Sanibel Beach Improvement & Pre-Season Scoop


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

Upper Deck

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

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

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

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

Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention & 2018 Business Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please Help Pass Amendment 2 – Vote “Yes”

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

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

Scientists Unsure Why Red Tide Exists, How to Fix Problem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1036 Bayview Dr $3.55M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes for a great weekend!weekend clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Early August Happenings on Sanibel


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

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

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

State of Emergency Declared By City

Reported in the Island Sun this week:Island Sun logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entering into contracts

Incurring obligations

Employment of permanent and temporary workers

Utilization of volunteer workers

Rental of equipment

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

Appropriation and expenditure of public funds”

Beach Update From City of Sanibel

Sanibelcityseal logoPosted earlier today to mySanibel.com:

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

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

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

Hidden in Plain Sight: Contract Clauses Clients May Miss

Florida Realtors logoPosted on FloridaRealtors.org this week:

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings, new or closed sales.

1 closed sale: 1639 Serenity Ln $265K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Have a great weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Water Quality – The Fight Continues


It’s been quite a week on Sanibel. Before I get into the leading island news, be sure and check out the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday. It follows the “water” scoop and other news below.

Early this afternoon, teammate Elise and I took a ride to check on the progress of the summer paver project at Spanish Cay (it’s coming along, with only a small area yet to be completed) and to take a couple of beach photos to post here. There were several cars parked at the Fulgur Street beach access when we pulled in, but the riders walked down the boardwalk, barely making it to the beach before they all turned, to return to their cars and leave.

08-03-18 1

08-03-18 Fulgur west

08-03-18-3

08-03-18 Fulgur south

08-03-18 2

08-03-18 Fulgur east

I also made it to the beach. But didn’t stay but a minute. The strong smell and throat irritation from the red tide deters even the hearty. There were hardly any people on the beach in either direction. The above are three shots are looking west up the beach toward Sundial, south, and east toward the mainland and Ft Myers Beach.

Southwest Florida Water Update

You likely have heard or read about the waters in Southwest Florida and the Gulf coast being in crisis from harmful blooms causing mass mortality of aquatic life. Waterways and beaches are littered with fish, dolphins, manatees, birds, shellfish, etc. The cause? Pollution from harmful high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that are feeding two different harmful blooms.”

SCCF logoThese two blooms are described in The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF’s) “Call to Action” that was emailed yesterday to their members:

  1. “Freshwater cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) that looks like neon green paint in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River reaching coastal back bays and beaches. This algae is an indicator of polluted water than can turn very potent toxins on and off. Toxins can persist in the water and sand even after the visible signs of a bloom are gone. The current bloom began in Lake Okeechobee on June 7, 2018.
  2. “Red tide is cause by a marine (saltwater) microscopic dinoflagellate that turns water a red color. It blooms offshore and moves onshore feeding off nutrients. The Gulf Coast has been experiencing an extraordinary event since October 2017 along the southwest gulf coast. Toxins released by this organism kill marine life, makes shellfish poisonous to eat, and causes eye and throat irritation when present.

“The two blooms are independent and not related, however, both are responding to excess nutrients from watershed AND Lake Okeechobee “runoff”.

“We all contribute to the excess nutrient problem so we all have to work toward solutions. We must ask elected officials to stop eroding environmental protections. Stop permitting wetland development. Establish water quality standards, and upgrade stormwater regulations for both urban and agriculture.”

The Lake O water release solution is not going to be quick a fix and there are many parts to the problem solving. Much has been done, but most of the solutions still are being constructed, funded, or planned. The Feds have partially funded some of the Lake O work, but this project will take years. The Florida legislature also has put millions toward a solution. Florida Senate Bill 10 recently passed and was signed into law so none of its initiatives have been implemented. It is touted as the strongest ever legislation for Everglades restoration.

A few weeks ago, the White House backed the EAA reservoir. (EAA stands for Everglades Agricultural Reservoir.) It is one of the central components of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The reservoir would hold water from Lake O and farm run-off in the wet season and release water south in the dry season. While funding is expected to be included as part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, the request for funding still needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

The Feds also just sent the state $3+million, specifically to assist with local municipalities dealing with the algae blooms. Here islanders are thankful that the City of Sanibel is cleaning the beaches and has brought in contractor help because the volume is so high. Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra is posting daily updates on www.MySanibel.com with descriptions of the status at various beaches.

Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would slow the discharges from Lake O, but we cannot let up in our push with local, state, and federal governments officials.

As island lovers and property owners, understanding and being informed on the “water” issue will help get us through this crisis. The red tide algae eventually will disappear just as it has almost every year going back as far as when it was first documented in the 1840’s. It is unfortunate that those here on their annual vacations are seeing the beaches at their worst.

I know I have posted before asking you to reply to a Call-For-Action. But today, I ask again. Please use the following blue link to go to SCCF’s easy form for sending emails. https://p2a.co/Yl1Gebl

Facts From FWC About Red Tide and Ongoing Bloom

Floria Fish & Wildlife LogoSourced to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and posted locally after the young whale shark beached here on July 22.

  • “FWC has been monitoring the bloom since it started in November.
  • “The bloom has moved north and south along the coast several times as a result of wind and currents.
  • “FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received more than 300 fish kill reports and requests for info associated with the bloom.
  • “Fish kills have been reported in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties; some of the affected species include grouper, trout, eel, snook, tarpon, hardhead catfish, baitfish.
  • “Red tides are a common occurrence along Florida’s Gulf coast and fish populations have evolved to be resilient to the impact.
  • “There have been several red tide events over the last 20 years and fish and fisheries are able to rebound even after severe and prolonged red tide events.
  • “In addition to fish kills, red tides can cause illness and death to aquatic wildlife including marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds.
  • “FWC staff have been out in the field to confirm species identification and location, estimate of number of dead fish and obtain samples from fish carcasses.”

Next Week at Florida Realtors®

Florida Realtors logoNext week is Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention and Trade Show followed by their annual business meetings. This lucky girl is serving on five committees this year and though we manage to get most committee work done through the year by emails and phone calls, we expect to finalize many projects over the few days when we are all together in Orlando.

While I am away, SanibelSusan teammates, Dave, Elise, and Lisa will be here keeping our business humming, while I’ll be in touch with them, mostly through email. One of the topics that will be discussed at the meetings is water quality. Our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been fighting for improved water quality for years. In Orlando at FloridaRealtors®, it is on the agenda at the Legislative Think Tank Land Use Group and probably also will be discussed in the Resort & 2nd Homes Specialist Breakout Group. There, I will hear about how similar “water” problems are affecting our business on both west and east coasts.

Island Summer Openings/Closings

  • sanibel-library-logoSanibel Public Library Reopens – The Library reopened on Wednesday for normal hours of operation after being closed for its updating/modernization project. While renovations continue, their temporary main entrance is on the west side of the building. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays. For more info, call them at 239-472-2483. More info at www.sanlib.org.
  • sanibel schoolLocal Schools Opening Soon – How can summer be almost over? Open houses for the Sanibel School are Wed, August 8, with the 2018-2019 school year beginning on Fri, August 10. More info at www.sbl.leeschools.net.

Why Won’t My HOA Board Listen To Me?

Here is some good advice that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®. It was published in the Fort Lauderdale “Sun Sentinel” and written by Gary M. Singer.Sun sentinel

“Question: I live in a beautiful community that is well maintained by the board and its various committees. All is great, except for the roads – they are ugly with oil marks and patched areas. I have asked about this, but it does not seem to be a priority of the board of directors. How do I get the board to address this issue? – Philip

“Answer: Most people who want to get their board’s attention try to bring up a new issue at the public board meeting. This is not a good idea and will most likely not work.

