Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


On normally-sunny Sanibel, this week has been one with several “off & on” showers from the storm developing north of us in the Gulf. Thankfully, most have been short-lived, though some arrived quickly.

We had a doozy yesterday, where suddenly it poured on Periwinkle in front of the office, with barely a drizzle in our back parking lot. Minutes later, it was over. Photo below from the gulf beach right after one of the passing storms.

The good news is the bunnies are happy with plenty of bright green juicy vegetation to munch, the windsurfers and kite-boarders enjoyed the storm-fueled breezes, and the shops and restaurants parking lots have been packed when the usual beach-goers are looking for other things to do.

Now we are thinking of those in the north central Gulf Coast area where Tropical Storm Barry is making landfall. May it dissipate quickly.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful to report a two-closing week and recognize that sometimes “it takes a village”. The crew at Barrier Island Title and their remote notary went above and beyond in providing the services needed for today’s closing. Kudos to them, my teammates, and Realtor Kerri Maw at Pfeifer Realty for their hard work in getting another SanibelSusan listing sold. Thanks also to Evan DuPont with John Naumann & Associates for bringing the buyer for our mid-week closing, also with Barrier Island Title. Some are easy, others challenging! We are grateful for them all.

Congratulations also to teammate, Dave, for a new off-island listing today.

The activity on the islands this week posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Just one Sanibel condo and one Sanibel home went under contract, no new sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

With some Realtors® on vacation, the Association’s Caravan meeting yesterday had a few empty seats. The Caravan that followed had just one property open for viewing.

During the off-season is when the Association makes good use of the downtime and holds some of its community service events.

  • “Love That Dress” Donations – Through the month of July, the Association is serving as a drop-off point for donations for the upcoming “Love That Dress” event which is an annual shopping spree to benefit the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. If you have any new or gently-loved dresses, shoes, handbags, or accessories, please drop them off this month at the Association Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 which is the 2nd floor over Finnimore’s Cycle Shop in the Winds Shopping Center. (Or give me a call, and I’ll pick them up.) The actual “Love That Dress” event will be held August 21 at Embassy Suites – Fort Myers/Estero. Tickets go on sale August 1.
  • “Meals of Hope” Food Packing – This year will be the Association’s third Meals-of-Hope food-packing event. This time, on Friday, August 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the supplies and then pack 20,000+meals that are later distributed to local food banks. Let me know if you want to join us or make a donation (checks made out to Meals-of-Hope). The meal packing is assembly-line-style, fast and fun. Again, thanks to The Sanibel Community Church for allowing us to hold the event in their Fellowship Hall. (It’s just impossible to get the supplies and equipment needed into our Association’s 2nd floor spaces.)
  • “Captains for Clean Water” Benefit – Then the next afternoon on Saturday, August 3, the Association is hosting its 2019 Corn-Hole Tournament to benefit Captains for Clean Water. Association members and spouses from our district (Marco Island, Bonita, Fort Myers & the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel-Captiva) will come together for a few hours of comradery and fun at Marlins Brewhouse. Here’s hoping that Sanibel-Captiva players come out ahead of our standings in the district softball and bowling tournaments.

Our local MLS Committee is working hard in preparation for the conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service in mid-August. Though we tend to get comfortable with old familiar systems, this new one has many new exciting features and will be more-user friendly for both MLS members and the public. The SanibelSusan Team is all signed up for their upcoming training, while as a member of the original task force reviewing system, I get access to the beta version next week.

Pricing a Listing?

Interesting tag line on an article in the Florida Realtors® July 2019 issue. It says: “Use the “Just Below” Pricing Strategy… you’ll get on average 2% more for your home than those who price it too high or just right. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics”.

Be Nice to Grandma

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, authored the following article in the July-August issue of “REALTOR®” magazine.

“First-time buyers have not fully returned to the market. So far in 2019, they’ve accounted for only 31% of all home sales, well below the historic market share of around 40%. That’s why home sales are still running at an annualized pace of 5 million, essentially unchanged since the year 2000 even though the U.S. population has grown by 45 million and the number of households by 20 million.

“Though affordability has been hurt in recent years by fast-rising home prices, it takes a smaller share of monthly income to own these days then it did two decades ago, when 30-year mortgage rates were in the 8% range.

“There are several reasons first-time buyers are struggling to get in the market. Student debt has tripled over the past decade, starter home listings are in short supply because home-builders have focused on expensive homes; many affordably priced condos are not FHA-certified; and credit score requirements to obtain a mortgage are tighter than historic norms.

“As the National Association of REALTORS® works to ensure access to mortgage credit for all qualified Americans, individuals can position themselves for home-ownership. For example, military veterans continue to benefit from the loan guaranty program that started 75 years ago. For some in college today, a “gap year” of military service or any full-time job can reduce their student debt.

“Then there’s family, NAR research shows that a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members, and that share is likely to grow. Many of those that lived through the Great Depression, or heard their parents’ survival stories, have benefited from decades of careful wealth accumulation. The average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800. The lesson for millennials: Be nice to grandma and grandpa. They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.”

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

Some good info in the June issue of “LCEC News” (Lee County Electric Cooperative):

“A little more than 730 LCEC cusomers have installed solar power systems at their home or business. The benefit of these systems is that panels convert solar energy into electric energy. Although users rely on the electric grid during evening and less-sunny periods, they may reduce their electric bill. And the good news is that all LCEC customers are using solar power in one way or another since LCEC delivers power from FPL, the largest generator of solar energy in Florida.

“There are safety considerations that should be examined when installing solar power systems. Prior to purchasing the system, contact a licensed qualified electrician to ensure your electrical system can support the technology. Before net metering or putting power back on the grid, LCEC must be notified and an application process must be completed. This keeps electric workers and neighbors safe and ensures property credit for shared power.

“Once installed, solar power system may present unique challenges for first responders and firefighters, so it is important to notify local officials about the type of panels that have been installed. This will help to protect firefighters and minimize damage to the building if a fire occurs.”

Call Before You Dig, 811

“Did you know that homeowners are required by law to call 811 or report online to sunshine811.com two FULL days before digging in any easement, right-of-way, or permitted-use area? The information reported is used to compare the desired digging site to the location of any underground utilities in the area. The area will either be declared clear or will be appropriately marked for any underground lines. Not only does unsafe digging pose a rich to underground lines, it is extremely dangerous causing injuries and deaths around the world annually.” (also from the June “LCEC News”)

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

  • Acquisition of Wulfert Bayous – You may have seen the sign on San-Cap Road near the entrance to The Sanctuary where the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has been trying to raise $3 million in private donations to complete the $9.5 million acquisition of Wulfert Bayous, the last large parcel of unprotected and undeveloped land on Sanibel. This week, they announced that their donations goal was reached. But as they await the Lee County Commissioners’ August decision to approve $6.5 million to complete the acquisition, they are continuing to accept donations in case the 20/20 funds don’t all come through. If they do receive the full $6.5 million, extra funding will be applied to a restoration project to remove invasive vegetation from the tract and create improved habitat for wading birds. Click HERE to watch their video about the Wulfert Bayous’ preservation campaign.
  • Tues, July 16 – World Snake Day – Join the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in celebrating World Snake Day with lots of fun events at the refuge:
  • 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. – free guided Indigo Trail Walk (meet at the flagpole at Refuge entrance)
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom
  • 12 p.m. – Movie “Invasion of the Giant Pythons in Auditorium B (60 minutes)
  • 12 to 2 p.m. – Snake crafts in the Education Classroom
  • 2:30 to 3 p.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom.

The Community House Shellcrafters

On TV this week, ABC News 7 reporter Kristen Clark on Monday covered everything you need to know about Shellcrafters and the different creations they make – flowers, animals, jewelry – all from shells found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. Shellcrafters meet at The Community House every Monday year-‘round (except major holidays). Class starts at 10 a.m. with doors open to view and purchase creations until 1 p.m. All ages are welcome, though children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No reservation required.

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

I hate to admit that I have eaten out three times this week, but since our restaurants always appreciate additional business from locals in the summer, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the three restaurants that created the following meals. Thanks also to my friend, Sheila, vacationing on Captiva.

On Wednesday night, we had dinner at Malia Island Fusion Cuisine. I saw three other tables of locals too. That night, I enjoyed this dish “Diver Scallop & Shrimp Curry”.

Not wanting to miss out on a meal with Christian and Mari at Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro before they close for their summer vacation, last night my dinner there was this yummy dish called “Filet – Frites”, the onion soup gratinee first, and the creme brulee after were equally yummy. Bleu Rendez-Vous will be back open in October. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Then today after our closing, teammate Dave and I stopped for lunch at T2, bringing back lunch for teammate Elise. I’m a huge fan of their spinach salad (which is even better with blackened shrimp), but today I tried their shrimp tacos. It is another winner.

The service at all three restaurants was outstanding. It really is hard to go wrong dining anywhere on Sanibel or Captiva, but this week Malia, Bleu Rendez-Vous, and T2 all get a special thumbs up from SanibelSusan. Now I need to walk a few thousand extra steps over the weekend.

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 5-12, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Snug Harbor #312 3/2 $658K, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 $1.3M.

1 price change: Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $591.5K.

1 new sale: Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 listed at $1.49M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $379K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $649K.

9 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $519.9K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3.2 now $569K, 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $599K,  9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $649K (our listing), 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $665K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $735K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $900K, 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $924K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.474M.

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

1 new sale: 1550 Centre St 3/2 listed at $599K.

7 closed sales: 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 $485K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $530K, 1555 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $766.4K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $940K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.177M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 half-duplex $1.35M (our listing).

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $404K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9270 Kincaid Ct $138K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 $1.439M.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D 2/2 now $900K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $3.7M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.4M.

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, wishing you a rain-free weekend and happy days!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Let’s Continue to Celebrate the U.S.A.


It was another wonderful July 4th on sunny Sanibel. Or at least sunny most of the day. We had a big turnout at the office at 9 a.m., ready for parade viewing.

Then 12 hours later, right at 9 p.m., as scheduled, the City fireworks show over San Carlos Bay was spectacular. How they coordinated it between downpours was amazing. Thanks to all who made it such a special island holiday!

Here’s hoping yours also was a fun festive one.

Sanibel Susan Realty Associates

A holiday week sometimes means it’s a slow one for island real estate and this was no exception. Beyond the holiday festivities, there is not much local news to report, but since it is beyond the ½-year mark, it is a good time to revisit the Sanibel and Captiva real estate market. Off-island, the local news stations and papers have been reporting what the county Tax Assessor expects for annual appreciation in each city. I shake my head every July when this occurs, because what happens in the first half of the year doesn’t always reflect what will happen in the 2nd. Last year was a good example of that.

