Sanibel & Captiva Fall Real Estate & More

It’s SanibelSusan back at her post, at the office in Sanibel Square, after enjoying a few days in Maine/New Hampshire last weekend for a high school class reunion. Below is a photo showing the wonderful fall foliage that we don’t get to see here, but it was nice to enjoy it for a few days.


Following my return, island weather here has been fabulous with low humidity and wonderful breezes, the after effects of Hurricane Matthew passing by Florida.

I also have noticed more folks back on the islands, a definite increase in traffic and occupancy at local stores and restaurants. Time to plan those winter vacations, if you haven’t already.

2016 Annual Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoAn early breakfast meeting yesterday included the annual meeting and election of The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Congratulations to Realtors® Mike Badenoch, Tina DiCharia, and Becky Mulka, all elected as new Directors.

After the meeting, the SanibelSusan Team held open 2010 Sunrise Circle during the 9 a.m. to noon Realtor® Caravan. Beginning Nov 1, our local Realtor® Caravans go back to an every-Thursday-morning schedule. That is when Realtors® and the public can easily view new listings without needing an appointment. Here are some photos from Sunrise Circle.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items.

Upcoming Events & Re-Openings

fish-10k-20168th Annual 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. – Tomorrow – Oct 15 – at 7:30 a.m. with start/finish line at Sanibel Community Park (relocated due to the construction underway at The Community House and across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® and SanibelSusan Realty Associates are just two of the 60-some event sponsors.

3rd Annual CROW Golf Tournament – Tomorrow – Oct 15 – fundraiser. More info at

ding-ddlogo16“Ding” Darling Days – Oct 16 to 22 – This year in addition to celebrating J.N. “Ding” Darling’s 140th birthday and National Wildlife Refuge Week, “Ding” Darling Days commemorates the centennial of the convention between the U.S. and Great Britain (representing Canada) for the protection of migratory birds. Also called the Migratory Bird Treaty, it was signed on August 16, 1916. So this year, “Ding” Darling Days will focus on “all things birds”.

Family Fun Day is Sunday, Oct 16. Friday, Oct 21 is Darling’s official birthday celebration. Saturday Oct 22 is Conservation Art Day. More info at

Sanibel Historical Village – reopens for the season on Oct 18. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. New volunteers are always needed.

12th Howl-o-ween.jpgHowl-o-Ween – Oct 28 – Island Paws 12th annual part to raise $ for the Gulf Coast Humane Society, held in the parking lot of Over Easy Café from 5 to 7 p.m.

Which Groups Will Influence Future Housing Trends?

Florida Realtors logoPosted yesterday on line at FloridaRealtors®, the below article is a long one, but has good insight into the future of residential real estate.

“Rising numbers of female executives, affluent immigrants, younger and older workers, and retirees will have a profound influence on community building in the U.S. over the next 10 years, according to a new Urban Land Institute (ULI) report, Demographic Strategies for Real Estate.urban-land-institute-logo

“According to the report, these key demographic drivers present opportunities for real estate professionals:

“The continued rise of working women – Women now earn 58% of all college degrees in the U.S., and they earn more than their spouses 38% of the time. By 2025, the number of women in the workforce will rise to 78 million, 8 million above the level in 2015.

“A rising number of affluent immigrants – Immigration will account for more than half the U.S. population growth by 2025, assuming current trends continue. Contrary to some perceptions, many immigrants coming to the U.S. are highly educated middle- and upper-class families with substantial purchasing power.

“The graying of America – By 2025, 66 million Americans will be over age 65 – 38% more than in 2015. This will create opportunities for customer segmentation, given the widely varied needs and lifestyles of younger retirees versus older ones. The surge in retirees will also create more opportunities for workers, driving incomes up for many occupations.

“Young adults driving household formation – 44 million 18-to-27-year-olds born in the 1990s will lead the majority of new household growth over the next decade, despite forming households more slowly than their predecessors. They are expected to create 14 million households by 2025.

“”This research reaffirms the extraordinary impact that demographic shifts have on real estate investment and development decisions,” says Robert Bowman, a chairman with ULI’s Residential Neighborhood Council. “Being successful in this industry means being on the front end of trends, thinking about what those trends mean for the long-term, and being able to correctly anticipate how and where people will want to live and work in the years ahead.”

“In terms of land use and development, the report predicts that the suburbs will draw about 79% of the coming wave of new households, as younger families seek “surban” communities that combine the best of urban and suburban living. Many will choose to rent rather than own homes, pushing up demand for single-family rentals in particular.

“The report groups the U.S. population by decade born, rather than by generation, to draw conclusions about behaviors shaping trends, with the most influential (and largest) groups being:

Innovators, born 1950-1959, who led a technology revolution

Equalers, born 1960-69, which became the first group with women achieving higher education levels than men

Balancers, born 1970-79, who led a shift toward achieving a better work-family balance

Sharers, born 1980-89, who led the transition to the sharing economy, which includes a higher preference to rent

Connectors, born 1990-1999, who led 24/7 wireless connectivity

Globals, born 2000-2009, who think and interact globally due to their many multi-cultural connections and free-flowing information

“Among the trends shaped by these groups:

“”Surban” developments will replace shopping centers – More retail stores will be transformed into places that sell experiences rather than goods, and more development will combine housing and retail to satisfy consumer demand for places that offer convenient, car-free shopping. An 86% surge in household formations in the coming decade will drive retail activity, particularly purchases by renters.

“Suburban office demand will return – As 1980s-born Sharers move into more senior management roles and start families, many will move from urban cores to the suburbs to live in areas with good schools that are also near employment hubs, entertainment and recreational amenities. They will be willing to share space and work remotely. Female executives will play a stronger role in office space selection.

“Housing rental rates will surge over the long term – The sharing economy’s de-emphasis on ownership will be reflected in soaring demand for rental units. Well over half of the 12.5 million net new households created over the next decade will rent, including those who have never owned, and those making the switch from owning to renting as they age. Homeownership will decline, with the national rate anticipated to be 60.8% by 2025, the lowest point since the 1950s. As more Innovators join the already large number of retirees, competition for workers will push up wages, contributing to a favorable environment for rent increases.

“Southern suburban migration will continue – The southern regions, where 42% of Americans currently live, will receive 62% of the household growth in the U.S. over the next decade. Demand will continue to rise for affordable rental housing, townhomes and small-lot detached housing, as 1990s-born Connectors join Sharers in raising families.

“Municipalities will take a stronger role in encouraging successful growth – Local government redevelopment investments have revitalized urban and suburban areas, and the most astute suburban – or surban – municipal leaders will continue changing zoning regulations to encourage mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development that accommodates the preferences and needs of new households.

“The predictions in the report are based on several macroeconomic assumptions:

  • The economy will slow in the next few years and achieve 2% average real GDP growth over the decade
  • The influx of immigrants will remain at about 1.2 million per year
  • There will be no significant changes to federal entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare
  • Rising college tuition costs and student debt will continue to delay marriage and childbirth
  • Life-extending technology will allow women to have children later in life and allow older adults to remain active
  • Slightly higher mortgage rates will make homeownership more expensive
  • Rents and home prices will rise slightly faster than incomes each year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 7-14, 2016sancap GO MLS logo



5 new listings: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 $259,989; Blind Pass #F210 2/2 $479.9K; Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $675K; Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 $875K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 $875K.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $239K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 now $790K.

2 new sales: Sundial #I207 1/1 listed at $315K, Sundial #B108 1/1 listed at $369K.

No closed sales.


7 new listings: 1714 Bunting Ln 3/2 $595K, 721 Durion Ct 3/3 $825K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $995K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 $3.595M, 3557 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $4.5M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/5.5 $7.595M.

1 price change: 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.25M.

4 new sales: 970 Palm St 3/2 listed at $525K, 1133 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $679K, 6188 Henderson 3/2 listed at $779K, 1112 Olga Ave 6/2.5 (duplex) listed at $8747.2K.

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 1299 Par View Dr $259K, 5706 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $549K.

1 price change: 1639 Serenity Ln now $295,555.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 now $975K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 now $2.375M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

So until next Friday, please enjoy the fall weather wherever you are, but don’t forget to schedule your next island stay or buy your property to enjoy then. Winter will be here before we know it & winters on Sanibel & Captiva are the best!

P.S. Facebook followers, if you don’t follow the “Beautiful Sanibel Island” page, you are missing some terrific photos. Here is one posted yesterday saying it was taken about noon on Middle Gulf. The water looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Tracy W, hope you don’t mind that I am sharing too!


Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Fall Friday…Sanibel Island Real Estate

imageThe good news is that Hurricane Matthew had little effect on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, with beautiful lower-humidity weather is expected here, now that it has passed.

The week’s activity posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Our listings had a few more showings this week, we had a nice closing, and I negotiated an offer on a condo listing – a good indications that the islands are picking up.

Traffic by the office is noticeably heavier and several snowbirds have stopped in to say they are back.