“A board meeting is a business meeting and should be run from an agenda of items known to all in advance so that the members and directors have ample time to research and consider the issues to be dealt with during that meeting. The common tactic of trying to embarrass or ambush the board at the meeting almost always backfires. Simply, the board meeting is not the time to introduce a new issue.

“The better method is to send your board a letter outlining your concern. Try to be detailed and propose solutions. Explain why you think it is an essential use of the community’s resources, bearing in mind that other residents may have differing priorities. Send the letter by certified mail to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

“If it still does not make the agenda, try again, or even better, get some neighbors to write in, too. Many voices will hold more sway than just one.

“Finally, if, after all of these efforts, the existing board does not share your priorities for the community, you should consider running for the board at the next election. When you are a board member, you are able to help set the agenda and get your ideas pushed through. At least, that is, if enough of your neighbors agree with you.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity July 27-August 3, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $757.5K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 listed at $499K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 listed at $789K.

6 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $463.5K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $517.5K, Loggerhead Cay #342 2/2 $550K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 $595K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 $725K, Seawind II #5 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $469K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $479K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $499K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.444M.

3 new sales: 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K, 413 Bell Vista Way E 4/4 listed at $2.495M.

3 closed sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $380K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $445K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $2.085M.

LOTS

No new listings, new or closed sales.

1 closed sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct $1.33M. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 listed at $352.5K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 $2.8M, 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 $2.995M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 16181 Captiva Dr 4/4 multi-family listed at $1.895M, 16177 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $3.395M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family listed at $5.095M.

1 closed sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.1M.

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.

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, wishing you sunshine, clean beaches, and summertime fun!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Scoop on July 27, 2018


It’s SanibelSusan reporting just another sunny Friday afternoon on Sanibel – also another quiet week in the world of island real estate sales.

Teammate Dave and I checked a few properties this afternoon which took us out to Sanibel’s west end with a stop in Santiva and another near The Green Flash on Captiva. Here are a couple of photos overlooking Roosevelt Channel.

Green Flash 07-27-18 2Green Flash 07-27-18 1

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Our local Association of Realtors® makes good use of summer downtime, which is when our members promote and support several charities and non-profits.

Meals of Hope Pix 2018

Our “Meals of Hope” food packing event on Tuesday raised $7,455 and had 80+ volunteers (including Association staff, Realtors®, affiliates, friends and families) working together to pack over 20,000 meals – in less than three hours. Those meals go to local food banks and pantries which are low on food this time of the year.

Yesterday at our Association’s July membership meeting, colleague Anita Colletti from Naples told the group about “Silent Angels” which is a quiet behind-the-scenes non-profit that began in Florida to help Realtor® families in time of emergency.

guardian1Next month, the Association again will be collecting new twin and crib sheets for “Bedz for Kidz”, a non-profit started in 2001 by Realtor® friend, Cynthia Shafer, who through the course of her advocacy with the local Guardian ad Litem Foundation, recognized the need for beds/bedding when vulnerable children are moved by Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit. Cynthia and her husband often spend their Saturdays delivering beds and bedding to these needy kids. Though their identification is never disclosed, it is humbling to hear her stories of how the kids’ eyes light up when they get their own “stuff”. The Shafers travel our 5-county area and have assembled and provided thousands of beds. I got a message from her yesterday, that they are off to provide another eleven tomorrow. Donations and more sheets, bedding, backpacks, and small suitcases are always welcome.

What’s Happening With The Water

Big “thank yous” again this week go to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, Councilwoman Holly Smith, and City Director of Natural Resources James Evans who were in DC in back-to-back meetings with members of the Senate, Congress, and others.

07-24-18 Ruane Evans Holly Rooney

L to R: Mayor Ruane, Director Evans, Councilor Smith, & Congressman Rooney (pix from Congressman Rooney’s Facebook page)

 

Mayor Ruane also gave a presentation to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force about the conditions of Southwest Florida waterways. He asked committee members to maintain Lake “O” flows at or below 3,000 cfs for the remainder of the rainy season; accelerate critical CERP projects (the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, C-43 reservoir & Lake “O” Watershed project), and to use maximum operational flexibility to move additional water south. “We are at a critical state right now with regard to the health and safety of our coastal communities, the ecology of our estuaries, our quality of life, and our local economy,” he said.

Solutions to water quality problems are complicated, many, and some long-term. We all must continue to keep the pressure on. You can be sure the Realtors® on Sanibel and Captiva are, another fundraiser with proceeds to benefit water quality efforts at SCCF is scheduled next month.

Lee County Tax Appraiser Posts 2018 Property Values

LeePALogoIt usually is not until mid-August, that Lee County property owners receive the year’s TRIM notices (notices of proposed properties taxes) which are based on their new annual property valuation. The 2018 property values, however, already have been posted on the site. They are dated July 16, 2018.

If you are wondering about the change in a Lee County property value, go to www.leepa.org. Click on Database Search, then click on Property Data Search. Fill in either an owner’s name (last name first) or address, click search and up comes the data page for that parcel. Once you find the property, click on the blue link on the right called “Parcel Details”. Once on the property page, to the left of the photo is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Click on the little “colorful book” icon to the right of the words and up will come “Property Value History” showing by taxable year the assessed values for each year, including taxable values. If you want just the details on the 2018 value, further down on the data page is an expandable menu under “Values (2018 Preliminary)”. Click the plus sign and you will see the details of the 2018 assessment.

If a property owner disagrees with a value, the time to take that up with the county Tax Appraiser is just after the TRIM notice is received in August.

Upcoming Island Events & Closures

From tomorrow, Saturday July 28 to Sunday August 5 – Sanibel Recreation Closed – for annual maintenance projects including resurfacing of the gym floor, replacement of the pool heating and cooling system, and others.

Tuesday, July 31 – 1st Islander Wine Dinner Fundraiser – to benefit The Community House and at The Community House presented by Sanibel Catering Company (Bailey’s and Talbott Vineyards). Tickets at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

Friday, August 10 – Bag Day at Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop. This is their annual end-of-season sale. From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. shoppers can buy a bag for $4 and fill it with as much as they can. Any items that don’t fit in the bag are 80% off. Shoppers can buy as many bags as they want for $4 each. Proceeds go to more than 25 local, regional, and global charities and agencies. From August 10 to September 1, the Ark does not take donations. On October 2, Noah’s Ark reopens for business on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In November, the winter season full schedule resumes – open weekdays and the first Saturday of each month from 9: 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity July 20-27, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/1 $535K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $825K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 listed at $329.9K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 listed at $512.5K.

2 closed sales: Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 $670K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $705K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $995K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 $997.5K.

4 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $695K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $729K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $899K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $3.295M.

3 new sales: 9028 Mockingbird Ln 4/3 listed at $799K, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed at $1.69M.

2 closed sales: 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 $825K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lot 27, Leisure Acres $35K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 $1.429M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 listed at $325K, Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2,999,999.

1 price change: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $999K.

1 new sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $2.05M.

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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Real Estate Scoop from Sunny Sanibel!


It has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. The local and national news about the green algae in the river and canals in Cape Coral is making rental phones ring with questions and some cancellations, but if you are here, like The SanibelSusan Team, you have noticed that the gulf waters still are sparkling and usually clear.

Here’s a cool picture shared with me this week by Jimmy and Jim Anderson who handle our professional photography. I told them I’d give them a plug when I posted this. Jim’s been taking care of our listing pictures for 25+years! Jimmy’s the drone expert! Nice job, guys! Check out more of their work at ImagesForSuccess.com.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0290.JPG

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis is the off-week for the islands’ Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, but next week is our July membership meeting, which always brings more members out.

Our new listing at Moonshadows #2C already is signed up to be on the caravan – open July 26 from 9 a.m. until noon at 1351 Middle Gulf Drive.  (Here’s a link to the streaming video for Moonshadows, by Jim and Jimmy Anderson).

meals of hope logoFirst, on Tuesday is the Association of Realtors® hosted meal packing event for “Meals of Hope”. We have raised the $5,000 needed to pay for the food for 20,000+meals and have more than 50 volunteers ready to get to work, but there is always room for more, so let us know if you want to participate. Teammate Elise and I will be packing then from 3 to 5 p.m., while Teammate Dave keeps the office running.

New Eats

paperfig kitchen logoThe word is out that Sanibel’s Paper Fig Kitchen is having their soft opening today, July 20. Located in Tahitian Gardens here is what their website says about their offerings: “PAPER FIG KITCHEN in Sanibel believes that even a quick breakfast bite, lunch on the go (or on our Shop porch), afternoon nosh, or “I don’t have time to shop, chop, and prep” take along dinner should be creatively crafted, absolutely fresh, and without a doubt, delicious!

“Every item at PAPER FIG KITCHEN is made in House from scratch…. which includes our fresh to freezer hors d’oeuvres, soups, prepared/green salads, entrees/sides, trays & platters, dressings, sauces, garnishes, etc.  Client favorites, seasonal fare, daily specials, and sweet treats will be available at our storefront…. Our Kitchen to yours! “ They offer catering and private chef services too. More info and menu at https://paperfigkitchen.com/

National Flood Insurance Program Expiring

NFIPThe SanibelSusan Team has heeded the call-to-action to encourage Congress to reform and extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which expires July 31 denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. We don’t want to know what will happen if this doesn’t occur. The National Association of Realtors® supports:

  • Reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run;
  • Encouraging the development of private market options to offer comparable flood insurance coverage at lower cost than NFIP;
  • Providing federal assistance to high-risk property owners, including guaranteed loans, grants and buyouts in order to build to higher standards and keep insurance rates affordable;
  • Provide fair flood insurance rates that better reflect the property’s flood risk;
  • Improving flood map accuracy, so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals.

You don’t need to be a Realtor® to also encourage Congress.  CLICK BELOW TO:
Tell Congress to EXTEND NFIP and PASS Flood Insurance Reform Thank you.

Florida’s Gross Domestic Product Hits $1-Trillion Mark

Florida Realtors logoOn Monday, FloridaRealtors® on line posted the following article from “The Orlando Sentinel”.

“Florida’s gross domestic product topped $1 trillion Friday, an economic output that would make the Sunshine State the world’s 17th largest economy if it were an independent country, the state chamber said.

“The milestone has been expected. University of Central Florida economic analyst Sean Snaith said the state has been strong in all areas of employment. “This is really being driven by fundamentals,” he said. “This is not just a fluke of an overheated economy.”

“Florida’s economy has grown larger than Saudi Arabia’s, Switzerland’s and Argentina’s, the chamber said.

“The economist who authored the study pointed to growth in manufacturing. “Those [jobs] are growing faster here than the U.S. the last few years, ” said Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation chief economist.

“The $1 trillion figure was calculated based on the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ most recent GDP number of $984 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and a formula that projects current statistics that have yet to be factored in by the bureau, including job growth, goods, services and other factors.

“Key factors driving the state’s growth that can be seen in Metro Orlando’s economy include low unemployment, population growth and tourism. The broad successes in those areas make the $1 trillion figure sustainable, Snaith said. “The near-term risk of recession is still fairly low,” Snaith said. “… Momentum in the labor market, the tax cuts and jobs act, all that has been a force of adrenalin, if you will, for economic growth. Could we drop below that? It’s possible, but that would be temporary. This is a mile marker on a longer-run trend as opposed to being fleeting or cyclical.”

“Florida has been adding $2.7 billion to its GDP each day on average, the Chamber said in its release.

At the start of 2008, the state’s GDP stood at $757 billion adjusted for inflation, according to BEA. It dropped to $715 billion by the third quarter of 2009 but has since risen steadily. The $1 trillion projection would represent a 39.86 percent increase.

“The Chamber cited unemployment lower than the national average and other factors driving the growth.… Florida continues to break visitation records, and our state is continuing to diversify its economy,” its release said.”

Where Are The Buyers?

realtor logoThe July-August issue of REALTOR® Magazine has a good article by NAR Chief Economist (and my favorite crystal-ball reader), Lawrence Yun. His answer to the above question is “They’re waiting until their earnings and home prices are better aligned.

“The economy is solidly advancing. The anticipated growth rate of 4 to 5% in the 2nd quarter is remarkable. For the year, the GDP will exceed 3% for the 1st time since 2005. Employment, likewise, is strong: 5 million net new jobs over the past two years, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.8%, the lowest rate in 50 years. Wages are up too, by 2.8% over the last 12 months.

“There is more good news. Despite recent volatility, the stock market has been close to an all-time high, helping push combined wealth in the U.S. across the $100 trillion mark for the 1st time. The median home price has risen 40% over the last fives years and continues to climb.

“And yet home sales are down 1% from this time last year, and homebuyer sentiment is tepid. The number of consumers strongly expressing “it is a good time to buy” fell to 38.5% in the 1st half of the year compared to 45% at a similar period last period.

“What’s behind the mismatch? For many potential buyers, homes are just too expensive. That’s why more building is critical. Consider advocating for accelerated new construction in your community. Some goals to consider pursuing with local authorities: streamlining the housing permit process; reducing impact feees on new homes; reducing minimum lot sizes; expediting local environmental reviews; promoting the repurposing of outdated commercial buildings into residential units; amending rehabilitation codes, and encouraging use of prefabricated, modular housing, and accessory dwelling units.

“At the federal level, the National Association of REALTORS® is pushing for expanded vocational training in construction fields, revised condominium defect laws, and increased community bank lending for lot development. The combined impact of these efforts would be tremendous. Not only would these steps relieve the housing shortage, they’d help keep economic growth humming at 4% or more. And that would be a win for everyone.”

Summer Happenings

Burn 07-17-18

  • J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge Prescribed Burn – In a press release, the Refuge thanked all residents, visitors and partners for “a successful prescribed burn of the Botanical Site on Sanibel on Tuesday, July 17. It was conducted to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires and to help preserve the natural ecology of the area, officials reported. It was successful because of help from multiple partners. The Southern Florida and Caribbean Fire District of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted the prescribed burn with the assistance of: six national wildlife refuges, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, two federal units, Big Cypress National Preserve and Avon Park Air Force Range; and local partners, Florida Forest Service, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, City of Sanibel, Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Recreation Center, Sanibel Fire and Rescue District, Lee County Mosquito Control District, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Island Water Association, Audubon Society and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.”
  • Causeway Bridge Inspection. – Notice was in the “Island Sun” today that Lee County Department of Transportation will be performing a bridge inspection on Sanibel Causeway Span A next week. The job is scheduled to start on Tuesday (July 24) and finish on Thursday (July 26), weather permitting. Lane closures will be controlled by flagging operation. Affected times will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 13-20, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

5 price changes: Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $624.9K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 now $634.9K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $758.5K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $850K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.649M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 listed at $435K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 listed at $535K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 listed at $629K, Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 listed at $719K.

5 closed sales: Blind Pass #A205 2/2 $400K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 $510K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 $575K, Lighthouse Point #212 3/2 $746K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 4436 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $729K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.199M, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $1.225M.

