It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It is the end of another busy week at SanibelSusan Realty – a good one for us with a new listing, a closing today, and a handful of showings. David and Lisa were out on Realtor Caravan yesterday which included mostly Captiva properties. The photos below were taken from South Seas Resort and overlooking Redfish Pass to North Captiva.

 LandsEndRedfish pass

The island have now reached the period that often is slow real-estate-wise on Sanibel and Captiva, that in-between-the-holidays time from Thanksgiving until Christmas. There are few check-ins expected this weekend, but the island has plenty of seasonal events to keep those who are here busy. Here are a few news items, followed by the real estate activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Upcoming Events

  • Tonite, Nov 30 – Fire Dancing at the Captiva Holiday Village at 6 p.m. on Andy Rosse Lane, followed by live music outside at Keylime Bistro.
  • Tomorrow, Dec 1 – Jingle Bell Walk (5K beach walk with a Claus) at Bowman’s Beach beginning at 7:30 a.m., with walk between 8 and 9 a.m.
  • Tomorrow, Dec 1 – 5th Anniversary “Free Block Party” at Sanibel Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tomorrow, Dec 1 – Inaugural Mullet Festival in the area in and around Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages and Marina on Captiva beginning at 10 a.m. Activities continue through the afternoon with the Junkanoo Parade at 3 p.m. on Andy Rosse Lane. The Captiva Boat Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Roosevelt Channel.
  • Thurs, Dec 6 – Holiday Concert by BIG ARTS Community Chorus at Shein Hall at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec 7 – Sanibel Luminary begins at dusk.
  • Saturday, Dec 8 – Captiva Golf Cart Parade at 3:30 p.m. starts at South Seas, then Captiva Luminary begins at dusk.

Windjammer Restaurant

Islanders this week have been abuzz about the sign that went up at the former Twilight Cafe location at 2430 Periwinkle Way. Called the Windjammer Restaurant, it will open early next week as a New England-style lobster house serving North Atlantic as well as Gulf of Mexico seafood. It will offer clambakes to go, catering, and initially will be open for dinner from 4 to 9:30 p.m. (Eventually opening for a local-friendly lunch too.)

November Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting

The Match Game logo from the late–1990s version.

The Match Game logo from the late–1990s version. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had a bit of fun yesterday at our monthly Realtor® association membership breakfast meeting. We have nine such meetings through the course of the year, each usually with a speaker covering a topic related to our business. Next month, we have Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra coming to update us on island items affecting real estate. Yesterday, SanibelSusan hosted the same program I participated in at the Florida Realtors® Annual Business Meetings in Orlando this past August. It is a take-off on The Match Game Show from the 60’s, but called “Got Ethics”. With roles played by co-members of our local Professional Development Committee and the Professional Standards and Grievance Committee Chairs, we challenged the audience with alleged ethics-type offenses. Though none of us are going to give up our day jobs for acting, the program was well received and deemed educational.

Appraisals: Reflecting Market or Hindering It?

An article posted on-line at Daily Real Estate News on Monday discusses a problem that has been common here lately too:

            “Low-ball appraisals are hurting home sales, real estate agents and home sellers complain. In recent months, low housing inventories in many markets have sparked bidding wars on some homes. The bidding wars have helped push up home prices higher than recent comparable sales, agents say. But a low appraisal then threatens to derail the deal, they add.

            “Appraisers have faced criticism over their property valuations in recent years, and have been accused of using foreclosures and short sales as comparable sales—without adjustment. However, appraisal firms say the idea that appraisers are suppressing home sales is misguided and unfounded. Appraisers say they’re misunderstood—they don’t set the value; they reflect it.

            “We often hear from real estate agents, homebuilders and others that appraisals are ‘killing deals,’ and/or holding back the economic recovery,” Sara Stephens, president of the Appraisal Institute, testified to Congress earlier this year. “These accusations are unfounded and misguided. Appraisals are not meant to simply support contracts—they are obtained to help lenders assess their overall risk. Fundamentally, it does neither the borrower nor lender any good to enter into a mortgage for more than the value of the property.”

            “One in three real estate professionals surveyed in September say they’ve had problems relating to home appraisals in the last three months, with some saying contracts have even been canceled because the appraisal came in lower than the negotiated upon sales price….”

Lee Memorial Health System Hospitals Among Top 10% in Nation

lee-memorialAn article posted this week by the “Island Reporter” caught my eye. Good to know that when you are in Southwest Florida, there is good health care.

