It Must Be Snowing Somewhere as These Tropical Islands Are Busy Busy…

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It has been another busy week at SanibelSusan Realty. Lisa and I were out showing properties several days and our listings had a little action too, both unusual for this time of the year; but we are happy for the activity. Also got one of our condo listings sold this week. Here is a little more real estate info followed by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS postings over the past seven days.

The photos above are from a terrific listing we have at Sundial Beach & Golf Resort. It’s a ground-floor corner unit, so very private, yet just a hop-skip-&-jump to the Gulf of Mexico Beach and many wonderful amenities of Sanibel’s largest resort. It has been fully remodeled from top-to-bottom, decorated in cheerful cottage-style decor, is one of the top income-producers in the on-site rental program, and very well priced at just $399,000 fully furnished and with bookings well into 2012.

BIG ARTS Upcoming Season

If you enjoy the many offerings of BIG ARTS and the Herb Strauss Theater, their fall through spring schedule is out. I have already posted their events here on the calendar tab and will also post them this weekend on our website, If you are interested in any of the performances be sure and get your tickets early at the BIG ARTS box office and gift shop right behind our office (in the previous location of Barrier Island Title Services).®

Wonder why we are always pushing®? In addition to it being the website that is sanctioned by the National Association of Realtors®, SanibelSusan’s listings get two postings there for every one of our listings because I belong to both the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as well as the Florida Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service (that covers the entire southwest Florida region). I also pay annually through® to “enhance” my listings, giving them priority placement and ranking, and can post more photos and verbiage than what is authorized by the Realtor® Associations to be pulled directly from the MLS systems. You will notice that we market each of the two postings differently to entice more prospective buyers. Here are the stats recently published about the success of REALTOR.COM®:

  • Almost 14,000,000 unique visitors searched on® last month – This represents a 50% increase in unique visitors year over year.
  • There were almost 260,000,000 minutes spent searching properties on® – 39% more than the next closest competitor (
  • There were over 574,000,000 pages viewed on® – More pages viewed on® than the next 3 competitors combined (,, and – and 165% more pages viewed than the next closest competitor (
  • The average visitor spends 19 minutes and views 42 pages while searching for properties on®.
  • There were close to 66,000,000 visits to® last month – 95% more visits than the next closest competitor ( and a 95% increase in visits year over year.

The following items were posted this week in “Realtor®Mag” Daily News Articles:

Home Ownership Trumps Renting in 74% of Cities, Survey Says

Low interest rates and falling home values have made home ownership make more financial sense than renting in most major cities, according to Trulia’s Summer Rent vs. Buy Index. Trulia found that buying a home is cheaper than renting in 74% of the country’s 50 largest cities. Trulia compared the cost of buying and renting a 2-bedroom apartment, condo, or townhouse in the nation’s 50 largest cities.

Pension Funds Wary of Inflated Prices in ‘Trophy’ Buildings

Strong demand has boosted the price of skyscrapers in some of the largest cities to nearly record highs, which is prompting some pension funds — among commercial real estate’s biggest investors — to begin to turn away from these “trophy properties” in major cities out of fears the prices may be inflated, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Borrowers Opt for Shorter Loan Terms

Record-reaching low interest rates have prompted more home owners to shorten the terms of their mortgages. Thirty-four percent of refinancers changed their loan to a 20- or 15-year mortgage during the 1st quarter — the highest level in seven years, Freddie Mac reports. Mortgage companies are also reporting a higher demand for shorter-term mortgages. For example, LendingTree reports that 15-year mortgages have increased 30% from a year ago.

Top 10 Wealthiest Cities

In uncovering the “Best Places to Live,” CNNMoney recently also found which small towns – having populations less than 50,000 – boast the highest incomes. Here are the top 10 cities with the highest median family incomes, according to the survey. 

1. Great Falls, VA; Population: 8,757; Median family income: $367,660; Median home price: $1,090,000

2. Hillsborough, CA; Population: 10,540; Median family income: $319,240; Median home price: $2,277,500

3. Scarsdale, NY; Population: 17,745; Median family income: $250,124; Median home price: $1,200,000

4. Weston, MA; Population: 11,787; Median family income: $248,871; Median home price: $1,004,000

5. Los Altos Hills, CA; Population: 8,647; Median family income: $243,406; Median home price: $2,273,250

6. Glencoe, IL; Population: 8,881; Median family income: $237,874; Median home price: $807,500

7. Winnetka, IL; Population: 12,234; Median family income: $236,222; Median home price: $990,000

8. New Canaan, CT; Population: 19,682; Median family income: $231,957; Median home price: $1,210,000

9. Darien, CT; Population: 20,049; Median family income: $227,195; Median home price: $1,253,800

10. Chappaqua, NY; Population: 9,459; Median family income: $219,258; Median home price: $825,000″.

 Of the top 25 wealthiest cities, Palm Beach is the only FL area mentioned (in position #19).

Low Rates Alone Not Seen Reviving Housing Market

Long-term mortgage rates have dipped to near-record lows thanks to turbulence in the financial markets, but the favorable borrowing costs are not expected to invigorate the struggling housing sector.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity Aug 12-19

2 new listings: Captains Walk #D4 2/2 $224K (our listing), Sundial #C201 1/1 $269K.
6 price changes: Tennisplace #D23 1/1 now $165K (short sale), Colonnades #C10 1/1 now $175K, Pelicans Roost #103 2/2 now $590K, Tarpon Beach #110 2/2 now $669K, Sundial #E201 2/2 now $849K, Sundial #K208 2/2 now $890K.
2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #544 2/2 listed for $599K (our listing), Gulfside Place #106 2/2 listed for $849.9K.
1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #A1 2/2 $315K (our Buyer & Seller).
1 new listing: 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $799K.
9 price changes: 9239 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $289K, 1663 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $369K (short sale), 610 Donax St 5/3 triplex now $475K, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 now $549K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 now $559K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 now $799K, 5230 Caloosa End Ln 4/3 now $996K, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 now $1.019M (short sale), 3400 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.399M. 
4 new sales: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $553K; 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 listed for $595K; 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.15M; 1751 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 listed for $1,499,999.
1 closed sale: 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $753K.
2 new listings: 1299 Par View Dr $239K, 2337 Starfish Ln $399K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 971 Main St listed for $110K (foreclosure).
1 closed sale: C Middle Gulf Dr $385K.
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1D 2/2 now $649K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
5 price changes: 28 Urchin St 2/2 now $789K, 11531 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $1.499.9M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.595M, 15158 Wiles Dr 5/4 now $2.295M, 16459 Captiva Dr 8/7.5 now $3.99M.
1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed for $1.475M.
1 closed sale:  15557 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.1M.
No new listings, price changes, or sales.
1 closed sale: 11525 Murmond Ln $485K (foreclosure).

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.