Another twist with island sales, is that more high-end closings usually occur early in the year, just a factor in their usually being two to three times more qualified buyers here all winter than during the summer.

This year sales lagged a little in getting started, but with gulf and bay waters still glistening and many clean water initiatives underway, my crystal ball says 2019 will turn out better than 2018. With the economy strong and plenty of nice inventory available, I predict good sales all summer. At SanibelSusan Realty, our June and July closings already far exceed the first five months of the year.

Below is a snapshot of the today’s Sanibel and Captiva inventory, compared to sales during the same period last year. The statistics also are shown comparing sales year-over-year. (Info from Sanibel/Captiva MLS, disclosure below applies.)

Average Sanibel sale prices lag 2018 for condos, homes, and lots. The number of Sanibel condo and home sales also are less than last year.

On Captiva, average condo and home prices are up, but the samplings are small, with fewer Captiva condos and homes sold than during the same time last year.

 

Property Type

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 107 815,088 168 1,351,489 68 647,077 44 1,026,318 37 2,890,240 3 1,929,667
Under contract 15 654,837 28 870,916 1 149,000 1 469,000 6 3,360,832 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2019 78 683,609 125 983,314 9 451,222 14 1,201,557 8 3,002,188 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2018 96 743,571 158 1,214,614 9 478,556 17 912,933 12 2,163,442 0 N/A
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
Sold 2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095 22 873,636 27 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

50th Anniversary of RPAC

As the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), their biggest supporters were recognized with a surprise to represent their commitment to promoting and protecting real estate ownership and this milestone in NAR’s history.

In Washington, DC, in May for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, their special guest speaker Phil Hansen unveiled an incredible piece of artwork that showcases all of the nation’s 2018 RPAC Major Investors – within the iconic image of the NAR building in DC overlooking the U.S. Capitol.

You too can see the image at https://realtorparty.realtor/rpac50#art. It was an honor in 2017 to be the first island Realtor® inducted to NAR’s Hall of Fame (those plagues are atop the same NAR building in DC). To then find my name on this amazing piece of art is exciting too. Either search for my name or zoom into frame “H3” and you will find it.

Commitment to RPAC equates to caring about real estate, personal property rights, and home ownership. Congratulations RPAC on your 50th anniversary.

Sanibel Bunnies

The July/August 2019 issue of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) member update includes info about island rabbits. Since last summer, their population here has increased dramatically. At Sanibel Square, I see at least two each evening when I close up and often make a game of counting how many I see driving home at night. My record count for that short drive (less than 3 miles) is 54 bunnies. At home in the evening just before sunset, at least one is munching my grass. They sure are cute! Below are some excerpts from SCCF’s article:

“The marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) is a native species in Florida and can be found throughout the state. Throughout most of their range they are considered a species of least concern for conservation purposes, but the Florida Keys subspecies, the Lower Keys rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is both state and federally endangered. Though they are from the same family as cottontails, marsh rabbits lack the signature white fluffy tail of their relatives.

“Marsh rabbits are strong swimmers and tend to walk using all four legs rather than hop like most rabbits. Their predators include alligators, owls, hawks, bobcats, and coyotes. In addition to threats from predators, flooding and hurricanes can take a toll on rabbit populations by flooding out their nesting habitat.

“Rabbits breed year-‘round in south Florida, but the peak of breeding takes place between December and June. The marsh rabbit’s preferred home is in wetland habitat, especially freshwater marshes. Over time, the landscape of Sanibel has changed significantly, leaving much less acreage of freshwater marshes and cordgrass swales. In the absence of natural fire regimes, many of these marshes have begun to fill in with hardwoods like buttonwood. Our freshwater marshes are not only important for our rabbits, but also for our only endemic animal species: the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli). Both of these small mammals are also important prey species for our native hawks and owls, who also suffer the loss of this important habitat type.

“SCCF and other agencies on the island conduct occasional prescribed burns to maintain healthy marshes and swales for the benefit of all our native wildlife. In addition to prescribed burns, SCCF mows some of these areas during the dry season and engages in mechanical removal of buttonwood.

“As our city’s vision statement says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” Our native rabbit population is currently experiencing a natural boom, which will eventually subside. Below is a list of plants for your landscaping consideration. If you have questions about landscaping to attract or to naturally deter rabbits, please stop by our Native Landscapes and Garden Center at the Bailey Homestead Preserve….”

Plants that rabbits like to eat:

  • Firebush (Hamelia patens)
  • Gaillardia/Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Dune Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Grasses-Muhley Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), Dwarf Fakahatchee (Tripsacum floridanum)
  • Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) • Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)

“Plants that rabbits don’t like to eat:

  • Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)
  • Southern River Sage (Salvia misella)
  • Bahama Cassia (Senna mexicana var. chapmanii)
  • Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
  • Coontie (Zamia pumila)
  • Quailberry (Crossopetalum ilicifolium)
  • Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
  • Several aqautics: Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica), Canna Lily (Canna flaccida), Lizard’s Tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
  • Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 28-July 5, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #12 2/2 $395K, Sundial West #I405 1/1 $435K, Sundial West #J201 1/1 $550K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 now $511K, Pine Cove #202 3/2 now $1.4M.

1 new sale: White Caps #5 1/1 listed at $499.9K.

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #F4 1/1 $315K (our listing).

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $499K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 $800K.

3 price changes: 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $725K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $750K, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $738K, 6406 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 5313 Punta Caloosa 4/3 listed at $899K.

2 closed sales: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $875K, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.085M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2486 Wulfert Rd $139K, 933 Strangler Fig Ln $495K.

2 price changes: 0 Island Inn Rd now $750K, 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.695M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5618 Baltusrol Ct $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $510K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.25M.

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.

May your holiday fun continue right through the weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping June & Looking Forward to July On Sunny Sanibel


It’s another sunny Friday on Sanibel, with island merchants, restaurants, and Realtors® all hoping for a boost in business from soon-arriving holiday vacationers and visitors. With very little rain this week until a couple of late day thunderstorms yesterday, bay and gulf waters remain clear and bright.

The weather continues to be warmer than usual for this early in the summer, with near-record temperatures almost every day. Those temperatures dropped a little after the showers last night, with more typical high-80’s expected for the next few days with occasional scattered thunderstorms. Betcha we have another one tonight.

First another royal poinciana tree photo – a great vision of red against a blue sky. They are about gone by now, but will be back in bloom next May/June.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association or Realtors® June Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the June Monthly Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Attendance was light.

Speaker was Ashley Gibbons, Member Services Manager at the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce. She explained how visitor traffic to both islands, their facility, and their website continue to increase following a tough period after last summer’s red tide. The Chamber’s renovation is complete, several staff members are new, and their social media, including Instagram, also continue to get more followers.

The real estate announcements that followed were few, with just a handful of sales and price reductions. Caravan included six new listings open for viewing.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It was a busy week for the team, with a closing, a new sale, and action items accomplished with both active listings and upcoming closings. Our detailed report of the activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below, including the local island July 4th events.

Island Holiday Happenings

Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church, complimentary all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, juice, & coffee, with donations to benefit Boy Scout Troop 1740. 

29th Annual Independence Day Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. The theme this year is “Seas the Day” with Captains for Clean Water serving as grand marshal. The parade runs east on Periwinkle and ends at Casa Ybel Road. Parade judges will be stationed in front of Winds. Parade watchers are reminded to arrive early, Periwinkle Way from Donax Street to Tarpon Bay Road will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. (and reopen about noon).

July 4th Celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center begins after the parade, until 2:30 p.m. with complimentary hot dogs & snow cones, plus water slide, bounce house, face painting & other patriotic fun for kiddos.

40th Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Road Rally which is an automobile scavenger hunt, begins at noon at The Timbers parking lot. Proceeds fund local youth benefits and scholarships. Entry forms are available at Bailey’s, Sanibel Café, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, or online at www.sancapoptimist.org. Rally is limited to 50 vehicles. Prizes are awarded for correct time and mileage, most correct answers to the quiz, best decorated vehicle, team coming from the farthest location, and team finishing last. I’ve done this several times and it ain’t easy, but it’s fun!

An Awesome 4th of July as advertised by The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., includes a backyard BBQ dinner, DG, swimming, putting course, and fireworks. Reservations required 239-472-3355.

Fireworks at dusk from the end of Bailey Road out over the bay. Best viewing on the causeway and bay side of the island.

The Future of Southwest Florida International Airport

Southwest Florida International Airport, aka RSW, is one of the newest airports in the nation, with a terminal less than 15 years old. Even so, with 9 to 10 million travelers a year passing through the airport, lines often are backed up “in season”. With more and more people moving to SW Florida, plans are in the works to stay ahead of the growth with a $200M renovation in the works.

In the local news this week, it was reported that getting through TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will be faster as part of this airport expansion with a new plan to make checkpoints more efficient. Even with RSW’s unique design of three separate security checkpoints determined by airline, there are reports of it taking more than an hour to get through security in the throes of season. Lee County Port Authority already had announced a $1.7 million plan to cut back on these wait times.  The plan creates up to two additional security lines per concourse. These changes are expected to be completed by October/November and will allow passengers to board faster.

Plans to expand RSW are more than halfway complete, with renderings including a new gate, amenities, and consolidating concourses. The most significant change planned is an 18-line centralized security checkpoint, which will be usable by 2023. According to a Wink News article published Tuesday, airport leaders are looking even farther ahead of this project with their long-range plan including space for a second runway.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Budget With Real Estate Priorities

On Tuesday, posted by FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the 2019 state budget late last week, and while he used his line-item veto power to remove some budget items, a number of items that impact real estate made it through the process.

“$682 million for environmental projects – A massive bill to help the environment includes $400 million for Everglades restoration, $100 million for springs restoration, $50 million for beach restoration projects, $25 million to combat blue-green algae and red tide, and $25 million for a septic-to-sewer cost-share program.

“$200 million-plus for affordable housing projects – Lawmakers allocated money from the state and local government housing trust funds for affordable housing programs, with more than half the money ($115 million) destined to assist Panhandle residents whose properties were devastated by Hurricane Michael.

“$15 million to continue LIDAR mapping – The Division of Emergency Management may continue spending the

$15 million currently being used for LIDAR (light detection and ranging) mapping. LIDAR is a next-generation mapping technique and has the potential to lower flood insurance rates throughout Florida.

“$500,000 to prevent unlicensed real estate activity – The Legislature allocated money from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for its ongoing effort to combat unlicensed real estate activity.”

