Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


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

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

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

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

Summer Sunsets

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

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

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

    Photo from Refuge email

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

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

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

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

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

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

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

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

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

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

Alligators Also on the Move

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

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

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

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCCF Notice Posted Today

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

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

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

“Increasing Flows

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

“Emergency Order – Link Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send A Letter

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 1st Friday in July 2018!


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

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

Beach 06-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

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

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

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

Island Summer Projects Underway

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

2018 Hurricane Season May Not Be So Busy After All

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to develop and strengthen.

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

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

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

Sanibel’s “Sweet Melissa” Going to New Orleans

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

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

Wondering About the Water?

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

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

Lighthouse Beach Park Aerial Image:

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

Gulfside City Park Aerial Image:

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

Bowman’s Beach Aerial Image:

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

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales:

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


BonneParade

From a parade many years ago!

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

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

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

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

crow 2015 parade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

LMLMP_Simon_Gar_CP

2/22 – Judy Collins

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

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

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

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

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

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

“The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

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

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

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

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

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

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Sunsets Are The Best!


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

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

Judie sunset 06-21-18

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

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

Voters Are Not Turnips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1st Day of Summer & National Seashell Day

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

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

national seashell day 2018.jpg

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

Top 10 Threats to Real Estate in 2019

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

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

Top Current Issues to Watch

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

Top Longer-Term Issues

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend!

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Fathers Day 2018 on Sanibel


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

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

2018-06-13

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

What The Conservation Foundation Says

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

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

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

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

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

NKY Music Legends Welcomes Danny Morgan

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

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

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

Danny Morgan from Cincinnati paper

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

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

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

Fun June Happenings at The Community House

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

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

At SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle Way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Quiet Friday & Island Real Estate Scoop


It definitely is quiet now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Below are my signs-of-summer observations, followed by a couple of news items, then what has been posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

SanibelSusan’s Signs of Summer

It has been both a good and a bad week on beautiful Sanibel Island. Here is my list of the pros and one con from the last seven days:

PROS:

  • With snowbirds and seasonal visitors gone, traffic is nil, traveling the island is easy-going, and there are no waits at restaurants – a great time to get reacquainted with your favorite local spots. I took a drive out to Captiva midweek with a stop for lunch at Sunset Grill. Below is a photo taken that day. I sure hope the gulf waters stay this beautiful color.Captiva beach 06-06-18
  • Since the winter drought is over, most vegetation is lush, flowering, and green again. Some beautiful sights include some royal poinciana roadway canopies which have been especially vivid the last couple of weeks. RoyalPoincianaTrees
  • Big white popcorn clouds coming from the mainland now are cropping up in the afternoon forming spectacular sights against the bright blue sky – and resulting in picture-perfect sunsets.

CONS:

Sanibel/Captiva Preliminary Property Tax Valuations

LeePALogoOn May 31, the Lee County Property Appraisers office released its estimated tax roll values. According to the June 6, “Islander/Island Reporter”, they “Indicate a 2.51% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 5.33% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The preliminary valuations for the fire districts on the islands also rose.

“The official numbers will come out by July 1, then be sent to Tallahassee for state approval. According to the estimates, Sanibel’s taxable value rose approximately $1.269 million – the 2.51% – to about $5.18 billion. The assessed value jumped 2.48% to $5.46 billion, up $131.99 million from 2017, while the just value improved by 0.04% to $6.08 billion, up $2.56 million.

“Obviously the estimates are lower than we anticipated,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. He noted, however, that the final number released in July typically comes in higher for the city than indicated by the preliminary one. For example, last year it went from 4.5% to 6.2%….”

Foodie Info

  • Jac 06-08-18The Jac – Sanibel Island Grille & Rum Bar is open. At the site of the former Jacaranda Restaurant, The Jac is officially open for business with plans to kick off weekend brunch for the first time tomorrow. The restaurant has been open for two weeks for lunch and dinner every day. This weekend it will open early, for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I had dinner there last week and can recommend the Citrus Fettuccine and Shrimp. Ads for the weekend brunches, say they will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include homemade bloody Mary mixes and an omelet bar.
  • Mud Bugs 06-08-18Mud Bugs Cajun Kitchen coming at the former site of the Sanibel Steakhouse remains under construction, but roadside landscaping went in yesterday and is beautiful. Appears that future parking will all be in the back as the new trees and plantings are big and plentiful. From the road, you can hardly see the new building.

Give Back Wednesdays for Community Housing & Resources

CHR-Logo-Hor-1Every other Wednesday, from May through July, Sanibel’s Community Housing & Resources (CHR) is hosting a Give Back Wednesday at one of its supporter’s locations where that restaurant will donate a percentage of its profits to CHR, the island’s affordable workforce housing program. In addition, Bailey’s General Store is donating a portion of its wine sale proceeds from every Wednesday.

So, if you are here in July, please join local Realtors® and others who will be dining at Sundial Resort’s Seabreeze Café on July 11 and at ‘Tween Waters Resort’s Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grill on July 25.

CHR’s Executive Director, Melissa Rice, also is a Realtor®. Kudos to her, her CHR team, and these wonderful businesses for coming up with such a fun way for us to support the community.

Successful Give-Back-Wednesday events have already occurred at Sanibel Café, Joey’s Custard, and Dante’s Coal-Fired Pizza. There also is one next Wednesday, June 20, at Sanibel Deli.

CHR’s, below-market-rate housing program began on Sanibel about 40 years ago when community leaders saw the need to subsidize housing costs to make it affordable for people who work on the island but couldn’t afford rent. According to an article in this week’s “Santiva-Chronicle”, “CHR currently has 74 properties in its rental program and another 14 properties in its limited-equity ownership program. The non-profit partners with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel or are retired or disabled longtime residents of Sanibel.”

Homeowners’ Association Documents Versus Condo Association Documents

Florida Realtors logoIt has always irked me, that in Florida, condo buyers must be provided with a copy of the condo association’s documents, but that the same does not apply when buying a home in a community with a Homeowners Association. Here’s a question and answer as they appeared in the June 2018 issue of Florida Realtor® magazine.

