It is the end of yet another fun-filled seven days at SanibelSusan Realty.
Island Real Estate Happenings
We had good showing activity at our listings again this week, though no offers. I wrote one, but it is a work in progress. You will notice from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service report below that the island price war continues. Over the past seven days, there were 27 Sanibel price reductions, nine new Sanibel listings, and 13 new Sanibel sales, so that, to a degree, is progress.
March Realtor® Membership Meeting
At our monthly Realtor® Meeting yesterday, Steve Greenstein, Executive Director of CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife), updated members on happenings at the clinic. Since CROW began here 44 years ago when a local resident rescued an injured royal tern found on a roadway, it has evolved into the premier facility that it is today.
With the mission to “save wildlife through compassion, care and education”, CROW operates on a 12.5-acre campus at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road. Guided by a volunteer board of directors and full- and part-time staff members, more than 250 volunteers support CROW programming, participating in everything from rescue, animal transportation and patient care to visitor education, facilities maintenance, event coordination and administrative duties.
Each year, CROW cares for nearly 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned wildlife patients in its veterinary hospital, which is one of the nations leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory animals. The hospital director, Dr. Heather Barron, is one of fewer than 200 nationally-boarded specialists in avian medicine. Her background also includes work as Medical Director for The Cayman Turtle Farm (which has more than 4,000 turtles). What a perfect match she is for our wildlife here.
In addition to treating some 200 different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles annually, CROW operates educational externship and fellowship programs for undergraduate natural sciences and veterinary medicine students. For post-graduate students, their annual internship program offers hands-on experience in clinical care and rehabilitation, as well as rescue and release.
For the public, CROW hosts a diverse array of wildlife presentations, special events and interactive activities on a year-round basis. The 4,800-sq. ft. Healing Winds Visitor Education Center opened in 2009 with interactive educational displays and live webcams that immerse visitors in the patient rehab process and spotlight animals treated by CROW staff, students and volunteers. Here’s a link to their website: www.crowclinic.org
Sanibel Fish House
On the local restaurant scene, the new “Sanibel Fish House” opened this week. It is in the previous location of McT’s which closed some time ago. The building has been renovated top-to-bottom and remodeled in bright tropical Key West-style decor – definitely island casual. Dave and I have had lunch there and can attest that the salads are affordable and good. The dinner menu looks yummy too. The new owners have similar Fish Houses on both Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach, so are well versed in seafood. Here’s a link to their website www.thefishhouserestaurants.com.
For Sanibel Bikers
The new pavilion on Periwinkle Way, between Huxter’s Market and She Sells Sea Shells, is nearly complete. The Sanibel Island Bike Club is in the process of creating what will be a Bicycle Visitors Welcome and Information Center there. When complete, the 15′ x 12′ pavilion will have a map showing Sanibel’s bike paths, info on natural areas (courtesy of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation), details on the site’s history as well as other island locations (courtesy of the Sanibel Museum & Historic Village), a bike rack for parking (donated by Billy’s Bike Rentals), benches (donated by the Lion’s Club); and a water fountain. In addition to these cooperative efforts, the project is being funded by donated materials to support the project.
The idea reportedly originated with local resident, Dick Muench, who owns the land. Some years ago, he offered to donate the site for the building of a gazebo or similar structure, and that bit of generosity eventually prompted the Bike Club to tackle the project, which was significantly bolstered by Sanibel’s former Beautification Committee which closed operations last year, but made a major contribution to Sanibel Bike Club’s “Trails in Motion” fund.
Sanibel was one of the first cities in America to incorporate municipal bike paths within its infrastructure, and it is expected that these will only increase in popularity as new generations of bike riders emerge in the community. The Sanibel Bike Club has been a long advocate for use of those paths – with each bicycle meaning one less car to slow the flow of traffic on Periwinkle.
Martha Stewart Talks About the Sanibel Shell Fair
Several days ago on the Martha Stewart TV Show, Martha and Hannah Milman, her Holidays and Crafts Editor, created a beach-inspired paperweight using shells. Hannah attends the Sanibel Shell Show and Fair each year. During the segment, she talked about our island friend and client, Sandy Moran, who creates many of her world-famous sailors’ valentines in the property we sold her here on the island.
This TV segment highlighted some of Sandy’s work as well as other winners from the Artistic Division of the juried 75th Shell Show, as well as other Sanibel shell crafters. The Shell Fair and Show begins the first Wednesday each March. We are already looking forward to the 76th event on March 7, 8, and 9, 2013 at The Sanibel Community House. The video can be found at: www.marthastewart.com/898281/shell-paperweight-craft, while detailed instructions for making the paperweight are at www.marthastewart.com/898099/shell-paperweight
Here’s a link to Sandy’s web site too – with more photos of her sailors’ valentines.
Home Improvement Trends
“Continuing uncertainty in the real estate market has homeowners asking a major question as the market warms this spring: Is it smarter to move or to improve?
“Cost is the driving factor behind home improvement projects again this year, and many owners want to choose projects that provide the biggest return on investment. Power Home Remodeling Group, one of the nation’s largest home remodeling companies, empowers homeowners to get the biggest bang for their home-improvement buck this spring, whether updating a home to increase its resale value or infusing the place with some personality to create your dream home.
““Giving your home some added curb appeal with an exterior makeover will automatically boost the resale value of your property,” says Jeff Kaliner of Power Home Remodeling Group, “If you plan to stay put, focus on cost-effective renovations that make your home more comfortable, functional and low maintenance for your family.”
