Traffic, Spaghetti, & Sales, oh my…


TGIFHappy Friday everyone. This week sure has been a mixed bag of weather, traffic, and real estate happenings.

The weather ranged from mostly bright and sunny in the mid-to-high 70’s, to a soggy Wednesday with some much-needed rain. Predictions for the next week are a continuation of this afternoon’s great weather – bright blue skies, lots of sunshine.

The Monday holiday with local schools out resulted in record numbers of on-island day-trippers. By mid-afternoon the back-up coming onto the island was reported to be at a crawl from Shell Point to the 4-way stop. Then, by late day, those visitors all had to go home….so when teammate Elise was ready to head off-island at quitting time, she experienced her new longest-ever journey from the office to the bridges. 1‑1/2 hours from Sanibel Square to Causeway Road (at 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.). I was right behind her, also going the “back” way and arriving home on the east-end in just under 1-1/2 hours. Mine was a long, but pleasant 2.9 miles, sun-roof open and happy music playing.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the Thursday Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors’ Caravan Meeting, attendance was light, few sales were announced, and only six properties were open for caravan. What a difference from the preceding week when the room was packed, east-end caravan was full, and lots of price reductions were announced.

We had a reasonable number of showings this week, but not as many as I expected there would be on Presidents’ week. (Maybe the below article posted in yesterday’s Fort Myers “News-Press” provides some insight in that.)

Yesterday, I negotiated an offer on our home listing in Periwinkle Properties, the result of a showing last Saturday. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Since last Friday, nine Sanibel sales are reported, seven of them homes, and 20 price reductions.

Before the news articles, how about this cute poster that I spotted this morning on Facebook. Prepared by Sanibel Sea School it’s called “20 signs you’re from Sanibel…”

20-signs-from-sanibel

If you are in town, don’t forget the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti dinner tomorrow night (Sat 2/25) at The Community House.

spaghetti-ticketFor more than 30 years, this Sanibel event has brought islanders together with a great meal and for a good cause. All funds directly benefit island youth education and recreation. Tickets are just $9 at the door. Can’t beat the price!

Dinner will be served from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by music, raffle, silent and live auctions, music, and fun. Last year 1,400 dinners were served. This year in the newly renovated Community House, it will be extra special.

Market Watch – Real Estate Amid Uncertainty

News Press logoThe Fort Myers “News-Press” on-line posted the following article Feb 22, 2017. It covers the three presentations this week at the annual local real estate event – The News-Press Market Watch:

“Uncertainty was the word of the day as three real estate experts, backed by facts, shared their reflections and predictions on the market at The News-Press Market Watch. The annual event, this time titled “Real Estate Solutions for Uncertain Times,” was held Wednesday evening at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers.

“Presenters included Randy Thibaut, owner and founder of Land Solutions, who discussed land and new home sales; Denny Grimes, president of Denny Grimes & Company, who focused on existing home sales; and Stan Stouder, founding partner of CRE Consultants, who dealt with commercial real estate.

Randy Thibaut, CEO, Land Solutions Inc. – “Welcome to Uncertainty 2016,” Thibaut said. “That’s the theme of my presentation. That’s where the meat of the market is. That’s what we’re feeling.” Thibaut referred to surveys that show people held differing views of where the market was in 2015 and 2016. Some thought it was in a boom, others in a bubble, but most didn’t know. “No one had a good feeling on where they thought the market was,” he said. Thibaut discussed the luxury high-rise market from south to north, mentioning three projects in south Naples that are selling well.

““For 10 years, there were no towers built,” he said. “There was pent-up demand for buyers who wanted that luxury project. It was clear there was hunger for luxury product in Naples. We think they’ll sell out.”

“Builders are working on luxury projects in Estero/Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach as well. Things start to get more uncertain when looking at downtown Fort Myers, he said, where a number of builders are working to pre-sell units. “They’ve been churning along trying to get enough reservations … but it’s been a much slower go than what we’ve seen in Estero and Naples,” he said. “When you start thinking about 550 luxury units that have to be presold, that’s a lot of units. That’s some stiff competition. I hope this all works out.” The brightest downtown project: The Place on First, partly because it will have only 16 residential units, along with office space.

“Who is buying and who is not? “Millennials are not buying,” he said. “Most of them are living in an apartment, but many of them are living in your second bedroom.” In downtown Fort Myers, he sees two buyer groups: baby boomers and buyers in the workforce who lost their homes in the bust. Some of that will likely be driven by higher interest rates expected to come.

““Baby boomers, there’s tons of them,” he said. “They’ve got money. These folks have been sitting on the sidelines for the most part the past 10 years. Their investment portfolios have been going down. They’ve been cautious. They’ve waited long enough. They’re coming in droves, but the difference is they’re going to be spending less money.”

“Thibaut said builders who develop homes in the $250,000-$300,000 range should be in good shape. Buyers in the workforce who lost homes in the downturn have been forced to rent apartments in many cases: “After five, six years they’ve saved money and got their credit back. These buyers want to get into single-family homes. The question is, is the price right?”

“In 2016, he said the pendulum swung to houses. Buyers can pay $1,500 monthly on a $225,000 home mortgage or rent a nice apartment for the same amount. However, he noted that can change if interest rates rise. “These value oriented builders are after those renters,” he said. “They’re chasing that buyer.” Where are the buyers going to find a home in the $250,000 price range? Northeast Naples, north Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and east Fort Myers and Charlotte County. Babcock Ranch: “We all are hearing about Babcock Ranch. This is a big, long-term project. Let’s stay tuned next year and the following year to see how it does.”

“Threats and challenges in market: “When 25% of the cost of a new house is regulation, that is a big problem.”

Denny Grimes, president, Denny Grimes & Company – ““We can’t always see what’s going on,” Grimes said as he took the stage. As evidence, he pointed to the Chicago Cubs ending their championship drought after more than 100 years and Donald Trump being elected president.

“The median price of existing homes in December was $250,000 in Lee County, $450,000 in Collier County and $195,000 in Charlotte County. Last year was the first time he could recall in which Lee’s top home sale eclipsed Collier’s top sale. A home on Captiva was sold for $16.3 million, beating Collier’s standout of $15.15 million.

“The number of homes sold in 2016 was down in Lee and Collier counties: “…Sales are down 7%.” Sales were down in each part of each county (other than Lehigh, up just slightly), with luxury sales and condo sales also down: “You getting the trend here?” he said. “I’m calling 2015 a peak year, because we are seeing sales drop.”

“Median home prices were up 10% in Lee and 7% in Collier in 2016: “There’s always more to the story.” Still, because of fluctuations, he said prices are basically flat.

“Takeaways: slowing sales plus rising inventory has led to slower price growth: “This is how a rational market is supposed to react. Tell your buyers they can proceed with confidence. No crash. No bubble. It’s fine.”

“Grimes implored agents to take note of the market myth that “season” is the best time to sell: “It kills me to hear that because it’s not true. People, because of the internet can shop year-‘round and they do.”

“Downtown Fort Myers: “The success of downtown is going to be based on condos … downtown has a vibrant yet narrow niche. There is little investment opportunity. There, it’s a user-driven market. Less inventory is better than too much. Bottom line: smaller is better.” “Millennials or baby boomers in downtown? “I’m a boomers fan. We need people living here with money. That fills that need. It grows the market.”

“Grimes, who has lived in the Fort Myers area more than 50 years, talked of the “edge of the canvas theory.” As Edison Mall was once on the edge of town, that’s how Babcock Ranch is perceived today. “Babcock’s going to stretch the canvas,” he said. “It will happen. It will not happen as fast as some hope.” Grimes said there’s investment opportunity in what he called the market’s sweet spot. In Lee, that’s less than $300,000; in Collier, it’s less than $500,000.

“Look forward: “The over-optimistic national headlines will be misleading. Affordability is going to be squeezed. Buy sooner, not later.”

Stan Stouder, founding partner, CRE Consultants – Stouder’s presentation focused on what was, what is and what’s next. “Apartments were pulling the market in 2015, but that segment saw a 86% decline last year in the number of those units permitted. What’s next? “The apartment market will continue to cool.”

“Stouder touched on the “Trump effect” as the country elected Trump president: “I’m experiencing this in my business and not in just some small way.” Business owners, he said, are hopeful that Trump will deliver on campaign promises such as deregulation, tax relief and infrastructure improvements.

“What’s next? “The optimism of the small-business community jumped and more optimism means more spending. It means greater demand for commercial property. We’re finding sellers that are returning to the market that hadn’t been there before.”

“New commercial construction permits in Lee were up 62% in 2016, but the value of those went down 52%. “Why? I can answer that in two words: fewer apartments.”

“Senior housing: at least nine projects are under construction. For example, Campo Felice in downtown Fort Myers is expected to open this summer. It’s about 50% pre-leased. Those behind that project are preparing to do a $45 million sister tower devoted to memory care and medical offices. Another senior housing project called Avida is going up on property near Gladiolus Drive and Summerlin Road. The $95 million project is expected to have 460 units on 32 acres. “Senior housing is to the market of 2016 as apartments were in 2015,” he said.

““Sales of large tracts of land (50 acres and greater) have picked up in the past six months. Why? It’s because so much growth is expected in Florida and because the state is one of only seven without an income tax. What’s next for such land? “Now is the best time since 2006 to sell land.””

Technology Is Changing How Homes Look

ForbesThe below article was posted on Realtor®Mag on Feb 15, 2017. It is sourced to Forbes.com:

“Technology and smart devices are radically transforming the home. As your clients take control over their houses’ systems via voice activation, dash buttons, and other smart-home technology, Forbes.com asked its Technology Council to offer up some of their predictions on how homes will evolve in the near future.

Less clutter. Information can be stored in smaller devices, which means fewer file cabinets and the like. Some owners may even opt for much smaller houses due to this trend, says Chalmers Brown with Due.

Voice-activated interfaces. The voice is expected to drive smart-home technology control over the next five to 10 years. This will make smart homes less complex to operate, says Leon Hounshell with Greenwave Systems.

Smartphones as the central hub. The smartphone likely will become the remote control to manage all elements of a smart home, says Arash Asli with Yocale. This will include everything from lights to appliances to cooling and heating systems to security and more.

No more control panels. Since the smartphone will become a remote control for many elements of the home, expect fewer panels inside the home, such as thermostats, electronic dials like on washing machines or dishwashers, or even light switches, says Andrew Kucheriavy with Intechnic.”

Homeowner Tax Breaks: It’s Not Just The Property

USATodayLOGOTax time always is a good time to remember the tax benefits of home ownership. Posted Tuesday on FloridaRealtors®, this article came from USAToday.com, InvestorPlace.com:

“Owning a property can unlock some of the biggest potential tax breaks most families have access to.

It’s not just the home-related tax breaks you get access to, either, says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA and tax expert for TurboTax. “Getting enough qualified expenses can top the standard deduction and push you over into itemizing and allow you to deduct so many other expenses you wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” she said.

Here are five valuable deductions that you may be able to claim:

“Mortgage interest – The interest paid on a home loan is typically the largest potential deduction for middle-class Americans, Greene-Lewis said. For instance, a 30-year mortgage on a $300,000 loan at current rates will run you more than $12,000 in interest payments your first year. If you own a second home, you can also deduct the mortgage interest on that, as long as it isn’t a rental property.

“Points – If you recently purchased a home but paid “points” to the bank in order to get a better rate, that expense is tax deductible in the year you paid them. A point is typically 1% of your loan amount so, on that $300,000 home, you would get a $3,000 tax break for paying down one point. Points on refinance loans and home equity loans are also deductible but must be spread over the life of the loan instead of all in one year’s return, so those are less lucrative but can still add up.

“Energy credits – “If you make expenditures that improve the energy efficiency of your home, you may qualify for a tax credit,” said Neil Krishnaswamy, a certified financial planner at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Frisco, Texas. “These include items like insulation, windows, doors and roofs.” A tax credit is even better than a deduction, because they are dollar-for-dollar savings instead of simply saving you whatever tax you paid. For instance, if you’re in the 28% tax bracket, then a $1,000 deduction lowers your tax bill only $280, while a credit lowers your tax bill by $1,000 regardless of your effective tax rate. There are limits on energy credits depending on what you purchased, but the dollar-for-dollar savings make them very valuable.

Property taxes – State taxes levied on your primary residence are deductible, too, and can add up in a hurry depending on where you live. For instance, the Tax Foundation found, in 2015, that New Jersey residents typically pay almost 2.4% in property taxes – almost twice the national average, and about $7,000 on a $300,000 home. Deducting this big local tax bill can save you a lot on your federal return.

“Casualty losses – If you suffered property damage and weren’t reimbursed by an insurance company for repairs, you may be eligible for a big deduction. Your casualty loss deduction must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, so don’t bother writing off small-time repairs. But if you incur significant expenses repairing your home after an unfortunate event, document everything and tap into this tax break to ease some of the pain.”

Most Significant Change in FAR/BAR Update? Financing Clause

Florida Realtors logoWritten by Marcia Tabak, Deputy General Counsel of Florida Realtors®, and posted on-line at FloridaRealtors® on Monday, this article covers some of the upcoming changes to the Florida sales contracts and is directed toward Realtors®, but it has some good info for sellers too.

“The real estate industry changes, and when it does, the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract gets updated.

“The next version of the FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar Residential Contract and its As Is companion debuts April 4, 2017. In the meantime, a redline version of the contract changes (additions in blue, deletions in red) is posted on Florida Realtors’ website along with an explanation of the revisions. Some changes are housekeeping tasks. Some require a bit more study, and a future article will focus on those. For now, however, the new version of Paragraph “8(b) Financing” clause deserves your focus. You need to understand what will change.

Changes prompted by lending industry – There are several reasons for the financing change, in part because the lending industry itself has changed. The contract no longer mentions “Loan Commitment,” for example, because the lending industry has largely dropped the term. It’s being replaced by the term “Loan Approval,” and the term “Loan Commitment Period” has become “Loan Approval Period.”

“In addition, the default time for “Loan Approval Period” will also change back to 30 days from 45 days. This change was made because loan approvals are no longer being slowed down by TRID (TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule), the financial regulations that went into effect in the fall of 2015.

“Finally, a requirement in the current version of the contract – “this contract is contingent upon buyer obtaining a written loan commitment,”– has been changed, and the “written” component has been deleted.

Change in philosophy regarding buyer’s right to cancel – In general, many members feel parts of the current financing clause are confusing. In particular, Florida Realtors has received many questions about either party’s right to cancel the contract up to seven days prior to closing when a buyer didn’t timely obtain a loan. The new version of the contract scraps this concept in favor of a new approach. As always, the devil is in the details.

“The new financing clause requires a buyer to promptly notify a seller, in writing, when a Loan Approval is obtained. If a buyer does not obtain Loan Approval within the Loan Approval Period, then the buyer may notify the seller – again, in writing – and elect to either terminate the contract or waive Loan Approval. However, the buyer no longer has a unilateral contractual right to terminate the contract for failure to obtain Loan Approval after the Loan Approval Period.

“Further details: If a buyer doesn’t give the seller any kind of written notification during the Loan Approval Period, new language specifies Loan Approval will be considered obtained. This results in the buyer’s deposit being at risk if he fails to close unless the buyer’s failure is caused by items set out in Paragraph 8 (b)(vii).

There is an exception to the contract going forward if a seller has received no written notification at all – either that a loan has been obtained or the buyer cannot get one. The seller may unilaterally cancel the contract by giving buyer written notice within a three-day period after the buyer’s Loan Approval Period has expired. But if the seller does nothing during the three-day period following the Loan Commitment Period, the seller has no further unilateral opportunity to terminate the contract based on the buyer’s failure to obtain Loan Approval or failure to provide the seller a written notice.

“Other highlights of 8(b) Financing clause changes – If the lender requires that a buyer sell an existing property, this will not be considered Loan Approval.

“When applying for a loan, what is a “diligent effort” on the buyer’s part? New language now specifies this requires the buyer to “timely” provide documents, information, payment of fees and charges per lender requirements.

“An additional clause authorizes the closing agent to share the settlement statement and Closing Disclosure with the seller and real estate brokers. Note, however, that this doesn’t obligate the closing agent to share the documents and it might violate the lender’s closing instructions.

“What if the buyer finds that he can’t secure Loan Approval before the Loan Approval Period expires? This caused some confusion in the past, but no longer. A buyer who has used due diligence but is unable to obtain Loan Approval can notify the seller in writing at any time before the Loan Approval Period ends.

“One clause, 8(b)(vii), about returning deposits when a deal doesn’t close because of a lender’s “financial failure” was removed from the new version.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 17-24, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #C406 1/1 $475K.

7 price changes: Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 now $659K, Pointe Santo #C36 2/2 now $819K, Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 now $1.099M, High Tide #C101 2/2 now $1.145M, Nutmeg Village #100 2/2 now $1.17M, Somerset #E202 3/2.5 now $1.649M, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 now $1.695M.

2 new sales: Sundial West #G307 1/1 listed at $424.9K, Villa Sanibel #3D 2/2 listed at $599K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #181 2/2 $689K, Sundial West #K203 2/2 $859K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 2154 Egret Cir 3/2 $539K, 4221 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $589K, 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $599K, 6081 Henderson Rd 3/2 $849.9K, 750 Tarpon Bay Rd 3/2.5 $875K, 935 Pecten Ct 3/2 $999K.

13 price changes: 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 now $479,999; 770 Donax St 2/2 now $495K; 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $519K; 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $579.9K; 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $599K; 1036 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $624.9K; 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 now $679K; 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $689K; 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 now $699K; 243 Southwinds Dr 3/2.5 now $865K; 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $1.2977M; 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 now $1.695M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 now $1,999,999.

7 new sales: 702 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $649.9K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $659K, 2010 Sunrise Circle 5/3 listed at $799K (our listing), 1174 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex listed at $1.05M, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 listed at $1.235M, 2143 Starfish Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2379 Wulfert Rd $230K, 497 Sea Oats Dr $475K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #908 2/2 $799K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 listed at $259K, Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $619K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $590K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $3M, 16979 Captiva Dr 7/6/1 now $3.998M.

2 new sales: 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $4.295M, 16560 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 listed at $6.5M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes for a great weekend! If you are looking to buy or sell on the islands, please call us at 239-472-HOME (4663).

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

or we can keep an “eye” out for the property that meets your needs…

sz6a6927

Photo above by our pal, Scott. Taken some time ago, but still a winner!

Sunny Sanibel Holiday Expected


 

Here it is Presidents’ weekend following another week of fabulous weather with more expected through the holiday. The photos above taken noon-ish today at Sanibel’s Beach Access #6. A few shellers in the distance are doing the Sanibel stoop.

Island traffic has picked up and set-ups are underway at the Community House and City Park across from our office for the annual Rotary Club Arts and Crafts Fair tomorrow and Sunday. It’s always the “big one”, so attendees are encouraged to bike/walk. We hope those with real estate interests, stop in here.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoSometimes when the weather is nice, real estate inquiries are down. Seems that was case this week.

The island buying scenario, usually begins with a visitor vacationing. It often starts with a geography tour followed by community/complex education, then looking at properties for sale within their area of interest. Sometimes this process takes years or at least several visits. So, though we always encourage showings, we appreciate it when colleagues recognize that their clients are not yet “ready to buy” and don’t want to inconvenience others who may be on vacation renting or visiting a property that is listed.

This week we had a few of those situations, but others were where the prospective buyers had fishing, tanning, and general rest and relaxation higher on their priority list than looking at real estate. That could change with a cloudy day – one of those is not expected until next Wed.

Lisa and I will be here tomorrow, me on Sunday. No holiday for those here in the real estate business. Dave, Elise, and I are ready for any Monday madness.

February Realtor® Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoIt was a full room yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Breakfast Membership Meeting. High season meetings – February and March always bring out the most of us. In addition to standard announcements of new sales, new listings, price reductions, and changes in general information, the monthly membership meetings always include a speaker. Yesterday’s was Lynn Schneider, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shell Point Retirement Community. Before I share her info. Here are the announcements that I made.

Price reductions of two of our condo listings, both in residential complexes: 3-bedroom bay-view walk-out at Lighthouse Pointe #129 to $574,000 and Nutmeg Village #303, which is a top-floor unit with gulf views from every window, to $774,000. Dave held Nutmeg Village open to coincide with the caravan that followed the meeting. (Photo from Nutmeg Village #303 below.)

View b

Following some news items below is the activity posted this week in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service. Buyers take note – it includes way more price reductions than sales. Sellers recognize that now there are just nine weeks left “in season”.

At the membership meeting, I also shared that I talked this week with Rod Middleton with Suitor Middleton Cox & Associates, the company that manages Beachcomber condo association. Rod said that Beachcomber, like some other associations his company manages, hired an engineering firm to evaluate their FEMA flood zone.

femaThose familiar with flood insurance lingo, probably know that federal flood insurance rates are based on the zone in which a property is located. Zone “V” is the coastal zone, often known as being the high-hazard area, with owners and communities there, subsequently paying the highest flood rates.

Several years ago, with flood insurance rates on the rise, our local Association of Realtors® at a similar monthly membership meeting, had a speaker from J.R. Evans Engineering, an Estero firm that specializes in flood zone modifications. Companies like Evans, charge clients only when they are successful in getting a zone changed.

With Beachcomber, Rod said their project (which cost $28K) resulted in their zone being downgraded. With a big immediate refund from their flood insurance provider and premium reductions in future years expected to save them between ~$20-25K/year, it was a project worth pursuing.

(As a side note, I shared this info with my teammates and Dave found the FEMA site showing the letter of map revision. Since I live just inland of Beachcomber and my home also is in a “V” zone, I was anxious to see if my property zone also changed. It did not, but many neighboring properties did. Check out the below link – or go to the FEMA site to see if any properties near you have had their zone changed. If your flood insurance is on the rise, you might want to explore this too.)

http://map1.msc.fema.gov/data/12/L/16-04-4047P-120402.pdf?LOC=4338029a90fe65833a01e80a3926aee7

Now for the info about Shell Point.

Shell Point Retirement Community

shellpoint_sign_smallIsland Realtors® often work with island owners selling their island property to move to Shell Point, so it was with interest that our members learned a few new things about that community. Here’s a summary:

Located just off island, across the causeway, Shell Point is a CCRC which is a Continuing Care Retirement Community – meaning they offer independent living, assisted living, medical care and social services, skilled and rehabilitative care, as well as convenience services. Not a lot of retirement communities offer all of this.

Shell Point has 2400 residents and 1000 on staff, including physicians. Their community of new homes, some under construction today, is sold out, but they are expanding some facilities and will be announcing a new project soon.

Today, accommodations range from the new large 2800 sq. ft. single-family homes to studio apartments.

Facilities include a marina, restaurants, 18-hole championship golf course, hospital, pharmacy, salon and spa, pools, recreational and fitness facilities, bank, laundry services, automobile services, personal shopping, mini-mart, church, community auditorium, transportation, and more. Almost like going on vacation.

