Guest commentary: Don't be a Scrooge (or Marley) when it comes to real estate

Gerry Rosenblum
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Realty
Gerry Rosenblum

The following statistics compare October of 2017 to 2016:

  • Sold single family homes up 4 percent (26 vs 25)
  • Sold condominiums up 38 percent (29 vs 21)
  • Sold single family vacant lots down 14 percent (6 vs 7)
  • Pending single family homes up 43 percent (33 vs 23)
  • Pending condominiums up 3 percent (33 vs 32)
  • Pending single family vacant lots down 50 percent (9 vs 18)


  • 289 single family homes (down 13% percent from 2016)
  • 329 condominiums (down 11 percent from 2016)
  • 280 single family vacant lots (down 14 percent from 2016)


A total of $48 million dollars worth of real estate closed on Marco Island in October 2017; $22 million dollars last month and $47 million in September 2016 (last year). Always one for full disclosure, some of the sales this month were postponements caused by Hurricane Irma from last month; however, I would like to point out the pending sales in October for homes and condos that went under contract after the storm were at a pace ahead of last year...ding-dong, Irma is gone!

Now, my faithful readers hang onto almost every word I type, so I would now like to draw your attention to the inventory numbers above.They are down for homes, down for condos and down for lots, but all Collier County property owners just received a nice letter from the tax assessor mentioning their real estate taxes, and that often triggers many to put their properties on the market, so inventories should start to creep up. Why?Because the taxes are so low around here these folks want to move somewhere else where they can pay higher taxes and feel good about themselves for helping fill the coffers of some poorer county or state. My readers kinda like the idea of low taxes and tall Manhattans. That makes it hard for me to get my past buyers to sell unless they want to upgrade so they can have the joy of getting a bigger tax break. Smart, smart, smart.

Do you all know the book "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens? Do you remember the first two sentences? If not here, they are: "Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that." Now, I ain't no Charles Dickens, but you don't see me starting my newsletter with that kind of negativity. (Obviously Dickens could never write with my flair.) And now, on cue, my readers ask, "What does this have to do with real estate on Marco Island?" I'll tell you what: don't be like Jacob Marley.

Marley is Ebeneezer Scrooge's deceased business partner, now a chained and tormented ghost doomed to wander the earth forevermore as punishment for his greedy, selfish and uncaring attitude towards mankind. Had he purchased a home, lot or condo on Marco Island, his whole attitude would have changed and he would have lived a long, healthy, prosperous life with his very tall and tan wife.

Also, you need to keep Scrooge in mind and realize it's never too late to change your ways and part with some of the money you salted away. If you love where you live, life can be better for you, and your favorite realtor. Why, if I had a great year, I would consider buying my two favorite children, Annie and Lily, their own properties as a future investment. That might get them to stop calling me Scrooge. (Now where did I put that coal?)

We all know it's the holiday time of the year and Barb and I are loosening our belts in anticipation of all the great dinner invites we are going to receive. Why, just a few weeks ago, JW and Mary had the pleasure of buying us dinner at Ciao Bella, and as far as I am concerned, I swear they had one of their most jovial nights out in a long time. I encourage all of you to experience the joy and pleasure of the Barb and Gerry show, which includes a no-holds-barred discussion of my first wife along with my second favorite children, Andy and Willy.

For the readers who beg to know each month's high and low sale, here you go: The highs for the month are a single family home for $7 million at 188 South Beach in Hideaway. For condos, Veracruz 2101 closed for $3.3 million. For vacant lots, 1425 Butterfield Court closed for $1,600,000.

For you bargain hunters out there, a single family home at 1245 North Collier Blvd closed for $271,000. In condos, we have Aquarius A-3 closing at $133,000, and a vacant lot at 104 Covewood closed for $76,000.

As always, please reach out and contact me if you have any real estate questions.

And, if you are thinking of using me as your realtor, keep in mind that I will never be out thought or out fought. 

I still await the dinner invitations.