9 price changes: 2074 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $55K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $649K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $739.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $819K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.548M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.75M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.446M.

4 new sales: 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $539.9K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $549,999; 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $695K; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sales: 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $715K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6089 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $4.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct $287K, 6000 White Heron Ln $705K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Lands End Village #1655 2/2 now $1.055M, Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 now $3.375M, Beach Homes #13 4/4.5 now $3.949M.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 listed at $325K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & 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.

TGIFUntil next Friday!

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

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.

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 1st Friday in July 2018!


It’s SanibelSusan with the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It follows a couple of news items below.

Lots of folks have been asking about the water, so there is more about that below too. Here’s a photo taken just before the holiday, the further west you go, the better it looks!

Beach 06-28

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Parade 2018 beginningThe 28th annual island Independence Day parade Wednesday morning was terrific.

2018 parade judgesWith the judges set up right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, we got to see the 50+ entries at their best.

The parade photo album posted on my personal Facebook page is available for public viewing (at Susan Andrews).

Later, following a huge early evening thunderstorm with heavy rain, the City was forced to cancel the fireworks.2018 Ding parade

Many boaters and causeway hold-outs were disappointed, as it is advertised as “rain or shine”.

The below follow-up notice was posted the next day on www.MySanibel.com.

“Please read this important news release regarding the status of the City’s 2018 Fireworks Display.

“Unfortunately, an early evening storm last night inundated the electrical components that are an essential element of the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks display, which is typically launched rain or shine.

“This morning, all unexploded fireworks were safely removed from the Island by 4 a.m.  Prior to last evening, the City had paid the vendor 50% of the cost of the $20,000 contract.  This afternoon, the City worked with the vendor who has agreed to credit the entire $10,000 down payment towards the City’s 2019 fireworks display.

This scenario eliminates the risk of a second cancellation due to weather during the rainy season as well as the additional labor expenses of a re-scheduled fireworks display.  The City of Sanibel again apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from last evening’s failure to launch.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoNo caravan of new listings this week, but next Thursday morning will be “open” Caravan.

Also next week, I will be working with the Association’s Communications & Public Relations Committee as they finalize plans for our upcoming “Meals of Hope” food packaging event on July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.

meals_of_hope(1)Last year, we hosted our 1st event like this and packed 28,000 meals in less than two hours. It’s fun, fast, furious, and for such a good cause. The meals are distributed by Meals of Hope to local food banks, including F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva food pantry. Our goal this year is again to pack at least 20,000 meals. That requires 50 volunteers and $5,000 to defray the food cost. Teammate Elise and I have already contributed and signed up to help. If you’d like to participate too, contact Megan at the Association Office, 239-472-9353, megan@SanibelRealtors.com.

Island Summer Projects Underway

  • Bailey Tract still is closed with the restoration project which began in early June. Work was scheduled to be completed in four to six weeks, so should be done soon.
  • New Pavers at Spanish Cay – The west half of the parking lot is done, looks terrific. A nice improvement over the black hard-top.
  • Roadway Trimming continues along Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.
  • Temporary Library Closure The Sanibel Public Library will be closed for a few weeks beginning Monday, July 9. As part of the next phase of “Your Library Reimagined” project, this interruption is to complete utility work and relocate library materials. The Library’s eShelf for eBooks and downloadable movies, music, and magazine, will be available during this time, however the children’s special events on July 10 and 24 have been moved to the Community House. More info on the Library’s calendar at www.sanlib.org. No definite reopening date yet.

2018 Hurricane Season May Not Be So Busy After All

USATodayLOGOThis morning, FloridaRealtors® posted on-line the below article from USATODAY.com. Good news!

“Some good news from top hurricane forecasters: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season should be quieter than normal, according to a new prediction this week.

“Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University – regarded as the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters – predict 10 named tropical storms will form, of which four will become hurricanes.

“That is a sharp decrease from their forecast in April, when they said seven hurricanes would form. One system, Subtropical Storm Alberto, already formed in May.

“If the forecast comes to fruition, 2018 will be a welcome relief after the 2017 season, which saw monsters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear paths of death and destruction across the Caribbean and the U.S.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to develop and strengthen.

“El Nino is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, which tends to suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes. During an El Nino, strong upper-level winds roar across the Caribbean and Atlantic, tearing apart developing tropical storms.

“In its most recent forecast, the Climate Prediction Center gave a 50% chance of an El Nino forming in late summer or early fall.

“”With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well,” Colorado State said. The probability of direct hit on the U.S. coast from a major hurricane – classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale – is down to 39% from 63%.

Sanibel’s “Sweet Melissa” Going to New Orleans

sweet-melissa-sHere is a notice for island foodies. Sanibel’s Melissa Donahue-Talmage, owner/chef of Sweet Melissa’s Café was just announced as one of the eight chefs participating in the 2018 Chef’s Taste Challenge on September 7 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Tickets go on sale next week for this one-night culinary clash called the “Battle-of-the-Gulf Edition” which is a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and culinary experience. Participating chefs include:

Wondering About the Water?

Sanibelcityseal logoBelow are links to the panoramic aerials taken on July 4th, posted on the City’s website. The reduced water releases from Lake “O” are helping in clarity of the water, but the news of algae up in the Caloosahatchee River is disheartening, so we must continue to keep the pressure on.

Thanks to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and others for leading the charge. More details on www.mySanibel.com.

Lighthouse Beach Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Lighthouse Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Gulfside City Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Gulfside City Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Bowman’s Beach Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Bowman’s Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 29-July 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #H108 1/1 $475K

No price changes.

2 new sales: St Croix #4 2/2.5 listed at $995K, By-the-Sea #C102 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $215K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $538K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $815K, Sundial #Q404 2/2 $897K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $775K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 $879K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $989K.

6 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $569K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 now $629K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $797K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.369M.

2 new sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $569K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $899K (our listing).

7 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $400K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 $400K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $465K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $815K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $845K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $900K, 1316 Eagle Run Blvd 4/3 $1.23M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $299K, 5170 Sea Belle Rd $334.9K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5.5.5 now $3.5M.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

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.

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


BonneParade

From a parade many years ago!

It’s Sanibel Susan, reporting that Dave, Elise, Lisa and I are counting down to the Independence Day holiday next week. Fingers crossed that some of the many vacationers arriving tomorrow want to view and buy real estate. The SanibelSusan Team is ready to help them, if they are.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

Pre-Parade All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast – 7 to 9 a.m. at Sanibel Community Church. Event is free with donations accepted to benefit the church’s Summit Christian Preschool Scholarship fund.

crow 2015 parade

CROW’s 2015 parade entry. With this year’s theme, their entry should be another winner!

office pix 09-12-1728th Annual Independence Day Parade – starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tarpon Bay Road in front of Bailey’s Center and travels down Periwinkle Way, ending at Casa Ybel Rd. Theme is “Wild About America”. Periwinkle Way closes at 9 a.m., so be sure and get to your favored parade-watching spot early. Good vantage points are in front of SanibelSusan Realty, both in the shade under the trees at City Park across the street or under the overhang in front of our office building. The office will be open.

Post-Parade Celebration – at Jerry’s Shopping Center, begins at 10:30 a.m.

39th Annual Road Rally – begins at noon from The Timbers parking lot. This automobile scavenger hunt has vehicles deployed every two minutes. Hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, more info at their website www.sancapoptimist.org.

fireworks clip artFireworks Cruise – by Adventures in Paradise departs Sanibel Marina “G” dock at 7:30 p.m. Call 239-472-8443 for reservations.