Gov. DeSantis Announces Plan to Crack Down on Environmental Crimes

There was more good “water” news on Tuesday when, during a visit to Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new plan to crack down on Florida’s environmental crimes. During a news conference at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, he signed a bill that creates a Division of Law Enforcement within Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which allows the DEP to conduct criminal investigations into environmental crimes. Officials said the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement will be made up of sworn officers. Since taking office in January, Gov. DeSantis has made Florida’s environment a top priority.

Construction Progress at BIG ARTS

If you have attended an event or taken a class at BIG ARTS, you will appreciate how quickly their new building is progressing. The former buildings were demolished in early April, right after their annual Spring Concerts. Click on the blue link below for a 4-minute walk through the construction site with Architect Amy Nowacki.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SrTXWQXSyA

(Amy is a busy multi-talented gal, also singing for many years in the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. She also is the architect for the renovations underway at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, scheduled to reopen mid-July.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 21-28, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings

4 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $375K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $593K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-1 2/2.5 now $773.9K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $895K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $235K; Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed at $499K; Surfside12 #A3 3/2 listed at $749,999; White Pelican #133 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 $347.5K (our buyer), Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 $987.5K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $899K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $919K.

11 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $379K, 1550 Centre Ct 3/2 now $599K, 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 now $649.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $674K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $719K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $754K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr, #1F 3/3 half-duplex now $779K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 now $785K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 now $799.9K, 0 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $969.5K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $995K.

5 new sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 listed at $684.9K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 listed at $785K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 listed at $995K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 listed at $1.495M (our listing).

6 closed sales: 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $462.5K, 1427 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $460K, 458 Cas Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $655K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $754K, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1.09M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 $1.8822M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 now $519.9K.

1 new sale: with contingencies: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 listed at $469K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $387.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 $1.65M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.095M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 listed at $6,999,990.

1 closed sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 $5.65M.

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 fun safe 4th of July holiday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Longest Day of 2019 on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It may be the longest day of the year, with plenty of sunshine on Sanibel today, but the island sure has thinned out. Looks like the last of the snowbirds have headed off to other summer locations. Too bad. The water is looking fantastic as evidenced by the below photos taken yesterday afternoon near the end of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay. The water was so pretty I couldn’t decide which photo to post.

Island weather this week has included partly cloudy days with on and off showers. It sure didn’t take long for the dry island vegetation to perk up. Before long, it will be “mow your lawn twice a week time”. But, before that happens, the forecasters say we are in for a hot dry weekend. Florida summer weather = continually changing.

Lee County Mosquito Control already is back to work, tracking when it rains, and keeping us skeeter-free, while the island is gearing up for the July 4th holiday with plenty annual celebratory events in the works. More details on the parade, scavenger hunt, and fireworks next week.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

This was an off week for the islands’ Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting. Instead teammate Dave accompanied a home inspection, while teammate Elise got her report ready with the Multiple Listing Service action since last Friday. Dave held several Open Houses again this week too. Attendance at those has slacked off, as have sales. There was just one new sale on Sanibel this week, none on Captiva.

The “Island Sun” gave me some good press with the following article on page 28 of today’s paper.

“Broker Makes Commitment to Excellence

“Susan Andrews, RSPS, SCIS, TRC, Eco-Broker, and Broker/Owner of SanibelSusan Realty Associates, Sanibel, FL, has earned the Commitment to Excellence from the National Association of Realtors®. This endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice.

  1. Client service
  2. Professional reputation
  3. Real estate law
  4. Realtor® Code of Ethics
  5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)
  6. Advocacy of real property ownership
  7. Trust and integrity
  8. Use of technology
  9. Data privacy
  10. Areas of practice

“Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

“The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables real estate professionals to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. As a broker-owner, in addition to demonstrating competency in all 10 areas, Susan Andrews was required to show a commitment to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent customer service consistent with these standards.

““Earning the Commitment to Excellence endorsement is a true accomplishment and an affirmation to consumers that you stand for ethics and professionalism in your work,” says 2019 NAR President John Smaby. “Advances in technology and online user experience are making our business more and more seamless, and that’s fantastic,” Smaby says, “But with new technology can come vulnerabilities. A C2EX endorsement offers consumers the ease of mind that they have a skilled adviser, committed to conducting business at the highest standards, helping them through what may be the largest purchase or sale in their life.”

“The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

“This is Susan’s 30th year as a Realtor®, first in Virginia and on Sanibel for 27 years. At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, she has served as their President and received recognition as their Realtor of the Year, “Top Gun”, Community Service Award, and she is a 26-year member of their Honor Society. At the state level, as a member of their leadership team since 1998, she also is a 20-year member of the Florida Realtors® Honor Society. At the national level, Susan is the first island Realtor® inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame. Now, she also is first to earn the C2EX Endorsement.”

Shell Market (Bourse) This Weekend

This weekend during the Conchologists of America 48th Annual Convention at South Seas Plantation, is an event known as the largest shell market, “The Bourse”. With free admission and parking, it will feature about 30 vendors selling marine-related items and shells from all over the world. The word “bourse” dates back to the 1500’s in France and means “an exchange”. The Bourse will be open from Saturday June 22 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday June 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Seas Island Resort Convention Center, next to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, on Captiva. Several island Shell Club pals are volunteering at the event.

Sanibel’s Five-Star Library

Did you know that in 2018, Sanibel Public Library was given the five-star designation? One of just 257 libraries in the nation, Sanibel Library is the only Five-Star in Florida, and one of only three in Florida who have earned Star designation. This is an objective ranking bases on overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance and public internet computer use. With more than 140,000 visits per year and usage rates that consistently rank it at or near the top of all libraries in the state of Florida, locals and visitors alike treasure the Library as a vital community asset.

Library Hours in the summer are:

  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays & Thursdays
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Fridays
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here are some fun summer events and programs for children and youth:

These are all on Tuesdays in June & July at 3 p.m.

  • June 25 – Showtime for Kids – All family & kid show with comedy, magic audience participation, & balloon sculpting.
  • July 2 – Tampa Bay Bats – Educational presentation & chance to see live bats.
  • July 9 – Stories & Slime – Stories & slime-making (for school-aged children)
  • July 16 – Sculpture Craft with the Kellys – Styrofoam sculpture crafting (for elementary school-aged children)
  • July 23 – World of Reptiles with John Storms – With real reptiles, big & small.

Movie Matinee Mondays at 1 p.m. – June 24, July 1, 8, 15, & 22.

Wednesday Family Storytime at 11 a.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Wednesday VIP After-Hours for Teens at 6 p.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Why Aren’t Boomers Downsizing Their Homes?

This article was posted on-line Monday at FloridaRealtors®:

“NEWARK, N.J. – June 17, 2019 – It’s always been a sort of final chapter of the American dream: Get married and have kids. Buy a house. Move to a bigger house. Downsize to a smaller one. But a growing number of aging baby boomers are saying, “No, thanks” to downsizing, choosing instead to remain in the same sprawling houses in which they raised kids and created lifelong memories. “We’re just not seeing that much downsizing,” says Alexandra Lee, a housing data analyst at Trulia, a real estate research firm.

“While many older Americans are still stepping down to smaller homes, they’re doing so later in life. The trend is contributing to a housing supply shortage across much of the country. A more modest home typically means less upkeep and a potential financial windfall as a big chunk of the proceeds from the sale of the larger property can help bolster retirement nest eggs. Boomers, however, are defying the traditional bounds of advancing age just as they rebelled against the establishment in the 1960s and work- and family-centered values in the 1970s in favor of self-fulfillment. “They have refused to follow what the traditional expectations were,” says Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“There are other forces at work. Boomers, generally those age 54 to 73, are working longer and putting off retirement. Many of their millennial children are living with them well into adulthood. And there’s a dire shortage of less expensive, entry-level houses across the country, pushing up prices in that category and making the trade-off less appealing.

“Fifty-two percent of boomers say they’ll never move from their current home, according to a Chase bank survey of 753 boomer homeowners released earlier this year. Chase doesn’t have comparable data from an earlier period. An Ipsos/USA TODAY poll of 45- to 65-year-olds in 2017 found 43% anticipated remaining in their current residence through their retirement, possibly indicating the share of non-downsizers is rising.

“Many boomers are staying in their longtime homes and communities because they’re deferring retirement. About 20% of Americans 65 and older are working or looking for jobs, up from 12.1% in 1996, Labor Department figures show. Older people are staying in the workforce because they’re healthier and will need bigger nest eggs to finance longer retirements, according to Jennifer Schramm, senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public policy Institute. Also, many older workers’ retirement savings were hammered a decade ago, she says….

“The tendency to age in place is also rooted in boomers’ better health and desire to stay active.”Baby boomers don’t want to become old in a way that has negative connotations,” Risman says. “Remaining in one’s old house is part of remaining in the prime of one’s life longer.”

“Even when they retire, boomers are staying engaged through volunteer work and other activities, says Phyllis Moen, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota. “They are in the space opening up for the first time in history between the career-and family-building years and the frailties associated with old age,” Moen says. Boomers’ penchant to stay in their long-time homes is likely playing a role in low housing supplies, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. The crunch has improved since last year, but housing stocks are still well below normal levels.

“To be sure, many aging Americans are moving to traditional retirement havens like Florida and Arizona. But even among those who plan to move, 43% want their next home to be the same size as their current one, and 22% want it to be larger, according to a January survey of 50- and 60-year-olds by Del Webb, which builds communities for age 55-plus Americans.

“Trulia analysts believe older Americans are simply deferring downsizing. Both in 2005 and 2016, 5.5% of households 65 and over moved, with that share evenly split between those moving to single-family and multifamily homes, according to a Trulia analysis of Census Bureau data. But in 2016, the youngest age at which seniors moving to multifamily homes began to outnumber those moving to single-family houses was older (late 70s) than it was in 2005 (early 70s)….

Other reasons many boomers are staying where they are:

  • Millennial kids in the house – Millennials have lived with their boomer parents longer than prior generations as those graduating college between 2008 and 2010, in particular, struggled to launch their careers. In 2016, 16.1% of senior households had younger generations living with them, up from 14.4% in 2005, according to Trulia and Census figures.
  • Starter home crunch – The housing supply shortage is especially curtailing the inventory of the kind of smaller, less expensive homes that boomers may target, Hale says. That makes it harder to find a compact house and pushes up its price, reducing the net profits of any downsizing. From 2012 to February 2019, the bottom third of homes with the lowest prices appreciated an average 8.03% a year, versus 6.39% for mid-level homes and 5.01% for the most expensive units, according to a Trulia analysis.
  • Many upgrading, not selling – Many boomers put off renovations during and after the housing crash because they couldn’t take out home equity loans as prices plunged, says Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing officer for Chase Home Lending. Now that home prices have more than recovered from a skid in prices, the Chase survey showed nearly nine in 10 boomers are looking to make improvements. As a result, many boomers are focused on upgrades rather than downsizing.
  • Many boomers have finally paid off their mortgages and don’t want to start making house payments again.”

