Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate Happenings With a Chill in the Air

It was another fairly quiet week on Sanibel Island, but we got a sampling of fall/winter weather yesterday when the high was just 70 degrees. Then last night, it went down into the high 40’s. Today, it is clear and crisp. You can almost feel it through these photos that I took this afternoon from Island Beach Club on West Gulf Drive.

Golfing News

Son and Office Manager, Dave golfed with a pal at Shell Point last Sunday and got his first “hole in one“. We have been giving him the business about it all week.

On the island, rumor also has it that Beachview Golf Course will soon be opening under new ownership. If you like to stay up on what is going on at the Sanibel golf clubs, below are links and info. Our December 13, Realtor® Caravan meeting will be at The Sanctuary, so I will have a winter update on what is happening out there then.

Election on Sanibel

The island got national exposure – as did much of Florida – after the Tuesday election. Though Dave and Lisa voted quickly at their poll just off island, Elise had a longer wait in South Ft Myers. I vote at the Sanibel Community Church which usually is very efficient, but not so this time. The 4-page ballot and only one scanner made for a long line. In the morning, it took me 3-1/2 hours which thankfully was overcast much of the time, with only a couple of showers. The afternoon voters were not as lucky and were standing out in the hot sun for 4 to 6 hours. It was nearly midnight before many got through the line. Some, however, became discouraged and either left after standing in line too long or just didn’t vote. Several other local precincts had similar waits. Luckily when the Captiva poll closed, a 2nd scanner was moved to Sanibel, or those voters might still be line. Not a good reflection on Lee County.

Taste of the Islands

Sanibel weather is expected to be back into the low 80’s by Sunday just in time for the 31st Annual Taste of the Islands which is from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at the Community Park right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. This year promises to be the best ever with an assortment of great food provided by 20-island restaurants in addition to classic rock music performed live by local bands! (I will have our front door open to enjoy the sounds and hopefully snag a few folks interested in real estate!) Proceeds help CROW’s (Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) mission to save wildlife.

Fresh Taqueria

Continuing with food news, there is a new tacos and tapas place on Sanibel that is a blend of Cuban, Spanish and Mexican cuisine. It opened about a week ago at 2411 Periwinkle Way, which was the original home of Cheeburger Cheeburger. According to local reports, the new Latin fusion restaurant has salads and soups, tacos and tapas, Cuban pressed sandwiches and enchiladas all on an a la carte menu with a variety of sides available. The restaurant seats 40 and is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner.

What to Ask When Shopping for Homeowners Insurance

It seems that when you tout yourself as a full-service Realtor®, you get quizzed on a variety of things related to homeownership. In response to some recent inquiries about how much and what kind of homeowners insurance may be needed, here is a helpful article that was published back on February 21 on Florida Realtors®:

“Six questions to ask when shopping for homeowner’s insurance – Homeowners should work with experts to determine the type of homeowner’s insurance they need and the amount of coverage. “Besides knowing the basics of what a standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers, consumers should ask a series of questions – and receive satisfactory answers to each of them – before buying a new policy or renewing an existing one,” says Michael Barry, vice president, media relations, Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). I.I.I. is a nonprofit, communications organization supported by the insurance industry.

“According to I.I.I., there are six basic questions everyone should ask before buying or renewing a homeowner’s insurance policy:

“1. How much would it cost to rebuild my home in its current location in the event of a total loss? Ideally, a homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the cost of building a new home from scratch. In general, homeowners’ policies cover partial or total damages caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or any other disaster if it’s listed in the policy. Flood and earthquake-related losses must be insured separately because both perils are excluded in standard homeowners’ insurance policies.

“2. How much is my personal property worth in the event of a total loss? A homeowner’s insurance policy should cover the cost of replacing all personal property (furniture, appliances, clothing) should it be stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or another insured disaster. Most companies provide personal property coverage equal to about 50 to 70% of the amount of insurance on the home’s structure. (A $100,000 policy for the structure would have perhaps $50,000 to $70,000 worth of personal property coverage.) However, the best way to determine personal property coverage in a specific situation is to conduct a home inventory. I.I.I. provides online software to help homeowners catalog and value possessions ( as well as an iPhone app.

“3. How much liability protection do I need? Liability covers homeowners against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage caused to other people, including damage caused by pets. The liability portion of a policy pays legal defense costs and any court awards – but only up to the limit set in the policy. It’s effective not just inside the home but also anywhere in the world. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, and many insurance agents will recommend at least $300,000. Homeowners with significant assets may want more; others may want less.

“4. What level of additional living expense coverage do I need? The Additional Living Expenses (ALE) provision is found in standard homeowners insurance policies. It pays for the costs of living away from home if damage from an insured disaster makes the house uninhabitable. ALE covers hotel bills, meals and other expenses above customary living expenses. ALE coverage differs from company to company. Many policies provide coverage equal to about 20% of dwelling protection. For example, if the structure of your home is insured for $100,000, you would have $20,000 of ALE coverage. Some companies impose a time limitation, such as 12 to 24 months.