Fireworks – at 9 p.m. rain or shine, from the end of Bailey Road out into the bay, above the causeway. Sponsored by the City of Sanibel.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

Yesterday at our local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting, staff from BIG ARTS gave members a quick preview of some artists scheduled to perform in the upcoming season. BIG ARTS is celebrating its 40th year with their calendar filling up. Tickets often are sold out to see big name bands, singers, and musicians, so it’s never too early to plan to attend those events. Check out their full schedule at www.BIGARTS.org. Many tickets go on sale this summer and can be purchased on-line. Beginning in January 2019, here are a few mentioned that caught my eye.

Bumper-Jacksons1/5 – Beginnings (Chicago tribute band)

1/12 – DePue Brothers Band (named Musical Family of America in 1989)

1/17 – Bumper Jacksons (7-piece band known for their roots jazz, country swing, & street blues)

iLuminate1/30 – iLuminate (dance & acrobatic performance team featured on America’s Got Talent)’

2/2 – m-Pact “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (often called one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world)

LMLMP_Simon_Gar_CP

2/22 – Judy Collins

3/16 – Live in Central Park Revisited (recreation of Simon & Garfunkel’s performances on 9/19/1981)

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

The below article by Attorney Richard D. DeBoest was posted on-line this week at FloridaRealtors®:

Florida Realtors logo“July 2, 2018 – Question: We heard there were some new laws impacting condominium associations. Would you please give us a summary of the changes we need to know about? – B.T., Port St. Lucie

“Answer: Below is a summary of new laws as of July 1, 2018, applicable to condominiums:

  1. Official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Plans, permits, warranties, declaration, articles, bylaws, rules, meeting minutes and accounting records from the inception of the association must now be kept forever. Chapter 718 previously required these documents to be kept for only 7 years. All other records must still be kept for 7 years with exception of ballots, proxies and related voting material that only needs to be kept for 1 year.
  2. Access to official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Access to official records must be made available within 10 “working” days. Formerly it was 5 working days but since the penalty did not arise until after 10 working days effectively nothing has changed. Records must still be made available within 10 “working” days.
  3. Website creation – 718.111(12)(g)1/HB841. The requirement imposed in 2017 that condominiums (excluding timeshares) must create a website and post digital copies of most of its official records on its website by July 1, 2018, has been extended to January 1, 2019. The term “association” has been replaced by the term “condominium” thereby making it clear that multi-condominium associations that manage several condominiums each with less than 150 units but cumulatively 150 or more units are now exempt from the website requirement.
  4. Website records – 718.111(12)(g)2.e and g/HB841. A list of all bids in excess of $500 received by the association for materials, equipment or services within the past year must now be posted on the website if a website is required. Additionally, the “monthly income or expense statement” must be posted.
  5. Website records failure to post – 718.111(12)(g)4/HB841. The failure to post required records on the website is not sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or any committee.
  6. Board and members meeting notices on website – 718.112(2)(c)1 and (d)/HB841. In addition to sending and posting notices for board and members meetings by regular mail, the board may now adopt a rule to allow the posting of such notices on the website if a website is required. The rule must also require that an e-mail be sent to all owners who have requested electronic notice with a link to the posted notice.
  7. Term limits – 718.112(2)(d)2/HB841. The 2017 law limiting a director from serving no more than four consecutive two-year terms has been changed. The law now provides that regardless of the length of the term (one year or two years) a director cannot serve more than eight consecutive years unless no other eligible candidates run or at least 2/3 of those who vote approve the person to continue serving beyond eight consecutive years. The revised language also clarifies that if the governing documents so provide, directors may be elected to serve terms of more than two years each.
  8. Electronic notice – 718.112(2)(d)6/HB841. An owner who consents to electronic notice is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of e-mails. This will prevent an owner from objecting to a lack of notice if the notice is stopped by the owner’s spam filter.
  9. Recalls – 718.112(2)(j)1/HB841. A director is recalled immediately at the conclusion of the board meeting held to consider the recall if the recall is deemed “facially valid.” Under the prior 2017 change in the law which created a number of procedural ambiguities, the director was apparently recalled even if the recall agreements were clearly insufficient in number to effectuate a recall. Note that a definition of “facially valid” is not provided.
  10. Recalls attorney fees – 718.112(2)(j)6/HB841. If a recalled board member files a petition for arbitration to challenge the recall and is successful, then the arbitrator may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. If the board member is unsuccessful, the arbitrator may award the other party its attorneys’ fees and costs but only if the challenge is found to have been “frivolous.”
  11. Material alterations – 718.113(2)(a)/HB841. Clarifies that any material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements that requires owner approval must be approved before the work is commenced.
  12. Electronic vehicle charging – 718.112(8) and 718.121(2)/HB841. Allows unit owners to install electronic vehicle charging stations in their limited common element parking spaces under certain conditions and subject to certain requirements. Among other things, the owner must pay to install a separate meter and pay for the electricity. Further, the owner’s insurance must also name the association as an additional insured, and if the association’s insurance premium goes up as a result of the charging station, the owner must pay the increase. Moreover, if the owner fails to pay the contractor that installs the charging equipment, the contractor cannot file a construction lien against the association.
  13. Contracts with directors – 718.3026(3) and 718.3027(2)/HB841. The 2017 change in the law allowing an association to contract with a director under certain circumstances but allowing owners to void any such contract with a vote at the next members meeting was removed from 718.3026 and relocated to 718.3027.
  14. Fines and suspension committees/Payment of fine – 718.303(3)(b)/HB841. Provides that the fining committee has three members and that the members cannot be the “spouse, parent, child, brother, sister or employee” of any director. Formerly, the condominium law did not set the number of members and only prohibited board members and persons residing with a board member from being on the committee. Oddly, the new law removes the prohibition that a member of the committee cannot be residing with a director. If the committee approves the fine it must be paid within five days of the committee meeting. The association must give written notice of the fine or suspension after the committee approves it by mail or hand delivery.

“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, PLLC 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, 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.

© 2018 Journal Media Group. Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 22-29, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #36 2/2 $380K, Sanibel Inn #3 2/1 $779K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.398M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 listed at $489K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 listed at $545K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 listed at $549K.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #4D 2/2 $420K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 $455K, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.17M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $819K.

15 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $429K; 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $549,999; 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $570K; 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $575K; 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $599K; 836 Donax St 3/2 now $599K; 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K; 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K; 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $795K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $929K; 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $945K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.145M; 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.574M.

3 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $440K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $779K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $945K.

3 closed sales: 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $432K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $590K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.1001M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1292 Par View Dr $369K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $239,999; 3354 Barra Cir now $379K.

2 new sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct listed at $349K, 1036 Bayview Dr listed at $3.695M.

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 listed at $1.16M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 $635K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 now $6.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 $1.465M.

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 wishes you a wonderful holiday. Happy Birthday, America!more fireworks slip art.jpgT4thOfJulyWording

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Sunsets Are The Best!


It’s Susan reporting another beautiful Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands where we have had terrific weather again this week with a few late day and evening showers, mostly inland. Last night though, following another stunning sunset, the islands got a good dousing.

Below is a photo posted by Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra as she was coming back on-island just before the showers. Not only is she a fabulous City Manager, but a great photographer too. (Thanks for sharing, Judie.)

Judie sunset 06-21-18

The 2nd photo I snapped on my east-end travels. It shows just how green and beautiful the vegetation is on Sanibel this time of the year, as the seasons skip from spring into summer!

Purple flower.jpgIn the real estate world, the listing status changes as posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follow a few news items below.

Voters Are Not Turnips

SCCF logoLove it when the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) hits the nail on the head. Below is their email received Monday morning.

The other good news, just announced yesterday, is that the early huge water releases from Lake “O” will be reduced beginning today. Thanks to all that helped with the Mayor’s call-to-action. We can’t let up on these pushes. Southwest Florida government officials and local Realtors® have been cooperating on these initiatives for years and we are always in need of more help from the public.

Court Victory Supports Florida’s Land Acquisition Amendment – In 2014 an overwhelming 75% of Florida Voters supported a Constitutional Amendment to allocate 33% of real estate doc stamp taxes to Florida’s Land Acquisition fund, Florida Forever. The vote showed Florida voters really appreciate the public lands and special places that have helped make Florida a great place to live and explore.

“The Amendment was spurred when the Florida legislature quit funding Florida’s decade’s long program that purchased and protected wild lands, critical wildlife corridors, habitats and water systems from Spring to the Everglades. It passed with the support of 3 of 4 voters in 2014.

“However, the Florida legislature had their own ideas and misspent the funds on agency salaries and operating expenses over our active opposition each year. Their response? They told the public we didn’t understand the language of the amendment, copied below.

Turns out voters are not turnips and on Friday a Judge hearing the 3-year old case agreed, issuing a full summary judgment and cancelling the trial scheduled to begin in July.

“Voters are vindicated! Stay Tuned for what comes next. Thanks to the groups who sued: Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, The Sierra Club and Earthjustice.

“Language of the 2014 Constitutional Amendment:  Funds in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund shall be expended only for the following purposes:

“1.   As provided by law, to finance or refinance: the acquisition and improvement of land, water areas, and related property interests, including conservation easements, and resources for conservation lands including wetlands, forests, and fish and wildlife habitat; wildlife management areas; lands that protect water resources and drinking water sources, including lands protecting the water quality and quantity of rivers, lakes, streams, spring sheds, and lands providing recharge for groundwater and aquifer systems; lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area and the Everglades Protection Area, as defined in Article II, Section 7(b); beaches and shores; outdoor recreation lands, including recreational trails, parks, and urban open space; rural landscapes; working farms and ranches; historic or geologic sites; together with management, restoration of natural systems, and the enhancement of public access or recreational enjoyment of conservation lands.

“2.   To pay the debt service on bonds issued pursuant to Article VII, Section 11(e).”

1st Day of Summer & National Seashell Day

Yesterday, also the first day of summer, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau hosted an event aimed at toppling an existing Guinness World Record for “largest human image of a seashell.” It required recruiting lots of people wearing identical T-shirts to assemble on Fort Myers Beach and fill in the form of a seashell. A Guinness World Records adjudicator was on site to verify the attempt.

With 1,093 volunteers participating, including many from Sanibel/Captiva, Lee County’s human seashell surpassed a seashell image created in October featuring 855 participants at a team-building event in Turkey that was organized by the petrochemical/energy company Shell and Turcas Petrol A.S. Congratulations to all who helped the effort.

national seashell day 2018.jpg

This Fort Myers Beach shell-a-bration is the signature event for the 3rd annual National Seashell Day — held on the first day of summer: Thursday. Plenty of photos were posted on social medial under the hashtag: #NationalSeaShellDay.

Top 10 Threats to Real Estate in 2019

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_The below article was posted on line yesterday (June 21, 2018) at “Realtor® Magazine”, credited to The Counselors in Real Estate on June 14.

“Rising interest rates and the economy are the top two current issues to watch in real estate, according to the Counselors of Real Estate’s Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate 2018-2019, a list of the biggest threats to the housing market. For the first time, CRE broke its annual list down into current and longer-term issues to watch during the industry’s next year.

Top Current Issues to Watch

  1. Interest rates and the economy: As interest rates rise, commercial and residential real estate markets are seeing several changes, such as decreasing demand for commercial property and higher home mortgage rates. Rate increases are making homes less affordable and are also limiting the value appreciation for commercial real estate. “Lack of wage growth for all but the wealthiest population segment is dampening housing demand and limiting consumer spending that the economy needs for growth,” the report notes.
  2. Politics and political uncertainty: Tax reform and policies aimed at balancing trade with other countries will have an impact on jobs, incomes, and both commercial and residential property, according to the report. Congressional action to relax certain bank lending and asset management regulations was also among developing trends that may improve access to capital,” the report notes.
  3. Housing affordability: The lack of affordable homes across income brackets, excluding the most wealthy, is being fueled by low wages, rising mortgage rates, and the underproduction of housing for nearly two decades, according to the report.
  4. Generational change/demographics: Four distinct generations are exerting influence on commercial and residential real estate, such as in office design, student and elder housing, amenities, and location preferences.
  5. E-commerce and logistics: Volatility in the retail sector, such as from the increase of e-commerce, is leading to a growth in warehouses.

Top Longer-Term Issues

  1. Infrastructure: Roads, bridges, airports, water and sewer lines, electricity, and public transit are rapidly deteriorating, the report notes. An estimated $4.5 trillion is needed to improve critical infrastructure by 2025, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. “The lack of serious effort by the U.S. to address its condition and much-needed revitalization leads the list of broader and emerging issues affecting real estate,” the report notes.
  2. Disruptive technology: The report highlights advances in robotic manufacturing and warehousing; driverless cars and trucks; the extensive availability and utilization of personal and transactional data (aimed at enhancing business decisions); “smart” building technology that enables efficiency; global connectivity; automated business processes; and information protection through cybersecurity. “Nearly every aspect of real estate is undergoing dramatic change as these types of technology are adopted,” the report notes.
  3. Natural disasters and climate change: The ongoing threat of natural disasters and climate change can result in high-priced property and environmental damage. This includes everything from severe storms, wildfires, and floods to earthquakes, volcanic activity, and rising sea levels.
  4. Immigration: “If reduced by law, will have a negative impact on new housing starts and home purchases as well as worsen the current skilled labor shortage in the U.S.,” the report cautions.
  5. Energy and water: Natural resources that are vital to property and quality of life are being threatened by environmental damage (manmade and from changing climates) as well as “entangling state and local regulations that are complicating development and lack the standardization that national regulations would provide.”

“CRE additionally notes several other issues making its “watch list,” including rising construction costs; urbanization/suburbanization (with suburbs adapting citylike development and amenities); tax cuts (which may positively impact commercial properties; legislation is still developing); and societal leadership (social activism among younger Americans that is fueling business and social reform at many levels).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 15-22, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Seawind #105, 2/2.5 $545K, Sanibel Surfside 2/2 $989K.

1 price change: Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $869K.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 listed at $459K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 listed at $519K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 listed at $599K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 listed at $599.5K, Seawind II #5 2/2.5 listed at $799K.

7 closed sales: Casa Blanca 2/1 $379K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $481.1K, Sanibel Arms West #G7 2/2 $520K, Sundial West #G204 2/2 $597.5K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 $800K, Sundial East #P204 2/2 $829K, High Tide #C201 2/2 $953K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 849 Beach Rd 4/2 duplex $635K

5 price changes: 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $849K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $1.1M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.149M, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 now $1.35M, 6071 San-Cap Rd 5/4.5 now $2.9975M.

2 new sales: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 listed at $459K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $899K.

4 closed sales: 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $552.5K, 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $525K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $975K, 1033 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.413M,

LOTS

20180622_151644.jpg1 new listing: 9270 Kincaid Ct (our listing) $149K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $352.5K

1 price change: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 now $640K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2,35M.

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 everyone has a great weekend!