“I heard that, pursuant to the Homeowners’ Association Disclosure law, the seller must provide the buyer a current copy of the HOA documents. I’m aware of the document delivery for condominium associations, but thought HOAs are different.

“Yes. Section 720.401 does not require the seller to provide a copy of the HOA documents to the buyer; it merely requires a disclosure summary that should be attached to and made a part of the contract.

Wondering what the SanibelSusan Team does when a buyer is purchasing in a home community with a HOA, and we are not required to provide those documents?

We – like anyone in the public – have access to the recorded documents through the website of the Lee County Clerk of Court at www.LeeClerk.org. There, under “Records”, then “Official Records Search”, is a link to “Official Records Public Search”. Searching by a community or subdivision name, one will find every document recorded about it, including the original community documents and plats, plus each subsequent amendment, restatement, or new documents. It also has easements, liens, judgements, deeds, etc. A similar search by an individual’s name will provide every recording about them.

Sometimes home buyers (like condo buyers) want a hard, printed copy of those documents (which can be voluminous). Others prefer just links to the documents, so they can refer to them electronically. Either way, we are happy to provide them.

It is important to note that just the recorded documents are at the courthouse. HOA financials, budgets, reserve schedules, and rules/regulations must be requested from an Association Manager, management company, or board member, similar to those for a condo association.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 1-8, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #D304 1/1 $460K, Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $589K, Sundial West #H203 2/2 $695K, Compass Point #161 3/3 $1.279M.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 now $329.9K, Blind Pass #E205 now $425K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $529K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $544.9K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $229K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed at $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 listed at $625K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 listed at $745K.

4 closed sales: Kings Crown #312 2/2 $765K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $925K, Compass Point #192 2/2 $1.05M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $535K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $879K.

6 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $529K, 744 Marthas Ln 2/2 now $579K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $699.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $765K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $999K.

5 new sales: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 listed at $429K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $749K, Moonshadows #2F 3/3 half-duplex listed at $885K, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 listed at $1.299M.

7 closed sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $568K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $630K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $630K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $695K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $805K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.16M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.95M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $895K.

1 new sale: 6000 White Heron Ln listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas 2/2 $658K.

1 price change: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 now $1.16M.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 listed at $685K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 $939.25K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 now $1.575M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan (watching the water…sanibel-island-beach-white-sand

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Nitty Gritty


It’s Susan, reporting another Friday and another beautiful one on sunny Sanibel Island. Following a somewhat blustery rainy Memorial Day weekend, the last few days progressed with only a few showers. Chance of rain is now down to only 10-20%, with daytime temperatures in the low 80’s – pretty nice by island standards.

sunset carinteriordesign(Of course, as soon as I was ready to push the “publish” button on this post, it starting raining. It’s about 3:30 p.m. and looks to be just a quick shower! Maybe with some lingering clouds there will be another one of these gorgeous sunsets tonight.)

 

The action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. It’s quiet now on-island, but even so Sanibel had six new sales (two condos, four homes). No sales on Captiva.sancap GO MLS logo

With today being the first day of hurricane season, it’s a good time to buy – properties generally are easier to view than during the busy winter months and sometimes sellers more negotiable. Inventory remains low, however, so if you want a particular property type or community or have special requirements, it pays to have someone on the lookout for you. Realtors® here often get a heads-up before a new listing hits the market – the beauty of living and working on a small island – and The SanibelSusan Team has good radar!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoCommunications & Public Relations Committee Meeting at our Wednesday morning meeting, the Committee finalized plans for some summer community and fundraising projects:

  • FishFISH of Sanibel-Captiva – As our spring food drive for non-perishable items wrapped up, items collected were delivered yesterday to the food pantry.
  • Sanibel Heritage Trail – Within the next month, now that the rainy season has begun, and with help from SCCF’s Native Plant Nursery, Realtors® hope to add plants to stops along the recently completed Heritage Trail. Funds are already raised and earmarked.
  • meals_of_hope(1)Meals of Hope – The Association is hosting another meal-packing event on Tuesday, July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church. Last summer, we packed over 20,000 meals in less than 2 hours. We hope to pack another 20,000. First, we need to raise $5,000 to cover the food cost. The Association is collecting donations (checks made out to Meals of Hope) and looking for volunteers to help pack during the 2-hour event. Neighbors, family, friends, and children needing community service credits are welcome. Call your Realtor® or the Association (472-9353) for more info. More about the mission of Meals of Hope is at www.mealsofhope.org.
  • Bedz for Kidz – In August, we will be collecting twin and crib bed sheets and children’s luggage/backpacks for this local charity that provides beds and bedding for children as part of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of the 20th Judicial Circuit “Voices for Kids”.
  • New ACT logoACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Center) – In September/October, we are collecting pillows and fresh linens for this Fort Myers facility.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan at yesterday’s Caravan Meeting, only two new sales were announced and just three properties were open for Realtor® Caravan. The meeting was well attended though, with plenty of announcements about educational opportunities this summer and a final financial report from our recent End-of-Season Golf Outing & Auction to benefit water quality.SCCF logo

Association Affiliate and event Chairman, David Arter announced that the event raised more than $14K which will be presented soon to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

RPAC raffle tickets also were sold at the event. These sales helped the Association again surpass their annual national goal. (RPAC stands for Realtor Political government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeAction Committee. RPAC was created in 1969 and raises funds voluntarily from members of local Associations for use in issues, campaigns and contributions to political candidates at federal, state and local levels. RPAC funds have been used here for a variety of issues affecting island real estate and property rights (including water quality, redevelopment, flood insurance, etc.))

Historical Village To Hold Free Admission Day

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumAs reported this week in the “Santiva Chronicle”: “The Sanibel Historical Village will offer free admission for all visitors on Saturday, June 16, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

““We decided to hold Free Admission Days because sometimes Sanibel residents tell us they have never been to the village,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “I suppose it’s the same syndrome that causes New Yorkers to ignore the Empire State Building! With our mission to share and celebrate Sanibel’s history, we wanted to do something to entice more people to explore the village. Once they do, we know they’ll love it and return many times and bring family and friends.”

“The free day is not aimed at just locals but is open to all visitors.