The comment made that stuck with me, is that “it’s like going to college and making new friends your own age.” Sounds fun to be able to do that in your senior years – and get Florida resort-style living with the peace of mind of guaranteed life-long health care – on your own terms.

Shell Point offer lots of options, a variety of care programs, and all it takes to put your name on the wait list is $4,000. That money is refunded if you change your mind, but in the meantime, it gets you on the list for a property that may become available. Their turn-over rate is about 150 residences a year. Call the Welcome Center at 239-466-1131 to take a tour, or check out www.shellpoint.org.

Loans, Loans, & More Loans

american-momentum-bank-logoRealtors® often get emails from bankers and loan officers with updates on changes in interest rates and new mortgage options. Here is an extract from an email that I received this week from Dan Royal, Mortgage Loan Originator, at American Momentum Bank in Naples. Dan has been an affiliate business partner member at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors for as long as I have been selling real estate.

Like most lending institutions, his bank offers typical Fannie Mae fixed-rate mortgages, but it was the more creative program explained in this recent email that caught my eye. With his permission, here it is:

“At American Momentum Bank, we offer a Renovation Loan for purchase transactions and refinance.

“Example: $750,000 sales price + $250,000 renovation cost = $1,000,000 total acquisition cost

x 80% LTV= $800,000 loan amount and a $200,000 down payment

“This loan allows the buyer to finance the majority of their renovation cost at the same time they are closing on the home or condo.  We treat it as a construction loan with interest only payments during the renovation period.  When the renovation is completed, the loan is modified to a traditional mortgage with monthly principal and interest payments.

“This program is one of several flexible portfolio mortgage programs that we offer:

  • Title in LLC
  • 1031 exchange
  • Foreign borrowers
  • Non-warrantable resort condo
  • 90% LTV preferred mortgage to $1 million
  • Asset dissipation
  • Construction to perm & lot loans
  • Condo & single family renovation loans…”

For further info, reach Dan at droyal@americanmomemtumbank.com or toll free at 866-530-2265.

Lawmakers Need REALTORS® on Tax Reform

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_From the Thursday, Feb 9, 2017, “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on-line at Realtor®Mag:

“The chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee joined REALTORS® at NAR’s 2017 Federal Policy Conference in Washington yesterday and urged them to stay engaged over the next year while lawmakers in Congress look at a full-scale reform of the country’s tax code.

““We have a historic opportunity, the first time in 30 years, to completely reform the tax law,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told hundreds of politically active REALTORS® in Washington Feb. 8 for the conference, which NAR holds annually to educate its most politically involved members on the issues that are expected to dominate the Washington agenda for the year.

“This year, tax reform is expected to be high on the list of priorities Congress and the new Administration are expected to take up. Reform of the secondary mortgage market is also on the agenda for later in the year, along with flood insurance reauthorization and reform.

“Brady introduced REALTORS® to a tax reform blueprint that Republicans in the House are working on and which stands a good chance of being the main vehicle for any tax reform effort that gets taken up in the House.

“The blueprint envisions broadening the tax base by condensing tax brackets from seven to three, with tax rates of 33, 25, and 12%, respectively, and increasing the standard deduction to almost twice its current amount. It would also eliminate many itemized deductions, including for state and local taxes. The mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for charitable contributions would remain, but because of the higher standard deduction, it’s likely most homeowners would no longer have an incentive to itemize, a concern of NAR’s.

“On the commercial side, the blueprint does not specifically repeal 1031 like-kind exchanges. However, Brady admitted the committee is considering eliminating the provision.  The blueprint would allow owners to deduct 100% of the cost of new business assets, including buildings (but not land) in the first year of ownership. Brady along with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), chair of the tax policy subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee, said the accelerated expensing could go a long way to offsetting the 1031 exchange as an investment incentive, but they wanted to hear from REALTORS® more about their concerns. “We haven’t made our decisions yet,” said Roskam. “Were listening.”

“Maintaining 1031 exchanges is a top priority for NAR. In the question and answer period, a REALTOR® asserted that two-thirds of commercial investment is spurred directly or indirectly by the exchanges.

“At the conference, REALTORS® also heard about the prospects for secondary mortgage market reform. The big ideological debate on that issue centers around whether the federal government should continue to back mortgages sold in the secondary market. A staff aide at the conference said legislation has been introduced to help make the debate easier by allowing more private sector parties to buy the risk held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other legislation would touch on a common securitization platform Fannie and Freddie are working on, which would allow private insurers to get into the market more. “These are things we can agree on and make the decision [about federal backing] easier once we get there,” he said.

“NAR wants to see the federal government stay in the market to ensure the viability of affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and also ensure mortgages are available in bad times as well as good.

“On flood insurance, congressional aides said many lawmakers want to avoid the kind of short-term reauthorizations of the National Flood Insurance Program that the market saw several years ago. NAR supports early reauthorization of the program, which expires later this year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 10-17, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Donax Village #9 2/2 $499K, Villa Sanibel #3D 2/2 $599K, Sundial West #K403 2/2 $899K.

8 price changes: Tennisplace #A35 2/1.5 now $309K, Tennisplace #A31 2/1.5 now $329K; Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $359,555; Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $679K; Nutmeg Village #303 2/2 now $774K (our listing); Sundial West #A308 2/2 now $799K; High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.649M; High Tide #A302 3/2 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 listed at $359,555; Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 listed at $369K; Heron at The Sanctuary II  #1B 3/2.5 listed at $610K; Sundial East #S404 3/2 listed at $850K; Tamarind #A102 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sale: Kings Crown #315 2/2 $790K.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $450K, 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $537K, 1447 Albatross Rd 3/2 $579K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $729K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 $829K, 1140 Junonia St 3/2 $849K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $1.295M, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $1.3M, 0 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $1.375M, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.4M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $2.599M.

15 price changes: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $595K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $629K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $664K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $699K, 1717 Sandpebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $719K, 3918 Coquina Dr 3/2.5 now $899K, 2459 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 now $899K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $995K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $995K, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.235M, 6101 Starling Way 3/4 now $1.275M, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.695M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.175M, 6494 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $2.249M.

6 new sales: 671 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 listed at $775K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 3944 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M.

5 closed sales: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $439.5K, 1709 Sand Pebble Way 5/3 triplex  $495K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.25M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 $1.6M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 $1.7M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 0 Island Inn Rd $295K, 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $999K.

1 price change: 978 Main St now $199K.

3 new sales: 1301 Sand Castle Rd now $380K, 5830 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $385K, 602 Boulder Dr listed at $439K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $259K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3131 2/2 listed at $405K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $4.499M.

1 price change: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2.199M.

3 new sales: 15161 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.295M, 16455 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $2.495M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $4.295M.

1 closed sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

flag cell towerHappy Presidents’ Day Weekend to all… if we can help with island real estate, please contact me & The SanibelSusan Team,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Almost Valentines Day on Sunny Sanibel


 

 

heart3.pngIt’s SanibelSusan reporting another sunny Friday on the islands. A little chilly this morning at 59 degrees, but warming up to the mid-70’s and expected to remain that way for at least the next five to six days.

sanibel-boundTraffic has picked up noticeably, so the new Sanibel web cam app can help you plan which route to take when traveling the island. Called “Sanibel Bound” and free on iTunes or Google Play, to install the app, simply go to http://www.mysanibel.com/live-street-cams from your mobile device. For the Android App, click on the button “Get it On Google Play”. To Install the Apple App, click on the button “Download on the App Store”.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday, there was a big turn-out at our weekly Caravan Meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Almost as many affiliate business members were in attendance as Realtors®. Sometimes, “it takes a village” to get a property closed – inspectors, insurance providers, mortgage brokers, title companies, etc. We sure have good ones partnering with us on the islands. A big thank you to Amanda Curran of Superior Title who recently got a tough one closed for our buyer.

Only four properties were on Caravan (it was a West-end tour) – shows how few new listings come on the market this time of the year. Many price changes were announced. I announced the price reduction of the lot 9441 Peaceful Drive. (Some aerials below of this large wide parcel backing to conservation land in Gumbo Limbo. Great private spot for a small or large home, with or without pool. Backyard faces west & sunsets! Price now $274,000)

Next week is East-end Caravan and the monthly membership meeting, so it likely will bring an even bigger turn-out. I will announce the price reduction at Lighthouse Point #129 then. (That’s the ground-level spacious bay-view three bedroom condo shown below. Now priced at $574,000.)

More info on the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

Lots of Happenings

calendarIn typical high-season fashion, there are lots of happenings now for locals and visitors to enjoy. Here are a few reminders, others are posted on under the “Upcoming Island Events” tab above.

  • Art on the Veranda – tomorrow Feb 11 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – at Bailey’s Center, presented by San-Cap Art League.
  • CHR’s Mardi Gras – tomorrow night Feb 11 – Community Housing & Resource (CHR’s) only fundraiser of the year at The Dunes. Tickets at www.sanibelchr.org/mardigras or call 472-1189.
  • BIG ARTS “100 Years of Broadway” – tomorrow night – 2017 benefit – www.bigarts.org or call 395-0900.
  • 15th Annual Clothesline Art Show – Sunday Feb 12 – at The Community House, presented by San-Cap Art League.
  • Valentine’s Dinner Dance – Feb 14 – hosted by the Stroke Recovery Foundation at The Community House. Reservations needed by Monday. Call 395-2661 or email GBaker9367@aol.com.
  • Annual Arts & Crafts Fair – Feb 18 & 19 – presented by Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva – at The Community House, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.SanibelArtFair.com
  • Kiwanis Annual Spaghetti Dinner – Feb 25 – at The Community House from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets in advance from Kiwanians for $8 or at the door for $9.
  • 80th Sanibel Shell Festival – Mar 2, 3, & 4 – at The Community House.
  • 10th Annual Sanibel Uncorked – Wine & Food Fest – Mar 5 – 1 to 5 p.m. – fundraiser by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club at Lily & Company.
  • A Peek at the Unique – Mar 11 – Zonta’s 16th home tour & fundraiser. Limited tickets available at ZontaPeekTickets2017@gmail.com

Sighting at “Ding” Darling

great-white-pelican-namibia

Wikipedia photo of a pair of Great White Pelicans in breeding condition in Walvis Bay, Namibia

Last week hundreds of visitors came to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on the lookout for a Great While Pelican that was spotted there last February and reported to have again returned this year. Within just 24 hours of the February 1 sighting, birders came from near and far, but not many spotted her. With a wing span up to 11.8’ and weighing as much as 33 pounds, these rare birds are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Birding experts say that this one is far off its usual migratory route, I say it’s just another smart winter vacationer.

 

SCCF logoSCCF Hosts Water Forum

From an email received this morning from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

“Weighing in on the Water, a February 9 town hall event, was hosted by SCCF at the Bailey Homestead Pavilion and moderated by SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. In introducing U.S. Congressman Francis Rooney and Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, she framed both the economic and ecological impacts from poor water management as key issues that must be addressed at the local, state, and federal levels to improve water quality in the Everglades and Southwest Florida.

“There is insufficient capacity to store, treat, and move water,” said Wessel. “We need new ways of doing restoration, and science needs to be the basis of all the solutions we pursue.”

“Congressman Rooney briefed approximately 200 constituents on his efforts to address Southwest Florida’s water quality issues at the federal level.

““We don’t need new legislative authorization, we need funds to be appropriated for multiple Everglades Restoration projects authorized since 2007,” said Rooney.

