Pre-Easter Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Happenings

Both Sanibel and Captiva Island have been busy this week with traffic and even some traveling delays. A few cool days and nights kept many folks off the beach and the water; and instead on the roadways and bike paths. Even with some chilly weather, the bikers and joggers were out in their shorts and T-shirts, while the locals shivered in their sweaters and jackets.

Osprey 4


I had my heat on three nights – which I think is a first in March. It got down into the 40’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and last night. For several days, the highs were only in the 60’s. The good news is that temperatures in the 80’s are expected again starting tomorrow so that should make for a beautiful holiday weekend.

Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan

realtor logoThere was a light turnout at the island Realtors® Caravan yesterday and only four East-end properties were on the real estate tour. That had attendees talking about inventory, i.e. how it is lower now that it has been in several years. Usually Easter week, there is a full tour sheet (which is 20 new listings). As I mentioned in earlier updates over the last few weeks, homes are hot! There are 67 on Sanibel that under contract now waiting to close. The chatter at my table was that none of us ever remember there being that many homes being under contract at the same time. With only 196 Sanibel homes currently available for sale, most Realtors® are out beating the bushes looking for residential lists. Us too! Our last home listing is under contract.

Sanibel condo inventory is even less, only 173 units for sale. But there are just 29 Sanibel condos under contract, so condos getting less than half of the sales action. There are 87 Sanibel lots for sale, with four under contract waiting to close.

bicycle_clip_artOne of the announcements at the Caravan Meeting was about a document recently produced by The Sanibel Bicycle Club. It is a bike safety guide and island map. Each attendee was provided with a copy and encouraged to provide them to their customers and clients. The Sanibel Bicycle Club was founded in 1994 with 30 members and today has more than 250. Some highlights from Florida’s bicyclist law include:

  • Cyclists are permitted to ride on the roads.
  • Drivers must give cyclists a safety cushion of at least three feet.
  • Cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet.
  • Cyclists are prohibited from using earphones, headsets, etc.
  • Cyclists riding at night must have reflectors and lights on both the front and rear of their bikes.

To download a copy of the Sanibel Bicycle Club’s Shared Use Path Safety Guide, go to and click on “Sanibel Path Map”.


Top 10 Islands in the US, According to TripAdvisor published the following article on Monday about TripAdvisor’s top ten islands in the United States. Half of the list is in Florida, with Sanibel holding the #6 position. (Thanks to Scott, for once again tipping me off on a great article to share.)

“While Spring may have not exactly “sprung” up yet across the nation, it’s never too early to get excited about surf and sun. Today TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, announced this year’s winners for the best islands in America. The surprise champion was a tiny string of islands off the coast of Seattle called the San Juan Islands. “We’re delighted that San Juan Island is honored as the top island in the U.S.,” said Deborah Hopkins, executive director for the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau. “We’d like to thank the travelers who have made this win possible, simply by sharing their love of the sparkling waters, abundant wildlife, outdoor recreation and vibrant arts scene that San Juan Island offers.”

“Whether you’re craving white sand beaches or rustic wild seascapes, this list will inspire the traveler in all of us.

San Juan Island, Washington – When envisioning an island vacation, probably the last place to cross your mind is the rainy, fog-laden coast of Washington State. Maybe that is why San Juan has been under the radar for so many years. While it’s not your typical tropical island retreat, San Juan provides vistas of breaching orca whales and the country’s largest lavender farms. This quaint island underdog has definitely earned its top spot. 

Kauai, Hawaii – Kauai is the least commercially developed of the Hawaiian islands. The island is known for its wide array of outdoor attractions. A trip to Kauai may include snorkeling, tide pooling, hiking the Kalalau Trail or swimming in waterfalls.

Marco Island, Florida – Marco Island what every vacationer hopes for, white sands and sparkling sea. While in Marco Island make sure to take a day off from beaching top explore the Everglades in a swamp buggy.

Anna Maria Island, Florida – The barrier island of Anna Maria is the perfect escape for the laid-back traveler. The island offers both golfing and fishing, but the best way to spend your time there may be just laying back in a beach chair, daiquiri in hand.