5 Key Issues Affecting Real Estate

Florida Realtors logoHere are some excerpts from an article in the October issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine. Headlined with “Get Ahead of the Curve”, it describes the five issues which will have the greatest effect on real estate business in the next few years, as identified by Counselors of Real Estate. There is a list of the top 10 issues at

“The Changing Global Economy. Currency issues, declining exports and soft energy prices are three reasons the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth downward for much of the globe in 2016-2017. Political issues and conflict undermine stability, as well….

“Demographic Shifts. The Millennials (ages 19-35) have overtaken the Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) in sheer numbers, but both groups remain substantial real estate consumers. America’s population of persons aged 90 and older has almost tripled since 1980, and is expected to increase to more than 7.6 million over the next 40 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Older households and younger households are competing for housing in many places….

“The Political Environment. The political environment has become acrimonious at all levels – global, national, state, local – and affects investment, business and household location decisions with issues ranging from the perceived ability of governments to function to taxation to social issues….

“Housing Affordability & Credit Constraints. New housing market issues are emerging as affordability and credit constraints are challenging both the rental and homeownership markets. Continued stringent credit requirements prevent many households from buying homes, increasing demand for rental property. Limited availability of for sale inventory and income stagnation are affecting affordability. Multifamily development continues but rents are outstripping incomes in many communities….

“The Disappearing Middle Class. The wealth and income gap continues, with a number of measures showing stagnant or declining wages and wealth. A Pew Research study shows that the median income for middle-class households fell by nearly 5% between 2000 and 2014. Their median wealth declined by 28% after the housing market crisis and the subsequent recession. Costs have risen dramatically for many large-dollar items that affect middle-class families, including college tuition and out-of-pocket costs under employer health plans. To cover increasing costs and eroding asset wealth, an increasing percentage of households has moved from one income to two incomes. At the same time, the Millennial generation is falling behind in assets and income (and many young people are coping with student loan debt)….”

When a Property Under Contract Is Damaged

As posted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on line:

“Since all contracts are different and contain various provisions regarding how damage to the property is handled, the answers depend on the language of your specific deal. However, if you use the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts, Standard 18M covers repairs, the obligation of the seller and other issues related to property damaged before closing. (Note: SanibelSusan uses the contracts approved by Florida Realtors and the Florida Bar.)

“This section, entitled Risk of Loss, states that if the property is damaged by fire or other casualty loss and the cost of restoration does not exceed 1.5% of the purchase price, the seller must restore the property and closing shall proceed according to the terms of the contract. In the event the cost of restoration exceeds 1.5% of the purchase price, the buyer has the option of taking the property “as is” together with the 1.5%, or the buyer can receive his or her deposit back, and all parties are released from the contract.

“In the event of any casualty damage to the property, it is important for the parties to get an estimate for repairs as quickly as possible so they will have a better understanding of their options. Additionally, depending on the type of casualty loss, the contract’s force majeure provision may apply, which could delay the closing or terminate the deal.

“As risk of loss could involve potential legal issues, buyers and sellers may also want to consult their own legal counsel.”

What Is Shiplap? Do You Know About This Hot Decor Trend?

HGTV logo.jpgMost friends know that SanibelSusan is not a big TV fan, but when I do watch, I often flip to HGTV. Here is an article posted on Facebook today (Wednesday) by The show mentioned is one of my favorites.

“One of the hottest trends in wall decoration might be a term you’ve never heard of. Fortunately, we’re here to save you from embarrassing yourself in front of your design-savvy peers by blurting, “What is shiplap?”

“This horizontal pattern of interlocking wooden boards was traditionally used to build sheds and barns (but not ships, in spite of its name). Long seen as cheap weatherproofing, shiplap is now being used by designers to cover interior walls. Here’s everything you need to know about shiplap.

“How did shiplap become so popular? Shiplap became all the rage thanks to HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” a home design show hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Texas-based couple have used the stuff in many of the homes they renovated, and the look caught on from there. It’s not hard to see why—shiplap has a lot going for it as a way to add rustic chic for cheap.

““People are seeing more and more of it in magazines and on TV, because it is reminiscent of a simpler time,” says interior design expert Danielle Driscoll of Finding Silver Pennies.

“Shiplap also adds subtle texture to walls without going overboard, giving a clean-but-not-boring backdrop to a room. And this simplicity makes shiplap versatile and able to complement a number of styles. “Neutral decor is very popular, and you can get a very neutral look with shiplap, with its horizontal lines,” Driscoll adds.

“How to install shiplap – Installing shiplap onto an interior wall is easy, because the grooved boards interlock. Just start at the bottom, screwing the first board in place. “Once you’ve put the bottom piece onto your wall, everything sits on top,” says Driscoll. “Just slot in place.”

“Before installation, however, Driscoll recommends priming the wood then painting, since it’s easier to do these steps before the boards are on the wall.

“While shiplap is usually installed horizontally and painted white, there are many other possibilities. According to Driscoll, shiplap can also be used untreated, stained, or washed with another color. It can also be used vertically to make a low-ceilinged room look taller.

““Particularly painted white, it can make a space look bigger and more inviting,” she says.

“After installing shiplap in her home, Driscoll added a nautical theme complete with a “Sea Side” sign on the wall. But she doesn’t think people interested in it should feel limited. “It really works well with any decor: coastal, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern, and industrial,” she says. “Shiplap gives an old-world, charming look to any home.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 30-October 7, 2016

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $494.5K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.388M.
1 price change: Atrium #203 3/2 now $1.695M.
3 new sales:  Sundial #A208 2/2 listed at $809.9K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 listed at $874K (our listing), Sanibel Surfside #117 2/2 listed at $965K.
5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #822 2/2 $422.5K (our listing), Sandpebble #3D 2/2 $425K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $495K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $584.5K, Sandalfoot #5A1 2/2 $752.5K.

5 new listings: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $629K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 $649K, 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $795K, 3125 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $839K, 2143 Starfish Ln 3/3.5 $1.495M.
3 price changes: 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.395M, 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.799M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 now $2.199M.
2 new sales: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $399K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $995K.
1 closed sales: 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 $444.5K.

No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: 2153 Periwinkle Way listed at $299K, 3965 Coquina Dr listed at $399K.
No closed sales.

1 new listing: Beach Homes #25 3/2 $2.295M.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 listed at $285K, Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $620K.
No closed sales.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 listed at $3.5M.
No new or closed sales.

Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Happy weekend to all! If this write up is a little sketchy, it is from being posted from my iPad. I am in Maine/New Hampshire for the weekend for a class reunion.

The SanibelSusan is working on Sanibel too though. Dave, Elise,& Lisa are covering the office until I return. TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Bidding September Goodbye at SanbelSusan Realty

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another Friday of beautiful Sanibel Island weather. Today we continue to watch the track of Hurricane Matthew. It could miss much of Florida, but still bears a close eye.

This morning, there also was a news report that red tide which over the last few days has plagued Sarasota county beaches to the north, could be heading this way. There is a red tide watch through tomorrow for Lee and Collier counties. Fingers crossed that early Hurricane Matthew winds disburse it.

Teammate Lisa received the below “green flash” photos from a reader who noticed the one mentioned last week. She said she also saw one on her last island visit. (Thanks for sharing, Cheri.)


On the “Upcoming Events” tab above, I have been adding fall/winter happenings as they are scheduled and announced. “Season” is filling up nicely with plenty of things to do.

Record Turtle Nesting Season


Those here this summer likely noticed the large number of sea turtle nests. As reported on-line at the “Santiva-Chronicle”, as of Monday, “SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) reports that 23,017 sea turtle hatchlings have emerged. With almost 100 nests left on the beach, this season could beat last season’s 26,727 hatchlings. A normally-developed nest yields about 100 hatchlings to offset a survival rate of about 1 in 1,000 once the turtles are in the water.

“Last year was a record-setting year here for nests with more than 600. This year has obliterated that mark with a new record total of 826 nests, two of which are endangered green sea turtle nests.

“SCCF turtle volunteers comb the beaches each morning during the nesting season to chart the nests, stake them off and protect them from coyotes and other predators. The volunteers have been busier this season than ever before in all three of SCCF’s designated turtle nesting zones. All three zones have set nesting records. The volunteers also log false crawls, where a female turtle comes ashore but for one reason or another doesn’t lay eggs. The previous record for false crawls has also fallen with 1,447 false crawls found this season….

“The nesting season took a hit recently with the passage of Hurricane Hermine. Hermine a tropical depression when it skirted past the barrier islands on Aug 30 hundreds of miles out to sea. It created a storm surge that SCCF said washed out 57 nests on Sanibel and 24 on Captiva, a total loss of just under 10%….”

New Places/Things & Re-Openings

DunesEntrySignDunes Speed Humps – To reinforce the 20-mph speed limit to travelers taking this alternate route during high season, four humps have been installed on Sand Castle Road in The Dunes subdivision.

Two are on the north side of the circle and two on the south side. Speeders beware!