“The Congressman went on to say his first acts since taking office on January 20 were all focused on water quality for his district and Florida. He cited his one-on-one visits with members of the House Appropriations Committee, arguing for Everglades restoration funding. He also shared the letter he crafted and sent to President Trump, on which he secured the signatures of every member of Florida’s House delegation on Capitol Hill. (See a pdf of the letter here). The letter asks that the Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget “strongly support Everglades restoration projects, especially those within the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP).”

““This was an extraordinary achievement for a recently arrived freshman member of Congress,” said Wessel.

““The letter was bipartisan and included every House member representing Florida in Washington.  Advocates fighting for Everglades restoration and water quality have never had that demonstration of unanimous congressional support before Congressman Rooney brought this focus on water to Washington.”

City of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane expressed his appreciation for Congressman Rooney’s efforts at the federal level, particularly in the way they complement the efforts Ruane is working to spearhead.

““We have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and have gained their commitment to accelerate – to 2018 rather than 2021 – the design and planning process for a flow way for storage and cleaning south of Lake Okeechobee,” said Ruane.

“The Mayor went on to speak in detail about his initiative to engage the 19 counties and 163 cities affected by poor water quality. These counties and cities represent 55% of Florida’s real estate values. Combined with their tourism income, the economic impact of poor water quality is $2 trillion. “If you’re in Tallahassee, that number is hard to ignore,” said Ruane.

“The mayor has taken a leading role in bringing together the cities to work together in seeking state-level support, such as advancing the passage of Senate Bill 10 (SB10) to purchase 60,000 acres south of Lake O. He told the audience to watch for planned efforts to highlight these issues during the Florida legislative session beginning March 7.

“SCCF encourages you to forward this email to friends and neighbors, asking them to sign up for SCCF action alerts and become engaged in pressing our elected officials to take positive actions for moving restoration forward to protect our economy and water resources. Click here to sign up for our Action Alerts.

NAR RPAC Hall of Fame

government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeI received a surprise congratulatory letter this week. It seems I was nominated by the state for induction into the NAR RPAC Hall of Fame. The nomination was accepted, so I will be an official member of the Class of 2016 National Association of REALTORS®’ RPAC Hall of Fame. The induction is in May after which a plaque with my name will be on the rooftop of the NAR building in Washington, D.C.

I didn’t think that we have had anyone from the islands ever make the “Hall of Fame” so it prompted me to look on-line to see how many fellow Floridians are Hall of Fame members. In Florida, today there are 47 Realtors in the Hall of Fame. From my home state of Maine, there are only two, and from my former state of Virginia, there are just 15.

Since 2004, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has raised more than $100 million dollars to support pro-REALTOR® Party candidates running for Congress. The amount of money RPAC spends to support candidates makes it one of the top trade association PACs in the nation.

Though REALTORS® are a key part of the American Dream – property ownership, they increasingly face forces that threaten their work – the economy, property tax burdens, increasing insurance premiums, rent controls, impact fees, etc.

RPAC helps REALTORS® make sure their concerns about these and other issues are heard and understood by public officials. On the islands, where 99% of our members contribute to RPAC, we don’t just give dollars, we see those dollars put to good use in the ongoing fight for better water quality, lower insurance costs, and more.

Investing in my profession helps me and other homeowners too.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 3-10, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Royale Tern #103 3/3.5 $2.295M.

7 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $368K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $480K, Sundial West #D305 1/1 now $539K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2/2 now $539K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 now $574K (our listing), Kings Crown #208 2/2 now $749K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.0749M.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #253 2/2 listed at $549K, Sundial East #L402 2/2 listed at $749K, Bayview Village #1A 3/3 listed at $789K, Sundial East #Q404 2/2 listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: Somerset #302 3/2.5 $1.55M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1895 Farm Trl 3/2 $615K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $798.9K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $799K, 2628 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.43M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 $1.495M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.995M, 1320 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $3.55M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 $3.999M.

16 price changes: 998 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $437K; 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 now $579K; 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $589K; 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 now $599K; 5305 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $599,995; 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $629K; 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 now $725K; 1334 Junonia St 3/2 now $729K; 3152 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $735K; 698 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $895K, 243 Southwinds Dr 3/2.5 now $875K; 1396 Tahiti Dr 4/3 now $939K; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.399M; 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.15M; 6494 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 now $2.2495M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.899M.

11 new sales: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $489K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $495K, 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $499K, 1714 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $499.9K, 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $525K, 2134 Egret Cir 3/2 half-duplex listed at $559K, 660 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $910K, 1089 Skif Pl 3/2 listed at $1.089M, 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 listed at $1.149M, 5639 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.695M, 2118 Starfish Ln 4/5 listed at $1.849M.

2 closed sales: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 $205K, 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 $485K.

LOTS

1 new listings: 5251 Indian Ct $789K.

3 price changes: 9441 Peaceful Dr now $274K (our listing), 6411 Pine Ave now $363.5K, 602 Boulder Dr now $439K.

1 new sale: 2502/2504 Wulfert Rd listed at $239.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Home s#2 3/2 $2.199M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 $480K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11530 Laika Ln 4/3 $2.2M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed at $1.575M, 16237 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $3.95M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

valentineHappy Valentines’ Day!

Still time to buy your sweetie a piece of paradise before Tuesday. I’m working…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Working Together to Make a Difference


All’s well again on another Sanibel sunny Friday as we push forward to what are traditionally the busiest real estate months of the year on the islands – February and March. That activity may even stretch a few weeks longer this year with Easter not until April 16.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

This week we had another nice condo closing, a home listing that went under contract, an excellent sprinkling of showings, and good Open House action. Once February visitors settle in inquiries should pick up too. We already are getting requests for viewings in March during spring breaks.

gatorI had lunch today with a client who made me a “gator”. Shown here on our office sofa, I intend to take him home where he will recline on a special spot on my red love seat, but in the meantime, she said he needs a name.

Now called “Gator #5″ because he’s the 5th one she has made, I need suggestions! He’s going to be a neck scarf on the next cool day too, sure hope I don’t have to wait until next January. Isn’t he great? Thank you, Dianne! What’s your name for my gator?

Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate

sancap GO MLS logoWith January over, it is a good time to look at market inventory. The report of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity over the last seven days follows a few news items below and includes many price adjustments. Here is a quick summary of the number of units for sale, compared to the activity last year.

How Many for Sale

Condos –  116 on Sanibel; 30 on Captiva

Homes – 186 on Sanibel; 38 on Captiva

Lots – 68 on Sanibel; 2 on Captiva

How Many Under Contract

Condos – 14 on Sanibel; 4 on Captiva

Homes – 27 on Sanibel; 3 on Captiva

Lots – 5 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

How Many Sold in January 2017

Condos – 11 on Sanibel; 2 on Captiva

Homes – 19 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

Lots – 5 on Sanibel; 0 on Captiva

How Many Sold in January Last Year

Condos – 15 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

Homes – 10 on Sanibel; 5 on Captiva

Lots – 3 on Sanibel; 0 on Captiva

Florida Realtors® PAC

rpacAs follow-up to my posting last week about the four awards that the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® won for 2016 at FloridaRealtors®.

Here are a few highlights of how those RPAC dollars work.

  • 92% of all endorsed candidates were elected (23 of 25 Senate candidates won, 23 of 26 Congressional candidates won, 67 of 73 State House candidates won).
  • Constitutional Amendments 3 & 5 passed (grant tax exemptions for disabled first responders and seniors, and a big WIN for homeowners)
  • Won victories for homeowners and Realtors® (removed regulatory fees (HB 303), helped pass statewide comprehensive water policy to effectively manage and protect Florida’s natural resources (SB 552), revised the Value Adjustment Board process (HB 499)).

Working Together To Make a Difference in January

Sanibel realtors logoWritten by yours truly, here is the first 2017 press release from the local Association of Realtors® Communications and Public Relations Committee. It was published in the “Santiva-Chronicle” this morning.

“Ever wonder what members of a Realtor® organization do other than list and sell real estate?

“This year “Working Together to Make a Difference”, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® will report each month highlighting some other things accomplished by its members. Association members include Realtors®, their brokers, office managers, staff and affiliate business partners (mortgage brokers, insurance providers, home inspectors, appraisers, title companies, decorators, builders, non-profit organizations, attorneys, etc.).

“This is the first monthly report. It covers volunteer activities that members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® did in January.

Mints for the Military – From January 9 until mid-March, local Girl Scout Troop 673 is collecting donations for boxes of Girl Scout cookies as part of their Mints for the Military drive. Association member Carol McCarley, Noack & Company CPA’s, and her daughters help in this effort, with hundreds of boxes expected to go overseas from their troop. Last year, the Girl Scouts Gulf Coast of Florida Council sent 57,854 boxes in total. That’s a lot of cookies!

Water Quality – On January 11 and 25, Association Past-President and Realtor® David Schuldenfrei and others attended and spoke in Tallahassee at Florida Senate subcommittee hearings on Lake Okeechobee discharges. The hearings went well, with Senator Joe Negron on January 27 filing SB 10 for the purchase of land south of the lake for water storage and cleaning before it goes south into the Everglades and Florida Bay. The bill now must pass the House and Senate, before being signed by the Governor. It has a long way to go, but is headed in the right direction. Thank you, David!

Collections, Contributions, Volunteers, & Donations – “Working Together to Make a Difference” the CRPC members will be reaching out to local organizations and non-profits to find: ways the Association may get more cooperatively involved in the community; if donation items are needed and if there is a time of the year when they are needed most; and if there are small hands-on projects that could use a team of 5-10 volunteers to get them done. An investigation already is underway to help the Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee, which is chaired by Realtor® Deb Gleason, with the new Sanibel Heritage Trail.

“If you have suggestions, please contact Association Communications & Public Relations Committee members: Realtors® Judie Anderson, Sarah Ashton, Deb Gleason, Kelly Huguenin, Cathie Lewis; Affiliate Business Partners: Nanci Berlin, Barrier Island Title Services and Angela Larson Roehl, Rosier Insurance; or Realtor® Chair Susan Andrews.

Watch next month for our February progress report.”

Cost vs. Value: Which Home Improvements Offer the Highest Return on Investment in 2017?

ris-media-logoThis article was posted on-line Jan 16, 2017 at “Housecall” which is RISMedia’s blog. Since we get asked this question too, it’s interesting to hear their take. Note the projects vary based on the geographic area and price of the property.

“With the many different projects reported annually in Remodeling Magazine’s Cost  vs. Value Report, not much has changed from last year…and that’s not a bad thing. The 29 projects found on this year’s report paid back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. Looking at the 24 most tracked projects (projects consistently tracked for the last six years), their payback for 2017 was also 64.3 cents—only three-quarters of a penny higher than 2016 projections.

“Why the little change? Simply put: the differences in underlying numbers was minimal year-to-year. The average cost for those 24 projects rose a meager 3%, while the value that real estate professionals put on said projects only rose 4.2%. Minor gains, yes, but we’ll take what we can get.

“Recent and long-time trends continued, reports Remodeling. Curb appeal projects like changes to doors, windows and siding garnered a higher ROI than work done inside the home. Replacement projects, like doors or windows, scored higher among real estate pros than did remodels.

“On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI), Average Cost: $1,343, Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI), Average Cost: $1,413, Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI), Average Cost: $7,851, Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI), Average Cost: $20,830, Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5. Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI), Average Cost: $1,749, Average Resale Value: $1,345

“The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI), Average Cost: $3,304, Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI), Average Cost: $3,276, Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI), Average Cost: $15,282, Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI), Average Cost: $18,759, Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5. Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI), Average Cost: $8,358, Average Resale Value: $5,855

“Regionally, the Pacific division (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii) saw an average payback of 78.2% for all projects, with 10 projects posting cost-recouped levels of at least 90%. The East North Central states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, however, saw an average of just 54.9%, with no single project offering a payback of as much as 80 cents on the dollar.

