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Trying to stay optimistic about the new year

January 7, 2011
By MARIO D'ARTAGNAN, Real Estate in Perspective

Now that the New Year celebrations are behind us, and we have made our resolutions, it is time to celebrate a new year of anticipation, growth and limitless expectations. Although 2010 was not the best year on record for real estate sales, I believe Southwest Florida is headed in the right direction. From all of the news reports I've read, the recession is behind us and we can expect the job market to open up new opportunities for those seeking employment.

Everyone has been hit by the recession, some worse than others. However, when I wake up in the morning I still feel very blessed to be living in one of the most desirable areas on earth. Our weather is ideal, the golfing and boating is second to none and our communities are some of the finest the world has to offer.

Real estate prices are at an all-time low. Waterfront property is still priced lower in comparison than most places in the country. And where else can you buy a home with a pool for under $150,000? I also believe that consumer confidence is rising. Those who were in the market last year to buy a home, but did not, are now committed to jumping in this year. Thousands of people will be retiring and coming to Florida to enjoy what I have been enjoying for 2 1/2 decades. Irrespective of the value lost in some retirement funds, the fact of the matter is that the value of real estate has also diminished proportionately. With that said, retirees can still afford a very nice home without having to pay the high prices we experienced in 2005 and 2006.

Currencies around the world have also declined in value. However, Canadians, Asians and Europeans are still flocking to Southwest Florida to invest in real property. One of the reasons is that we have amenities that rank high in value and are worth coming here to explore. The climate alone accounts for much of the migration to Florida. Our beaches are pristine. When you compare our real property taxes to other places, we are still ranked as one of the few states with reasonable taxes. Our environment is also clean and protected for the most part.

I could not think of any other place in the world that I would rather live than right here Southwest Florida. I wish all of you an awesome, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2011.

Mario D'Artagnan is a broker associate with Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group, Inc. Mario is a former investigator for the Florida Real Estate Commission. He is also a former real estate instructor. Mr. D'Artagnan is a published author and has been a keynote speaker on the subject of agency law. Mario is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For questions or comments contact Mr. D'Artagnan at: or call 239-565-4445.



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