“The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village tells the story of Sanibel from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. It tells of warriors, adventurers, fishermen, farmers and proprietors. The island’s way of life is recreated in a village of nine structures that have been relocated from their original sites, restored and preserved. Visitors trace the footsteps of the island’s past as they meander along a handicapped-accessible path lined with buildings that represent “old Sanibel,” as Sam Bailey used to say. Visitors can tour a pioneer home, fishing cottage, post office, schoolhouse, tea room, general store, and more.

“Learn more at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A full guided tour takes place at 10:30 a.m. at no additional charge, depending on the availability of a docent. The museum closes for the summer on August 1 and re-opens October 16.”

Floridians’ Outlook Improves – Second Month in a Row

Florida Realtors logoAs posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®, sourced to Gainesville:

“Consumer sentiment among Floridians increased 2.6 points in May to 100.6 – an increase from a revised figure of 98 in April. Among the five components that make up the index, three increased and two decreased. It’s the second reading over 100 since March 2002, the first being January of this year….

UF logo“Overall, Floridians are more optimistic, and the gain in May’s confidence came mainly from consumers’ future expectations about the national economy in the medium- and long-run. Notably, these expectations are shared by all Floridians regardless of their age or socioeconomic status,” Sandoval said. (Hector H. Sandoval is director of the Economic Analysis Program at University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.)

“Economic activity in Florida continues to expand with more jobs added every month. In April, 178,400 more jobs were added statewide compared with a year ago, an increase of 2.1%. Among all industries, professional and business services gained the most jobs, followed by construction, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

“The Florida unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 3.9% for the past eight months. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product in Florida increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The real estate and rental and leasing industry and the construction industry contributed the most to the increase.

“”Despite the ups and downs, consumer sentiment has been very favorable over the year and has remained quite stable since the beginning of 2018. Looking forward, we anticipate consumer sentiment to remain high in the months to come,” Sandoval says.”

Update on Bailey Tract Closing

ding darling goose logoRefuge Manager, Paul Tritaik issued the following press release this week: “J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be closing the Bailey Tract for four to six weeks starting the afternoon of Sunday, June 3, 2018. This closure is for a planned hydrologic restoration project, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), commencing in the morning of Monday, June 4, 2018. To avoid public safety concerns, the Bailey Tract will be closed to all public access for the duration of the restoration project…. This restoration is intended to enhance the hydrology of a portion of the Bailey Tract to benefit a suite of species dependent on the historic cordgrass marsh habitat of Sanibel Island. The restoration will partly restore the hydrology of the affected area by helping to increase groundwater levels, improve surface water capacity, extend the hydroperiod of the marsh, and ultimately restore the freshwater marsh habitat in the affected area.”

Summer/Fall Shell Shows For Travelers

odd shellAs a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, I recently got an email which included info on a variety of upcoming shell shows. If you are traveling to any of these locations this summer, you may want to add a show to your itinerary – or plan a trip around a show. (If you’d like more contact info for any of the events, let me know, and I’ll send you the details.)

  • Shanghai Shell Show, Shanghail, China – July 27-29
  • Chatsworth Shell Fayre, Derbyshire, UK – August 18
  • 3rd West Coast Shell Show, San Diego, CA – August 25 & 26
  • Conchologists of America Annual Convention, San Digeo, CA – August 30 to September 3
  • Oregon Shell Show, Salem, OR – August 24 to September 4
  • Annual German Shell Fair – Oehringen, Germany – September 22 & 23
  • North Carolina Shell Show, Wilmington, NC – September 28 to 30
  • XXIII Prague International Shell Show, Prague, Czech Republic, October 20 & 21
  • British Shell Collector’s Club Convention, Essex, England – October 27
  • Sydney Shell Show, Sydney, Australia – October 27
  • Philadelphia Shell Show, Philadelphia, PA – October 27 & 28.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 25 to June 1, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $229K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $560K.

3 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $799K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $875K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $950K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 listed at $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 listed at $549K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $525K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 $525K.

HOMES

No new listings.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $445K; 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $579,975; 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $595K; 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $798.9K; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $799K; 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $849K; 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $875K; 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.095M; 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.238M; 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.69M.

4 new sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $439K, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $768.9K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $2.199M.

4 closed sales: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $557K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $624K, 727 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $774K, 3320 Saint Kilda Rd 4/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $575K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

2 price changes: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 now $919K, Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 now $1.149M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.499M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

SanCap Aerial 05-19-2018

Photo by Jim Szabo, SanCap Aerials, & borrowed from the City’s website. Taken May 19, 2018 before the islands’ surrounding waters were stirred up from recent rains. Lake “O” water releases are expected to begin soon, if not today. They are just part of the summer routine here. See more info & photos at www.mySanibel.com

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Memorial Day 2018 on Sanibel Island


SanibelSusan was ready to report another Friday with fantastic island weather until the rain began about 2 p.m. It’s still beautiful, just with a few raindrops. Since yesterday, the team and I have been getting our annual 7000-piece mailing post-office ready. If you are on our mailing list, you will get an island inventory/recent sale booklet soon. If you want to be added to the mailing list, just let us know.

The forecast isn’t what we want for a holiday weekend, with Tropical Storm Alberto likely to bring more heavy rain beginning tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed that maybe some holiday visitors will decide to look at real estate, instead of beaching, boating, and biking.

In anticipation of a rainy weekend, yesterday I took the long route from home to office to snag a few photos of some of the wonderful flowering spring vegetation before the raindrops pelted them. Here they are, beginning with a pink hibiscus at my house, followed by a late-blooming Royal Poinciana tree at Captain’s Walk, my favorite flowering trees at Sanibel Moorings, a fragrant frangipani in Sanibel Shores, and the wonderful butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.

2015-05-24 Hibiscus2018-05-24 Poinciana2018-05-24 Pink Moorings2018-05-24 Yellow2018-05-24 Frangi2018-05-24 West W

Below are a couple of news articles followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. It illustrates, “it’s quiet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThere was no Realtor Caravan yesterday. It’s the off week in the summer biweekly schedule, but the Sanibel Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been hosting their annual classes for the Islands Specialist designation. To earn the designation, Realtors® must attend all 12 module classes which cover all aspects of listing and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva. Since this program began in 2006, close to 100 local Realtors® have earned the designation.

On Wednesday, I again taught the Resort & 2nd Homes module which I authored and update each year. It’s good to know that the “beach” remains the top location for all vacation and 2nd home sales. Florida also continues to hold its place as one of the top four states for resort and 2nd home buyers. (The other states are California, Texas, and Michigan.) Here’s a photo of the attendees after my pop quiz which earned them funny resort wear.

RSPS class 2018

Island Projects Underway

During my drive-around yesterday, I noticed that several building projects are underway. Several new homes are going up, including a big one on Limpet Drive and another big home in Butterknife. I was surprised to see a cute little often-admired beach cottage taken down on East Gulf Drive near Olde Sanibel. Probably a new larger home soon to go up there too.

paperfig kitchen logoConstruction continues on the new building at the site of the former Sanibel Steak House, and remodeling continues at the former Jacaranda Restaurant.

Remodeling also is ongoing at another new eats spot in Tahitian Gardens, called “Paper Fig Kitchen”. It’s scheduled to open in June providing catering and take-along. Check them out at http:/www.PaperFigKitchen.com.

Best 25 Places People Moving To in 2018

News Press logoAs published in the May 21, 2018 Fort Myers “News-Press”, Lee County is among the best places people are moving. It says:

“A new report from U.S. News & World Report ranks Lee County 2nd nationwide on its list of “The Best 25 Places People Are Moving to in 2018.”

“The county’s population spiked more than 14% from 2012 to 2016, behind only Myrtle Beach, S.C. (The report refers to Fort Myers, but the data reflects the entire county.)

“Florida locations dominate the list, including Sarasota at No. 3, Port St. Lucie at No. 6 and Melbourne at No. 10.

“This begs questions: Is so much growth good or bad? What is the impact? Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, said there are many ways to look at such a ranking.

“Demographically, the Baby Boomers have been planning to move to Florida for 25 years and now they’re doing that, hence Florida’s outsized presence on this list,” he said. “That’s a big factor.” It’s important, Westley said, for elected leaders and others to consider the implications of such growth 20 years from now, when that generation’s migration is over. “Then what will Florida look like?” he pondered.

“Florida’s population is over 21.3 million, according to the latest estimate based on U.S. Census Bureau data. It will exceed 22 million in 2020, based on trends, and could hit 26 million in 2030. The last Census estimate for Lee County, in July 2017, says the population is nearly 740,000, so it’s likely over 750,000 today.

“The largest future growth areas in the county include Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, where there is plenty of space to develop. The Cape’s population, estimated at 180,000, is expected to reach 400,000 at buildout.

“This “Best 25” list is based on the “Best Places to Live” ranking, which looks at the 125 most populous metro areas in the nation. Lee County, again listed as Fort Myers, ranks No. 41 on that list. Collier County’s population, estimated to be almost 373,000 in July 2017, is slightly too small to be included.

“Eric Berglund, executive director of the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance, said workers are a critical piece of the growth equation. “Jobs attract people and having more people here gives us a more diversified and qualified workforce,” he said. That’s important because site selectors — those examining where to locate businesses — look at more than just population when making decisions. “They’re asking, ‘What skill sets does the workforce have?’” Berglund said. “They’re saying, ‘If I can’t get the talent to work for me, the location won’t work.'”

“Workers, too, are evaluating a community when determining whether to relocate. That’s one reason issues like attainable housing and transportation are important. “You need to make sure workers have somewhere to live and that the infrastructure is adequate to get them around,” he said.

“Those concerns have sparked more conversations around attainable housing in Lee and Collier counties.

“Everybody is saying, ‘If we have such a robust tourism industry, we need to make sure our workers have a place to live,’” Berglund said. “It’s critically important.”

“Brian West, a spokesman for Lakeland-based Publix, said many variables are involved in the company’s site selection process, which relies on market research. “The population in an area is one of the considerations, along with projected growth,” he said. “Most of our growth continues to be right here in Florida.”

“The Great Recession, Berglund said, changed the budget realities for policymakers, forcing them to reprioritize spending. That’s changed in recent years, through the rebound. “With the tax base increasing, they’re able to come in and start to make some of those investments with infrastructure that got delayed,” he said.

“On a longer-term scale, Westley wondered: “How many municipalities’ operational strategies are based on income from continued in migration and how will that change once the demographic trends change?”

“Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais was at an all-day meeting Monday and unavailable for comment, said Betsy Clayton, county spokeswoman, in an email. The county, she wrote, has a “continuation budget,” which is the cost to provide the exact same level of services from one year to the next. “If population growth impacts service levels, that is factored into the development” of this budget, she wrote. “The county’s 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan also contemplates the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate growth.”

“More population can strain resources, from roads and schools to water and health care if it’s not addressed adequately.“These are things that have to be taken into consideration as the region grows,” Westley said.

“Most of the same cities appear on such “best places” lists because they are appealing destinations and many are in states — like Florida — with no income tax.

While growth affects Florida cities and counties differently, partly based on their reliance on tourism, there are many other communities nationwide — from Seattle to Key West — struggling with such issues due to wage differences in the workforce. “When you attract higher income through in migration, you also create a demand for more of the trades as a result of them being here, whether it’s health care or restaurants,” Westley said.

“Moving forward, elected officials in Lee and Collier counties will continue to look to the state’s more developed east coast for lessons. “What did they do wrong? What did they do right and what can we learn from their experience?” Westley said. “Our area is in the process of turning a corner right now.”

us news & world report logo“Florida metro areas on ‘Best Places People Are Moving’ list

No. 2: Fort Myers

No. 3: Sarasota

No. 5: Orlando

No. 6: Port St. Lucie

No. 7: Daytona Beach

No. 9: Lakeland

No. 10: Melbourne

No. 12: Tampa

No. 21: Jacksonville

Source: U.S. News & World Report”

What to Consider Before Downsizing

Florida Realtors logoPosted online today at FloridaRealtors®, this article is sourced to USA Today:

“Tim and Tracey Kerin knew it was time to downsize soon after their grandson Maximus was born. “We started to re-evaluate what’s important to us at this stage in life and decided that our health and family were more important than a larger home with a big backyard and pool,” says Tim, 58, who along with Tracey, 59, operates a commercial cleaning and construction business.