Noah’s Ark – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market – The locals are ready and this is an indication that “season” is coming. Sanibel Farmers Market opens Sunday and will be open every Sunday through Apr 30 – from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall. The only exception is Christmas Day, when it instead will be open the next day, on Monday.

Restaurant Reopenings:

  • Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro – Reopens Thurs, Oct 6.
  • Blue Coyote – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – Bar renovation is almost complete. They reopen Tues, Oct 4.
  • Trader’s Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Has their sold-out Shell Museum fundraiser on Mon, Oct 3. Reopens the next day for lunch and dinner.

Coming Soon:

  • Totally Baked – in the Island Center, 2407 Periwinkle Way (former location of McIntosh Books) where construction began this week, is expected to open in early Nov. This week, Sanibel Planning Commission approved a variance and development permit that will allow them to have 16 outdoor seats.
  • Pasture & Pearl – The “Island Sun” posted that this new restaurant will open in early 2017 in The Village Shops as a “refined and modern dining experience…a more relaxed interpretation of the “fine dining” concept….”


Florida Ranks 4th as Business-Friendly State

Florida Realtors logoAs posted yesterday by FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.

“Wyoming once again took first place with the most competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintained its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.

“Overall, Florida ranked fourth. Only three other states were deemed to have a more business-friendly tax code. This year’s most competitive states include:

  1. Wyoming 2. South Dakota 3. Alaska 4. Florida 5. Nevada 6. Montana 7. New Hampshire 8. Indiana 9. Utah 10. Oregon

“This year’s least competitive states include:

  1. Louisiana 42. Maryland 43. Connecticut 44. Rhode Island 45. Ohio 46. Minnesota 47. Vermont and D.C. 48. California 49. New York 50. New Jersey

“States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes, and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state’s ranking can rise or fall in rank because of its own actions or actions taken by other states….”

The full report is available online

A Lesson for Sellers on Disclosures

realtor logoThe below article posted on RealtorMag® “Daily Real Estate News” on Sep 21:

“Sellers may feel hesitant to reveal any minor problems with their home; afraid they’ll scare off buyers. But here’s a warning for your sellers: They may land in legal trouble if they fail to disclose.

““Most sellers think it is in their best interest to disclose as little as possible,” Rick Davis, a real estate attorney in Kansas, told®. “I completely disagree with this sentiment. In the vast majority of cases, disclosing the additional information (especially if it is something that was previously repaired), will not cause a buyer to back out or ask for a price reduction.”

“Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and sometimes even on a local level. (Florida is a full disclosure state.)

““In general, sellers should disclose any known facts about the physical condition of the property, existence of dangerous materials or conditions, lawsuits or pending matters that may affect the value of the property, and any other factors that may influence a buyer’s decision,” according to a recent article at®.

“This includes disclosing issues that have been previously repaired, Davis says. Also, disclose any inspection reports.

““It is much better to lose a buyer by clearly disclosing all known issues than it is to spend two years and tens of thousands of dollars in litigation,” says Adam Buck, a certified real estate specialist with the Frutkin Law Firm in Arizona.

“Rest assured, sellers won’t be put on the hook for failing to disclose issues that they didn’t know about.

They should be careful not to make any guesses when prompted, particularly when it comes to the measurements of the home — one common problem area for disclosures.

““Even if you’ve had an appraiser check out your home, you may have no idea how many square feet it truly is because, as it turns out, there’s no single agreed-upon way to measure a home,” the article states. “Three different appraisers can come up with three different measurements.” Don’t make a guess or buyers can come back and accuse you of misleading them.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 23-30, 2016



3 new listings: Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $799K, Atrium #201 3/3 $1.595M, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $245K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.099M.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $229K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $505K, Sanibel Moorings #1542 3/2 $750K, Sundial West #A205 2/2 $789.5K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $862.25K.


2 new listings: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 $298K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

3 price changes: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $489K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $1.049M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 now $2.295M.

4 new sales: 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $629.9K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 584 Kinzie Island Ct 3/4 listed at $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 774 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $1.225M.


1 new listing: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $879K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 $507K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.295M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.82M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

So as September comes to an end, the wonderful popcorn-like clouds won’t be seen as often. They seemingly jump from the sky & create the best sunsets! Here are a couple from this week!



Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate & September on Island

It is SanibelSusan – the lone one at SanibelSusan Realty today following a week of September quiet and more summer-like weather. Gulf waters are warm and clear, shell mounds are big, and the boating had been amazing with the occasional summer showers staying mostly inland this week, or at least inland until after dark.

2016-09-23 CLouds.jpg

Long-time (20-year) visiting Swiss client friends were in my office earlier today remarking that they have photographed the most beautiful sunsets this week. They viewed their first-ever green flash too. I am still waiting to see one.


Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® New Member Orientation

Sanibel realtors logoI participated in the Association’s new member orientation on Tuesday, where our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs urged the newbies to get involved by joining committees and aspiring to become part of the leadership team. It is always interesting to hear what new Realtors® did pre-real estate. Usually several are seasoned sales associates who sold in other parts of the country before coming to SW Florida. This group included a recent college graduate, and several professionals who changed careers (like me) to get here before they are too old to enjoy it. Those have included an engineers, teachers, attorneys, nurses, and an occasional artist or musician.

Continuing Education

Wednesday and Thursday, I completed the 14-hours of continuing education required to renew my Florida real estate license. Years ago, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® worked with educators to prepare a class curriculum. It was approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission so sales associates and brokers here can complete these 2-year requirements without driving over the causeway or taking on-line classes. The class is revised and updated every two years.

Day 1, from 9-5, was instructed by Chuck Bonamer, and in three parts: Core Law; Security and Risk Management on the Internet; and Essentials of an Effective Web Presence. Thankfully Chuck Bonamer is one of the most in-demand instructors in Florida, one of those upbeat individuals who loves what he does and does it so well. He is a Realtor® Emeritus too (that’s 40 years plus). His active role in education at the state/national level and work in litigation, coupled with a son in the real estate internet business, keep him savvy, and his material relevant.

SCCF logoMy favorite part of our continuing ed is that Kristie Anders, Director of Education at SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), is a state-approved instructor for the environmental segment of the curriculum. If any of you have taken a profession’s continuing education, I bet many will agree that much of the material covered is stuff that you will rarely, if ever, use. In this environmental segment, we learn things we really use – and use frequently – things that make us better island ambassadors.

2016-09-22-survey-baileyDay 2, from 8-4, with Kristie, began at the 28-acre SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve. It was a great opportunity to peek back in history, see the latest restoration, tour the grounds and buildings, and hear about the process of its being.

A highlight is the windmill that operated the well that provided water to this Bailey family home that was built in the late 1800’s.

2016-09-22-windmillHard to believe that Mary Bailey moved here with just her three sons and without ever visiting the island. It was a full year before they had a home to live in. (Today, it is one of only ten historic buildings on the island.)

The Native Landscapes and Garden Center (formerly Native Plant Nursery) has moved to the Bailey Homestead Preserve, as has SCCF’s shop.

The gardens illustrate what is best grown in different environmental areas of the island. They offer free advice, sell plants and mulch (and deliver), and more.2016-09-22-garden-ctr

From the Homestead, we traveled to SCCF’s Board Room where their Natural Resource Policy Director, Rae Ann Wessel was in the audience to field questions on the latest federal, state, and local happenings regarding “clean” water and the Everglades restoration. If you haven’t signed the “Now or Neverglades” declaration, it is easy to do online at

2016-09-22-turtlesIn the Nature Center, we heard about the island’s water supply, where it comes from and how it is processed at Island Water. Then we got up close and personal with an endangered indigo black snake and some local tortoises when we ran into SCCF’s Wildlife and Habitat Management Director, Chris Lechowicz. He heads the Pine Island Sound Eastern Indigo Snake Project, Diamond Terrapin Project, and Box Turtle Project.

After some dip-netting along SCCF’s wetlands, we traveled to Captiva where we boarded “Playtime” which is a 45’ catamaran out of McCarthy’s Marina with Captiva Cruises. As we headed up the channel, we passed the J.N. “Ding” Darling cottage on pilings over the water. He loved it – not his wife!

2016-09-22-dingWith Dr. Rick Bartleson from SCCF’s Marine Lab on board, from there, we headed to RECON Station #39 which is out in Pine Island Sound off Redfish Pass.

2016-09-23-reconThere phone equipment sends data back to the lab every three hours (like “E.T., phone home”). It provides some of the best local weather info – way more accurate than the weather reported from news stations in tall buildings in downtown Ft Myers. Go to if you want to check it out.

Since our classwork is time-sensitive when we docked at Cayo Costa, we only had time to quickly cross the boardwalk to the beach and back.  The photo below is on Cayo Costa beach – likely how Sanibel used to be.


During the boat trip, Kristie covered life in the estuary, development on the islands, and more on island wildlife flora & fauna. So the next time, I am out showing property, you can be sure there will be talk of protecting the sea grasses; bald eagles, hawks, pelicans, and kites; sea turtle nests and coyotes; puffer fish, trigger fish, and other critters from our waterways. (Photo here showings the beautiful afternoon weather, looking toward Cabbage Key and Useppa Island.)


history-galleryThe class finished at the Captiva Historical Gallery which is within the Captiva Community Center, next to the library.

