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Algae hurting home sales in Cape Coral

Even though the algae is clearing up in some parts of Southwest Florida, one family says the damage is already done.

Thanks to the algae, they can’t sell their Cape Coral house.

“It’s really horrid, so you know, you can’t sell your house for less than you paid for it, it’s ridiculous,” said Susan Friedman.

Even after spending a lot of time and money to improve their home, realtors told them it won’t sell right now.

The Friedmans blame algae for trapping them when they are ready to move.

“It’s been very difficult to deal with all the way around on many levels,” she said. They are trying to move because their daughter has autism, and they feel there are better opportunities for her up north.

“Our daughter has a lot of special needs and it’s been very difficult to try and deal with that here.”

But even after spending 12 years and thousands of dollars to improve the house, they have had at least four realtors say they will have a hard time selling, no matter the price.

And it all boils down to the algae plaguing Cape Coral waterways.

“Since May we’ve seen an average reduction in Cape Coral of roughly five percent price going down,” said realtor Mike Lombardo.

Friedman say she was told to sell her house for thousands less than they originally paid for it.

“A couple weeks ago probably hit bottom for the lowest amount of buyers I think I’ve ever had in a given week, and I’ve steadily seen that grow,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo expects the real estate market to continue cycling upward, the Friedmans say they won’t list their house again until our housing market improves.

“I’m pretty much stuck in a house that I can’t sell and it has nothing to do with my house and it has everything to do with what’s going on out there,” Friedman said.

In Cape Coral, with it’s 400 miles of canals, home prices fell with the median price of homes on the market changing from $278,900 in May to $269,900 in August, according to Lombardo.

Home availability also changed with fewer homes coming off the market. This led to a decrease in prices and days on the market shifted from 79 average days listed in April to 82 days listed on the market in August, Lombardo said.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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