“At the other end of the spectrum are projects with the lowest returns on investment—improvements generally not in demand by the market. Again, on a national scale, the five projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Bathroom Remodel (64.8% ROI), Average Cost: $18,546, Average Resale Value: $12,024
  2. Master Suite Addition (64.8% ROI), Average Cost: $119,533, Average Resale Value: $77,506
  3. Backyard Patio (54.9% ROI), Average Cost: $51,985, Average Resale Value: $28,546
  4. Backup Power Generator (54.0% ROI), Average Cost: $12,860, Average Resale Value: $6,940
  5. Bathroom Addition (53.9% ROI), Average Cost: $43,232, Average Resale Value: $23,283

“The five projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Major Kitchen Remodel (61.9% ROI), Average Cost: $122,991, Average Resale Value: $76,149
  2. Master Suite Addition (59.9% ROI), Average Cost: $250,687, Average Resale Value: $150,140
  3. Bathroom Remodel (59.1% ROI), Average Cost: $59,979, Average Resale Value: $35,456
  4. Bathroom Addition (57.1% ROI), Average Cost: $81,515, Average Resale Value: $46,507
  5. Deck Addition (composite) (56.4% ROI), Average Cost: $39,339, Average Resale Value: $22,171

“The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 99 markets, the average cost of 29 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.”

Late January Island Weather

Sanibelcityseal logoWith January bringing serious cold/snowy/icy winter weather to so much of the nation, the islands got some residual effects. With Sanibel under tornado watch through the early morning hours of January 23, the local papers this week said the City reported no significant damage. The fast-moving storm brought little rain and wind, considering what had been projected. Though gusts of up to 60 mph were reported, in most areas the beaches gained sand.

pam-shells-01-25-17

Pam Rambo, local shelling expert, from her site iLoveShelling.com, called this photo posted 1/25/17, “Just a drop in the bucket”. So many shells on the beach!

Among the resulting beach debris were 250 crab traps which the City collected and crabbers retrieved from Public Works. It probably goes without saying that because of the storm, fishing was not the best, but the shelling was outstanding. After winter storms is often the best time for finding “big” shells.

 

The last few days of January were a little chilly – island sweater weather, but since then and for the next week temperatures in the mid to high 70’s are expected.

The Housing Crunch for Older Adults Nears

ForbesPosted on-line Tuesday at “Realtor®Mag” under “Daily Real Estate News” this article is sourced to Forbes.com:

“The 65-plus population is expected to surge from 48 million to 79 million in the next 20 years. Yet, the availability and affordability of housing to meet this blooming population is inadequate, according to a recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report.

“The report shows that only 3.5% of today’s housing contains the following three key elements of “universal design”: zero-step entrances, single-floor living, and wide halls and doorways. Further, nearly 6.4 million low-income renters will likely need to devote more than 30% of their income to housing by 2035, the report notes.

Housing experts say builders are not growing the supply enough to meet future demands from older adults and instead are continuing to put most of their focus on higher-end construction.

““The Harvard study was a scary forecast,” says Lukas Krause, CEO of Real Property Management, the largest property management franchise in the nation. “The senior sector will be one of the hardest hit for affordability. The most important thing we can do is find affordable housing for older Americans and contemplate layout and design to accommodate the older population.”

“More homes will need to be tailored to older adults. For example, homes likely will need to be retrofitted as single-floor living with a master suite, wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, and walk-in showers with grab bars.

“Retrofitting needs to extend to the multifamily sector too. Landlord and property owners have not yet largely embraced retrofitting apartments to accommodate older Americans, Krause says. “As the older population grows, economic factors will change and it will be more attractive to build more versatile homes,” he says.

Also, expect some changes in the way people live as the older population grows. For example, cohabitation and shared housing may grow in popularity as affordability concerns brew. And, expect a growth in mother-in-law suites in single-family residences as well as grandparents living with their families like previous generations once did, Krause says. Furthermore, programs like the Johns Hopkins project, CAPABLE, may expand. The Johns Hopkins program seeks to help people age in place by assigning them a nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handyman.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 27-Feb 3, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $325K, Sanibel Moorings #931 2/2 $550K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 $620K, Bayview Village #1A 3/3 $789K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 $819K.

7 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1412 1/1 now $349.9K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $464K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $498K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2 now $499K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 now $719K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.695M, High Tide #A302 3/2 now $1.725M.

5 new sales: Sundial West #F103 2/2 listed at $459.5K, Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 listed at $599K, Compass Point #222 2/2 listed at $689K, Sundial West #K203 2/2 listed at $879K, Somerset #302 3/2.5 listed at $1.65M.

3 closed sales: Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 $430K, Sundial East #P201 2/2 $760K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.4M (our buyer). 

HOMES

7 new listings: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $495K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $609K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $714K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $719K, 3359 Barra Cir 3/3 $789K, 1294 Par View Dr 3/2.4 $949K, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 $1.795M.

15 price changes: 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $477.5K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $619K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 now $699K, 4694 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $699K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $699.9K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $712K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $899K, 1174 Harbour Cottage CT 3/3 half-duplex now $1.05M, 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $1.295M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $1.295M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 now $1.649M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 now $3.495M.

5 new sales: 608 Boulder Dr 3/3 listed at $869K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $899K (our listing), 2920 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $939K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $696K, 3557 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed at $4.5M.

6 closed sales: 474 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $360K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 $570K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $650K, 5751 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $975K, 1665 Sabal Palm Dr 3/2 $1.05M, 800 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.625M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $185K, 5126 Sea Bell Rd $185K.

1 price change: 5687 Baltusrol Ct now $315K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2462 Wulfert Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 $253K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $2.65M, 11551 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 now $4.9M.

1 new sale:13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $1.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 953 South Seas Plantation Rd listed at $2.1M.

No closed sales.

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

Until next Friday – enjoy the sunset, your weekend, & don’t forget to help me “name that gator”!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

sanibel-sunset

Kicking Off Florida Realtors 2017 & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate is Hoppin’


Dream big.jpgSanibelSusan’s report today is mostly from the FloridaRealtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando. It has been a whirlwind few days ending with the Inaugural Banquet of the 2017 leadership team last night.

joel-trophy

Sanibel/Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors 2017 President Joel Goodman with our awards for 2016.

It is always an honor to be on the audition panel for new Florida real estate instructors. That was my Wednesday workday from beginning to end – or at least until the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® was presented four RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) awards that evening. A recent water study funded with RPAC dollars was presented that very same day to state legislators in Tallahassee, as it continues to help our cause in working for more than 20 years to improve area water quality.

 

Yesterday, the morning Leadership Think Tank and later breakout sessions on Legislative Issues and Resort & 2nd Home Specialists zeroed in on several issues near-and-dear to us. The state legislature only had a small number of bills before them last week, but hundreds if not thousands more were expected by today. Of importance to us are those related to rental restrictions, water quality, insurance, and taxes. You can be sure FloridaRealtors® work every day to protect the rights of property owners.

During my few days away, business has been booming on Sanibel so I headed back to the island immediately after the Professional Development Committee meeting this morning. Thank goodness for technology and my teammates Dave and Elise who have been going above-and-beyond. Dave accompanied three showings this afternoon while Elise finished this update and summarized the week’s activity.  We are happy to report two closings and lots of showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Services follows just one news item below.

Real Estate Trends: Florida ‘Outperformed’ the U.S.

Florida Realtors logoThe following is a report from FloridaRealtors® online. It summarizes one of the meetings yesterday in Orlando.

“In 2016, Florida’s economy outperformed the nation in part because of better job creation, according to several economists who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of about 500 Realtors® at the 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.

“National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that the pace of U.S. home sales in 2016 at 5.5 million was “the best in a decade.” Since it’s nowhere near the 7.2 million sales peak in 2006, however, it leaves room for continued growth in 2017. And while interest rates are trending higher, it hasn’t had a dampening effect on home sales.

““A 4.2% mortgage rate is still a great rate,” Yun said. “As long as we’re around the 4 to even 5% mortgage rate, home sales are likely to stay on pace. As mortgage rates rise, job creation – which Florida excels at – could be a great neutralizer and good for home sales. In fact, Florida is outperforming the country because of better job creation.”

“Other speakers who shared their views on 2017 included Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a nationally known economist and former senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, chief economist for Florida Realtors.

““The good news, here in Florida, you’re in the right place,” Eisenberg said. “The South is the right division to be in – the economic recovery here has been much more robust. Florida is doing fine economically, unemployment is OK, and foreclosures are diminishing.”

“He agreed with Yun that while mortgage rates will continue to rise this year – albeit slowly – the markets will be fine as long as jobs are being created.

““Housing is improving, but in fits and starts,” Eisenberg said. “There’s not enough inventory of homes for sale, and builders aren’t building, especially at the entry-level. Bigger houses are being built, but it’s not profitable for builders to construct more affordable homes.”

“Eisenberg cited worker shortages, burdensome land-use regulations and costs – land, labor and regulation – as some of the constraints homebuilders face when it comes to building entry-level homes.

““We have to try a myriad of solutions, but getting the land costs down and easing land-use regulations will be the single most important factor in solving this issue,” he said.

“According to Eisenberg, forces at work in Florida and across the U.S. that are dampening real estate sales include:

  • Low inventory – December 2016 data, which is just a few days old, shows that the existing single-family home inventory nationwide is 3.6 months; in Florida, it’s 3.9-month months. A 6-month supply is generally considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
  • New model of renting – Six million single-family units have been taken off the market because institutional investors snapped up many homes during the Great Recession and created a new method of renting.
  • Mortgage rate lock – many people don’t want to sell because they’ll lose the really low mortgage rate they’re currently paying.

“When it comes to financing, lenders are in a technology race to provide a digital, user-friendly experience. Their goal is to make the mortgage process easier for the customer, said Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

““Today, 42% of homebuyers are millennials,” he said, “and with 92 million more millennials coming up, it will be an even bigger part of the housing market over the next five years. A recent survey found that 93% of those aged 18-34 intend to buy a house sometime in their future. Millennials are always online, so creating a digital mortgage experience for them is critical.”

“Johnston shared research showing that millennials value the expertise of Realtor professionals during the home buying process. “While they will go online to do home shopping, they do want to consult a trusted advisor along the way,” he said.

“The condominium market is an important part of the overall real estate market, and often offers an affordable option for buyers, according to Johnston. “In Florida, the condo market is healthy and robust,” he said.

““Condos make up 28% of all home sales in Florida; nationally, it’s 12%.”

“Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA), previewed elements of an economic impact study on Florida’s SHIP and SAIL funds by county that Florida Realtors commissioned CEFA to conduct. SHIP stands for State Housing Initiatives Partnership program, while SAIL stands for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program.

“As data is collected and analyzed, researchers will construct an economic forecasting model for Florida’s future affordable housing needs, and the data will also be used to compile statewide economic impact numbers for the SHIP and SAIL programs, Harrington said.

“Looking ahead to the coming months, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor announced to Realtors that the state association plans to soon release housing data metrics for Florida specific to cities and zip codes. Applause greeted his announcement. O’Connor anticipates having the new statistics starting on Feb. 9, which coincides with the release of the fourth quarter 2016 and 2016 year’s end data from Florida Realtors. The statistics will be available to members at www.floridarealtors.org/research (password-protected).

“Looking at all of 2016, the statewide existing homes market remained stable but was also relatively “flat,” according to O’Connor, though part of the reason for that year-to-year analysis was that “2015 was a pretty darn good year, sales-wise.”