USATodayLOGO“Last December, the Kerins packed up a two-story colonial replete with a beautifully landscaped garden in Damascus, Md., and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., near their sons Justin, 35, and Jason, 33, and their families. And of course, they get to see Maximus, now 2. “We usually see Max a couple of times a week, and he spends one night every weekend, which we look forward to,” Tim says.

“The Kerins are not alone in their quest for a simple life centered on happiness. According to a recent TD Ameritrade Survey, 42% of pre-retirees are likely to downsize if they haven’t done so already. Some 25% of respondents are moving to a warmer climate, and 17% are moving closer to loved ones.

“Another critical consideration is cost. “Retiring with a lower mortgage payment, (lower) property tax bill, (and) smaller place to clean and maintain can be attractive,” says Dennis LaVoy, CFP of Telos Financial in Plymouth, Mich.

“Before downsizing, homeowners should run the numbers to make sure it makes financial sense. “Look at costs associated with selling the primary home, such as preparing the house for sale, agent’s commission, moving and buying a smaller home to get an idea of the fixed costs to relocate,” says Aaron Galileo, senior loan officer at Investors Home Mortgage in Howell, N.J.

“Once a person decides to downsize, he or she must keep lifestyle in mind. “You need to save as much as you can for retirement to keep your lifestyle intact,” says Jeff White, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. “If you can lower your monthly mortgage payment from $2,500 for the big home to $1,200 per month for a nice condo that fits you and your spouse, why not leap and invest the extra $1,300 into your retirement plan?”

“The amount of space you have may also influence your decision to scale down. “If the kids have moved out and you’re an empty-nester, do you need all of that space?” asks Brian Graves, co-founder of Everything But the House, an online estate sale marketplace. He says factor in how much space you need based on your family dynamic and the frequency of out-of-town guests.

“For some homeowners, maintaining a property, especially an older one, is no longer attractive. That was the case for Sean Dougherty, age 51, and his wife, Juliana Atinaja-Dougherty, 56. In February, they moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Manhattan after living for more than 20 years in the 2,000-square-foot single-family ranch house in Clifton, N.J., where his wife grew up. “The house was run down in small but noticeable ways, and we kind of lost the emotional energy to fix it up for sale, so we priced it to sell,” says Sean, a senior vice president at a public relations firm, and Juliana, an attorney. “Plus, we always wanted to move back to New York at some point and having reached a point where we are more financially comfortable, it made sense.”

“Part of their decision was doing the math and figuring out they could afford to do it, especially given that the move to New York would increase their cost-of-living expenses substantially thanks to the rent they now pay. The other part was wanting to enjoy the entertainment and cultural experiences of big-city living.

“In my case, I wanted to do more in New York like seeing friends, taking in a Broadway show or going to a book reading without worrying about the frustrating commute back to New Jersey,” Sean says. Even still, they are happy with the move. “I put a ceiling on what we could afford, and I could still keep my job as my wife plans to retire soon,” Sean says. His best advice for those thinking about downsizing: “Don’t wait too long. It’s easy to live in the status quo of your life, but then you deny yourself other experiences.”

“While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when it’s time to downsize, keeping these factors in mind will help pre-retirees and retirees make a smooth transition.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 18-25, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $549K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $899K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #Q404 2/2 listed at $929.9K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $950K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.059M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $459K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $629K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $739K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $995K.

5 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $465K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $515K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $639K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $899K (our listing – photos below).

6 new sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $449K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $450K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 listed at $898K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 $487.5K; 1145 Shell Basket Ln 2/2 $639,875; 1137 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $700K; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $2.8M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 9226 Kincaid Ct now $129K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #22 2/2 $1.791M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.495M.

2 price changes: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $1.875M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $8.475M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

memorial-day-clipart-Memorial-day-clip-art-5-2Especially on Monday, we honor those who served. Here’s hoping you have a nice weekend too.

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

May Is Fabulous on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan here, reporting another bright and sunny Friday – or at least so far today. But, the rainy season has begun, with occasional rain “off & on” pretty much all week. The typical summer weather routine is settling in – meaning late afternoon or evening showers. Those occasional storms have made for good shelling and fishing (tarpon are running), island vegetation is “greening up” nicely, and spectacular sunsets. Did I mention that the roadways and bike paths are traffic-free and restaurants easy to get into without a wait? Gotta love May!

(Photo below by Jim Szabo, SanCap Aerial, taken just before an afternoon shower earlier this month. If you know the condos beginning on Nerita Street, you can see Coquina Beach (brown roofs), Shorewood, Sanibel Surfside, Pelican’s Roost, Sanibel Siesta…)

SanCap Aerial 05-05-18 Jim Szabo

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop

There was average turnout at our biweekly Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday with eight new listings open for viewings and a handful of new sales announced. The action posted this week in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, the team and I are trying hard to get our last five “winter” listings sold while also beating the bushes looking for new ones.

2018-05-14 - Island Inventory BookletOur annual inventory lists now are at the printer and will be back next Friday with mail-out soon after to 7,000 island property owners and prospective buyers. If you are not on our mailing list, but want to be, just drop an email to Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

We don’t send much snail mail anymore, but these booklets are in demand. They offer a good way for owners to stay up on the market and for buyers to get smart of what their dollar can buy here. They show addresses and prices for all the residential properties for sale on both islands (Sanibel & Captiva) (condos, homes, & lots). Organized by neighborhood (complex/community) they also show recent sales over the last few years.

If you’d like a booklet more often that annually, we update them every weekend, so can mail or email them to you anytime too.

Sanibel Makes List of Top-15 North America Vacation Destinations

As reported in the “Island Reporter” this week:

expedia logo“Sanibel Island has been named one of the top-rated vacation destinations in North America by reviewers on the travel website Expedia – a first for the island.

“On May 10, Expedia published “Top-rated Vacation Destinations in North America.” According to the site, it is the company’s 2nd annual list of the 50 top-ranking locations, which were chosen by verified reviewers throughout 2017. From the more than 4,600 cities reviewed, Sanibel rose to No. 15.

