Fort Myers certainly isn’t New York – and thats a good thing.

Perspectives in Real Estate – September 26th. Gregg Fous

Market America Realty and Investments, Inc.


Gail and I took a week off and spent it in New York City.  I missed writing last week while there, but let me catch you up. Before I do, let me share with you some insight about our trip and its effect on my attitude and outlook on the economy and, more specifically, our local real estate.


My week in New York reinforced my positive attitude about the future of real estate and the attractiveness of our local market in South Florida. A few weeks ago, on the Anniversary of 9/11 I wrote about Perspective in Real Estate and I have talked in the past about getting outside your box  – to look at your situation from the outside. Well folks, I got a good look at Florida from New York.


As many of you know I grew up in New Jersey, just outside of New York City. When Dad took me into the city as a kid, I remember asking what was going on?  Was there a parade coming?  “No”, replied Dad, “it’s like this very day. This is the place to be”. 


The hoards of people rushing about on the side walk is busier now than it was then.  Gail was able to find us a small B and B on the upper East Side, just off Museum Row on Fifth Avenue and an easy walk to the Subway. I brought an iPad and iPhone and was able to use Market Americas Real Estate Application (use code 4976 if you are in our market). With this application I could walk around our new temporary neighborhood and see the prices on real estate offerings. I found a cute little place a block away. Here it is on Trulia; and only $17,250,000.


Susan Csikos, a luxury home specialist for Market America Realty and Investments, Inc,. has an office in this area and sells homes both in New York and Florida (Her website here). She arranged for us to tour some other properties while we were in the city.


I will tell you about one condo we saw – it sits a few doors off of Lexington Avenue and is on the third floor – doorman, elegant lobby – wonderful one bedroom 1 ½ bath. It will rent for $6500 a month, plus 15% monthly broker fee (paid by the tenant), plus the tenant must reapply every year and pay $1500 for the privilege to do so.  A condo twice the size of this one will rent, on the water, for about $1500 here in SW Florida. And the landlord will pay the commissions.


The amazing thing is that there have been a number of people that have applied to get this condo off Lexington Avenue and been turned down.  No wonder: the application is 23 pages long and would rival a financial disclosure prepared for divorce court! The rental price of this condo is down from six years ago, however, when it would have rented for $9000/month.


Because of this, if you asked a New York real estate agent how the market is, they would tell you depressed and slow – and that is what I was told – but it is not what I saw.


I saw high demand, high prices, low vacancies, and an upbeat attitude.  Shops  and restaurants were packed, premium locations had waiting lists, and sellers and landlords are demanding high prices and quality tenants.  If you would like to look around at property in New York, here is Susan’s search page: Homes in New York.


I came away from looking at real estate in New York with a better understanding of what New Yorkers see when they come here:  Bargains.  Heck, they could buy a nice Golf Course condo here in Fort Myers and pay less per month for it than they do for parking in NYC.  New York still belongs to the sellers, not the buyers; to the landlords, not the tenants, there is no place like New York. We love it.. Just can’t afford it right now (-:


Now onto some local news.


Oasis Condomiums.


On Saturday November 20th, 40 (of the approximately 400 total available) new Oasis Condos will go to absolute auction at the Harborside Convention Center just across from our office. In all, up to 125 units may go up for sale, with the additional 85 carrying a yet undisclosed reserve price. For buyers that do not want to get in a possible ‘bidding war’ for the most desirable units, sales can also be negotiated and concluded pre-auction with our help. Obviously with 7 different layouts (ranging from under 900sf to about 2000sf of living area) in 2 different towers on 32 different floors it will be hard to determine the best value for anyone that is not intimately familiar with the buildings.  You need to have a reputable agent representing you and Market America Realty  and Investments is the most qualified.  Our agency has sold more condominiums in the downtown Fort Myers market that all of the top five agencies combined.  We know the price per square foot that was paid and have analyzed the data.  In order to bid at the auction you also need to preregister. We can help you do that – just email me at  and I will get you the necessary paperwork. We expect to have a team present at the auction and have been arranging tours from our downtown office for the last two weeks.  We need to discuss strategy and pricing and we would be happy to arrange a meeting with you. I do expect some bargains at the auction. (Hello New Yorkers?).


REO and Foreclosed Homes.

With the arrival of fall we have seen an uptick in the number of homes that we are handling. Now with over 300 homes managed by us in Lee County alone,  we do not see a slowdown in foreclosed home sales in Florida  until after NEXT season (more than one year from now).  If you are interested in buying an REO, Let me set you up an appointment with one of our buyer reps. You may also be interested in reading” REO – An Agents Perspective; or How to Buy an REO.


If you want to search for foreclosed properties click Search for Foreclosed Properties.


Commercial Opportunities

The banks are starting to release some of their commercial REO portfolios and are aggressively accepting shortsales. I have several opportunities in stalled developments, either as short sales or as REO’s; multifamily and retail  – from land to fully completed projects.  Here is a sampling:

·        8 unit waterfront project on Fort Myers Beach

·        304 unit condo project  Lee County

·        Commercial Corner on 41

·        16 unit apartment project

·        High end RV pad park

·        Waterfront development site on Caloosahatchee River

·        Hotels

·        Empty bank Building – Fort Myers

·        Restaurant Space Downtown Fort Myers (lease)

I am happy to sit down with qualified principals and work on these projects with them. I some cases we may be interested in a participating position – either as an equity partner or as development management. Bring cash as they are not easy to finance.


Market America Realty and Investment, Inc.  Growth

Our large number of listings brings us a large number of buyer leads and we are adding agents weekly.  We have also recently added and offices in Lehigh Acres, Jacksonville and  Clermont (between Tampa and Orlando). Therefore I am aggressively adding buyer and listing agents to all offices. If you are a licensed agent and want to join a high tech, progressive agency with the reputation for kept promises, a high level of service, and superior market knowledge, please call me to arrange a confidential interview. You will not be disappointed.


We are also adding commercial agents and I have set up a separate Market America Realty Group Commercial Division. 



Gregg Fous

Broker/Owner  Market America Realty and Investments, Inc.

800-439 1580

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