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Old 08-14-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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We're a youngish professional couple that have been living (and working) here in SWFL for over two years.

We're currently living with family in Bonita but we feel it's time to buy. We both work down in Naples and are looking to buy a single family home before season kicks in and prices/sellers firm up.

We've looked around quite a bit and are interested in Lake Park/Sun Terrace within the boundaries of 5th Ave N and 26th Ave N between 9th Street and Goodlette. While we have been around there quite a bit, those of you who may live there or have spent more time there perhaps have a better opinion... What are pros/cons thoughts/opinions of this area?

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
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That is one of the older areas of Naples.

It is a safe area. My main concern would be traffic during season.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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Thanks for the input! We like older! We'd rather get a house that might need some updating rather than pay more for someone else's upgrades or a "flip this house" job.

Speaking of older, in searching I see rehab job listings that look pretty slip-shod from photos (laminate flooring, a little paint here, a few $300 appliances there) but marked up a bit from what the investor paid. Example:

1149 6th Lane North, Naples FL | MLS# 211507241 - Trulia

House is listed for $239k but was bought by the flipper for just $108k in May 2011 (Collier Appraiser website). Judging from the pictures I can't imagine they added $131k worth of value and I wouldn't want to have to rip out their work to add my own touch/nicer materials.

I understand it's their business to do this and a Northerner can come in and easily walk into the house all finished and ready to go. My question is, how do you find the houses at the flippers' purchase price before they get their hands on them?
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:57 PM
 
152 posts, read 412,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TasteyAvocado View Post

I understand it's their business to do this and a Northerner can come in and easily walk into the house all finished and ready to go. My question is, how do you find the houses at the flippers' purchase price before they get their hands on them?
Be willing to buy a foreclosure or some type of distressed property. They are out there, but inventory is not as good as it was last year. The foreclosure scandal kept many from being listed.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
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I don’t live in Naples, I live in Port Charlotte, FL, but my brother lived in Naples for 13 years. Here is some information on the two communities you asked about.

Lake Park is just blocks from the beach, schools, the zoo, old Naples shopping, restaurants, and parks. It has single family homes in a non-gated, low-restrictions neighborhood. It is located just east of 41 by downtown 5th Ave. There are oak trees and banyan trees that line the roads creating shade if you would like to take a leisurely walk. Many people aren’t aware of these homes located behind the businesses of downtown Naples.

Sun Terrace is located between 41 and Goodlette-Frank Rd. It is hard to find homes for sale in this community because of its great location in Naples. It is close to the Naples beaches along Park Shore.

Some similar communities are Naples Twin Lakes, Bad Axe, Caribe Woods, Decker Highlands, Franks, Gulf Acres, Hilltop, Lakewood Park, North Naples Highlands, Oak Knoll, Sorrento Gardens, Trail Terrace and Westlake.

Good luck on your home search. I can refer you to a Realtor if you are not already working with one.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FLBirdwatcher View Post
Be willing to buy a foreclosure or some type of distressed property. They are out there, but inventory is not as good as it was last year. The foreclosure scandal kept many from being listed.
I'm presuming foreclosures would offer the best deal, albeit with more stress and time than a traditional sale. Is what you're saying that banks are sitting on vacant inventory? Are these "disputed" properties that may yet be returned to the previous owner?

In my understanding, the "shadow inventory" not only includes inhabited properties going through the process, but a number of unoccupied homes which are thoroughly bank owned. I don't want to interfere with a homeowner working to keep their home- a bank owned foreclosure where the previous owner walked would be best. Plus, a short sale implies the owner owes more than the house is worth and therefore more than I should be willing to pay, right?

Quote:
Good luck on your home search. I can refer you to a Realtor if you are not already working with one.
We are looking for a realtor, preferably someone that lives in Lake Park or the City and can offer a perspective that shares our preference for the area by living there themselves. We've seen open houses all over Collier County and most realtors have a "whatever is best for the taste of the client" approach, which is GREAT but I feel that someone who is invested in a neighborhood "gets it" and would have a better feeling for it. More importantly, though someone that can navigate the "bank owned" stuff would be helpful.

/We're not against a "traditional" sale, we just can't afford to cover a flipper's profit only to replace their work with our taste.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:15 PM
 
152 posts, read 412,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TasteyAvocado View Post
I'm presuming foreclosures would offer the best deal, albeit with more stress and time than a traditional sale. Is what you're saying that banks are sitting on vacant inventory? Are these "disputed" properties that may yet be returned to the previous owner?

In my understanding, the "shadow inventory" not only includes inhabited properties going through the process, but a number of unoccupied homes which are thoroughly bank owned. I don't want to interfere with a homeowner working to keep their home- a bank owned foreclosure where the previous owner walked would be best. Plus, a short sale implies the owner owes more than the house is worth and therefore more than I should be willing to pay, right?

We are looking for a realtor, preferably someone that lives in Lake Park or the City and can offer a perspective that shares our preference for the area by living there themselves. We've seen open houses all over Collier County and most realtors have a "whatever is best for the taste of the client" approach, which is GREAT but I feel that someone who is invested in a neighborhood "gets it" and would have a better feeling for it. More importantly, though someone that can navigate the "bank owned" stuff would be helpful.

/We're not against a "traditional" sale, we just can't afford to cover a flipper's profit only to replace their work with our taste.

The foreclosure mess that we went through at the end of last year caused banks to stop putting the homes on the market that they had foreclosed on. The banks didn't want to be sued for trying to sell property that was questionable due to MERS. When the scandal became news the banks became scared. Also the Florida so called Rocket Docket that rushed the distressed houses through the courts slowed down, and now has become nonexistent. Foreclosures that were coming on the market slowed to a crawl, whereas earlier in 2010 there were many per month listed for sale. Another factor that kept inventories high in summer of last year was that the government incentive for first time purchasers expired in May. So house flippers were able to purchase foreclosures for very low prices due to inventory being high and a flooded foreclosure market. Keep in mind though that distressed properties many times have been looted. Sometimes whole kitchens or baths are taken out along with cooling systems.

As for short sale properties there are still some bargains. The seller has agreed to sell the property, so the bank is not taking the property away from the seller. Short sells take a long time to close--usually at least 90 days and sometimes longer. Short sells usually sell for what the property is worth whereas foreclosures sell for much below the market value.

My guess is that there are a number of flippers out there that have gotten stuck with properties they have bought and fixed up. The reason is that property values have not risen as high as they have priced their inventory. I'm sure some flippers are still holding some houses and waiting for market to go up.

There are vacant houses in the area where I live. The bank owns them. Whether they have litigation on them, or the banks are just holding them due to foreclosure I do not know. Some have their shutters on them which is a sign that they are vacant and distressed. Some have their yards kept up and some don't. There is one that is very beautiful just down the street. It must have sold way over a half a million during the bubble. It is vacant, and doesn't look like it is going to be for sale anytime soon. Another one was listed recently just to have the listing terminated a few days later. No doubt things are going on with the banks and the foreclosure mess that is being kept hidden. Until the distressed house situation is brought under control individual owners and flippers will have difficulty selling at the price they are asking.

There was a house that I looked at last year that was for sale. It was a foreclosure that was in sad shape. There was a bidding war for it, and it sold for over the listing price. A few weeks later it was sold again to a flipper for 10,000 more than the original sell price. The flipper fixed it up, and put it on the market for over twice as much as he bought it for. He dropped the price 20,000, and still hasn't sold it.

If I were purchasing, I would hold out for a distressed property, since you probably want to put your own touches in it anyway. It may take awhile before you find something though. If you are patient, and willing to diligently search every real estate sight there is such as Realtytrac.com, Naplesarea.com, Listingbook.com, Realtor.com.....you will find something. Be willing to make very low offers even if you don't think they will be accepted. You just never know. If you are buying with cash, you have the advantage. This is how the flippers do it. They are like fishermen waiting for the catch. It also helps if you are going to live in the house as banks prefer to sell to owner occupants especially if it is a GNMA property. You have to be fast with your offers. Many foreclosures sell in the first week or two of listing. You can also check Auction.com and other auction sites for auctions, but keep in mind that it is rare to find a good one at auction. Many times the banks bid these up as well.

As for as realtors keep in mind that Naples has way more than the market can accommodate. Many have relocated here, and don't always know the market as well as others. Working in distressed properties is something many realtors do not care to work in, nor do they know how to work. This is another reason to do your own research for properties. Sometimes banks will lower the fee for realtor commissions on distressed properties. If you have a realtor, and the house you find is with another realtor, the split could be lower than normal. It wouldn't surprise me if some realtors submitted their own client's offers before others in order to compensate for this. This is not ethical, and I'm not saying that it does happen, but it could.

If you choose to purchase a short sale, you will be working with a title company for negotiations after the original offer has been accepted. Some are much better at this than others, so not only would a good realtor be important, but you would want a title company that would be like a pit bull dog when it comes to contacting the bank after the offer has been accepted. That way the transaction will move much faster.

Best of luck finding you home.
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