Happy 100 Years Florida Realtors!


SanibelSusan here with some scoop from the Florida Realtors 100th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meetings in Orlando.

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After some news, Elise, our SanibelSusan Team Listing Coordinator has added the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Teammate Dave is out in the field this afternoon, opening a listing for a viewing and then continuing to work with some prospects who started their home search with one of our listings yesterday. As our Closing Coodinator, he says all is on track this week with the progress on our sales in process. It sure works having a flexible well-versed team.

It was a week of activity during what is usually a quiet time on the islands.

Florida Realtors 2016 Convention & Trade Expo

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With some pals from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc at last night’s concert featuring Party on the Moon

I participated in the Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee meeting this morning. There are changes coming for the 2017 FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar contract, mostly related to financing contingencies and when deposits go “hard”. Changes in Federal banking regulations have made this process more cumbersome, but Florida has made great strides in improving their contracts. I have seen a lot of good changes during my 18 years attending these meetings. Another takeaway is that so far this year, the “as is” contract, which allows a buyer to walk away, has been used more than 80% of the time. We see that contract used more in our area too.

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Event co-chairs Nancy & Deborah with Jay Leno!

The General Session Keynote speaker today was Jay Leno. If possible, I think he is funnier in person. Entertained us for a solid hour plus just talking off the cuff. He ended by giving special recognition to the many charities in Florida that provide housing assistance. Offered a tour any time of his 250+vehicle auto collection in LA to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to these charities. When the bidding got up to $5K, he offered the same to anyone else at the same price. They had already raised $30K when I left the ballroom. Thank you, Jay Leno!
Tomorrow are Professional Standards Forum, Resort & 2nd Home Specialists Forum, and our District meetings in preparation for the Board of Directors meeting on Sunday morning.
Thanks to technology, we convention attendees also have an eye on the weather. Looks like the tropical disturbance between Cuba and the Bahamas has broken up some and is only going to bring rain to Southwest Florida, but conditions are right for redevelopment, so I will continue to follow it. Many of us will be driving home on Sunday so hope for good conditions.

Paul McCarthy – Captiva Cruises

imageWe were sadden this week to hear of the sudden passing of Captiva Cruises’s founder and island icon, Paul McCarthy. He instilled a desire to do more for the community in many, so his spirit lives on. His support toward furthering the education of island Realtors was quiet, but always appreciated. RIP, Paul.

Island Happening & Upcoming Events

Dunes Golf & Tennis Club – Recently reopened after a major summer renovation of the greens and bunkers. They are offering a $40 introductory rate for tee times until September 5.

BIG Arts Community Chorus – The music for fall/winter performances is in our singers hands – though it’s a little odd singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs in August. Dates for upcoming events are posted under the above “Upcoming Island Events” tab.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2016

Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: Sandpebble #3D 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 listed at $1.595M, Somerset #A302 3/2.5 listed at $1.951M.
4 closed sales: Colonnades #C8 1/1 $218.5K, Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $510K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 $915K.

HOMES
3 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 $499K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $1.295M.
4 price changes: 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1429 Jamiaca Dr 3/3 now $749K, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $870K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.295M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 $433K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 $1.15M.

LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $299K.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 $327K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $619K.
No new or closed sales.

HOMES
1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 $4.2M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.795M.
1 closed sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $3.299M.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday…wishing good weather & clearing sailing to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Amazing Island Sunsets & Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva


It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on sunny Sanibel and Captiva, where a few afternoon and evening showers cropped up this week – pretty typical for August – and resulting in some fabulous sunsets!

2016-08-15 sunset

Yesterday was the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting. More about that below, plus a few other news items followed by the other action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week. (It’s not much. The only Sanibel condo sale was a SanibelSusan listing!)

August Membership Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday at the Realtors® August Breakfast Membership Meeting attendance improved, but was not back to “standing room only” like we see “in season.” With two sales, a new listing, and a price reduction to announce, I felt like I was hogging the mike, but happy to spread the word to colleagues.

FIRPTA Update

The topic discussed during the professional development segment of the meeting was FIRPTA. Speakers were affiliate members Carol McCarley of Nowack & Company (CPAs) (www.NowackMitchellCPA.com) and Julie LePore with FIRPTA Solutions. Below are a few takeaways, but be sure and contact an expert if you have questions.

Sale of U.S. real estate by a foreign person is subject to the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980) which authorized the U.S. to tax those individuals.

Buyers purchasing U.S. real estate from foreign persons, certain buyers’ agents, and settlement officers are required to withhold 15% of the amount realized on the sale. (That amount was 10% before February 17, 2016.)

The important thing to note here is that the buyer is responsible for this withholding. That is why during closings, one of the many documents processed is a certificate of non-foreign status. This document is to protect the buyer from liability for the IRS withholding tax which applies if the seller is a foreign person. If the seller is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident, FIRPTA does not apply.

If the Seller is not a U.S. citizen or resident, then the buyer is required to withhold 15% of the sale price at the closing. (Here, title companies assist with that.)

Although the taxable gain from the sale is earned by and taxable to the foreign seller, the buyer is held liable for the tax if it is not paid – likely because the seller could be “long gone”.

If the seller is not a U.S. citizen/resident, the next questions are: Does the buyer have plans to use the property as his residence (to reside at the property for at least 50% of the number of days the property is used by anyone during each of the first two 12-month periods following the date of transfer) AND is the sale price less than $300,000? If a buyer answers “yes” to both of these questions, then the transaction is exempt from withholding.

But, if the sales price is more than $300,000 and the seller is a foreign person, then withholding is necessary.

Since it is the buyer, not the seller, who is obligated for withholding and the reporting required by FIRPTA, unless the transaction is exempt from withholding, the buyer must report the sale to the IRS, and pay the required tax withholding, by the 20th day after the closing date or date of transfer. This deadline is extended to the 20th day after the IRS accepts or denies a legitimate application for a “withholding certificate” if the application is filed on or before the transfer date.

In order to complete the appropriate reporting forms or apply for a withholding certificate the foreign person must have a tax identification number (ITIN). We always recommend that if a foreign seller does not already file U.S. taxes and have a tax identification number, they immediately apply for a number when their property is listed for sale.

After receiving that number and prior to the sale, a seller also may apply for a IRS withholding certification to reduce or eliminate the required amount of the withholding. (The IRS is required to act on a request for a withholding certificate within 90 days of receipt of the application.) Once a withholding certificate is granted, the 15% (amount withheld in escrow at closing) may be released to the seller.

The IRS generally grants withholding certificates (so no withholding is required) if 15% of the sale proceeds exceeds the seller’s maximum tax liability.

When in doubt, please consult a tax professional and do it early!

Right of First Refusal vs. Kick Out Clause

Florida Realtors logoSince this same subject just came up with one of our listings, it was timely to see the below article posted on line Tuesday by Florida Realtors® Margy Grant. Friend and fellow New Englander, Margy is Vice President and General Counsel for Florida Realtors®. As she describes a “first refusal” and a “kick-out clause” are very different:

“Given the number of questions we field on the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline about the terms “right of first refusal” and “kick out clause,” it seems time to clear up the confusion. They are often used interchangeably in real estate transactions despite the fact that “right of first refusal” and “kick out clause” are unrelated legal concepts.

“The right of first refusal is a right in a contract that requires a seller to give a third party the chance to match the offer that a buyer has made to buy a piece of property. You often find this provision in Florida condominium governing documents. They give owners in a particular condominium association specific right to purchase units before they are sold to a buyer outside the complex. The right is only triggered after the seller gets an offer on the property, and then usually anyone in the complex who can match the offer may step into the shoes of the buyer who has signed a purchase agreement. The transaction then moves forward with the new buyer. You may also find rights of first refusals in commercial transactions, leases and other residential real estate agreements.

“Kick out clauses are usually reserved for residential real estate transactions. They are designed to provide more protection to a seller if the seller grants a contingency that allows a buyer to cancel the contract if the contingency is not met. Most often a kick out clause is found in an addendum to the contract and addresses the financing contingency or a contingency on the sale of the buyer’s other property. Florida Realtors provides this addendum in the forms library as Rider X of the CR-4 entitled “Kick Out Clause.”

“If this addendum is included in the purchase contract, and the seller opts to enter into a back-up contract, the seller must provide the first buyer with copies of the contract, removing the identity of the other buyer and purchase price. The first buyer then must make an additional deposit of an agreed amount and waive any financing or sale of property contingencies (other contingencies may survive.) If the buyer fails to make an additional deposit or waive the contingencies, then the first purchase contract is terminated, all deposits are refunded to the first buyer and the seller may sell the property to the second buyer.

“If your client is interested in adding a kick out clause, make sure you meet all requirements in the addendum. Also, make sure that if buyer number one does not perform, the back-up contract is successfully converted into a binding agreement. Florida Realtors provides an addendum called the Rider W of the CR-4 entitled “Back-Up Contract” for this purpose.

“We do not recommend sellers sign a second purchase contract unless they are confident they did not accidentally sell the property to two buyers. Without the right addendum, a seller could face damages from one or both buyers. No matter how attractive a second purchase contract is, the seller must first meet the obligations in the first contract.

“Realtors play essential roles in both of these scenarios but should not attempt to counsel buyers and sellers on legal outcomes. In the event of confusion or a dispute, you should advise your sellers and buyers to consult legal counsel.”

“Smart” Home

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_July-August 2016, “Realtor®” magazine made some excellent points on “smart” technology as it relates to selling homes. Here is a good tidbit:

What is a smart home? The term “smart house” was coined in the 1980’s by the National Association of Home Builders to refer to a home with integrated telephones, lighting, audio, and security. Such systems required special wiring and typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. But the concept has evolved with the proliferation of inexpensive devices than can be operated via smartphone and can make data accessible online. In May, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC joined forces with consumer technology news source CNet to define a smart home as “equipped with network-connected products…connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or similar protocols for controlling, automating, and optimizing functions” of the home. Their definition stipulates that the home has internet access, a smart security or temperature system, and at least two other smart features, such as appliances, entertainment devices, heating or cooling equipment, lighting, landscaping elements, air quality monitors, or thermostats.”