Copyright © 2019 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

Don’t Feed Algae

Did you know Sanibel fertilizer ordinances to protect waterways, they include a blackout period from July 1 to September 30. During that time:

  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus CANNOT be applied.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied within 25’ of a body of water.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to storm-water conveyance systems.

Lenders Must Accept Private Flood Insurance Policies After July 1

Posted on-line Tuesday on FloridaRealtors®:

“WASHINGTON – June 18, 2019 – The threat to home closings during a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) shutdown may be muted or nonexistent should Congress fail to extend the program in the future. After July 1, a federal law forces mortgage lenders to accept private coverage if it satisfies criteria outlined in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“In February, five federal regulatory agencies – the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, National Credit Union Administration and Farm Credit Administration – issued a joint final rule to implement provisions of the Act, which outlines the new private flood insurance mandate and the steps insurance companies and mortgage lenders must follow.

“The rule, which takes effect July 1, 2019:

  • Implements the Biggert-Waters Act requirement that regulated lending institutions accept private flood insurance policies that satisfy criteria specified in the Act
  • Allows institutions to rely on an insurer’s written assurances in a private flood insurance policy stating the criteria are met
  • Clarifies that institutions may, under certain conditions, accept private flood insurance policies that do not meet the Biggert-Waters Act criteria
  • Allows institutions to accept certain flood coverage plans provided by mutual aid societies, subject to agency approval

“Private flood insurance could be offered as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement attached to a full property insurance policy. Lenders won’t have to verify that a flood policy or endorsement is acceptable, providing it includes the following endorsement: “This policy meets the definition of private flood insurance contained in 42 U.S.C. 4012a(b)(7) and the corresponding regulation.”

“However, the law also allows a lender to do its own due diligence if it prefers not to rely on the statement.

A full copy of the 90-page order is posted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 14-21, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $699,999.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $249K, Sundial #G405 1/1 $375K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.59M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

7 price changes: 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 now $639K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $824K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $839.5K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $875K, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M, 1730 Jewel Box Dr 4/3 now $1.499M, 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 listed at $569,555.

5 closed sales: 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 $620K, 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $630K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $845K, 434 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $850K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $980K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1048 Fish Crow Rd $414.9K.

1 price change: 0 Bunting Ln now $219,555.

No new sales closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 now $320K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.385M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M, 16596 Captiva Dr 6/8.5 now $6.499M.

No 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 that you enjoy your longest day of 2019 & say cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

There’s Still Time to Buy Dad a Piece of Paradise on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s time for another Friday update from SanibelSusan. The summer rainy season is here now with clouds rolling in almost daily, sometimes from the mainland and occasionally from the gulf. Miami pals reported some heavy rain there off-&-on all week, sometimes with accumulation, while here it has been just an occasional shower – not enough, that sprinklers are off for the summer, but close.

The forecast calls for scattered showers until Wednesday when a full day of sunshine is expected. It could be a little wet for Fathers Day on Sunday, but even so, a rainy day on Sanibel is better than any day elsewhere (or so says, SanibelSusan).

Though the rain has begun, gulf and bay waters remain a brilliant blue. The below photo, I took just a couple of hours ago in front of West Wind Inn. The gulf sand is a little stirred up from the recent rain, but the water is the color we love!

This week, WinkNews posted the below aerial photos of the lighthouse end of the island, comparing this year to last. What a difference a year makes!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Our meeting yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® was well attended, but with a couple of brokers noticeably absent – summer family vacations have begun. During the 9 a.m. Caravan that followed, only four new listings were open for viewing, including our new one at 1558 Sand Castle Rd in The Dunes (shown below). Dave held that open into the early afternoon with many Realtors® and several interested neighbors visiting.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, we had another closing today, several listings had showings, two went under contract, and we have been tracking action items for upcoming closings – all-in-all a little more activity than typical for this time of the year. Comparing notes with Barrier Island Title, they report the same. We are thankful that our sales continue and look forward to a few more in the upcoming weeks.

The activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows some news below. Again, it was a week with no sales on Captiva, while Sanibel had seven condo sales (two SanibelSusan listings) and six home sales.

World Sea Turtle Day Kicks Off with a Free Guided Beach Walk

In this week’s News by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society:

“Refuge celebrates World Sea Turtle Day on June 17. Take a free guided beach walk, watch a free film, and take advantage of free upcycled sea turtle crafts, Refuge Nature Store specials, and hand-outs on World Sea Turtle Day at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, on Monday, June 17, 2019. Free sea turtle lessons and a showing of the 90-minute film Turtle: The Incredible Journey take place throughout the day at the refuge Visitor & Education Center. The morning’s ranger-led beach walk and clean-up departs from the refuge’s Perry Tract, accessible from Gulfside City Park. The first 20 to show up for the beach walk receive a free gift and a 10% discount coupon for sea turtle items in the Refuge Nature Store.

““My interns and I decided to celebrate the day by drawing attention and educating people about the plight of threatened sea turtles in our oceans,” said refuge conservation educator Sara Hallas, whose team is organizing the event. Below is the full schedule for turtle-friendly and free fun throughout the day:

  • 9-10 a.m. – Free Beach Walk & Cleanup at Perry Tract (parking fees apply at Gulfside City Park)
  • 11-11:30 a.m. – Free Sea Turtle Lesson in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom
  • 12 noon – 1:30 p.m. – Free showing of the film Turtle: The Incredible Journey
  • 12 noon – 2 p.m. – Ongoing free Make-&-Take Sea Turtle Crafts in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom
  • 2:30 p.m. – Free Sea Turtle Lesson in the Visitor & Education Center Classroom

“For more information about World Sea Turtle Day at the refuge, call 239-472-1100 ext. 236 or visit http://dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/event

Governor’s Task Force Tackles Toxic Algae

Posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 13, 2019 – Reducing harmful nutrients in state waters, through moves such as more monitoring and staffing, is an expected short-term goal of a new task force set up by Gov. Ron DeSantis to look at toxic algae fouling Florida waterways.

“But with a brief timeline for the five-member Blue Green Algae Task Force to reach its initial findings, don’t expect proposals for massive state rule changes related to farming practices or moving away from septic systems.

“Task force member Michael Parsons, a professor of marine science at Florida Gulf Coast University and director of the Coastal Watershed Institute and Vester Field Station, said rather than replace regulations, as some environmental groups contend is needed, a more realistic approach would focus on “fine-tuning” existing rules. “In any field, if you make the rules too strong, too stringent, too unfair, they won’t be followed,” Parsons said. “I think there is a compromise between allowing people the flexibility to work within certain frameworks as well as getting the needed results or the intended results within that framework. You can’t force people to do things, but on the other hand, we do have goals we need to meet, so there has to be a compromise between the two.”

“The task force, which held its first meeting Wednesday in Tallahassee, was created in January through an executive order by DeSantis in response to outbreaks of toxic algae and red tide across the state last year. The problems particularly drew attention in Southeast and Southwest Florida, as algae plagued water bodies such as the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and red tide caused fish kills.

“The panel Wednesday mostly received an overview about state roles in addressing algal issues, the regulatory structures for water quality and wastewater and agricultural best-management practices involving nutrients such as fertilizers.

“Audubon Florida Executive Director Julie Wraithmell said environmentalists are expecting action from the task force, which will meet every three to four weeks through August. “The causes of our blue-green algae problems are well understood,” Wraithmell said. “At this point, we need folks who are going to scour the science, look at our regulatory structure, and draft a bold prescription for how to get us out of the problems we are facing right now.”

“St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman cautioned that an unintended result of prioritizing one part of the state is that others may lag in protection. “We can’t buy our way out of Florida’s algae crisis,” Rinaman said. “We need to not only have projects but enhanced regulatory protections and education.”

“The focus of the task force is Lake Okeechobee and waters on both sides of the lake, but the state is also looking at possible algae impacts as far north as the St. Johns River.

“Florida Land Counsel Executive Director Ernie Barnett said it’s important to treat water before it reaches Lake Okeechobee.

“Thomas Frazer, Florida’s chief science officer, said the state is already doing a lot, but more could be done.

“If we need to do more monitoring, for example to evaluate the effectiveness of various projects, we should probably be doing that,” Frazer said. “If we need to look at a regulation and change that regulation so there is more oversight, people are more accountable, that’s on the table as well.” Frazer added he’s “optimistic that what we come up with here is not going to sit on a shelf. … We have an executive order with a charge that says we’re here to make a difference and we’re going to use this committee to identify areas where we can insert science to make better decisions with how we allocate our resources,” Frazer said.

“Among the longer-term goals could be figuring out how to move residents from septic tanks to sewer systems, which has always been a matter of cost. The Florida Department of Health oversees septic-tank issues.

Task Force member James Sullivan, executive director of Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, said the Department of Environmental Protection should have oversight because of the impact of nutrients released by septic systems. Florida has 12.6 million septic tanks, accounting for 12% of the systems in the nation.

“The inaugural meeting came after conservation groups Tuesday sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior over the handling of releases from Lake Okeechobee that contain toxic algae. Discharges go into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and their estuaries.

“Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein said he hopes to see a list of proposals from the task force that could range from process improvements within current rules to changes in department rules or even statutory changes. “Let’s get used to every few years asking ourselves again, ‘Don’t get comfortable with the status quo,'” Valenstein said. Valenstein expects to see additional water monitoring and field staffing to review data, as part of $680 million for environmental work that is in the proposed 2019-2020 state budget (SB 2500). DeSantis is expected to act on the budget next week.

“The proposed budget includes $4 million to expand “statewide water quality analytics for the nutrient over-enrichment analytics assessment and water quality public information portal.”

“Source: News Service of Florida, Jim Turner. News Service Assignment Manager Tom Urban contributed to this report.”

Is Sea Rise Wrecking Coastal Home Values? The Answer: Maybe

Growing up on the water in southern Maine, not far from Salisbury, Massachusetts, it is interesting to read the below Associated Press article by Philip Marcelo, from May 14, 2019:

“SALISBURY, Mass. (AP) — For sale: waterfront property with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Waves erode beach regularly. Flooding gets worse every year. Saltwater damage to lawn.