“He also pointed out that a shortage of housing inventory in markets across the state, particularly for properties values at $200,000 or less, is impacting closed sales and putting pressure on median prices. Another factor: Sales of distressed properties continue to fall.

““In 2015, 10% of Florida’s housing inventory was distressed at the end of each month,” O’Connor said. “This past year, it’s been 5%, and it’s going to keep going down in 2017.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 20-27, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

9 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $535K; Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $535K; Loggerhead Cay #443 2/2 $549K; Loggerhead Cay #252 2/2 $589K; Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799,999; Sundial West #K203 2/2 $879K; Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $899K; By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 $1.695M; Somerset #E202 3/2.5 $1.699M.

5 price changes: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #253 2/2 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 now $899K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.495M, Tamarind #A102 2/2 now $1.595M.

5 new sales: Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Seawind #A108 2/2.5 listed at $519K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $619K, Sundial East #O401 2/2 listed at $729K, Sundial East #O407 2/2 listed at $1.199M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $485K, Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $538K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 $592K (our listing), Pointe Santo #E37 3/2 $1.375M, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 $1.3925M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499.5K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $554K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $659K, 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 $675K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.75M.

9 price changes: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $489K, 3008 Singing Winds Dr 2/2 now $499K, 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $535K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K, 2195 Par View Dr 3/2 now $750K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $799.9K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 now $845K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $979.9K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 now $1.195M.

3 new sales: 5105 SanibelCaptiva Rd 4/3 listed at $649K, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.199M, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.595M.

7 closed sales: 1411 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $430K, 1983 Roseate 2/2 $505K, 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $530K (our listing), 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $890K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $938K, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.325M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,555; 1415 Sanderling Cir $398K.

2 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $189,555; 1311 Par View Dr now $279K.

1 new sale: 2501 Wulfert Rd listed at $199.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 now $614K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1406 3/2 $995K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.049M, 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.575M, 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $1.795M, 16455 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.495M, 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 $6.995M.

1 price change: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.549M.

1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed at $1.549M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Causeway sunset 1-18-17.jpg

Wondering what it’s been like on Sanibel? Here’s a recent sunset photo…beautiful as always! Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Another Picture-Perfect Friday on Sunny Sanibel


beach-a

It is Susan and The SanibelSusan Team reporting that it was back to sunny days on-island this week. An absolutely picture-perfect one today, with temperatures in the mid-70’s. A little more Florida-winter type weather is expected on Sunday when a breezy cool front arrives with a few showers. Luckily those fronts don’t last long here and it again is expected to be sunny and back to the mid-70s by mid-week.

Island Real Estate Action

We still are not seeing lots of real estate activity which traditionally picks up each year sometime from mid-to-late January. Could be that the Saturday visitor turn-over this weekend will bring more action. The rental organizations tell us that will be the 1st week of the year with high-season occupancy. Even more check-ins are expected the following weekend as it gets closer to the 1st of the month.

sancap GO MLS logoYou will notice from the report below of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service that homes continue to be the predominate seller. Many price changes were posted this week too, with sellers recognizing that just 2+months of “high season” remain.

Over the last seven days on Sanibel, there were just two condo sales and two lot sales, but 12 home sales. One our new listing in Seagull Estates. During the same period, there were 17 price changes. That is a lot for a week mid-January.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

San Cap LogoAt the Thursday Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, I gave a quick spiel about our 2017 Communications & Public Relations Committee kick-off meeting.

We discussed reaching out to local non-profits & becoming a year-‘round collection point for donated goods: things like non-perishable food items for the FISH pantry, old cell phones and hotel-sized toiletries for ACT, gently-used clothing for church charities in Immokalee; bedding for Bedz for Kidz which is part of Lee County’s Guardian ad Litem Foundation.

The committee is looking for more ways to be involved in the community in a cooperative way so are soliciting suggestions from local organizations and non-profits for what donation items they need and if here is a particular time of the year when most needed. Also, if there are small hands-on projects that could use a team of 5-10 volunteers to get them done.

With this year’s message “Together, We Make a Difference”, you will see monthly press releases about our members’ community involvement. Those members include not just Realtors® and their office staff, but also our affiliate members, including the bankers, inspectors, builders, decorators, contractors, title companies, attorneys, and other service business partners, who also are an important part of our organization.

Looking Back on Hurricane Season

Island Water logoInteresting tidbit noticed when I was catching up on my reading last weekend. The Winter 2016 issue of the “IWA Pipeline” (Island Water Association’s newsletter) said:

“Believe it or not, once more, the National Weather Service reports it has been over eleven years since a major hurricane has made landfall on the continental United States. Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane, and although Matthew was a Category 3 storm as it approached the Florida coast, technically it never made landfall, as the eye stayed just off the coast.”

Prospective buyers often ask about flooding and storms. What can we tell them? I often remind them that the island is mostly sand, so that water even after a heavy rain usually disperses quickly. We also can tell them about how the Sanibel River has a lock system and how water can be released, but that it’s rarely necessary. We also can say that weathermen tell us that we are in an area where there is probability of a hurricane every 100 years. Then the question is – do we start counting the 100 years from Hurricane Charley in 2004 or from the last time the island flooded from a hurricane – in the 1920’s? Either way, it’s just part of island life. From May to November, residents should have a hurricane plan and listen carefully to weather reports.

Sanibel Signs Water Quality Compact

santiva chronicleThe following was posted yesterday on-line at the “Santiva-Chronicle”.

“Much of Sanibel’s definitive white paper, Caloosahatchee Watershed Regional Water Management Issues, was adopted in the water quality compact of 164 communities and 19 counties.

“Sanibel was instrumental in the drafting of a new water quality compact that is the largest compact in Florida history, and on Tuesday, January 17, the City Council put its name to it.The City Council voted unanimously for a resolution pledging the city’s support in the Lake Okeechobee Regional Compact.

“The compact calls for cooperation among the 164 towns and cities and 19 counties in the Northern Everglades and Lake Okeechobee watershed. It calls for all to work together toward a comprehensive plan addressing environmental and economic challenges associated with discharges from Lake Okeechobee and to develop a joint strategic plan to successfully meet those challenges.

“Mayor Kevin Ruane and Sanibel Director of Natural Resources James Evans were instrumental in the drafting of the resolution through the Florida League of Cities. Evans is the author of Sanibel’s definitive white paper on water quality, Caloosahatchee Regional Water Management Issues. Ruane chaired the session where the resolution was adopted.

““It’s the largest compact the state of Florida has ever done,” Ruane said. “It’s a compact for all 164 cities and we are pleased that the resolution was adopted with the majority of the white paper in it.”

“The resolution calls for each local government to collaborate while also recognizing the individual needs of a diverse consortium of towns, cities and counties. It calls for a joint policy position to urge the U.S. Congress and the Florida Legislature to develop and fund the necessary plans to improve regional water conditions.

“The resolution states:

“The adopted Regional Action Plan shall, at a minimum, include the following components:

  1. A list of those local and regional projects and programs all parties to this compact mutually agree are critical to Everglades restoration, protection and improvement of local water supplies and water quality, enhancement of natural area and the economic vitality of our communities.
  2. Local Projects/Programs: Septic maintenance and septic to central sewer programs; local fertilizer ordinances and fertilizer education programs; storm water best management practices (BMP’s); agricultural BMP’s; golf course BMP’s.
  3. Current Regional Projects: The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the projects identified on Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS) including, but not limited to, Rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike; Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP); C-43 West Basin Reservoir; C-44 Reservoir; Tamiami Trail Bridging Project; Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project; and the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 13-20, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listings: Sunset South #2A 2/2.5 $749K.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #E33 2/1.5 now $319.5K, Blind Pass #F106 2/2 now $449K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $478K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 now $619K.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #181 2/2 listed at $699K, Sunset South #4A 2/2 listed at $799K.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #622 2/2.5 $600K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3 2/2.5 $625K, Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 $765K.

HOMES

7 new listings: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $539K, 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $625K, 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 $749K, 519 Lagoon Dr 4/2 $849K, 863 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $979K, 3944 West Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.099M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.199M.

13 price changes: 1714 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $499.9K; 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 now $499,999; 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $699.9K; 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $729K; 1334 Junonia St 3/2 now $739K; 1943 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/3 now $775K; 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 now $779,555; 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $799K; 2920 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $939K; 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $1.095M; 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 now $1.199M; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.449M; 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 now $22.095M.

12 new sales: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 listed at $278K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 listed at $399K, 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex listed at $529K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 listed at $599K, 174 Southwinds Dr 2/2 half-duplex listed at $659K, 1153 Sabal St 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 525 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $1.099M (our listing), 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 listed at $1.149M, 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.595M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 listed at $1.595M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $2.7M.

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239 Daniel Dr, Seagull Estates

 

5 closed sales: 3118 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $550K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 $650K, 2549 Harbour Ln 3/2 $726K, 910 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.2M, 5125 Joewood Dr 4/4 $2.35M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 497 Sea Oats listed at $499K, 629 Lighthouse Way listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 listed at $255K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 $315K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14981 Binder Dr 3/1 $1.149M.

1 price change: 4 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2.5 now $2.345M.

1 new sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you sunny days!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

beach

Sometimes Sunny Sanibel Scoop


It’s SanibelSusan reporting the end of a week of mixed-bag weather and real estate activity. After a rainy morning, we saw the sun for a few hours today, now it has clouded over again, but more sun is expected. The sprinkles today were nothing compared to the multiple heavy deluges with gusts that we experienced last Saturday – during real estate showings too.

If a prospect likes a property during a shower, we always know that they will love it when the sun comes. Looks like next week’s weather will be better – sunny and mid-70’s for highs expected all week.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoTeammate Dave held an Open House all day yesterday at High Tide. Having an Open House coincide with a Thursday Realtor Caravan usually brings lookers, but he only had two couples all day. Some days are more productive with Open Houses and there seems to be not a lot of reason for it.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2017 Installation & Awards Presentation

Incoming Sanibel/Captiva Realtor® Association President Joel Goodman chose a breakfast rather than evening banquet for his installation event which was yesterday. It was great to see so many attendees – considering it was at 7:30 a.m. at The Sanctuary and just past a speed trap after The Sanibel School. I think a few colleagues got pinched!

FloridaRealtors® 2017 President Maria Wells from Fort Pierce installed the new Sanibel/Captiva Board of Directors and Officers. Other attendees included FloridaRealtors® new CEO Bill Martin, now from Orlando, who came to Florida from the Michigan Association (smart man), representatives from our surrounding Associations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island, and over 100 of our own Realtors® and affiliates.

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Seated are Florida Realtors 2017 President Maria Wells & Florida Realtors CEO Bill Martin with Joel Goodman, Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors 2017 President

 

Joel’s theme for the year “Together, Realtors® Make a Difference” will be the topic of conversation next week at our first Communications/Public Relations Committee Meeting. It will be fun to Chair that committee again. Last time I did was 2006.

At the Caravan meeting which followed the installation and awards program (my 24th year as an Honor Society recipient), only a couple of sales were announced, but I was happy to announce our new listings at Cottage Colony West and Seagull Estates. More info the MLS activity posted this week is after a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Civic Core Project Gone by the Wayside

Sanibelcityseal logoIt was disappointing to hear the $42-million Sanibel Civic Core Project has gone by the wayside.

City Council voted in early December to put two items on the upcoming March ballot: an $8M-million bond issue (needed for Sanibel’s share of the project) and use of 13.5 acres of land from the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation District needed to accommodate the project.

