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Tag: David Fite

Fite Shavell & Associates Realtors spearhead a Thanksgiving drive for the neediest

Fite Shavell in the Community

By Victoria Brewer of Fite Shavell & Associates

Fite Shavell Realtors: Sylvia James, Pat McInerney & Victoria Brewer

Fite Shavell & Associates Realtor, Sylvia James had a great idea. Rather than celebrate our usual Thanksgiving dinner when we all prepare our favorite dishes and stuff ourselves at an office – family gathering, why not bring our holiday cheer to the less fortunate?  As a board director for 24 years with the Boys and Girls Clubs, she chose this worthy organization.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County serves 6000 young residents ages 6-18 in six core area; Arts, Health & Life Skills, Character and Leadership Development, Education, Career Development, Specialized Incentives, Sports, Fitness & Recreation. In fact, in a recent Harris & Associates survey, 80% of Club alumni felt good about knowing right from wrong and 79% said the Boys & Girls Clubs inspired self-confidence.

Local Family accepts a basket

David Fite loved the suggestion and we rolled out the first Fite Shavell Ten for Ten initiative. Our agents contributed $10 each and together with assistance from Publix, we compiled ten Thanksgiving dinner baskets with everything from a plump young turkey and all the trimmings to a fabulous baked pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

Yesterday, Sylvia, her real estate partner Pat McInerney, and I loaded our cars with the frozen turkeys and made the pilgrimage to present the baskets to the neediest families at the Belle Glade Boys and Girls Club. It’s truly hard to believe that barely an hour from Palm Beach, where we live so well, the median income for a family of four is approx. $15,000.

David Dent, Palm Beach Area Director, Boys & Girls Clubs

We were greeted by David Dent, the dedicated, inspiring and fun-loving Area Director who leads a tireless team.  A product of the Boys and Girls Clubs himself since the age of six in Riviera Beach, David said, “I have nothing on these kids. It’s so much tougher today.”

The families were chosen based on need and participation in the club. There are several elementary schools in the area and the supervisors selected from each.

We set up the baskets in the gym and as the women and children arrived to receive them, they were at first very timid. I wondered why and David explained that rarely does someone give them something for nothing. “They are accustomed to having to wait in line or fill out applications for everything,” he said. We explained all the items in the baskets and watched their faces brighten at the prospect of being able to feed their families for Thanksgiving. I was moved to tears by their gratitude.

Vainqueur Delone--Rising Star

Then David introduced us to a shining example of the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs can have on someone’s life. Vainqueur Delone, a handsome young man whose parents are migrant workers who has been selected Youth of the Year three years in a row by the Boys & Girls Clubs, not only carries a 3.9 GPS, but has received more than six scholarships to colleges in Florida. He told us with such conviction that he will work with the district attorney’s office in Miami Dade, that I pictured his name, which actually means conqueror in French, on the door of the office!

After the last grateful family departed we asked David what he most needed. Firstly, toys for tots for boys and girls ages 6-11. And a shiny new BUS.  With two charter schools too far away for the kids to walk to the club, a bus would give so many more the opportunity to expand their horizons. So, if you’re reading this and receive a  shiny new bus you can’t use this holiday season, perhaps re-gifting is in order.

I can assure you, it really warms your heart to help the neediest. And in my case, giving all this food to others has kept a few pounds off these old hips!

More about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County:

The 13 Boys & Girls Clubs and three extension sites throughout Palm Beach County serve more than 6,000 children ages 6-18, 55% boys and 45% girls. More than 1800 youth participate in club activities each day. Members pay dues of just $30 per year. 88 cents out of every dollar invested goes directly to programs for children. 78% of members would be taking care of themselves if not enrolled in the Boys & Girls Clubs.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, click here.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all from the Fite Shavell & Associates Family! Stay safe & warm.

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Buyers snap up homes, condos as supply dwindles and agents search for sellers.  Homes for Sale in Palm Beach 

Homes for Sale in Palm Beach

By Darrell Hofheinz/Daily News Real Estate Writer

With demand way up and housing inventory sharply down, Palm Beach this season promises to be a town where the art of the deal may require even more artfulness than usual, according to island real estate professionals.

So don’t be surprised if many of the properties that change hands over the next several months do so privately — without ever entering the two multiple listing services that serve the island.

“I think the market is very strong, although we have such limited inventory right now,” said broker Linda Olsson of Linda R. Olsson Inc. Realtor. “But there are plenty of privately listed properties. Properties are moving so quickly, people are not even listing them anymore. Frankly, they’re not even making it into MLS.”