“Asking price: anyone’s guess.

“Some research suggests rising sea levels and flooding brought by global warming are harming coastal property values. But other climate scientists note shortcomings in the studies, and real estate experts say they simply haven’t seen any ebb in demand for coastal homes.

“So how much homeowners and communities should worry — and how much they should invest in remedies — remains an open question….

“A drop in home values could shatter a community like Salisbury, which relies almost exclusively on beachfront real estate taxes to fund schools, police and other basic services, researchers warn. And, they say, families could face financial ruin if they’ve been banking on their home’s value to help foot the bill for pricey college tuitions or even retirement.

““People are looking at losing tens of thousands of dollars of relative value on their homes,” said Jeremy Porter, a data scientist for the First Street Foundation, which describes itself as a “not-for-profit organization of digitally-driven advocates for sea level rise solutions” on its Facebook page. “Not everyone can sustain that.”

“Still, home prices in coastal cities have been rising faster than those of their landlocked counterparts since 2010, according to data provided by the National Association of Realtors.

“And waterfront homes are still generally more expensive than their peers just one block inland, said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. “The price differential is still there,” he said. “Consumers are clearly mindful that these climate change impacts could be within the window of a 30-year mortgage, but their current behavior still implies that to have a view of the ocean is more desirable.”

“A nationwide study by the First Street Foundation suggests climate change concerns have caused nearly $16 billion in lost appreciation of property values along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast since 2005. The study singles out Salisbury as the hardest-hit community in Massachusetts….

“In another recent study, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Business found coastal properties most exposed to sea level rise sold, on average, for 7% less than equivalent properties the same distance from shore but not as threatened by the sea.

“And in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, higher-elevation properties are appreciating faster than lower ones as companies and deep-pocketed buyers increasingly consider climate change risks, a study in the publication Environmental Research Letters found last year….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 7-14, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #B111 2/2 $475K, Pointe Santo #C45 3/2.5 $1.2M, Somerset #101 3/2.5 $1.875M.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $595K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 listed at $235K, Captains Walk #F4 2/2 listed at $349K (our listing), Seashells #31 2/2 listed at $439K, Signal Inn #4 1/1 listed at $499.9K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 listed at $595K, Pointe Santo B2 2/2 listed at $699K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 listed at $1.049M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #C410 1/1 $470K, Sundial #J204 2/2 $732,509.

HOMES

1 new listing: 6065 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/2 $564.5K.

10 price changes: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $579K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $619K; 1550 Centre St 3/2 now $625K; 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $629.9K; 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $648K; 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $675K; 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 now $684.9K; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $799,999; 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.324M; 5250 Caloosa End Ln 3/2.5 now $1.45M.

6 new sales: 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 listed at $799K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 listed at $850K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 listed at $969K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $985K.

4 closed sales: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $485K, 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $529.5K, 1217 par View Dr 3/3 $690K, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 $950K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

3 closed sales: 9441 Peaceful Dr $215K (our listing), 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $336K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct $525K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 now $349K, Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $394.5K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 now $1.195M, 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.35M, 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.1M, 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 now $4.45M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $6.99999M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16333 Captiva Dr 4/2/2 $1.825M.

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.

The SanibelSusan Team sends good Fathers Day wishes to all Dads!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

June Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s another sunny Friday on Sanibel, following another week of fantastic weather until the first summer shower gave us a quick dousing this morning. Maybe the rainy season has begun. We don’t like using the “h” word, but that season has begun too (Jun 1 to Nov 30).

Meanwhile, the gulf and bay waters surrounding the islands are a brilliant blue and sparkling green. The color and clarity changes each summer when the rains stir up the sand and vegetation along the waterways, so it always pays to enjoy this view when you can.

With swimming pools already needing extra water and some grassy buffers along the bike paths looking like straw, rain is needed. The typical pattern for this time of the year is a quick daily shower or two. As the saying goes in Florida in the summer, “wait a minute and the weather will change.” Summer sunsets following a shower are the best.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, we appreciated a nice closing on Monday and several of our listings continue to get good interest and showing activity. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow some news below.

There was no Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday, but I had 15 Realtors® there attending my “Resort & 2nd Home Market” class on Monday. It always is fun to share with colleagues. If we all do a better job, it helps everyone.

Attendees wearing their pop quiz prizes from 2019 Resort & 2nd Home class of the SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) designation. SanibelSusan instructing.

Summer Projects & Other Scoop

Il Cielo at 1244 Periwinkle Way –A sign says “closed for renovations, reopening in the fall”.

Malia Island Fusion Cuisine at 1100 Par View Drive in Beachview Estates, next to Sanibel Golf Club – Tried to celebrate our Monday closing there for lunch but found out that they have new summer hours. Open Mon-Thu from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Open Fri & Sat from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Pointe Santo at 2445 West Gulf Dr – Will finish up their concrete-restoration building-exterior project late summer/early fall. Buildings A, B, D, and E are done with the work accomplished during the “off season” to least affect vacations and rentals. The spalling work in Building C is scheduled this year between Aug 11 and Oct 19.

View from Pointe Santo #C43. Make an offer now & seller agreeable to closing after summer restoration work is done.

Sanibel Delivery opened yesterday according to a recent article in the “Islander”. It’s an interesting concept. Sanibel Delivery will pick up and drop off take-out orders from restaurants, grocery and convenience store items, pet food and supplies, legal documents and run bank errands, pick up flowers, take packages to and from the post office or shipping stores, get ice, drinks, prescriptions. It also will stock a residence before an arrival or pick up items for donations. Sanibel Delivery services just Sanibel, not Captiva or west of Clam Bayou Ln/Pine Tree Dr. Operating Tues through Sun from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To schedule a delivery, call or text 239-308-5353 or email david@sanibeldelivery.com.

Condo Q&A: Who’s Responsible for Water Damage?

Since a condo owner recently asked me this same question, it was timely to read the below article posted this week on-line at FloridaRealtors®. Maybe this is of interest to you too:

“By Steven J. Adamczyk

“June 3, 2019 – Question: A unit owner in our building suffered water damage in his unit due to a clog in his drain pipes. He is claiming that the association should pay for all of the repairs inside the unit. Coincidentally, this owner does not have insurance and the drains have otherwise been working fine. Is there any merit to the owner’s claim? – T.R, Deerfield Beach

“Answer: Any time there is water damage, the first question is whether the damage is the result of an insurable event. When there is an insurable event, the statute will dictate who is responsible for what damage. Likewise, if there is no insurable event, the declaration of condominium will dictate who is responsible for what damage.

Here, we will assume it was an insurable event. If so, the statute provides that the condominium association is responsible to repair and replace property insured by the condominium association. With this type of damage, it means the association will likely repair and replace drywall, but the statute then provides that the owner is responsible to repair and replace interior portions of the unit such as kitchen cabinets, floor coverings, paints, and personal property such as furniture within the unit.

“It is possible that the above delegation of responsibility can be shifted so that one party is responsible for everything. Under the statute, this can happen if one party is negligent or if they fail to follow a rule.

For example, if the association had been notified that the common element pipes had been malfunctioning for a long time and the association ignored the problem, it is possible the association would be responsible for everything, assuming the damage here was the result of that ignored common element problem. Likewise, if the rules prohibit shoving paper towels down a drain and the clog was due to these paper towels, the owner could be responsible for all damage.

“We often see these aggressive accusations when there is no insurance for the obvious reason that the owner knows the association has insurance. That being said, it is highly unlikely that you are responsible for all of the damage, and you should consult with your attorney and insurance carrier to determine the extent of your responsibilities.

“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC, respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.”

Captiva Testing Iguana Removal Program

This article came from today’s “Island Sun”: “A pilot program funded by the Captiva Community Panel (CCP) is addressing the iguana problem currently plaguing the island. “The (iguana) issue came up at one of our panel meetings, and it’s been a topic of conversation for a while,” said Dave Jensen, CCP board member. “People have been seeing iguanas on their properties, and they can do some damage.”

“According to Jensen, he called the City of Sanibel to investigate how the neighboring community addresses their invasive species issue. They city’s department of natural resources put him in touch with Alfredo Fermin of AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services, a professional trapper based in Cape Coral.

“Iguanas are very aggressive… they have a nasty bite and their tails can hurt you, too,” said Fermin, who has more than 10 years of experience trapping wildlife. “They can tear up your garden, they burrow near seawalls which causes a lot of damage, and their poop is dangerous because they carry diseases….”

“Iguanas can grow up to six feet long, have no natural predators. One female may lay between 40 and 70 eggs at a time, and the species is a direct threat to burrowing owls.”

“One month ago, the CCP agreed to hire AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services to come to Captiva, trap and remove nuisance iguanas. The pilot program requests that island residents give permission to Fermin to access their property and remove the iguanas.

“On his first visit to Captiva on May 7, Fermin visited 20 properties and removed 21 iguanas. Since then, he has returned to more than 50 properties and eliminated 56 iguanas.

“If you don’t know what you are doing, it can be nearly impossible to catch them,” said Fermin, who uses a noose bar to snare the iguanas. “It’s still too early to give an estimate on the number of iguanas there are on Captiva, but I’ll be out there every Tuesday until the funds run out.”

“Jensen added that if AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Services determines that there is an overpopulation of iguanas on Captiva, the CCP will request that Lee County assist with the funding of the removal program.

“To give permission for AAA Wildlife Trapping & Removal Service to access your island property, call Dave Jensen at 470-5389. For iguana-specific questions, contact Alfredo Fermin via email at AAAWildlife1@yahoo.com or by calling 440-7783.”

Families & Friends of The Sanibel School

The Sanibel School (Elementary & Middle) (A Florida School of Excellence & nationally rated Blue Ribbon school) currently is accepting students and approving off-island attendance waivers.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 31 – June 7, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $1.1M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.6M.

9 price changes: Sundial #H210 1/1 now $379K; Blind Pass #E202 2/2 now $450K; Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $597K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $674K; Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $749,999; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 now $759.9K; Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $799K; Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 now $899.5K, Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 now $1.231M.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 listed at $399K, Sundial #G405 1/1 listed at $419,555; Sundial #C310 1/1 listed at $459,750; Sundial #J204 2/2 listed at $793K.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $510K, Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 $585K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 $680K, White Sands #25 2/2 $957K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $685K, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.375M.

6 price changes: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $639K, 1550 Centre St 3/2 now $645K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $949K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.6399M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.299M, 4709 Rue belle Mer 3/2 now $3.125M.

