Island October = Great Shelling, Snowbirds Returning, Calendars Filling Up


shells a bunch

It has been another interesting week on Sanibel Island.

West Wind MichaelExtra high tides and winds from Hurricane Michael passing west of the islands on Tuesday made for some big waves and minor flooding in a few locations.

(Pictures taken Tues afternoon. First a beach path at West Wind Inn.

2nd is Dixie Beach Blvd looking from Royal Poinciana to the bay.)Dixie Beach

Like with most summer showers, the water disbursed quickly and now beachgoers are enjoying good shelling.

Boating, however, is discouraged until this weekend when the winds are expected to die down.

Concerning red tide, the daily status reports posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that samples on the west coast of Florida are pretty much free of red tide. No evidence at all now on Sanibel and Captiva. That is a huge relief! We sure hope it stays that way.

An area around St Petersburg/Tampa still shows medium to high readings. On Florida’s East Coast, there are low red tide readings reported from Miami north through Boca Raton, the Palm Beaches, and Port St. Lucie. Today, there also were a few low readings just off the coast of Key West. Here’s the link, if you want to see for yourself: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund

Florida Realtors logoAs the team and I watched the news unfold of the damage from Hurricane Michael, Florida Realtors® sent reminders out about the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund which is available to Realtors®, including their real estate employees, Realtor® Boards and Associations and their staff in the event of devastation caused by a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, just a few weeks ago, after Hurricane Florence made a $25K donation to the National Realtors® Relief Foundation which similarly helps colleagues throughout the U.S. Our hearts are with disaster victims as they recover.

2018 Water Resources Development Act

Capitol Bldg DCGood news on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan, comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation-in the federal water bill-that authorizes the EAA Reservoir! The President signed it yesterday.

This 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Bill moves forward a critical and fundamental Everglades restoration and estuaries enhancement project that will enable excess water to be directed south out of Lake Okeechobee instead of west and east to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie rivers and estuaries.  The project is designed to move water from Lake Okeechobee through 6,500 acres of filter marshes to clean the water and store it in a 10,500-acre reservoir. The reservoir is estimated to cost about $1.3 billion, which will be split evenly between the federal government and the state.

US army corps logoThe bill also directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement a five-year harmful algal bloom technology development program to identify and develop improved strategies for prevention and management techniques, early detection and procedures to reduce harmful algal blooms.

This is a great step forward, but we all must stay attuned to the new Florida administration and getting the project started. You can be sure that your local Realtors® and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will stay “on it”.

Member of Realtor® Family Makes Movie Premier

Buttons the movieLike many Florida Realtors® colleagues, I have watched the progress of our state President, Christine Hanson’s granddaughter Noelle Parker as she has evolved over the last few years from a photogenic toddler to becoming a child actress. Like her grandmother, Nicolle’s Mom is a Realtor® too. Noelle was an adorable speaker at Christine’s installation in January.

This week, Noelle’s Realtor® family announced that she is making her movie debut in the release of “Buttons” which is a new Tim Janis musical fairy tale film on a journey to discover that sometimes believing can be the greatest adventure of all. During a time of robber barons, mills, and rising industry, two orphaned children meet two unexpected visitors (Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury) who turn the tide of events and change their lives forever. Narrated by Robert Redford and Kate Winslet, the film also features some other big names including Jane Seymour and Roma Downey, plus a new song by “Nova” written by Sir Paul McCartney. Advance tickets go on sale today, with the movie premiering in theaters on December 8. Noelle is the little blonde girl dressed in white under the pix of Dick Van Dyke in their trailer photo (https://www.buttonsthemovie.com )

Plus a Young Local Talent on Broadway – Liam Hutt

Liam ElfMany islanders patronize La-Te-Da Salon and Spa on Cypress Lake Dr in Fort Myers. Both Elise and I get our hair cut there. The owners’ son, Liam Hutt, who we have followed since he was born, also is an amazing young talent, often seen singing, dancing, and acting in local and state theatrical productions. Yesterday, they announced that he will be joining the Broadway cast of “Elf” on their national traveling tour, from Nov 7 to Dec 30. Performing from state-to-state from one side of the country to the other, their performance schedule is staggering. Maybe he’ll be in your area. – https://elfthemusicaltour.com

Island Events

big arts logoThe roadways are getting busier and island activities are beginning. Rehearsals start next week for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. There are just nine rehearsals this session (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tues nights in Phillips Gallery). All ages and singing abilities welcome. Performances this session include the island Thanksgiving Celebration on Sun, Nov 18; caroling for Luminary on Fri, Dec 7; and our holiday concert on Wed Dec 12 in Schein Performance Hall.

International Coastal Cleanup – tomorrow Sat Oct 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. After being postponed for a month due to red tide, the islands’ cleanup is coordinated by Keep Lee County Beautiful and hosted by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Check-in will be set up on Island B, closest to Sanibel. Participants should register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html.

30th Annual “Ding” Darling Days –today through Sun Oct 14. Today is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast– Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.

33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.

14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.

10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House.

Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church

Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival– Sun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The IslandsSun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

Island Real Estate News

It was another quiet week for Sanibel/Captiva real estate business. This is the off-week with Realtor® Caravan and not much activity was posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The action since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 5-12, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $299K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 $720K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $729K.

4 price changes: Seashells #43 2/2 now $329K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 now $405K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $475K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 now $649K (our listing).

Image 3.jpg

Sunset South – from river to gulf with clubhouse & pool overlooking courtyard.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $565K, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $640K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $969K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.549M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $3.195M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $420K, 849 Beach Rd 4/4 now $595K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $879K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $899K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $1.995M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $479K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $528.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $665K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K.

2 closed sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $667.5K, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1817 Longpoint Ln $348.5K.

2 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $149K, 2486 Wulfert Rd now $159K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $379,999.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 $6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the 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!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Goodbye, red tide.. hello, “Season”


It has been another quiet real estate week on Sanibel – but things are looking up. Red tide and blue/green algae continue to be the hot topic of conversation and in the news. Summer projects at several local communities and condos are finishing up, snowbirds are starting to return, and many of the restaurants and businesses that were temporarily closed for annual maintenance, vacations and renovations are reopening. Below is yesterday’s scoop.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the early morning Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, our Communications and Public Relations Committee presented donations to Meg Dalabes, Community and Education Development Coordinator at ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment, Inc.). More info at www.actabuse.com.

2018-10-04 ACTThe Association’s “off season” collection drives continue this month with our 2nd “Fall Into Christmas” event on the 25th, to benefit “Friends Who Care”.

The caravan announcements included just a handful of new sales (most off island) and a couple of price reductions (ours at Pointe Santo included). The activity posted in the entire MLS since last Friday is posted after a few news items below. These Caravan meetings will revert to the weekly Thursday morning schedule in November.

After Caravan, the Association’s MLS Task Force met for a presentation by the fourth and final Multiple Listing Service provider candidate. Next, we will be comparing candidate offerings to our member preferences (from a recent survey).

Early afternoon, I stopped to check-out the beach in a couple of spots. At West Wind Inn, the water looked good. I saw evidence of marine life returning; but even so, few people were there.

west-wind-innThen early evening, I saw the below post by the West Wind Inn, confirming my observations. It is some of the best news in weeks. See below:

“Goodbye Red Tide! To ensure the safety and satisfaction of our guests, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has been working closely with Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and testing the water at our four resort properties for Red Tide for the past couple of months.

“We have seen a steady decline in levels of Red Tide (Karenia) concentration over the last week. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were still seeing an ebb and flow of cell counts in the millions at some locations. In the recent days, the change in winds has helped shift the surface currents to blow offshore. That, combined with the hydrogen sulfide bubbling up and iron being complexed into Iron Sulfide precipitate, has killed the Red Tide cells. We’re excited to report that today we tested with ZERO cell counts of Red Tide at all four of our locations.

“Dr. Rick Bartleson, researcher at SCCF, believes that this was a large-scale event, enough that the Red Tide bloom that has been affecting us since October 2017 may officially be dead in our area, and hopefully will not be returning any time soon.

“While the oxygen level of the water and Red Tide does not affect the safety of the water to swim, the water itself has become more pleasant in color and odor. Some areas of the coast do have dark or brown water, which may be caused by remnants of the Red Tide dying or the dissolving of organic matter and should quickly settle or sediment out and we’ll begin seeing clearer water everywhere.

“It’s a great day for all of us, or as Dr Bartleson says, “unless you’re red tide.”

“As always, we encourage you to keep checking in with us at https://www.clear-purpose.org/ for updates and more information on the water, beaches, weather and other news of value.”

https://www.sanibelcaptivabeachresorts.com/goodbye-red-tid…/

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens for 11th Year

Farmer MarketReopens on Sunday on the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year, it will be there every Sunday until May 26. including Easter but will be closed on Veteran’s Day (but open the following Monday). Thanks to the vision of islander Moms and co-managers of Local Roots, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, the market has grown since it began in 2008 to the wonderful fun-for-all outdoor activity that it is today. In addition to local produce, vendors sell breads, honey, seafood, meats, flowers, cheeses, and many other products. It’s a wonderful gathering place too! (A couple of changes this year are 1) no dogs are allowed in the vendor area and 2) a handful of crafters also will be selling their wares. More info at www.BuyLocalLee.com

FishAt Jean and Betsy’s suggestion, as the market closes up each Sunday, vendors pack boxes of their unsold produce and food for donation to the local FISH Food Pantry. The Sanibel Farmers Market also is a drop-off point for canned and packaged food donations – a great reason to bring your shopping bag with a donation and then fill it with fresh goodies to take home.

In January, the Captiva Farmers Market will return for its second season.

Construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park

Sanibelcityseal logoMany folks just returning have asked “what is the excavation work underway on Casa Ybel Road?” They are referring to the large City-owned and preserved land parcel next to the Woodhaven which is just beyond The Bank of the Islands building. Here are some highlights from a late-August MySanibel.com post about it.

“The City’s contractor, Wright Construction Group, will begin construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park on September 4, 2018.  The water quality treatment park will be located in the vicinity of Periwinkle Way and Casa Ybel Road, on 6 acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve and 1.3 acres of land within SCCF’s Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Tract.

“The primary goal of this project is to improve water quality in the Sanibel Slough to help meet Florida water quality standards. Secondary goals of the project are to enhance existing wildlife habitat on the site, provide recreational opportunities, and educate park visitors on the various Best Management Practices (BMPs) used to improve water quality.  The project is being funded in part by the South Florida Water Management District Cooperative Funding Program, Lee County Community Park Impact Fees, and City budgeted funds.

“The project is anticipated to be complete by January 2, 2019.  A temporary stop sign and stop bar will be placed on the Shared-Use-Path along Casa Ybel Road at the construction entrance.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through the construction zone and to adhere to all posted signage until construction is complete.

“Please contact the Natural Resources Department at 239-472-3700 if you have any questions regarding this project.”

Happenings at Sanibel’s Historical Village

The below article from the Fort Myer’s Florida Weekly dated Oct 3, 2018.

historical village logo“The Sanibel Historical Village, after being closed for a few months for renovations, reopens Oct. 16. “We’re planning exciting programs this season, including three of our popular Twilight Talks,” said executive director Emilie Alfino. “Our annual gala fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 19. We look forward to seeing old friends as well as welcoming return guests.”

“The Twilight Talks, which cost $10 per person, include:

  • “Be Our Guest: The History of Lodging on Sanibel and Captiva.” This talk is a partnership between the historical village and the Captiva Island Historical Society. Jan. 30 at the Sanibel Community House.
  • “Sanibel History Quiz,” a Jeopardy like game about the history of the island. March 13 at the Sanibel Community House.
  • “The History of Periwinkle Park.” April 10 at the Sanibel Community House.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Ms. Alfino at 472-4648. Twilight Talks tend to sell out quickly, she said. A fourth event is sold out already — a Nov. 7 dinner cruise on the Lady Chadwick to Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key.

“There will be a Luminary celebration Dec. 7, and a Free Admission Day on June 15.

“For the first time this year, we are offering a reciprocal museum membership,” Ms. Alfino said. “We have joined the North American Reciprocal Museum family, and a membership at the $150 level or above offers members free admission to more than 900 participating arts, cultural, and historical institutions along with botanical gardens, children’s museums, science and technology centers, and more.” Many institutions include a discount at their gift shops. See www.narmassociation.org for a list.

“New volunteers are always needed at the village. Training begins Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. Interested people are encouraged to call Ms. Alfino at 472-4648. “There are many different things for volunteers to do, so anyone can find a comfortable spot among our village family, doing what they enjoy most,” Ms. Alfino said.

“The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no additional charge, depending on docent availability.

The Sanibel Historical Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road, next to BIG ARTS, and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. For more information, call 472-4648 during museum hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts

traders signThough they reopened this week, they have new hours for Oct: Open at 3 p.m. for happy hour & lite fare, serving dinner from 5 p.m. Closed Sundays & Mondays.

Their new restaurant T2 at the Village Shops is open for lunch and was busy today at noon. Their spinach salad with blacked shrimp = terrific!

Planning Ahead – Upcoming Island Events

“Ding” Darling Days – Fri Oct 12 to Sun Oct 14. Fri is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast – Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m.

33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.

10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House.

Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival – Sun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The Islands – Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

New-to-Florida Homebuyers Should Update Their Estate Plan

Florida Realtors logoFloridaRealtors® on-line posted an article this week sourced to the Fort Myers “News-Press”, Hersch, Craig R. (9/28/18):

“There are good tax reasons to move to Florida: State residents don’t have to pay state income tax, they enjoy property tax caps through the state’s Save Our Homes Amendment, and Florida also doesn’t have a death tax.

However, it’s essential for new Florida residents to update their Revocable Trust documents because of the state’s descent and devise laws surrounding Florida homesteads.

“Under that law, if a homeowner is survived by a spouse, absent any nuptial agreement waiving certain rights, it becomes necessary to devise the home outright in fee simple to the spouse. Otherwise, the will or trust contains what is known as an “invalid devise,” in which event the spouse receives a “life estate” interest in the home, and the children of the deceased receive a present “remainder” interest.

“Also, if the homeowner wants to sell the home, the children must agree and sign any listing agreements, contracts to sell or deeds. Further, the children are entitled to part of the proceeds of the sale of the home.”

NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Urges Deduction for Rental Income

realtor logoGood info here about what Realtors® are doing behind the scenes as posted last week in the “Washington Report” on line at NAR.Realtor:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a 20% deduction from the net business income of sole proprietors and owners of S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.  The new deduction is intended to provide roughly the same tax rate cut the Act provided to regular corporations.  However, it is unclear whether owners of rental real estate will be able to claim the deduction.

“NAR has asked the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, in a letter, to treat all real property rental activity as eligible for the 20% deduction.  The letter asserts that without this change, the 10 million American owners of rental real estate will be forced to wade through voluminous and confusing tax cases and conflicting IRS positions to determine for themselves whether their rental activity constitutes a “trade or business,” which is a requirement for the deduction.  The letter also lists factors that indicate Congress intended the deduction to be available to the great majority of owners of rental property without the burden of excess complexity.

“The IRS will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations on October 16.  NAR has requested that a representative of the association be allowed to testify on this issue.

“NAR sent an earlier comment letter to Treasury and IRS on another issue related to the 20% deduction, on the question of whether real estate brokerage activities qualify for it.  In a huge win for REALTORS, the proposed regulations reflected the position suggested by the letter.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 28-Oct 5, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $528.5K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $569K, Sundial #T402 2/2 $855K.

2 price changes: Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.125M (our listing).

Roof Deck View a

View from Pointe Santo C43

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-4 3/3 listed at $924.5K.

3 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 $245K (our listing), Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 $440K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 $529K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $629K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $749K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $2.448M.

4 price changes: 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $959K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.09M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.438M.

3 new sales: 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.25M, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 now $1.85M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 247/255 Robinwood Cir $279K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1912 Ibis Ln $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 listed at $1.195M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $345K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 $3.995M.

1 price change: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 now $2.75M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $814K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

As our “Island Sun” ad says this week:

You don’t need Christopher Columbus. The SanibelSusan Team can help you find your piece of paradise.

Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

See the source image

On the Islands, Fall Doesn’t Feel Like Fall


fall leaves pumpkinsAs the rest of the country is transitioning into fall weather, the summer pattern in Southwest Florida continues. Days have been warm, humid, and sunny with daytime temperatures mostly in the low 90’s. Late afternoons and evenings have included heavy rain and lightning storms. That has meant more runoff and more Lake O releases into local waterways, so red tide numbers remain high. Conditions change daily, dependent on direction of wind and tide. Here is a link to the latest midweek test readings from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Beach with seagrapesTuesday night, I met up with a group of friends at Tarpon Beach where we attempted to celebrate sunset on the beach. We were not outside long because of the thunder, but the water at that time was clear and sparkling. I saw no dead sea life, other than a few small sand dollars. The no-see-ums, however, were ferocious!Sanibel in shells

Obviously, we all hope that water conditions improve soon. Snowbirds are starting to arrive. Restaurants and businesses are reopening for “season”. The SanibelSusan Team is ready for more real estate action!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis was an off-week with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, so no caravan meeting yesterday. Caravans continue every other week until November, when they revert to weekly. Next one is Oct 4.

Tuesday, our Association’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Task Force listened to a presentation from the 3rd of four possible future system providers. It is amazing how much the internet has affected the industry in the last few years. The features offered today are bound to make all parties happy – our customers (both buyers and sellers) and our Realtors® and affiliates. The last interview is next week.

Below are some news items, followed by the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva MLS.

First a summary of SANIBEL inventory today and sales-to-date this year, compared to last year and 2016. (For those for sale & closings pending, the average prices shown are the asking prices. For those sold & closed, they are average sale prices.)

CONDOS                HOMES                      LOTS

#     Avg $ Price     #     Avg $ Price      #      Avg $ Price

62   720,019          121  1,396,191         54    635,946        For sale

8     717,250              9  1,179,389          2     249,278        Closing pending

134  725,803         188  1,146,082        17    694,657        Sold & closed 2018 thru 9/28

149  728,793         186  1,004,237        32    327,229        Sold & closed in 2017

143  717,768         181    979,576          25   487,095        Sold & closed in 2016

Water District Nixes Request for Higher Dry Season Flows

Sanibelcityseal logoWhile Southwest Florida is in the throes of getting too much water released from Lake O, the local papers this week also report the results of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane’s attendance Sep 13 at the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board’s monthly meeting in West Palm Beach. City councilors Chauncey Goss and Holly Smith attended too, as well as neighboring mayors from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita, and Estero.

The board was considering a proposed amendment to raise the minimum flow levels for the Caloosahatchee River and Franklin Lock while maintaining salinity at the Fort Myers salinity monitoring station. As Mayor Ruane and others (including SCCF scientists) explained, more releases are needed in the dry season to maintain the ecosystems of the estuary. They also noted that drawing more water out in the dry season, leaves room for the lake to hold more water during the wet season.

Unfortunately, they were not successful in convincing the board to change their proposed amendments to the South Florida Water Management District rules, as since that meeting, the City of Sanibel, along with the City of Cape Coral and Town of Fort Myers Beach, have jointly signed a petition challenging these documents. The state has 10 days to respond to the petition.

Hurricanes Make Us Poorer, But Don’t Slow The Economy

herald media logoPosted yesterday online at FloridaRealtor®s and sourced to Hagerstown, MD, The Herald–Mail, Peter Morici, Deseret News.