Buoyed by the economic recovery and pent-up demand, post-recession buyers have returned to the island in droves. Although brokers encountered a busy sales season last winter and spring, the warmer months proved just as active, said Palm Beach-based Bill Yahn, the Corcoran Group’s senior regional vice president for Florida operations.

“It’s really bizarre. The phrase ‘the season’ is kind of a misnomer for us now. We were as busy during the past summer as we were during the previous season,” he said.

Although they don’t reflect off-the-market sales, figures in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors MLS show that recent closings for houses, vacant land and condominiums beat last year’s summer transactions. From June 1 to Oct. 9 of this year, 59 single-family properties changed hands, compared to 38 during the same period in 2012.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s International Realty’s latest “Market Update” report compares MLS single-family sales data from the first three quarters of this year to last year’s figures. In the first nine months of 2012, 80 properties changed hands. This year, that number climbed to 128.

‘More demand’

Condo sales during the summer also were better, although the numbers weren’t quite as dramatic — 107 this year versus 97 last year, according to the MLS. In fact, the condo market, which had lagged far behind the single-family recovery, finally appears to be back on track, said Scott Gordon, whose Scott Gordon Realty in Manalapan specializes in sales of condos and cooperative units.

“This was the first summer in maybe five years that we conducted a lot of business, and that’s great. We’re back to a year-round market,” he said. “There’s a level of confidence among buyers and sellers we haven’t seen before.”

The island’s overall property values are up as well, scraping levels last seen at the height of the real estate boom, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office. For this year’s tax rolls, the overall “total market values” of property in town is $9.9 billion, based on 2012 sales, said county Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits. In 2007, that number was $10 billion.

Echoing other real estate observers, broker Christian Angle of Christian J. Angle Real Estate credits a variety of forces for sparking demand — historically low interest rates, escalating numbers of retiring baby boomers and more young families eyeing Palm Beach as their primary home.

“There’s more demand in general on our market, which has become a year-round market. It’s no longer just seasonal,” he said.

Angle and others also have seen more people seeking a residential haven from states that impose their own income taxes and estate taxes, neither of which is levied in Florida. Transplanted New Englanders have always been on that list, but brokers also have noticed a strong influx of house-hunters from California — an unusual demographic for Palm Beach.

David Fite of Fite Shavell & Associates

“We’re seeing a lot of people from California, Illinois and New York,” said David Fite, who owns Fite Shavell & Associates. “People are just fed up with taxing — and over-taxing.”

Limited inventory

In any event, the resulting uptick in sales has kept real estate agents busy, even if house-hunters this season will be frustrated to find that the available housing stock has simply failed to keep up with the continuing demand.

As of early last week, just 112 single-family houses and eight townhomes in Palm Beach were available for sale in the island’s MLS, the lowest number in recent memory, brokers say. Of the houses, seven also were being marketed as buildable lots, complementing an additional 14 land listings.

And according to the MLS figures cited in the Sotheby’s report, in the third quarter of this year, there were 157 single-family properties “active listings,” compared to 214 the year before.

It’s a similar story in the condominium market, Gordon said.

“Right now on the South End, there are 260 apartments on the market. And last year, we were probably at around 350,” he said. “Inventory is being absorbed, which is a great thing, and there’s just not a lot of inventory coming back onto the market. Anything that is nicely outfitted and finished with an exceptional view doesn’t last more than a week.”

When it comes to single-family homes, you can blame the tight inventory on lingering effects of the downturn, real estate professionals agree. Except for a few exceptions, never-lived-in houses just aren’t available because developers and builders only began returning to the island late last year. Once again enjoying ample credit lines, they have been buying land and readying plans for projects, none of which will be finished for at least a year.

Likewise, during the first sputtering years of the recovery, home buyers bought dozens of outdated homes, especially on the more affordable North End. They either have started planning custom replacements or remodeling the existing houses, with no intention of selling anytime soon.

“The builders are back. You can’t drive up a street in Palm Beach without seeing significant construction,” Yahn said. “But we’re short on potential tear-downs. In the Estate Section, for instance, there are only 10 or 12 properties that have not been landmarked or maintained. Most properties are landmarked, renovated or fairly new.”

The tight inventory has sent developers searching fervently for vacant land or outdated houses that they can demolish to build homes without specific buyers in mind.

“Builders have been reaching out to us,” Fite said. “Many builders have called us, and they’re looking for land — everything from interior lots to oceanfront to the Intracoastal (Waterway).”

126 Casa Bendita, Palm Beach. Listed by Kerry Warwick & Roger Warwick of Fite Shavell & Associates.

Likewise, private investors have returned to the market. This summer, for instance, entities linked to Palm Beachers Barbara Stovall Smith and her husband, hedge-funder Randall “Randy” Smith, bought at least seven Palm Beach houses at prices ranging from just under $2 million to more than $6 million, spending more than $23 million on the North End and in Midtown. Some of those properties already were leased when purchased, while others were immediately advertised for rent by agent Tina Roberts of Sotheby’s. And one house — 126 Casa Bendita — was re-sold privately at more than a $2 million profit within just a few weeks.

Reluctant to sell?

In the wake of so much activity, home buyers are competing for what’s left on the market. They have snapped up better-quality homes quickly — sometimes within weeks or even days of the properties entering the market, Fite said.

“We have seen bidding wars going on — and people getting their asking prices. We hadn’t seen that in a while,” he said. “Sellers are in a much stronger position than they were a year ago.”

The most active price segment for single-family homes in Palm Beach is in the lower to lower-mid price ranges — and those properties are typically on the North End or on certain streets in Midtown, Yahn said.

“The sweet spot of the market seems to be between $2.5 million and $6 million,” he said.

Still, many homeowners have yet to make the leap into the market, brokers agree, either because they don’t feel any real pressure to sell, they aren’t satisfied with the pricing picture, or they don’t want the hassle of showing their homes to buyers during the season.

And some would-be sellers aren’t sure where they would move, given the lack of properties on the market, said Ava Van de Water, broker of Brown Harris Stevens in Palm Beach and president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors.

“Many sellers are saying, ‘Gee, I better look where I can go before I actually sign the papers to list my home to sell.’ They are very aware that there’s low inventory, so they go out first and look at what’s on the market that they might want to buy,” she said.

Deals on the down low

Brokers say they expect more listings to appear within the next few weeks, a typical occurrence accompanying the advent of the season. But they still expect inventory to remain tight.

And that means agents will likely be involved in more private deals this season. In some cases, a seller who doesn’t want his or her property to be listed in MLS will forgo the more widespread exposure in favor of working with an agent to privately market it in a so-called “pocket listing.” And that means relying on the agent’s network of contacts in the real estate community to get the word out.

In other deals, an agent working with a would-be buyer may be aware of a property that would fit the client’s needs but isn’t on the market. And that means a phone call to the owner — often with an offer — is in order.

“Everything is available at the right price, whether it’s listed or not,” said Fite, adding that house-hunters who solely rely on the Internet to identify properties for sale may miss out on a potential buy.

In fact, the summer’s largest sales in three categories — for single-family homes, vacant land and condos — involved private sales :

* The highest-dollar single-family sale so far this year, one that made national headlines: In May, radio shock-talk personality Howard Stern paid a recorded $52 million through a limited liability company for Martin and Diane Trust’s oceanfront estate at 601 N. County Road. The deal and several related ones, all totaling more than $71 million, were orchestrated by Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates. Moens, who is known for putting together complex off-the-market sales, never confirmed the identity of the buyer in this one.

* Moens also put together the year’s biggest land deal, involving nearly 2 vacant acres on Maddock Way. The June deal included two lakefront parcels that were not on the market when they sold to three Delaware entities for a combined $18.42 million. A third dry lot in the same deal sold for $5.7 million, but it had been listed in the MLS by agent Jim McCann of the Corcoran Group.

* The most expensive condominium ever sold in Palm Beach changed hands privately in May. Lee and Laura Munder sold their lakefront penthouse — No. 6A in Il Lugano, 300 Seminole Ave. — for a recorded $17.45 million to a company associated with the Tisch family of Loews Corp. McCann confirmed he was involved in the deal but wouldn’t comment further.

‘Patience’ a watchword

Overall, the volatile housing market is writing its own rules, said broker Linda Gary of Linda A. Gary Real Estate, who is urging would-be sellers to take advantage of the strong market.

“This is what I tell sellers: Now is the best time for you to sell; the market is changing all the time. We don’t know what’s going to happen in three years,” Gary said.

Olsson agreed: “It might be the last hurrah for low interest rates and lower prices, which are only going to go higher. The time to get in is now.”