5 new sales: 9052 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 listed at $650K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799.9K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.189M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.747M.

2 closed sales: 5869 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $589K (our buyer), 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 $800K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Captiva Cove #C 5/4 $3.475M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/6 $5.5M.

1 price change: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $998,899.

2 new sales: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 listed at $995K, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 listed at $2.695M.

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.

Until next Friday, make it a great one! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Why It’s a Good Banana Week


It’s Susan reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday following a busy Memorial Day weekend/week for The SanibelSusan Team. We got new listings, good activity with listings, and action items accomplished on upcoming closings too.

That’s the funny thing about this real estate business, once it seems too quiet, things can change with no logical explanation. Realtors® often say their work comes in bunches, like bananas. Let’s just say that it was a good banana week for SanibelSusan Realty.

I forgot last Friday to post the below photo taken by Kim at the West Wind Inn pool bar. Not-to-worry, it has looked exactly the same as this every day this week too – bright blue skies with sparkling clear gulf waters. Sometimes a few white puffy clouds come across from the mainland late in the day (if, as the locals say, they can afford the bridge toll). Soon they will bring rainy-season showers, but now it really is a wonderful time to be here with summer-like weather and very little traffic.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

At our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, a $5+K check was presented to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) new CEO, Dr. Ryan Orgera. The Association raised this money during our recent annual end-of-season golf outing/auction. It will go toward SCCF’s water quality efforts. Additional raised funds raised at the same event are going to RPAC the Realtors® PAC that supports property issues like water quality, short-term rentals, flood insurance, and candidates that are pro-homeowner rights.

During the meeting announcements, I was happy to announce two new listings and two new sales. The activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Monday morning, at the Association, I’ll be teaching the 2019 “Resort and 2nd Home Property” class to Realtors® looking to earn or update a Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist designation. Since authoring that class in 2012, I’ve updated and taught it every summer. It’s always a good exercise to confirm that Florida remains the state with the highest number of vacation and 2nd homes. (My home state of Maine remains the one that has the largest number compared to population.) The most popular vacation home destination is the BEACH.

The National Association of Realtors® periodically surveys investment and home buyers. Their latest survey shows that 72% of vacation property owners and 71% of investment property owners believe that now is a good time to buy. Here’s hoping that means more sales on the islands.

Is Vice President Pence Returning?

Yesterday, when Jim Anderson owner of JMA Photography stopped in to get a key for filming one of our new listings, he mentioned that he needs to get the drone aerials done quickly as the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has issued a notice that a “very important person is due to arrive on Sanibel on Friday for a five-day stay.”

Past similar announcements saying “VIP Movement Notification” were related to Vice President Mike Pence visiting. The Pences have vacationed on Sanibel for years, often staying at their friends’ home here (which SanibelSusan sold to them).

The Pence’s last island visit was just a short stay, March 1-3 when he flew into SW Florida International Airport on Air Force Two and his security detail came across the causeway late evening. He also returned to the area in late March to deliver a speech on religious freedom at Ava Maria University. Last year, the Pences were here for a week, spending Easter on the island.

Sea Turtle Nests Up This Year

Worried about fall-out from the water woes last summer, it was great news to read today in the “Island Sun” that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) reports that sea turtle nest counts are up significantly from last year. Peak nesting for loggerheads typically occurs in mid to late June, so numbers are expected to grow too.

As of May 27, on Sanibel’s east end, there are 24 loggerhead nests, compared to 19 last year at this time. On Sanibel’s west end, there are 89 loggerhead nests and 2 green nests, compared to 59 loggerheads & no greens last year, same time. On Captiva there are 36 loggerhead nests compared to 22 in 2018. Hooray for the turtles. You can follow the nests at http://sccf.org/our-work/sea-turtles.

FREE Fishing Weekend

The Florida Fish & Wildlife conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a license-free saltwater fishing weekend tomorrow and Sunday, June 1 and 2, and a license-free freshwater fishing weekend next weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8. During these weekends a fishing license is not required for Florida residents or visitors. These free fishing weekends are part of the eight license-free fishing days FWC offers each year. All bag limits, closed areas and size restrictions still apply. More info about licenses at www.myFWC.com/license and fishing tips at www.myFWC.com/fishing.

What’s a Homeowners’ Association To Do With Surplus Funds?

Here are the question and answer response posted on Florida Realtors® news this week:

Question: I live in a homeowner’s association, and I have two questions regarding issues that are of concern to me. First, what is the board supposed to do when there is a surplus of funds at the end of the fiscal year and second, do I have a right to request a copy of the association’s receivable report from the association, as there has been a large amount written off as bad debts? – E.K., Port St. Lucie

Answer: Regarding your first question, the board of directors has a few options when actual expenses are less than anticipated at the end of the fiscal year. One option is for the board to carry over the surplus to the next fiscal year. Another option is to refund the surplus to the members. This option usually is not recommended.

A third option is for the board to vote to transfer the surplus of funds to a contingency reserve or other board-made reserve account. This is to be distinguished from reserve accounts subject to Section 720.303, Florida Statues, which were either established by a vote of the members or initially by the developer of your community.

In regard to your second question on the right to view the association accounts receivable report, you have a right to inspect this report pursuant to Section 720.303(4)(j), Florida Statutes.

“The association has a duty to maintain accounting records for seven years. You should verify whether the association has adopted a process for how to request an inspection and copying of the official records of the association and follow the adopted procedure.

“Harris B. Katz, Esq., is managing partner, Boca Raton of the law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column. Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, civil litigation, estate planning and commercial transactions.

© 2019 Journal Media Group, Harris B. Katz”

Florida Tax Holiday on Hurricane Supplies Begins Today

As posted this week on-line at Florida Realtors®:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 29, 2019 – A little nudging for storm prep shouldn’t be necessary after Matthew battered Florida’s east coast in 2016, Irma essentially drenched the entire state in 2017, and Michael ground up a chunk of the Panhandle last year.

“Still, Floridians will have seven days to build a hurricane-season stockpile – including batteries, flashlights and radios – free of sales taxes, beginning Friday. “You’ll have the opportunity to get pretty much whatever you need. It is very important to do so,” says James Miller, the Florida Retail Federation’s external affairs director. “Make sure you have your disaster preparedness and emergency kits ready to go, because we ultimately will have a storm at some point.”

“The discount is part of a tax-relief package (HB 7123) that lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis approved earlier this month. The week-long sales tax holiday is expected to save shoppers $800,000, nearly one-tenth of the total tax-package savings projected for the fiscal year beginning July 1, according to state economists.

The discounted items will likely coincide with hurricane-season enticements from businesses, such as Lowes, Home Depot and Harbor Freight, that are already highlighting the arrival of the six-month 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins Saturday. “During that time, obviously all of the stores will be stocked in preparation for the holiday and in preparation hopefully for no upcoming storms,” Miller said.

“The discounted supplies are just part of what Floridians need to be prepared for any disaster, says Mark Wool, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. “You need to be able to be self-sufficient, without the aid of anyone else, including EMS (emergency medical services), for three to five days,” Wool said. “We need a gallon of water per person and pet per day, non-perishable foods, flashlights, battery-powered radios, batteries for your flashlight, prescriptions, and make sure your gas tank is full.”

“Jim Zingale, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue, encouraged all Floridians to exploit the “holiday.” “While living in and visiting Florida offers many benefits and advantages, it is important to keep the potential for severe weather hazards and threats in mind,” Zingale says.

“Items eligible for the May 31-June 6 tax break

  • Reusable ice that costs $10 or less
  • Self-powered light sources, $20 or less
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks, $25 or less
  • Nonelectric food storage coolers, $30 or less
  • Packs of AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries, $30 or less
  • Self-powered radios, two-way radios or weather-band radios, $50 or less
  • Tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, $50 or less
  • Tie-down kits, $50 or less
  • Portable generators, $750 or less
  • The rental or repair of items doesn’t qualify for the exemption, and items sold at airports and theme parks aren’t included in the deal.”

Source: News Service of Florida, Tom Urban, Jim Turner

Sanibel’s Summer Youth Activities

Yesterday was the last day of school in Lee County public schools. For families looking for something for children to do over the summer, the City of Sanibel and several island organizations still have openings for a variety of programs and camps. Here are a few:

Sanibel Recreation Center – Summer Day Camp, a 9-week traditional camp from June 3 to August 2, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (no camp July 4). Available for children entering kindergarten through eighth grade. More info at www.MySanibel.com

Sanibel Sea School – camps on marine-related topics from early June to early August. Most are day camps for ages 6-13 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There also are half-day camps for ages 4-6 or “Sea Squirts” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Most include time at the beach with island skills camps for little ones, and paddle-boarding and reef snorkeling for teens. There too are several overnight camping expeditions for ages 11-12 and 13-15, separately. Visit www.SanibelSeaSchool.org/sanibel-camps for more info.

The Community House – Home to the Culinary Education Center of Sanibel, kids summer cooking classes are offered from July 29 to Aug 2 for ages 8-14. A second camp is scheduled for August 5-9. (both are 9 a.m. until noon). More info at www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net .

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 24-31, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $484K, Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $499K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $899K, White Pelican #114 2/2 $988K, Tarpon Beach #104 2/2 $1,149,555.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $399.9K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $596.5K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 now $629K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $876.5K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $249K.

5 closed sales: Sundial #H108 1/1 $415K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $522.5K, Kings Crown #210 2/2 $775K, Sanddollar #C203 3/2 $1.15M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 $1.2M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 730 Cardium St 2/2 $599K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $749K (our listing).

View from 1558 Sand Castle Rd

8 price changes: 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $595K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3.2 now $695K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $739K, 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $755K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $969K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.139M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $2.895M.

6 new sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 listed at $629K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $649K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 listed at $699K, 556 Chert Ct 4/3 listed at $799K (our listing), 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 listed at $889K, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 listed at $2.395M.

556 Chert Ct

5 closed sales: 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex $475K, 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $546.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.14M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.34M, 2332 Troon Ct 4/5 $1.525M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 9270 Kincaid Ct listed at $149K (our listing), 5618 Baltusrol Ct listed at $339K.

9270 Kincaid Ct

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.6999M

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $655K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 42 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.095M.

1 price change: 17030 Captiva Dr now $7.4M.

1 new sale: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $2.13M.

1 closed sale: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $825K.

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, we’re hoping for more bananas! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another warm sunny week on the islands with more perfect beach weather expected right through the holiday weekend.

Lots of real estate activity for The SanibelSusan Team this week with action items accomplished both with listings and properties closing. When I came into the office last weekend, as I was driving down Periwinkle Way, passing the 4-way stop at Causeway Road, I remember thinking, how could there be so little traffic when just a few weeks ago, it was all stop. What a difference a month makes!

Rarely are the island roadways this quiet. The office phone rang only once last weekend, so funny that things got busier as the week progressed.

Those here now, continue to remark about how clear and bright the water is – often that striking vivid teal color, like the Caribbean. The gang at Jensen’s Marina out on Captiva also have reported excellent tarpon fishing this week.

More sunny days, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, are forecast for the next week plus – a great time to be enjoying life in SW Florida. Or coming to buy real estate!

There was no Association of Realtors Caravan meeting yesterday and not much sales action was reported in the islands Multiple Listing Service. The weekly report with that info follows a couple of news items below. There were no sales on Captiva and no condo or lot sales on Sanibel. Five Sanibel homes went under contract, though.

Here’s wishing all a happy safe Memorial Day weekend. When I lived in Maine, this weekend was considered the first of “summer”.

It’s always summer here! Or close to it. Exactly why I love it! The below photo illustrates how clear the water is here this week.

Here is a progress photo of the new building construction at BIG ARTS. Taken this morning. The new stage area is already poured! It’s going up fast!

2019 Lee County Market Report

A media release this week by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association includes statistics from the Florida Gulf Coast MLS. Here are some excerpts:

“May 21, 2019 – Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the month of April in year-over-years sales of single family (-6.8%), but a nice increase over March with 1,362 closed sales, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®… Broken down by cities, single family in Fort Myers was the only city that showed an increase (in number of sales) at 5.3%, year over year. All of the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year with Fort Myers Beach showing the largest decrease at -52.4% compared to last year.”

Their breakdown by City shows the following changes for number of sales and median sales prices, comparing sales in 2018 to 2019.

City Change in Number of Sales Change in Median Price $
Bonita Springs -12.8% -6.2%
Cape Coral -9% 3.3%
Estero -18.8% -0.5%
Fort Myers 5.3% -3.9%
Fort Myers Beach -52.4% 32.2%
Leigh Acres -13.8% 7.4%
North Fort Myers -5.9% 5.1%
Pine Island -13.3% 17.7%
Sanibel & Captiva -15.4% -28.2%

Season’s End: Status Update on Water Quality Initiatives

Below is an excellent write-up on recent initiates to improve local waters. Published this week in the “Island Reporter”, the authors are husband and wife team, Sarah Ashton and Jim Metzler. Sarah is a pal and fellow Realtor®. She and Jim are the co-chairs for the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge.

“As the tourist and Florida legislative seasons end, there are reasons for optimism relative to some of the recent initiatives to improve the quality of the water that surrounds the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, that optimism needs to be guarded, because so much more needs to be done. This column will highlight some of what has been accomplished in the last few months and some of the key initiatives that still need attention.

Everglades restoration

One major bright spot is the budget that the Florida Legislature recently passed includes $682 million for water quality, Everglades restoration and other environmental projects. The overall appropriation for Everglades-related projects is $322 million. This money will go toward both Everglades restoration and the early planning, design, and construction of the EAA reservoir. The cost of Everglades restoration, however, is supposed to be split 50-50 between the state of Florida and the federal government. In late January, all 27 Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting $200 million in funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In February, Florida’s governor and both U.S. senators sent a letter to the president in which they requested his sustained commitment of $200 million a year in construction funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In May, the South Florida Water Management District sent the president a similar letter. The president’s budget, which until earlier this week had only called for $70 million for Everglades restoration, now calls for $200 million. The budget also includes $40 million to speed up and complete the final phase of the project to raise the Tamiami Trail. When complete, this project will restore the flow of more than 900 million gallons per day of water flowing south into Everglades National Park.

Blue-green algae

The budget includes $10 million for a blue-green algae task force. As specified by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the goal of the task force is to identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. The creation of the blue-green algae task force is an important step forward. However, a large open question is what proactive policies the state of Florida will enact to estimate or at least reduce future algae blooms.

Septic systems

The budget includes $25 million for septic-to-sewer conversions. The importance of that budget item was highlighted by the recently published results of the first phase of a study of the sources of water pollution in the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. The study sampled surface and groundwater in North Fort Myers and found significant pollution as well as widespread septic dysfunction. Florida House Bill 85 addresses the problem of septic dysfunction by requiring homeowners with septic tanks to have the tanks pumped out and inspected every five years. That bill was indefinitely postponed.

Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically keeps the level of the water in Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. To improve the health of the lake, the Corps is exercising a one-time exception to that practice and is in the process of lowering the level to roughly 10.5 feet. That process, which many groups strongly object, should reduce the likelihood that the corps will have to make massive releases out of Lake Okeechobee this summer.

Stay vigilant

In total, a lot of progress has been made since last year’s ecological disaster. However, restoring the quality of the water that surrounds the refuge will be a long, demanding process and we are only in the early stages.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 17-24, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $719K, Seascape #304 3/3.5 $1.289M.

5 price changes: Seashells #42 2/2 now $379.9K, Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $419K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $770K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $799K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.35M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass 3D205 2/2 $450K, Villas Sanibel #2G 2/2 $660K, Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 $725K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.22M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $549.9K; 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $629K; 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $639,555; 1800 Ardsley way 3/2 $695,555; 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $699K; 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $799K (our listing) (photos below).

9 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $399K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $595K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $649.9K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $650K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $738K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $799K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 now $900K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.15M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.989M.

5 new sales: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $529.5K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $549.9K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $679K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2listed at $897K.

14 closed sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $540K, 9446 Arum Ct 4/2 $544K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $570K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $640K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $700K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $700K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $840K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $900K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $900K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $975K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $990K, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1M, 5609 Baltusrol Ct 5/5.5 $1.31M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1,409,666.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.292M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.22M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 now $2.695M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.85M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4M, 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $6.3M.

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, don’t forget the holiday!

Also don’t forget Sunday is the last Sanibel Farmers’ Market until October. 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Great Time to Buy on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan reporting another sunny island Friday on the cusp of the rainy season. I heard one of the local weathermen say this week, that the rainy season usually doesn’t begin until May 20 in SW Florida, so it’s pretty much still gorgeous weather here with just a couple of recent sprinkles.

At our biweekly local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, attendance was light and just seven new listings were open for viewing. It sure is a great time to come and look at real estate though! The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Island Scoop

26th Annual Sam Bailey’s Islands Night – The tradition continues into 2019, with Islands Night on Monday, May 20 at the ball park (CenturyLink Sports Complex, Hammond Stadium) in Fort Myers when the Fort Myers Miracle will play the Bradenton Marauders at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30, with parade kicking off at 5:45. Tickets are free and open to the public. Pick them up at the service desk at Bailey’s and other event sponsors. Since it began, contributions from this annual event (more than $175,000) have been given back to individuals and island non-profits through scholarships and donations.

Old Captiva House Reopens – The Old Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters Island Inn Resort & Spa officially reopened on Wednesday following a renovation. With all new menus and new décor, the historic restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. It’s a wonderful spot for dining with a sunset view.

Tarpon Bay Road Restrooms Approved – On Tuesday, Sanibel Planning Commission approved a variance that allows for the construction of a restroom facility built below the base flood elevation standard. The new restroom at the Tarpon Bay Road beach public parking lot will consist of three family-style restrooms with one toilet, one sink and one baby-changing station in each restroom. Construction already is underway and the variance was required to make the facilities more easily ADA-compliant.

Sanibel-Captiva Road Erosion Project – Sanibel City Council voted to proceed with the project which is for emergency shore protection for the area south of Blind Pass, adjacent to San-Cap Road. It involves addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet-pile wall with a concrete cap along the edge of the right-away for about 400’ of the vulnerable roadway. The City hopes to get this project permitted quickly with work underway before October. The beach naturally accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of winds, so if the project is done before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand added.

Turner Beach Stabilization Project – Though on the southern tip of Captiva, Sanibel manages Turner Beach as part of an interlocal agreement. Like along San-Cap Road, the shoreline along Turner Beach has been subject to significant erosion, including the loss of a guardrail. The goal here is to re-enforce the shoreline to better withstand future events. The project design is expected to be complete by early fall, go out for bid after the New Year, with construction about a year away.

Realtors® Meeting Lawmakers & Advocating Issues This Week

“Realtors® are in Washington, D.C., this week talking to lawmakers and advocating for homeowners in their district. “Congress knows we mean business,” John Smaby, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said Tuesday at the kickoff event for the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. With more than 9,000 real estate professionals arriving in the nation’s capital for the conference, “this is the perfect time to let Congress know who Realtors are.”

“Playing off NAR’s current consumer ad campaign, “That’s Who We R,” Smaby and Immediate Past President Elizabeth Mendenhall encouraged attendees at the event, known as NAR 360, to tell their stories to their Congressional representatives. “Our Hill messages are directly tied to our consumer campaign,” Mendenhall said. “You need to talk about the trust and integrity you bring to the industry and your communities.”

“Among the pressing topics Realtors will discuss with their congressional representatives: flood insurance, qualified opportunity zones and fair housing. However, practitioners stand to have an even more powerful opportunity: President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to address the conference Friday. (SanibelSusan is listening to him live as I’m posting this.) “We have the attention of the Oval Office,” Smaby said.

“Mendenhall noted that many U.S. presidents, dating back to Herbert Hoover in the early 1930s, have either attended or spoken at the annual conference. “The clout Realtors have gained on Capitol Hill opens doors for all of us,” she said.

“NAR’s annual Washington event also fuels media coverage of the real estate industry. According to research presented at the NAR 360 forum, the event serves as a source for 74% of published or broadcast real estate news….”

House OKs Another Short-Term Flood Insurance Extension

As posted on May 15, by Florida Realtors®:

“The House voted Tuesday to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Sept. 30, 2019. The Senate must also approve the measure before May 31 – the date NFIP is set to expire – to avoid lapses in government-backed flood insurance policies. After that, President Donald Trump must sign it.

“”Thanks to Realtors®, the Senate is well aware of the deadline for flood insurance,” says Austin Perez, senior policy representative at the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “There seems to be broad bipartisan agreement not to let the program lapse on May 31.”

“The House passed the four-month NFIP extension as a standalone bill but also proposed wrapping it into a larger disaster relief package for the Midwest and Puerto Rico, which have suffered from recent floods and hurricanes. Realtors on Capitol Hill this week will urge their Congressional representatives to avoid a lapse of the NFIP and work toward a long-term reauthorization that includes meaningful reforms to the financially beleaguered program, which is billions of dollars in debt.