If you are interested in island real estate you-know-who is working.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Fathers Day 2018 on Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting just another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel Island. After a busy winter/spring, many colleagues are taking vacations – some stay-cations. Their timing couldn’t be better. It is really quiet! Probably contributing to that is all the recent press about the Lake “O” water releases which have resulted in tannin-colored water in the bay which is now wrapping around the lighthouse into the gulf.  Meanwhile, it’s still looking AOK on most of the gulf side.

I had lunch yesterday at West Wind Inn’s Normandie Seaside Cafe and ran into Kim from their Upper Pool Deck Bar. Wednesday, on Facebook, she posted her view from there (photo below). It’s a great spot for lunch or an evening pre-sunset libation. Music some nights too. Their food comes from the Normandie’s kitchen too. Both open to the public and secret gems favored by the Inn’s guests, locals, and maybe you too.

2018-06-13

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Following Sanibel Mayor Ruane’s call-to-action last Friday, demanding that these water releases stop – the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® created an easy way for concerned citizens and island lovers to respond. Using the below link and by just adding your contact info, emails on your behalf (with copy to you) will go to the powers-that-be at the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with copy to the Governor. Everyone who is concerned, please do it. If you have ever enjoyed the islands or spent a penny here, this should be important to you. It takes only seconds to complete. Thank you! http://sanibelcaptivarealtors.org/cta/

sccf 14K checkAt our Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, Association President Dustyn Corace presented a check for $14,000 to Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. The final tally is in with these monies raised last month at our end-of-season golf outing and auction. The funds are going to SCCF ear-marked for their use in improving local water quality.

What The Conservation Foundation Says

A message from SCCF received midweek has a good summary of what is happening with these water releases:

SCCF logo“It is premature to dump massive quantities of water to the estuaries at the very beginning of the rainy season when no water was being held by or discharged to agricultural areas to share the harm. Instead, agriculture on the east side of the lake and southwest of the lake have been allowed to backflow massive quantities of water into the lake instead of holding their own runoff. Quantities back flowed equal the amount that has been discharged to the estuaries that have also received too much rain. We ask water managers to identify these conditions and start requiring all landowners to manage storm water on their own land, not dump it into the lake, not usurp the entire capacity of publicly funded storm water treatment areas that harm public resources.

“Since the rain began on May 15 the Caloosahatchee estuary has been experiencing increasing levels of harmful flows. The first 2 weeks flows were watershed runoff from Hendry and Glades Counties, with no discharges from Lake Okeechobee. However, the lake discharges that started on June 1st nearly tripled the harmful high flows to the estuary… dumping dark fresh water and suddenly dropping salinities in the estuary all the way to the mouth of the river at Shell Point. The consequence of this sudden, drastic, and prolonged salinity drop has been a massive die off of estuarine clams and oysters at Iona just upstream of Shell Point and is fueling freshwater cyanobacteria, including Microcystis, that is visible beneath the water surface from Beautiful Island by I-75 to Iona Cove.

“This current event is the direct result of managing water selectively to allow agricultural landowners to dump their floodwater into Lake Okeechobee and into publicly funded storm water treatment areas, thus forcing discharges harmful to public resources.

“We need to express our strenuous objection to water managers and elected representatives because these harmful flows are the direct consequence of agricultural discharges that have resulted in harmful flows to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie, without consideration of the flood consequences on these coastal ecosystems.”

NKY Music Legends Welcomes Danny Morgan

dany morgan logoAs a long-time fan of Sanibel musician Danny Morgan, it was great to read recent news about his latest honor. Here’s some scoop from www.Cincinnati.com on May 24, 2018:

“Northern Kentucky Music Legends (NKY) is an organization that recognizes area musicians, vocalists and music industry people who have made a name for themselves locally and nationally. Jerry Gifford, a musician who is still playing after 50 years with his band Strange Brew, originated the idea of honoring talented Northern Kentucky musicians. So, in 2013 he met with Charlie Coleman, Campbell County commissioner; Jon Long, a longtime musician; and John Mendell, a concert producer. The group contacted The Cincinnati Enquirer to put out a call for Northern Kentucky musicians who would qualify. Criteria include birth in Northern Kentucky or longtime residency, played music for 20 or more years and made a mark in the community…. This year marks the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony….the Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 include…:

► Danny Morgan, who played in popular bands before taking off to Nashville and forming The Apple Butter Band with local legend Mickey Foellger (… the now-retired Campbell County juvenile court judge), Joellen Morgan and ex-Bengal Mike Reid. They toured with the Beach Boys and other major acts. These days Morgan plays five nights a week in Sanibel Island, Florida. “Danny Morgan has a keen sense of artistry and not only finding, but nurturing great talent,” said Stan Hertzman, retired music business professional.”

Danny Morgan from Cincinnati paper

Those like me who enjoy the Sanibel music experience often refer to Danny Morgan as our local Jimmy Buffet. We follow his performances, play his CDs, and know the words to many of his songs like “Sanibel Sunset”, “Captiva Moon”, and one of my favs, “Running on the Beach”. In addition to performing at many local special events, weddings, and parties, you usually can catch Danny and often his band, plus guest musicians (including sightings of Livingston Taylor & Pittsburg Mike) at the following locations:

  • Margarita Mondays at Sundial Beach Resort from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Nights at Traders Gulf Coast Grill beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday afternoons 1 to 4 p.m. at Casa Ybel Resort’s Coconuts poolside bar & grill

More about Danny and his offerings at www.DannyMorgan.com

Fun June Happenings at The Community House

If you haven’t yet been to Sanibel’s new Community House, you are missing out. Here are a couple of their events scheduled this month. Call 239-472-2155 or checkout their website at www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net for more info.

  • Adult Demonstration – Quick & Easy Meals using 5 Ingredients by Chef Jarret, June 15, at noon. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Adult Farm-to-Table Hands-On Cooking Class by Chef Jarred, June 22, Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Produce a delicious meal with ingredients sourced locally. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Community House Culinary Education CtrHoliday Hog Roast – “Smoke on the Islands” by Chef Jarret, June 30, Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. $15, ice cream sundae bar $5. Also, kids “All American Red, White, & Blue Dessert Content”. Entry forms at the Community House. Judging at 7 p.m. & awards given for best tasting, best presentation, and best theme. Bring a 2nd dessert for their auction to help raise money for the Culinary Education Center. Tickets available at The Community House or Bailey’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle Way

Summer is a good time to get caught up, reflect, plan, and project. Our weekly report of the activity of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows my musings below.

Below is some food-for-thought for would-be sellers who are thinking of listing their island real estate. Some of these tips apply to selling anywhere.

How’s The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market? The housing bubble before the recession drove prices up on the islands. Back in that heyday of 2006, the average Sanibel condo sold for close to $900K and the average Sanibel home over $1.1M. On Captiva, the average condo was more than $1.3M and average home over $2.3M. Then, prices took a dive.

housing-bubble-1872350_960_720It has been nearly ten years since the recession and often I am asked if island real estate has recovered. That answer is complicated. Sellers on the islands are faced with more challenges than those in a traditional real estate environment.

Plus, it’s a small island with a big variety of property types and a wide span in price. Depending on the property, it sometimes takes months or years for a property to sell. Other properties, if the demand is right, could sell in hours.

How do you know where a property fits in? That answer is complicated too. First, there are fewer buyers for real estate in resort or 2nd home-type locations. According to the National Association of Realtors® (remember I teach the Resort & 2nd Home Market class to our local Realtors®), these sales account for fewer than one-fifth of all the home/condo sales each year.

These buyers, if they are financing, typically have to put down way more money than those buying a primary home. The lender criteria for buying a property like that is tougher too.

