Another Friday has rolled around and The SanibelSusan Team and I have seen the island start to return to a more normal off-season traffic pattern. A few snowbirds have headed north; but with more schools on spring break in the upcoming days, accommodations managers tell us that more vacationers will arrive tomorrow.
A few sales were announced at our Realtor Caravan Meeting yesterday and we often remind island property owners, move-up buyers, and new island visitors that spring is a great time to buy.
Here are a few news items, before our weekly report showing the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.
Sanibel Spring Weather
Temperatures this week jumped up into what is typically the summer range. With off-shore breezes, it made for beautiful beach weather. These photos were taken today at Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive at Beach Access #1. Island temperatures are expected to continue to range from the mid to high 80’s for the next seven days.
Here are a few weather statistics from the Weather Channel (www.weather.com): The highest recorded Sanibel temperature was 103 degrees F in June 1981. The lowest was 24 degrees F in December 1894. June is the warmest month. January is the coolest. August is the wettest month and December is the driest.
It Was More Than a Rally in Tally – Florida Realtors®, Chase Donate Home to Wounded Vet
On Wednesday, Florida Realtors® surprised attendees at their first-ever “Rally for Homeownership” in Tallahassee by donating a remodeled, mortgage-free home to a wounded Florida veteran and his family.
A large crowd of Realtors® from across the state was on hand at the Florida Capitol for the event. We had two board members there from the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association.
Retired Army Sgt. Michael Burke, his wife, and two children were presented with a newly remodeled, mortgage-free home in Port St. Lucie through a program offered by the Military Warriors Support Foundation. Florida Realtors® partnered with the foundation and Chase Bank to make the American Dream of homeownership possible for Burke and his family. “Florida Realtors is proud to forge this partnership with Chase Bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation to honor a military hero who has bravely served us,” said 2013 Florida Realtors® President Dean Asher, broker-owner with Don Asher & Associates Inc. in Orlando. “We are happy to help Sgt. Burke and his family fulfill the American Dream of lifelong homeownership.” Led by Asher and State Rep. Matt Hudson (R-Naples), a real estate broker, the Rally took place as part of Great American Realtor Days – a two-day annual event during which Realtors® from around Florida travel to Tallahassee to meet with their elected officials about legislation concerning affordable housing, property insurance, property taxes and business and regulatory issues that affect Floridians and visitors.
A Deserving Military Hero – Burke, a native of Fort Pierce, always dreamed of being a soldier and defending his country. After Sept. 11, 2001, Burke enlisted “as quick and fast as I could,” he says. After basic training, Burke joined the Army Infantry in 2005 and trained in Fort Hood, Texas. A year later, he deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. There only a week, Burke’s Humvee drove over and detonated a roadside bomb during his first mission, ejecting him from the vehicle. Burke was airlifted to a Baghdad hospital with massive injuries: a swollen brain, shrapnel wounds to the left arm, plus burns and injuries to his back muscles. After two months in rehab, Burke was ready to go back to combat, but the Army had a different idea. “They [the Army] wanted to send me back home,” Burke explains. “I refused. I had only been in Iraq a couple of weeks. I needed to get back to my squadron … to my friends and fellow soldiers. Eventually I convinced them I deserved to stay.” After 14 months of service, Burke’s tour ended and he returned to Fort Hood. He was promoted to sergeant and started training for another tour in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Unfortunately, Burke started having seizures due to the traumatic brain injury suffered in Baghdad. His military career over, he returned to Florida in September 2009. Burke received a Purple Heart for his service and is immensely proud to have served on behalf of the country he loves.
Homes For Wounded Warriors – Florida Realtors® donated $20,000 to provide a three-year mentoring program and made arrangements to present the home to Sgt. Burke and his family. The association partnered with Chase Bank and the Military Warriors Support Foundation, a nonprofit that supports combat-wounded veterans during their transition to civilian life, to provide the Port St. Lucie home. Established in 2007, the foundation awards mortgage-free homes to wounded heroes injured during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of its Homes4WoundedHeroes program. Home recipients are veterans who have severe injuries and/or unique circumstances due to injuries received during active duty. The families receive three years of family and financial mentoring before obtaining the deed to the house. For Burke’s home, Chase Bank donated the three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot property and Home Depot handled the renovations. Since the start of the Homes4WoundedHeroes program in 2010, the Military Warriors Support Foundation has coordinated the donation of 300 homes to wounded military veterans in the continental United States, including 56 in Florida. There are 12 homes currently available for donation to wounded veterans in Florida and 42 nationwide, with more homes coming into the program every day. The program is almost a third of the way to its goal of awarding 1,000 homes by the end of 2015.
Message to Lawmakers: Florida’s Housing Market Revitalizing State’s Economy – In meeting with Florida Representatives and Senators, Realtors® stressed that housing and homeownership remain critical to a strong and prosperous state economy. According to the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, real estate remains the No. 1 economic generator in the state. Real estate, rentals and leasing accounted for $117.4 billion, or 15.6%, of Florida’s Gross Domestic Product in 2011. Add in construction, and it accounts for $147.4 billion, or 19.6%, of the state’s GDP in 2011. As homeownership increases, Florida’s economy strengthens with it.
“Realtors® across Florida continue to advocate for legislation that supports economic development, strengthens our state’s economic recovery and helps the housing market rebound,” Asher says. “Housing creates jobs and jobs create housing opportunities – every additional 1,000 home sales means nearly 500 new jobs, while each home purchase pumps $60,000 into our economy. A stable and growing real estate market is vital to putting our citizens back to work, revitalizing our communities and preserving Florida’s future.”
