Copperleaf has detached villas that today average about $473,000, but during the boom would probably have averaged $640,000, she said. Country club membership is bundled into the purchase price of homes in the gated community.

“That would buy you a very nice home,” DeShong said of what can be found in the Estero-Bonita area for $500,000. “You can get newer construction, to new construction. The builders are offering very nice discounts.”

More price reductions are likely in this market sector, according to Brett Ellis of Re/Max Realty Group in Fort Myers. Speculators didn’t overwhelm this price range to the same degree they did less expensive market sectors, so prices in the upper ranges haven’t plummeted either. As prices for more affordable housing rise, it’s likely prices in the $500,000 range will drop to capture buyers, he said.

From the News-Press



  1. Stunning, I did not know about that till now. Thankz.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: