Sanibel Island Birds & Baby Alligators & More

It has been a week of “off and on” overcast weather here on the islands. A few showers coming in from the gulf have provided some much-needed rain so our vegetation has greened up and again is in summer growth-mode. Seems we are ahead of the growing season for this time of the year too. My favorite Apple Blossom Cassia tree at Sanibel Moorings botanical gardens is usually spectacular during the first two weeks of June, but when I drove by on my way home from the office this week, as you can see from the above snapshot. The flowers have almost all gone by.

Here are a few news tidbits followed by the week’s report of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity.  

New Sanibel Photos

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Our long-time friends and now 16-year happy island owners, Doris and Hans from Switzerland were recently here vacationing. They often share their photos as they know we enjoy them and share them further here and in our other marketing. The slideshow above includes a few pictures of island wildlife taken by Hans during the last week of May.

Local Fishermen & Divers Will Love This One

As reported in local media this week, the historic Coast Guard vessel USS Mohawk will be making its home approximately 13 miles off the coast of Sanibel. After years of service to the Navy, patrolling the northern Atlantic and guarding America‘s eastern seaboard during World War II, the 77-year old vessel will soon make her final voyage. The former “A” class cutter is slated to become a veterans’ memorial reef, a recreation destination for scuba divers and fishermen.

Donax Street Cell Tower To Be Erected Early Next Year

Island cell phone users were happy to hear that Sanibel City Council was presented Tuesday with the final design for the Verizon cell tower that has been months – if not years – in the making. Council required that Verizon build the 149′ tower to resemble a flag pole, but since flags and their associated rigging can be noisy, Council also asked Verizon to come up with an internal lanyard system. Verizon’s rep told Council that they have never built anything like this (with an internal system). Council approved the design presented. The new tower is expected to be in place during the first quarter of 2013. Telecommunications coverage is needed on Sanibel’s east end and the Verizon structure will have space for two more carriers. (As an east-end homeowner, SanibelSusan is counting the days.)

Planning Ahead to July 4th

  • 9:30 a.m. – 22nd Annual Independence Day Parade – from the corner of Island Inn Road/Tarpon Bay Road to the corner of Periwinkle Way/Casa Ybel Road. This year’s theme is “Sanibel Island is #1″, referring to its recent ranking as a vacation destination.
  • Noon – Optimist Club Road Rally With Theme “Rallying for Island Youth” – beginning at Timbers Restaurant parking lot. Registration is a $35 donation per vehicle. Points are awarded for elapsed time closest to a secret pre-established circuit time and distance, and for correct answers to a series of questions about clues along the rally route. Top rally finishers and the best decorated vehicle win prizes. Registration forms are available online at (For those wondering about this event, SanibelSusan tried it for the first time last year. It was a lot of fun. It helps to have a careful driver, a navigator to read the questions, and an observant crew. Island knowledge is not necessary.)
  • 6 to 9 p.m. – Fireworks Night at The Dunes – with pool party, games for the kids, putting competition, food, & more.

Value of “For Sale” Signs

Occasionally a prospective seller will tell us that they do not want a “for sale” sign in their yard. We had it happen again, just last week, so it was a timely read when this article was posted this week on-line by a statistician with the National Association of Realtors®. It says:

“Recently a member asked us for research on the value of For Sale yard signs. Looking back on our buyer seller surveys, the value of yard signs has only increased over the last 20 years. In 1995, only 37% of respondents used yard signs in their home search. That figure rose steadily in the first decade of the 21st century to over 63% by 2008. And according to the 2011 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, that value has continued to hold up, with yard signs still the third most commonly used information source in the home search process and 55% of buyers still relying on yard signs to help them find the house they ultimately purchase….”

Wetlands 101: A Property-Buyers Guide

Florida Realtors® posted an interesting article this week with info from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It says:

“If a dream property includes wetlands, buyers may have to work with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and, in some cases, the local water management district if they want to build or make changes. Wetlands are considered valuable natural resources that need extra protection by the DEP and are subject to special Florida laws. In many cases, federal and local laws could also apply. According to DEP, wetlands:
• Filter nutrients and other pollutants to help keep surface water clean for drinking, swimming and fishing.
• Serve as home, nursery, training grounds and food source for many species, including humans.
• Support commercial fishing, tourism and recreation.
• Intercept water from heavy rains that could flood upland areas.
• Protect property from erosion.
• Collect and filter water, allowing it to recharge drinking water supplies.

““When people think of wetlands, many envision swamps or marshes with standing water. While those are indeed two types of wetlands, there are many other types of wetlands that may not be as easily identified,” says Cherie Graves with DEP. “Many wetlands rarely have standing water.” Besides the obvious signs – like your shoes getting wet when you walk there – it’s a good idea to use an environmental professional who uses plants, soils and hydrology to identify wetlands. A wetland determination can help clients choose the best site on a property to build a home.

“For more information, property owners can contact their local DEP district office. Private environmental consultants also provide similar services. Once a property is determined to contain wetlands, owners may need a special permit to build a single-family home or other structure. For example, if plans include filling for a house pad, septic tank drain field (note: not on Sanibel where we have City sewer), driveway or lawn on wetlands, an owner needs an environmental resource permit from DEP. Removing tree stumps or dredging a ditch to drain the property in wetlands also requires a permit. However, if only a small portion of the property is wetland and an owner builds entirely on an upland portion of the property, he might not need an environmental resource permit at all.

“If potential homebuyers have questions, they can call DEP directly. Graves says staff will look at the property and suggest options. To make the permitting process flow as quickly as possible, property owners can schedule a pre-application meeting with DEP to discuss the project before applying. To find a local DEP office, visit their website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 1-8:

No new listings.
7 price changes: Captains Walk #A3 1/1 now $163K, Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 now $249K, White Caps #5 1/1 now $525K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $819K, Compass Point #141 3/2 now $899K (our listing), Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $950K.
3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 listed for $690K, Seashells #37 2/2 listed for $274K (our listing), Shorewood #2C 3/2 listed for $889K.
6 closed sales: Sundial #F407 1/1 $275K, Sanibel Arms West #J1 2/2 $392.5K, Mariner Pointe #131 3/2 $495K, Sundial #Q402 2/2 $550K, Kings Crown #211 3/2 $575K, Nutmeg Village #108 2/2 $750K.  
2 new listings: 1216 Par View Dr 3/2 $699K; 494 Surf Sound Ct 5/2.5 $899,555.
1 price change: 2294 Wulfert Rd 4/4 now $998K.
5 new sales: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed for $389K, 1574 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $549K, 760 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 listed for $849K (short sale), 1290 Bay Dr 3/2 listed for $1.595M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 listed for $2.75M.
8 closed sales:  458 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $380K; 1433 Jamaica Dr 5/4 duplex $400K; 9003 Mockingbird 5/4 $480K (short sale); 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $502.5K; 4210 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $511,250; 1208 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex $600K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $650K, 5063 Joewood Dr 4/5.5 $3.05M. 
1 new listings:  925 Whelk Dr $875K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
No new listings.
3 price changes:  Bayside Villas:  #4106 1/2 now $295K, #5124 1/2 now $309K, #4322 3/3 now $507K (short sale).
No new sales.
1 closed sale:  Captiva Shores #5D 2/2 $725K.
No new listings.
2 price changes:  11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $1.999M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/4.5 now $3.495M.
1 new sale:  with contingencies:  16849 Captiva Dr listed for $2.195M.
1 closed sale :  16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 $2.025M (short sale).

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.