Sanibel Sunsets

Sorry for the delay in posting the blog this week. I was at Florida Realtors® Headquarters in Orlando on Thursday and Friday attending Mediation Training and the drive home yesterday afternoon took a little longer than expected. For those wondering how long it takes to get from Sanibel Island to the theme parks in Orlando, if you drive the back roads, it is an easy three hours. Also is very scenic drive, if you like farms, lots of cattle and orange groves. It is always an especially nice ride on a fall evening with beautiful cloud formations and terrific sunsets.

The sunset over farm country last night was spectacular. In checking Facebook last night it looks like sunset was pretty special here too. This picture is one of my favorite island sunset photos, taken coming over the causeway. These nightly events are so terrific here on the islands that folks gather on the beaches to watch them. It is no wonder that local song-master Danny Morgan wrote a special song to honor them, “Sanibel Sunsets”.

Another of my Danny Morgan favorites is “Running on the Beach”, which is one of his older songs with a very catchy tune. He played it on-request for us at the 2nd Annual Shell Museum Fundraiser Celebrity Waiter Dinner at Trader’s on Monday night. Danny plays at a variety of island establishments throughout the week. Next time you hear Danny, be sure to request “Running on the Beach”, it will get your toes tapping and put a smile on your face. Danny will probably know that SanibelSusan had something to do with the request too.

Seems I did not miss too much real estate action while I was away for those few days. Here are a couple of real estate tidbits, followed by the listing and sales activity posted for Sanibel and Captiva Islands since last Friday (September 30).

Incentives Attract Buyers, But Do They Close Deals?

An article posted this week by Information, Inc. discusses a recent Fox Business News report which echoes our sentiments.

“Real estate professionals say incentives to sweeten a real estate deal are certainly good ways to generate buzz about a property, but the asking price is the real key to getting a home sold. Incentives to get home buyers’ attention have gotten lavish. Recent examples include a new BMW, season tickets to football games, a boat for waterfront properties, $3,000 gift cards at interior design studios and even the homeowners’ pet.

““We’re in a price war and a beauty contest,” Tony Vehon, broker and owner of Weichert Realtors Lake Realty in Gold Canyon, Ariz., told Fox Business News. “Every home has to be priced right and look perfect.  After that, a special incentive might drive traffic, especially if you offer something that grabs attention – something a little beyond the norm.”

“Martha Thorn, a real estate pro with The Thorn Collection at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Tampa, Fla., says that one of her sellers with a home priced less than $200,000 tried to lure homebuyers by offering season tickets to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ football games. “The buyers were thrilled with the tickets, but that certainly wasn’t the reason they bought the house,” Thorn said. “The most important thing is always the price.”

“Linda O’Koniewski, broker-owner of RE/MAX Heritage in Melrose, Mass., agrees: Price still is key. “An offer to pay condo fees for a year or so will definitely create some buzz, and at least get a buyer to take a second look at a property,” O’Koniewski said. But sellers must realize that “no amount of marketing will make a dent if the price is not right. If you are not competitive on the price, you cannot sell your house.”


New Captiva Building Height Restrictions

New visitors to the island often ask us why there are so many more “big” buildings on Captiva. The easy answer to that question is that Sanibel is incorporated as a City with its own Land Development Code, while Captiva is part of Lee County which basically has a less restrictive building code. Now, some changes are in the works for Captiva. Among the items to be discussed at The Captiva Community Panel meeting next week is an amendment to the Captiva portion of the Lee Plan. This new language, specifically written to cover Captiva as a barrier island may take effect as early as November once it has been approved in ordinance form by county commissioners. It provides that the height of buildings not exceed the least restrictive of the following two options

  • 35′ above the average grade of the lot or 42′ above mean sea level measured to the peak of the roof, whichever is lower, or
  • 28′ above the lowest horizontal member at or below the lawful base flood elevation.

Fishing the Islands 

There is an eye-catching photo in the “Island Sun” this week, of fishing captain Matt Mitchell holding a HUGE redfish. According to Matt, the early cold front last week fired up the fish in the bay, along the beaches, and in the passes. Although the annual bait migration had already begun, this kicked into high gear. With water temperatures starting to cool, fishing should only get better and better throughout the month.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity September 30 – October 7



3 new listings: Sanibel Arms #H4 2/2 $490K, Island Beach Club #220B 2/2 $539K, Sundial #T306 3/2 $1.081M. 

5 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $238K (short sale), Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 now $395K, Sandalfoot #3D1 2/2 now $469K, Sundial #J201 1/1 now $495K, Sundial #G104 2/2 now $495K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed for $350K.

3 closed sales: Village of Sanibel #R-1 3/2.5 $279K, Gulfside Place #106 2/2 $795K, Gulfside Place #128 3/2.5 $1.5M.


3 new listings: 3180 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $599K, 1532 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.195M, 1220 Morningside Place 4/4 2 duplexes $1.595M.

9 price changes: 2621 SanCap Rd 3/2 now $284.9K, 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $395K, 1929 Sanibel Bayous Rd 4/3 now $449K, 4291 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 now $549K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $679K, 2555 Coconut Dr 3/2 now $685K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $740K, 4405 West Gulf Dr 2/1.5 now 1.95M (short sale), 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 now $2.275M. 

2 new sales: 1212 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed for $379K, 617 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $545K.

8 closed sales:  3808 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $426K; 4632 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $486.2K; 1247 Par View Dr 3/2 $680K; 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $588,827; 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex $780K; 970 Victoria Way 3/3 $950K; 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.09M; 2596 Wulfert Rd 5/4.5 $2.225M. 


No new listings.

3 price changes: Periwinkle Way now $185K, 0 Coconut Dr now $349K, 4407 West Gulf Dr now $1.85M (short sale).

No new or closed sales.



1 new listing: Beach Homes #13 3/3 $2.475M.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 now $315K, Captiva Shores #6B 2/2 now $799.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1640 3/3 $1.75M.


2 new listings: 15 Seascape Ct 3/2 $749K, 16205 Captiva Dr 4/4 $2,194,500 (foreclosure).

1 price change: 16891 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $1.19M.

No new or closed sales.


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 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.

Until next Friday, here’s wishing you beautiful sunsets,