Fite, meanwhile, advises would-be buyers to have some patience.

“With the tight inventory, it’s almost impossible to find people the exact house they want,” he said. “I think buyers are becoming more flexible because there’s a lot more competition for each property.”

View entire article on the Palm Beach Daily News website

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David Fite, founder and principal partner of Fite Shavell & Associates, recently appeared on Fox News in a special report on the Bernie Madoff investment scandal. Fite was interviewed for a special report entitled “Target Madoff,” where he spoke about the effects that Madoff’s arrest had on the Palm Beach real estate market.

Madoff’s alleged “ponzi” scheme affected investors all over the world, including a number of residents in Palm Beach.

FOX News Reporting: “Target Madoff” aired on June 13, 2009. Learn more and order a copy of the report here.

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March 2009

David Fite

What brought you to Palm Beach?
I’ve always had an affinity for the area. Over time, I noticed a shift in the dynamics of the real estate market here. There was an opportunity to create a new firm that fuses the best aspects of all my corporate experiences with the flexibility and personal attention that active local ownership and management could bring. I leapt at the opportunity to open Fite Shavell & Associates and moved my family to Palm Beach.

Though the name is new, you have tremendous experience in the market and business. Give me just a little bit of your professional background.
After graduate school at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), I honed my financial skills as Vice President of Investment Management at Goldman Sachs, Vice President of Real Estate Finance at Cendant Corporation and then as CFO at The Corcoran Group and CFO of Prudential Douglas Elliman – the largest real estate firm in New York.

Fite Shavell & Associates is a new venture. What do you envision for the firm on the Island?
Wade Shavell and I are excited to make Fite Shavell & Associates the number one real estate firm in the Palm Beaches and in Florida – making it a world renowned, locally owned and operated, real estate firm based in Palm Beach. We are well on our way!

How many agents are working at Fite Shavell Associates at this time?
Currently, we have over 50 agents working with Fite Shavell and Associates providing expert representation for sellers and buyers of real estate from Jupiter to Boca Raton.

Having seen ups and downs in the real estate market in the Northeast, do you think Palm Beach is somewhat insulated from the shifts?
No area is “insulated” from macro market turmoil. However, Palm Beach is a fantastic place to live – the community offers a small town ambiance with world class amenities. A number of unique characteristics enable Palm Beach to hold its own in times of economic uncertainty, such as the wide range of property types and values, the bevy of cultural activities and the abundance of outdoor activities for an active lifestyle. We are seeing continued demand in our market as a result of these traits.

Do you have a dream listing on Palm Beach?
We at Fite Shavell & Associates appreciate that every home is special to the seller and to the ultimate buyer. Therefore, every listing is a dream listing! We highlight what makes each property unique and then our agents actively collaborate to match our buyers with the right properties.

Beyond a business real estate firm, how do you spend your time away from Fite Shavell & Associates?
Our two young boys help my wife and I spend our free time. We love to go to the beach at the north end of the island where we live. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We love to fish off the jetty, surf, and explore the beach. We also love to play tennis and golf.

Are you involved in the community?
Fite Shavell & Associates is actively sponsoring activities throughout the community including the Palm Beach recreation center sports teams for children, multiple local and national charities and the Palm Beach Super Car Weekend. My wife and I are also very active in volunteering at the Benjamin School.

What is the most spectacular moment in life for David Fite thus far?
Why, marrying my wife, of course! (Smart answer, right?!) Followed closely by the birth of my sons.

What is your favorite restaurant in Palm Beach?
My wife is a fabulous cook – so there is always a great meal at home. We are actively exploring all of the great restaurants in town. So far, Nick & Johnnies is great for happy hour (across the street from our office!), the boys like Rocco’s Tacos, and I really like the food and atmosphere at Bice.

What is your favorite place to show a visitor in Palm Beach?
The fabulous homes along the ocean, taking a bike ride down the lake trail and the beach! However, my boys would say the “Diva Duck” boat ride!

What is your favorite thing about living in Palm Beach?
I was a competitive swimmer in college. So, being able to swim my laps outside, every day, year round is the BEST!! The weather here is so incredible. I can’t believe it took me 40 years of freezing up north to finally move to this paradise!

Download the original article

For more information about Fite Shavell & Associates, visit www.fiteshavell.com or call 561-655-6570.

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November 14, 2008

Imagine if a mad scientist combined the brains of two of the top real estate minds from Palm Beach and New York. . .