“Hurricanes impose huge losses of wealth and initially slow regional economies, but over time they can be a tonic that creates more prosperous communities. After Florence, resort areas along the coast and thriving commercial areas inland are likely to rebuild quickly, but poorer, rural inland communities may be left to languish.

“Initial estimates of the destruction from the storm range from $17 billion to $22 billion but may go much higher. The sums paid out to homeowners will only be a fraction of losses because many homeowners’ policies do not include flood coverage and often contain high deductibles for hurricane damage.

“As hurricanes go, Florence could be among the 10 most costly to hit the United States, but it won’t be near the top of the list. When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the figure was $161 billion, and last year, Maria hit Puerto Rico and Harvey trounced Texas with losses of $90 billion and $125 billion.

“Florence’s path includes valuable beach homes, hotels and attractions and inland activities vital to the national economy – Boeing, Daimler and Volvo factories halted production ahead of the storm.

“Hurricanes hitting those areas provide opportunities to start over and replace with larger and more modern facilities. After Hugo (1989) and more recent storms hit the Outer Banks, smaller beach homes on large plots were replaced by structures with more bedrooms and baths and attractive kitchens that could more comfortably accommodate large families and command higher rents. Insurance settlements permitted owners of aging restaurants and amusements to reinvest in more attractive businesses.

“This increased the value of the shoreline and nearby shopping malls and other businesses. It permitted owners who were inadequately insured to more easily borrow to rebuild or recoup some of their losses by selling land at better prices.

“Seventy percent of the flood damage imposed by Harvey, which hit Texas last year, was not insured. Many homeowners took their chances with the weather and got burned or were not aware that ordinary homeowners’ policies often don’t cover flooding. Many moderate–income families and smaller businesses are struggling and may never find the money to rebuild.

“In some rural areas, far from coveted beachfront and big employers, the values of property and homes were well below the regional and national averages before the storm. Those communities may never adequately recover – land values, if anything, will lag further and permanently.

“It seems homeowners and businesses buy insurance immediately after a hurricane, become complacent as storm memories fade and then get caught when disaster strikes again. Communities hit by Florence are ripe for a repeat for such tragic situations.

“The National Flood Insurance Program has about 134,000 policies in place in North Carolina – covering fewer than 15% of residences and down 3.6% from 2013.

“Storms temporarily depress regional economies, but not as much as folks think – a lot of activity gets shifted around. Folks evacuated, factories closed, and movie theaters lost a lot of patronage ahead of Florence, but inland shelters hired staff; fleeing evacuees purchased gas and groceries; hardware stores did a robust business in sandbags, emergency pumps and the like, and livestock producers piled up on feed and fuel to keep their animals safe in barns.

“When the storm passes, lost production at aircraft and auto factories will be made up and the rebuilding of homes and commercial establishments will have profound multiplier effects for the local economy.

“On net, storms tend to subtract from gross domestic product in the early months and add to it in later months – leaving the economy, on balance, with few overall effects after a yea

“We are poorer – property and wealth are destroyed. Payouts from insurance companies reduce shareholder value. Uninsured property owners in more attractive locations may get a lift in land values, but those gains do not fully compensate for ruined residential and commercial structures.

“Those who plan ahead – buy enough of the right insurance and don’t build on the shore or flood plains unless their business interests absolutely require – generally recover. Investors from outside the region get opportunities to bring in new capital to improve local economies.

“Those who take their chances with the weather lose. They get saddled with bigger mortgages or too little money to rebuild and broken lives.”

What to Ask When Choosing A Lender

Florida Realtors logoThis simple list of 15 questions is thanks to “Florida Realtor®” magazine September 2018:

  1. “What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
  2. What fees are included in a loan; & what fees will be due at closing?
  3. Are your rates, terms, fees, & closing costs negotiable?
  4. Do you offer discounts for inspections, home-ownership classes or setting up automatic payments?
  5. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost & how long will it be required?
  6. What are your escrow requirements?
  7. What bill-pay options do you offer?
  8. What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
  9. Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
  10. Who will service this loan – your bank or another company?
  11. How long will the rate on this loan be locked-in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?
  12. How long will the loan approval process take?
  13. How long will it take to close the loan?
  14. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
  15. How much in total will I be paying over the life of this loan?”

Sanibel Re-openings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Thurs Oct 4.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs until Mon Oct 1.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance, reopens Fri Oct 5.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – reopens Tues Oct 2 and will be open Tues and Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – reopens Tues Oct 2 (Shell Museum Celebrity Dinner Mon night is sold out).
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – reopens Wed Oct 3.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 21-28, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #D304 1/1 now $435K, Compass Point #161 3/3 now $1.175M.

2 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Snug Harbor 3/2 listed at $1.099M.

1 closed sale: Sundial West #K105 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 718 Oliva St 3/2 $789K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $799K.

2 price changes: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $837K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.349.9M

2 new sales: 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $725K, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 listed at $2.799M.

1 closed sale: 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $553K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 978 Main St now $179K, 6411 Pine Ave now $363K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $649K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 $1.095M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16177/16179/16181 Captiva Dr $3.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

WildFlowerUntil next Friday, enjoy your fall wherever you are!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Red Tide & Blue-Green Algae Fall-Out Is Not Pretty


Beach

It’s Susan with another Friday update from sunny Sanibel Island. It has been a warm week, with highs every day in the low 90’s and little rain. Unfortunately, that seems to be the weather that makes the algae grow, as it has been a week of a few steps ahead, followed by steps back.

After a reprieve of a several days, it has been discouraging to again see and hear about more dead sea-life washing up on Sanibel’s shores, both on the beach and bayside. The terrible smell even traveled as far as Sanibel Square both yesterday and this morning. (No smell where I live on the east end.)

Thankfully, scientists say that Sanibel’s red tide count is going down. Yesterday, news indicated that it is moving further north. According to some reports, Tropical Storm Gordon pushed the bloom offshore giving us the false hope that it was gone. Once that storm moved away, the red tide came back. Where it goes and how long it will last can be dependent on tides and weather.

The worst conditions yesterday were west of Tarpon Bay Road and out onto Captiva including the area of Sunset Bay and the canals off Dinkins Bayou. It’s so sad that the marine life that washed ashore included dolphins and sea turtles. We are so sad that this is having such devastating effects, we are “so ready” for it to be over. Sanibel and Captiva are not quite ghost-towns, but the beaches have looked that way.Captains for clean water logo

There is another event to benefit “Captains for Clean Water” today (4 to 7 p.m.) at The Dunes.

The weekly activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Only one home and one lot sale on Sanibel this week. No sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Association’s September Membership Meeting and Caravan. The speaker was Cecil Pendergrass who is Chairman of Lee County’s Board of Commissioners and Commissioner from District 2. He reported that the County budget has just been approved with no increase. At least there is good news on the tax front!

He also updated attendees on what the county is doing regarding water quality. With multiple solutions in the works and none immediate, it’s important that everyone pay special attention to what they can do in their area to help solve the problem. Though much of the cause of the blue/green algae in the Caloosahatchee is from releases from Lake Okeechobee, run-off from areas south of the lake, including Lee County and its cities are contributors too. Not every citizen heeds their local ordinances on fertilizing and watering. (Sanibellians do a good job.) Along the river, for example in some of the older areas of downtown Fort Myers, many homes still pipe their sewage directly into the river. (That’s right, no septic tanks at some homes along McGregor Blvd.)

It’s time for all of us to stay involved and make water quality a top priority.

Interestingly, Cecil also said that in August the airport reported an increase in traffic, while most of the hospitality businesses in Lee County reported losses of millions of dollars. He joked that he didn’t know where all these people went.

He also reminded attendees of government loans available to small businesses who have lost revenue because of the algae problems.

Is anything new being done to combat the problem? The simple answer is “no”, but local governments are working together to get Federal reimbursement for the ongoing clean-up efforts. The City of Sanibel is doing a great clean-up job. Call them to report any dead marine life and they respond quickly.

FREE Parking

Sanibelcityseal logoTo encourage more island visitor business, parking fees at all Sanibel beaches have been suspended until Sep 30. Additionally, the county posted yesterday, that motorists who cross the Sanibel Causeway between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow Sep 22 and Sun Sep 23 will not have to pay a toll. A donation from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will cover the costs during those hours as a way of encouraging locals to support Sanibel and Captiva businesses who are feeling economic impacts from the lingering red tide.

Scoop From My Favorite Economist

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_As reported by NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in the Sep/Oct 2018 issue of Realtor® magazine:

Recession Talk Heats Up – Concerns about a housing slowdown not supported by the data

“Is a recession looming? It’s an important question because the U.S. economy has been experiencing one of its longest expansions ever. There were two recessions in the 1970’s, two in the 1980’s, one in the 1990’s, and two in the 2000’s. Since 2010, there have been none.

“Every recession has a trigger. In the 1970’s, it was energy price shocks. Could that happen today? Probably not, because the U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil producer. One potential trigger could be an unsustainable rise in borrowing. But the fact is consumer debt has risen only about 5% annually for the last five years. Although that’s fast, it’s not catastrophic. Past recessions were preceded by debt increases of 10% or more. More important, the largest part of household debt is home mortgages and those loan balances total about $10 trillion today, about the same as 10 years ago even though housing values in the aggregate have climbed from $18 trillion to $28 trillion.

“Another trigger could just be psychological. Pessimism leads consumers to spend less. That leads businesses to scale back, reduce investment, and not build that additional factory or office. But the consumer confidence this year is at an index level of 127, the highest reading in more than 20 years (with 100 considered neutral).

“Finally, it could be policy error. Turkey is an example of how a decision – lowering interest rates in the face of rampant inflation – can lead to a crisis.

