Christmas Eve Island Real Estate Update

Sanibel Lighthouse

It was just SanibelSusan in the office today and the phones were quiet. The bike path is busy with families decked out in their shorts and tee-shirts, some in Santa hats. The office is closed tomorrow but will be back open on Sunday, in case someone is ready to buy their island dream.

Holiday Happenings

With weather in the 70’s today and more of the same expected until early next week, it is a great time to enjoy the islands. Here are a few fun events:

Tonite, 5:30 p.m. – Christmas Eve service at Lighthouse Beach. Bring your own chair & flashlight.

Sun, Dec 26, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Sanibel Farmers Market at City Hall

Sun – Wed, Dec 26-29, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Holiday Mini-Golf at The Sanibel Community House

Thurs, Dec 30, 4-6 p.m. – Holiday Open Mic reading at The Bean. Thurs, Dec 30, 8-10 p.m. – Teen Pizza & Dance party aboard the Lady Chadwick.

New Books

A couple of our friends just had new books published.

Our client John Boynton who with wife Mary Ann travels from their Sanibel condo to family in Massachusetts and destinations in-between in their RV, called “The Lazy”, recently stopped in with copies of his new novel “The World of Bliss”. We all are in the throes of reading it and getting really good laughs. Copies are available at

Also our long-time friend and real estate photographer, Jim Anderson, with his friend Jim George, have just published a new coffee table-type book called “Sanibel & Captiva, Our Islands In The Sun”. We are happy to be one of the local businesses that supported this new venture. Jim’s pictures are amazing. Both prints and books are available at

Real Estate Today

Did you know that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) owns the largest nationally syndicated real estate radio show in the country? The show airs weekly. Visit to listen to broadcasts.


NAR also has a world-class consumer website that is packed with useful information for home owners. Visit

“Five to Watch”

Good article in the “REALTOR® magazine January issue:

“1. Who’s Using the MID? Households headed by persons between 35 and 45 years of age are the largest takers of the mortgage interest deduction, NAR research shows. Based on IRS data from 2008, these households take an annual average deduction of $13,829, compared with $9,577 for households headed by persons 65 and older and $8,799 for households headed by persons under 26. Reasons for this? Typically, homeowners in the 35-45 bracket still have many years left to go on their mortgage, and a relatively high proportion of their monthly payment goes to interest. Also their houses tend to be larger than those of the very youngest homeowners, so their mortgage and interest payments are higher.

“2. Straight Facts on Medicare Tax What’s the deal with the 3.8 percent Medicare tax you’ve been hearing so much about? That’s what the National Association of REALTORS® is hoping to clarify through a new video and brochure. The tax, which will apply to some investment gains of high-income households starting in January 2013, is expected to generate an estimate $210 billion to help shore up Medicare. The tax will affect people differently based on their financial circumstances. For most, the impact is expected to be limited. The tax will be applied to investment income (capital gains and rents after deductions, dividends, and interest) of single people with income of at least $200K and married couples with income of at least $250K.

“3. Banks, States Near Deal on Foreclosure Fund Homeowners who can provide they lost their home in an improper foreclosure could receive compensation from a fund set up by major lenders to help inoculate the banks from thousands of individual lawsuits stemming from the improperly processed foreclosures identified in late 2010. Details of the fund in mid-Nov were still being worked out between state attorneys general, who have been investigating improper foreclosure processing by the country’s largest lenders, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Among the details to be finalized are whether banks would take a new stab at modifying the mortgages of homeowners whose foreclosure was processed improperly and whether the modifications would include write-downs of the principal. ”

4. Home Is Still a Good Investment Even with several years of price declines, the typical seller who purchased a home eight years ago experienced a median equity gain of $33K – a 24 percent increase – while sellers who were in their homes for 11 to 15 years saw a median gain of 40 percent. That’s according to NAR’s latest survey of home buyers and sellers. “Eighty-five percent of recent home buyers see their home as a good investment, and nearly half think that investment is better than stocks,” says Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of research. “This indicates the long-term view of home ownership as a fundamental goal and value remains sound.