            “Hospitals in the Lee Memorial Health System rank in the top 10% of hospitals in the nation, according to a new report from Healthgrades, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital. The report, “American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation,” evaluates how approximately 4,500 hospitals nationwide performed on risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates for nearly 30 of the most common conditions treated and procedures performed from 2009 through 2011.

            “Lee Memorial Health System was recognized for many of its specialties, most notably, Lee Memorial Hospital received the Joint Replacement Excellence Award, is among the top 5% in the nation for Joint Replacement in both 2012 and 2013, and ranked second statewide in 2013. Lee Memorial Hospital was named one of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement for 2012 and 2013.

            “HealthPark Medical Center received the Healthgrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award for 2013, ranked fourth statewide, and was among the top 10% in the nation for Cardiology Services in 2013.

            “Collectively, these two hospitals were the recipient of Healthgrades Stroke Care Excellence Award, ranked among the top 10% in the nation for treatment of stroke, for 5 consecutive years (2009 2013), and ranked in the top ten in Florida for Neurosciences in 2013.

            “Gulf Coast Medical Center was recognized as one of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Pulmonary Care for both 2012 and 2013, and ranked best in the state for Overall Pulmonary Services, 2013. Cape Coral Hospital received the Healthgrades Pulmonary Care Excellence Award and ranked among the top 10% in the nation for Overall Pulmonary Services in 2013.

            “Hospital outcomes and complication rates are important in the eyes of consumers making choices today about their healthcare. According to new research conducted by Harris Interactive for Healthgrades, 90% of Americans in 27 top designated market areas agree they would be more likely to choose-or not choose-a hospital if they could learn ahead of time their chances of complications for a certain procedure.

            “”We are honored by this recognition and proud of our reputation as we continue to rank among the best in the nation. These achievements are the result of each and every person involved in our health system and their dedication to the safety and well-being of our patients. Lee Memorial Health System is defined by the compassionate hands that heal our families, friends, and neighbors our community – every day,” said Jim Nathan, President of Lee Memorial Health System.

            “More information on the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013: Healthgrades Report to the Nation, including the complete methodology, can be found at

Five Reasons Home Prices Have Been Rising

wall street journalAnother on-line article this week was called “What’s Really Driving the Rise in Home Prices?”

            “The Wall Street Journal recently cited five significant factors behind the rise in home prices, as numerous markets see significant year-over-year gains. The big price drives are: 

1. The rise in housing affordability – which is drawing more buyers out into the market that are looking to cash in on low mortgage rates and fallen home prices compared to a few years ago.

2. The rise in household formation – which is expected to hit 1 million new households this year. That is up from an average of 570,000 over the last five years, according to data by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

3. The rise in rents – which has prompted more investors to purchase properties to rent out and more renters to second-guess why they are paying so much in rent when they could buy.

4. The decline in distressed sales and foreclosures – which has fallen significantly this past year. While distressed sales are still high by historical standards, they have fallen from their peaks in most markets, helping to alleviate the downward pressure on home prices in many areas.

5. Inventories of homes for-sale are at their lowest levels in nearly 50 years – and builders have cut back on construction and many home owners are waiting to sell until they can recover some equity on their properties.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 23-30


View from our new listing at Loggerhead Cay #353

View from our new listing at Loggerhead Cay #353

6 new listings: Sundial #I302 1/1 $489K, Sundial #J107 2/2 $497K, Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sunset South #1B 2/2 $549.9K, Sundial #A405 2/2 $749K, Gulfside Place #320 2/2 $949K.
3 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #341 2/2 now $420K, Blind Pass #B103 3/2 now $469K, Sundial #P403 2/2 now $749K.
2 new sales: Sundial #G207 1/1 listed for $239.9K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 listed for $379K.
1 closed sale: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $300K.

6 new listings: 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $784K, 549 East Rocks Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 3830 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1,195M, 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.795M, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $2.1M, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $3.6M.
5 price changes: 3344 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $549K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $734.5K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 now $893K, 6440 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.84M, 1950 Woodring Rd 4/3.5 now $2.75M.
4 new sales: 4057 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed for $286K (foreclosure), 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed for $685K, 1824 Woodring Rd 4/4 listed for $1.175M, 1145 Bird Ln 5/5 listed for $4.495M.
1 closed sale:  1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $475K (our listing).

1 new listing: 5891 SanCap Rd $448K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

2 new listings: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 $1.25M, Beach Homes #3 3/2 $1.695M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $3.899M.
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.

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas at SanibelSusan Realty

What a fun surprise just as we were wrapping up for the day. In come our favorite island twins, Faith and Grace, dressed in the holiday spirit and bearing gifts. They especially got a kick out of the alligator that I received today as a pre-birthday surprise. Here are the girls trying it out.


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