“Although it’s not clear what could trigger the next recession, it’s a good bet it won’t have anything to do with our industry. The housing market still has room to grow. A total of 6.1 million existing homes plus newly constructed homes will be sold this year. That’s the same level as in 2000, when the market was considered well balanced. Homebuilders are at last responding to pent-up demand by increasing housing starts and creating jobs. For these reasons, the odds of a recession in 2019 are slight. And if we do see a drop in GDP, it will likely be mild – nowhere near the intensity of the recession a decade ago.”

Automated Valuation Models Are Tools, Not Solutions

BradfordZillowCartoonAnother article in this month’s Realtor® magazine caught my eye. Particularly, when it was announced at our Membership Meeting this morning that our Association is in the process of inking agreements with Zillow and other on-line real estate database companies, because most sellers want their listings syndicated. With the onset of the internet, I guess these companies were inevitable. Another way for entrepreneurs to make a buck.

Personally, I’ve never thought that these companies could replace knowledgeable Realtors® in unique areas, but their existence certainly has changed where and how we advertise. Here are some tidbits from the article by John S. Brenan who, since 2003, has been the director of appraisal issues for The Appraisal Foundation.

“When it comes to online home value estimates, the number one caveat for consumers is that these estimates are not a substitute for formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and the in-depth expertise of real estate professionals.”

“AVM’s are not appraisals…today, in many cases, an automated valuation is suspect if there is a lack of available data or the property isn’t a “cookie cutter.” Many of us have checked our own properties against the finding of an AVM and thought, “Yeah, right.”

“So why aren’t automated models more reliable in more transactions? Because computers don’t buy houses, people do. An AVM does a great job of analyzing tangible features such as a property’s age, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, and lot size. However, a property’s overall appeal is something that has been, at least to date, extremely difficult to quantify. It’s a uniquely human phenomenon; a property’s overall appeal reflects a combination of characteristics. While not everyone has the same preferences, some unusual features will likely face significant market reluctance…. So, unless and until AVM’s can better emulate the human factor, an ethical and competent appraiser remains indispensable.”

As SanibelSusan’s 2-cents worth, The Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® may be working toward syndicating their listings, but please know that it is not because Zillow and their like provide good property valuations. They will get our data, but it is because our sellers want their listings to get the additional advertising these on-line vendors provide. For years, many island Realtors® (included us) have joined a secondary Realtor organization so that we also could post our listings in their Multiple Listing Service to get this extra exposure.

dining clip artTemporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Sanibel Library – temporarily closed as part of its renovation project, from Fri to Tues, Sep 21 to 25.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 14-21, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #312 2/2 $599K (our listing), Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.295M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 $1.495M.

View No shadow.jpg

View from Mariner Pointe #312

1 price change: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 now $734.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $760K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 $832K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $849K, 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.45M.

4 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $550K, 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 now $ 699K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $899K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $1.155M.

1 new sale: 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $599.9K.

2 closed sales: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $470K, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 3/3 $840K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd listed at $299K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3236 1/1 $309.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.575M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the 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,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Pelicans Diving, Dolphins Jumping, & Realtors® Learning


It’s SanibelSusan with a weekly update on Sanibel and Captiva Islands happenings. It is a gorgeous day here today, but most of us have our minds on those along the eastern seaboard who are experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Florence. Floridians, particularly islanders know too well the angst and worry associated with those events.

Here, though Southwest Florida’s water quality continues to affect visitor business, things are rebounding – even during what usually are the slower weeks of September. The gulf and beaches look sooo much better – and people and wildlife are out enjoying them again.

Only two real estate sales were reported this week on Sanibel, none on Captiva. Overall, island inventory remains low – with only 60 condos and 121 homes for sale on Sanibel, 30 condos and 33 homes on Captiva. The team and I are hopeful that when fall and winter visitors return, sales will be strong. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe local Association of Realtors® had no weekly Caravan Meeting this week but hosted their annual 14-hour continuing education classes. Florida Realtors® are required to complete 14 hours every two years. This year, the Association also offered the Ethics class that all Realtors® nation-wide must complete before the end of the year.

It’s always fun to be the oldest student in the class. Wednesday’s 7-hour class “Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living” was especially fun in the afternoon when we boarded “Play Time” out of McCarthy’s Marina for a ride up/down Roosevelt Channel and around much of Pine Island Sound – viewing the water, wildlife, and mangroves.

Though we passed one small patch where red tide probably lingered as several attendees coughed simultaneously, by the time we got to the old fish houses just north of North Captiva Island (the ones on pilings that are on the Historic Register), the water was crystal clear right to the bottom. The seagrasses looked healthy and small fish were swimming among them.

Fish houses 09-12-18

Then within about a 10-minute span, we saw a flurry of wildlife – dolphins jumping, pelicans diving, a nurse shark, and a loggerhead turtle. It wasn’t perfect, but it obviously was an area where the water quality was much better.

Red fish house 09-12-18.jpg

Nearby, in front of Demere Key on Pine Island, we saw a huge group of swans, ducks, and geese swimming. (Yes, swans. They can live in salt water too.) It was a gorgeous day – vivid blue sky, bright white clouds, balmy breeze, and flat water.

demere key 09-12-18.jpg

Those white birds are swans!

Water quality specialist Dr. Rick Bartelson on board for questions with SCCF’s Director of Education Kristie Anders said that he and others from the marine lab had been diving recently several miles off shore in the same area he earlier had viewed as a dead zone. The news really went crazy with that information. (A “dead zone” is an underwater patch with no plant or animal life.)

Dr. Bartelson had reported back in mid-August that they started noticing an area like that off the island coast. Then, they measured no oxygen in the water about 3 to 5 meters down from the surface, in some places all the way to the bottom (about 8 meters). This week, he reported that from Tropical Storm Gordon breaking things up, the oxygen levels in that same area are “up” and improving. You bet we want that to continue!

East Rocks Water Main Replacement

Island Water reports that the East Rocks water main replacement project is almost done. The new main has been installed on most of East Rocks Drive and Boulder Drive. The last section to be completed is Durion Court. For this project, Island Water used a polyethylene piping for the boring under paved roads and driveways, rather than cutting up/then repairing driveways or removing/reinstalling pavers. Bet those owners appreciate that they weren’t inconvenienced.

Temporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopened today.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – reopens Sep 17.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10 through 20.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

International Coastal Cleanup

Postponed from Sept 15 to Sat Oct 13 (9 a.m. to noon) on Causeway Island B (island closest to Sanibel). Organized by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their van will be parked onsite.

Galloway Captiva Triathlon

captiva tri logoThe Captiva Triathlon held on the grounds of South Seas Resort scheduled tomorrow (youth segment) and Sunday (adult segment) has been changed to a duathlon due to concerns over water and air quality conditions due to red tide on the northern end of Captiva. The swim leg will be replaced by a run of the same length (approximately a quarter mile), followed by the usual 10-mile bike and 5K run. The children’s events will be the same format – run/bike/run. More info at packet pickup.

Spectators are welcome with parking available at the south end, with shuttles to take them to the north end. The public is reminded that Captiva Drive will close at 6:45 a.m. More info at www.captivatri.opg.

National Public Lands Day

ding darling goose logoCelebration at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sep 22, with free admission to Wildlife Drive (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), discounts at Tarpon Bay Explorers, and multiple activities at the refuge.

First Annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt

Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School will host this island-wide family event that will end with a bonfire celebration on the beach. Save the date, Saturday, Nov 3 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds will support the Sea School’s scholarship fund.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $240K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $619K.

Boardwalk b.jpg

Mariner Pointe bay walk & private fishing pier

1 price change: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $535K.

3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $440K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $600K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.26M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $749K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $845K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $585K, 480 Las Tiendas Ln 3/3 now $749K.

1 new sale: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $699K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $658K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,999.

1 price change: 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.695M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $340K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $4.95M.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the 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 bright skies with sunshine!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Beaches Sooo Much Better…


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report from sunny Sanibel Island.

Beach

The beaches here are looking much better this week thanks to the wind from Tropical Storm Gordon blowing the long-lingering red tide away from shore. The islands still are not getting many beach-goers but the water and beach improvement are obvious.

Beach

Unfortunately, putting a damper on that improvement is an article published Wednesday in “The News-Press” headlined “Red tide causing dead zone conditions in Gulf of Mexico”. In this write-up is a description of what local scientists saw this week on the ocean floor miles off-shore. Here’s a link to that sad article, if you’d like to read it.

One of the local experts quoted in the article is Dr. Rick Bartleson, a water-quality scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and their lead red tide investigator. Both he and his research assistant will be sharing their knowledge with local Realtors® during our continuing education classes next week.

More positive water news is that the vehicles and boats that, for weeks, have been cleaning local beaches and waterways were spotted leaving the island.

Causeway drivers and beach visitors all report that birds and fish are returning and dolphins jumping again. You know we all hope that the improvement continues.

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

bananasThe SanibelSusan Team is lucky and thankful that we had half of Sanibel’s new condo listings and condo sales this week. We had one of the three home closings too. We have always said that activity in this business happens in bunches – like bananas. We are ready for another bunch next week!

Re-Openings & Temporary Closings

  • Bailey Tract – has reopened (following a 3-month marsh habitat restoration project).
  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold Aug 13. A new restaurant called “Malia” is expected to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopens Sep 14.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – closes Sep 10 & reopens Sep 17.
  • Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – closed for maintenance Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – closed for vacation, reopening Sep 12.
  • Tarpon Bay Boat Ramp – has reopened (following closure for nearly 2 years during construction of SSCF’s new marine lab, replacement of seawalls, and a boat dock).
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

Sandalfoot Kudos

Sandalfoot.jpgThrough the years, we have had listings and sales at Sandalfoot condominiums. One was especially memorable when Hurricane Charley seriously damaged a top-floor beach-front unit there that had just gone under contract a few weeks before the storm arrived. Their on-site staff have always been helpful, often going above-and-beyond, so it was great to see that their long-time employee Domingo Nieves was recognized recently at The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s 18th Annual Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards. It’s wonderful to see him recognized. Here’s the write-up from their website.

