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Rochester, NY, United States

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Foreign buyers returning to SWFL real estate market

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Far more positive signs that Southwest Florida might be ready for a authentic estate turnaround: Real estate agents say foreign buyers are starting show increased interest within the area once again.

"Before I came, I was skeptical about what I might locate, you hear all the poor news about the economy and what's going on," said Australian investor Karrie Reid. She's been impressed with the homes she's witnessed since beginning her search.

"I'm here as an investor, predominantly what I'm searching for is to get some cash flow," Reid stated. "Buying at a very good price, excellent worth."

Real estate agent Marc Joseph says Reid is typical from the type of investors coming back to Southwest Florida.

"They want to buy and they want to hold, they want the value to improve," Joseph said. "They're not in it for the short term, so what I see is very healthy to our market."

Joseph has seen far more foreign visitors boarding his foreclosure bus tours lately, a welcome change after a summer time filled with oil spill fears.

"Historically, they're slow months simply because its summer season, but due to the fact from the oil spill, it actually truly was quiet," Joseph explained. "Things got scary quiet."

Genuine estate firms are producing extra efforts to reach out to foreign buyers. Fort Myers-based Market place America recently launched a web page entirely in german.

"Europeans are aware costs won't remain as low forever as well as the Euro may not remain as strong forever, so they see a shrinking window of chance to take advantage of that," stated Marketplace America agent Nils Richter.

After weeks of house-hunting, Karrie Reid got her first contract Monday, and hopes its not the last.

"The opportunity is generating me need to come over and do additional, that's for sure," Reid said.

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