Constructed to resemble the inside of the old mail boat “Santiva”, viewing this mini-museum is fun and quick. Free too. Photo to the right shows the gallery.

The History of Sanibel’s CHR

Though I have lived full-time on Sanibel for over 24 years, I did not know the entire history of CHR (Community Housing & Resources) until I read it in their fall newsletter. I bet they don’t mind that I repeat it here. It’s a wonderful real estate story.

chr-logo_main“Beginning in 1978, a group of volunteers from Sanibel and Captiva formed with a goal to provide affordable housing in support of the growing island workforce. Community Housing and Resources was formed, and the organization became a 501(c)(3) in 1979.

“CHR’s first effort a providing housing was to secure an old cottage relocated to a lot on Sanibel Island. CHR held a lottery to select who got to live in the house. The chosen couple were obligated to care for the property and when it was sold, CHR would get 20% of the proceeds. The couple ended up living there for 17 years.

“In 1983, the City of Sanibel was working on their tactics to implement the affordable housing policies contained in the Land Use Plan that was written when Sanibel was incorporated. Thanks to very dedicated and persuasive CHR board members, CHR’s model program was developed and pitched to the City, who in response created a housing foundation and hired CHR to fulfill that function. CHR was also granted funding to hire their first executive director. They hired Dorothy Newman who had extensive experience in housing, especially in federal programs. That year she generously donated her entire salary back to CHR (approximately $20K).

“Under Newman’s leadership, the first project developed was land given to CHR by Sam and Francis Bailey. Local company Mariner Properties donated several cottages that were then rebuilt by local builders and turned into two duplexes and one single-family home. It is now known as Beach Road.

“The next property to be completed was at Sanibel Highlands on Whitehall Road, which was finished in 1990, the same year that the unit located at Rabbit Road was acquired. Quickly after, additional land across from the Casa Ybel Resort, a former airstrip, was proposed to be the home of a new golf course. When the City turned down this proposal, the land became zoned for houses and CHR was given a portion of the land to develop into family housing. This became known as Airport Way, which officially became home to residents in 1992.

“CHR then got to work on their next project, Mahogany Way. The land was purchased in 1991 from funds from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and a loan from the City secured by required contributions from the developers of The Sanctuary. Construction costs were financed by CHR’s consortium with seven local banks and Mahogany Way’s 14 units officially opened in Spring 1993. CHR also purchased its four units located in Lake Palms on Wooster Lane in 1992 and 1993 by means of a Community Development Block Grant.

“In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, CHR developed the portion of its program dedicated to serving long-time senior residents on the island, represented by the senior-only property of Casa Mariposa which was opened in 2001. This property is city-owned and backs up to protected preserve land.

“In 2003, CHR agreed on a debt for land swap with the City of Sanibel. CHR-owned properties, Beach Road, Sanibel Highlands, Airport Way and Mahogany Way, were traded ot the City to erase debt. The City now owns the land these properties are located on and CHR leases the land back.

“The Woodhaven property, which was sold to the city by a local land developer, is a 12-unit complex that was completed in 2005.

“CHR’s Riverview complex, which is a two-story, 10-unit building, was purchased in 2009. That same year, CHR acquired a single dwelling located at Algiers Beach as well as opened its complex of duplexes located at Centre Street. Centre Street is now home to eight of CHR’s Limited Equity Ownership (LEO) properties. The other LEO properties are located at Sanibel Highlands (Whitehall Road) and Beach Road.

“Continued funding from grants, private donors, and most significantly, resident rental income, has enabled CHR to continue to offer affordable housing options to the people of Sanibel for nearly 40 years.”

Note: “CHR’s LEO program allows qualified workers of Sanibel to purchase affordable housing on the island. The purchasers of LEO properties own their unit, but the land continues to be owned by CHR, similar to a condo purchase. When the owner is ready to sell, they must sell it back to CHR at a predesignated price.”

Go to for more info.

Sanibel Budget Approved

Sanibelcityseal logoOn Wednesday, City Council unanimously approved Sanibel’s new budget which was mentioned in last week’s update. As posted today online at the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“We are coming back from an historic low in 2013 while continuing to drop the millage rate,” said Finance Director Steven Chaipel regarding property values.

“Less than 15% (14.9%) of a Sanibel resident’s tax bill goes to Sanibel with Lee County accounting for 26.2%, Lee County Schools 45.2% and independent special districts 13.7%.

“Tied to the budget are recent ordinances raising the non-resident season beach parking decals 10%, modest increases in fees at the Recreation Center and a restoration of building and development permits that have been waived since the economic downturn of 2008. Also recently approved were 3% increases in sewer and water reclamation fees…

“Wednesday’s budget hearing and final vote was the last in a series of budget hearings and committee meetings that make up the annual budget process….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 16-23, 2016



1 new listing: Tennisplace #E33 2/1.1 $329.5K

1 price change: Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 now $624.9K (our listing, photos below)

No new or closed sales.


5 new listings: 970 Palm St 3/2 $525K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $629.9K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $899K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.299M, 1052 Whisperwood 3/3 $1.489M.

2 price changes: 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 now $589K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.88M.

3 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $369K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 listed at $1.398M.

No closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 listed at $327K

No closed sales:


No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)


As the base of the windmill at SCCF’s Bailey Homestead Preserve

Enjoy your weekend…until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Water Looking Mighty Fine

SanibelSusan here with another Friday update. It is still pretty quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Mostly nice weather though, with visitors enjoying that there is no traffic and loving the stunning summer sunsets and shelling, which continued to be fabulous all week.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® September Monthly Membership Meeting. Turn-out was a little better than last month, but attendance still light. Realtors® are cramming in their vacations before the snowbirds arrive.

big-arts-lotoMeeting speakers included BIG ARTS Executive Director, Lee Ellen Harder, who provided an update on their upcoming offerings for the fall/winter season. Ticket sales have already begun and they have a new web site with more info (

During the Caravan section of the meeting, I was happy to announce our new listing at Pointe Santo, two price reductions (at Mariner Pointe and Sunrise Circle), and our Loggerhead Cay Open House which followed the meeting. (First time that condo has been vacant on a Caravan day since the listing began.)

No new Sanibel or Captiva sales were announced. The Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity since last Friday is posted below after a couple of other news items. (There was one sale, posted this morning.)

Sanibel 2016-2017 Budget Hearing

Sanibelcityseal logoDuring last Saturday’s first budget hearing, Sanibel City Council unanimously approved a tentative budget for fiscal year 2016-17 of $62,468,100. The budget was prepared using the same millage rate as the current fiscal year which is 1.9139. Florida law requires that budgets be balanced. This budget compares to the 2015-2016 adopted budget of $56,039,603 and the amended budget of $66,905,637.

The tentative budget is based on Sanibel’s taxable property value for 2017 which has been preliminarily assessed $4.76 billion, which is 5.48% higher than fiscal 2016. The budget includes $1.625 million in causeway tolls from Lee County, a number consistent with bridge traffic in 2016. The budget assumes that about $5.8 million of General Fund reserves will not be spent by the end of the fiscal year and will be rolled forward to the new budget’s beginning balance. Sanibel City continues to reduce its debt, through annual debt service payments and refinancing at favorable interest rates. City-wide debt has been reduced from $79.1 million in 2006 to $40.6 million as of 2015.

Following the budget meeting, the City Council reconvened for its regular monthly meeting…The council passed two ordinances raising fees across the board at the Recreation Center. The rate increases are modest. The daily resident individual fee goes from $5 to $6 and the daily resident family fee raises from $7 to $8. The weekly resident individual fee goes from $23 to $24 and the weekly resident family fee raises from $35 to $37.

Saturday’s budget meeting was required by law, as is the second and final budget hearing which will be at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at City Hall.

A Step in the Right Direction

News Press logoAccording to yesterday’s “News-Press”:

“The U.S. Senate today approved legislation authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to move forward on a major $1.9 billion Everglades-restoration project.

“The Central Everglades Planning Project, which was included in a broader water resources bill that the Senate approved today by a vote of 95-3, is a nearly $2 billion series of engineering projects designed to reduce the need for harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee by sending more water south into the Everglades instead of east and west into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

“U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a long-time supporter of Everglades-restoration projects who pushed to get the project included in this year’s water bill, hailed today’s vote as a major step toward restoring the Everglades.

“This is a big win for Florida,” Nelson said. “We’ve seen firsthand the effect these toxic discharges can have on Florida’s waterways and the local communities that depend on them. Getting this project approved is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to restore the Everglades and provide folks some much needed relief.”

“The bill now heads to the House for consideration.”

(If you are wondering what the water here looks like now, check out these photos borrowed from Facebook’s “Beautiful Sanibel page”.  The waters surround the islands have been beautiful all week.)


09-14-16 Beach water.jpg09-13-16 Beach bird.jpgCoastal Cleanup Tomorrow

SCCF logoTomorrow, Sept 17, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) is hosting participation in the 30th Annual International Coastal Cleanup. If you are here and haven’t already signed up, just go to SCCF (3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd) between 9 a.m. and noon to get your data cards and trash bags. Lunch and snacks will be provided on the SCCF Nature Center Porch from 10 a.m. until noon, along with a dumpster to dispose of the trash. (Please bring your own water and gloves to reduce use of plastic.)

National Public Lands Day, Next Saturday

Next Saturday, Sep 24, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate with free admission to Wildlife Drive all day 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and special activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.ding darling goose logo

  • 10 a.m. Caravan Tour – The first 14 people gathered at the flagpole can ride in the minibus, all others will follow in cars along Wildlife Drive. The one-hour naturalist-led tour will focus on the importance of the mangrove estuary ecosystem.
  • 11:30 a.m. Indigo Trail Walk – Join a ranger on a one-hour hike along Indigo Trail to the Wildlife Education Boardwalk, approximately 3/4 miles. Meet at the flagpole.
  • 1 p.m. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Talk – Meet Ranger Kari from Kodiak, Alaska, for a 30-minute presentation about the refuge’s public uses and wildlife. Meet in the Visitor & Education Center.
  • 2 p.m. Family Story & Craft – Meet in the Visitor & Education Center classroom for a fun, educational story and take-home conservation craft (30 minutes).

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 9 – 16, 2016



2 new listings: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $599K (our listing), Pointe Santo #B23 2/2 $849K.


Take from balcony of Pointe Santo C34


4 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $375,555; Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 now $595K; Loggerhead Cay #211 2/2 now $599K; Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 now $624.9K (our listing).

1 new sale: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 listed at $449K.

2 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #302 2/2 $460K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 $535K.


3 new listings: 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 $649K, 174 Southwinds Dr 2/2 half-duplex $699K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $2.95M.

3 price changes: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $399K, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 now $1.699M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.375M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $800K, 923 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $849K, 4440 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $1.29M.


1 new listing: 776 Birdie View Pt $495K.

1 price change: 2626 Coconut Dr now $279K.

No new or closed sales.



1 new listing: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.625M.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $244K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 now $960K.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until next Friday, wishing you stunning summer sunsets & clear water too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Shhhhh…it’s September on Sanibel/Captiva

It is another Friday of beautiful summer weather on the islands, but it sure is quiet. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items and illustrates that real estate action is pretty slow too.

The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market

real-estate-clipart-rs13A couple of island brokers commiserated with SanibelSusan yesterday about the market. Our consensus is that we will have another strong “season”. But, surprisingly, it has been slow for most of the summer. Probably related to the press making it sound like all of Florida has red tide/blue green algae, Zika virus, flooding, sink holes, and anything else that makes for dramatic reporting. Of course, here on the islands do not have those things and hope that we never do, but we have heard plenty of these objections, particularly from inquiries from afar from those relying on the news. Election unrest has not helped either.


doc-fords-managersThe new Doc Ford’s opened today. After last night’s heavily-attended Open House, staff and owners were happy today to have that behind them and be “really” open.

A pal and I had lunch there, seeing plenty of other locals also checking it out.

The décor is relaxing comfortable fish-shanty-style, yet delightfully new bright airy and spacious. (Photo above borrowed from their Facebook page. It shows the new flagship Doc Ford’s managers with co-owner Brenda Harrity in the center. From left to right: Katie, Kim, Brenda, Donna, & Liz.)

Now that it is September a few more restaurants may be closed briefly for their annual deep cleans, fix-ups, and/or staff vacations. Here is an update:

As reported last week, Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro is closed until Oct 6, and Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts is closed until Oct 3. Here are a couple of additional closings. (There are still plenty of good eats open, though!)

  • Blue Coyote is closed until Oct 4.
  • Gramma Dots is closed until Sep 29.
  • Mad Hatter is closed until Oct 1.
  • Matzaluna will be closed Sep 12 to 18.
  • Over Easy Café will be closed from Sep 12 to 22.
  • Rosie’s Café will be closed from Sep 20 to Oct 7.
  • Sandbar is closed until Sep 29.
  • Traditions is closed until Sep 23.

If you like the outside of the new Huxter’s Market & Deli, be sure and stop in after Sept 27 to see the new interior. They are closed until then for inside remodeling.

fishing-pierThe Sanibel Fishing Pier reopened this week after a 3-month renovation that included installing new stringers, decking, and improved handicap accessibility. Work was funded by a grant from the Lee County Tourism Board.

Work now begins on the adjacent boardwalk. (Fishing pier photo at right borrowed from Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra.)

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market opens again on Sunday, Oct 2, and will be open every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. until May 28, 2017, except it will be closed Christmas Day (but will be open the next day, Monday, instead). It even will be open on Easter Sunday.

Located on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City of Sanibel’s annual street resurfacing project began this week. Each year the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and their condition. This year the effort involves full-width surfacing of twelve streets and a few other small paving projects. Most of the paving will be done during normal daytime hours other than a small section of Periwinkle Way from Palm Ridge Rd to Tarpon Bay Rd which will be done at night. The work is expected to be complete within 30 days. The streets included this year are: Main St., Fitzhugh St., Angel Wing Dr., Whelk Dr., Pecten Ct., Sand Dollar Dr., Kings Crown Ct., Oyster Ct., Conch Ct., Pen Shell, and Dixie Beach Blvd (3 sections at the road pipe crossings).

Shorebird Nesting Season Ends

snowy ploversShorebird nesting season which typically runs from February through August was more successful this year compared to 2015. Out of 28 snowy plover nests, seven produced a total of 17 chicks. Last year only nine hatched.

No nesting attempts were made on Captiva. Least terns were not as successful and did not produce any fledglings.

Five Fixes That Can Raise a Home Value

Florida Realtors logoThe following article was posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Information Inc., “This Old House.” It offers some good suggestions.

“For homeowners looking to spruce up their home before listing it, there’s plenty they can do to attract more buyers and potentially boost the value of their home too.

“Veteran real estate professionals recently weighed in at This Old House on some of the best home improvement projects they believe can help a home show better. Here are a few of their ideas:

“1. Open up the space. Create more space, whether that’s even removing a kitchen island or knocking out a non-structural wall. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” Kristin Wellins, senior manager of program development at ERA Real Estate, told This Old House.

“2. Light it up. Keep the home bright: Have windows open to let the natural light flow in, consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off, or install sun tubes, a reflective material that funnels natural light from a hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture in a room. “High wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces,” This Old House notes.

“3. Enhance the front door. “Don’t underestimate the power of a front door,” Willens says. “People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house.” Have an overhang on the front porch, such as an awning or portico above the front door, suggests Roger Voisinet, a real estate professional in Charlottesville, Va.

“4. Pay attention to the floors. Spend some money on the floors, suggests the real estate professionals surveyed by This Old House. Even a $600 to $900 investment could help boost the home’s value by possibly $2,000, they say. Get a carpenter or handyman to eliminate distracting squeaks from floors, repair any broken tiles, patch damaged floorboards, and remove wall-to-wall carpeting, they suggest.

“5. Tackle easy bathroom upgrades. Bathroom upgrades can quickly get pricey but a few upgrades can still make a big difference. For example, swap frosted glass for clear glass, remove any rust stains, apply fresh caulk, update doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replace faucets, buy a new toilet seat, or install a low-flush toilet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2-9, 2016



No new listings.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $449K (our listing).

(Photos below at Mariner Pointe with its many amenities (2 pools, private fishing pier, 2 tennis courts, boat dockage, shuffleboard, bbq areas, deeded beach access, plus resident manager. The view from #522 is the 1st photo.)

2 new sales: Sundial West #F105 1/1 listed at $399K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.49M.

4 price changes: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 now $699K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $799K (our listing) (photos coming next week – our photographer filmed today), 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.425M.

4 new sales: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $439K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $6449K, 998 Beach Rd 3/3 listed at $899.9K, 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M.

No closed sales. 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 6411 Pine Ave now $375.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir $233,166.



1 new listing: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.625M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

quiet-as-a-mouseIf you like quiet, now is a great time to come to the islands…just don’t tell too many!

Happy Friday! Until next week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Island Shelling Bonanza for Labor Day

Lighthouse beach 09-01-16

Sanibel Lighthouse beach yesterday 9/1/2016, photo by Andy Johnson, Sanibel Surveys



It is SanibelSusan reporting that all is well on Sanibel. The islands did not have much sunshine this week. It tried to peek out a little mid-morning, but this afternoon just brought another heavy rain band from Hermine. We certainly are thankful that tropical storm passed by yesterday with just a few showers, wind, and a little high water, before it developed into Florida’s first hurricane in 11 years.

Early today, it swept ashore near Tallahassee and may cause havoc over the few days as it heads through Georgia, the Carolinas, and the eastern seaboard. Certainly not what many want for their last holiday weekend of the summer.


Photo of some found after the storm, photo by Pam Rambo,

Though Hermine missed the islands, we knew she was out there as high tide about midday yesterday pushed water up over many docks and seawalls. High water washed over many sea turtle nests too.


Later, much of the island was without power briefly in the afternoon and then local TV stations were on the causeway late day filming the waves crashing across the bridge barriers. Really much to do about nothing. The locals are ready for some great shelling once the waves subside.

Holiday occupancy this weekend could be hit or miss with many properties now vacant after getting cancellations. Most flights in and out of the regional airport were posted as on time this morning, but interstate highway travel probably is hampered since north-south I-75 and east-west I-10 were in the cross-hairs of the storm.

Though it dropped a lot of rain on Florida, the storm’s path also spared Lake Okeechobee so should not result in increased water releases down the Caloosahatchee River. Sanibel Natural Resources director, James Evans, was quoted midweek as saying that “flows from the lake have actually decreased this week.” That’s what we like to hear!

The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. With September always the “slow” month on the island, it is a good time to preview property, sooo if you are thinking of buying, now is the time to look

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

bailey-mathews shell museum signThe Shell Museum is starting an ambassador program which will train volunteers to be educational guides on Sanibel’s beaches. These trained volunteers will be on the beaches, wearing “ambassador” shirts, answering questions and training visitors about the ecosystem and Florida shelling laws. Training will start in October, call the museum for more info (239-395-2233 or 888-679-6450).

Inaugural Sanibel Jazz & Blues Festival

Sponsored by the Sanibel/Captiva Optimist Club, the first Sanibel Jazz & Blues Festival is planned at the Bailey’s Shopping Center on November 6 from 1 to 7:30 p.m. Proceeds to benefit college scholarships.

Headliners include: Matt Schofield, blues guitarist & singer from England; JP Soars & the Red Hots; and the local favorite Marty Stokes Band.

Ding Darling Society logo“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge New Web Site

Check it out at


  • NewDocFords

    The new Doc Ford’s opening 9/9/16.

    Doc Ford’s – It’s finally happening! The Doc Ford’s on Rabbit Road will serve its last meals over the holiday weekend (on Monday Labor Day night), then it’s on to their new flagship location at the corner of Island Inn and Tarpon Bay Road across the street from Bailey’s Shopping Center. I had my last lunch at their old location today where they are excited, but sad to be saying goodbye. They will have an “open house” at their new building on Thursday, September 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., then the new restaurant will open officially next Friday, September 9. The menu at their new location will be the same. One of the biggest differences at the new facility is the size of the kitchen which is twice as big. The new restaurant is ~7,600 sq. ft. and seats about 225, similar to their old, but the new restaurant is all under one roof. The interior was built with mostly reclaimed materials. The wood is reclaimed and the lighting fixtures were taken from vintage boats and refurbished.

  • Ickle Pickle Children’s Boutique – has moved to Palm Ridge Plaza (across from CVS).
  • MacIntosh Books & Paper – also has relocated to 2330 Palm Ridge Road,

South Florida Housing

core logic logoAccording to a S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released this week, South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties) outperformed most of the nation with a 6.9% annual increase in home prices (in June).

CoreLogic Case-Shiller indexes cover states, counties, metros and ZIP codes across the US and help securities investors, mortgage banks, servicing operations, and government agencies make property valuations, assess and manage risk, mitigate losses, and control appraisal quality.

The growth in prices ranked these counties on Florida’s west coast beaches sixth among 20 metro areas nationwide. Portland, OR., led all areas with a 12.6% price gain, followed by Seattle (11%) and Denver (9.2%).

Dallas, at 8.9%, and Tampa, at 7.9%, were the only other markets with higher price increases than South Florida in June. The national average was 5.1%.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee for S&P, said that the housing market overall remains healthy, driven in part by a limited supply of homes for sale. “Nationally, home prices have risen at a consistent 4.8% annual pace over the last two years without showing any signs of slowing,” he said.

Housing analysts consider the index one of the best barometers of home prices. It measures the price of the same house over time, though the index trails local Realtor® association figures.

According to an article Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale’s “Sun Sentinel”, “South Florida Realtor® boards released reports last week for July showing annual price increases among single-family homes in all three counties despite declines in sales. Some agents say buyers are holding off because sellers aren’t pricing properties to market value.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 26-September 2, 2016



5 new listings: Mariner Pointe 2/2 #522 $495K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $519K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2 $529K, Blind Pass #B203 3/2 $575K, Sundial East #L401 2/2 $749K.

Pool to bay view

View from Mariner Pointe #522


1 price change: Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.1345M.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 listed at $539K, Surfside 12 #B3 3/2 listed at $1.124M.

2 closed sales: Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $584.15K, Sundial West #A203 1/1 $700K.


2 new listings: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 5125 Joewood Dr 3/4 $2.595M.

2 price changes: 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $999.9K, 2118 Starfish Ln 4/5 now $1.849M.

No new sales.

5 closed sales: 1635 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $435K, 975 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $706K, 823 Limpet Dr 3/2/2 $1.18M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.189M, 4257 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.225M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1837 Buckthorn Ln now $439.9K.

No closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #807 2/2 listed at $670K.

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.549M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.295M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

labor dayUntil next Friday, wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 100 Years Florida Realtors!

SanibelSusan here with some scoop from the Florida Realtors 100th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meetings in Orlando.


After some news, Elise, our SanibelSusan Team Listing Coordinator has added the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Teammate Dave is out in the field this afternoon, opening a listing for a viewing and then continuing to work with some prospects who started their home search with one of our listings yesterday. As our Closing Coodinator, he says all is on track this week with the progress on our sales in process. It sure works having a flexible well-versed team.

It was a week of activity during what is usually a quiet time on the islands.

Florida Realtors 2016 Convention & Trade Expo


With some pals from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc at last night’s concert featuring Party on the Moon

I participated in the Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee meeting this morning. There are changes coming for the 2017 FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar contract, mostly related to financing contingencies and when deposits go “hard”. Changes in Federal banking regulations have made this process more cumbersome, but Florida has made great strides in improving their contracts. I have seen a lot of good changes during my 18 years attending these meetings. Another takeaway is that so far this year, the “as is” contract, which allows a buyer to walk away, has been used more than 80% of the time. We see that contract used more in our area too.


Event co-chairs Nancy & Deborah with Jay Leno!

The General Session Keynote speaker today was Jay Leno. If possible, I think he is funnier in person. Entertained us for a solid hour plus just talking off the cuff. He ended by giving special recognition to the many charities in Florida that provide housing assistance. Offered a tour any time of his 250+vehicle auto collection in LA to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to these charities. When the bidding got up to $5K, he offered the same to anyone else at the same price. They had already raised $30K when I left the ballroom. Thank you, Jay Leno!
Tomorrow are Professional Standards Forum, Resort & 2nd Home Specialists Forum, and our District meetings in preparation for the Board of Directors meeting on Sunday morning.
Thanks to technology, we convention attendees also have an eye on the weather. Looks like the tropical disturbance between Cuba and the Bahamas has broken up some and is only going to bring rain to Southwest Florida, but conditions are right for redevelopment, so I will continue to follow it. Many of us will be driving home on Sunday so hope for good conditions.

Paul McCarthy – Captiva Cruises

imageWe were sadden this week to hear of the sudden passing of Captiva Cruises’s founder and island icon, Paul McCarthy. He instilled a desire to do more for the community in many, so his spirit lives on. His support toward furthering the education of island Realtors was quiet, but always appreciated. RIP, Paul.

Island Happening & Upcoming Events

Dunes Golf & Tennis Club – Recently reopened after a major summer renovation of the greens and bunkers. They are offering a $40 introductory rate for tee times until September 5.

BIG Arts Community Chorus – The music for fall/winter performances is in our singers hands – though it’s a little odd singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs in August. Dates for upcoming events are posted under the above “Upcoming Island Events” tab.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2016

No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: Sandpebble #3D 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 listed at $1.595M, Somerset #A302 3/2.5 listed at $1.951M.
4 closed sales: Colonnades #C8 1/1 $218.5K, Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $510K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 $915K.

3 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 $499K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $1.295M.
4 price changes: 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1429 Jamiaca Dr 3/3 now $749K, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $870K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.295M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 $433K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 $1.15M.

No new listings.
1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $299K.
No new or closed sales.

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 $327K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $619K.
No new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 $4.2M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.795M.
1 closed sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $3.299M.

Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until next Friday…wishing good weather & clearing sailing to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Amazing Island Sunsets & Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva

It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on sunny Sanibel and Captiva, where a few afternoon and evening showers cropped up this week – pretty typical for August – and resulting in some fabulous sunsets!

2016-08-15 sunset

Yesterday was the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting. More about that below, plus a few other news items followed by the other action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week. (It’s not much. The only Sanibel condo sale was a SanibelSusan listing!)