“Lee County’s EAwards were held August 30th to announce Outstanding Service Awards in the hospitality industry. The awards acknowledge excellence through extraordinary customer service and dedication to tourism throughout Lee County. The “Superheroes” themed Awards were presented by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Fort Myers News Press.

“The awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs and celebrated local customer service professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. More than 670 nominations were received from residents and visitors from around the world recognizing the exceptional service and caring offered to visitors who come to Lee County.

“Sandalfoot Condominium is beyond proud to announce that one of its own, Domingo Nieves, was honored with the top award, the Honor of Distinction. Winners of this award exhibit exemplary service, leadership, work ethic, job knowledge, performance skills, familiarity with the destination and assistance during an emergency.

Domingo received a number of nominations for this award. One nominator described him as “one in a million.” Another described him as “tireless, self-sacrificing, humble, compassionate and an all-around exceptional human being.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico last year, Domingo was quick to respond. As a native to the island, Domingo sent six generators, at his own expense, to help people in his uncle’s neighborhood.

“Another nominee says he visited a guest in a local hospital every other day for a month while they were on Sanibel and he frequently cuts fresh flowers for guests’ special occasions. Domingo assists elderly guests with getting around on the property and attending special events held here. He gives guests rides to the grocery store if they don’t have a car and lends his own fishing equipment for guests’ enjoyment. Domingo also helped people living on Sanibel prepare for Hurricane Irma and helped clean up after the storm.

“Anyone who knows Domingo is aware that this award is richly deserved. We at Sandalfoot are honored to share this information and honored to know Domingo. He truly is a caring, compassionate individual who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of his own. Congratulations Domingo!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 31- Sep 7, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #6D 2/2 $699K (our listing), Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 $759K.

View b

View from Sunset South #6D

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $499K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 listed at $259K (our listing), Sandy Bend #4 2/2 listed at $738K.

A bldg stairs + river

Spanish Cay Bldg A

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $470K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 $487K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 $520K, Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 $569K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $825K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $1.075M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.125M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.249M.

2 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $445K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $539.9K.

1 new sale: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, $5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $700K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $850K (our listing).

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0497.JPG

734 Anchor Drive to Sanibel Marina & San Carlos Bay & beyond

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 412 Tiree Cir $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $605K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 listed at $1.794M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Dolphin 11-6-15Until next Friday, here’s to more clear water, diving pelicans, & jumping dolphins!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Life With Algae & A Holiday!


Here it is the beginning of a 3-day holiday weekend with things on Sanibel and Captiva Islands still looking a little grim. At each spec of positive news regarding the red tide in the gulf and the blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River, there seems to be some corresponding negative.

I personally visited several Sanibel beaches again this week and found them to be hit or miss. Most were significantly better than earlier this month, but some days there was a slight odor. Clean-up crews continue too, though the need for these collections also is diminishing.

 

This morning a few videos were posted on-line. One filmed early by Rebecca, Manager of Sanibel Holiday, had her walking down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Sanibel Surfside, at the end of Donax Street on the east end. With obvious wind whipping and breaking waves, there was no debris on the waterline, but a few dead fish at the upper wrack line probably from the high tide last night. The water color was very dark. Her occasional coughs are probably evidence that red tide still is there – or at least was this morning.

Sanibel strong

Mote Marine Laboratory Reports

Mote Marine LabMote Marine Laboratory posts frequent updates about the condition of Florida’s gulf beaches at https://visitbeaches.org/#. Their last postings from yesterday afternoon showed conditions dramatically improving locally, though this week Captiva experienced red tide effects too.

Lee County Health Department\

In Florida, the health department is responsible for testing the waters at public beaches and informing the public of the water quality. (To learn more, visit the Lee County Health Department website at lee.floridahealth.gov )

Fl Dept of Health.jpgThe below info is from their website.

“The Florida Department of Health in Lee is reminding residents and visitors to use caution when on the beach or in waters with high concentrations of red tide. Protect your family and pets by staying away from affected areas until the blooms move further offshore or they go away.  Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year. Because the blooms are patchy, other local beaches may be okay to visit.

“The department encourages everyone to review these tips to stay safe while enjoying Florida’s beaches: In Florida, red tide is caused by a naturally occurring microscopic alga called Karenia brevis.

  • Red tide algal blooms can change rapidly, staying in one place for months or just a few days or weeks.
  • Symptoms from breathing red tide usually include coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. For most people, symptoms are temporary and typically go away when the person leaves the area. Wearing a particle filter mask may lessen the effects, and over-the-counter antihistamines decrease symptoms.
  • People with chronic respiratory problems, like asthma, should avoid areas with active red tides. People with symptoms that persist should seek medical attention.
  • Pet owners are advised that red tide poses a risk to animals brought to the beach. Red tide can affect animals if they drink affected water, lick their wet paws or fur, or breath marine aerosols.
  • Residents sensitive to red tide and living in beach areas affected by blooms are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the AC filter is maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications).
  • Seafood, including shellfish, in restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and markets is safe to eat. Cooked shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly to prevent exposure to Vibrio vulnificus. Shellfish should not be harvested or eaten from areas with active red tide.

“Beachgoers are encouraged to check conditions before they go to the beach as conditions can change daily.

For the latest Red Tide Status Reports: http://www.MyFWC.com/RedTide “.

The National Weather Service

NoaaMaybe a blessing in disguise, the National Weather Service is reporting that a tropical wave is approaching the Gulf of Mexico from the north-central Caribbean Sea. The disturbance is expected to bring heavy rain to South Florida later this weekend and early next week. We will stay tuned to that development. Perhaps it will be what is needed to break up the algae blooms.

Irma 2017We definitely are not looking for a hurricane. It was just last year at this time that Hurricane Irma was forming.

Temporary Closings

Local businesses, shops, and restaurants are prepared for what typically are a few slow weeks on the islands (aka September), but many did not expect the slowdown like what was experienced this month.

Some blog followers asked that I continue to post the list of places temporarily closed, until they reopen. So, below is an update of last week’s list.

NormandieWest wind inn logo.jpgAlso, a spot that is open, but sometimes overlooked is Normandie Café at West Wind Inn. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An especially good buy is their Sunset Dinner offered daily from 5 to 6 p.m. It includes your choice of house or Caesar salad; choice of Penne Pasta Primavera, Shrimp Scampi, Salmon al la Vodka, Blackened Mahi Mahi, or Fettuccini Chicken Alfredo; and choice of key lime pie or crème brulee for just $22. Consistently delish!

Here are the temporary closings:

  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – Their website says it sold August 13 and that a new restaurant called “Malia” will open there on Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – will be closed for repairs from Mon Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Over Easy Café – will be closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – is closed for vacation, reopening Wed Sep 12.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – will reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – will reopen Wednesday, Oct 3.

SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoThanks to teammates Dave and Elise, for coordinating a huge bulk mail that was delivered yesterday to the post office. It is the time of the year where new listings are needed to fill the needs of the snowbird buyers and fall visitors who will begin arriving in just another few weeks. If you know of anyone thinking of selling, please keep The SanibelSusan Team in mind.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 24-31, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $479K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 $739K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 $745K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $859K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.099M.

5 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $259K (our listing – photos below show their new parking area pavers), Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $269K, Sundial #F205 1/1 now $440K, Sundial #G206 1/1 now $479.9K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $529.9K.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I305 1/1 $340K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $840K, St.Croix 2/2.5 $941,250.

HOMES

2 new listings: 659 Donax St 2/2 $595K, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $3.1M.

3 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $528.5K; 2074 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $549,899; 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.239M.

No new sales.

5 closed sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $440K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $520K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $532.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $774K, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.03M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 9232 Dimmick Dr listed at $199,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.498M.

No or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $859K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 listed at $6.795M.

1 closed sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

labor dayEnjoy the long weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade


It’s getting harder to make lemonade out of the lemons, but here is some island news. It’s not all good, but it’s real – followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Red Tide Numbers Stay High in Southwest Florida; Bloom Extends About 130 Miles

http___m.myfwc 08-21-18The follow article is from the “Fort Myers News-Press. It was posted on-line and updated on Wednesday. The picture shown here was downloaded from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“A strong red tide that’s lingered in the region since October is still producing high levels of toxins along the coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its latest red tide report Wednesday. Counts in Southwest Florida have upwards of 1 million cells per liter and more in the past two months and are still matching or exceeding that level in many areas.

“The bloom now extends about 130 miles, from south Tampa Bay area to Marco Island and can be detected from space. The National Weather Service extended a beach hazard advisory for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties through Thursday evening. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday issued a breathing advisory for Southwest Florida that says irritation will be intense for the public in coastal Lee, Charlotte, and northern Collier counties.

“Some experts have said the red tide may last until winter when cold fronts from the mainland and windy conditions often break up the blooms. Red tide season typically runs from October to January or February, but this bloom has lasted for 10 months and has shown no sign of dissipation.

“Counts along Southwest Florida have ranged from background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher. Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to FWC. This bloom has become much stronger along the coast since the first of June. Millions of pounds of fish and marine wildlife have been collected from Lee County beaches just this month. Hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida from the bloom, so have manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

“High counts extend at least 15 miles offshore, according to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“The University of South Florida’s college of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will move to the south and toward the Naples area over the next three days.”

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

I bet some of you also are fans of local author (and Realtor®) Charlie Sobczak. He has written some terrific books including “Living Sanibel” which The SanibelSusan Team often gives as one of our closing gifts. Another of his, that I especially enjoy, is “Six Mornings on Sanibel” (published in 1999, but still available on Amazon). It takes place at the fishing pier. “Way Under Contract” is great too – particularly if you like real estate stories. If you read this one, you may think some of the characters are real islanders.