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
More Sanibel Bike Path Improvements Coming
Last week, the City of Sanibel Public Works Department hosted an event to share the details of their upcoming East Periwinkle Shared Use Path and Road Improvement Project. The project calls for widening the shared use path to 10′ along Periwinkle Way, starting at the intersection of King’s Crown Drive and ending at the parking area for Lighthouse Beach. Expected to be done by the end of the year, it is intended to improve both the safety and appearance of the island bike paths on Sanibel’s east-end.
Upcoming Island Events – All on Saturday, April 20th
Day-long free events beginning at 7 a.m. More info at www.dingdarlingsociety.org/earth-day.
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) Classic – at Sanibel Island Gulf Club. Golf tournament with light breakfast, lunch, and silent auction begins at 8:30 a.m. and will support direct patient care in CROW’s wildlife hospital. Contact CROW at 472-3644 or email@example.com to register.
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum 4th Annual Oyster-Eating Contest – now renamed Oyster-lympics 2013 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Timbers, has been expanded to include not only an oyster-eating contest but also an oyster shucking contest, an oyster dive, and other activities designed to help raise funds to support the museum’s educational and exhibitions. Our teller pal, Heather, who works the drive-thru at The Bank of the Islands, came in 2nd place last year in the “female” division (downing 32 oysters in one minute). We are rooting for her to come in 1st this year. Last year, the “male” division had a 3-way tie (all eating 48 oysters). A 30-second tiebreaker, with the winner downing another 37 oysters, brought lots of cheers from the spectators. More info at http://www.shellmuseum.org.
Sanibel & Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) 2nd Annual Beer in the Bushes – from 7 to 9 p.m. on the grounds of SCCF’s Nature Center. Includes craft beer tasting, barbeque, live music, dancing, and games.
Proceeds support SCCF’s mission of conserving coastal habitats and aquatic resources on and around the islands. More info at www.SCCF.org.
18 Ways to Prep Your Home’s Exterior for the Spring Market
Though our island weather can be much the same year-’round, I found the below blog suggestions by Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz, posted on-line at Realtor.org to be helpful even on sunny Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It is always a good idea to do spring spruce-ups, wherever you may live. Charlene’s recent blog said: (SanibelSusan comments are posted in parentheses.)
“Spring is in the air in some parts of Canada and the U.S…. This is the time of year when thoughts turn to spring cleaning; whether or not you’re selling your home. Of course, if you are listing anytime soon, you’ll want to be even more meticulous. The busy spring market will be upon us before you know it, so here are some tips for getting the exterior of your home shipshape:
1. Remove glass from light fixtures and take out any little critters that may have found a home over the winter. Be sure to use glass cleaner on the panes before replacing them in your fixtures.
2. Clean your mailbox. If it hasn’t weathered well over the winter, it’s probably time to replace it.
3. Clean and polish, if necessary, your front door’s hardware. Replace it as well if necessary.
4. Check your house numbers. Are they still in good shape and visible from the street? If not, replace them.
5. Wash down your front door and garage door. If you find that the previous summer’s sun has faded the paint, consider repainting. Your garage door should be painted a color that blends in with the brick or vinyl siding on your home. Before painting, check with the paint manufacturer to see what the optimal outdoor temperature should be. You don’t want to paint when it’s still too cold outside. (Probably don’t have to worry about that on Sanibel & Captiva)
6. Wash the windows. If this isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional.
7. Hose down the porch and driveway to remove any excess salt left over from de-icing.
8. Sweep the porch, driveway and patio to get rid of any rogue leaves etc. left over from the fall.
9. Check your porch, driveway, and patio for any cracking or lifting of patio stones that may have taken place during a deep freeze. (Good to check even if you didn’t have a freeze.)
10. Check your roof to make sure no shingles are missing or were damaged during the winter.
11. Remove debris from your gutters and drain spouts.
12. Rake the lawn. However, before doing that it’s very important to check with your local garden center first to be sure it’s not too early. If raked too soon before the ground thoroughly dries, you could potentially damage your lawn.
13. Remove winter displays from your urns. For a burst of color, plant spring flowers as soon as weather permits.
14. Tidy up your gardens in preparation for (spring/summer) planting season.
15. Organize the garage. Put away shovels, snow blowers, toboggans, and any other items that made their way into your garage over the winter. (You probably don’t have these items on Sanibel/Captiva, but an annual garage re-organization is always good.)
16. If you don’t use your barbeque year round, it’s time to bring it out. If it’s a built-in unit that will be staying with the house, be sure to clean the grills and wash down the lid. If you have a cover for it, replace it if it’s worn.
17. Remove the cover from your swimming pool and clean your pool as soon as your pool service company advises that it’s OK to do so. (You’ve probably been using your pool all winter, but give it a once over to be sure all equipment is AOK.)
18. Bring out your patio furniture and set it up. Although it may be too cold to sit outside just yet, you want potential buyers to see your outdoor living space’s potential. (In our case, this could be your annual, patio furniture scrub-down & overhaul.)
These are some suggestions to get you started. What else am I missing? Feel free to add to the list!”
2 new listings: 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $569K, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $889K.
8 price changes: 1941 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $449.9K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 now $469K, 5742 Pine Tree Dr 4/2 now $749K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 now $749.9K, 1056 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $789K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $899K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 now $1.595M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.75M.
7 new sales: with contingencies: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed for $319.9K, 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $375K, 945 Main St 3/3 listed for $435K (short sale), 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 listed for $524K, 9484 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed for $639K. Without contingencies: 630 Hideaway Ct 2/2 listed for $499K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $674.9K.
8 closed sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $277K, 1394 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $397.6K, 1599 Sandcastle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $400K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 $425K, 1216 Par View Dr 3/2 $625K, 4041 Coquina Dr 3/3 $757.5K, 985 Oyster Ct 4/4 $1.1M, 3635 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $3.85M.
No new listings.
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.
The SanibelSusan Team – Susan, David, Elise & Lisa