Fall Weather Comes to Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Slowly but surely we are seeing more island activity as summer remodeling and updating projects are completed and business establishments are reopening for “season”. Traffic is picking up too as residents are returning to their island homes in time to vote. Our Swiss friends, Doris and Hans, will be arriving soon for their fall visit. We love that they share their photos with us. Here are a few from past years.

Racoon peeking out, taken by Doris & Hans.

I was out showing condos yesterday afternoon, while Lisa and Dave held our new Wilton Lane listing open for Realtor Caravan in the morning. We had a flurry of showing requests today and some weekend requests. The islands Multiple Listing Service activity for the week follows a few news items below.

Anhinga drying wings at the beach, by Doris & Hans.

Fall Weather Comes to Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Today was my first “sun-roof open” day since last spring. Temperatures dipped into the high 60’s last night. As I headed to the office this morning, my car registered 72 degrees, but the best part was “no humidity”. Today’s high was expected to be 88 degrees, but it has only reached 84 with nary a rain cloud in sight – just bright blue clear skies. It is expected to stay that way through the weekend – a plus for our weekend showings.

Roseate spoonbills at the Refuge taken by Doris & Hans.

Heron among the mangroves, by Doris & Hans.

‘Ding’ Darling Days Highlights (10/14-20)

This week-long event begins on Sunday with many free events plus discounted birding, tram, biking, hiking, kayaking & nature excursions:

  • Sunday – Family Fun Day with all events FREE from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at ‘Ding’ Darling Education Center including live snake presentations, live native wildlife presentations, puppet parades, touch tank, nature crafts, naturalist-narrated tram tours, & admission to Wildlife Drive.
  • Monday – Endangered Species Day during this Lee County Schools holiday the Refuge will have a FREE parade, Bunche Beach birding tram, & history of refuge endangered species lecture. The Henson Puppets also are performing their award-winning Celebration of Flight at 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday – All About Our Refuge Day with FREE beach walk at Perry Tract, cuckoos at the Refuge presentation, & story of the Sanibel bear program.
  • Wednesday – Wildlife Day with FREE animal tracks & scat program, story of the ospreys presentation, illegal wildlife trade presentation.
  • Thursday – Beach & Water Day with FREE beach walk at Perry Tract, sea turtles presentation.
  • Friday – Let’s Go Outside Day with FREE Wildlife Drive to hikers/bikers (closed to vehicular traffic except special, discounted Trams), Bailey Tract hike, America’s Darling documentary film national premier, Bunche Beach birding tram.
  • Saturday – Conservation Art Day – All events FREE at ‘Ding’ Darling Education Center, Wildlife Drive, plus fee snacks & beverages.

Oktoberfest & 2nd Sunday BBQ Bash

Sanibel’s American Legion at Mile Marker 3 on Sanibel-Captiva Road is hosting an Oktoberfest on Saturday & Sunday, 10/13 & 14, plus an evening jam fest of local musicians with open mike.

The Marty Stokes Band appears on Saturday and The Troublestarters on Sunday.

U.K. Buyers Must Act Quickly to Secure Florida Property Bargains

Just after I hung up the phone from talking with a buyer in the UK on Wednesday, I saw this article posted on line at Florida Realtors®. It’s all about the timing!

“Property prices are currently low in Florida, making it the best time to buy in years, but could soon be on the rise. “Now is the time to buy in Florida. We’re starting to see the beginning of the shift from a buyer’s to a seller’s market,” says Dr. John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors®. “Sales numbers and home prices have both been rising, and we expect the trend to continue as more international buyers take note of the opportunities here, and the market’s recovery gains traction. There are some real residential bargains to be found for British buyers.” For United Kingdom buyers, bargain prices look even better thanks to the best dollar-pound exchange rate in six months.

“Florida appeals to international buyers for its subtropical weather, beaches and attractions, but many of these buyers also see investment potential, particularly within the rental market. Some would-be landlords enter the market even when they don’t plan to vacation in their house, seeking out Florida property that already has tenants. Florida sales to international buyers accounted for over a quarter of all U.S. international property market sales last year, according to the National Association of Realtors®, and Florida’s popularity is still rising among international investors. Florida Realtors recent research revealed buyers from Canada, Brazil and Venezuela are now joining British buyers in taking advantage of Florida’s property bargains.

“Florida Realtors research finds that the median price for a single-family Florida home is £91,000, with Orlando the most popular destination for Brits. In Orlando a 4-bedroom home with private pool and garden can be snapped up for around £125,000 – 75% of a similar-sized home in the U.K. “Buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines should see this as a sign to jump in before the market escapes them again,” says Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “We understand this is a big step, so to help international buyers understand Florida’s potential, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks for Brits looking to buy.”

“Tips and facts on buying Florida property:
• Visit www.fl.living.net to contact a Realtor in Florida and get more information.
• Florida’s property purchase system is different than the U.K.’s and can be confusing. Appropriate professional guidance is essential.
• There are no restrictions on foreign purchases of U.S. real estate, and international buyers can apply for conventional mortgage financing.
• When calculating how to buy a Florida home, include escrow fees and closing costs – part of the purchase costs – in calculations.
• Do your homework and consult several currency exchange companies in the U.S. for the best exchange rate, which can save thousands.
• If you choose to rent the property, note that Florida is one of the few U.S. states with no state income tax.
• Understand the homeowner taxes and U.S. tax process, which can be complex and may involve payments to at least four different levels of government: local, regional, state and federal. A Realtor can help explain this.
• U.K./U.S. visa regulations allow international visitors to stay up to three months at one time without getting an alternative visa. Arrange passports, visa and residency status before travelling to the U.S.

“Representatives from Florida Realtors, including Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, spoke at the Property Investor Show in London yesterday and today at the ExCeL London Exhibition and Convention Centre.”

Shell Money Is Fragile

The October issue of “Junonia” which is the newsletter of The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club has an interesting article about preserving shells. It advises that proper housing and storage of these collections are as important as those of paper notes, coins, tokens and metals, and other currency. “Shells, from either a fresh water or marine environment, are essentially calcium carbonate…” which is “sensitive to acids. Shells stored in an acidic environment such as a cardboard box or plywood cabinet can develop what conservators refer to as “Byne’s Disease”. Shells with Byne’s Disease are covered in a white efflorescence resembling salt…These salts crystallize on, and through, the shell’s outer surfacing causing irreversible damage. Shells that exhibit Byne’s Disease will, if not removed from their corrosive storage environment, eventually disintegrate…Higher temperature and higher relative humidity will speed up this reaction. Avoid storing shells in wooden cabinets or cardboard boxes. Storage materials recommended for shell collections are similar to those recommended for storage of other numismatic materials. These include: archival quality acid and lignin-free boxes and tissue; and safe plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester and polystyrene. Powder-coated steel is the material museums have preferred for safe shelving and cabinetry for many years….”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiples Listing Service Activity October 5-12

2 new listings: Kimball Lodge 2/2.5 $425K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 $625K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

6 new listings: 945 Main St 3/3 $499K (short sale); 2166 Egret Cir 3/2 $527,555; 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $545K; 1225 Junonia St 3/2 $849K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.089M; 1660 Bunting Ln 4/3.5 $1.099M.
3 price changes: 5650 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $685K, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 now $2.685M, 5071 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.99M.
No new sales.
4 closed sales: 2991 Singing Wind 3/2 $347K (our buyer), 1753 Bunting Ln 3/2 $458.9K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 $527.5K, 476 Las Tiendas Ln 3/2 $500K (short sale).

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Bay Dr listed for $299.9K.
No closed sales.

2 new listings: Ventura Captiva #2A 2/2 $699K, Sunset Captiva #101 2/2 $869K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 11513 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.895M.
1 new price: 17061 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.75M.
No 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.

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