Charlie Pix 08-23-18Charlie is also a pretty serious fisherman so it was good late yesterday to see his below Facebook post. This is his pix too.

“While I seldom post fish pics I felt that since all we are seeing on Facebook these days are images of horrid, decaying fish it might be refreshing to see that the offshore waters are still untouched by this massive red tide and algae bloom. We had perfect conditions yesterday, August 22nd, 2018, when we headed out 32 miles west of Redfish pass with Captain Nate Buffam and crew. The water is crystal clear blue out there and the fishing was fantastic. The dirty water stretches from shore to about 15-18 miles then, after that, we saw “live” loggerhead turtles, dozens of bottle nose dolphins, flying fish, jellyfish, frigate birds and bait. Not everything is lost but if we continue to allow this unabated dumping of toxic water I fear the worst in the years to come. Please support the Captain’s for Clean Water Fundraiser on Saturday afternoon at the Clam Shack on Sanibel.”Clam Shack Flier

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

I know you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, but if it comes from folks you know and it includes videos, it’d pretty hard to beat it.

Last night after work, Royal Shell Vacation’s Kris Slagle posted: “Just saw two bait pods on the West side of the Sanibel Causeway C span, and birds feeding on them! NOT saying it’s all perfect, but saying it’s some positive news! And hundreds of birds feeding on the mud flats!”

Then, early this morning Sanibel Holiday’s General Manager, Rebecca Cosentino posted a video of her walk down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Loggerhead Cay condominiums. She said that they have several check-ins there scheduled tomorrow so a personal visit was the best way to report the conditions. Though she said she is sensitive to red tide, she noticed no smell and had no eye or throat irritation. The video was early 7:45 a.m., but she wasn’t alone. The video showed some folks in the water and a few joggers and shellers. Unfortunately, it also showed a few dead fish – several puffer fish, baitfish, and a couple of eels. With winds blowing onshore that isn’t surprising, particularly after reading Charlie’s posting from the day before.

Then a couple of hours later, Select Vacation Properties’ Patience Rodriguez posted a similar video of her beach walk taken today in front of Sundial Resort. The water here showing better color and looking clearer than it has recently. She said that she is asthmatic, but similarly noticed no smell and had no breathing difficulties. A couple of small pufferfish were along the waterline here too, but very few. She encouraged listeners to Text MYSANIBEL to 52886 to participate in the call-to-action to stop the Lake O discharges (which have started up again).

So, it’s probably safe to say that the beaches continue to look better, but we aren’t out of the woods. We all need to keep the pressure on and respond to each and every call to action.

After seeing these gals’ gulf-side videos, about 1 p.m. I checked the bayside beach near the lighthouse and fishing pier. It’s looking good there too – likewise no smell and I saw no dead fish or wildlife – just one lone fisherman on the fishing pier and a handful of beachgoers at Lighthouse Beach.

Yet, it’s a gorgeous day and we all hope that it only continues to get better.

Stopped at my house on the way back to the office to be sure the canal there is looking good. Taken today, this is sooo much better than just a week ago. Sure hope it continues.

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

LeePALogoLee County property owners recently were mailed their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices. In compliance with Florida Statutes, this document is required to advise of the property’s valuation as of January 1, 2018 and its proposed ad valorem taxes for the year. Ad valorem taxes are based on the value of the property with taxing authorities determining the tax rate, or millage, based on the money needed to fund their budgets.

If property owners have questions about their valuation, exemptions, classification or characteristics of their property, they are encouraged to contact the Lee County Property Appraisers Office (www.LeePA.org) at 239-533-6100. If unable to resolve a matter as to market value, classification, or an exemption, a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board may be filed. Online filing is available, but petitions must be filed on or before September 10, 2018.

Hurricane Season Peaks in Sept. – Got the Right Insurance?

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiWhile most of us are counting down to the end of hurricane season (Nov), Florida Realtors® posts reminders that the peak time is coming up.

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted in their on-line news on Tuesday.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2018 – Keeping up with property insurance coverage in hurricane-prone Florida can be tricky, to say the least.

“To help sort things out as summer and the storm season heat up, we spoke with Locke Burt of Ormond Beach-based insurer Security First and Doug Iannarelli of travel club AAA’s insurance division.

“Question: What do I need?

“After many hurricanes, including Matthew and Irma in the past two years, insurers said they saw claims filed under homeowners’ policies that could only have been covered under flood policies. Rising water that makes it into your home will only be covered if you have flood insurance, Burt said.

“But if a tree limb or other debris hit your house and creates a hole through which rainfall could enter, that likely would fall under windstorm coverage.

“Also, weigh the amount of coverage you need – and how low you need your deductible to be, given the savings or credit limit you would have available if an emergency hits.

“Although few studies have shown a strong link between hurricanes and increase in number of births nine months later, labor and delivery nurses say the phenomenon is the real thing.

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

“Alternatives to the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program are increasing. More than two dozen insurers are issuing private flood coverage – which might save you money or might simply make it easier to file claims if a storm causes wind and water damage. Security First is among a few insurers that add flood coverage as an option, called an endorsement, on homeowners’ policies rather than require it as a separate policy.

“New mapping technology that breaks down the entire country into blocks about the size of a tiny house makes flood maps obsolete, Burt said, and enables private insurers to issue a flood-coverage quote more accurately and easily. The private policies are an expansion of those that traditionally have been written on $1 million-plus homes.

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

“Whether buying down the deductible of your existing homeowner and windstorm coverage or seeking another policy to plug that potential financial gap, you can reduce the financial risk storm damage can pose.

“New policies called parametric coverage can use mapping technology to determine the storm conditions that hit your location and quickly pay a flat amount directly to you. This can spare the trouble of waiting for an adjuster before getting a check, but it also is designed to just provide enough coverage to make up for your deductible. “StormPeace and Cat4Home are two such providers mentioned in a recent Sun-Sentinel story.

“Question: What are the rules?

“Keep in mind: Your property damage will most likely be your own claim. Unless you can prove the tree limb that blew over from someone else’s yard is sitting on your living room floor because your neighbor was negligent, you’ll be filing that claim on your own policy.

“Deductibles can be set for the calendar year, much like health insurance. So even if your deductible is $7,500 and one storm causes $6,000 in damage, get it on the record in case you have another claim later in the year.

Get claims filed quickly, as you might have only a few weeks to submit damage to your insurer. Check with your agent on the amount of time your policy allows – then don’t let busy signals or Internet outages deter you.

“You can’t buy insurance at the last minute. Whether you’re comparing rates or looking for coverage you’ve never had before, insurers have the right to wait until after a storm passes (or misses the area) once it’s coming close to Florida.

“Question: Should I shop around?

“Yes. Innovative policies, such as those mentioned above – or new insurers, such as Farmers which plans an August debut for Florida homeowners, according to its website – can help you save money.

“Use ratings companies such as A.M. Best or Demotech to see how financially stable the insurer is. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation has this resource and others posted on its website.”

Copyright © 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

construction-site-clipart-7914449-under-constructionPre-Season Closings & Late Summer Projects

  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Pointe Santo – Pointe Santo’s building concrete restoration project Is underway. Buildings A and B were done last year. This year, from Aug 11 to Oct 19, Buildings D and E will be done. Building C is scheduled for 2019.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sundial West – Sundial West has had several projects underway since Jul. Completion is expected mid-Nov. Some buildings are being painted, pavers are being installed in parking areas, and electrical and elevator work are being performed. Also, their pool is scheduled to be closed Sep 24 to Oct 5, but owners/guests may use the resort pool then.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Is closing Sun, Aug 26, for their annual break. They plan to reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – Is already closed and reopening Wed, Oct 3.

Upcoming Events

crow-logoSat Aug 25 – CROW’s Walk on the Wild Side at Lakes Regional Park at 7330 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness about the organization and continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Admission & activities free, fees for city parking. In the amphitheater: Wildlife Rescue 1012 at 10:30 a.m. and again at noon; Turtles of Florida at 11 a.m.; Owls of Florida at 11:30 a.m. Three pavilions will be set up with activities and info on different kinds of wildlife. CROW’s tent will offer info on volunteering and student programs. More info at www.CROWClinic.org .

Sat Aug 25 – Fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water at The Clam Shack on Sanibel from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring entertainment by local musicians, 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Captains for Clean Water is a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality. More info about them online at www.captainsforcleanwater.org .

sundial-logoSep 28-30 – USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships will be at Sundial Beach Resort. This is their 3rd year hosting the event. The tournament includes a Saturday evening party and trophies. Players can register online at www.tennislink.usta.com , using tournament ID No. 150046618. Deadline is Sep 26.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was off and only three properties (including our new Pointe Santo listing) were open for Realtor® Caravan following yesterday’s Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting.

lee schools logoWe got good information, though, about the upcoming Lee County School Board’s Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum that is on the Nov 6 ballot. Speakers were the county’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory Adkins and School Board Member (& Florida Gulf Coast University adjunct professor) Chris Pattricca. Here are my take-aways, with some interesting tidbits:

  • Lee County is the 9th largest school district in Florida, also the 32nd largest in the U.S. It has 95,000 students
  • In 1886, there was just one school in SW Florida (with 56 students) and it burned to the ground. This area then was part of Monroe County so when students began running amok, a group of parents got together and went to Key West asking for a new school to be built. Their request was denied. Lee County was incorporated in 1887 with the need for a school being the driving force for that action.
  • Today, Lee County has 96 schools, 121 counting Charter Schools. There are 12,000 school employees (closer to 14K when counting substitutes).
  • School population is growing at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 students per year.
  • Florida is 50th in the nation in dollars spent on education.
  • Today 40% of Lee County’s students have English as their 2nd language.
  • When school money comes from real estate taxes, often a disproportionate amount is received from high-end communities, so their schools are better. Here, the county spends $7,700 per year per child which ranks us 47th in the nation.
  • Though enrollment has increased since 2006/2007 from 70K students to 95K, capital funding has gone down from over $300M to just over $100M.
  • This proposed amendment is to increase the sales tax in Lee County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% per dollar, to fund school capital projects. The proposal calls for a limit of 10 years with the tax expiring December 31, 2028. Approximately $59 million annually would be raised, paid for by everyone who purchases taxable goods. Exempt items like groceries and medications would not be taxed, and the additional half-percentage tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 for large purchases.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of the revenue generated would come from tourists.
  • The money from this sales tax will be used strictly for capital expenditures to build two new elementary and middle schools, one new high school, rebuild an elementary and middle school, to install school camera systems, hearing-impaired lock-down lights, fire alarm systems, and HVAC systems. It cannot be used to fund salaries, benefits, and training for faculty/staff/administrators, classroom materials, district and school services, administrative technology, or charter school buildings, repairs or improvements.