“Sanibel has made the top-rated vacation destinations list for North America for the first time,”

Jodie Booras, communication specialist for Expedia, said via an email. “Each of these cities (the top-rated spots) received at least 600 reviews and are listed in order of highest-reviewed out of 5.” The only other Florida location to make the top 15 list is Key West at No. 14.

According to the site the list of top 15 destinations are:

  1. Wailea, Hawaii
  2. Cambria, California
  3. Springdale, Utah
  4. Quebec City, Quebec
  5. Ashland, Oregon
  6. Calgary, Alberta
  7. Victoria, British Columbia
  8. Sedona, Arizona
  9. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  10. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  11. Paso Robles, California
  12. Solvang, California
  13. Bar Harbor, Maine
  14. Key West, Florida
  15. Sanibel, Florida

“Not to be too outdone by its southerly state-mate, Sanibel clinches the No. 15 spot in its 1st appearance. Visitors fall in love with the place for many reasons. Go shelling on the beach, fill up on fresh seafood at joints like the super-fun Bubble Room, and spend peaceful time at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.”

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane called the listing an accomplishment. “We’re obviously honored and thrilled about the ranking,” he said. “It obviously continues to show what a special place Sanibel is.” He expressed pride for the island community. “I’m really proud to not only be the mayor of Sanibel, but someone who lives here full-time,” Ruane said. “We continue to be a world-class destination.”

“The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce also commented on the ranking. “To be one of only two Florida destinations chosen in the top 15 of Expedia’s Top-Rated Vacation Destinations In North America is quite an honor, but as anyone who is fortunate to have vacationed on Sanibel would attest, it is well deserved,” President John Lai said. “We have consistently offered world-class beaches, shelling, shopping, biking, fishing and dining, but our sustainable initiatives and undisturbed natural environment is truly what sets us apart,” he added. “Sanibel offers the complete package for families of all seasons of life.”

“For more information or to view Expedia’s list for North America, visit online at viewfinder.expedia.com/features/top-rated-vacation-destinations-in-north-america.

The Last Plastic Straw Challenge

skip the straw save a sea turtleFrom the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter dated May 17, 2018:

“This is an invitation to all bars and restaurants, to be part of the movement to eliminate plastic pollution from the source. By simply stating on menus “Straws available upon request,” bars and restaurants can be part of the solution. Here’s How:

  • Provide a straw only when requested by a customer.
  • Provide either compostable or reusable straws.
  • Or get rid of straws completely.

“From London to Miami, restaurants, bars, and cities are banning plastic straws voluntarily. Read more at the lastplasticstraw.org.

“Click here to read a Florida Weekly article about the Strawless on Sanibel movement.

“Doing Our Part to Reduce Plastic: “Ding” Darling is committed to and has led the way on the islands in reducing the single-use plastic products that plague our planet and threaten wildlife. Thanks to DDWS’ efforts, we have eliminated plastic shopping bags and one-time-use plastic water bottles in the Refuge Nature Store and at Tarpon Bay Explorers’ gift shop. In recent years, the Refuge has also installed a filtered water refill station and DDWS has transitioned to compostable plates, cups, and flatware for event use. We have a no-straws policy.”

SCCF Hosts Special Movie About World’s Rarest Sea Turtle

From an email announcement yesterday from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

Sea Turtles Release“In celebration of the rare Kemp’s Ridley nest that started SCCF’s 2018 season, join us for an award-winning documentary highlighting the critical role that conservation organizations and volunteers are playing in their recovery.

“The screening will take place at Island Cinema on Sunday, June 3rd at 12:00pm. The film will be screened simultaneously in both Island Cinema theaters. Tickets are priced at $10 to defray the licensing costs. The concession stand will be open, and SCCF sincerely thanks Island Cinema for waiving the rental fees for this special event.

“Narrated by renowned scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, this feature-length independent documentary tells the larger natural history story of the world’s rarest sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley and how humans pushed a healthy population to the precipice of extinction and are now slowly helping it to recover. From the beaches of Massachusetts to Mexico, Texas and Georgia, this film highlights the collaborative work that is being done to save a species from going extinct.”

Florida Realtors® Awards Student Scholarships

Florida Realtors logoAs posted on-line yesterday by Florida Realtors®:

“As high school seniors across Florida graduate this month and look ahead to college, costs are top-of-mind. But there’s good news from Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Inc., which has awarded scholarships to 132 well-deserving young people living in communities throughout the state.

“A not-for-profit corporation established by the state Realtor® association, the Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Inc. provides real estate-related educational scholarships. The Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded $198,400 in scholarships to help pay for higher education expenses for 132 young people in the 2018-2019 school year. All recipients are Florida residents and will be attending community colleges, four-year universities, graduate programs or law schools both in state and out-of-state. Some students wish to pursue careers in real estate.

“”Over the past nine years, the Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Student Scholarship Program has helped 922 young people realize their dreams for the future by continuing their education,” says Mary McCall, current chairman of Florida Realtors® Education Foundation. “If all of this year’s students claim their scholarships, then Florida Realtors® will pass the $1.5 million-dollar mark, awarding a total of $1,506,400. These student scholarships are one way that Realtors® give back to the community. It’s our investment in the future.”

“Scholarship recipients are enrolled at institutions of higher learning throughout the state, such as the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Tampa, Florida International University, Florida Southern College, State College of Florida and Tallahassee Community College, as well as other colleges throughout the U.S., including Yale University, Columbia University, Howard University, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and University of Mississippi, to name a few. A variety of criteria was considered for successful applicants including: academic achievements, financial need, relationship to the Realtor family and contributions to family, school and community.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 11-18, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $459K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 now $489K, Sundial West #G206 1/1 now $489.9K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $539K, Sunset South #2C 2/2 now $625K, Seawind II #5 2/2.5 now $799K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.05M.

1 new sale: Poinciana #2B 3/2 listed at $1.35M.

5 closed sales: Blind Pass #B211 2/2 $430K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 $420K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $525K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $774K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.035M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $699K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $795K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4.5 $4.299M.

