Summer on Sanibel

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It really “is” summer on Sanibel, with temps this week in the mid 90’s most days. We have had just a few island sprinkles the last two evenings; but the late-afternoon early-evening showers just inland, are good indicators that our much needed rainy season has begun. Once those rains hit the island more regularly, we should get their cool-down effect.

Real Estate Action

This week, I received two verbal offers on condo listings. It’s not often that we get verbals, as most agents recognize the importance of putting an offer in writing. However, I am obligated to present all offers. Why were these verbal? Answer: Because they were both so low. One was 28% off the asking price, the other 49%. Those Realtors® recognized that the offers were insulting and they didn’t want to waste their time. It remains astounding to me that even when presented with the facts showing that a property is priced fairly the buying public still thinks they can “steal”. Yes, many well-priced properties are listed, but buyers need to learn to be realistic or they are going to miss the boat.

Florida REALTORS® Local District Conference

On Wednesday, Lisa and I were two of nine Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® attendees at the District V Florida REALTORS® Conference in Naples. District V includes the six REALTOR Associations of Marco Island Area, Naples Area, Bonita Springs – Estero, Greater Fort Myers and The Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel and Captiva Islands. In addition to being a terrific networking opportunity, this annual event which features pitches by the nominees for 2012 state offices also included a motivational speaker, the announcement of the District’s 2011 scholarship winner, an update of the real-estate-related items passed and in the pipe-line in Florida’s legislature, and a presentation by “Paws for Patriots” which is part of the Southeastern Guide Dogs organization. “Paws for Patriots” pairs highly trained guide dogs with visually impaired veterans, trains and places exceptional dogs not suitable for guide work into careers benefitting veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and places therapy dogs into military hospitals. Check them out and consider making a donation at

International Buyers Are Picking Florida

A recent Florida REALTORS® article, reports that international buyers are taking advantage of real estate bargains in the United States. Last year, international buyers reportedly spent $41 billion on purchasing homes in the U.S. So which cities do they most have their eye on?

According to Trulia, ten out of the 24 most popular American cities for international buyers are in Florida. Last year, Europeans, Canadians and Brazilians reportedly spent about $13 billion on homes in Florida alone. Here are the most popular Florida cities for international buyers, according to Trulia, in order of demand:
1. Cape Coral
2. Miami
3. Fort Lauderdale
4. Naples
5. Fort Myers
6. Miami Beach
7. Kissimmee
8. Orlando
9. Jacksonville
10. Tampa

Condo Financing (Frannie/Freddie Guidelines)

I received an interesting e-mail this week from The Farr Team at SunTrust Mortgage. It clarifies why some condo complexes do not qualify for government-backed financing. It offered the following questions that should be asked of the condo management company to see if the complex meets the guidelines:

  • “Does the condo budget have a 10% line item built into its budget for reserves?

If it does not…Fannie Mae will not warrant that project, unless the association has a third party independent reserve study done to show the life expectancy of their roads, pools, etc., to document why the 10% reserve is not necessary at this time.

  • “Is there any pending litigation (lawsuits) against the condo association?

If yes, the project is not Fannie Mae eligible.

  • “Are 70% of the units owned by primary and second home owners?

Only 30% of the units are allowed to be rented. If more than 30% are rented, project will not be Fannie Mae eligible.

  • “Does more than one entity own more than 10% of the units in the project?

If yes, project will not be Fannie Mae eligible. 

  • “Are more than 15% of the units delinquent in their monthly dues?

If yes, project will not be Fannie Mae eligible.

  • “Does the association carry adequate insurance?

The lender will need copies of the insurance policies for the association. For Fidelity/Crime insurance…the minimum amount of coverage formula is: Take the number of units in the project x the monthly maintenance fee x 3 months: ___+ the amount in the association reserve account = grand total. The amount of the grand total is the amount of Fidelity insurance the association must carry.

  • “If the project is in a flood zone, the association must carry flood insurance.

If the association does not, and if this is left to the unit owner to purchase, the project will not be Fannie Mae eligible, as the building(s) and amenities would not be covered.

“If one or more of the above items do not meet the guidelines – a lender cannot sell the loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The only type of financing then available would be through a portfolio lender, private financing, or a lender who has an outlet other than Fannie/Freddie.”

Federal Pacific Brand Electrical Panels

I also received an e-mail this week from Ron Dehler, Chief Inspector with Horizon Inspections Service, Inc. The info included was news to us and seemed worth sharing:  “I have recently received new information concerning Federal Pacific Electric Panels. In the past our inspection reports would indicate that these panels have had some intermittent issues; but no recalls from the manufacturer, safety commission or Underwriters Lab, and leave the choice of replacement up to the client. While there still have been no recalls some insurance companies will not provide homeowners insurance where these panels/subpanels are installed. The only solution is replacement which can cost $800 or more per panel. I anticipate most if not all of the insurance providers will eventually follow suit. Due to this change our reports will now indicate this additional information and it will be included on the summary pages as well as in the body of the report. I would appreciate if this is passed on to anyone who may be affected so that no one gets blindsided.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity June 17-24

2 new listings: Blind Pass #B211 2/2 $499K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 $699K.
8 price changes: Sanibel Shores #E 2/2 now $299K, Mariner Pointe #1012 2/2 now $299K (our listing), Blind Pass #C110 2/2 now $450K, Sundial #R203 2/2 now $499K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $499K, Sandalfoot #3D1 2/2 now $539.9K, Gulfside Place #106 2/2 now $849.9K, Somerset #D102 3/2.5 now $1.175M.
3 new sales: Shell Island Beach Club #7B 2/2 listed for $599K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 listed for $649K, Loggerhead Cay #101 2/2 listed for $729K.
2 closed sales: Tennisplace #B21 2/1.5 $250K, Sundial #Q304 2/2 $530K.

2 new listings: 9239 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $369K, 1310 Seaspray Ln 5/4.5 $3.9M.
9 price changes: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $295K, 2991 Singing Wind 3/2 now $399.9K, 474 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $460K (short sale), 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 now $599K, 1224 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 now $668K, 4628 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 now $799K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 now $1.175M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.795M, 3401 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 now $4.988M.
No new sales.
4 closed sales: 1012 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex $290K (short sale), 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $355K, 1210 Par View Dr 3/2 $590K, 1277 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $985K.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.

No new listings.
3 price changes: 11530 Chapin Ln 3/2 now $1.125M, 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $2.5M (short sale), 16950 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $11.1M.
1 new sale: 16727 Captiva Dr 5/3 listed for $1.395M.
1 closed sale: 15152 Wiles Dr 2/2 $540K.

No new listings.
2 price changes: 16989 Captiva Dr now $1.5M, 16970 Captiva Dr now $3.2M, 16980 Captiva Dr now $3.2M.
No new or closed sales

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service.  Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.