Fall “Really” Has Come to Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Heading to the Sanibel Lighthouse this afternoon

After hair-raising rainstorms on Monday and Tuesday as a couple of what the weathermen called “cool fronts” passed through the area, Sanibel and Captiva weather finally cleared yesterday. Today the skies are bright with temperatures now in the high 60s. Right through the weekend, island temperatures are supposed to reach daytime highs of only 76 degrees. Yippee! Now begin the very best six months of weather in Southwest Florida – when we watch the up-north forecasts, grin, and look forward to more business.

This is the pond just inside Casa Ybel resort between the parking area & Thistle Lodge

(These photos were taken this afternoon and show the residual effects of the extra rain in the ponds at Casa Ybel Resort – more water in them than normal for this time of the year.)

This is the pond just inside Casa Ybel resort between the parking area & Thistle Lodge

Tarpon Bay Explorers

The events during “Ding” Darling Days this week and which wind up tomorrow were a good reminder of the many eco-tours offered through Tarpon Bay Explorers at the end of Tarpon Bay Road and overlooking the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Here is a quick summary:

  • Kayak Tours – kayak with a naturalist through the mangrove forest along the Commodore Creek water trail. Learn about the rich back-bay ecosystem and the wildlife that lives there. Or, go as the sun goes down on a paddle to the Rookery Islands when hundreds of birds – egrets, herons, ibis, cormorants, and pelicans – come to roost for the night. Also a great vantage point for witnessing those famous Sanibel sunsets.
  • Nature Cruises – Aboard a quiet environmentally-friendly covered pontoon boat, these cruises offer a way to observe the rookery islands and birds, the mangrove estuary, and the refuge while looking for dolphins and manatees. Breakfast, daytime, and evening cruises usually are available.
  • Refuge Tram Tour – Accompanied by experienced naturalists to help you spot wildlife, these tours follow the road through the Refuge, meandering past tidal mudflats and mangrove forests. Expect to spot roseate spoonbills, white ibis, herons, egrets, pelicans, osprey, and other colorful birds feeding, resting, and preening. The presentations include fascinating tales of the Calusa Indians and the early days of the Sanibel and south Florida.
  • Also available are fishing charters; pontoon, kayak, canoe, and bicycle rentals, plus a nature-inspired gift shop.

Do’s & Don’ts for Great Customer Service

One of the best compliments that SanibelSusan Realty receives on our “feedback” forms that Elise mails out after transactions are closed, is that our customer service is top notch. There was a recent Realtor® magazine article that sums up the “do’s” and “don’ts” of customer service. It fits the bill:


…ask clients questions about their goals, needs, and dreams.

…be proactive. Call clients before they call you.

…what you say you will do – and more.

…be a problem-solver.

…keep a list of service providers such as handymen and cleaners.

…ask for feedback at the end of every transaction.

…keep smiling.


…let web sites, e-mail, and other technology substitute for personal contact.

…prospect until after your customer care tasks are done.

…be available 24/7. It is OK to set reasonable limits.

…worry that you are wasting your time.


Another New Sanibel Event

Osprey photo taken by Jim Anderson of JMA Photography

Be sure to check our “Upcoming Events” tab above for the many happenings already scheduled this winter. This list keeps getting longer…and longer. Another one was added this week when the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) announced a new event to coincide with the start of osprey breeding season. Did you know that ospreys return to the islands in the fall? Much like the snowbirds they come back to get their nests in order and settle in for the winter and spring. In Southwest Florida, ospreys start incubating their eggs in mid-January, so CROW this year has decided to celebrate these wonderful birds with a new event called “OspreyFest”. It will be on January 15 and features CROW’s “Story of Ospreys” presented by Sanibel’s former mayor and founder of the International Osprey Foundation, “Bird” Westall; Claudia Burns, longtime CROW volunteer; and Dave Horton, illustrator of “Look Who’s Flying”, an educational coloring book about ospreys and creator of the Hortoons seen in many island locations. Space is limited at Sanibel’s historic Island Inn, so sign up early for the 4:30 p.m. festivities which also include a silent auction of osprey-related items and a three-course dinner. All proceeds will go toward the care and feeding of wildlife patients at CROW.

Osprey nest on the road to the Sanibel Lighthouse

(The osprey nest shown here is on the road leading to the Sanibel Lighthouse. Look closely and you will see the osprey that just landed on the nest as I was passing by today. The close-up osprey photo is courtesy of Jim Anderson with JMA Photography. Jim takes many of our listing photos and provided us with this one when he filmed the osprey nest just opposite our listing at Seashells of Sanibel #37, which is available for $274,000. A great price considering the special view!)

BaileyFest on Sunday

Photo from BaileyFest 2010

If you are in town, be sure to catch BaileyFest at Bailey’s Shopping Center on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Sanibel School fifth grade essay winners on “Why Sanibel Is Special To Me” have already been crowned King and Queen and will be riding wearing all of their regalia in a mule-drawn carriage. There will be plenty of food, drink, family fun, and entertainment including the Country Rhythm Cloggers who have performed at Dollywood and DisneyWorld, local vocalist Frank Tornio singing Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones tunes, our local pal Jennifer Valiquette on sax, The Sanibel School Band, the Kellyn Celtic Arts Irish Dance Academy, and the BIG ARTS Sanibel Chorus. Chorus has only had one practice since last spring – and it was during the big rain storms on Tuesday night – so we may not be back to true form but will give our best at 2 p.m. singing “Hey, Look Me Over”, “Va Pensiero”, and the Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity October 14-21

6 new listings: Spanish Cay #D6 2/2 $329K, Sundial #H308 1/1 $395K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $425K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 $429K, Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 $595K, White Pelican #111 2/2 $1.085M.
5 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #K3 2/2 now $448K, Seawind #109 2/2 now $479.5K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 now $610K, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 now $739K, Sayana #202 now $869K.
3 new sales: Sanibel Arms #E6 1/1 listed for $214.9K; Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 listed for $399,999, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 listed for $749K.
2 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1062 2/2 $279K, Sayana #302 2/2 $865K.
3 new listings: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 $435K, 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $794.9K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.95M.
11 price changes: 9239 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $249K; 1212 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 now $339K; 1647 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $369K; 3145 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $479,974; 987 Black Skimmer Way 2/2 now $555K; 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 now $789.9K; 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $799.9K; 913 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 now $1.249M; 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.949M; 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 now $2.65M; 1290 Isabel Dr 6/4.5 now $4.499M.
6 new sales: 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed for $395K, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 listed for $549K, 1538 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/3 listed for $685K (short sale), 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 listed for $719.9K, 1251 Seagrape Ln 3/3 listed for $2.196M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed for $3.325M.
3 closed sales: 998 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $300K, 5659 SanCap Rd 2/2 $525K, 4628 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $687.5K.
1 new listing: 1450 Tahiti Dr $269,555.
No price changes or new/closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: Beach Villas #2516 1/1 now $449K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
6 price changes: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 now $679K, 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.445M, 16205 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $1.975M (foreclosure), 15158 Wiles Dr 5/4 now $1.995M, 16238 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $3.999M, 16310 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $4.6M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11550 Laika Ln 4/3.5 $1.4M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 1114 Schefflera Ct now $499K.
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.

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you are enjoying fall in your neck of the woods too.