“”With that basic message, Realtors are well-positioned on a complex issue,” Perez says. “We just need to keep up the pressure for Congress to reauthorize and reform the program long-term.”

“Florida has a vested interest in flood insurance. More Sunshine State homeowners have NFIP policies than any other state.

“NAR estimates that the industry could lose 40,000 home sales per month if NFIP expires. The program provides flood insurance to more than 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities across the country. Federal law requires the purchase of flood insurance for a federally backed mortgage in special flood hazard areas designated by FEMA.

“Private flood insurance is also available in many high-risk areas, and regulations requiring lenders to accept private insurance under strict conditions go into effect at the end of July. However, NFIP may still be the only option for some homeowners.

“Among other things, NAR advocates for a long-term program reauthorization in addition to removing federal barriers to a more robust private market for flood insurance. The association supports a number of specific NFIP reforms, including improved flood maps to better identify properties at high risk of flooding, pricing flood insurance closer to the specific flood risk of each individual property, and federal assistance, including grants and low-interest loans for owners, to mitigate their properties’ flood risk.”

Florida Ranks Best State in the Nation for Higher Education

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the best high schools in the nation, here’s a follow-up with an announcement I saw this week.

“The state of Florida ranks first in the nation for higher education, according to U.S. News and World Report .

“The main factors used in the report were 2-year college graduation rate, 4-year college graduation rate, low debt at graduation, educational attainment and tuition and fees.

“Florida is home to three of the nation’s top 100 colleges, the website says.

“The Sunshine State was also in the top 10 for 4-year college graduation rate and low debt at graduation, while ranking #2 in both 2-year college graduation rate and tuition and fees.

“Governor DeSantis touted the state’s ranking in a press release issued Tuesday morning. “It is no surprise that U.S. News & World Report has again named Florida the top state in the nation for higher education,” said Governor DeSantis. “Our state colleges and universities have prioritized affordability and pathways for career and life and, as a result, they are transforming our state. I look forward to celebrating continued success as we build on this positive momentum.”

“This is the third year in a row Florida’s higher education system has earned the top ranking from U.S. News and World Report.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 10-17, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Signal Inn #10 1/1 $549K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 $599K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $399.9K; Sundial #G405 1/1 now $419,555; Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 now $690K; Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 now $849K.

3 new sales: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $750K, Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 listed at $1.029M, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.225M.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I401 1/1 $470K, Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 $549.5K, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 $1.8M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $1.03M, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 $1.29M.

13 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $432K, 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $434K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $518K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $585K, 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $699.9K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $745K, 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $765K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $824K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $850K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $889K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 now $894K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $948K, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 now $1.05M.

3 new sales: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $517.5K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

10 closed sales: 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 $480K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $540K, 1870 Farm Trl 3/2 $575K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $606.5K, 1212 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $670K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 $872.5K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 $920K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.075M, 2502 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.8M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $2.174M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 461 Sawgrass Pl $799K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1204 Par View Dr $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 $378.9K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #11 4/3 now $2.795M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.395M, 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.13M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.749M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 $887.5K.

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 & working all weekend if anyone wants to talk island real estate

 

Almost Mother’s Day on Sanibel & Captiva


Another sunny Sanibel Friday has arrived. The rainy season may be beginning as the first of the big white summer popcorn clouds rolled in late yesterday which resulted in some island showers last night. This afternoon, after a morning of bright blue sky, it looks like those clouds again are forming on the eastern horizon. Early summer is when rain often come across the state & rolls onto the island from the mainland. The joke is that though the rest of Lee County gets wet from these showers, they always don’t make it to the island – as they don’t have toll money.

This was the first week of the Association of Realtors® off-season biweekly Caravan schedule, so there was no meeting yesterday. There has been some sales activity though, three condos and two homes on Sanibel went under contract this week. I got one of them done last Sunday with folks who viewed Saturday and were at the airport boarding. Gotta love modern technology!

Mom & child

The SanibelSusan Team wishes all the Mom’s a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follow a couple of news items.

A Look at the Real Estate Market Nationally

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Realtor® magazine’s May-June 2019 issue had another article from my favorite economist, Lawrence Yun. Though his comments are about real estate nationally, it has good news.

“Consumer confidence remains high and many people are saying now is a good time to buy. Inventory is also increasing, reducing buyers’ concerns they’ll be elbowed out of the way whey they try to buy.

“But the market is bifurcated. Moderately priced homes are in high demand while upper-end homes are moving slowly. Affordability is what consumers are looking for….

“With the economy set to grow this year, we expect to set a record with more than 120 consecutive months of GDP expansion. More than 20 million net new jobs have been added, and the average wage has increased to $23.18 per hour, up 3.5%, the largest annual rise in a decade. Consumer confidence is following suite; the index reached 124 in March compared to the 50-year average figure of 93. Moreover, 37% of consumers strongly believe now is a good time to buy, according to National Association of Realtors® figures for the 1st quarter of 2019, up from 34% in the prior quarter. Low mortgages rate help. But a good economy and more inventory are also boosting consumers’ outlook….”

“Existing home sales jumped almost 12% in February. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes the surge largely to the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low for the remainder of the year. The one-month gain is among the largest ever recorded by NAR.”

Want Flood Insurance for Hurricane Season? Hurry Up!NationalFloodInsuranceProgr

Good reminder article posted on-line at Florida Realtors® on Monday:

“WASHINGTON – May 6, 2019 – While some Florida homeowners have private options, national flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period in most cases – and hurricane season starts in 25 days.

“As it stands now, the entire National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires on May 31, 2019. Should that happen, homeowners won’t lose coverage, but homebuyers may not be able to secure coverage even if it’s demanded by their lender. Congress may have a new plan in place for the program by then, or they may authorize a short-term extension as they have done in the past.

“In any case, homeowners and buyers should prepare for the possibility of another NFIP hiatus. NFIP issued the following commonly asked questions about flood insurance coverage:

Why do I need flood insurance? Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods, and it’s wise to consider flood insurance even if you are not required to purchase it. Even if you live outside a high-risk flood zone, called a Special Flood Hazard Area, it’s a wise decision to buy flood insurance. In fact, statistics show that people who live outside high-risk areas file more than 25% of flood claims nationwide.

“It’s often said that wherever it rains, it can flood. So, while flood zones are specific geographic areas where there is a higher statistical probability of a flood occurring, floods do occur elsewhere. Florida, for example, has exceeded that statistical probability, putting more homes and properties at risk than expected over the last five years.

“FEMA calculates that just three inches of floodwater in a home likely will require replacing drywall, baseboards, carpets, furniture and making other necessary repairs. If you don’t have flood insurance, your likely out-of-pocket cost (based on a 1,500-square-foot, one-floor home) is estimated at $15,000. For six inches of water, estimated loss jumps to an estimated $23,000. And 18 inches or more could require repairs to electrical, heating and cooling systems plus replacing doors, appliances and cabinetry. The estimated cost: $30,000.

“How does flood insurance work? If a community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), both building and contents coverage can be included in a policy for homeowners and businesses. Renters can get coverage for contents only. Policies issued by the NFIP pay even if a federal disaster isn’t declared.

“In Florida and other states recently impacted by hurricanes, NFIP streamlined the claims process, enabling policyholders to receive advance payments to jump-start rebuilding. Some policyholders were recently able to get advance payments up to $5,000 without an adjuster visit or additional documentation. Some received advance payments of up to $20,000 if they had photos/video evidence and receipts or a contractor’s estimate.

A Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate-to-low risk areas. This policy can be purchased for as little as $325 per year.

“When should I buy a policy? As soon as possible. There’s a waiting period. NFIP cannot pay a claim without a policy in effect when damage occurs. A new insurance policy from NFIP becomes effective 30 days after you buy it, unless the purchase is associated with the origination, renewal or extension of a federally backed loan on property in a high-risk area.

“Even if I’m not in a flood hazard area, can I purchase flood insurance? Yes, providing your community participates in NFIP. You’re eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area.

“Can I get flood insurance if I’m renting a property? Yes. If you live in a community that participates in NFIP as a renter, flood insurance covers the contents of your home, apartment or business at a rented location. An insurance agent can talk about the costs and ways to lower those costs.

“NFIP policy holders choose their amount of coverage. The maximum for one to four family residential structures is $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. For residential structures of five or more units, the maximum is $500,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. The maximum for businesses is $500,000 in building coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage.

“How much will I get from NFIP after flood damage? There are some misconceptions about the amount a policyholder will receive following flood-caused damage. While a policy may state it covers losses up to a certain amount:

  • The amount paid to the policyholder on a homeowner’s flood insurance policy will cover only the cost of actual damage caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid on contents will cover only actual losses caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid to businesses covered for structure and contents will be only for actual losses by the flood.

“Where can I buy flood insurance? Contacting your insurance company or agent. For an agent referral call 800-427-4661 or visit FloodSmart.gov.”

SanibelSusan Realty has the following local insurance providers on their vendor list:

Visit the BIG ARTS Construction Site

If you are wondering about the progress of the new facility being constructed at BIG ARTS on Dunlop Road next to City Hall & the Historical Village & Museum, they have installed a camera on the construction site. You can click on the video all summer on at https://bigarts.org

 

Work is ahead of schedule with the grand opening expected in January 2020. In the meantime, BIG ARTS staff have expanded their temporary office space behind SanibelSusan Realty.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 3-10, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 $470K, Gulfside Place #326 2/2 $1.449M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 $1.55M.

5 price changes: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $684.5K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $739K, Sundial #P203 2/2 now $899K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 now $1.05M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.295M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $544K, Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 listed at $605.9K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $675K.

5 closed sales: Island Beach Club #310B 2/2 $635K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 $680K, Sundial #A201 2/2 $825K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $870K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 $1.045M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $665K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $985K, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.949M.

12 price changes: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex now $549K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $649K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $810K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $924.9K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $979K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.169M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 now $1.189M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.299M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.349M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 now $3.199M, 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.895M.

2 new sales: 5869 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $595K (our buyer), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K.

5 closed sales: 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $599K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 $700K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $1.15M, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.295M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $5.25M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2438 Wulfert Rd $349K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6217 Starling Way $1.3M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.73M.

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.

mother-duckUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The clip art to the right is reminiscent of Dave’s open house yesterday on Limpet Dr. He found ducks frolicking in the swimming pool. “When the owners’ away, the ducks will play.”

Happy Mother’s Day!