Maui, Hawaii – Maui is the island to visit if you want to watch the sunrise from atop a 10,000-foot volcano, or hike across ancient craters. If neither of those activities sound appealing, there’s always pristine beaches and windsurfing. 

w gulf dr sanibel beach with more peopleSanibel Island, Florida – Sanibel is the most family-friendly vacation destination on TripAdvisor’s list. The island has the relaxing atmosphere of a tropical paradise along with the added bonus of kid friendly hotels and vacation packages.

Chincoteague Island, Virginia – When the Rolling Stones crooned about never being dragged away by wild horses, they clearly had never been to Chincoteague Island. The small island is home to wild ponies. Every summer since 1925, ponies from nearby Assateague are rounded up for the world-famous annual Pony Swim over to Chincoteague. If it’s a unique island experience you are looking for, Chincoteague is a must-see.

Island of Hawaii, Hawaii – Best known for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to the longest volcanic eruption in recorded history, the Big Island is larger than all the other better-known Hawaiian islands combined. The Big Island is the perfect escape for adventurers and luxury travelers alike. 

Amelia Island, Florida – Amelia Island is the island for those who love to eat. The small Sea Island is known for its annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Of course, there’s plenty to do on Amelia Island all year round.

IMG_0868Key West, Florida – If you’re looking to let loose on an island, Key West is the right choice. The island had has great nightlife, even Ernest Hemingway was known to throw back a few at the island’s myriad of bars.”

Easter Weekend Events on Sanibel Island

Easter Basket No WordsEaster Egg Hunt at Sanibel Community Church, tomorrow, Saturday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All families with preschoolers through 5th grade are invited to join in the food and fun. There will be a duckie pond, crafts, cupcake walk, balloon drop, hot dogs, storytelling, and thousands of eggs to find.

easter bunnyThe Annual Children’s Spring Festival at The Sanibel Community Park, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty Associates, also is tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., by The Children’s Education Center of the Islands.

Easter CrossSunrise Service on the Causeway, Easter Sunday at 6:30 a.m.

Farmers market

Sanibel Farmers Market at City Hall will be open normal hours on Easter Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The market will be open every Sunday through April 28 when it closes until next fall.)

Sanibel Recreation Center at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road will be open on Easter from noon to 5 p.m., including weight room, tennis courts, gymnasium, water slide, features pool, splash pool, and lap pool. When accompanied by a Sanibel resident who purchases a daily, weekly, six-month or annual membership, their visitors qualify for a reduced member guest rate.

Why Does The City Have a Contractor Review Board?

Sanibelcityseal logoToday’s “Island Sun” contained the below article which is the first in a series of educational articles by City of Sanibel Building Department Official, R. Harold Law, Jr.:

“On May 18, 2004, the City of Sanibel adopted Ordinance 04-005 that established our local contractor licensing process and established the Contractor Review Board as mandated by Florida State Chapter 489. Since 2004, any contractor working on Sanibel NOT certified by the State of Florida is required to obtain a City of Sanibel Contractor Competency License to work within the municipality. The law establishes three different tiers of contractors to accommodate the different technical knowledge required by each trade.

“The Contractor Review Board has nine members: Three citizens at-large, an Architect, an Engineer, licensed contractors in Building, Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical. The Board is responsible for reviewing all licensing requests and complaints of Building Code compliance by licensed contractors. All Board meetings are open to the public. The Board meets at 4 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Road.

“The Board evaluates the complaints for merit and severity of violation. The Board has the authority to levy fines and restrict permitting privileges. The Contractor Review Board does NOT have the authority to review civil matters between an owner and their contractor such as contract disputes, aesthetics or quality issues.

“You can find a list of contractors licensed to work on Sanibel at The City of Sanibel Building Department is always available to assist residents, property owners and contractors to answer questions regarding the Building Code, the permitting process and the Contractor Review Board. The Department can be reached at or 472-4555.”

Big Predictions for Housing for Next Two Years

inMan News logoToday the following article was posted on-line at “Daily Real Estate News”. It sources “Inman News” yesterday.  

“Home sales are projected to post some big gains in the next two years, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly economic outlook. Fannie Mae economists predict that existing-home sales will rise by 10.5% this year, and by 6.2% in 2014. The economists made even bolder projections for new single-family home sales — growing 15.1% this year and 44.1% in 2014. “We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, continuing to boost household net worth, gradually diminishing the population of underwater borrowers, and reducing incentive for strategic defaults,” according to Fannie Mae’s report.

Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will stay low by historical averages this year, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise from an average of 3.5% during the first quarter to an average of 4% during the final three months of 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2014, mortgage rates are projected to tick up to a 4.5% average. Mortgage applications for purchases are projected to increase by 16.8% this year and by 17.1% in 2014. However, a decline in applications for refinancings will likely cause mortgage originations to be down 14.5% this year and by 31.4% in 2014, Fannie economists predict.

FGCU Eagles Take on the Florida Gators

FGCU EaglesSouthwest Florida has been in a twitter all week, ever since Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) men’s basketball team advanced last Friday following two unexpected NCAA wins that pushed the team into the national spotlight. With a decisive 81-71 victory over San Diego State, FGCU’s Eagles became the lowest-seeded team in history to reach the March Madness semifinals. Tonight, they face No. 3, the University of Florida Gators, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game airs at 9:57 p.m. EST on TBS. This national exposure is a huge boost for the university which was founded in 1991 as Florida’s 10th state university.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 22-29


6 new listings: Seashells #10 2/2 $310K, Sundial #B108 1/1 $335K, Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 $498.5K (foreclosure), Sundial #E110 2/2 $750K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 $1.595M, Plantation Village #B231 3/3 $2.599M.
4 price changes: Captains Walk #E5 2/2 now $226K, Beach Rd Villas #106 2/2 now $284.9K, Compass Point #203 2/2 now $589K, Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 now $849K.
1 new sale: Tennisplace #E33 2/1.5 listed for $249.9K.
1 closed sale: Shell Island Beach Club #5B 2/2 $655K (our buyer).

4 new listings: 1021 SandCastle Rd 2/2 $429K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $639K, 560 Boulder Dr 2/3 $659K, 501 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 $999K, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $8.9M.
14 price changes: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1.5 now $435K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $524.9K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $529K, 5650 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $549K, 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $549K, 1566 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $769K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 ow $799K, 916 Beach Rd 3/3 now $879K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $949K, 1550 Angel Dr 3/2.5 now $995K, 479 Lagoon Dr 3/3 now 1.094M, 1826 Woodring Rd 3/2 now $1.449M (foreclosure), 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 now $1.475M, 1249 Par View Dr 4/4.5 now $1.495M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $2.239M.
7 new sales: 1609 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $415K, 1342 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $589K, 696 Durion Ct 3/2.5 listed for $635K, 1507 Angel Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 743 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed for $899K, 4207 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4.5 listed for $950K, 985 Oyster Ct 4/4 listed for $1.249M.
7 closed sales: 6457 Pine Ave 3/2 $390K, 2631 Sanibel Blvd 2/2 $685K, 780 Birdie View Pt 5/4.5 $1.36M, 413 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 $1.5M, 1878 Woodring Rd 3/2.5 $1.95M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.3M, 5071 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $3.64M.

3 new listings: 6081 Henderson Rd $299K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln $419K, 3830 West Gulf Dr $600K.
2 price changes: 9426 Sage Ct now $249,555, 5407 Osprey Ct now $499,555.
2 new sales: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln listed for $249K, Lot 7, West Gulf Dr listed for $1.45M.
No closed sales.

No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed for $578.5K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 listed for $579K.
1 closed sale: Marina Villas #801 2/2 $500K.

1 new listing: 15180 Wiles Dr 10/7/2 $10.5M.
1 price change: 15166 Wiles Dr 3/2.5 now $3.45M.
No new sales.
2 closed sale: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $630K, 16730 Captiva Dr $4.43M.

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.

 Easter BasketHappy Easter, from Susan & The SanibelSusan Team, Dave, Elise, & Lisa