Gearing up on Sanibel & Captiva Islands to say, “Happy Birthday, USA”

The SanibelSusan Team is fired up for more island visitors and hopefully more real estate activity over the upcoming holiday week. Some of my mates are off on Wednesday for the 4th, but SanibelSusan will be in the office offering water and a cool respite to those parade-watchers who annually gather outside our front door. If you are in the neighborhood, bring your lawn chair too, the area in front of the SanibelSusan Realty office is a terrific vantage point for the morning festivities. See the schedule of events below and some real-estate related news items, followed by the week’s report of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. 

July 4th Holiday Schedule of Island Events

7 to 9 a.m. Pancake Breakfast before the parade at the Sanibel Community Church (1740 Periwinkle Way, next to Jerry’s Center) to benefit the Sanibel campus of Summit Christian Preschool which is at the church.

9:30 a.m. Parade beginning at Tarpon Bay Road & Periwinkle Way (Bailey’s Center) ending at Periwinkle & Casa Ybel Rd (Jerry’s Center). Theme is “Sanibel is #1”.

9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Post-Parade Celebration at Jerry’s Center with free snow cones, hot dogs & soda, water slides, dunk tank, bounce house, & face painting, with donations   for The Boy Scouts of America.

11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Backyard Barbeque at Bailey’s Shopping Center, right after the parade, featuring live music, beer, hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, & other foods.

noon Road Rally starts at The Timbers (703 Tarpon Bay Rd), sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Theme is “Rallying for Island Youth”.

6  to 9 p.m. July 4th Celebration at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club with children’s games & contests including a putting competition & pool party. Food & beverages available, including pig roast, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, cotton candy, & ice cream. The fireworks are visible from here too. (Parking $5)

7 to 10:30 p.m. Sunset Fireworks Cruise aboard the Lady Chadwick, with Danny Morgan performing. Call Captiva Cruises for reservations 472-5300.

Dusk Fireworks at the end of Bailey Rd. with free parking on the causeway.

Post Tropical Storm Debby

I am thankful to report that the sun is out once again and southwest Florida has returned to its normal summer weather routine – bright blue skies, with occasional big white popcorn clouds followed by an afternoon shower, then clearing, and magnificent sunsets. Other than some damaged turtle nests, a downed tree at West Wind Inn, a couple of roadways flooded for a few hours, and a bit of erosion in front of The Mucky Duck Restaurant on Captiva, Sanibel and Captiva came through the storm unscathed. (Check out the web cam at The Mucky Duck.)

The photo above was taken on Tuesday at the Lighthouse Point beach, while the photo below was taken the next day from the beach at West Wind Inn, as the storm was subsiding.

The photos below were posted on Facebook by Judie Zimomra, our terrific Sanibel City Manager. They are good examples of what the causeway bridge looked like during Debby’s wind and rain, and then just after.

Dave and I were out showing Sanibel canal-front property off Dixie Beach Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon just before high tide. It was surprising how quickly that roadway flooded during just the hour-plus that we were out there. Dave took these about 3 p.m. By the next day, it was dry.

A quick drive through the island on Wednesday revealed some erosion on the sandy road to the lighthouse and a small section of Woodring Road – nothing that a little fill or some riprap wouldn’t resolve.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Visitors Center Ranked #1

With more than 96% of reviewers giving high ratings, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center received a #1 ranking by TripAdvisor. With over 190,000 annual visitors, the Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. TripAdvisor is an online website designed for travelers to review and rank places and businesses visited, including reviews and advice on accommodations at hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, flights, travel guides, etc.

Evaluation of The Sanibel Plan 

An article posted this week by “Island Sun” reporter Anne Mitchell advises that the Sanibel Planning Commission is nearing the end of its months-long elevation of The Sanibel Plan. The state requires a report from all municipalities every seven years to determine whether amendments are necessary to reflect changes in state requirements. Changes such as population shifts, visitor numbers, the economy and development are considered. The result is that the 7-member commission has been going through the plan before sending any proposed amendments on to the City Council. According to the report, City Council reviewed service standards last year and retained current levels. Services reviewed included drainage systems, roads, libraries, schools, fire stations and water supply. A population projection indicates little change in the next ten years. Sanibel currently has a population of 6,470, which could increase to between 6,700 and 6,900 in 2022 (data from University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration, the Bureau of Economics and Business Research (April 2011) and the Sanibel Planning Department). Seasonal population could increase from 11,730 in 2011 to about 12,120 in 2022. On the topic of future land use, changes reflect factors such as acquisitions by The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (i.e. land removed from the commercial sector and placed under conservation lands.) Only ~35,000 sq. ft. of commercial remains undeveloped, based on the Commercial District Map. The capital improvements segment notes that Sanibel “has essentially reached build-out and is in a redevelopment phase,” with over 92% of dwelling units permitted having already been built.

More Americans Expect Home Prices to Rise

An article posting on HousingWire earlier this month covers a recent Fannie Mae survey and has some positive news. It says:

            “More Americans are optimistic that home prices will inch up over the next year, and they expect prices to rise at least 1.4% in that timeframe. That marks the highest amount ever recorded in Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey. Thirty-four percent – also the highest ever recorded – of 1,000 respondents in the May housing survey say they expect to see a boost in home prices in the next year. Forty-one percent say they think mortgage rates also will rise over the next year.
            ““Both indicators suggest the potential that consumers may consider moving off the sidelines to purchase a home,” according to the survey analysis. Survey respondents also say they expect rental prices to continue to edge up over next year, projecting a 4.1% increase in that period.
            “Still, a slowdown in the pace of new jobs and income growth is creating a plateau in consumer sentiment that might delay a full recovery in the housing market, according to Fannie Mae’s survey. Fifteen percent of those surveyed reported that their household income is significantly lower than it was 12 months ago, which marks a record low in the annual survey.
            ““Our May consumer data show that Americans are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach about buying or selling a home,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “This is not surprising given their assessment that their income during the past 12 months and their personal financial expectation for the next 12 months have leveled off. … Current jobs data are reminiscent of the spring slowdown that continued into the summer months during the last two years.
            ““If this pattern continues, we do not expect to see any significant upturn in consumer sentiment during the summer, and a meaningful housing recovery likely will be delayed once again.”” 

Florida’s Frank Gregoire’s Testimony

Frank on the The Hill 06-28-2012

Frank Gregoire is a long-time friend and colleague from St. Pete, also active in our Florida Realtors® leadership team, but from an appraiser’s side of the real estate business. Frank yesterday represented the National Association of Realtors® at the nation’s capitol speaking to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity before the Appraisal Oversight Hearing. His testimony is an excellent overview of the myriad of problems encountered today in the appraisal business and how they hinder real estate recovery and home ownership. Titled, “Appraisal Oversight: The Regulatory Impact on Consumers and Businesses”, I encourage you to read it:

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 22-29:


1 new listing: Villa Sanibel #2H 2/2 $495K.
1 price change: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $275K.
2 new sales: Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 listed for $227K, Sundial #E305 2/2 listed for 835K.
4 closed sales: Seashells #37 2/2 $250K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $302K, Signal Inn #2 1/1 $330K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 $775K.
2 new listings: 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $685K, 848 Limpet Dr 3/2.5 $1.299M.
4 price changes: 2991 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $389.9K, 2130 Sunset Cir 3/2 now $487K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/2 now $679K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 now $699K.
2 new sales: 531 Piedmont Rd 2/2 listed for $319K, 1086 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $544K.
4 closed sales: 1657 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 half-duplex $325K, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 850K (short sale), 926 Whelk Dr 4/3 $1.148M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $2.4M.
1 new listing: 9426 Sage Ct $279,555.
1 new sale: Beverly Ln listed for $149K.
1 closed sale: 568 Lighthouse Way $1.175M (with house).
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3224 1/1 listed for $260K.
2 closed sales: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $475K, Lands End #1664 3/3 $1.31M.
1 new listing: 15301 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.5M.
No price changes, 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.


Happy Birthday, USA, & best wishes for a terrific 4th of July!