Island Renovations & Closings

August and September are often when many island communities, complexes, and businesses do their big maintenance projects or updates. Sometimes that also is when restaurants take an annual breather too – with staff vacations. Here are a few:

bleu rendezBleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro – is ready to take their summer break. They close beginning August 21 and will reopen for “season” on October 6. www.bleurendezvous.com/

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts (note their new name) – will take their annual break beginning September 3, reopening October 3 when the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum hosts its annual fundraiser, Celebrity Island Dinner. www.tradersgulfcoast-hub.com & www.shellmuseum.org.

Community House logoThe Community House (Sanibel Community Association) – new roof trusses have been going up all week at The Community House. Construction ongoing until early December.

Sand Pointe – all balconies are being restored now. Work is expected to be completed by October 28.

Sandpebble – replacement of the piping in the vertical stacks going to units is scheduled for late September.

Sanibel Moorings – balcony restorations are underway in Buildings 6, 8, and 9. Work is expected to be completed by the end of September. www.SanibelMoorings.com

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 12-19, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #A35 2/1.5 $319K, Loggerhead Cay #452 2/2 $549K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sanibel Moorings #822 2/2 listed at $449K (our listing).

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $695K, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $8.975M.

2 price changes: 998 Beach Rd 3/3 now $899.9K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $995K.

2 new sales: 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $499,994; 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $529K.

2 closed sales: 760 Windlass Way 3/3 $924K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.38M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 9441 Peaceful Dr $299K (our listing), 976 Whelk Dr $759K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 listed at $3.995M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 $1.705M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/7.5 $2.999M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $830K, 16790 Captiva Dr 5/5 multi-family $5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you see lots of pretty sunsets too!

P.S. & don’t forget to call me if you are thinking of buying/selling real estate on Sanibel or Captiva Islands. Thank you!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

2016-08-15 Captiva Sunset

Good Action at SanibelSusan Realty During Dog Days of Summer


TheSanibelsusan Logo whole SanibelSusan Team is back to work – as the Lee County kiddos are all back to school. That sure was a quick summer!

This week, island real estate activity continues to be sporadic, though we received more calls about new listings for “season”, likely the result of our recent newsletter mailing. Proposals and presentations for those usually continue through the end of the year.

One of our condo listings went under contract last weekend (we like doing both sides of a transaction) and a couple of other listings had offers. Negotiations still are underway on those, with fingers crossed.

A few other listings had showings with good feedback, so though it is that time often referred to as the “dog days of summer”, we are pleased with this week’s happenings.

No Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but a membership breakfast is next Thursday, so I hope to have more news to announce by then. Meanwhile after a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Best States for Business

Every year “Chief Executive Magazine” rates the best and worst states for doing business in the U.S. The good news is that Florida again is #2 this year. It held the same position last year. While Texas continues its reign as #1. For more info on where the other states rank, go to http://chiefexecutive.net/2016-best-and-worst-states-for-business-full-list/

Florida the sunshine stateAs the article says, “Texas and Florida top the list, as they have every year for the past 12 years that we have conducted this survey. Despite having been hit hard by the shale energy bust, Texas is still held in high esteem by CEOs for its favorable economic reforms. But each year, Florida steadily edges up in the qualitative measures. The Sunshine State added 1 million private-sector jobs over the last five years, cut taxes 50 times and got rid of 4,200 burdensome regulations. In 2014, it surpassed New York as the third-biggest state for companies to flourish.” Hooray for The Sunshine State!

Renovation Tips to Attract Buyers

realtor logoAn article posted yesterday on line at the National Association of Realtors® “Daily Real Estate News” was titled “Renovation Tips to Attract Millenial Buyers”. However, I have heard plenty of buyers – various ages – interested in the same features. Here’s what the article says:

“Generation Y makes up the largest pool of potential buyers, and builders and current home owners alike are keeping their needs in mind when building and renovating homes.

“The millennial generation is overwhelmed with options and information online, which is also reflected in their home search process. They are not looking to settle for a home that is good enough, they want to find one that is ready to move in and enjoy right away.

“”They’re picky,” says Peggy Yee, a supervising broker at Frankly Realtors in Vienna, Va. told Consumer Reports recently. “Millennials have specific needs, and if your home doesn’t meet them, they’re going to move on to the next house.”

“When your clients are looking to tackle a renovation project, Consumer Reports suggests they should focus on improving these four areas of the home that will make it an easier sell and appeal to younger buyers: (SanibelSusan says these appeal to older buyers too!)

“Create a Laundry Room – Young buyers want to separate their laundry from their main living space. Having a separate laundry room is so important to millennials, in a recent survey 55% of them said they wouldn’t even consider a new home without one.

“Get Smart – Having energy efficient, up-to-date appliances and including smart home technology in a home is a big value-add for young buyers. As NAHB reports, over two-thirds of millennials say smart home technology is a good investment, and they are willing to pay 3 percent more for these upgrades. But as Consumer Reports cautions, “keep in mind that high-tech features can quickly become poor investments because technologies evolve quickly.”

“Make Working from Home Easier – Many millennials have jobs with flexible schedules and work from home policies, so owners should think of ways they can re-imagine a space to make telecommuting a reality. As Consumer Reports points out, “It’s also relatively inexpensive to convert a room into an office; a basic desk, office chair, and door should do the trick.”

“Focus on Outdoor Spaces – Many young buyers are looking for a home that’s move-in ready and comes already equipped with thoughtful landscaping and a outdoor space for entertaining. This type of space doesn’t have to be fancy either. Just adding a patio or deck that has room for seating and a grill should do the trick to attract these buyers.”

Tourism Numbers Decline from Last Year

santiva chronicle“Santiva Today” this morning posted an article based on info from “The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Tourist Development Council” (TDC), it says in part:

Lee Visitors Convention Bureau logo“The Tourism Development Council got together in Fort Myers on Thursday and that was the occasion to receive the latest tourism numbers for Lee County. One would expect the numbers to be down in view of the bad water and bad publicity resulting from Lake Okeechobee discharges, and they are.

“The TDC’s spring statistics show a decrease in average occupancy rate, the average daily rate charged for a room and revenue available per room for hotels, motels, resorts and bed and breakfasts. Rentals of condominiums, cottages and vacation homes were also down as was occupancy in RV parks and campgrounds.

“As the TDC notes, the declines are modest, but they are declines. The hotel-motel-resort-B&B occupancy rate in the spring fell from 70.4% in 2015 to 69.5% with the average daily rate dropping from $149.43 to $147.61. The average daily rate charged, or RevPAR, went from $105.16 last year to $102.65 this year.

Although the average daily rate for condos and vacation homes jumped from $180.73 to $186.08, occupancy in these units fell nearly 4% from 73.3% in spring 2015 to 69.4 this spring. The RevPar fell more than $3 from $132.47 in 2015 to $129.19 in 2016….

“The TDC said 77% of this spring’s tourists came from within the United States. That’s down from 83% last year. Germany made up most of the difference by providing 11% of the tourists this year compared to 5% last year. Great Britain sent us 5% of our tourists and Canada 4%, numbers that are basically in line with 2015.

“Seven percent of the American tourists came from Indianapolis with Boston second at 6%. Chicago and New York gave us 5% each. At 3% each were Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati and St. Louis.”

Sanibel Community House on Track to ReOpen Early December

Posted yesterday by “The Santiva Chronicle” was an update on the renovations underway at The Community House. Watching the work progress is fun for us since our office is so close. Here some tidbits from the article:

North room community house

Photo by “Santiva Chronicle” of the north (historic) room

“Teresa Riska-Hall understands the value of Sanibel’s Community House from first-hand experience. “My husband and I held our wedding reception there more than 27 years ago,” she said. “It is near and dear to our hearts.”

“Riska-Hall, who has served as Executive Director of the Sanibel Community Association since 2010, is in charge of the Community House’s massive restoration project, and she reports that all is proceeding according to plan, with the reopening slated for early December.

““I have been working on the project for several years,” she says. “Watching it come to fruition at long last is truly exciting.” Part of Riska-Hall’s task is to preserve the Association’s historic outbuildings. These structures include the old Shell Fair Galley, the Shell Shed and the Live Shell Exhibit.

““We want to keep our heritage alive, even as we make huge changes in the House’s overall design,” Riska-Hall said. According to Riska-Hall, the Live Shell Exhibit outbuilding has been crucial to the Shell Fair’s function. “Sanibel School students spend a year learning about sea-life, after which they serve as teachers during the Shell Fair,” Riska-Hall noted. “These kids demonstrate their expertise with live specimens in the Live Shell’s Exhibit’s touch tank. We will move this important structure behind the main building for continued use.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the contractors have been confronted with plenty of surprises during the renovation. “One big surprise was finding old library books in the wall of the main building. They date back to the original Sanibel Library, which first opened its doors at the Community House,” she said.

“Another surprise was finding a cistern beneath the flooring. “That was quite a shocker,” she said. “The old floor came off in pieces, but it is still precious to us, so we will repurpose the wood. It won’t be discarded.”

“Riska-Hall acknowledged that installing the new roof over the auditorium required an unanticipated budget increase of $10,000, “but it is well worth the additional expense. The updated roof, plus the new wood flooring and acoustic panels, will improve the auditorium’s sound environment.”

“According to Riska-Hall, money had been budgeted for foundation work and flooring, for moving the historic buildings, and for upgrading the electrical system. “More is required, and we continue to seek funds for these added expenditures,” she said, “but we are close to our funding target.”

“New amenities greeting patrons when the project is complete include a sizable under-cover patio to provide drop-off capability, larger restroom facilities and wider east and west auditorium doors. “We will have easy entrance on all four sides of the structure,” she said, “and our kitchen will double in size!”

“The project also includes the acquisition of 1,250 new native plants, to meet the city’s landscaping standards. “We were able to save our coonties, our tabebuiah trees and our palms—virtually all of our existing native plants,” Riska-Hall said. “We are moving them to new sites on the property.”

“Given all of the unanticipated challenges, “that we are on schedule is amazing! The structure will be roofed-in by the end of next week. Then the project will really speed up,” she said. “It’s a challenging time, but everything is working out. We are extremely happy about that.”

“Riska-Hall reports that the Community House’s calendar for the coming season is filling up fast. “Folks should call now for reservations,” she says. “Do not delay!” To schedule activities at the Community House, contact Riska-Hall at 239 472 2155, or send an email to Teresa@sanibelcommunityhouse.net.”

Update on Renovations at The Sanctuary Golf Club

Sanctuary 08-12-16 Dining

Their photo of the Bridge Room

The Sanctuary Golf Club’s Facebook page recently posted some photos of their ongoing renovations.

The refurbishment of The Clubhouse is well underway. The new décor is in a beachy-chic palette with all new carpeting, paint, and furniture.

The club has remained open during these updates with the new-look at the Clubhouse expected to be completed in November.

Demolition of the old and construction of the new nearby Fitness & Wellness Center began in May. Weather permitting, completion there is expected in March 2017.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 5-12, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 $735K.

3 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $539K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 now $649K (our listing), Sundial West #A208 2/2 now $809.9K.

LP Beach

Beach overlooking San Carlos Bay in front of Lighthouse Point

LP pool

Lighthouse Point pool

2 new sales: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $424.9K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $625K.

2 price changes: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $439K, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.75M.

1 new sales: 9468 Peaceful Dr 3/2 listed at $759K.

2 closed sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 $745K, 739 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.05M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 $1.15M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $299K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $975K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 now $254K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $950K, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.949M, 16177 Captiva Dr 7/7 listed at $5.95M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

bella 08-16.jpgUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your dog days of summer are as great as those on the islands!

(That’s my grand-dog Bella after a dip in my pool this week! She loves it!)

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

August Arrives to Sunny Sanibel


The SanibelSusan Team had a little boost of activity this week. Maybe, it was related to schools starting here next week and families getting in their last summer island vacations. Several of our listings had good showing action and Wednesday in arranging appointments to show investment condos, we found that only a handful were vacant.

San Cap LogoNot much was announced yesterday at our Thursday morning Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting which was lightly attended. Guess many Realtors® are getting in their last summer vacations too. Only two properties were on the following Caravan, including our new listing at 533 Rabbit Road.

It is a sweet near-beach home with more than $38K in rentals booking with just 4 long-term tenants from November 1 through June 1. Great opportunity for someone to buy now and enjoy that income. Click here to view the streaming video.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below, but first a few more photos from our friend Scott who was still in town snapping his wonderful bird shots. I am so thankful that he happily allows me to share them with you too. He said these Great White Egret pix were taken Sunday in Tarpon Bay. Each one is special, so I had to share them all!

egret 6egret 5egret 3Egret 2egret 4Egret 1

Now or Neverglades Declaration

Chamber signAlso yesterday morning, a diverse crowd of supporters gathered in front of The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce to sign the “Now or Neverglades Declaration”. It calls for a scientific solution to stopping the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee. In addition to many business owners, Realtors®, local leaders and concerned citizens, participants included Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water, SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel, and City Natural Resources Director James Evans – all speaking about the issues facing Southwest Florida waters and what needs to be done to save it.

“One of the most critical things we need to do now is communicate with the governor and ask him to move the planning process for storage south of (Lake Okeechobee) up to this summer,” Wessel told the crowd. “(It needs to happen) while they plan storage for north of the lake.”

The declaration calls for the use of Amendment One money to create storage and treatment and move water south from the lake to The Everglades. More than 200 scientists say that it is essential to restoring the Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River estuaries.

There are currently more than 21,000 supporters who have signed the declaration. To learn more or sign it, visit gladesdeclaration.org.

Baby Boomers Chart New Direction in Housing

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_As a Baby Boomer who has no intention of retiring anytime soon, I enjoyed this recent article from “Daily Real Estate News” on line by “Realtor®Mag” who sourced it to “Mortgage New Daily” (July 19, 2016).

“Economists are having a tough time figuring out what housing market moves baby boomers will make next.

“Americans over the age of 55 are veering from previous generations, opting not to retire but instead launching second or even third careers. They are shunning the traditional patterns of retirement and that could have a big impact on their housing choices, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Insight report focusing on the baby boomer generation.

“Baby boomers are a critical piece to the housing market puzzle. Americans over the age of 55 make up a quarter of the population and control about two-thirds of the single-family home equity in the nation. Sixty-five-year-olds who, on average purchased a home 35 years ago now tend to have a home value that is likely 3.7 times what they purchased it for.

“Nearly a quarter of baby boomers recently surveyed by Freddie Mac say they need major renovations in their current home in order to stay there as they age. Many say they may face financial constraints to take on those remodels. For others who do plan to age in place, they may be underestimating the extent of the financial costs of outfitting their home with features so they can do so, says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“As such, about 18 million home owners over the age of 55 may be shopping for another house in the next few years, according to the Insights Report.

“The main reasons to move aren’t due to downsizing either. Instead, the survey showed the key influences making these generations move are: Affordability of the community, the need for retirement amenities, and a home with less maintenance.

“Bottom line, the authors note, the 55-plus population likely is to be an active part of the housing economy for years to come still.

Source: “Boomers Ignoring Conventional Housing Wisdom,” Mortgage News Daily (July 19, 2016)

Banner Year for Sea Turtles Continues

SCCF logoIt was so much fun on Wednesday when showing property to hear the prospect say that she can’t wait to move here and become a “turtle” volunteer. A 1-hour session with SCCF’s Education Director, Kristie Anders, and a few beach strolls talking to some already-trained turtle patrollers have her excited. She loved hearing that our Association of Realtors® years ago got Kristie approved to teach a segment of the continuing education required for Realtors® to maintain our real estate licenses. Every two years in Florida, 14-hours of classroom instruction are required. Each fall our local association offers a new curriculum meeting that meets that annual requirement. I am all signed up for September where Kristie will be one of the instructions and will update us on island environmental considerations.

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogBack to the turtles…According to today’s “Island Sun”: “Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) officials are reporting a banner year for loggerheads nesting on Sanibel and Captiva. As of August 1, the nest numbers for the east and west end of Sanibel were 164 and 422, respectively. The previous records for these beaches were 120 and 376 (both set in 2015). As of August 1, 183 nests have been laid on Captiva, also breaking the previous record of 179 nests laid in 2000.

“With 722 total loggerhead nests on the two islands, and scattered nesting continuing into August, this year has shattered the all-time record of 622 nests for the two islands combined.

“While records are being broken on Sanibel and Captiva, the statewide numbers won’t be totaled until the end of the season in October.

“At least for the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, these numbers show that decades of coordinated conservation efforts are starting to pay off, including nest protection, reducing fisheries interactions and limiting artificial lighting in coastal communities.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 29 – August 5, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $495K, Sundial A208 2/2 $799K, Somerset #D302 3/2.5 $1.85M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 now $529.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $229K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A302 2/2 listed at $485K, Sandalfoot #5A1 2/2 listed at $799K.

4 closed sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 $248K, Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $385K, Sealoft Village #106 2/2 $570K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 4995 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $2.995M.

2 new sales: 975 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $769K, 923 S Yachtsman 3/2 listed at $867K.

6 closed sales: 5131 San-Cap Rd 2/2 $445K, 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 $492.5K, 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $629.9K, 242 Christopher Ct 3/2 $715K, 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $751.5K, 824 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.225M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 listed at $519K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.695M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 listed at $3.585M.

1 closed sale: 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 $3.4M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s another sunset photo from Scott…each one just gets better and better!

Happy weekend all! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

scott sunset 07-31-16

Winding Up July 2016 on Sunny Sanibel


Island Real Estate Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoThis week, SanibelSusan Realty worked with the first of this year’s “pre-season” buyers. It’s a little earlier than we typically see those folks, as that wave of business usually begins shortly after schools are back in session. school busHere, Lee County Schools go back early – on August 10 – so maybe some island lovers already are thinking about winter!

We received another nice home listing this week – a rare 5-bedroom in a unique private lake-front location – on Sunrise Circle. Following some exterior spruce-ups this weekend, it will be professionally filmed next week with photos featured here next Friday.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. First a quick update on island inventory:

Sanibel

98 condos for sale today, average asking price $740,536, average days-on-market = 214

94 condos sold this year, average sale price $753,658, average days-on-market = 189

Beach

(6 of these sales were SanibelSusan listings, 3 were condos sold by Susan)

 

135 homes for sale today, average asking price $1,533,126, average days-on-market = 250

125 homes sold this year, average sale price $980,527, average days-on-market = 171

5743 Baltusrol exterior

(2 of these sales were SanibelSusan listings)

 

62 lots for sale today, average asking price $476,355, average days-on-market = 430

17 lots sold this year, average sale price $584,074, average days-on-market = 684

 

Arrow Aerial.jpg

(2 of these sales were SanibelSusan listings)

 

Captiva

32 condos for sale today, average asking price $774,122, average days-on-market = 402

13 condos sold this year, average sale price $940,846, average days-on-market = 209

 

31 homes for sale today, average asking price $3,166,664, average days-on-market = 326

17 homes sold this year, average sale price $3,017,500, average days-on-market = 252

 

3 lots for sale today, average asking price $2,015,000, average days-on-market = 626

2 lots sold this year, average sale price $3,150,000, average days-on-market = 365

Local Happenings, Openings/Closings

bleu rendezBleu Rendezvous French Bistro – has invited their friends, locals, and stay-cationers to join them over the next couple of weeks, before they close for a short break on August 21 – reopening early October. In the meantime, they are open at 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. They have some fun special summer foodie events too. http://bleurendezvous.com/

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille – Elise and I got a late lunch here Wednesday after preparing an inventory at our new listing on Rabbit Road. Manager, Liz, told us that as final inspections are being completed, the staff is happily unpacking their new kitchenware at their new building on Tarpon Bay Road. Doc Fords SanibelThey are so excited to have all new stuff and to be moving soon – probably in just a few weeks. In the meantime, their Rabbit Road location remains open.

San-Cap Road Vegetation Trimming – from Tarpon Bay Rd to Blind Pass continues through tomorrow with one lane of traffic intermittently closed.

The Real Scoop About Local Water Quality

sccf marine lab headerThis afternoon, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is holding a public meeting at SCCF’s Nature Center to discuss their RECON (River, Estuary, & Coastal Observing Network) and Florida Atlantic University’s IRLON (Indian River Lagoon Observatory Network of Environmental Sensors). Both of these provide real-time monitoring of water quality conditions and produce real-time data.

This capability gives scientists, water quality managers, and the public the ability to observe present conditions and plan for the future. SCCF pioneered their new technology beginning in 2007 and they manage eight sensors in the Caloosahatchee and around Sanibel/Captiva.

This is good information – unlike the plethora of recent hype and negative press. Here’s what the “Santiva Chronicle” has to say about today’s presentation as it relates to the islands:

“Dr. Eric Milbrandt, Director of the SCCF Marine Laboratory, will be presenting data from RECON to show how freshwater and subsequent algae blooms affected the lower estuary as a result of the 2015-2016 El Nino. The record breaking rainfall and flood control policies caused unusually low salinities and high tannins (colored dissolved organic matter) around Sanibel.

“At locations in the lower estuary, such as McIntyre Creek, in “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and Tarpon Bay, phytoplankton blooms occurred when Lake Okeechobee and the watershed flows exceeded 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Other observations from the upper Caloosahatchee by Dr. Rick Bartleson showed the unusual blue-green algae bloom that was prevalent for the past 2 months.”

Island waters gulf side remain clear, but we have had little rain this week. Here is a photo taken bayside near the lighthouse, followed by one on the other side of the island and further up the beach on West Gulf Dr.

2016-07-29 Bayside 2016-07-29 West Gulf Dr

HealthPark  – A Most Beautiful Hospital

Golisano CHildrens HospitalMost of us don’t like to think about days when it may be necessary to have a hospital stay, but the “Island Sun” reports today that “HealthPark Medical Center (just off island) ranked 18th in the Top 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the United States for 2016 by Soliant Health, a leading provider of specialized healthcare staffing services whose travelers have observed the link between beautiful hospitals and pleased patients as they work in facilities around the country.

“In addition to being an award-winning hospital recognized for high quality cardiology, pulmonary, critical and surgical care, HealthPark Medical Center is also known for its beautiful design – both inside and out – which promotes healing and comfort for patients and their families….” It also “is home to the innovative Shipley Cardiothoracic Center and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida – which is the only children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami….”

Utah tops the list this year with four hospitals in the top 20. Florida has three, including HealthPark. More about Soliant Health’s Top 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals at http://blog.soliant.com/most-beautiful-hospitals/2016.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 22-29, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $229K, Mariner Pointe #1412 1/1 $399.9K, Sandpebble #3D 2/2 $449.9K, Somerset #A302 3/2.5 $1.951M.

1 price change: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 now $449.9K.

2 new sales: Colonnades #C8 1/1 listed at $229K, Sundial #A203 1/1 listed at $724.5K.

2 closed sales: Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 $645K, Sundial East #M301 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 $829K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 $899K (our listing).

2 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $369K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $1.19M.

2 new sales: 1635 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $464K, 4440 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $1.29M.

3 closed sale: 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 $729.9K, 1487 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $758K, 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 $1.355M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $299K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $649K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3131 2/2 now $405K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 $602.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 $2.35M.

2 price changes: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 now $1.595M, 1135 Schefflera Cct 4/4.5 now $3.995M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s another Sanibel sunset.

They are also so special in the summer!

Happy weekend…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

2016-07-29 Sanibel Sunset

TGIF from sea


Thanks to SanibelSusan teammates, Elise & Dave, this Friday Update is coming to you from Haiti where I am enjoying the final days of of a Caribbean cruise while they & Lisa have handled things in the office & at home.

Here is a picture of my view in Labadee where it is a breezy 84 degrees as I pen this at 4:30 p.m.

image

 

Dave & Elise say it has been a quiet week on Sanibel as far as showing requests and inquiries about our listings, but they have been busy finishing up our 8000-piece newsletter mailing. If you’d like a copy, let us know.

They offer the following news items & then the Sanibel Captiva MLS activity since last Friday.

But first since I know Sanibel photos are your favorite, here are some taken by our friend Scott who had a busy day on Monday  with some Pelicans! (You saved me again, Scott.)

Clear Your Gear Stations

As reported in the Island Sun this week, last week a volunteer representing the Monofilament Busters conservation group oversaw the installation of five new monofilament fishing line recycling stations completed by the City of Sanibel’s Department of Public Works, expanding the scope of the three-year-old Clear Your Gear Campaign. Clear Your Gear is a collaborative effort among Sanibel & Captiva conservation organizations aiming to reduce the amount of monofilament line and fishing gear left in our environment, which is often detrimental to wildlife. New locations are: Bowman’s Beach main beach access, Bowman’s beach kayak launch, Clam Bayou box culvert, Blind Pass, City Boat Ramp.

Shells Needed For Museum Crafts

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum needs shells. The daily Shell Crafting is so popular that the museum is running low. Shells do not need to be perfect and can be from any Southwest Florida beach. They do need to be clean and they must not be what the museum calls “live collected”. In other words they only want shells that are empty when found. The types of shells the program prefers are: lightning whelks under three inches long, paper figs, tulips, rose petal telins, buttercup lucins, apple murexes, paired cockles, dosinias, coquinas, large scallops, kitten paws, turkey wings and button snails. Shell Crafting classes are offered every afternoon in the museum’s auditorium. Classes are free with paid museum admission. Donations accepted at 3075 SanibelCaptiva Rd.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 15-22, 2016

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 $515K, Sanibel Arms West #M3 2/2 $547.5K.
2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $525K, Moonshadows #2C 3/3 now $1.897M.
2 new sales: Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial West #A205 2/2 listed at $829K.
No closed sales.

HOMES
2 new listings: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $499K, 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $548K (our listing).

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0016.JPG

Our new listing at 533 Rabbit Road

2 price changes: 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.325M, 598 Kinzie Island Cct 3/3.5 now $1.785M.
3 new sales: 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $829K, 739 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.245M, 6491 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 listed at $1.795M.
2 closed sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $479K, 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 $500K.

LOTS
1 new listing: 9232 Dimmick Dr $212,555.
No price change or new sales.
1 closed listing: 6217 Starling Way $1.159M.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed listing: Tennis Villas #3231 2/2 $395K.

HOMES & LOTS
Nothing to report.

Until, next Friday, I borrowed another photo from Scott! Even at sea, we don’t see sunsets like on Sanibel. This was Wednesday night Tarpon Bay side!  Thank you, Scott!

TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

image

Sanibel Summer & Ospreys, oh my…


It is Susan reporting that it has been another “quiet” week on the islands. No Association of Realtors® caravan meeting yesterday, but the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days follows a few news items below.

First a few photos  from our friend, Scott, who shares his pictures with us – for the blog. These ospreys love his dock! Thank you, Scott!

Sea Turtle Nests Break Record on East Sanibel

kemp turtleFollowing up on last week’s post about sea turtles, SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) blog on Wed, July 13, posted the following:

“Today SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program confirmed that Sanibel’s East End has broken the record for nest numbers since we began recording. We officially have 122 loggerhead nests on the East End.

“2015 was the previous record holder with 120 nests. Prior to that, the average for nests on the East end was 38 per year! We are having an excellent season!

“Here’s how you can ensure all those nests, hatchlings, and momma’s stay safe:

  • Respect all staked nests.
  • Turn off all lights – Nesting females and hatchlings primarily emerge after dark so remember to turn off all lights. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon to navigate towards the water. Any artificial lighting will cause confusion and steer turtles in the wrong direction. This includes beachfront lighting, flash lights, flash photography, and even iPhones.
  • Remove all beach furniture and toys – Clear everything off the beach from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. Obstacles on the beach can cause nesting females and hatchlings to become entangled.
  • Fill in all holes on the beach – if you dug a hole on the beach please fill it in. Nesting females and hatchlings can fall into holes, causing them to be vulnerable to predators.
  • Never approach a nesting sea turtle – if approached the sea turtle will likely abandon her nesting attempt

sea-turtle-eggsLoggerhead Sea Turtle Facts

  • Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world
  • Nesting/hatching season occurs from April 15 through October 31
  • Adult loggerheads can grow to more than 3-feet long and weight 200 to 350 lbs
  • A female loggerhead may nest around 3-6 times per season
  • Each nest contains 100 or more leathery ping-pong ball sized eggs
  • Incubation takes about 55 to 65 days depending on sand temperature
  • It may take 30 years or more for loggerhead hatchlings to reach maturity.”

2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate

realtor logoThe National Association of Realtors® (NAR) just issued the results of the annual survey by their Research Division which measures the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients. The report divides those international or foreign clients into two types:

  • Non-resident foreigners who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S. They typically purchase for investment, vacations, or other visits of less than six months.
  • Resident foreigners who also are non-U.S. citizens, but are recent immigrants (or in the country for less than two years) or temporary visa-holders residing for more than six months for professional, educational, or other reasons.

The report contains some interesting information. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “Amid slower economic growth in many countries and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, fewer non-resident foreigners purchased U.S. residential properties while resident foreigners stepped up their purchases. Meanwhile more U.S. domestic clients searched for properties abroad…
  • Foreign buyers purchase $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 – March 2016, a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period…
  • Non-resident foreigners accounted for 41% of foreign buyers while resident foreigners made up 59%. In past years, the number of foreign buyers was split almost evenly between resident and non-resident foreign buyers…
  • Foreign buyers typically purchase more expensive properties…
  • 45% of foreign buyers who purchased residential property came from China ($27B), Canada ($8.9B), India ($6.1B), the United Kingdom ($5.5B), and Mexico ($4.8B)…
  • Non-resident foreign buyers made up the bulk of buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom while resident foreign buyers came from China, India, and Mexico…
  • Although foreigners purchased property nationwide, five states accounted for 51% of total residential property purchases: Florida (22%), California (15%), Texas (10%), Arizona (4%), and New York (4%)…
  • 72% of non-resident foreigner buyers purchased the property as a vacation and/or residential rental property for investment while 21% of resident foreign buyers purchased the property for vacation and/or rental use…
  • 50% of reported transactions were all cash…
  • Previous client contacts and referrals accounted for 47%….”
  • Florida and Arizona attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes…
  • The outlook for international real estate activity in the U.S. remains positive. The decline in the value of the British Pound following Brexit is likely to mean fewer buyers from the United Kingdom. However, businesses and foreign real estate investors may choose to stay away from the United Kingdom, and the United States could become an attractive alternative.”

Corps to Cut Back Lake O Releases

SCCF logoAs reported on line yesterday (July 14) by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Some good news — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted the request made during this week’s Periodic Scientists Call to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to 2,800 cfs measured at the Franklin Lock from last week’s average 4,158 cfs. Flows to the St. Lucie will be reduced to 650 cfs.  There should be some improvement in water clarity because of the reduction — but that would also require that rainfall not be heavy enough to increase the amount of runoff from the Caloosahatchee’s own watershed.

“SCCF participates in a weekly conference call with the Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District as part of a local stakeholders group, which also includes J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the City of Sanibel, Lee County, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the City of Cape Coral.  As part of this process, the partners prepare a weekly Caloosahatchee Conditions Report.  During this week’s call, stakeholders requested a slowdown on the lake releases.

You can find the reports on our website.”

In other SCCF news, their Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel spoke at a congressional hearing yesterday in DC on the water quality crisis in Southwest Florida and St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties on Florida’s east coast. In part, she said:

“We need to recognize this is a national issue requiring science that informs and directs public policies to protect the natural resources in our backyard,” Wessel testified. “This is an economic crisis as well as an environmental one, with 47,000 jobs in our $3 billion tourism industry at stake. We must act now to stop the harmful algal blooms that extend over 35 miles of the Caloosahatchee as we speak. We ask four things of Congress today. Bring greater science to bear in seeking solutions. Pass WRRDA (The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2016). Continue the Tamiami Trail bridging. Accelerate the implementation of the CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) project to store water in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee. These four actions will provide the greatest impacts for resolving the water quality crisis on Florida’s two coasts.”

The Interagency Working Group hearing was the start of “Lagoon-Gulf Action Day” on Capitol Hill. Participating agencies included:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 8-15, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $515K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 now $699K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.1479M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1,299,999.

5 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $540K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 now $649K, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.929M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.895M.

3 new sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $775K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

2 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $330K, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 $1.075M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1242 Anhinga Ln listed at $525K.

1 closed sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd $799K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 $317.5K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Scott shared this sunset photo too! It’s a beauty!

Sunset 07-09-16

Thanks again, Scott ! Here’s hoping everyone’s weekend sunsets are beautiful too!

TGIF! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Friday After the 4th on Sunny Sanibel


SanibelSusan is happy to report that it has been another week of wonderful weather on the islands. The occasional summer shower has been at night, with the beaches and bike paths busy during the days with visitors and vacationers “out and about”.

The July 4th parade on Monday morning was well attended and once again a fabulous example of Sanibel’s small town camaraderie. Big thank you goes out to all those participating and watching, especially the members of the Cypress Lake High School Marching Band who made their first appearance. I posted more pictures on my personal Facebook page plus a video clip of the band passing my office.

The only complaints since Monday: it is hot – has been in the low 90’s most afternoons – and the negative press about the algae on the east coast has caused some confusion about the water here. More about that in the following news articles. After the news is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Know Your Rights Before Opening Your TRIM Notice

henderson-franklinThis article was posted on line June 16, 2016 by the local law firm of Henderson Franklin in their post “The Legal Scoop on Southwest Florida Real Estate”. It mentions some important upcoming deadlines for local Lee County property owners wanting to appeal their property classification or assessment. It says:

“As a property owner in Florida, you have a right to appeal the property appraiser’s assessment of your property’s value, a denial of your application for an exemption (homestead, veterans, or senior citizen), a portability denial, and a denial of our application for property classification such as agricultural or historic….

“Typically, once a taxpayer decides to bring a challenge based on any of the above-mentioned grounds, a request for an informal conference will be made with the County’s property appraiser to discuss the value or to discuss the denial of an application for a property exemption or classification. Following an informal conference, in the event that the issues cannot be favorably settled, taxpayers (or their representatives) can file a petition with the local Value Adjustment Board (VAB). Alternatively, Florida law allows taxpayers to bring such challenges in circuit court.

Appeals to the Value Adjust Board (VAB) – Each VAB is comprised of five members, with two members from the board of county commissioners, one member from the school board, and two citizen members. Many counties in Southwest Florida (such as Lee County) have appointed a special magistrate to conduct hearings and recommend decisions to the VAB. Special magistrates are trained neutral arbiters who are oftentimes local licensed appraisers.

Deadlines for Filing a Petition – Under Florida law, the deadlines for filing a petition are explained in detail. For appeals of the property appraiser’s assessment of your property, a petition must be filed within 25 days after the property appraiser mails the notice of Proposed Property Taxes (TRIM Notice), which is typically in mid-August. The filing deadline can be found on the TRIM notice itself. Moreover, petitions appealing the portability of your ad valorem taxes must be filed with 25 days after the property appraiser mails your TRIM notice.

“For appeals of an exemption or classification of your property, a petition must be filed with 30 days after the property appraiser mails the denial notice, which the property appraiser must mail before July 1st. Once the petition has been filed, the taxpayer will receive a notice with the date, time, and location of the hearing at least 25 days before the hearing date. An exchange of evidence will occur thereafter, whereby the taxpayer must give the property appraiser a list and summary of evidence that will be presented at the hearing. Likewise, if a written request is made to the property appraiser by the taxpayer, the property appraiser is required to provide a list and summary of the County’s evidence that will be presented at least seven days before the hearing.

“As a reminder, it is important to note that even though a petition may have been filed with the VAB, the petition must be denied if the taxpayer has not paid his or her non ad valorem assessments and ad valorem taxes before they become delinquent.

Take Away – Each year, the local property appraiser establishes the value of your property as of January 1st. Since TRIM notices will soon be delivered to property owners around Southwest Florida, it is important to know your rights and the procedures for pursuing an appeal to your local VAB….”

Sea Turtle Nest Hatches on Sanibel

Turtle hatching 07-01-16As reported this week in the “Santiva Chronicle”: “The first loggerhead sea turtle to hatch on Sanibel was Thursday, July 1. Visible along with the small tracks is the mesh SCCF places over nests to protect them from coyotes. Photo by Carol Strange

“Last year was a year to remember for sea turtles on Sanibel and Captiva. Turtles set a record for nests in a season. A year later, 2016 is on pace to do even better.

“In its weekly report issued Friday, July 1, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation said 486 loggerhead sea turtle nests have been found, recorded and staked off by the cadre of volunteers that combs the beaches each morning during nesting season.

“That total is ahead of last year’s nest total on the corresponding date from last year. On July 3 last year, SCCF had found 468 nests.

“Two of SCCF’s three nesting zones are ahead of 2015. Sanibel West, always the most populated area for nests, has 261 nests and slightly lags 2015 when there were 280 nests. Sanibel East, the area near the lighthouse, is seven ahead of last year with 98. Meanwhile Captiva continues at a torrid pace with 127 nests. That’s 20 more than last year and appears ready to threaten the Captiva record of 179 nests set in 2000.

Captiva wears the honor of having the first nests of the season to hatch. The first two were on Captiva. During the past week, Sanibel has recorded its first hatched nest. That happened June 30 and was reported by volunteer Carol Strange, who also took photographs.

“Meanwhile, the overnight turtle-tagging team, on duty for the first time this year, has come across 158 sea turtles during their surveys. Some of them are previously encountered turtles, providing valuable data about nesting habits.

“Here are the numbers from SCCF as of Friday, July 1, with last week’s numbers in parenthesis:

  • Sanibel East – 98 (82) nests, 219 (197) false crawls
  • Sanibel West – 261 (211) nests, 514 (421) false crawls
  • Captiva – 127 (109) nests, 184 (131) false crawls
  • Totals: 486 (402) nests, 917 (749) false crawls”

No Slime on Sanibel Beaches, but Dark Water Doing Damage

Good write-up explaining the water situation here was published on-line Wed by the “Santiva Chronicle”:

June 2 & 22 2016 Bay City of Sanibel

“The phone is ringing at Sanibel City Hall. The people on the other end want to know about the water. “The calls are coming in from all over – Ohio, New Jersey, all around,” James Evans, Sanibel director of Natural Resources, said Tuesday, July 5. “People want to know about the quality of the water and they are disappointed to hear that it is dark.”

“Evans is forced to report that the water is brown, but is also able to report that it is not slimy from blue-green algae blooms. An explosion of blue-green algae blooms has hit the East Coast of Florida in Martin County. When Lee County was added to Gov. Rick Scott’s declaration of a state of emergency over the algae blooms, the assumption was that the blue-green algae is on Lee County’s beaches, including Sanibel and Captiva.