In this area of Florida, the selling season also is somewhat limited because the most prospective buyers are in town from December through April which also can be when properties are occupied or rented. With Sanibel homes having a monthly rental minimum, that can mean showings only on the 1st of the month, or with condos renting weekly, it can mean showings only on Saturdays between late morning and early afternoon when a property is being cleaned and often also when the buyers are coming/going.

With more baby boomers now retired and staying longer, many rentals – including those for sale – may be booked for extended periods, making showings in season even more unlikely. It also bears mentioning that many vacationing would-be-buyers only want to earmark a short time to look at real estate, preferably a day when the sun isn’t out or the weather is less than ideal. They want to buy, they just want to enjoy their vacation too (which is exactly why we encourage buyers to come back this time of the year when it’s easier to view property and they can concentrate on that task). These buyers also may not be in a hurry. They may be willing to wait until their next vacation or even next year, particularly if they don’t find a property that’s “just right” for them.

So, if there is no getting around some of these challenges, what can a seller do to get their island property sold sooner and at a higher price? Here some tips:

house-painter-clipart-paintersBe Ready for The Best First Impression – First impressions are huge, whether the first one is the driveway, the walkway, the entry, the front door, or the foyer. Be sure it is all sparkling clean and trimmed. Pressure washing the exterior and walkways are especially important here where heat and mildew can take a toll. A fresh coat of paint on a front door is an easy fix too. Also, nix and replace any nasty door hardware.

Invest in Upgrades – Think about when you purchased. Were you ready to do your own improvements or did you prefer a property that was move-in-ready? Most island buyers want the latter, so it pays to make a property so perfect that the new owner only needs to bring their suitcase. Nobody wants old and ugly.

If you can afford to do updating before a property goes on the market, do it. That updating could be as easy as going through every drawer and closet, organizing and tossing out old furnishings, or adding fresh paint or replacing old worn carpet. The trick is to make the property look bigger, cleaner, and brighter.cleaning-cloud-vector-illustration_k7551435

If you go as far as renovating kitchen and baths or even in minor redecorating and sprucing up, remember this is an island in Florida where most end-users are here in the winter. Pick a style that’s light bright and happy. That’s what most buyers want. They may say that they don’t need move-in-ready and island décor, but they really do. They sometimes figure that out as they proceed through the viewing process, after seeing the competition.

Four-Point-Inspection-Think About Replacing Big Ticket Items That Could Become Problematic – I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as a reminder, to get insurance today on a property that is over 20 years old, most insurance providers require a 4-point inspection. Insurance companies increasingly have become reluctant to issue policies on older homes. Their concern is that there may be conditions in an older property that could become a liability to them. For example, a home with a roof near the end of its service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may file a claim for damage to the home or its contents. A 4-point inspection describes the condition and age of the following four elements:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning)
  • Electrical wiring & panels
  • Plumbing, connections, & fittings
  • Roof

These may be expensive items and systems to repair or replace before selling, but rest-assured if a property has copper pipes on Sanibel, it will be flagged by a home inspector. (Sanibel’s water, over time can cause pinhole leaks in copper piping.) Federal Pacific electrical panels (which some insurance companies will not insure) are flagged here too. Even with “as is” contracts where seller repairs are not required and most buyers expect a number of minor defects, when a big ticket item comes up, the buyer often asks for a consideration in the form of either a price reduction or a contribution toward the needed repair or replacement.

home-inspection1.jpgGet A Home Inspection & Make Repairs Before Listing – Doing this might preclude the problems mentioned above. Most buyers will overestimate updating and repair costs. So, if they come to look at a property that needs new piping or a new electrical box, they will likely do one of two things. They will come up with their own inaccurate too-high off-the-cuff estimate which they then will deduct from their offer price. Or even worse, they will decide that it is too much money or more than they want to deal with. They then will move on to another property that doesn’t have problems.

realtor logoListen to Professionals – Realtors® are in the business of looking at real estate with a critical eye. They are not emotionally invested in a property like the owner. We try to be sensitive to an owner’s feelings and their decorating style, but they know the inventory and competition, and what is selling. Be prepared to tell your Realtor® the special things you like about your property but also be ready to listen to what they say may need to be done to bring you top dollar. As the island real estate market evolves through the calendar year, understand that your property may be one that appeals most to a winter buyer, so if it doesn’t sell in one “season”, it may take until the next.

Don’t discount summer buyers though. When winter inventory is low, serious buyers return in the summer. Summer also brings more families looking for year-‘round homes, vacationers looking for income-producing short-term rental condos, and Europeans looking for privacy and a good place to invest.

In every real estate market, price and appearance matter. In a seasonal area, like here, those factors can mean the difference between selling quickly or lingering for months. Regardless of the time of the year, it is usually two things that keep properties from selling. Either they are over-priced or they have not been updated and well maintained.

Gone are the days when buyers come into a real estate office with a list of their requirements and a Realtor® tells them what is available that meets their needs. Today’s buyers (close to 95%) do their island property searches online. If a property isn’t perfectly priced and doesn’t look great, it is not going to sell, because these consumers search in only their price range and buy through the pictures they see on the internet. Not only are professional photographs needed, but the property needs to be attractive. Almost every island Realtor® will tell you that they have sold property sight-unseen. I have sold many that way and this year even sold one that I had not seen (though I did look before it closed).

7832303--illustration-of-a-man-being-dragged-under-water-by-his-house-mortgage-which-is-chained-to-his-anke-Does It Make Sense To Take A Loss – Owners who bought at the peak or during the multi-year run-up before it, most likely are dealing with properties that are not worth what they paid. Now as they go to sell, they need to pay for improvements or repairs to get top-dollar, plus they will pay a real estate commission and other closing costs. They are not happy about it. They are losing money, even if they break even on the sales price. During the real estate boom, people wanted to be part of the group that flocked to own a vacation or 2nd home. That is not necessarily the case now. Prices are going up and the market is improving, but not as fast as some want.

That can make it a tough decision for an owner who bought high. Those prospective sellers need to decide whether they want to keep the property for another few years and see if values continue to go up, or instead say they are ready to just get out and potentially take a loss.

Island properties often are bought with discretionary income, so unless a buyer is compelled to do it now, it can become a waiting game. Just as buying an island property can be a life-altering decision, so can selling one.

The SanibelSusan Team tries to make buying and selling real estate easy and stress-free, but as these paragraphs describe, it ain’t always easy.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 8-15, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 now $399K, Seawind #109 2/2.4 now $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 now $795K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.149M.

5 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 listed at $569K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 listed at $594.9K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 listed at $699K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 listed at $779K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 listed at $890K.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #G407 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $570K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $675K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $780K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

10 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $525K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $550K, 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $569K, 746 Nerita St 3/2 $749K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 $749K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $834.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $859K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.099M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.16M.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $440K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $459K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $549K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $624K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $674.9K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $924.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.099M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.5M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.595M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.448M.

4 new sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex listed at $459K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 listed at $924.9K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 listed at $1.949M.

10 closed sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex $365K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $475K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $520K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $588K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $565K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 $620K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $650K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $780K, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 $1.279M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex $1.95M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $335K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct $580K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $1.375M.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5102 ½ now $369K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $949K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 listed at $620K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $305K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 listed at $4.198M.

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.

fathers-day-clip-art-jTx95RBTE1Until next Friday, here’s hoping your summer weather is as spectacular as on the islands! Best wishes on Sunday to all the Dads, would-be Dads, & Moms covering as Dads!

If you want to buy yours a piece of paradise for Fathers Day, I can help.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan