SanibelSusan Realty had a busy week with good showing activity on our listings until yesterday when the phones nearly stopped ringing. Even our Realtor Caravan Meeting early that morning had poor attendance. Only three new listings were on the tour, which usually has 15 properties
Our pals at other local real estate offices report the same. Folks must be busy traveling or with holiday plans – almost feels like it usually is here two weeks after Easter, rather than the week before. Season has wound down quickly.
Though the islands are winding down from a busy winter season, for those who like to visit during the “best” time, we locals say that is during May and October, when the traffic is light and the weather is perfect! Make your reservations now. Or better yet, come to buy!
Quick Weather Update
This morning brought our first good shower in what seems like months. Much needed rain that hopefully will green things up and keep the dust down on those sandy island roads. The weather forecast through the end of next week is for mostly sunny days with temperature in the low 80’s.
Easter Weekend Happenings
- Spring Festival at Sanibel Community Park – tomorrow (Sat April 7) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. This annual event is presented by The Children’s Education Center of the Islands.
- Easter Egg Hunt at Sanibel Community Church – at 1740 Periwinkle Way, next to Jerry’s Market, also tomorrow (Sat) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s for children ages three years through 5th grade.
- Sunrise Service on the Causeway – 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunday, bring your lawn chair. Many island churches have posted special holiday services too. You can find full schedules on the “Island Sun” newspaper on-line at www.islandsunnews.com
- Easter Egg Hunt at Island Inn – at 3111 West Gulf Drive, on Easter Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. on the south side of the front office building, and will end once all 500 eggs are found. As the first inn on Sanibel, Island Inn has hosted families for Easter since 1895 and the tradition continues. Open to all children, 12 and under, the hunt also includes three golden eggs with special prizes inside. Miss Silvia also will be on hand to do complimentary face painting for children. www.IslandInnSanibel.com
Recent prospective buyers asked about the differences between annual and season rentals. According to local lingo, annual rentals are usually for a year, while a seasonal rental is for a period of less than six months. The April issue of FloridaRealtor® magazine contains the following article about the taxing obligations of owners of these investment-type properties:
“Will state sales tax need to be collected and paid on short-term rentals?
“The situation: A homeowner has two properties in Florida: a single-family home and a condominium. He wants to rent out one or both of them, but is unsure whether or not he’ll be required to collect and pay state sales tax.
“That depends on how many months of the year the property is rented, says the Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline. Generally the rental of residential property, such as a single-family home or condominium, is exempt from taxation. This exemption applies when there is a bona fide, written lease agreement that is for longer than six months. If the lease agreement is written for six months or less, the rental is considered a transient accommodation and is subject to sales tax. If there is no bona fide, written lease agreement, the rental is also considered a transient accommodation, and the first six months of continuous occupancy is subject to sales tax. Exemptions exist for rentals to migrants in labor camps, to certain military personnel and to full-time students.
“The state sales tax rate is 6% and many counties impose a sales tax surcharge as well. The tax is due on rental charges or room rates paid for the right to use or occupy living or sleeping accommodations. Rental charges include any amount imposed for the use of items or services required to be paid as a condition of the use or possession of the accommodation.
“In addition, most Florida counties impose a local tax on short-term residential rentals. Contact the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) or your local county taxing agency to determine whether your county has a short-term rental tax and, if so, how it should be reported and paid.
“If you’re the owner of a rental that’s considered a transient accommodation or if you’re a real estate licensee who collects or receives rent on behalf of the owner for a rental that’s considered a transient accommodation, you must register with the DOR before you begin your activities; otherwise, you may be subject to penalties.
“For more information regarding the sales tax on transient accommodations and procedures for registering with the DOR, contact the agency at (800) 352-3671 or www.myflorida.com/dor ”
(In Lee County, a Tourist Development Tax of 5% also is imposed on rentals for a period of less than six months. That brings the total tax up to 11%. Get more info on the Sanibel and Captiva local County tax at www.leeclerk.org )
Coastal Zone Protection Change Benefits Resorts
Sanibel City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance amending the coastal zone protection section of the Sanibel Plan that allows resort accessory uses such as swimming pools to be repaired or replaced in their existing location and size even when they are entirely or partly beyond the coastal construction setback line (CCSL). This was the final piece in a long process to allow Sanibel’s aging resorts and hotels to modernize and remain attractive to tourists without losing amenities or units. Those built years ago do not conform to stricter regulations enacted after Sanibel incorporated. Council policy is that short-term accommodations are crucial to the island’s tourism-based economy. This proviso regarding replacement is only valid if there is no other site available and it does not allow for new development beyond the CCSL.
Springtime & Baby Birds
A client forwarded the below links. They are web cams to two bird nests posted by Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology. One is a red-tail hawk and the other a blue heron. With eggs in both nests, it is fun to check them periodically to see these spring happenings.
Lots of Sanibel bird nests already have young in them too.
Next we will see the beaches marked with the nests of our local shore birds. Photo above was taken on Sanibel’s east-end last May. It is a snowy plover mom with three babies following behind her.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2422 Link to red tail hawk nest cam
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2433 Link to blue heron nest cam
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 30 – April 6
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.