4 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $489K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $750K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.799M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.624M.

3 new sales: 956 Dixie beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed at $598K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $599.9K.

8 closed sales: 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 $649K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $720K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $865K, 1120 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 $895K, 335 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.04M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.118M, 2379 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.695M, 6021 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3/2 $2.499M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1550 Centre Ct $199K, 1272 Par View Dr $365K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 555 Piedmont Rd listed at $219,555; 412 Tiree Cir listed at $319,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.249M.

4 price changes: 16181 Captiva Dr 4/4 multi-family now $1.895M, 16177 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $3.395M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $4.695M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family now $5.095M.

2 new sales: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed at $989K, 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sale: 9 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 $1.14M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, stay dry & enjoy spring & sunsets wherever you are! & call The SanibelSusan Team, if we may help you! TGIF!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

sanibel_sunset_by_sunira-d9oq0lm

Almost Mothers Day 2018 on Sanibel & Captiva


SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another beautiful week on sunny Sanibel with no evidence of a rainy season (other than a some predicted for Sunday into next week).

It also was quiet again on the real estate front. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some news items below.

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 81st Annual Shell Show

Shell club shellsAs a life-member of the Sanibel Shell Club, I got an email this morning about a cool article that was posted this week on the website “Earther – Nature for Nerds”. This past March, their Senior Reporter Brian Kahn and Cinematographer/Producer Raul Marrero came from New York City to cover the island’s 81st Annual Shell Show. They wanted to get insight into the world of shell collecting and Sanibel. They arrived early so they could experience the exhibitors setting up their exhibits. The next morning, they headed to the beach with a seasoned Shell Club member to learn about the “Sanibel stoop”. They also spent time visiting with Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Curator Dr. José Leal. Their finished product was posted Wednesday. A video is part of the article and can be found after a few paragraphs. Here is the link to it “The Secret Science of Shell Seeking” – https://earther.com/the-secret-science-of-shell-seeking-1825860194 .

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis was an “off” week for the islands’ Thursday Caravan, but on Wednesday, the 23rd annual local Realtors® end-of-season golf outing and auction event was a big success with the proceeds this year going toward water quality efforts at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

The golfers said that the afternoon scramble was a little toasty with temperatures hitting 90 degrees F, but the breezes from Pine Island Sound and beauty of The Sanctuary Golf Course (not to mention their terrific food post-golf) made it all worthwhile.

Sanctuary golf 05-09-18

Thank you to Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director, for attending and acknowledging the Association for their many years of continued efforts toward keeping local beaches and waterways clean. Rae Ann recently was one of the local leaders in DC working to convince lawmakers to support funding for the Everglades restoration.

RAE Ann 05-09-18

You can be sure that the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® leadership team again will be pushing for water quality when we attend our annual state convention in August.

It was a big deal this year for us not to provide our golf and auction proceeds to RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee). You may remember that for years, the islands Association has won many state RPAC awards for their percentage of participation and dollar amounts collected on Sanibel/Captiva.

SCCF logoBut, our membership is disappointed that the state association is not doing more about water quality, so this year we decided to donate our money locally to the conservation foundation – ensure that it’s used where it’s needed most – or to a cause that is important to us.

Water quality certainly affects real estate values. Good water makes Southwest Florida, particularly the islands, desirable!

Collective Beach Camera Website Launches

scbr-new-logoFrom this week’s “business notes” section of “The Islander”:

“Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has launched a combined live beach camera website at www.SanibelCaptivaBeachCams.com . It serves as a location to view all four of the Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort on-property cameras – ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages, and West Wind Inn. Each of the videos are located on the properties’ websites, as well as the new collective site. The videos are high-definition streaming video, without delay in feed.”

Real Estate Major Drive of U.S. Economy

Real estate is the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services and income for millions of Americans. Accounting for 19% of the GDP, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy. Here’s the latest Real Estate and the Economy infographic from NAR (National Association of Realtors®.)

2018-rltme_real-estate-and-the-economy-infographic-04-26-18-1224w-2737h

“Groundcovers: No Bunnies Business”

sanibel bunnyThe above is a headline of an article by the City of Sanibel Vegetation Committee, posted in today’s “Island Sun”. It gave me a giggle since I think the trio of marsh rabbits at my house last week were smiling as I pulled into my driveway one evening. Probably were licking their chops too as they eat every new plant that’s planted along my walkway border (except thorny beach roses & bougainvillea).

Those little rascals are cute, but they are taking over the east-end this spring. I have seen them everywhere. There are some plants, however, that they don’t like. So, if you too are challenged by Sanibel bunnies, read the article on-line at www.IslandSunNews.com or go to the National Resources Department section of the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com for more info.

Opposition Sought for New Development

Interesting article on the first page of the real estate section of today’s “Island Sun”. It’s long, but good info if you want to get involved.

eden oak

“A major off-island residential development that has been in the works for the past six years is about to come before a Lee County hearing examiner next week, and environmental activists are rallying other concerned citizens to share their objections for the proposed development.

“An application for Eden Oak Preserve seeks to rezone 36 acres of jurisdictional, coastal mangrove wetlands and open water, from Agricultural (AG-2) to Residential Planned Development (RPD) to enable the development of 55 single family homes and 56 boat slips. The proposed development site is located on both sides of Shell Point Boulevard, which is surrounded by the Shell Point Retirement Community to the north, San Carlos Bay to the west, and the Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve to the south.

“Currently, the property is owned by Ontario, Canada-based Eden Oak LLC, a commercial developer responsible for the construction of more than 30 significant developments in the greater Toronto area.

“According to officials from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), development on this property has been proposed and appropriately rejected repeatedly over the past 40 years beginning with The Estuaries development in the 1970’s. It was dismissed due to the critical location, services and functions of these wetlands, which include mangrove habitat that provides public projection from storm surges, flooding and designated critical habitat used by several endangered and listed species.