““Our beaches are in a very different situation from those on the East Coast,” Evans said. “What we are experiencing is a plume of dark water. There is no blue-green algae on the beaches, but we are seeing some in stagnant areas of the Caloosahatchee River.”

“Evans’ assessment is re-enforced by Rick Bartleson, marine biologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. “The water is brown, but the cyanobacteria numbers were down some today (Tuesday) and we aren’t seeing blue-green algae blooms here right now,” Bartleson said.

“The blooms are fed by the ongoing high levels of water being released from Lake Okeechobee down the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers as a result of historic rains that drenched South Florida in January. Sixteen inches fell on Sanibel when the historical average is less than two inches. Both rivers are receiving too much water, as much as three times desired flows, in order to protect Lake Okeechobee’s aging Herbert Hoover Dike. But the situations are different.

““The St. Lucie is a smaller river and the estuary is small. So when there is a bloom there is a really big effect, and that’s what we are seeing,” Bartleson said. “We have a larger estuary and there is more dilution.”

“It’s comparing apples and oranges,” Evans said. “The St. Lucie is a much smaller system and another big difference is that we are 70 miles from the lake. The Caloosahatchee has a much more extensive marsh that can dilute the algae. We’re lucky because the nutrient levels we are getting are just as high.”

““It’s two different systems and they react in two different ways,” he said. “We are very concerned about excess nutrient loading.” Blue-green algae blooms occur naturally, but are fed by nutrients in water runoff. Blue-green algae makes its own nitrogen but needs phosphorus.

The beaches in Martin County are covered with slime from the blue-green algae. The situation on the Treasure Coast near Stuart and other beach communities has made national news, including a recent report in the New York Times and a report Tuesday morning on The Weather Channel.

““I’ve seen it on the national news and its very damaging,” Evans said. “It’s on social media that the water quality is bad. Those things linger and stick around for a long time. We are not seeing blue-green algae, but we are seeing dark water all along Sanibel’s beaches. It’s a big concern for all of us. It hurts people’s ability to enjoy the beaches. It hurts business. It affects our quality of life.”

“Also likely to linger for a long time are the effects on the Caloosahatchee’s estuary in San Carlos Bay. The estuary is clouded, a fact that does more than just chase tourists away. The beaches are safe to visit and don’t pose a health problem for healthy people, but the water is brown.

““The flows from Lake Okeechobee have been way too high for the critters and the seagrass in the estuary,” Bartleson said. “It’s been way above the harm level and that kills a lot of things in the estuary. Lots of oysters and other critters are dying.”

“Evans takes note of the city’s telling pictures at the top of this page. (Will repost on SanibelSusan.com blog later today)

““On June 2 the bay was a beautiful blue green. Three weeks later it’s dark brown, almost black,” Evans said.

“We are really concerned about the ecological effects,” he said. “Seagrasses are dying and floating to the surface and washing up on the beach. We’ve received too much fresh water and the estuary is in salinity shock that’s causing important habitat destruction.

“The brown water also blocks light from seagrass, which below one meter is currently not getting enough light, Bartleson said. The roots die when the leaves can’t produce oxygen for them.

““People come to enjoy our beaches. They come to fish and enjoy our other natural treasures. All that is affected by the excess water releases,” Evans said.

“The blue-green algae bloom on the Treasure Coast, the governor’s emergency order and the resulting media coverage once again highlight the overall problem. The dike around the lake is aging and needs work. But the bigger issue is where the water goes. Once it flowed naturally out of Lake Okeechobee south into the Everglades. Man changed that by connecting the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee to the north end of the lake to create farmland to the south of the lake. That happened a century ago and the long term effects are being felt now.

“Gov. Scott’s emergency order prompted the South Florida Water Management District to seek land to store water on. That’s something that water quality advocates are always pushing for.

““A new study by the University of Florida says that water storage is needed both north and south of the lake,” Evans said. “The governor’s order has brought attention to the issues.”

““South Florida used to be 50 percent wetlands,” Bartleson said. “It’s hard to find the wetlands now.””

Mayor Ruane Sees Dirty Water & Silver Lining

santiva chronicleThere was a good follow-up today to the above article. Again from the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane doesn’t like what he sees when he drives across the Sanibel Causeway these days. He knows the brown water below him in San Carlos Bay is causing serious economic damage and he knows without being able to see through it, that the water is causing serious harm to oysters, seagrass and other marine life that lives here.

“The view also gives the mayor hope and stiffens his resolve.

“I’m disappointed and disheartened,” Ruane said Thursday, July 7. “I’ve seen this movie before. In 2013 we had the same problems, but now I feel there is more political will than ever before.”

“Ruane’s remarks came about an hour before he released through mysanibel.com the city’s latest update on the South Florida water crisis that has fostered blue-green algae blooms on the east coast, millions of gallons of dirty water to both coasts, a state of emergency from Gov. Rick Scott and finger-pointing at the Obama Administration.

Read the mayor’s latest update here

“Sanibel has been water-conscious since before its founding. The unprecedented rainfall in January raised the awareness of everyone in South Florida and Sanibel was ready. Its white paper “Caloosahatchee Watershed Regional Water Management Issues” written by James Evans, Sanibel director of Natural Resources, offers short- and long-term solutions for storage and treatment of water and states Sanibel’s position. Ruane drew heavily on the white paper in his update to Sanibel citizens Thursday.

Read the Caloosahatchee Watershed white paper here

““We just all need to get on the same page,” Ruane said. “If there is a silver lining here, that may be it.”

In the days since the algae-bloom wrecked beaches on Florida’s Treasure Coast in Martin County, Ruane has seen the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announce that it will be releasing less water from Lake Okeechobee and the South Florida Water Management District announce that it is seeking more land to store excess water on.

““We asked for those things back in February. They are doing nothing more today than what we have been asking for all along. I don’t know why we have to get to an emergency standpoint before things happen,” Ruane said.

“But it’s not like nothing was going on before the latest algae blooms. The coalition of Lee County mayors, in which Ruane plays a leading role, continues to press for public awareness and political action. Together with the Florida League of Cities, the mayors hosted a water quality symposium in Fort Myers that brought together 19 counties.

““We had 19 counties represented there, and that represents about $1.3 trillion. It was very successful, so successful that it will be repeated in Stuart on the East Coast in August,” Ruane said. “Credit the mayors for bringing this to the forefront and keeping everyone’s eye on the ball.”

“Sanibel City Hall, Ruane said, has been hit with phone calls from around the country. Lee County was included along with East Coast counties Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach in Gov. Scott’s state of emergency declaration. Even though Lee County and Sanibel don’t presently have blue-green algae blooms, the general impression from national news coverage is that it does.

““We are having people writing and calling. We cannot deny that we’ve had excess water releases, but unlike the other coast, we have 70 miles along the river to dilute the algae blooms and we don’t have blue-green algae,” Ruane said.

““We’ve been explaining that a lot. It wasn’t a quiet Fourth of July,” he said.”

NAR Pressures Senate Over Flood Insurance

realtor logoAs reported last Friday by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR):

“The rising costs of flood insurance are posing “significant hurdles” to small businesses and home owners, David McKey, 2016 Vice Chair of the National Association of REALTORS®’ Insurance Committee, testified to a Senate committee this week. Potentially, up to 1 million properties may be affected.

“”Despite everything that’s been done on this issue, the threat of a $30,000 flood insurance premium still looms,” McKey testified to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on Thursday. “A few years ago, the uncertainty over future rate increases was enough for buyers to direct REALTORS® not to show them any listings in the floodplain. That’s enough to worry business owners and home owners alike, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.”

“McKey said that rates continue to rise significantly by up to 25% each year until policy-holders reach their “full-cost rate.” In order for businesses and home owners to prove they’ve reached that threshold, they must hire a licensed surveyor and provide the Federal Emergency Management Agency with an elevation certificate. Once the certificate shows the property owner has reached the full-cost rate, the owner can then request an optional full-risk rating to end the 25 percent increases, or the increases will continue, NAR explains.

“McKey testified that it is an “endless escalator” of rising costs, and he asked the committee to consider changes.

“McKey offered NAR’s support for several possible solutions, such as reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, which sunsets in October 2017. McKey also said NAR supports using advanced technology to improve the accuracy of flood maps, which can help better determine who will face escalating rates and reduce the number of property owners who have to file pricey appeals.

“McKey also asked the committee to consider authorizing the use of funds to proactively mitigate properties in hazard areas, such as by flood proofing, elevating, or strengthening a property against the risk.

“”Unfortunately, while funding is currently available for mitigation efforts, funds typically aren’t accessible until after a flood event, when costs are higher and the damage has already occurred,” McKey stated.

“”REALTORS® see the effect of rising flood insurance rates firsthand in their businesses and in the local communities. But commonsense solutions to the problem are well within reach.””

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 1-8, 2016

SANIBEL

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 $385,555.

1 price change: Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 now $1.899M.

3 new sales: Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 listed at $589K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 listed at $595K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 listed at $999.9K.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Moorings #421 2/2 $449K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $385K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $699K, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 now $999K, 4440 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 now $1,290,010.

1 new sale: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $429K.

4 closed sales: 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 $510K, 645 Lake Murex Dir 3/2 $780K, 841 Lindgren Blvd 2/2 (for statistics) $885K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $1,500,125.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $199K.

No new sales or closings.

CAPTIVA

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closings.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5.5.5 now $3.75M.

No new sales or closings.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closing: 16298 Captiva Dr $4.9M.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

266.JPG

Happy Birthday, America, from Sanibel Island


waving flagIt’s SanibelSusan reporting another week of beautiful weather on sunny Sanibel. Unfortunately, it again has been a week of little real estate action. There was no Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service is posted below after a few news items.

The SanibelSusan Team has Monday off for the holiday, but I’ll be covering the office through the weekend and will be here early on Monday for the parade. More on that below also.

First those few news items, though they will not be about the water. Social media and the news have gone crazy over the last few days, many either exaggerating conditions or reporting untruths. As of today, none of the beaches in Lee County are closed, but it is summer and the rainy season, so the fight for clean water continues in Florida and we hope the press negativity does not affect real estate sales, but instead helps in reducing the releases coming from Lake Okeechobee.

The photos below were taken at 1 p.m. this afternoon from the Fulgur Street beach access which is between Sanibel Siesta and Compass Point condominiums where many were enjoying the beach. Plenty more vacationers are expected to arrive tomorrow as the rumor mill says that most accommodations are full!

Fulgur 1 7-1-16Fulgur 2 7-1-16Fulgur 3 7-1-16Fulgur 4 7-1-16

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Sales – First Half of 2016

Since half the year is over, it is a good time to take a snapshot of the islands’ inventory and sales-to-date this year, compared to the sales during the first six months of the year last year. These stats are from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service.

CONDOS                                    HOMES                                    LOTS

No.     Avg $ Price                   No.     Avg $ Price                   No.     Avg $ Price

SANIBEL

For sale:

98       748,349                        145       1,562,845                      66       471,945

Closing pending:

10        594,400                        22        1,020,923                        3        812,967

Sold & closed in 2016 thru 6/30:

91        759,065                        114        997,052                         15       531,417

Sold & closed in 2015 thru 6/30:

101      690,967                        161        891,541                          27       326,330

CAPTIVA

For sale:

29        812,324                        32          3,417,081                      3        2,015,000

Closing pending:

4          798,725                        4            4,108,000                    1       4,999,000

Sold & closed in 2016 thru 6/30:

11           1,021,227                     17         3,017,500                     1       1,400,000

Sold & closed in 2015 thru 6/30:

22         1,057,432                     11         2,927,955                      2      2,847,500

To-date on Sanibel, 220 properties have sold/closed this year, compared to 289 that sold during the first six months of last year. That’s a significant difference. On Captiva, 29 properties have sold/closed, compared to 35 that sold last year.

Generally, it is higher priced properties that go under contract first and last quarters, with the closings occurring during the first six months of the year. Though half the year remains, it is unlikely that the second half of the year will be as productive as the first half, particularly with it being an election year. But, I’d love to be wrong!

AT&T Antenna Activated on Donax Street Cell Tower

Donax Cell TowerHooray for the news release by Sanibel’s City Manager yesterday which said “The City of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane has been notified by the AT&T engineers that the AT&T antenna located on the Donax Cell Tower has been fully activated as of this afternoon. The mono pole installed on Donax Street at the City of Sanibel Donax wastewater facility was activated for Verizon Service on May 2, 2014…To minimize the number of cell towers on the island the City of Sanibel requires multiple carriers to co-locate on a single tower. The Donax mono pole also functions as a lighted flag pole. The lights are dark and the flag lowered during turtle nesting season except daylight on the patriotic holidays.”

‘Brexit’ Could Give U.S. Real Estate a Brief Boost

The key word here is “brief”. This article posted last Friday on “Daily Real Estate News” on line is as good as any that I’ve seen about the Brexit vote last week.

“Britain’s vote yesterday to exit the European Union will likely have a long-term impact on the world economy, but in the short-term, U.S. real estate could be flooded with investors flocking to the U.S. as a safe haven, pushing up the dollar and sending down mortgage rates.

realtor logo“”Demand for U.S. real estate could rise,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. On the commercial side, global corporations could show additional interest in U.S. real estate as they come to see the U.K. as a less certain place to set up or maintain their businesses, Yun says, “especially in London, as it becomes a less attractive place to conduct global business.”

“While a rise in the dollar could hurt U.S. exports, it’s also expected to put downward pressure on long-term mortgage interest rates. “Mortgage rates will tumble,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, “possibly hitting new record lows. If you’re a borrower, don’t wait to lock in your rate, as this opportunity may not last long.”

fannie-mae-logo“However, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan says low rates because of economic uncertainty could last for a while. “The Fed will very likely be on hold for some time as it observes the impact on U.S. and global financial markets and economic activity,” he says.

“If mortgage rates — already at historic lows — drop even further, that could help drive up sales of all types of U.S. real estate, including on the residential side. Foreign households who might have otherwise looked to London to buy might turn to U.S. residential real estate, although U.K. citizens, who historically are among the top buyers of investment and vacation homes in the U.S., could pull back. “The British economy will be disrupted, and hence we should expect fewer Brits able to buy in the U.S.,” Yun says.

“Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, was quoted in a Bankrate.com article saying a further drop in mortgage interest rates could give new life to home-mortgage refinancing, which started to cool early this year after several years of big growth. “This would create another mini refinance mortgage boom at financial institutions, as homeowners rush to lock in near-historic low interest rates,” he said.

“In the long run, though, the uncertainty stemming from the vote could cause broad global weakening, which would hurt jobs, income, and consumer confidence. That would be a net-negative for U.S. real estate, even if it sees gains in the short-term.”

Mortgage Rates in Free Fall Since Brexit Vote

real estate daily newsThe following article from Tuesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” further confirms their prognosis from last Friday.

“Ever since Britain’s surprising vote to leave the European Union, U.S. home buyers and home owners have been reaping an expected benefit — mortgage rates that are quickly dropping. Mortgage rates are now at the lowest average in more than three years, and economists expect them to head even lower.

“On Monday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.46%, near the lowest average since late 2012, realtor.com® reports.

““Lower rates produce lower monthly payments and greater buying power—those who are well qualified can afford a home that’s 8% more expensive than at the beginning of the year,” Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, writes in a recent column. “That’s more than enough to offset the rise in prices during that time.”

“That said, low mortgage rates can prompt lenders to get more strict with underwriting standards, Smoke says.

“As mortgage rates declined this year, we’ve seen that credit access has gone down too,” he notes. “That’s because lenders have become more risk-averse as their profit margins have been whittled down by the double whammy of lower rates and higher origination and servicing costs.” “

Six Sanibel Street Cams

Sanibelcityseal logoIn a press release earlier this week from Sanibel’s City Manager, it was announced that “three additional “Sanibel Street-Cams” are now providing residents and visitors real-time road conditions at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road… Click here to view the City of Sanibel’s “Street-Cams”.”

The locations now include:

  • Sanibel Causeway Span C (bridge closest to the island)
  • Periwinkle Way & Casa Ybel Road looking east (intersection at Jerry’s heading off-island)
  • Periwinkle Way & Casa Ybel Road looking west (intersection at Jerry’s heading toward Captiva)
  • Periwinkle Way & Tarpon Bay Road looking south (intersection at George & Wendy’s toward beach)
  • Periwinkle Way & Tarpon Bay Road looking east (intersection at George & Wendy’s heading off-island)
  • Periwinkle Way & Tarpon Bay Road looking north (intersection at George & Wendy’s toward Captiva).

Check the City’s web site www.mySanibel.com for more info on Sanibel’s 2016 Traffic Communications strategy.

For Island Foodies

Looking for something new?

Totally Baked on Sanibel – Sanibel Planning commission this week approved a new bakery coming to the Islander Center in the location of the former MacIntosh Book Store. The owner Virginia Wagner grew up vacationing on Sanibel with her goal to move here. She came to the island four years ago from Virginia where she operated a bakery and has been an award-winner baker at Bailey’s General Store. Totally Baked on Sanibel will prepare and serve pastries, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, biscuits, confections, and breads, and will offer carved on the bone ham, turkey, and roast beef as well as homemade salads, soups, and specialty items. It will not have seating, but may in the future.

joeys custard logoJoey’s Custard – Fellow Sanibel Chorister and owner of Sanibel Blue Financial, Debi Almeida has bought the ice cream, yogurt, custard, and panini shop (formerly Zebra Yogurt) in Bailey’s Center where she has partnered with her son Joe who will run it day-to-day.

 

Doc Ford’s – In that same corner of the island, FYI the new Doc Ford’s building across the street from the Bailey’s Center is almost done. This week’s progress includes installation of the new landscaping and parking lot pavers. It’s looking great. I met their new chef today while having lunch at their Rabbit Road location which will close when they move into their new digs. He’s from Austin, TX.

Doc Fords 7-1-16

Parade Central – on July 4th

If you are here and looking to watch the parade on Monday, SanibelSusan Realty is always a good vantage point with parking behind the office, grassy lawn roadside, and shade trees across the street, not to mention access to our air conditioning, a bathroom, and a frig with plenty of water. Be sure and come early to grab a spot. Periwinkle Way closes at 9 a.m. and the parade begins next to Bailey’s Center at 9:30. I’ll be opening up at 8:30.

BonneParade

An oldie from our parade entry in 1997.

 

Looking for the full schedule of events for the holiday weekend? Here you go…

TODAY – Friday – July 1st

9 a.m. – “Family Beach Walk“, “Ding” Darling, at Gulfside City Park.

noon – “8th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest” at South Seas Resort at the overlook at the Pointe Restaurant, Resort Pool Complex, North Pointe.

5 p.m. – “Home Run Derby” at South Seas Resort at the West Lawn, North Pointe.

9 p.m. – “Seaside Cinema” & s’mores at South Seas Resort at King’s Crown Lawn at North Pointe.

TOMORROW – Saturday – July 2nd

11 a.m – “Wildlife Wonders“, “Ding” Darling at Visitor & Education Center.

noon – “Golf Cart Scavenger Hunt” at South Seas Resort.

4 p.m. – “Go! Fish Tournament” at South Seas Resort at the T-dock.

7 p.m. – “Casino Night” at South Seas Resort in the Captiva Conference Center at the South Village.

Sunday – July 3rd

6 p.m. – “Star Spangled Celebration” at South Seas Resort with Patriotic Golf Cart Parade leaving Captiva Conference Center, South Village, traveling down Plantation Road, ending at West Lawn & Sunset Beach.

9 p.m. – “Captiva Fireworks” at South Seas Resort.

Monday – July 4th

7:30 to 9:30 a.m. – Free Pancake Breakfast at Sanibel Community Church.

8:30 a.m. to noon – Community Celebration at Bailey’s Shopping Center.

9:30 a.m. – “26th Annual Independence Day Parade“, begins at intersection of Tarpon Bay Rd & Island Inn Rd, travels up Periwinkle & ends at Casa Ybel Rd. Theme is “Sweet Island of Liberty”.

10:30 a.m. – Celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center to coincide with the end of parade. Includes water slide, food & refreshments.

Noon – “36th Annual Optimists Club Road Rally”, begins at noon at parking lot of The Timbers/Sanibel Grill.

Noon to 2 p.m. – “Red, White, & Boom Pool Party” at South Seas Resort.

6 p.m. – July 4th at Huxter’s with live music.

Dusk – Sanibel Fireworks (rain or shine) at dusk launched from bayside end of Bailey Road over San Carlos Way. Good viewing from the causeway islands or bayside of the island, but get there early.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 24-July 1, 2016

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Blind Pass #205 2/2.5 $425K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $699K.
2 price changes: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 now $619K, Sundial East #P205 2/2 now $780K.
1 new sale: Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 listed at $745K.
5 closed sales: Sundial West #H110 1/1 $259.5K, Seashells #14 2/2 $361.6K, Sundial West #H407 1/1 $455K, Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.055M, Sanibel Seaview #A1 3/3 $1.15M.
HOMES
2 new listings: 5751 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1.149M, 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.495M.
4 price changes: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $499K, 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $555K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 now $728K, 3402 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.995M.
4 new sales: 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $629.9K, 5279 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 listed at $999.9K, 824 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed at $1.395M.
4 closed sales: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $490K, 3927 Coquina Dr 3/2 $590K, 702 Oliva St 3/2 $622K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $800K.
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2400 Blue Crab Ct now $250K.
No new or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 listed at $285K.
No closed sales.
HOMES & LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

Until next weekend, best wishes for a happy & safe holiday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanjuly 4th flip flops

Another Week of Fabulous Island Weather


All is well again this week at SanibelSusan Realty. Another seven days of beautiful sunny warm weather have kept most visitors busy with outdoor activities. The following photos, I snapped with my cell phone this morning at Beach Access #6 on Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive.

Access 6 #1Access 6 #2

Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Realtors June Membership Meeting

San Cap LogoYesterday was the June monthly breakfast membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, a good opportunity for me to announce our new listing at Casa Ybel Resort. The condo was photographed professionally this week so it now is officially on the market.

The following slide show includes the unit and several resort amenities. Click the “Cottage Colony West #136” tab above for more details and a streaming video. This beach-front condo grossed over $92K last year in the easy on-site rental program.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The educational part of yesterday’s Realtor® meeting was a presentation by Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra, and Lt. Bill Dalton of the Sanibel Police Department. Covering “hurricane season preparedness”, they offered some good and timely advice. Here are some of my take-aways:

Lt. Dalton described a study which determined the five areas of the nation that are the hardest to leave during a mandatory evacuation. Here are the worst five – a good example of when it’s not good to be in 1st position – but our area is, so this is a good reminder to leave early when a storm is heading this way.

  1. Southwest Florida – because of few east/west roadways & limited north/south evacuation routes.
  2. Tampa Bay area – high population & also few ways of egress
  3. Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area – population
  4. New York/New Jersey – population
  5. Southeast Florida – population.

Another interesting tidbit is that there is a Lee County ordinance that says all county bridges must be closed when wind speed reaches 40 mph. That info brought a question from the floor which was “How do we get over the Caloosahatchee River bridges after leaving the islands.” Answer: “Leave early – before they are closed.” Yikes! That may be a good reason to leave when evacuation is recommended, but before it is mandatory.

Hurricane Charley in 2004 brought high wind to Southwest Florida. (Lt. Dalton reported that the City wind gauge broke when it recorded 143 mph, so the exact top wind speed is unknown.) Charley was a relatively small fast- moving storm. When compared to other larger and slower-moving past storms, if Charley had stayed longer, the storm surge here could have been as much as 17-23 feet, and damage could have covered a much broader area. Good reason to check your insurance coverage now! Hurricane season has begun!

Sanibelcityseal logoIf you are interested in receiving emergency Sanibel notifications, go to the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com and click on the link in the right hand column called “Code Red”. Code Red, Rapid Emergency Notification System, is an emergency telephone network which will text, call, or email you with information whenever the City turns the system on to report an emergency situation. Examples could include: evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices, and missing child reports.

If you are here in the summer or fall, now also is a good time to get your island reentry passes. These have not been needed since after Hurricane Charley, but you will need an up-to-date pass to get back on the island following an evacuation. There are separate passes for residential and commercial and these hang from your rear view mirror (or remain safely in your glove box until needed – hopefully never). Info about these passes also on www.MySanibel.com and at the Sanibel Police Department.

1st Annual National Shell Day a Success

The 1st Annual National Shell Day, a marketing effort in partnership with the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau and promoters of tourism at the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, was the talk of the islands on Monday.

“Good Morning American” weather gal, Ginger Zee, reported live over a 2-hour span from the beach at Sundial Resort where she not only reported the country’s weather, but also introduced their national audience to the “Sanibel stoop”, to Lola (a disabled American kestrel who lives at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and to mollusks from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.

Garnering the most attention was the Shell Love Bug, which is a used Volkswagen Beetle convertible which was transformed into a sailor’s valentine on wheels thanks to Pam Rambo of ILoveShelling.com and a group of volunteers. (The photos below are from Pam’s web site.)

The Shell Love Bug is traveling around the county this week to promotional events. Here are some fun facts about its creation:

  • $7,000 cost of the 2005 Beetle
  • 20,000+ shells glued onto car
  • 65+ varieties of local shells
  • 60+ volunteers who transformed the car
  • 60+ tubes of “Marine Goop” adhesive for attaching the shells!

Americans Are Feeling Wealthier, More Upbeat

realtor logo“Realtor®Mag” on line on Monday has the following article sourced to “Daily Real Estate News” and “Fannie Mae”:

“Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index zoomed to an all-time high in May as consumers get more upbeat about their paychecks and home selling. In May, the index reached a reading of 85.3, which follows an 18-month low reached in March.

“Three of six components the index measures registered increases last month, led by a 7 percentage point increase in the number of consumers reporting significantly higher income than a year ago. Also, the number of consumers who expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months rose 5 percentage points. Consumers were also upbeat that mortgage rates would decrease over the next year as well.

fannie-mae-logo“That said, the index indicator on whether it’s a “good time to buy” dropped 1 percentage point to an all-time survey low in May.

““Continued home price appreciation has been squeezing housing affordability, driving a two-year downward trend in the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The current low mortgage rate environment has helped ease this pressure, and fewer than half of consumers expect rates to go up in the next year. While the May increase in income growth perceptions could provide further support to prospective home buyers as the spring/summer home-buying season gains momentum, the effect may be muted by May’s discouraging jobs report.”

“Here’s a closer look at additional findings from Fannie Mae’s latest index reading:

  • 29% of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, a drop of 1 percentage point from March and an all-time survey low for the second consecutive month.
  • 52% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell a home – an all-time survey high.
  • 42% of Americans believe that home prices will go up.
  • 72% of Americans say they are not concerned with losing their job, a drop of 2 percentage points from March.
  • 18% of Americans say their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago, up 7 percentage points from March and at an all-time survey high.”

Buyers Gaining Upper Hand in Luxury Market

wall street journalPosted last week in “Daily Real Estate News, sourced to “The Wall Street Journal”, June 15, 2016:

“The number of luxury homes for sale is growing, and that is unlocking some deals for potential buyers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Indeed, inventory of homes priced between $500,000 to $750,000 increased nearly 16% in March compared to a year ago, according to data from NAR. What’s more, inventory for real estate priced more than $1 million increased 12.6% year-over-year.

“As more expensive homes linger on the market, buyers are finding more bargaining power.

“For sellers, this may be a tough realization that the power is shifting. Shannon Baird, a broker with Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore., says that a major challenge is changing the mindset of home sellers who are hearing news of quick sales and bidding wars. But that’s not the case in the upper price bracket in many markets.

“Stock market volatility has made some wealthy buyers more cautious to jump into a big home purchase at the moment. Also, fewer foreign buyers are on the market as the dollar strengthens, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The stock market has come back up, but we don’t know yet if that means the upper-end home buying market will begin to return,” Yun says.”

Do You Vote in Lee County?

Ding Darling Society logoIt “yes”, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s June 23, 2016 newsletter asks that you “Keep Conserving Lee” and posted the following notice:

“Vote YES for Conservation 20/20.  Support the continued use of tax dollars to conserve important wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities in Lee County by voting YES for Conservation 20/20 in the November 8, 2016, election. Thanks to 20/20, we were able to fulfill our goal to purchase and protect property at Woodring Point in 2013. We hope to work with the county again in the future on such preservation partnerships.”

Here for July 4th?

4th-of-july-clip-artA few more July 4th events have been announced. Click on the “Upcoming Island Events” tab above for more details.

Here are some photos of where the fireworks could be viewed, including the end of Bailey Road (1st group of photos) and the end of Dixie Beach Boulevard (2nd group)– or anywhere on the bay side of the island.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 17-24, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $539K, Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 $649K (our listing).

3 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $372K, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 now $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 2/2.5 now $650K.

1 new sale: Compass Point #151 3/3 listed at $1.195M.

2 closed sales: Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $675K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.049M, 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 $27M.

2 price changes: 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $769K, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 now $1.075M.

3 new sales: 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $729.9K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 listed at $1.249M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 listed at $1.279M. 

1 closed sale: 1658 Sabal Palm Dr $852.5K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: 1310 Par View Dr $331.25K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 $435K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

July 3 2015 5Until next Friday, when SanibelSusan Realty Associates will be all decked out for the holiday weekend!
(more pix next week)
Susan Andrews
aka SanibelSusan