October is a Favorite Month on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s another beautiful Friday on Sanibel Island and a good week for The SanibelSusan Team. Several listings had positive showings. Our listing at Colony Resort and our new listing in Sanibel Lake Estates both went under contract, while our new listing in Gumbo Limbo was filmed this week and will be on Realtor Caravan next Thursday. We fielded more inquiry calls this week too – all signs of fall and up-north temperatures changing. We hope that the Columbus Day visitors on Monday will bring business too. Rumor has it that the nightly accommodations are well booked for the long weekend.

Here are a few island and real estate news items followed by an activity report from the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Shell Harbor Entrance Dredging

Starting Monday, October 8, the City of Sanibel will begin dredging the entrance channel to the Shell Harbor canal system. The channel will remain open for use during dredging, but there may be short periods when boat traffic will be stopped. The work will take a few weeks to complete. The “before” photos below were taken today. So in a few weeks, the “after” pictures also will be posted.

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Shore Haven Moves to Sanibel’s Historical Village

Wednesday morning, after late evening/early morning delays thanks to summer showers, one of Sanibel’s early landmarks, Shore Haven, was moved to its new permanent home at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village on Dunlop Road. Shore Haven is an early 20th century Sears & Roebuck kit home that arrived on Sanibel by barge in 1924. The 2-bedroom 2-bath home on Bird Lane was recently donated to the museum and is the eighth historic building to be moved from its original site to the village. It takes its place among the original Rutland House, the Sanibel Packing Company, the Burnap Cottage, the Old Post Office, Miss Charlotta’s Tea Room, the Old Bailey General Store, Morning Glories Cottage and the Old School House. The photos shown below were taken as the house was arriving at the village on Wednesday.

Energy Costs

As a certified Eco-Broker®, I am always looking for more ways to share info about the environment and conservation. Here are some tips paraphrased from an article I read this week posted by the National Association of Realtors®. It said that some folks may be looking for energy savings in all the wrong places. Their energy bills are going up even though they think their energy use is going down. Energy is the only product we buy on a daily basis where we have no idea how much we pay for it. Some wonder why we are using more energy now. One of the reasons is that we simply have more items plugged in than we did a few years ago – chargers for electronics, iPads, and Xboxes are just some of the things that are energy hogs. Plasma TVs, for example, use as much energy as a refrigerator. They are becoming more efficient, but if you had the old square CRT-type TV and replaced it with flat-screen plasma, you instantly were paying your utility company more than you did before.

People buy an Energy-Star refrigerator, but then put their old one in the garage as a beer or cold drink fridge. The article used as an example a person in the process of selling their home. They were no longer living in the property and the HVAC was turned off, but the house had an old refrigerator inside and a freezer plugged in on the back porch. The utility bill was $50 a month with the lights and the heat off. By unplugging the fridge and freezer, the bill was cut in half.

Some also think that if they are saving in one way, they can use more of something else. People say “I bought these CFLs (compact long-lasting fluorescent light bulbs), so now I can leave the lights on and not pay more.” Or, “I bought a high-efficiency washer and dryer because I want to do more laundry without paying more.” There is this disconnect because most of us have no idea how our homes really work, so we do not know how to make the biggest impact. That often is why consumers run out and replace their windows first, when that should probably be fifth or sixth on the list of energy-efficient improvements to make, and they totally ignore effective activities like caulking and sealing that cost far less. 

The aesthetic draw of new windows is really strong. Consumers also can talk themselves into it because they think it will improve resale value. But more than that, if you put your hand up to a window, even an energy-efficient window, you can feel that it is hot or cold, so people just assume that is where the biggest problem is. But for the average homeowner, new windows are not always the best use of their home improvement dollar. Every situation is different, but other projects usually cost far less and offer a faster return on the investment. $12K spent on windows could save 7% to 15% on an energy bill, according to Department of Energy data. But spending around $1K for new insulation, caulking, and sealing may save 20% on the energy bill.

Trulia & Zillow Less Effective Than Realtors®

As one who cringes when a caller asks about inaccurate information posted on Trulia or Zillow, I was happy to read the below article posted today on Florida Realtors®. Even if you do not read the article, please know that the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service does not sell their data to third parties like Trulia and Zillow, which means that they get their data from other sources and that it often is not representative of the true market. It is no wonder that we sometimes get inquiries about properties that sold months, if not years, ago.

“The WAV Group, an independent real estate industry research analyst, studied 33 zip codes in 11 U.S. markets to analyze the accuracy of website listing services. According to the study funded by Redfin, online listing services such as Trulia and Zillow didn’t have the same accuracy as broker-owned websites, in large part because licensed agents have direct access to a local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). According to the WAV Group release, “local real estate brokerage websites give consumers the most complete, accurate and timely information about homes for sale.” The study evaluated sites from three local real estate brokerages that help consumers buy and sell homes. It compared those brokerage’s listing search results to two national portals, Trulia and Zillow.

“In the markets analyzed, the study concluded:
• Local real estate brokerage sites display 100% of agent-listed homes for sale compared to about 80% on the national sites.
• Local real estate brokerage sites show newly listed homes for sale seven to nine days earlier than national portals.
• Local real estate brokerage sites almost never show a home listing as active after it has been sold; about 36% of listings that appear as active on national portals are no longer for sale.
• The WAV Group, a national consultancy specializing in real estate technology, conducted the study. Independent analysts verified the study data, record by record.”

“Redfin, a technology-powered broker with more than $5 billion in home sales, sponsored the study. Listing data from the websites of Long & Foster, one of the largest independent real estate brokerages in the U.S. and Windermere, the largest regional real estate brokerage in the Western U.S., was also included in the study. “We analyzed … more than 6,000 listings in 33 zip codes in 11 markets (and compared) the data on various websites against 14 local Multiple Listing Services,” says WAV Group CEO Victor Lund. “The findings are clear: real estate brokerage websites showed by far the most homes for sale, recognized which homes were no longer for sale, and displayed new listings much earlier.”

“According to WAV Group, the brokers’ advantage comes from direct access to local real estate databases. Only real estate brokers are members of a local MLS. In contrast, national portals usually rely on real estate agents or brokers to re-post MLS listings, or the portals aggregate data from real estate information syndicators. Since syndicators wait until an agent updates a listing, the full results can be inaccurate. With a broker’s MLS-based service, most listings are updated in real time, typically every 15 to 30 minutes. According to the study, it took a median of nine days for a listing to appear on Trulia or Zillow after it appeared on a real estate broker’s website. Homes, once sold, also appeared to be active listings for a while on Trulia and Zillow.

“Markets included in the study: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 28-October 5

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5C 2/2 $358.9K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 $1.369M.
4 price changes: Colonnades #9 1/1 now $129K, Sanibel Arms West #K3 2/2 now $375K (short sale), Sundial #J108 2/2 now $490K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 now $589.9K.
1 new sale: Colonnades #47 1/1 listed for $130K (our listing).
3 closed sales: Sundial #Q201 2/2 $445K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $584.5K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $750K (our buyer).

1521 Wilton Lane – JUST LISTED

6 new listings: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $499K (our listing), 9307 Dimmick Dr 2/2 $559K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $720K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 4/3 $769.9K, 743 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $950K, 4340 West Gulf Dr 5/3.5 $2.5M.
6 price changes:  1948 Roseate Ln 2/2 now $382.5K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 2/3 now $495.5K, 1366 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $679K, 1207 Par View Dr 3/2 now $759K, 1555 San Carlos Dr 2/2.5 now $975K, 1765 Venus Dr 3/3 now $1.15M.
4 new sales: 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $449K (our listing), 471 Las Tiendas Ln 3/2 listed for $549K, 1263 Par View Dr 5/2.5 listed for $629K, 848 Limpet Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1,199,999.
5 closed sales: 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $320K; 2134 Egret Cir 3/2 half-duplex $349K; 1086 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $490K; 494 Surf Sound Ct 5/2.5 $786,093K; 999 East Gulf Dr #103 4/3 (Plantation Village) $1.1M.

1 new listing: 2356 Wulfert Rd $189K.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: 2630 West Gulf Dr $80K (short sale), Gulf Pines Dr #260K.

1 new listing: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 $589K.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #5134 1/2 now $267.9K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 $270K, Beach Villas #2433 2/2 $635K.

Nothing to report.

2 new listings: 16970 Captiva Dr $2.995M, 16980 Captiva Dr $2.995M.
No price changes, 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.