Rumor has it that it’s conjecture just how sensitive that land really is; but, it got enough citizenry riled up that Council this week withdrew both items. The press also reports that the County Commissioners were not onboard either, so the money needed from outside the island probably would have come up short.

The project which would have created a walking central civic core in the area surrounding BIG ARTS, the Museum, City Hall, and the Library also would have included The Center-4-Life which is in desperate need of expansion, room for classes, meetings, etc. Just what will be done with the Center-4-Life remains to be seen, but they, like BIG ARTS, want upgrades and may need to move forward independently.

Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS is now 20 years old and in need of better seating and acoustics. The Community Chorus has grown so much through the years, that the stage is now too small to hold us – which resulted in three performances of the spring program last year.

I bet that eventual improvements at The Center-4-Life and at BIG ARTS will be made without them being part of a Civic Core project. It’s just too bad that Sanibel won’t get a central area for the community to congregate and enjoy. Stay tuned.

Insurance Blind Spots: 5 Coverage Gaps That Could Cost You

associated-press-logoThe article below from the Associated Press was reposted today on FloridaRealtors® on-line. It has some good advice:

“You might think you have airtight insurance protection against storms, car accidents and other mishaps. But you’d hate to discover hidden cracks in your coverage once it’s too late.

“Here are five insurance problems you might not be as prepared for as you think – and how to plug the coverage gap.

“1. No flood insurance

“Flooding has occurred in every state in the country over the past five years, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Yet only 12% of homeowners nationwide carry flood coverage, an Insurance Information Institute poll found.

“Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding; you’ll need a separate policy. You can find local agents through the National Flood Insurance Program. You can also ask your home insurer for help starting a policy through the federal program, or whether there are companies in your state that offer private flood insurance.

“There’s a 30-day waiting period before coverage kicks in, so get flood insurance squared away well ahead of coming storms.

“2. No way to pay off a lease or loan on a totaled car

“Gap insurance helps you avoid owing money on a car loan or lease even if your vehicle has been totaled or stolen. Along with comprehensive and collision coverage, gap insurance is a smart addition if you lease or finance a car.

“Say you lease a $20,000 car at payments of $400 a month. Five months later, your car is totaled in an accident. If the car’s value has dropped to $15,000, that’s the amount your collision claim check will be, minus your deductible. That won’t be enough to cover the $18,000 left on your lease.

“This is where gap insurance kicks in. It makes up the difference between what your car is worth when it’s stolen or totaled and how much you owe on a car loan or lease.

“You can buy gap insurance from the car dealership or your lender. Or you can go through your car insurance company – which is typically cheaper unless you want gap coverage for several years.

“3. No plan for sewage backups

“You may not realize that you’re responsible for the sewer line that runs from the main pipeline in the street to your house. Yet standard home insurance typically doesn’t cover backups in this part of the line. Enter sewer backup coverage. It pays for cleanup and repairs from spewed sewage in your house.

“Sewer backup coverage is relatively affordable — $40 to $50 a year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Talk to your home insurer about adding this kind of coverage.

“4. No income after a disability

“Among 20-year-olds, more than 1 in 4 will suffer a disability before retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration. If you aren’t able to work because of an illness or accident, you need a plan to pay the bills.

“Social Security disability insurance is available only to people with long-term disabilities lasting at least one year. Some employers offer short-term disability insurance, but it isn’t as common as you might think. Just 38% of workers have access to short-term disability insurance through their employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“You don’t have to rely on your workplace for coverage. Individual disability insurance is available from several insurers, such as State Farm, MetLife and Mutual of Omaha. If your employer doesn’t offer short-term disability insurance, or your current benefits fall far short of replacing your full salary, look into getting a policy elsewhere.

“5. No financial safety net for earthquakes

“Most homeowners, even those who live in high-risk areas, go without earthquake insurance. They risk financial ruin if their homes and belongings are destroyed. Only 10% of California residents have earthquake insurance, and 14% of people in western states, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“Standard homeowners’ insurance won’t pay to fix damage caused by earthquakes. Home insurers might offer earthquake coverage as a policy add-on for an extra cost – and in California they’re required to. Or you might need to look for stand-alone earthquake insurance.

“Californians can shop for a policy through the California Earthquake Authority. For those living in other states, ask your home insurer or agent for help finding companies that sell earthquake coverage, or check your state’s department of insurance website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 6-13, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $749.9K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 $769K, High Tide #A102 2/2 $1.75M.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1412 1/1 now $375K.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #234 2/2 listed at $579K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3 2/2.5 listed at $650K, Sundial West #E304 2/2 listed at $814.5K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 $542K, Sanibel Surfside #127 2/2 $1.137M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1036 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $649.9K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 2/3 $724.9K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $739K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $775K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1.099M (our listing, photos below), 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.495M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $2.7M.

 

9 price changes: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 now $525K, 2134 Egret Cir 3/2 half-duplex now $559K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $649K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 now $799K, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 now $899K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.249M, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 now $1.595M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.778M, 984 Oyster Ct 3/3.5 now $1.95M.

4 new sales: 1411 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $439K, 1983 Roseate Ln 2/2 listed at $539K, 539 East Rocks Dr 5/5 listed at $1.3M, 4449 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 listed at $4.495M.

1 closed sale: 8991 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $800K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1246 Seagrape Ln $2.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 592 Sea Oats Dr $315K, 690 Birdie View Pt $360K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 listed at $255K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.449M, 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 now $1.775M, 16979 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $4.435M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 11536 Andy Rosse Ln 3/3 $1.675M, 11400 Dickey Ln 4/6.5 $7.5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s wishing you sunny beach days with lots of shells – like this one!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

sanibel-island-shelling.jpg

Real Estate & More on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan here reporting another week of wonderful island weather and the good news for those of us traveling Sanibel’s roadways has been a bit of a traffic reprieve. The islands remain busy with holiday vacationers, including many locals since schools are still out, but Periwinkle Way has been a little easier to maneuver this week.

Several of our listings had showings, with some future appointments scheduled. All-in-all, it’s looking like the first quarter of 2017 will be a busy one.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoWe received a terrific new listing yesterday and another today. The first a large beautifully-remodeled meticulous and professionally-decorated 3+bedroom along the back circle in Seagull Estates will be posted in MLS early next week, as soon as the professional photography is done. With three screened porches overlooking a tropical backyard that borders conservation land, it also is an easy stroll or bike ride to the community pool, clubhouse, tennis, and beach access.

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239 Daniel Drive in Seagull Estates

 

The 2nd is another beach-front condo at Casa Ybel Resort in their guaranteed income program. You may remember that we had another unit listed there that closed the end of the year. Those units (there are only 40 condos within the resort) are what many local Realtors® call “no brainers” for investors looking for easy ownership. The resort takes care of everything (including utilities and updates/repairs) with owners getting half of the annual income which usually is just under $100K. Cottage Colony West #119 will be posted later today in MLS.

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Balcony & private stairs to beach at Cottage Colony West #119 at Casa Ybel Resort

 

Teammate Dave held an Open House yesterday at Pointe Santo and had good walk-in traffic – other island owners and renters. As properties are vacant and available, he will continue those open houses through season. He’s been busy opening listings for showings and accompanying showings too – all good action this week.

closeup-view-to-straightlefteast

Looking from Pointe Santo #C34 over lagoon to clubhouse to gulf

 

The team and I are watching prices closely now that “season” is here. Overall sales in 2016 fell short of 2015. Prices, however, continue to creep up, but still are far from where they were in the heyday of 2006. The positive post-election vibes, I expect will keep those prices on the upswing. It should be a winter of plenty of offers (she said optimistically).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoThere were only a few sales announced at the Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Those are listed in the report below of the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Our meeting next Thursday morning is the island Association of Realtors® Annual Installation and Awards event. It is usually an evening banquet, but this year is a morning (8 a.m.) breakfast at The Sanctuary. The Caravan following will be a shortened version, so our listings due for caravan will be open the following week from 9 a.m. to noon.

 Want to Avoid Legal Hassles? Top Lessons From 2016

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted online today at FloridaRealtors® and has some good advice. It came from Fort Lauderdale’s “Sun Sentinel”. Info about the author follows the article.

“With the foreclosure crisis over and home prices continuing to increase, we’ve moved past the problems that were unique to the housing bust. It’s a more normal real estate market these days, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues around every corner.

“Here are my top lessons learned in 2016:

  • “Whether you’re on the board of your community association or just live in one, you need to read your governing documents. The answers to most problems can be found there, so it should be your first stop before you file a complaint or a lawsuit.
  • “Remember, when you bought your home, you agreed to the restrictions that are now vexing you. If you want to change the rules, get involved. Join the board of directors. If you’re on the board and want to change things, first clear it with the association’s attorney. Association litigation is expensive and often easy to avoid if you know your community’s rules and follow them.
  • “I’ll address two questions I hear several times a week: First, your association can foreclose on your home over a small amount of owed dues. Even if there is a mistake on your maintenance bill, pay the disputed money and then work with your association to resolve the error. Second, accept that residents are entitled to service animals under the law – even if the residents don’t appear to have visible disabilities. If you think a resident is abusing the rules, speak to the association’s attorney before you do anything.
  • “Interest rates are rising, and lenders are lending money again. If you have any intention of refinancing your mortgage, now is the time to do it. It’s also a good time to buy a home. As interest rates increase, your purchasing power will decrease. Although I don’t think interest rates will skyrocket, you should get the cheap money now while it’s still available.
  • “Finally, one of my favorite sayings is, “If you can say it, you can sign it.” Many times, relationships go wrong and promises get broken. Two people can have the same conversation and walk away with very different understandings. Whether you are agreeing to help your adult child buy a home or making a deal with a contractor to remodel your kitchen, always write down what you both agree to and then sign your names to it. While a properly drafted contract is best, just writing down, in detail, what each party agreed to, will reduce the chances of a dispute and make things easier to resolve if there is a disagreement.

“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. Send him questions online at http://www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 30, 2016 – January 6, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $514K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $515K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $674K (our listing), Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 $1.039M.

1 price change: Sundial West #S404 3/2 now $850K.

1 new sale: Pointe Santo #E37 3/2 listed at $1.475M.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #137 1/1 $602.5K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 474 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $399K, 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $529K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $549K, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 $4.495M.

5 price changes: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 now $278K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $659K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $800K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $895K, 407 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $2.99M.

5 new sales: 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $499K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed at $889K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 listed at $995K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 listed at $1.25M, 5125 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $2.595M.

1 closed sales: 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $625K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 629 Lighthouse Way $1.095M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 2379 Wulfert Rd listed at $289K, 592 Sea Oats Dr listed at $349.9K.

1 closed sale: 2411 Blue Crab Ct $307,318.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 $255K, Bayside Villas #1/2 $315K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11551 Wightman Ln 3/3.5 $5M.

3 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $879K; 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1,377,935; 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2,343,925.

1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed at $1.549M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s hoping your winter is warm and bright. Another cool front is expected to pass through here on Sunday when the high is forecast to be just 61 degrees F and breezy. Back into the 70’s right after that. Just how we like January on Sanibel.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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Beach path at Casa Ybel Resort

Heading into 2017 at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan with another report of a busy island, but not a lot of real estate activity. A nice bright, though chilly and breezy, day today with temperatures expected to remain in the 60’s. Back to 70-degree weather tomorrow and for the upcoming week. Here are a few photos taken at the Nerita Street beach access at 1:30 p.m. today.

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This week was the first since “high season” last year with gridlock on Periwinkle Way (from about 3 to 7 p.m.).

Tuesday night, I attempted to get home from the office by driving my usual route straight down Periwinkle Way. This is a 2.9-mile ride which usually takes 10-12 minutes. Not, so that night, it took 45 minutes.

Wednesday night, when the traffic in front of the office again was “all stop”, I decided to go the “back way”. Mind you, the normal “back way” is to take Periwinkle west to Tarpon Bay Road south to West Gulf Drive to Middle Gulf Drive to East Gulf Drive to the end, and then Periwinkle west. That didn’t work as Tarpon Bay Road was backed up, so I instead drove all the way to Rabbit Road to get to Sanibel’s east end. Even so, that long route was quicker. I left the office at 6 p.m. and was home in 30 minutes. Only back-up was on East Gulf where it was a crawl from Nerita St to Lindgren Blvd.

So, last night when the traffic in front of the office looked light at 5 p.m., I decided to go home on time and again try the direct Periwinkle route. Not a smart move – 90 minutes later I had crawled from Sanibel Square to Donax Street. It took better than 2 hours to go the 2.9-mile stretch.

So, “season is here” and we again share the roadways, beaches, bike paths, and restaurants with snowbirds, visitors, and vacationers. We grit out teeth and hope they all came to buy real estate.

By the way, an astounding number of bikers, including many small children, were traveling at night with no lights, wearing dark clothing, and crossing roadways without stopping or even looking for traffic. Cautious thoughtful driving is a must and a friendly thanks to the folks directing traffic goes a long way.

Now for the rest of the news…

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThe team and I are happy to report another closing this week as well as a new luxury condo listing. We received an offer on a listing too, still in negotiations.

Teammate Dave held a couple of open houses this week, trying to capitalize on the traffic. He had positive comments and good interest. Lisa will be in the office tomorrow, while I’m covering Sunday and Monday, which is a holiday for the team. We are ready to make a New Year’s sale!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday, attendance was light at the local Association of Realtors’® Thursday morning Caravan meeting. A handful of new listings were announced (including our new lot listing at Sanibel Center and condo listing at Beachcomber). Only a few new sales were announced. After some more news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Island Taxi

island-taxi-logoMany returning for season don’t know that there is a new taxi service on Sanibel.

With a fleet of 15 sedans and vans, Island Taxi is in the shopping center at 975 Rabbit Rd.

More info at www.islandtaxi.com.

17th Annual Polar Bear Plunge

It is hardly considered polar bear weather here, but on Sunday (Jan 1), the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will hold its 17th annual meeting at noon at Tarpon Bay Beach (gulf-end of Tarpon Bay Rd). All participants receive a free membership card and certificate (for framing). Sign-in and song sheet distribution begins at 11 a.m. It’s fun, it’s free, and singing of the traditional polar bear anthem kicks off the event after which participants enter the chilly gulf waters. (It could be chilly too, as a cool front arrived today.)

New Programs Offered at SCCF

SCCF logoAs new events are scheduled and announced, I continue to update the “Upcoming Events” tab above.

Check it out for the days/times for new January offerings at the Conservation Foundation.

Included are programs on Florida panthers and conservation photography.

Randy Wayne White Fans

sanibel-flats-book-coverBest-selling local author and father of the Doc Ford’s novels, Randy Wayne White, will be sharing his experiences from the 70’s and 80’s as fishing guide at Tarpon Bay Marina during a free presentation at the Captiva Civic Center, Tuesday, Jan 10, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Limited seating, first-come first-seated.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #A31 2/1 $349K, Loggerhead Cay #253 2/2 $559K, Beachcomber #A102 2/2 $1.495M (our listing) (see slideshow below).

5 price changes: Kings Crown #211 3/2 now $875K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 now $949K, Loggerhead Cay #103 2/2 now $999K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.298M, Pine Cove #104 3/2 now $1.395M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 $600K (our listing). 

HOMES

6 new listings: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/2 duplex $595K, 5305 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $695K, 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $1.149M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $1.349M, 5639 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.695M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.28M.

7 price changes: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 now $499K, 1714 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $559K, 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 now $579K, 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $594K, 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $649K, 186 Southwinds Dr 2/2 now $699K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 now $999K.

4 new sales: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 listed at $479K, 1709 Sand Pebble Way 5/3 triplex listed at $510K, 1232 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $929K, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.95M.

4 closed sales: 1150 Schooner Pl 2/2 $580K, 5279 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $600K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $639K, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.515M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $179K.

2 new sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd $219.5K, 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $339K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings & price changes.

2 new sales: without contingencies: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 listed at $317.5K, Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 listed at $599K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 $410K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Happy-New-Year-2017.jpgHappy New Year from all of us at The SanibelSusan Team,

Susan Andrews, David Anderson, Elise Carnes, & Lisa Murty

Pre-Christmas at SanibelSusan Realty


merry-christmas-from-sanibelIt is quiet at SanibelSusan Realty Associates this afternoon. The team is now off for the holiday weekend, so you-know-who is manning the fort. The last few days, the island slowly has filled up with visitors. Those from the north particularly are loving that Southwest Florida set records this week for highest temperatures ever recorded here in December (91 degrees F).

Wednesday morning – on the 1st day of winter – as teammates Dave, Elise and I were powwowing about listings and showings, I remarked that the rare overcast sky looked like it sometimes does up north, just before it snows. That’s when a vacationer ran by our back door dressed in just shorts. Gave us all a giggle since that was after the temperature had dropped to a cool 68 degrees. We hope the warm weather brings more buyers!

We had no weekly Realtor® caravan meeting yesterday because of the holiday and though the roadways and bike paths are busy, Dave only one couple visit his Open House midweek.

Below, after a few news items, is the activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel Openings/Re-Openings

  • Totally Baked – now open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2407 Periwinkle Way. Serving homemade cakes, doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, candies, biscuits, freshly baked bread, plus breakfast & lunch menu.
  • Sanibel Sea School Winter Camp – Has a different theme each week this year. This week the theme is “Polynesian Ocean Traditions; Dec 26 through 30 “Ocean Tribe Traditions”, and Jan 2 through 6 “Japanese Ocean Traditions”. Camps are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sanibel Farmers Market – will be closed Sunday for Christmas, but will have a make-up day on Monday, December 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then through May 28, including on New Year’s Day, the market will be open every Sunday during the same hours. (at City Hall)
  • Sanibel Café Re-opening – Wednesday, December 28, after renovations following their fire in late September. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Community House – Construction is nearing completion, with landscaping going in now. Opening in January.

87th Master Gardener Lecture Series

Free, open to the public, but limited seating, at Sanibel Library on Thursday January 5 at 10 a.m. Speaker is Rick Joyce, nationally-recognized expert on pruning of landscape plants, especially trees.

Captiva Beach Tilling Starts January 9

captiva-beach-tillingAn article and this photo posted on-line Wednesday at “Santiva-Chronicle” says:

“The Captiva Erosion Prevention District will till the sand placed in the 2013-14 re-nourishment project starting in January.

“The staging area for the contractor is the Alison Hagerup parking lot. The work is being performed by Perry’s Beach Service of Fort Myers.

“Tilling is scheduled to begin the morning of Jan. 9 and proceed north to Redfish Pass. After completing this segment, work will continue south of Hagerup Beach to Blind Pass. All work is estimated to be completed by the end of the day, Jan. 13, weather permitting. All operations will occur during daylight hours.

“Tilling is permit-required to lessen the impact of compacted sand on sea turtle nesting and hatching activities. The turtles prefer soft sand for digging their nests and laying their eggs. The work is scheduled so that it will not interfere with piping plover nesting, which begins Feb. 1, and sea turtle nesting, which begins May 1.

“The project includes tilling and dressing the sand and leveling any escarpment that exceeds 18 inches in height and is more than 100 feet long.

“A tractor pulling a rake with tines will till the approximately 25,600 linear feet of re-nourished beach to a minimum depth of 36 inches. The use of horns, whistles, and signals will be kept to a minimum to ensure a quiet operation while maintaining job site safety. There will be minimal disruption to traffic on roads adjacent to the beach.

“Residents, beachgoers, and businesses are required to remove all obstructions, including umbrellas, chairs, and canopies, between the dunes and high tide lines, that might interfere with the work.  Beachgoers are asked to avoid the area where tilling is being done until the tractor is a safe distance away and to heed all signs and instructions from tilling personnel.

“Questions should be directed to CEPD by calling 239-472-2472, or by kathleen@mycepd.com.”

Fire at Blind Pass Condo

Last Sunday afternoon, a fire at a condo at Blind Pass condominium (#G201) was quickly extinguished, but it burned out the vacationing family of seven. City Manager Judie Zimomra commended the Sanibel Fire District, Sanibel Police, and neighboring fire districts for their quick response. I heard that the fire was caused by a charging electronic device. This upstairs unit was destroyed and the unit below had significant water damage. The family – father, mother, and five children – had its belongings wiped out. The City coordinated with F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here) and the Tourism Development Council to provide relief.

“Here Comes Santa Claus”

santaFellow BIG ARTS Chorister, Mike Bugler, penned the following words to a new song he calls “We Love Sanibel”. Sung it to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus”, it’s pretty cute.

“We’re on Sanibel, we’re on Sanibel

We just got here by plane

Escaped the snow and the bitter cold

Snowbird is my name

“Seashell bringin’, ocean swimmin’

The sun is always real bright

So let’s give a thought to our friends up north

While we’re having fun tonight

“We love Sanibel, we love Sanibel

Warmer down here than Maine

Deck chairs set out on the beach

More sunshine here than rain

“Sip that cocktail, spray that suntan

All here just seems so right

We’re-not-going-north for another-few-months

So let’s all have fun tonight”

Sanibel YouTube Video

If you need a little Sanibel pick-me-up. Here is a link to a video I saw posted on Facebook this morning. It’s terrific.

SANIBEL CSN 2016

SANIBEL TRIP, ALTERNATE EDIT. MUSIC BY CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #234 2/2 $579K, Sundial East #O401 2/2 $729K, Sundial East #O407 2/2 $1.199M.

2 price changes: Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 now $599K (our listing), Shorewood #1C 3/2 now $889K.

2 new sales: Seawind #103 2/2.5 listed at $564K, Cottage Colony West #137 1/1 listed at $649K.

6 closed sales: Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $395K, Sundial West #C310 1/1 $429.5K, Sundial East #P401 2/2 $852K (our listing), Surfside 12 #B3 3/2 $899.75K, Sunset South #15B 2/2 $950K, Kings Crown #105 3/2 $1.19M.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1709 Sand Pebble Way 3/3 triplex $510K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $749K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 $889K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 $899K, 1396 Tahiti Dr 4/2/3 $989K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $998K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.25M, 924 Pecten Ct 4/4 $1.965M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 $2.995M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $3.495M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $3.99999M.

4 price changes: 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 now $549K, 465 Lake Murex Cir 2/2.5 now $599K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $629K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 now $649K.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 4215 Old Banyan Way 3/3 $690K, 400 Rabbit Rd 4/3 $757K, 232 Robinwood Cir 4/3 $1.1125M, 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.635M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1550 Centre St $199K (our listing) $199K, 1026 Fish Crow Rd $430K.

2 price changes: 644 Sea Oats Dr now $325K, 2401 Blue Crab Ct now $789K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 9211 Dimmick Dr $139.5K, 9426 Sage Ct $250K.

Captiva

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2324 2/2 $645K, Captiva Shores #8A 3/2.5 $1.795M, Beach Homes #7 2/2 $1.795M, Beach Homes #8 3/2 $2.7M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

white-christmas-signMerry Christmas from all of us!

The SanibelSusan Team – Dave, Elise, Lisa, & Susan