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 17-24, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial West #H209 1/1 $545K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $869K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Atrium #201 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $440K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $449K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $455.5K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $725K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $979K, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.442M.

2 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $759.5K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.598M.

2 closed sales: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $399.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $284K, Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $535K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.499M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Here’s hoping for more good news next week!sanibel-island-sunset.jpg

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Beach Improvement & Pre-Season Scoop


SanibelSusan here reporting another quiet Friday on sunny Sanibel, with the red tide situation at the beaches improving and the islands settling into a more typical pre-season pattern.

Upper Deck

Roof-top view today at our new listing at Pointe Santo C43

Social media is encouraging the public to support local establishments, but it has been disheartening to hear of hotels, shops, and restaurants with little or no business. During my travels this week, I heard of zero occupancy at one West Gulf Drive hotel. The Island Store on Captiva is now closed through September and even Periwinkle Way traffic is limited. From fishing guides, to stores, to real estate, it all has been affected.

I ran into Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra this afternoon and she said that that though beach and waterway clean-ups continue, the need is diminishing, and she may soon be ending her daily reports. (Kudos to her, the Mayor, City Councilors, and the many employees and contractors that have worked so hard and proactively to mitigate the fall-out from the recent area water issues.)

The Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales activity since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention & 2018 Business Meetings

787F5943-78D3-4D18-83D4-94D153CE1F38The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had good member participation last week at the state convention, tradeshow, educational sessions, and business meetings. From newbies to old-timers, many remarked that the educational sessions and speakers were the best yet.

Florida Realtors logoOne of my favorite appointments is to serve on the state Professional Development Committee. I have participated many times on their audition panel which evaluates prospective Florida Realtors® instructors looking to become new faculty members or to add additional state/nationally-approved classes to their curriculum. The panels hear a full day of oral presentations at both the January Mid-Winter Business Meetings and these meetings in August.

Each auditionee goes through a pre-screening process (which we handle through evaluations, and phone interviews during the year) and then is assigned to make a 45-minute presentation in front of a panel. Panelists are made up of current faculty members, association education directors, as well as brokers, agents, trainers and leaders from associations across the state. This time, with a record number of applicants (nearly 50), we had 40 panelists divided between five panel rooms running simultaneously all day.

2018 Pro dev CommitteePanel recommendations go forward to the Faculty Subcommittee and then the Professional Development Committee for approval. Congratulations to the 14 new faculty members and the 14 existing faculty members who were approved to add courses to the list of those they are authorized to teach. These classes cover the gamut from those required of new agents, to continuing education, to property management, construction, marketing, contracts, and the classes needed to become a graduate of the Realtor® Institute. Classes continually are added and updated both at the state and national level.

SanibelSusan also serves on the 2018 Program Development Subcommittee, Forms Content Committee (where we make recommendations to the state contracts), Legislative Think Tank, and Resort & Second-Home Specialist Breakout Group. Good progress was made at all the meetings. I got to serve as an education ambassador at several of the education sessions too – a good way for an old dog to pick up a few new tricks!

2018 clean waterAt the meetings, there was emphasis on water quality, rental restrictions, and flood insurance (which thankfully passed the Senate last week).

That National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) legislation had passed the House earlier and allows NFIP to continue renewing or issuing new flood insurance policies for four more months. It does not change NFIP operations, but simply extends the current guidelines to give Congress more time to work on a comprehensive package that deals with the complex issues of affordability with a program that is deeply in debt. Although the program is now extended through November 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term. The National Association of Realtors® continues to fight for these reforms.

Please Help Pass Amendment 2 – Vote “Yes”

amendment 2 logoAn important property tax amendment is on the ballot this November that is good for everyone in Florida. The 10% cap on non-homestead property taxes will expire in January unless voters pass Amendment 2. This cap helps sustain Florida’s communities by preventing big tax spikes for businesses and property owners who claim their primary residence elsewhere. Here are some highlights.

  • What is Amendment 2? It makes permanent the existing 10% cap on annual assessment increases for any non-homesteaded property. This affects all rental residential property, all commercial property, all undeveloped land, and residential property not claimed as a primary residence. The 10% cap (which currently expires in January 2019) is the only mechanism today that is protecting 5.6 million Florida properties from rapid tax assessment increases.
  • Amendment 2 requires 60% of the vote to pass. Please vote “yes” (or don’t vote at all).
  • If Amendment 2 fails, 2.2 million properties face an immediate tax increase in 2019 of up to $700 million (This is not money that the jurisdictions already are receiving from other sources. This is new money that will go to them and likely be used to create new or expand existing government programs. It will be difficult to stop or later reverse if this happens.)
  • If Amendment 2 fails, it will have widespread negative impact on business owners, renters, shoppers, jobs, and Florida’s economy.
  • According to Florida TaxWatch (www.FloridaTaxWatch.org), without extending the 10% cap, non-homesteaded residential property could quickly increase as much as 151% while commercial property could jump 85%. These new taxes could exceed $1 Billion and will affect everybody in Florida.

Scientists Unsure Why Red Tide Exists, How to Fix Problem

Here’s an interesting twist on the subject of red tide. It was posted Monday on sarasota herald tribune logoFloridaRealtors® on line. Copyright © 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla., Carlos R. Munoz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“SARASOTA, Fla. – Aug. 14, 2018 – While U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan discussed an $8 million grant to combat red tide at Mote Marine Laboratory on Monday, a senior Mote scientist just down the hall questioned whether the toxic algae paralyzing Southwest Florida beaches actually might be an important part of the ecosystem.

“Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sponsored the bipartisan legislation that was signed into law earlier this year. The funding was distributed to NOAA and will be dispersed to southern Florida researchers.

Mote scientists are expected to get a large chunk of the grant money, Buchanan said.

“The money will be used to research possible mitigation efforts, such as a field test of a newly developed method for destroying red tide using ozone, patented by Mote scientists. The device will be field tested in a Boca Grande canal this week. The patented technology was first used to clean water for sea turtles in a 25,000-gallon tank and has been scaled up to process at least 500,000 gallons of canal water.

“Is red tide necessary? Mote scientist Dr. Vincent Lovko, who works with Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology program, says there isn’t enough research to determine what would happen if red tide was eradicated or suppressed from the Gulf. Researchers must consider three factors when dealing with an aquatic toxin: prevention, control and mitigation, according to Lovko.

“”The control (in Lake Okeechobee) is straightforward,” he said. “You reduce the nutrients, and you reduce those (blue-green) algae blooms.”

“The same can’t be said for the Gulf, where a Karenia brevis bloom currently stretches for 150 miles from Manatee County south to Collier County. Any mitigation system would have to treat 1.5 trillion gallons of water to be effective. “You might not even get it all if you do that,” said Lovko, who pointed out that Mote doesn’t have permission to treat the bloom. “There is no literature to suggest what the ecological function of red tide might be,” Lovko said.

“Single-cell red tide is a protist cell that takes three days to divide. It consumes organic and inorganic nutrients and has flagella that help it move around. The cell is animal-like in nature but photosynthesizes plants and other algae. “They can actually swim; they are capable of movement,” Lovko said. “They can move up and down through the water column (to the sea bed).”

“Similar to a forest fire? One hypothesis suggests that red tide’s destructive nature could be similar to the effects of a forest fire, which cleans out underbrush and is somewhat restorative to a forest ecosystem. But it’s difficult to see what the ecological function of the toxic algae might be.

“There is little information to determine where Karenia brevis ranks on the algal evolutionary scale. There are about 12 known nutrient sources for the harmful algae blooms, which vary based on their location along the southern Florida coastline.

“Even if science can identify a course of action that would destroy red tide, there are fears that the death of the organism could release toxins into the water and cause a large-scale marine animal die-off. A similar incident occurred in Chesapeake Bay, where a nuisance bloom was suppressed with copper sulfate. Toxins released by the dead algal bloom poisoned the water and killed fish.

“Lovko says there is only one way to find out what can be done to mitigate red tides effects – research. “Whether or not trying to control red tide would create a dead zone, probably not, that’s something that happens over a long period of time,” Lovko said. “It’s an interesting thought. All those things we have to consider when we’re messing with the ecosystem. We do it all the time. We cure diseases … We do a lot of things that are otherwise natural but are a bother to us or a danger to us. There’s no reason not to pursue it, but there has to be realistic expectations.””

Trees Now Block My Ocean View. What Can I Do?

Sun sentinelThis subject comes up here often, particularly when Florida vegetation grows like crazy during the summer rainy season in front of gulf-front condos. The below article was posted Monday on Florida Realtors® on line.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Aug. 13, 2018 – Question: I own an oceanfront condo. When I bought it, I had an unobstructed view of the ocean. Palm trees are now causing a 90% view obstruction. Do I have any recourse? – Dorothy

palm tree.jpg“Answer: Questions about views are always complicated and involve many factors. The general rule is that no one is allowed to block your direct view. However, if it can be shown that the trees serve a useful purpose to the community or were pre-planned to grow in front of your unit, you may be stuck with them.