August Membership Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday at the Realtors® August Breakfast Membership Meeting attendance improved, but was not back to “standing room only” like we see “in season.” With two sales, a new listing, and a price reduction to announce, I felt like I was hogging the mike, but happy to spread the word to colleagues.


The topic discussed during the professional development segment of the meeting was FIRPTA. Speakers were affiliate members Carol McCarley of Nowack & Company (CPAs) ( and Julie LePore with FIRPTA Solutions. Below are a few takeaways, but be sure and contact an expert if you have questions.

Sale of U.S. real estate by a foreign person is subject to the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980) which authorized the U.S. to tax those individuals.

Buyers purchasing U.S. real estate from foreign persons, certain buyers’ agents, and settlement officers are required to withhold 15% of the amount realized on the sale. (That amount was 10% before February 17, 2016.)

The important thing to note here is that the buyer is responsible for this withholding. That is why during closings, one of the many documents processed is a certificate of non-foreign status. This document is to protect the buyer from liability for the IRS withholding tax which applies if the seller is a foreign person. If the seller is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident, FIRPTA does not apply.

If the Seller is not a U.S. citizen or resident, then the buyer is required to withhold 15% of the sale price at the closing. (Here, title companies assist with that.)

Although the taxable gain from the sale is earned by and taxable to the foreign seller, the buyer is held liable for the tax if it is not paid – likely because the seller could be “long gone”.

If the seller is not a U.S. citizen/resident, the next questions are: Does the buyer have plans to use the property as his residence (to reside at the property for at least 50% of the number of days the property is used by anyone during each of the first two 12-month periods following the date of transfer) AND is the sale price less than $300,000? If a buyer answers “yes” to both of these questions, then the transaction is exempt from withholding.

But, if the sales price is more than $300,000 and the seller is a foreign person, then withholding is necessary.

Since it is the buyer, not the seller, who is obligated for withholding and the reporting required by FIRPTA, unless the transaction is exempt from withholding, the buyer must report the sale to the IRS, and pay the required tax withholding, by the 20th day after the closing date or date of transfer. This deadline is extended to the 20th day after the IRS accepts or denies a legitimate application for a “withholding certificate” if the application is filed on or before the transfer date.

In order to complete the appropriate reporting forms or apply for a withholding certificate the foreign person must have a tax identification number (ITIN). We always recommend that if a foreign seller does not already file U.S. taxes and have a tax identification number, they immediately apply for a number when their property is listed for sale.

After receiving that number and prior to the sale, a seller also may apply for a IRS withholding certification to reduce or eliminate the required amount of the withholding. (The IRS is required to act on a request for a withholding certificate within 90 days of receipt of the application.) Once a withholding certificate is granted, the 15% (amount withheld in escrow at closing) may be released to the seller.

The IRS generally grants withholding certificates (so no withholding is required) if 15% of the sale proceeds exceeds the seller’s maximum tax liability.

When in doubt, please consult a tax professional and do it early!

Right of First Refusal vs. Kick Out Clause

Florida Realtors logoSince this same subject just came up with one of our listings, it was timely to see the below article posted on line Tuesday by Florida Realtors® Margy Grant. Friend and fellow New Englander, Margy is Vice President and General Counsel for Florida Realtors®. As she describes a “first refusal” and a “kick-out clause” are very different:

“Given the number of questions we field on the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline about the terms “right of first refusal” and “kick out clause,” it seems time to clear up the confusion. They are often used interchangeably in real estate transactions despite the fact that “right of first refusal” and “kick out clause” are unrelated legal concepts.

“The right of first refusal is a right in a contract that requires a seller to give a third party the chance to match the offer that a buyer has made to buy a piece of property. You often find this provision in Florida condominium governing documents. They give owners in a particular condominium association specific right to purchase units before they are sold to a buyer outside the complex. The right is only triggered after the seller gets an offer on the property, and then usually anyone in the complex who can match the offer may step into the shoes of the buyer who has signed a purchase agreement. The transaction then moves forward with the new buyer. You may also find rights of first refusals in commercial transactions, leases and other residential real estate agreements.

“Kick out clauses are usually reserved for residential real estate transactions. They are designed to provide more protection to a seller if the seller grants a contingency that allows a buyer to cancel the contract if the contingency is not met. Most often a kick out clause is found in an addendum to the contract and addresses the financing contingency or a contingency on the sale of the buyer’s other property. Florida Realtors provides this addendum in the forms library as Rider X of the CR-4 entitled “Kick Out Clause.”

“If this addendum is included in the purchase contract, and the seller opts to enter into a back-up contract, the seller must provide the first buyer with copies of the contract, removing the identity of the other buyer and purchase price. The first buyer then must make an additional deposit of an agreed amount and waive any financing or sale of property contingencies (other contingencies may survive.) If the buyer fails to make an additional deposit or waive the contingencies, then the first purchase contract is terminated, all deposits are refunded to the first buyer and the seller may sell the property to the second buyer.

“If your client is interested in adding a kick out clause, make sure you meet all requirements in the addendum. Also, make sure that if buyer number one does not perform, the back-up contract is successfully converted into a binding agreement. Florida Realtors provides an addendum called the Rider W of the CR-4 entitled “Back-Up Contract” for this purpose.

“We do not recommend sellers sign a second purchase contract unless they are confident they did not accidentally sell the property to two buyers. Without the right addendum, a seller could face damages from one or both buyers. No matter how attractive a second purchase contract is, the seller must first meet the obligations in the first contract.

“Realtors play essential roles in both of these scenarios but should not attempt to counsel buyers and sellers on legal outcomes. In the event of confusion or a dispute, you should advise your sellers and buyers to consult legal counsel.”

“Smart” Home

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_July-August 2016, “Realtor®” magazine made some excellent points on “smart” technology as it relates to selling homes. Here is a good tidbit:

What is a smart home? The term “smart house” was coined in the 1980’s by the National Association of Home Builders to refer to a home with integrated telephones, lighting, audio, and security. Such systems required special wiring and typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. But the concept has evolved with the proliferation of inexpensive devices than can be operated via smartphone and can make data accessible online. In May, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC joined forces with consumer technology news source CNet to define a smart home as “equipped with network-connected products…connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or similar protocols for controlling, automating, and optimizing functions” of the home. Their definition stipulates that the home has internet access, a smart security or temperature system, and at least two other smart features, such as appliances, entertainment devices, heating or cooling equipment, lighting, landscaping elements, air quality monitors, or thermostats.”

Island Renovations & Closings

August and September are often when many island communities, complexes, and businesses do their big maintenance projects or updates. Sometimes that also is when restaurants take an annual breather too – with staff vacations. Here are a few:

bleu rendezBleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro – is ready to take their summer break. They close beginning August 21 and will reopen for “season” on October 6.

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts (note their new name) – will take their annual break beginning September 3, reopening October 3 when the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum hosts its annual fundraiser, Celebrity Island Dinner. &

Community House logoThe Community House (Sanibel Community Association) – new roof trusses have been going up all week at The Community House. Construction ongoing until early December.

Sand Pointe – all balconies are being restored now. Work is expected to be completed by October 28.

Sandpebble – replacement of the piping in the vertical stacks going to units is scheduled for late September.

Sanibel Moorings – balcony restorations are underway in Buildings 6, 8, and 9. Work is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 12-19, 2016



2 new listings: Tennisplace #A35 2/1.5 $319K, Loggerhead Cay #452 2/2 $549K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sanibel Moorings #822 2/2 listed at $449K (our listing).

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $695K, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $8.975M.

2 price changes: 998 Beach Rd 3/3 now $899.9K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $995K.

2 new sales: 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $499,994; 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $529K.

2 closed sales: 760 Windlass Way 3/3 $924K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.38M.


2 new listings: 9441 Peaceful Dr $299K (our listing), 976 Whelk Dr $759K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 listed at $3.995M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 $1.705M.


1 new listing: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/7.5 $2.999M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $830K, 16790 Captiva Dr 5/5 multi-family $5M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you see lots of pretty sunsets too!

P.S. & don’t forget to call me if you are thinking of buying/selling real estate on Sanibel or Captiva Islands. Thank you!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

2016-08-15 Captiva Sunset

Good Action at SanibelSusan Realty During Dog Days of Summer

TheSanibelsusan Logo whole SanibelSusan Team is back to work – as the Lee County kiddos are all back to school. That sure was a quick summer!

This week, island real estate activity continues to be sporadic, though we received more calls about new listings for “season”, likely the result of our recent newsletter mailing. Proposals and presentations for those usually continue through the end of the year.

One of our condo listings went under contract last weekend (we like doing both sides of a transaction) and a couple of other listings had offers. Negotiations still are underway on those, with fingers crossed.

A few other listings had showings with good feedback, so though it is that time often referred to as the “dog days of summer”, we are pleased with this week’s happenings.

No Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but a membership breakfast is next Thursday, so I hope to have more news to announce by then. Meanwhile after a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Best States for Business

Every year “Chief Executive Magazine” rates the best and worst states for doing business in the U.S. The good news is that Florida again is #2 this year. It held the same position last year. While Texas continues its reign as #1. For more info on where the other states rank, go to

Florida the sunshine stateAs the article says, “Texas and Florida top the list, as they have every year for the past 12 years that we have conducted this survey. Despite having been hit hard by the shale energy bust, Texas is still held in high esteem by CEOs for its favorable economic reforms. But each year, Florida steadily edges up in the qualitative measures. The Sunshine State added 1 million private-sector jobs over the last five years, cut taxes 50 times and got rid of 4,200 burdensome regulations. In 2014, it surpassed New York as the third-biggest state for companies to flourish.” Hooray for The Sunshine State!

Renovation Tips to Attract Buyers

realtor logoAn article posted yesterday on line at the National Association of Realtors® “Daily Real Estate News” was titled “Renovation Tips to Attract Millenial Buyers”. However, I have heard plenty of buyers – various ages – interested in the same features. Here’s what the article says:

“Generation Y makes up the largest pool of potential buyers, and builders and current home owners alike are keeping their needs in mind when building and renovating homes.

“The millennial generation is overwhelmed with options and information online, which is also reflected in their home search process. They are not looking to settle for a home that is good enough, they want to find one that is ready to move in and enjoy right away.

“”They’re picky,” says Peggy Yee, a supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, Va. told Consumer Reports recently. “Millennials have specific needs, and if your home doesn’t meet them, they’re going to move on to the next house.”

“When your clients are looking to tackle a renovation project, Consumer Reports suggests they should focus on improving these four areas of the home that will make it an easier sell and appeal to younger buyers: (SanibelSusan says these appeal to older buyers too!)

“Create a Laundry Room – Young buyers want to separate their laundry from their main living space. Having a separate laundry room is so important to millennials, in a recent survey 55% of them said they wouldn’t even consider a new home without one.

“Get Smart – Having energy efficient, up-to-date appliances and including smart home technology in a home is a big value-add for young buyers. As NAHB reports, over two-thirds of millennials say smart home technology is a good investment, and they are willing to pay 3 percent more for these upgrades. But as Consumer Reports cautions, “keep in mind that high-tech features can quickly become poor investments because technologies evolve quickly.”

“Make Working from Home Easier – Many millennials have jobs with flexible schedules and work from home policies, so owners should think of ways they can re-imagine a space to make telecommuting a reality. As Consumer Reports points out, “It’s also relatively inexpensive to convert a room into an office; a basic desk, office chair, and door should do the trick.”

“Focus on Outdoor Spaces – Many young buyers are looking for a home that’s move-in ready and comes already equipped with thoughtful landscaping and a outdoor space for entertaining. This type of space doesn’t have to be fancy either. Just adding a patio or deck that has room for seating and a grill should do the trick to attract these buyers.”

Tourism Numbers Decline from Last Year

santiva chronicle“Santiva Today” this morning posted an article based on info from “The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Tourist Development Council” (TDC), it says in part:

Lee Visitors Convention Bureau logo“The Tourism Development Council got together in Fort Myers on Thursday and that was the occasion to receive the latest tourism numbers for Lee County. One would expect the numbers to be down in view of the bad water and bad publicity resulting from Lake Okeechobee discharges, and they are.

“The TDC’s spring statistics show a decrease in average occupancy rate, the average daily rate charged for a room and revenue available per room for hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts. Rentals of condominiums, cottages and vacation homes were also down as was occupancy in RV parks and campgrounds.

“As the TDC notes, the declines are modest, but they are declines. The hotel-motel-resort-B&B occupancy rate in the spring fell from 70.4% in 2015 to 69.5% with the average daily rate dropping from $149.43 to $147.61. The average daily rate charged, or RevPAR, went from $105.16 last year to $102.65 this year.

Although the average daily rate for condos and vacation homes jumped from $180.73 to $186.08, occupancy in these units fell nearly 4% from 73.3% in spring 2015 to 69.4 this spring. The RevPar fell more than $3 from $132.47 in 2015 to $129.19 in 2016….

“The TDC said 77% of this spring’s tourists came from within the United States. That’s down from 83% last year. Germany made up most of the difference by providing 11% of the tourists this year compared to 5% last year. Great Britain sent us 5% of our tourists and Canada 4%, numbers that are basically in line with 2015.

“Seven percent of the American tourists came from Indianapolis with Boston second at 6%. Chicago and New York gave us 5% each. At 3% each were Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati and St. Louis.”

Sanibel Community House on Track to ReOpen Early December

Posted yesterday by “The Santiva Chronicle” was an update on the renovations underway at The Community House. Watching the work progress is fun for us since our office is so close. Here some tidbits from the article:

North room community house

Photo by “Santiva Chronicle” of the north (historic) room

“Teresa Riska-Hall understands the value of Sanibel’s Community House from first-hand experience. “My husband and I held our wedding reception there more than 27 years ago,” she said. “It is near and dear to our hearts.”

“Riska-Hall, who has served as Executive Director of the Sanibel Community Association since 2010, is in charge of the Community House’s massive restoration project, and she reports that all is proceeding according to plan, with the reopening slated for early December.

““I have been working on the project for several years,” she says. “Watching it come to fruition at long last is truly exciting.” Part of Riska-Hall’s task is to preserve the Association’s historic outbuildings. These structures include the old Shell Fair Galley, the Shell Shed and the Live Shell Exhibit.

““We want to keep our heritage alive, even as we make huge changes in the House’s overall design,” Riska-Hall said. According to Riska-Hall, the Live Shell Exhibit outbuilding has been crucial to the Shell Fair’s function. “Sanibel School students spend a year learning about sea-life, after which they serve as teachers during the Shell Fair,” Riska-Hall noted. “These kids demonstrate their expertise with live specimens in the Live Shell’s Exhibit’s touch tank. We will move this important structure behind the main building for continued use.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the contractors have been confronted with plenty of surprises during the renovation. “One big surprise was finding old library books in the wall of the main building. They date back to the original Sanibel Library, which first opened its doors at the Community House,” she said.

“Another surprise was finding a cistern beneath the flooring. “That was quite a shocker,” she said. “The old floor came off in pieces, but it is still precious to us, so we will repurpose the wood. It won’t be discarded.”

“Riska-Hall acknowledged that installing the new roof over the auditorium required an unanticipated budget increase of $10,000, “but it is well worth the additional expense. The updated roof, plus the new wood flooring and acoustic panels, will improve the auditorium’s sound environment.”

“According to Riska-Hall, money had been budgeted for foundation work and flooring, for moving the historic buildings, and for upgrading the electrical system. “More is required, and we continue to seek funds for these added expenditures,” she said, “but we are close to our funding target.”

“New amenities greeting patrons when the project is complete include a sizable under-cover patio to provide drop-off capability, larger restroom facilities and wider east and west auditorium doors. “We will have easy entrance on all four sides of the structure,” she said, “and our kitchen will double in size!”

“The project also includes the acquisition of 1,250 new native plants, to meet the city’s landscaping standards. “We were able to save our coonties, our tabebuiah trees and our palms—virtually all of our existing native plants,” Riska-Hall said. “We are moving them to new sites on the property.”

“Given all of the unanticipated challenges, “that we are on schedule is amazing! The structure will be roofed-in by the end of next week. Then the project will really speed up,” she said. “It’s a challenging time, but everything is working out. We are extremely happy about that.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the Community House’s calendar for the coming season is filling up fast. “Folks should call now for reservations,” she says. “Do not delay!” To schedule activities at the Community House, contact Riska-Hall at 239 472 2155, or send an email to”

Update on Renovations at The Sanctuary Golf Club

Sanctuary 08-12-16 Dining

Their photo of the Bridge Room

The Sanctuary Golf Club’s Facebook page recently posted some photos of their ongoing renovations.

The refurbishment of The Clubhouse is well underway. The new décor is in a beachy-chic palette with all new carpeting, paint, and furniture.

The club has remained open during these updates with the new-look at the Clubhouse expected to be completed in November.

Demolition of the old and construction of the new nearby Fitness & Wellness Center began in May. Weather permitting, completion there is expected in March 2017.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 5-12, 2016



1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 $735K.

3 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $539K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 now $649K (our listing), Sundial West #A208 2/2 now $809.9K.

LP Beach

Beach overlooking San Carlos Bay in front of Lighthouse Point

LP pool

Lighthouse Point pool

2 new sales: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $424.9K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $837.5K.


1 new listing: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $625K.

2 price changes: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $439K, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.75M.

1 new sales: 9468 Peaceful Dr 3/2 listed at $759K.

2 closed sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 $745K, 739 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.05M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 $1.15M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $299K.

No new or closed sales.



1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $975K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 now $254K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $950K, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.949M, 16177 Captiva Dr 7/7 listed at $5.95M.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

bella 08-16.jpgUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your dog days of summer are as great as those on the islands!

(That’s my grand-dog Bella after a dip in my pool this week! She loves it!)

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan