Newsletter – From Bill Sontag

Bill Sontag’s Heritage Bay Newsletter

Heritage Bay Real Estate Season Report, It’s a Buyer’s Market so Time to Buy!

The last 14 months have produced a dramatic change in the real estate market in Heritage Bay. Our sales have been slow and our inventory levels have gone up alarmingly. What is happening?
Is It Just Us?
From  a sales prospective we are consistent with what is happening in Collier County.  Collier County 2016-2017 sales in the under $300,000 price range dropped 13% from the 2015-2016 sales levels. Same period – Prices are up 5%, and the number of days properties stay on the market before they sell went up 43%. We have many entry level properties in Heritage Bay for sale and entry level properties have been the hardest hit over the last 12 months.
2016 to 2017 Sales Comparison
We had 28 properties go under contract in the first three months of 2016.
In the first three months of 2017 we have had 24 properties go under contract. Pending sales in Collier County are down -18% and we are down -16.7%.
First Quarter Pending Sales in 2017 at Other Bundled Golf Communities

Treviso Bay is heavily advertised by Lennar so they are selling more. The others are in line with what we are doing as far as sales are concerned. The Quarry in not bundled but dealing with the same conditions we are


October 2015 was the lowest inventory level ever with 14 total listings
January 2017 was our highest inventory level with about 90 total listings
April 2017 inventory levels are around 78.
Historical levels have been in the range of 50-55 listings.
We do have a lot of inventory and that will unfortunately bring prices down. I have worked very hard to get prices up because I know there are still owners in here who bought in the bubble era of 2007-2007. Some are selling now as I will show later.

Why are Resident Selling?

Is it the Canadians Heading Back Home?

I researched all of the listings and sales from the last 12 months and found that 33 Canadians are among the sellers. They account for 18% of the total listings and Canadians account for about 16.5% of owners. Canadians are not buying like they were but they are not the reason so many properties are for sale. You guys are good being here, eh?

Investor/User Factor is Big

I always promote Heritage Bay as the best golf & country club value in Naples and I think it is. Because of that, we attract a fair number of investor/users. These are owners who may not think of themselves as investors. Typically they are not retired yet but either bought a property they intended to rent seasonally or bought a larger property and decided to keep their smaller unit because they could cover their expenses, the prices were on the rise, and they could hold it until they could sell it and make a few dollars. Bam! Welcome to 2016?

Sellers Profit / Loss Comparison Chart

Using the original purchase price, the expected selling price, sales history, and the most recent selling prices as a guide, it looks like the sellers in green will show a profit on their sale after closing costs and the modest Realtor fee. Those in red will likely break even or sustain a loss. Several of those selling are original sellers from 2006 and 2007.  There are three times as many sellers in the green column than in the red column , so it looks like profit is a motivator.
I am also hearing from many that the addition of fees by VRBO has greatly reduced the number of renters using their site and getting renter and owners together is even worse than before.  The hassle of dealing with VRBO and finding a renter may also be a contributing factor.


Looking at the prices the sellers of closed and current properties (over the past 12 months) paid when they bought their places, I compared them to the current estimated market prices as shown in the last column. The green and red columns show the number of units and the average price those buyers paid resulting in a green gain or a red loss.

Life Changes Over Time

This chart shows the year that the sellers who sold in the last year and also the current sellers with properties currently listed  bought their properties. Lots of things change over the years and owning in Heritage Bay may not make sense any longer for some.  With all of the open houses I do and all the listings I have, I get to talk to a lot of owners looking for a change and there are many reasons.

This chart shows that 70% of the sellers shown have owned their properties between 5 and 10 years. That is pretty good for an area where real estate is a common topic of conversation and the new heavily advertised communities competing with us for buyers.


Prices rose significantly in 2015 because of the shortage of inventory.
a. 42 owners felt it was time to sell although they will likely lose money.
b. 123 owners will likely make money on the sale of their property.
While the motivations vary somewhat, the reason we have so many properties for sale right now is not because of the community, it is because prices went up and it looked like a good time to sell.
We are also surrounded by new well advertised communities. They are taking some buyers away from buying in HB and enticing some residents to move there. It is a part of life in Naples. I did have a 2012 seller come back to HB and buy a place here. Says it feels like he is home again! I love it…

Sales & Listing Report

In general buyers are buying properties that they like and are paying decent prices for them  but buyers are not showing much interest in lower priced properties with view, decor, or cart path issues. That being said, there are a few floor plans that are doing quite well like Colonades, Abbey end units, Hibiscus 1st floor coach homes. We are not in too bad a shape with single family homes but buyers are picky.
This chart shows the various floor plans, the number of units listed and the number of those units that went under contract in 2017. The final number shows the number of those floor plans that yours truly put under contract in 2017. Red indicates the floor plans that have the highest inventories and green indicates good or normal inventory levels.

This chart also shows that the Bill Sontag Group has accounted for almost 40% of the pending sales and closed sales so far in 2017. 

Please Pick One of My Listings To Buy!

The Best Deals:  The buys that someone makes before everyone else figures out that they missed the opportunity. This is the time to get what you want at the right price before either someone else buys your favorite or the owner puts it into rental for 2018.  Both are going to happen and likely before 2018.
We will be here working all Summer selling the best listings.

To See All Bill Sontag’s Golf Course Real Estate Listings – Click Here

Top See All Bill Sontag’s Golf Course Real Estate Listings – Click Here

I think professional photos are extremely important tools in selling a home because they attract buyers to look at the listing and Realtors pick appealing properties to show.
I proudly invite you to check out the photos on my website if you are thinking about selling.


While You Are Away

Water On or Off?

Pressure can build up in your plumbing lines over time with no one there to run the water.  A weak line can cause the line to burst doing thousands of dollars of damage.
Remember to also turn off the hot water heater. There is no benefit to leaving the water on.
A toilet feeder hose cost me $20K plus a decade ago and it happened within two weeks of our being away

A Humidistat

is Not Worth the Risk with Such a Limited Financial Savings

Money Saver or Disaster Maker

Humidistats only allow the A/C to run when the humidity level reaches a critical level. It is strictly a money saving device and not a protection against mold. Since the effective range of the Humidistat is only about 8 feet away from the device, the rest of the property is likely already at critical levels when the A/C kicks on.
When it does run, the air must travel from the farthest reaches of the home/condo to be able to adequately remove excess moisture from the air from every room.
Your A/C needs to run regularly and for a period of time that will allow it to protect your whole property with consideration given to the hottest room in the house. Keep doors open between rooms. Once the device goes below the set humidity level, it turns the A/C off and likely too soon.

Extra Protection

It has been suggested by my favorite professional mold expert that you run your ceiling fans on low while you are away. Especially in the rooms that are the farthest from the thermostat.
That keeps the air moving and eliminates the chance of creating ideal breeding conditions for mold behind mirrors, pictures and furniture.


This product begins to work when the level of humidity reaches 60%
which is the condition  when mold can grow. An air handler evaporator coil can remove a lot of water in a day. A bucket of DampRid has a limited capacity. This product is helpful but don’t let your property get that humid. Run your A/C.

Setting the Away Temperature


A temperature in the upper seventies (not eighties)  is usually a good setting but you need to consider the effect the sun will have on the temperature variations within each room. If you have a norther exposure like in buildings 15-22, it would be wise have your thermostat set a bit lower say at 77-78. The rest of us around 78-79. The southern or western sun will get that A/C running.
If you are away when the temperature are normally below 85, you need to set your thermostat low enough that it will run. The condo FPL bills are so low, why take the risk?
Make Sure Your Condensation Line is Cleaned Out so Your A/C Keeps Running!



I earned a BSBA in Marketing from Xavier and went to class most of the time so I understand the importance of marketing to buyers to sell my listings and not just spend all my energy and marketing dollars on getting more listings.  Here are some examples of my 2017 marketing campaign.

No Other Naples Golf Course Realtor Markets Your Golf Course Home Like Bill Sontag

When I get a listing, I want to sell it myself. All the extra effort I put into my company drives that concept. Showcase  and sell my listings made me the number 10 Realtor with BHHS Florida Realty in Florida in 2016. I don’t sell palaces on the beach so it takes a lot of extra effort. Thanks HB for your trust and support.

Bill Sontag, Realtor
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty
BHHS Florida Realty
Chairman Circle Gold
#10 out of almost 2,000 agents in the State of Florida for 2016

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