“To see if you have any recourse, you will need to review your condominium documents and the ordinances of your municipality. Many beachfront towns and cities have enacted rules protecting their residents’ ocean views. These palm trees may be a code violation best addressed by your city. If this is not the case where you live, check your condo documents since many oceanfront condominiums have rules regulating their landscaping and protecting their constituents’ views of the beach.

“Typically, view laws are designed to protect people whose property extends all the way to the high-water mark. Condominiums present a particular problem because while you own your unit, your entire community owns the land that reaches to the water. It may be further complicated because the unit owners below you in your building now have a better view than when the trees were shorter that they would want to protect.

“If it turns out that your local government will not be able to assist you, then your best bet would be to appeal to your condo board to come up with a solution that leaves everyone with a better view.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.

“Copyright © 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 10-17, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $269.9K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 $649K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.295M (our listing, photos below).

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $265K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $550K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $534K, Sundial West #K105 2/2 listed at $897.5K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1 $314K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $415K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 $480K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $585K, Sundial N403 2/2 $812.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $597K, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M.

1 new sale: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K.

3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $539.5K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $595K, 849 Birdie View Pt 4/4.5 $1.61M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1026 Fish Crow Rd $439K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1036 Bayview Dr $3.55M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $369K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $600K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $1.049M.

1 closed sale: 16575 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.45M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Best wishes for a great weekend!weekend clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Early August Happenings on Sanibel


It’s been another quiet week in the real estate world on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Lee County Schools began today, which sure seems early, but most local kiddos were excited and ready this morning.

787F5943-78D3-4D18-83D4-94D153CE1F38

Much of the week, SanibelSusan was in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention and Trade Show, followed by their annual business meetings. More info from that next week. Meanwhile, below are some news items, followed by the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday.

State of Emergency Declared By City

Reported in the Island Sun this week:Island Sun logo

“Following a lengthy and detailed update on the status of the impaired water quality impacting Sanibel and the surrounding Southwest Florida coastal region, members of the Sanibel City Council unanimously agreed to declare a local state of emergency.

“During Tuesday’s council session, which had been postponed for two and a half hours in order to allow Mayor Kevin Ruane to speak before the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting in Fort Myers, the head of the city’s natural resources department talked about the ongoing blue-green algae bloom, red-drift algae bloom and fish kills.

“According to James Evans, the blue green algae – known as cyanobacteria – has been identified as Microcystis aeruginosa, a known toxin-producing species. The bloom has resulted in the closure of beaches along the Caloosahatchee and the Florida Department of Health to post warnings for people who may suffer from respiratory issues. Evans also reported that city staff has been “very busy” managing teams of contractors hired to clean up dead marine life on island beaches, canals and waterways.

“Since July 30, the city has engaged in collecting thousands of dead fish — including more than three dozen goliath grouper and tarpon carcasses — along San Carlos Bay and local canals. Manatees and sea turtle populations are also being effected by the blooms.

“Asked by Vice Mayor Rick Denham in which direction the algae blooms may be headed, and how quickly they might take in order to move away from local shores, Evans stated that while his department is awaiting an update from the state regarding the movement of the bloom, its progress towards Collier County and points south and west can be affected by both wind conditions and water currents.

“Earlier in the day, Ruane addressed the county commissioners — along with representatives from Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, and Fort Myers Beach — on the impacts the algae blooms are having on the local economy. Ruane estimated that Sanibel hoteliers have lost between $70,000 and $100,000 this summer due to the impaired water conditions.

“As a result of the natural disaster, Lee County leaders agreed to declare a state of emergency based upon the red tide infestation. Last week, commissioners declared a similar emergency for the blue-green algae bloom. A state grant totaling $3 million will be divided among seven Florida counties affected by the blooms, including Lee. Those funds will be available to reimburse municipalities who spend money on cleaning up dead fish in bays, canals and beaches.

“Last week, Ruane, Evans, and Councilwoman Holly Smith travelled to Washington, DC to share the impacts that the impaired water quality has had on the island with federal and state officials. Ruane added that Florida Governor Rick Scott has been “more than reactive” to their requests for government assistance.

“Among the short term solutions suggested by Evans and Ruane were moving freshwater from Lake Okeechobee to the north for storage and sending additional discharges from the lake southward. Currently only 24 percent of water released from the lake is directed south, with the majority sent west towards the Caloosahatchee.

“This is definitely a hot button issue in Washington right now,” said Smith, who reported receiving lots of positive feedback from each representative the Sanibel contingent met with. “A lot of legislators are fighting the same fight.”

“Following some additional discussion, Ruane announced city Proclamation and Resolution No. 18-065 officially declaring a state of emergency on Sanibel. The two-page document was called “an emergency measure necessary for the protection the public health, welfare and safety, due to the Lake Okeechobee water releases by the Army Corps of Engineers causing toxic blue-green algae, as well as due to the red tide harmful algal bloom and the resulting mass kills of marine organisms.”

“The state of emergency allows the city “to waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required of political subdivisions by law,” which include:

Performance of public work and taking whatever action is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community

Entering into contracts

Incurring obligations

Employment of permanent and temporary workers

Utilization of volunteer workers

Rental of equipment

Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies, materials and facilities

Appropriation and expenditure of public funds”

Beach Update From City of Sanibel

Sanibelcityseal logoPosted earlier today to mySanibel.com:

“Status Report #12: City of Sanibel Beach Clean-Up, Lighthouse to Bowman Beach in “Very Good” to “Excellent”. Today, Friday, August 10, 2018 brings major changes to our beaches. As of this morning all Sanibel beaches from Lighthouse to Turner are in “Very Good” to “Excellent” condition. As of noon a total of 30 bags of dead sea life, mostly fish, has been collected mostly from Bowman’s to Turners. Additionally, thus far today our west end canals & bayous are also looking much improved as well as the east end canals. The only area with Red Tide respiratory irritation this morning has been a “moderate” amount on the far north-west end of the Island.

“On August 8th the Governor announced that the State is making available an additional $400,000 to Lee County to Clean Local Waterways.

“On August 9th the Lee County Tourism Council endorsed an “open-ended” amount be allocated from the bed tax reserves to assist with the clean-up costs. Additionally the Tourist Developments Council (TDC) endorsed allocation of an additional $1 million in bed tax reserves for a marketing campaign once the beaches are clear of dead fish. The “bed tax” is a 5 percent county tax collected by the county on short-term rentals including hotels, motels, condominiums & campsites. Councilwoman Holly Smith represents the City of Sanibel on the TDC. “

Hidden in Plain Sight: Contract Clauses Clients May Miss

Florida Realtors logoPosted on FloridaRealtors.org this week:

“When a buyer and seller enter into a contract, the law treats both parties as if they read and understood all terms, even if they just gave the contract a quick skim.

“This can be a significant problem if one of the parties fails to notice a provision that impacts that party’s specific transaction until after the contract is executed.

“Here are just a few questions we hear on the Legal Hotline that illustrate a few of these blind spots. For this article, we’re looking exclusively at the most popular contract for residential transactions in Florida, the residential contracts prepared by the Florida Realtors and Florida Bar. All sections discussed in this article are the same in the “AS IS” version and the inspection and repair version of the contract.

  1. What happens if a buyer isn’t approved for a loan but neglects to cancel by the loan approval deadline?
    The main purpose of the financing contingency in section 8 is to allow the buyer to cancel the contract without penalty if the buyer is unsuccessful in getting loan approval by the deadline. The default loan approval deadline is 30 days unless the parties negotiate a different number. But what if the buyer doesn’t have loan approval and misses the deadline to send a written cancellation notice? Section 8(b)(v) provides that if the buyer doesn’t deliver a written message that either terminates the contract or waives the loan approval, then “Loan Approval shall be deemed waived, in which event this Contract will continue as if Loan Approval had been obtained …” This can be a big problem for the buyer if the loan is later denied, since the buyer waived the loan approval by failing to cancel in time.
  2. What personal property can a buyer force the seller to leave?
    Many sellers get distracted by listing photos or conversations negotiating the contract when thinking about what personal property is included in the purchase. What they should primarily focus on instead is section 1(d) and 1(e) of the contract. Section 1(d) provides a default list of items the buyer is entitled to at closing, such as refrigerators and ovens, provided that those things are “owned by Seller and existing on the Property as of the date of the initial offer.” There is additional space to write in specific other items the buyer and seller want to specifically include or exclude as part of the sale.
  3. When can a seller deny access to a buyer who wants to conduct inspections?
    Sometimes sellers feel like buyers are overstaying their welcome with inspections and appraisals. So, who controls this issue? The contract has a broad provision that favors buyers. Section 18, standard L provides that “Seller shall, upon reasonable notice, provide utilities service and access to Property for appraisals and inspections, including a walk-through (or follow-up walk-through if necessary) prior to Closing.” Therefore, once the buyer notifies the seller that they would like to conduct any inspection(s) or appraisal(s) permitted under the contract, the seller has already agreed through this contract clause to provide utilities and access.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 3-10, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 listed at $729K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 listed at $899K. Without contingencies: Sundial #E104 2/2 listed at $850K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 $390K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $525K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $575K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.015M.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex now $599K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $849K.

4 new sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $695K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $749K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed at $1.799M.

3 closed sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 $420K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $522.5K, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $740K.

LOTS

No new listings, new or closed sales.

1 closed sale: 1639 Serenity Ln $265K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $4.975M, 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $7.49M.

2 new sales: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 half-duplex listed at $2.995M.

1 closed sale: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $925K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Have a great weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan