Naples Growth

Naples Growth – Naples, FL has been consistently recognized as one of the best places to retire, and has also earned the top spot in Bloomberg’s list on metropolitan areas expected to see the most growth in 2016.

Naples Growth
Naples Pier Sunset

The end of the first quarter in 2016 saw that the population is indeed growing right along with high-value jobs and new construction which is all having a significant impact on the Naples, FL housing market.
“Developers have jumped back into building housing,” said Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood Properties.   “There are new starts and new construction.  For the last two years, we’ve been building fast and furious.  It’s good for our economy.  There’s a trickle-down effect with people building homes.”

Wood goes on to say, “It’s about 50/50 between single-family homes and condos, although many people get into one or the other and switch after a few years when they change their mind.

Regardless of our growth, Southwest Florida continues to meet the demand of paradise-seekers around the world.  We are building new homes, expanding roads, opening new gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping boutiques, and supporting amazing educational and cultural development.

So go ahead, pack up that moving truck and come on down. There’s a beautiful sunset waiting!


To own your Beautiful Sunset……Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

John R. Wood: #1 Residential Real Estate Company

John R. Wood: #1 Residential Real Estate Company
John R. Wood: #1 Residential Real Estate Company

When it comes to per agent productivity, John R. Wood Properties sets the bar. RealTrends, the recognized keeper of statistics for the national residential real estate industry since 1988, has named John R. Wood Properties the number one residential real estate company in Florida for per agent productivity and number 18 in the nation for per agent productivity.

Overall, John R. Wood ranked 65 out of 500 brokerages in the nation with total closed sales volume of $2.365 billion.

“Obviously, we knew we were doing well this year, but we didn’t realize how well we were doing against our competition until the RealTrends Report was released,” said Phil Wood, president.  “We know we have the best of the best when it comes to agents and staff and this report has proven it year after year.”

Even more impressive is the fact that many of the competing firms listed as top residential brokerages are affiliates of franchise organizations whereas John R. Wood is an independent, family-owned, and locally-based real estate firm.

The REAL Trends 500 is a leading report that has been ranking the performance of top residential real estate brokerage firms for the last 29 years.  Firms are ranked by both transaction sides and sales volume.  Information collected must be independently verified which is why the the REAL Trends 500 remains the trusted source for information about the performance of real estate firms. For the 2016 REAL Trends Survey firms needed to close a minimum of 1,702 transaction sides in 2015 to place in the top 500.

In addition to these rankings, John R. Wood Properties is Southwest Florida’s oldest major real estate firm representing over 3500 clients annually through its 14 offices from Marco Island to Sanibel and Captiva.


Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30 and even in paradise we have to prepare for the possibility of more than just afternoon showers.  Now is the time to review the basics of hurricane preparedness to ensure your piece of Southwest Florida real estate, and your family, stays protected.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.41.33 AMIf you are a seasonal resident and have returned north for the summer, it’s still a good idea to review these tips.  At the very least, be sure to check on your homeowner’s insurance as well as whether your home meets cu
rrent hurricane building code standards.  You may also want to check out Closing Your Florida Home for the Summer, which offers additional tips on keeping your home safe and secure while you are away.

The 5 Step Hurricane Prep

  1. The first order of business is knowing your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind, as well as what evacuation zone you live in. Once you know this information you can develop a realistic evacuation plan that includes meet up points with family and the best routes to follow out of town.
  2. Now is also the time to check on your insurance policy. Flooding is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance, so make sure you have a separate policy for it and keep in mind that there is a 30 day waiting period before flood coverage kicks in.  Don’t delay on getting this coverage activated.
  3. Another step that it pays to get a jump on, is gathering your supplies. Don’t wait until the storm is on its way.  That’s often when many people flock to stores which only results in long lines and empty shelves.  Get a big container ready with supplies you may need to get through the storm like flashlights and a battery powered radio, as well as enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each family member a week – just in case you are left without electricity and water.  Another good back up item to purchase is a portable or solar powered USB charger to keep cell phones up and running and the lines of communication open.
  4. It’s also a good practice to keep a list of emergency contacts including county law enforcement, fire and rescue, hospitals, utility companies, radio and TV stations, and emergency management offices.
  5. Securing the integrity of your home is another key step toward the safety of your family and belongings. Make sure your home is up to current hurricane building code specifications.  You may be surprised at how easy and inexpensive it is to have the proper hardware retrofitted to board up your home and bring it to a higher safety standard that can withstand the winds of a hurricane.We have been fortunate over the last several years but you never know what the hurricane season may bring.  Proper planning and preparation is essential, but our hope is that this hurricane season will pass by as nothing more than another warm Gulfshore breeze.

We have been fortunate over the last several years but you never know what the hurricane season may bring.  Proper planning and preparation is essential, but our hope is that this hurricane season will pass by as nothing more than another warm Gulfshore breeze.


Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!


The Benefits of Smart Home Technology

The Benefits of Smart Home Technology

Imagine you are returning home after an evening out.  The sun has already gone down and just the faintest pink accents remain in the sky.  As you approach your property, the outside lights brighten while inside the perfect ambiance is being staged as you pull in the garage.  The main living areas and foyer illuminate to the perfect welcoming glow and soft music begins playing in the background.  The shades have automatically closed with the setting sun giving you effortless privacy, and the climate has adjusted itself to a comfortable evening temperature.  As you lie in bed, just before you close your eyes, you lean over and gently tap the bedtime button on your iPad.  The lights go down, the security system engages, and you drift off to sleep in time with the music as it gradually fades out to a peaceful silence.

Naples Florida Smart Home
Naples Florida Smart Home

This is just one real-time example of living with today’s smart home technology. The possibilities are really impressive and allow you to not only control systems remotely – from anywhere in the world – but also engage in daily home management actions like answering the door for a delivery when you’re still at the office, checking that the kids are home on time from school, and monitoring family activities and safety when you’re away.  You can also create programmable scenes, monitor energy consumption, manage the health of your pool and spa, and regulate irrigation water.

Total home automation is easier than you think to create.  Old security systems can be converted to updated platforms with top of the line video surveillance, lighting and shading systems can be retrofitted with new communication panels and keypads, and home audio features can be custom installed to be nearly invisible.  Companies like ELAN Home SystemsIntertech Ci, and Honeywell Security offer consultative services to explain the different technologies and hardware and then help you put together the systems that are smart for you.

The convenience of a smart home hinges on the seamless integration of these systems.

  • Security and surveillance
  • Climate control
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • Music/surround sound and television
  • Flood protection
  • Pool and spa equipment
  • Carbon monoxide detection

And the benefits are a highly adaptable, state-of-the-art, and exceedingly efficient lifestyle.

  • Customized programing
  • Remote access and control from anywhere in the world
  • Increased energy efficiencies
  • Conservation of water through irrigation control
  • Peace of mind

In today’s real estate market, a smart home promises certain comforts that more and more luxury buyers have come to expect.   If you’re interested in seeing some of the most stunning smart homes in Southwest Florida, contact me today.


Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!


Market Report for April 2016

 Market Report for April 2016

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero Market Area



Click for Full Report
Click for Full Market Report for April 2016
  •  There were 3,859 closed sales during the first 4 months of 2016, down from  4,799 closings during the same period in 2015.
  • The 9% decline in the number of closed sales over the past 12 months continues to be driven primarily by the 26% drop in sales priced below $250,000. Sales priced between $2 and $5 million remained approximately the same as the prior 12 months.
  • Closed sales priced above $2 million year-to-date fell 20% when compared to the same period in 2015 (155 vs 194).


  • Available inventory on May 1, 2016 consisted of 6,810 units, up from 5,030 units on May 2, 2015.
  • During the month of April 2016 there were a total of 1,922 new listings added to the market.  This is the highest for the month since 2010.


  • Average price of closed sales during the month of April increased 5% year-over-year, while median closed price is up 8%.
  • Average price of sales above $2 million increased 2% over the past 12 months, from $3,791,661 to $3,868,535.

12-Month Comparison


Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.21.35 AM


Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.47.12 AM


Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island or to view the Full Market Reports including Neighborhood Snapshots.

 “The source of this real property information is the copyrighted and proprietary database of Southwest Florida MLS, Copyright 2015, and the proprietary compilation of that data by John R. Wood Properties, its employees, and professional statisticians hired by the Wood firm. Accuracy of the information is not guaranteed; it should be independently verified if any person intends to engage in a transaction, relying on such data.”

Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

Naples Area is Famous for It’s Golf

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.00.58 AMNaples Area Golf 

The Naples area is famous for its golf, and that point is definitely not lost on the professional tour players. Many of the pros have a primary or secondary home in the Marco/Naples/Bonita area, including Peter Jacobsen, Rocco Mediate, Scott Hoch, Chip Beck, John Harris, Wayne Levi, Mark Lye, Fuzzy Zoeller, Kris Tamulis, and others.

Each year, more pros purchase homes after experiencing Naples by playing in the Champion’s Tour Ace Classic and The Shark Shootout, hosted by Greg Norman. They then come home to work on their game with their instructors. Top 100 teachers such as David Leadbetter, Rick Smith, Dr. Jim Suttie, and Tom Patri have academies in the Naples area.

Other sports celebrities have also found their home in paradise, such as Larry Bird, Mike Ditka, Dr. Jack Ramsey, Ara Parseghian, Dave Wannstedt, Chuck Noll, Mary Carillo, and Johan Kriek. This is by no means ALL of them, but it shows the desirability of Southwest Florida for celebrities who can choose to live anywhere.

For the most informative golf site in SW Florida with extensive info on golf club communities as well as golf course statistics visit  Here you will find

  • The Perfect Course for You
  • Membership Fees and Alternatives
  • Course Yardage, Slope & Rating
  • Course Architects and Descriptions
  • Information for Buying in a Golf Community
Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.15.37 PM

Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

The Tennis Club at Sterling Oaks

The Tennis Club at Sterling Oaks – I love playing tennis at Sterling Oaks where tennis is their first priority!  And even tho I live in a community with great tennis facilities I enjoy extending my fun to include a membership in The Club at Sterling Oaks for the great tennis.

The Club at Sterling Oaks
The Club at Sterling Oaks

Only three miles to the white sand beaches of the Gulf, Sterling Oaks is considered one of Naples’ premier tennis communities.

  • 12 Har-Tru courts (10 lighted)
  • Below court watering for better footing and gentler on joints
  • Professionally groomed
  • Shaded seating area between each court
  • Stadium Court for exhibitions and Social Events
  • On-site Pro
  • Private & Group Lessons
  • USTA, COL/LEE, CTA, and USPTA Leagues
  • League Tournaments
  • Social Events
  • Fully Stocked Pro Shop with stringing services
  • Memberships available seasonally & annually and even a Tennis Sampler Package for those visiting the area!

TENNIS DIRECTOR:  Paul Barrus,  USPTA Certified Tennis Professional


See some of Naples’ best known players and pros perform their magic in exhibitions on the lighted stadium court at the Club at Sterling Oaks.  Enjoy your favorite beverage served from the Oak Room bar. The public is encouraged to attend. Arrive early for best seats.  Check events calendar for exhibition schedule.


The 2016 West Coast Super Seniors Grand Prix Tournament Sponsored by Hamilton Mikes will be hosted by The Club at Sterling Oaks for the eighth consecutive year. A record number of more than 250 players participated from all over the USA and around the world in last year’s USTA nationally sanctioned event.  Club members take great pride in hosting this heralded event and volunteer in many capacities.  The dates for the upcoming Category II event will be January 24th through February 1st, 2016.


Community amenities are open to all & include a Junior Olympic pool, Cabana Grill & Bar, fully equipped fitness center with saunas & locker rooms, 2 Bocce Courts & a 10,000 sq. ft. clubhouse for casual dining & planned activities.


The Tennis Club at Sterling Oaks
Resort Pool



Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

Go Deep

Imagine building a home and just two hours later having it be full of life. That’s what happens when an artificial reef is sunk off the Gulf Coast.

This established artificial reef is located about 29 miles west of Marco. Someday the new reefs will resemble this one.
This established artificial reef is located about 29 miles west of Marco. Someday the new reefs will resemble this one.

Collier County’s new artificial reef project is joining local municipalities, scientists, the Corps of Engineers, the Community Foundation of Collier County and private citizens to beef up the amount of sea life in local waters. The Economic Recovery Task Force of Collier County and its Artificial Reef project team are spearheading the project, but a wide cross-section of agencies and individuals are supporting the initiative too.

At press time, all 36 concrete artificial reefs were expected to be in place. Since placement of the first reef in January, div- ers and boat captains have reported not only more marine life but also different species, says Diane Flagg of the Economic Recovery Task Force.

One unique thing spotted on the new reefs is a whale shark. “In talking to a boat captain who’s been on the water for 30 years, he said he’s never seen one,” said Flagg, who helms the ERTF with co-chair Jeff Ahren. “And nobody we’ve ever talk- ed to has seen a whale shark off the coast of Naples.”

And the more sea life, the more vital the economy. According to the task force’s business plan, within two years the reefs could bring in $30 million annually through boating, diving, hotel accom- modations and even fishing tournaments.

This dollar figure is based on a formula from the University of Florida’s 2011 Sea Grant Study.

Local lawyer Peter Flood first raised the idea for a reef. Flood approached Flagg just as she was about to retire as director of code enforcement for Collier County. His timing was good: Flagg would be able to devote the hours needed to help get the project going.

Buy-in came from everywhere, as Flagg tells it. All three local municipalities – the cities of Naples and Marco Island plus Collier County approved the project and applied for and received settlement money from BP as reparations for the 2010 Deep- water Horizon Oil Spill.

The reefs have been placed in locations 12-30 miles offshore. Each spot was formerly described as a “desert.” This was a require- ment, said Flagg. The Army Corps of Engineers would only approve permits for places where no marine life already congregated.

A documentary in progress titled “Paradise Reef: The World is Watching,” will hopefully sell the project to citizens. Filmmaker John Scoular, who has been on board since the beginning, has a letter of intent from PBS to distribute the film. Scoular has been filming interviews and footage on location as the reefs have been deployed.

Longtime cameraman Scoular along with his wife, producer Madeline Scoular, joined Lance and Harry Julian of Naples in Pure Image Productions for the project. Through their company Marine Team International, the Julians have acted as consultants on water-related films included “Waterworld,” “Titanic,” “Fool’s Gold” and other projects. Soon after deployment, fish start populating the reef.
Soon after deployment, fish start populating the reef.

With “Paradise Reef,” Scoular admits they rather “put the cart before the horse” and started filming with their own money so as not to miss any part of the process. Scoular need about $527,000), viewers will see the reefs being constructed and placed from start to finish. Each reef is eight feet tall and has a sturdy base, which enables it to withstand the Gulf ’s current. Some have concrete benches that were lowered with airbags and placed on the sea floor. Divers can sit on these benches and watch the local sea life playing in their new home. The benches were donated by the city of Naples, Flagg said. “They were going to break them up and send them to the landfill. The beauty of this project is ultimate recycling. [Before this], they were going to go to the landfill.”

Over the years, other artificial reefs, many made of old ships, have been lowered into the Gulf. The World War II ship USS Mohawk was given a new home on the Gulf bottom 28 miles off the Sanibel coast in July 2012. Although artificial reef building is not a new phenomenon, organizers of the Collier County project claim it’s one of the largest projects in the area to-date.

Among the Paradise Reef installations, three so far are named for benefactors – the Wasmer family, Harold Foote, and former U.S. Ambassador Francis Rooney and Kathleen Rooney. Each family has donated $100,000 for a “legacy reef.” Forever appearing on marine charts will be the Wasmer Reef, the Foote Family Reef and the Rooney Reef.

Three more legacy reefs may be sponsored at $100,000 each. Donations from $25 to $500,000 can be made to support the project as well. For the latter sum, the documentary film will be dedicated to the donor.



Written by:  Dayna Harpster
Independent Journalism and Public Relations
WGCU Public Media
Editor, Expressions magazine
(239) 425-5124

 Source Spotlight Magazines
Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

CDD – Community Development District

Community Development District

Bonita Beach
Bonita Beach

Coming to the Naples area from other parts of the country I find many of my buyers are not familiar with a Community Development District known as a CDD.  Since most of our gated communities in the Naples area are CDD communities I will help clarify.

A Community Development District (CDD) is a governmental unit created to serve the long-term specific needs of its community.  Developed as a result of Chapter 190 of the Florida Statures, a CDD’s main objectives are to plan, finance, construct, operate and maintain community-wide infrastructure and services specifically for the benefit of its residents.

A CDD is governed by its Board of Supervisors, which is generally elected initially by the landowner, then begins transitioning to residents of the CDD community after six years of operation.  Like all municipal, county, state and national elections, the Office of the Supervisor of Elections oversees the vote, and CDD Supervisors are subject to state this and financial disclosure laws.  All meetings and records are open to the public.


The Cost of a CDD

The cost to operate a CDD is borne by those who benefit from its services.  Homeowners in the CDD are subject to a non-advalorem assessment which appears on their annual property tax bill from the county tax collector and many consist of two parts.  The first is a share of the annual debt service on the CDD improvement bonds, if any were issued.  This is generally a fixed annual assessment.  The second portion is the annual assessment for operations and maintenance, which can fluctuate up or down year-to-year on the budget adopted for that fiscal year.

Benefits to Residents

Residents within a community with a CDD may expect to receive three major classes of benefits:
1.  The Cdd provides landowners consistently high levels of public facilities and services managed and financed through self-imposed fees and assessments.
2.  The District ensures that these community development facilities and services will be completed concurrently with other parts of the development.
3.  District landowners and electors choose the Boards of Supervisors, who are able to determine the type, quality and expense of District facilities and services.

Residents and homeowners in a CDD set the standards of quality, which are then managed by the CDD.  The CDD provides perpetual maintenance of community infrastructure and landscaping, including enviornmental conservation areas.  This consistent and quality-controlled method of management helps protect the long-term property values in a community.CDD – Community

For more information visit and


Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!

Florida Property Taxes

Florida property taxes are administered by locally elected officials and supervised by the Florida Department of Revenue.  Florida does not have a state-level property tax.

Florida property taxes are relatively unique because:

• They are levied annually.
• Taxes have to be paid in full and at one time (unless the property owner has filed for the installment program or for homestead tax deferrals).
• Substantial discounts are extended for early payment.
• Five months elapse before real property owners can be penalized for non-payment of taxes.

Property Tax Oversight

Property Appraisers.  Florida’s Constitution requires property appraisers to establish the property tax base for their county annually.  In doing so property appraisers determine the just, or market value of each parcel of property as of January 1 of each year.  Then they apply all valid exemptions, classifications and assessments, limitation to determine each property’s taxable value or relative tax burden.  The property appraiser does not determine the property tax rate of the amount of property taxes levied.

Property Tax Rates.  Florida has more than 640 local governments that levy a property tax.  These include cities, counties, school boards, and special districts.  Each year, usually in August and September locally elected officials in each jurisdiction set a millage or tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year usually October 1.  Millage rates for each jurisdiction are uniform across all property types.

Annual Truth In Millage Notice.  In August, the property appraiser sends each property owner a Notice of Proposed Taxes or TRIM notice.  This notice contains the property’s value on January 1, the millage rates proposed bye each local government, and an estimate of the amount of property taxes owed based not the proposed millage rtes.  The date, time, and location of each local government’s budget hearing are also provided on the notice.  This provides property owners the opportunity to attend the hearings and comment on the millage rates before approval.

Appeals Process.  Each county has a five-member value adjustment board which hears and rules on challenges to a property’s assessments, classification, or exemptions.  The value adjustment board is independent from the property appraiser and tax collector.  Value adjustment boards cannot change the millage or property tax rates adopted by local governments.

Billing and Payments.  Following the adoption of millage rates by local government, county tax collectors send annual property tax bills in late October or early November.  Full payment is due by the following March 31.  Discounts of up to four percent are given for early payments.

Collections and Refunds.  If a property tax bill is not paid by the following March 31, the tax collector sells a tax certificate on that property in order to collect the unpaid taxes.  A tax deed may be sold if the property owner has not paid all back taxes, interest, and fees within two years.  The collects also process and issue refunds for overpayment of property taxes.

Funding of Public Education and Local Services.  The tax collector distributes property taxes to the local governments and taxing authors.  Bought 50% of Florida’s public education funding and 30% of its local government revenues come from property taxes.


Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 3.10.46 PM

For more information visit, and

Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!