“5. Going Beyond Dot-Com The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit corporation that approves top-level domains like .gov and .edu passed rule changes two years ago that could result in a big expansion of these names in 2011. The new policy effectively throws open the door to any group that wants to have its own top-level domain and has the institutional strength to operate, police, and pay the costs of the name in accordance with ICANN’s rules. “We are opening up a new world,” said Robert Gaetano, one of ICANN’s board members, at the time the rule changes were approved. Operating a new top-level domain won’t be cheap or easy: Applications cost more than $100K, annual subscription costs will be tens of thousands of dollars, and the operator has to have advanced technical capabilities. Organized real estate is certainly interested. NAR announced two years ago that it was looking into a top-level domain for real estate, and some MLS executives have expressed an interest in doing something similar for the MLS system.”

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Policy News Briefs

A recent e-mail from SCCF said that on December 9 “the South FL Water Management District Governing Board voted to recommend that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cut off needed freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee, blaming dry conditions and lower Lake Okeechobee water levels. Despite these conditions and projections for a record drought, the only water restriction issued was a complete cut-off of water for the Caloosahatchee river and estuary. No other water shortage orders – let alone cutbacks – were ordered for any other users, not even non-critical users such as residential lawn watering. On December 16, the Corps decided to discontinue lake releases to the Caloosahatchee estuary until further notice. With this action, salinities have begun to creep upriver and have exceeded the tolerance of tape-grass causing it to die. The last of the tape grass is now being overrun by salinity-tolerant algae. This was the first year we began to recover some areas of tape-grass…. Manatees need freshwater as well and depend on tape-grass in the upper estuary to survive the winter months. On December 10, the Fort Myers Police Marine Unit reported the results of a manatee count that registered the highest congregation of manatees in the state at the Florida Power and Light power plant outfall in the Orange River, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee, where 706 adult and 46 calf manatees were counted in Lee County. A few were spotted in the Caloosahatchee moving either up or down river The lack of tape-grass in the upper estuary causes manatees to travel up to 20 miles downstream to find food. See more info at

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity Dec 17 – 24:



7 new listings: Sundial #C204 1/1 $309K, Blind Pass #B208 2/2 $475K, Sundial #I302 1/1 $489K, Lighthouse Point #313 2/2 $495K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1A 3/2.5 $595K, Sunset South #1B 3/2 $595K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $629.9K.

6 price changes: Colonnades #47 1/1 now $184K (our listing), Sanibel Arms #H2 1/1 now $284.9K, Sanibel Arms #D6 1/1 now $294.9K, Blind Pass #C110 2/2 now $470K, Heron at The Sanctuary III-1A 3/2.5 now $510K (short sale), Snug Harbor #311 2/2 now $649K.

7 new sales: Sandpebble #4A 2/2 listed for $359K; Sanibel Moorings #621 2/2 listed for $469K; Shell Island Beach Club #5C 2/2 listed for $699K; Lighthouse Point #325 2/2 listed for $699,996; Seascape #302 3/3 listed for $895K, Seascape #305 3/3 listed for $998K, Sandals #C l3/3 listed for $1,999,995.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Siesta #209 2/2 $305K.


4 new listings: 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $479K, 930 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.095M, 3864 West Gulf Dr 4/5.5 $2.475M, 4340 West Gulf Dr 5/3.5 $2.775M.

6 price changes: 446 Lagoon Dr 2/2 duplex now $359K (short sale), 1562 Serenity Ln 5/3 now $439K, 474 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $560K (short sale), 4291 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 now $650K, 4617 Rue Belle Mer 4/3 now $2.249M.

4 new sales: 2143 Periwinkle Way 6/6 listed for $446,250 (short sale), 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $697K (our buyer), 475 Sawgrass Pl 4/3.5 listed for $1.14M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed for $1.19M. 1 closed sale: 1262 Bay Dr 3/2 $800K.


No new listings.

5 price changes: 5624 Baltusrol Ct now $279K, 1307 Par View Dr now $299K, 1311 Par View Dr now $299K, Bay Dr now $299.9K, 837 Limpet Dr now $975K (our listing).

No new or closed sales.



No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas 3/3: #4302 now $591K & #4306 now $640K.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #15 3/2 listed for $2.195M.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 $1.075M.


1 new listing: 15557 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.999M.

3 price changes: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.149M, 14980 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.495M, 16310 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $5.5M.

1 closed sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $995K.


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. 


Happy Holidays from The SanibelSusan Team

Susan, David, Elise, & Lisa