“”These critical functions are even more important today as over half of Lee County’s wetlands have been eliminated for development and sea level rise presents a progressive erosion of wetlands that will significantly increase the storm surge hazard in the next 20 years,” an April 13 letter from SCCF to Lee County Community Development representative Anthony Rodriguez reads in part. “This project is contrary to the public interest and does not meet the goals, policies, and objectives of the Lee County Comprehensive Plan or the Land Development Code that have been adopted to assure public safety and carefully plan for growth and its effects.”

“Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF natural resource policy director, said last week that plans to build Eden Oak Preserve in a critical wetland area have been downscaled by its developers over the years, however, it remains an undesirable project.

““We’ve been fighting it since 2012,” said Wessel. “The original plan called for 171 boat slips. The marina, clubhouse, multi-family and all but four single family units have been eliminated from the east side of Shell Point Boulevard. But this is all critical wetland habitat. When in this day and age, with concerns about sea level rise, would we want to put people in a wetland zone like this?”

“In a 13-page letter to Rodriguez, SCCF pointed out that the elimination of 36 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands would have negative impacts on a number of animal species including the small-tooth sawfish, diamondback terrapin, manatee, mangrove cuckoo and American bald eagle.

“”At least three species of endangered sea turtles, both juvenile and adult, are known to use and forage in this area,” the letter stated. “Any time there is increased boat traffic in an area with sea turtles, there is a heightened concern for collisions. The heightened traffic activity resulting from the addition of 56 boats will push turtles out of the more protected areas into areas of higher boat traffic, increasing collision risks.”

“Wessel also noted that mangroves bordering the wetland zone would be affected. Mangroves represent some of the most important wetland habitat for coastal fish and wildlife resources, which are critical to the health of local aquatic systems and the specifically designated, publicly owned aquatic preserves and national wildlife refuges that surround this site that have been protected for their high resource values.

“In Southwest Florida, 80% of commercial and recreational marine species depend upon mangrove estuaries for a portion, if not all, of their lifecycle.

“There is also question about the density proposed for Eden Oak Preserve. The applicant’s calculation of 55 dwelling units is based on the assertion that there are eight acres of uplands on the 306 acres, and that a small portion of the northern property boundary is within the Suburban Land Use category. However, the property is currently identified on the Future Land Use Map as Environmentally Critical Wetlands.

“”We challenge the applicant’s characterization and assertion that isolated spoil piles created by the excavation of mosquito ditches through healthy mangroves meets the definition of wetlands,’ said Wessel. “The Future Lane Use Map shows the entirety of the property as Environmentally Critical Wetlands. Three sides of the applicant’s property are adjacent to wetlands zoned AG-2, thus the maximum calculation of units would not approach 55 units.”

“According to Wessel, a maximum of 15 dwelling units would meet current county requirements for that property.

“”The county would create a cancerous precedent by allowing increased density over current zoning by allowing the applicant to use the subdivision zoning along the northern boundary to calculate their unit count when that property was established before the comprehensive plan. Far more of the applicant’s property is wetlands on three sides of the property, which should be a stronger consideration for future zoning,” added Wessel.

“Another concern shared by SCCF is for public safety. Should Eden Oak Preserve be permitted to construct a major residential development off Shell Point Boulevard, traffic congestion for the lone evacuation route – affecting the residents of the retirement community along with people who live on Sanibel, Captiva and in South Fort Myers – could prove to be catastrophic.

“”This area is in the evacuation zone for the most minimal of storms so permitting additional development in wetlands in this flood prone region is in conflict with public safety,” Wessel said. “Evacuation and flooding risks are substantial before the addition of the proposed additional units.

“Late last week, the Lee County Department of Community Development submitted their staff report recommending denial of the rezoning application.

“”Regardless of the density proposed by the request, the request is inconsistent with Lee Plan goals, objectives and policies intended to limit density within the Coastal High Hazard Area,” the report reads, in part. “Moreover, the request, if approved, will adversely impact environmentally critical and sensitive areas and natural resources.”

“On Friday, May 18 at 9 a.m., the Lee County hearing examiner will be accepting public comment on the proposed Eden Oak Preserve development at their offices, located in Room 218 of 1800 Monroe Street in Fort Myers. Only the people who appear during the examiner’s public hearing will be permitted to speak during the Lee County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on the topic, during which they will formally vote on the plan.

“The hearing examiner will either recommend approval, denial or approval of the project with certain conditions,” said Wessel. “But only the people who speak before the hearing examiner will be able to speak during the commissioners’ meeting. That’s why it’s important for people to get involved.”

“For additional information or to submit comments on the Eden Oak Preserve development, send an email to arodriguez4@leegov.eom or rsweigert@leegov.com, call 239-533-8100 or write to Lee County Community Development & Zoning, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.”

Borrow Passes to Local Attractions With a Sanibel Library Card

sanibel libraryA library update from the “Islander”: “As Sanibel Public Library’s “Your Library Reimagined” project continues, the facility is open for business. Services include computers, printers, high speed Wi-Fi, newspapers, puzzles, and reference services are available. The other half of the library being renovated is expected to reopen in the fall. The children’s weekly program schedule has changed. For the full schedule, visit on line.

“The library offers passes to four of the area’s popular attractions, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel Historical Museum, and Village, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, and CROW’s Visitor Education Center. Cultural passes may be reserved to check out for one week using a current Sanibel Public Library Card. To reserve a pass or for more info, call 239-472-2483.

“Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County at no charge. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. For more info, visit www.sanlib.org. The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 4-11, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $549K.

5 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $384.9K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 now $679.9K, Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 now $729K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.349M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 now $1.35M.

5 new sales: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 listed at $379K, Blind Pass #A205 2/2 listed at $418.9K, Sundial West #F205 1/1 listed at $429K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 listed at $875K, Compass Point #192 2/2 listed at $1.175M.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $480K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $599K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.25M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1.598M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 $1.598M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 $1.95M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.45M.

9 price changes: 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $665K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $699K, 1020 Bird Watch Way 3/2 now $739K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $899.9K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.195M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.895M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.199M.

5 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $809K.

5 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $670K, 1057 Seahawk Ct 3/2.5 $625K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $863K, 4115 West Gulf Dr 4/5 $5.2578M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1820 Ardsley Way now $167.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4995 Joewood Dr $2.25M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 $12.5M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

happy mothers dayHappy Mothers Day!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan