“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
– Jonathan Swift
by Kitt Walsh
Much the same way a sculptor sees a finished statue in an untouched block of marble or a coach recognizes untapped potential in a young athlete, Laurie Bellico can envision a perfect new home rising where once a tired old house stood.
“Naples is rich with treasure; undiscovered jewels that need only to be found and polished to bring out their brilliance again,” says Bellico, a broker associate with John R. Wood Properties, whose reputation for client service and satisfaction have made them one of the most successful real estate brokerages in the country.
Laurie’s talent is for finding homes with “good bones” and envisioning how a remodel can not only bring the house into the present – with new materials, finishes and technologies – but can also create a buyer’s dream home from the skeleton of the old.
“It may be the gorgeous view of Moorings Bay from a house in The Moorings or the proximity to the 7th hole at Bear’s Paw that a buyer falls in love with, but the house itself may be trapped in a time warp, with low ceilings, small windows or a kitchen straight out of The Brady Bunch,” says Bellico. “I can see the home’s potential and help the buyer see it too. I also have a fondness for older homes, which helps me list and sell them. I appreciate the charms of such homes and can point them out to buyers.”
Solutions can be simple: Installing high end appliances from SubZero or Wolf and adding top-of-the-line wood cabinetry and quartz countertops can transform a kitchen; crown moldings and custom millwork can add elegance to a dining room; and remodeling with Italian tiles and a soaking tub can give a master bath new life.
By careful listening and intelligent questioning, Bellico will unearth what a buyer really wants in a home and a community and then work untiringly to find it. Once the house has been located, she explores with the buyer all available options, from remodeling only certain parts of the property to tearing down the entire home and rebuilding on site.
In this stage Bellico often works closely with husband and veteran builder Tom Andrea of Three Palms Construction, who brings his invaluable experience to any project. Andrea has remodeled older homes in golfing communities such as Windstar, Bear’s Paw and Wyndemere. His patience, flexibility and knowledge of the latest building techniques and finishes provide a perfect match for the talents of Bellico. He also brings hands-on oversight and a standard of workmanship rarely seen today in the trades. Tom is approachable and reliable, and his projects come in on time and on budget.
“Personalization is the key for today’s buyer,” explains Laurie. “Whether the client’s taste runs to traditional or contemporary, British West Indies or Olde Florida-style, we can work together to bring a buyer’s vision to fruition.”
Whether remodeling or rebuilding from the ground up, Laurie and Tom appreciate that a skilled architect is absolutely essential for a successful project and will work collaboratively with a client’s chosen architect. If needed they can steer clients in the direction of some of the area’s most talented.
This is not to say that Laurie is not delighted to find and sell a buyer a newer home in the Naples area — she is, and has sold many such homes over her more than decade long career in Naples. Tom has also created custom homes for buyers. He recently built a 4,900 square foot home on Putter Point in The Moorings that sold for $2,950,000. But Laurie realizes new construction is not for everyone.
“Everyone wants the great location west of 41 near dining, shopping, the beach, and all the wonderful amenities Naples has to offer, but they don’t necessarily want to spend millions for it,” explains Laurie. “I can find a great house which meets their needs in established and mature communities like Bear’s Paw, Pelican Bay or Wyndemere, and make certain they don’t overpay, while creating a home that suits them perfectly.”
Potential buyers need not take Bellico’s word for it. She has many satisfied clients happy to attest to her dedicated work ethic, her tireless efforts on their behalf and the devotion she brings to every project. They have plenty of praise for Andrea, too.
Satisfied client Lewis Cooper summed up an often heard sentiment from those who have enlisted the talents of Tom and Laurie this way: “We absolutely love the final results of our home. We both just feel good every time we walk in. You perfectly converted our dreams and ideas into reality.”