“Cost-effective home improvements
• Energize the exterior. Exterior home improvements are still king when it comes to return on investment this year. Projects like updating siding, window replacement and refreshing entry doors have a dramatic effect on a home’s curb appeal for a relatively low-cost. Seven of the top 10 home improvement projects for 2012 are exterior projects garnering anywhere from 69 to 78% return on investment – the highest of any other projects this year.
• Choose bold and bright finishes. Fiberglass entry and garage doors are a popular alternative to their pricey wooden counterparts in 2012. A fiberglass door is weather resistant, durable and, above all, maintenance free. The material allows owners to achieve the stylish look of an elegant craftsman or rustic design with decorative glass at a fraction of the price. Bright, bold exterior colors are also popular this year. Make curb appeal pop by choosing a shade of tangerine, yellow or deep purple for an entry door.
• Energy efficiency is still supreme. The top green home trend for 2012 is renovating to reduce a home’s heating and cooling costs. Making the most of empty attic space by adding a bedroom, or at least finishing it with insulation, is a way to keep conditioned air from escaping through the roof. Updating the attic is this year’s third most cost-effective home improvement, garnering a 72% return on investment.”
U.S. Makes $25 Billion Profit on Mortgage Securities
“The Obama administration announced Monday that taxpayers made $25 billion in profit on a program to keep mortgage interest rates down in the wake of the 2008 meltdown in financial markets.
“Building on efforts that began under President George W. Bush, the Obama administration took a number of steps to keep the mortgage market operating after the real estate market crashed, including providing unlimited financial support to mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and buying $225 billion in securities backed by mortgage loans.
“The $25 billion profit came from the sale of these mortgage-backed securities and underscores the administration’s success in winding down some of the emergency programs undertaken during the financial crisis. The vast majority of banks that received aid from taxpayers, for instance, have paid back the investments with interest, and the auto industry is continuing to show strength after it was bailed out.
“Although government efforts helped make sure borrowers could continue to get affordable financing to buy homes during the recession, other elements of the administration’s response to the housing crisis have proved less favorable for taxpayers and existing homeowners.
“Fannie and Freddie, for example, are expected to cost taxpayers more than $100 billion in the end, with little hope of that money being paid back. And the administration’s efforts to help homeowners have fallen far short of its expectations. Only $3.44 billion of the $50 billion the administration pledged to spend to help homeowners has been disbursed over the past three years.
“In supporting the housing market, the Treasury Department bought $225 billion of mortgage-backed securities in 2008 and 2009. The purchases channeled money into the mortgage markets, helping to reduce the interest rates of home loans.
“The program came after interest rates on home loans spiked in the wake of the 2008 crisis and doubts arose over whether investors around the world would continue to invest in U.S. mortgages.
“The Federal Reserve launched a much larger and significant program, and now owns about $846 billion in mortgage-backed securities.
“Treasury began to wind down its portfolio in March 2011 after concluding its mortgage purchase program was no long necessary.
““The successful sale of these securities marks another important milestone in the wind down of the government’s emergency financial crisis response efforts,” said Mary Miller, assistant Treasury secretary for financial markets. “This program helped support the housing market during a critical moment for our nation’s economy and delivered a substantial profit for taxpayers,” she said.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 16-23
4 new listings: Colonnades #12 1/1 $169K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 $599K, Sundial #E208 2/2 $849K, Snug Harbor #121 2/2 $1.195M.
9 price changes: Sundial #G107 1/1 now $239.9K, Blind Pass #D205 2/2 now $305.6K (short sale), Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 now $349.9K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-2 3/3 now $450K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 now $485K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $549K, Sundial #Q301 2/2 now $595K, Loggerhead Cay #521 2/2 now $595K, Pointe Santo #C32 2/2 now $695K.
10 new sales: Lake Palms #9 2/2.5 listed for $217K (short sale), Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 listed for $304K, Coquina Beach #4G 2/2 listed for $405K, Sundial #H402 2/2 listed for $449K, Sandalfoot #3D1 2/2 listed for $449.9K, Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed for $519K, Mariner Pointe #131 3/2 listed for $549K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 listed for $649K, Atrium #105 2/2 listed for $990K, Sundial #T306 3/2 listed for $995K.
5 closed sales: Sundial #H108 1/1 $235K, Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $255K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 $503K, Nutmeg Village #310 2/2 $521K, Wedgewood #203 3/3.5 $1.825M.
5 new listings: 2066 Wild Lime Dr 2/1 $379K; 1125 Captains Walk St 2/2 $539K; 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $649,555; 1731 Venus Dr 3/2 $949K; 2735 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.249M.
16 price changes: 458 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $409K; 3812 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $425K; 731 Nerita St 3/2 now $499K; 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $525K; 967 Beach Rd 2/2 half-duplex now $555K; 4210 Old Banyan Way 3/2 now $595K; 707 Cardium St 4/3.5 now $599K; 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $676.5K; 542 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $699K (our listing); 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 now $699K; 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $799,999; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $888.9K; 1570 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $899K (short sale); 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 now $1.195M; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.199M; 1878 Woodring Rd 3/2.5 now $2.39M.
2 new sales: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed for $599K, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 listed for $2.775M.
1 closed sale: 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 $1.475M.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 1450 Tahiti Dr now $249,555; Lot 7 West Gulf Dr now $1.45M.
1 new sale: 2251 Starfish Ln listed for $339K.
1 closed sale: 335 East Gulf Dr $237K.
No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: Bayside Villas #4319 3/3 listed for $559K, Seabreeze #1251 3/3 listed for $1.649M, Beach Homes #15 4/3 listed for $1.995M.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $2.295M, 16838 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $6.25M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 15351 Captiva Dr 5/4 $2.4M.
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.