“5. Should I buy a separate flood and/or earthquake insurance policy? Flood coverage is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers. Earthquake coverage is usually available in the form of a supplemental policy.

“6. Do I qualify for any discounts? Homes with smoke detectors, burglar alarms or dead-bolt locks often get a premium rate discount. Sophisticated sprinkler systems and alarms that ring at monitoring stations often reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums too. Ask an agent. If you are at least 55 years old and retired, for instance, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10% at some companies. If you have completely modernized your plumbing or electrical system recently, a few companies may provide a price break.”

Sanibel’s City Council to Tackle Neglected Properties

An article posted on-line Wednesday at discussed an item that becomes even more important when you are trying to sell a property.

“An increased number of complaints by citizens over a small number of abandoned and neglected properties have caught the attention of Sanibel’s City Council. Though City Manager Judith Zimomra said the number of abandoned and neglected properties is few, discussing the introduction of a city ordinance is a must. With an ordinance, the city can prevent other properties from becoming problems, and neglected and abandoned properties from becoming a nuisance. The council will hold discussion about whether it should introduce such an ordinance during today’s meeting. Zimomra added it would be a “mischaracterization” to believe that neglected properties are a widespread problem. “It’s truly preventative,” she said. “We don’t want to wait until something is in a crisis situation.”

“In a memo dated Wednesday, City Planner Scott Fulton presented the council with a package of information detailing proposed code changes. The current code allows for the city to address properties that are considered dangerous, but not neglected. For example, one of eight properties listed in the package — 5100 Sea Bell Road — is referred to as “dangerous.” The front staircase “became so dilapidated that it fell down,” according to the memo. The city has claimed it has been a problem for five years and has received a total of 10 complaints because of it.

“Another property listed in the memo is 1108 Sandcastle Road, a home for which Diane Chesley has written a letter to the city complaining about its condition. “I don’t want to be a pain, but this is a major investment in my life and I don’t someone else’s neglect to impact me,” Chesley said. “You don’t have to have a fancy home or yard, but you have to have a well-maintained yard. We’re not asking for anything fancy.” Chesley said she’s going to be among those who will be present at today’s meeting speaking in favor of the ordinance. Further, she said the ordinance would allow the city to address properties in a “fair manner to everybody.” “I think for the welfare of the residents of this island, we should all have a vested interest,” she added.

“…Other cities in Lee County have taken more drastic measures than Sanibel to address abandoned properties. Since March 2009, Cape Coral has required banks pay a $150 registration fee on foreclosed properties. Banks also register with the lot mowing and maintenance program; Through property management companies, they pay to have grasses mowed and properties kept up to code. But Sanibel doesn’t have the want or need to take such an aggressive approach. The city just wants to be able to address properties before they reach the “dangerous” category. “Sanibel’s properties are extremely well maintained,” said Zimomra, adding that the ordinance would simply address those few nuisance properties….”

Veterans Day Celebration on Sanibel

This 23rd annual ceremony also is the 94th anniversary of the end of World War I, the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and the 65th anniversary of the United States Air Force. Honoring all veterans, Sanibel’s event will be held on Monday, November 12, around the flagpole on the grounds at Sanibel City Hall at 800 Dunlop Road. There will be patriotic music by the Sanibel Community Band and the program includes a short talk by our local friend and artist, Luc Century, about the technique he developed to etch the Wall and his work there. It begins at 10:30 a.m.

Realtor Caravan

Yesterday, Lisa and Dave held our new listing on Island Inn Road for Realtor Caravan. Below is the activity posted in our Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) over the past week.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 2-9

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #125 2/2 $539,935; Seascape of Sanibel #302 3/3.5 $1.349M.
3 price changes: Sanibel Siesta #210 2/2 now $419K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1A 2/2.5 now $489K, Pointe Santo #E32 2/2 now $749K.
2 new sales:  Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 listed for $389K, Sanibel Arms West #M7 2/2 listed for $399.9K (our listing & sale).
1 closed sale : Sanibel Arms West #K3 2/2 $357.5K (short sale).

9 new listings: 1002 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 half-duplex $349K; 1941 Roseate Ln 3/2 $449,944; 3311 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $599K; 2630 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $624.9K; 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex $748.5K; 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 $799K; 776 Conch Ct 3/2 $845K; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 $895K; 385 Old Trail Rd 5/2.5 $1.2M.
4 price changes: 1511 Angel Dr 2/2 now $649K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $879K, 228 Violet Dr 3/2/2 now $1.349M, 829 Tulip Ln 5/4.5 now $2.445M.
2 new sales: 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed for $479.9K, 3705 West Gulf Dr 5/5/2 listed for $3.995M.
2 closed sales: 3002 Poinciana Cir 3/2 $330K, 1263 Par View Dr 5/2.5 $590K.

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: 5044 Joewood Dr $450K.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 listed for $520K.
No closed sales .

No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: 15891 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed for $2.795M, 16310 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 listed for $4.5M.
No 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.