Jim’s Book – The Bike Writer

Published April 24, 2017
Hello Subscribers … Jim and I have had many inquiries from clients, friends, and realtors about the status of Jim’s blogs.  They have been largely absent from the Internet for the past year.  There is a reason for Jim’s lack of blogging, as he has been busily writing his first book, THE BIKE WRITER.
The book describes Jim’s journey and the insights he has gained through almost 70 years of biking.  If you have enjoyed his blogs, you may enjoy reading his book.
The Bike Writer has been published by Archway Publishing, an arm of Simon & Schuster, and is available online as a paperback (11.99) or e-book (3.99) on Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble.  Please feel free to order the book by clicking on the links above. Think of it as an opportunity to support this starving new author! … Jan

GOOD NEWS for Spanish Wells Country Club

Published May 14, 2017

Escalante Golf “bought” Spanish Wells Country Club 5 years ago in an arrangement with Wells Fargo Bank. Escalante managed the Club for the past 5 years, mostly with negative reviews from the membership, residents, and golfers who paid to play the golf course.

On May 13th Escalante Golf announced to the membership that they were ceding ownership back to Wells Fargo Bank. Advance Golf has been contracted by Wells Fargo to manage the Club through a transition period to a new owner. The response to this news by the members and residents has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Escalante Era has been an unfortunate chapter in the long history of Spanish Wells Country Club and the entire Spanish Wells Community. Advance Golf is an experienced transitional management company, and they are indicating a brighter future for both the Club and the Community. 

The location of Spanish Wells, less than 4 miles from the Gulf and in the middle of a booming Bonita Springs/Naples market, makes it a unique investment opportunity.  There are no more tracts of land this close to the Gulf for developing new golf courses.  With 27 holes, SWCC is ringed by Bonita Bay’s 3 courses, Pelican Nest’s 2 courses, Highland Woods, Quail West’s 2 courses, Worthington, Hunters Ridge, Talis Park, Mediterra’s 2 courses, Imperial’s 2 courses, and Audubon CC.  For an investor who understands the golf market, SWCC represents a unique opportunity.

The folks at Spanish Wells are pleased to be free of the Escalante Golf business model.  We welcome a new and improved chapter for the Club and the Community.  Spanish Wells remains a great place to live, and we believe it will be an excellent place to golf in the future.

FOREIGN SELLERS

Published 1.22.16

The strong U.S. Dollar in relation to the Canadian Dollar, Euro, and the Pound, is causing some foreign homeowners in Southwest Florida to consider “cashing in” on their investment.  At today’s currency exchange rates, a Canadian seller netting $500,000 U.S. from the sale of a home converts to $725,000 Canadian today, compared to only $500,000 Canadian just 2 years ago.  A German seller netting $500,000 U.S. converts to $459,000 Euros, compared to only $370,000 Euros just 2 years ago.  The same proceeds convert to 350,000 British Pounds, compared to only 305,000 Pounds just 2 years ago. 

The Boeglin Team currently has 4 listed homes owned by foreign citizens, and have been contacted by additional foreign homeowners who are considering listing their homes at this time.  Disposition of U.S. real property may subject the transaction to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA).  It is vitally important for a foreign homeowner to be aware of this law, and involve professionals who are familiar with FIRPTA, its applications, and exemptions.  The Boeglin Team has been involved in such transactions in the past, and has access to the tax professionals who specialize in FIRPTA issues.

FIRPTA may also apply to buyers of homes owned by foreign interests.  If the law applies to the purchase, then there is a required IRS filing and withholding.  There are exemptions available, and it is important that buyers of such homes involve professionals familiar with FIRPTA.

In general, this law imposes a U.S. Income Tax on foreign persons disposing of U.S. real property interests.  Tax is imposed on the amount of gain considered recognized.  The buyer is required to withhold a % of the proceeds to cover the tax liability.  Penalties apply if the buyer fails to withhold or file the required IRS forms within 20 days of the transaction.

The main exemptions are:

  1.  The price of the real estate is $300,000 or less and the buyer intends to use the home as a residence; or
  2. The purchaser receives a statement from the seller that the seller is not a “foreign person” as defined by FIRPTA.

If you are a foreign homeowner, or a potential buyer of a home owned by a foreign person, please contact us for assistance.

Establishing The Price

Published 10.6.15

So you’re thinking about selling your home in order to move to a different sized home, or a new or different community.  Maybe health or family circumstances suggest a community that offers assisted living as an option.  Whatever the reason for selling, the uppermost question in the homeowner’s mind is usually:  How much can we get if we sell?

This is a question the Boeglin Team fields on a daily basis.  Pricing homes for sale involves aspects of art and of science.  Unlike shares of IBM, every home is unique.  The best “comps” may be similar, including the same floor plan, square footage, and age.  However, no two homes will have the same décor, location, view, condition of the roof, appliances, floors, kitchen counters and cabinets, landscaping, curb appeal, attention to updating and maintenance history, etc.  There are always variables.

When we are invited into a home for a listing presentation, we do our “scientific” research in advance with respect to recent sales, homes on the market in the community, buyer attitudes, and market trends.  Armed with “the facts”, we then view the home, inside and out, with the variables in mind.  This is where we shift to a “feel” of where this particular home fits into the mix from a pricing perspective.

What is the “right price” that a willing buyer and a willing seller are likely to agree upon.  With 12 years of experience in the local market area, our sense of value is usually proven correct.  Of course, motivation of the seller can be an extenuating circumstance.  If the homeowner is eager to sell quickly, the price may need to be at a bargain level; if the homeowner doesn’t much care if or when it sells, the home can be priced on the high end of the value range.

Recent market conditions can also be a factor in pricing.  When the housing market is plummeting, as it was 6 or 7 years ago, we recommended a list price below recent sales in the hope that the home would sell before the market dropped even further.  When the housing market is on the rise, as it has been in recent years, it may make sense to push the price higher in anticipation that the market with “catch up” to the higher price.  We think of this as “market forward” strategy.  What might this home be worth 3 months from now?

Of course, it is always the prerogative of the homeowner to establish the list price.  Not all homeowners agree with our opinion, and we (or another Realtor) end up listing the home at a price outside of our suggested range.  Sometimes it works out; sometimes the home lingers on the market for an extended period of time.

The Boeglin Team is ready, willing, and able to serve you when you are ready to place your home on the market.  Give us a call.

WithlacoochieTrail

Published 9.28.15

When I decided it was time for me to bike my age, I decided to do it on the Withlacoochie Trail in Central Florida. Why, you might ask, would I want to bike my age anyway?  Well, it’s a “guy” thing. I can’t golf my age like some of my golf buddies, and I doubt that I will live long enough to ever do so. Heck, I probably can’t bowl my age. But biking 72 miles is possible.

Florida has some nice rails to trails, mostly in the central part of the state. In the past, I have biked the West Orange Trail near Orlando; the Nature Coast Trail west of Gainesville; Pinellas Trail by Clearwater; Gainesville to Hawthorne Trail; and the VanFleet Trail at Polk City. My favorite is the Withlacoochie which I first biked with my son, Mike, as part of a 353 mile fund-raising adventure for the Bonita Assistance Office.

I drove to Inverness Sunday afternoon and checked into the Central Hotel, an old but clean hotel 20 yards from the trail. I was on my bike before the sun was up, and and back in my room 6 hours and 73 miles later. I headed South to the terminus 28 miles away; then returned North for about 36 miles, then back “home”. Along the way this trail is a linear state park that is a total of 46 miles long. There are lakes, parks, picnic tables, water fountains, rest rooms, farms, industry, and the largest Walmart Distribution Center I have ever seen.

Parts of the trail were deserted, but other parts had walkers, joggers, and bikers of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Lots of recumbent bikes. Trail users are a very friendly, helpful group of people. A volunteer took my picture and told me it would be posted on their website and newsletter. Made me feel like a celebrity.

Tomorrow it’s a short 40 mile ride before I load the bike on the car and return to Bonita Springs. Maybe it’s a good thing that we do not have a similar trail near home. I might not get any work done.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Published 9.17.15

About 40 years ago I was on a bike-camping trip in Wisconsin.  We biked the Elroy-Sparta Trail, one of the very first “rails-to-trails” bike paths in the country.  Because this part of Wisconsin is somewhat hilly, the now-abandoned train track tunneled through some of the hills.  One tunnel is more than a mile long, and it is pitch black in the middle of the tunnel.  As bikers, we had to walk our bikes through the tunnel with flashlights in hand.

Legend has it that former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was personally involved in raising the funds necessary to build this marvelous bike trail.  He assembled a group of politicians and potential donors and, along with several of his aides, led the group into the tunnel with flashlights.  When the group got half way into the tunnel, he signaled his aides to turn off the flashlights, leaving the group in total darkness.  Then, an aide to the Governor turned on a tape recorder with a recording of a locomotive bearing down on the group.  After a few moments of sheer terror, the necessary funds were extracted to build the bike trail.

This brings me to Southwest Florida and the wet, hot summer of 2015.  August and early September have been unusually rainy, but temperatures are finally beginning to ease.  Forecasts indicate the rains may also abate in the next few days.  We think this is the light at the end of the summer that we have been waiting for, and not a hurricane bearing down.  Personally, I am ready for a dried out golf course and clear skies for biking.

LABOR DAY 2015

Published 9.7.15

The clock of the summer of 2015 is ticking down.  On May 25th (Memorial Day) we remembered and honored our military personnel, past and present, who have defended our freedoms for more than 239 years; on July 4th we celebrated the birth of our country so many years ago; and now, September 7th, we appreciate and honor American workers, past and present.