One part David Fite and one part Wade Shavell equals Fite, Shavell & Associates — one monster of a new firm.

During the past decade mammoth New York brokerages gobbled up Palm Beach firms. They made big money but added layers of bureaucracy, didn’t utilize local expertise and delivered few new clients. Fite, too, is a New Yorker – a former CFO at Douglas Elliman and Corcoran — but through the grapevine , he heard many Palm Beach agents were unhappy with the new corporate atmosphere. They wanted their independence.

Eureka! With his expertise and the best technology, Fite knew he could do that and build a winner. Bidding farewell to New York, he set up shop in the old Corcoran building at 101 North County Road. For management, he didn’t even have to leave the building: his landlord, Wade Shavell, is a proven winner in Connecticut and Palm Beach real estate.

“Agents and clients like and respect Wade,” Fite said. “He’s a great mentor to agents and a master at matching buyers and sellers!

“Before Wade joined the firm, we had signed up more than 30 premier agents from the top local firms. With Wade I expect we’ll double that! We will position

Palm Beach as an international destination for the discerning buyer. We will be THE connection to Palm Beach.”

For more information about Fite Shavell & Associates, visit www.fiteassociates.com or call 561-655-6570.

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October 2008
A Q&A session with the Principal of Fite Shavell & Associates for the Real Estate Yearbook from Avenue Magazine

How has the market performed in the past year?
Palm Beach is holding its own. For the first six months of 2008, the median price of a single-family home sold in Palm Beach, as compared to last year, increased 9 percent to $4.3 million. Also interesting to note is that in addition to the higher average price, there were four properties that had sales prices of more than $20 million. A recent sale in July topped $95 million.

Palm Beach is a fantastic place to live—the community offers a small town ambiance with world class amenities. This market is appealing to Americans, as well as to international buyers. We are optimistic that demand will continue to drive a robust real estate market.

Is this a good time to buy? Can you offer any advice to potential buyers?
It is always a good time to buy in the Palm Beaches. Over the past ten years, the market has experienced unprecedented growth, with properties available in a wide range of prices. Baby Boomers are drawn to the active lifestyle and cultural activities; Generation-Xer’s, who are beginning to enter our market, are also drawn to the abundance of outdoor activities.

We see a strong real estate market moving forward. Rich in history, the Palm Beaches continue to evolve. Exciting new communities are developing and fabulous individual estates are being built. There is something to accommodate every lifestyle. Now is a great time to visit, to enjoy the wealth of culture and activities, and tour Fite Shavell & Associates’ current listings.

What is your dream project?
My experience as the CFO of the two largest residential real estate firms in New York prepared me well for my dream project: the founding of Fite Shavell & Associates. I am now fully dedicated to making Fite Shavell & Associates a world renowned, locally owned and operated real estate firm in Palm Beach. Our approach is quite different than our competitors. Our agents actively collaborate to match buyers with the right properties. We promote a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie within the company.

Download the original article

For more information about Fite Shavell & Associates, visit www.fiteassociates.com or call 561-655-6570

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August 20, 2008
Is the still-hot real estate market in Palm Beach primed for a winter war?

A former Corcoran bigwig is setting up shop in a prime space left vacant by the local branch of his old company — and he has lured away as many as seven Corcoran agents, his entire staff.

David Fite is the NYC-based real estate giant’s former chief financial officer. He engineered the 2004 takeovers of several small but well-known Palm Beach firms, instantly making Corcoran a major player.

Now, it seems he wants to eat off Corcoran’s plate.

Since he opened Fite Shavell & Associates a month ago, the high-profile names who have jumped ship include Joan Wenzel, who “owns” the market on The Island’s south side, Scott Gordon and Mimi Vail.

Asked if he was pursuing Corcoran agents, Fite said: “We simply try to hire the best. Our business model is different from theirs in that we are locally managed and provide the highest level of services.”

To add salt to the wounds, Fite today takes over Corcoran’s old high-visibility offices at 101 N. County Road. When Corcoran’s lease ran out, it moved to the supposedly cheaper second floor at 340 Royal Poinciana Plaza.

Corcoran Director of Sales Bill Yahn dismissed the defectors as “insignificant,” adding that the company’s previous location was too small and didn’t come with enough parking.

“I terminated one of the seven who left,” Yahn said. “They’re all lovely people, but none was a top producer.

“We remain the leader in this market. We have no fear about the future.”

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