American workers include tradesmen, medical professionals, scientists, teachers, firemen, policemen, machinists, soldiers, sailors, truck drivers, attorneys, barbers, pilots, lawn maintenance workers, factory workers, government personnel, secretaries, computer technicians, home builders, engineers, architects, realtors, bankers, salesmen, food servers, taxi drivers, therapists, and everyone else who has contributed to the American Dream.

To me, Labor Day is a day of bringing together Americans of all sizes, shapes, colors, religious beliefs, nationalities, and economic circumstances with a common denominator.  We are, or have been, the workers who built this great nation.  We honor each other today.  Congratulate each other, and have a happy Labor Day!

Housing: The Engine that Drives the Economy

Published 8.21.15

When the housing market is strong, good things happen in the U.S. economy.  When homes are not selling, the economy stagnates.  The reasons may be complex for economists in their ivory towers, but relatively simple for Realtors on the ground who facilitate the real estate market.

When new homes are being built, workers have jobs.  An entire industry of road builders, sewer and utility workers, heavy equipment operators, roofers, masons, painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, a/c installers, pool builders, landscapers, and government workers are gainfully employed in the building process.  Appliances are purchased, window treatments are installed, floors are laid, doors and windows are manufactured and installed.  The new house is just the tip of the iceberg.

When an existing home is re-sold, the seller usually moves on to reinvest in another home.  The buyer employs painters, handymen, pavers, roofers, pool finishers, flooring specialists, etc.  More often than not, furniture, appliances, window treatments, and accessories are purchased for the new home.  A ripple effect is created in the economy, with every worker, supplier, realtor and banker benefitting from the transaction.  They, in turn, continue to expand the ripple.

In recent years we’ve witnessed first-hand the impact of housing on the U.S. economy.  During the Great Recession that took hold around 2008 and lasted for 4 or 5 years, the housing market was at a standstill.  So was the economy.  Unemployment skyrocketed.  Gradually, as housing demand recovered and new construction came back to life, the economy picked up steam.

Today, with housing back on track, the employment level is growing and local governments have begun to spend on infrastructure projects.  If we want our economy to continue to prosper, it is critically important to maintain a healthy and active housing market.  It is good for the economy, and it is good for the American people who enjoy having the home of their dreams.

FAMILY GATHERINGS

Published 7.27.15

Jan and I both come from large families. Jan has 5 siblings; I am the youngest of 7, with 3 of us still above ground. My parents had 28 grandchildren, many of whom also have children. We are scattered “from sea to shining sea” and family gatherings are not easy to arrange. 

Last month the Boeglin Clan assembled in my hometown of Ferdinand, Indiana. Ferdinand is a small town of less than 2500 population, nestled in the hills of Southern Indiana. Its skyline is dominated by a large Catholic Church and a Benedictine monastery overlooking the town, which has become known as the “castle on the hill”.

About 120 family members attended the dedication of a pergola to the memory of my parents. The pergola is on the grounds of an old Swiss villa that was once the home of the first town doctor in the mid-1800s. It has been restored by the Ferdinand Historical Society and is a gathering place for concerts, re-unions, weddings, etc. The pergola will definitely be a regular stop on our annual summer trek to Indiana.

It seems strange to me to be a part of the oldest generation in the family. As the youngest of 7, I was always a “youngster” at gatherings. Now, along with brothers Bob and Tom, we are the “last of the Mohicans” so to speak. Talking with nieces and nephews and subsequent generations at the family re-union, it reminded me just how important it is to stay connected with family, no matter how geographically scattered we are.

SUMMERTIME IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Published 7.15.15

Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero are winter homes for many “snowbirds” who fly North each Spring.  The area is also home to many full time residents who enjoy the Florida climate and lifestyle all year long.  It seems that every year, more and more snowbirds opt for full time residency in Southwest Florida.

What is it like in July?  With the Gulf breezes and frequent afternoon showers, it is a lot cooler here than in many major U.S. cities, like:  Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, etc.  The sun is a regular visitor.

Florida residents have learned to play golf, tennis, bike, jog, and walk fairly early in the day, when temperatures are in the 70s and 80s.  Afternoons are for chilling out in the pool, or enjoying the air conditioning.  Usually, evenings are pleasant for outdoor dining and activities.

Jan and I spent a few weeks in Indiana in June.  It was our annual trek to spend time with family and old friends.  It was rainy, cool, and golf courses were closed due to flooding.  We found ourselves yearning for the Bonita Springs sunshine and beautiful golf courses.

From May through October, with the exodus of snowbirds, private golf clubs in the area “reciprocate” with each other.  This gives club members an opportunity to play over 50 otherwise private area golf courses.  It is world class golf with affordable greens fees.  Many snowbirds would be amazed how much golf is played in the summer in Southwest Florida.

In addition, restaurants and retail outlets are relatively un-crowded during the summer months.  Reservations are rarely needed, and “twofer” dinner specials are everywhere.  Many Florida residents consider summer the “peak season”.

If you are considering making our area your full time residence, I encourage you to visit during the summer and see the Florida lifestyle for yourself.