Counting Down to July 4th on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

A fond memory from the 2003 Sanibel parade

A fond memory from the 2003 Sanibel parade

There was probably what is best referred to as a modest amount of visitor traffic on the islands this week – really pretty quiet – until today, that is, when the holiday visitors began arriving. Many businesses are starting to break out their red-white-&-blue with expectations that more vacationers will fill accommodations over the 4th holiday. Most of those coming for a week will arrive tomorrow.

Weather-wise, it has been typical summer all week with bright sunny days in the high 80’s/low 90’s followed by afternoon thunderstorms – though some days those don’t make it onto the island. More of the same is expected next week.

Real Estate News

Our newest listing at 9477 Peaceful Drive

Our newest listing at 9477 Peaceful Drive

As the report of the activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Services below shows, there were just a couple of new listings on Sanibel this week and several more closings. (We received a new home listing, just this afternoon, which is why this blog is being posted a little late today. That new business comes first!)

Many of the sales contracts written during high season are scheduled to close today and early next week, so by next week’s blog, I should be able to report solid data on where our market stands at the half-year mark. It will be good news! 

Holiday Happenings on Sanibel Island

Teammates Dave & Elise getting holiday ready in 2011

Teammates Dave & Elise getting holiday ready in 2011

Here is a list of the Independence Day events, all on Thursday, July 4th:

23rd Annual Independence Day Parade starts at 9:30 a.m. at Island Inn Road and Tarpon Bay Road and runs along Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road. The theme is “American Hometown Pride” with nine categories to be judged. Parade t-shirts for sale along the route.

Post-parade refreshments and water at Jerry’s Foods across from where the parade ends with free hot dogs, soda, and snow cones. Also water slides, dunk tank, face painting, and bounce house, all to benefit the Boy Scouts of America.

34th Annual Road Rally organized by the San-Cap Optimist Club begins at noon at Timbers Restaurant/Sanibel Grill parking lot and ends there for an “afterglow” party. Teams puzzle out clues which follow a prescribed driving course around the island. Prizes will be awarded for best decorated vehicle, correct time, mileage, and the most correct answers to a quiz about things seen along the route. Proceeds go to fund college scholarships.

Fireworks Party 2013 at The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club from 4 to 9 p.m., with food and beverage tickets for sale. Offerings include pig roast, grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken, plus putting contest and children’s games.

Fireworks will go off at dusk, as usual at the end of Bailey Road over San Carlos Bay.

Local Realtors® Get Legal Update

FLRealtors_newlogoMargy Grant, Vice President and General Counsel for Florida Realtors®, was on the island this morning giving our Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® members a legal update on a variety of subjects. It is always a treat for us to have members of Florida Realtors® staff here, when we can learn from their experiences at both the state and national level, plus get answers to our own specialized questions. Margy’s presentation covered such relevant topics as Realtors® IDX (Internet Data Exchange), the National Flood Insurance Program, short sales, upcoming contract form changes, advertising, and the various policies needed when working with social media. Florida Realtors® Legal Hot Line – which is one of her responsibilities – is a terrific resource for our members whenever we have questions about a specific issue. These lines are manned by attorneys. More than 50,000 questions are fielded each year. I look forward to seeing Margy and her team again in August during our annual committee meetings, convention and trade show.

Exciting News from BIG ARTS

BIG Arts logoThis week, fellow BIG ARTS members received a mailing from their President which discussed the Board of Directors recent meeting about the organization’s future direction. The letter said that for several years, the Board has seen the need to expand their educational offerings to meet the demands of their more than 1250-member families, to support the over 40,000 attendees who enjoy their music, dance, theater, film, lecture programs, youth camp, and special events, and the 7500+participants in their workshops and enrichment programs. It was hoped that their existing facilities which are on City property could be improved to meet their expansion requirements, but it seems that due to construction constraints, this is not the case.

The letter further went on to say “simultaneously with our own study, the City of Sanibel began to evaluate how to better integrate various arts and education activities into a “civic core” that would include 25 acres of City-owned land on Dunlop Road east of the library where the public works department is currently located. BIG ARTS Board of Directors met recently to consider the new direction. Mayor Kevin Ruane joined the meeting and described the City’s vision and plan. After discussion and deliberation our Board voted unanimously to work with the City on a new home in the civic core.”

A letter attachment prepared by the Barrier Island Group for the Arts and Toppe Consultants, Inc. (architects, planners, theater consultants) describes their “Needs Assessment” and was submitted to the City to document BIG ART’s vision and needs. “BIG ARTS is excited about the possibilities for their members and patrons and for the community as a whole.” Over the summer, they will be working with the City on a master plan for the new center.

City Manager, Judie Zimomra, posted some Facebook photos this week taken during the first of those meetings. How exciting is that?

As a long-time singer with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus which has grown to so many members that we no longer fit on the stage in Schein Performance Hall, I am excited too! Stay tuned.

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2013

Open HouseThe State of the Nation’s Housing report was posted on line this week. This report has been produced annually since 1988 by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Here’s some info from its “fact sheet” – or read the full report at

“Now in its 25th year, it (this report) continues to serve as an essential resource for both public policy makers and private decision makers in the housing industry. This year’s report provides a current assessment of the state of the housing market and the foreclosure crisis; the economic and demographic trends driving housing demand; the state of mortgage finance; and ongoing housing affordability challenges.



Rising Home Prices and Rents are Clearest Sign of Recovery

  • After across-the-board declines in 2011, all major house price indexes registered significant increases in 2012.
  • By March 2013, the median house price in the United States was up 11.6% year over year.
  • As of April 2013, home prices were up year over year in all but two states and in 94 of the 100 metropolitan areas tracked by CoreLogic.
  • Between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of underwater homeowners fell 1.7 million, to 10.4 million.
  • April 2013 marked the 34th consecutive month of growth in rents as measured by the consumer price index and the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year increases of 2.5% or more….”

Doc Ford’s Scoop

Doc Fords CaptivaNow that high season is over, the local worker bees, like me, in need of a “quick lunch” are back to patronizing the local eateries. When at Doc’s Ford’s Sanibel location this week, I got a little scoop on their new restaurant under construction out on Captiva. Staff members are excited about how well the work is progressing on that all-new restaurant just outside the entrance to South Seas Resort at 5400 Plantation Road (former location of Holy Smoke Heavenly Barbeque, Chadwick’s Restaurant before that). Called Doc Ford’s Captiva Rum Bar & Grille, it sounds like it will probably be opening soon, most likely in August. New servers are being trained now and it sounds like it will have the same popular menu as Doc’s other locations.

Improve a Cell Phone’s Weak Signal

The_New_York_Times_logo“Daily Real Estate News” on-line posted an article yesterday about dropped calls or weak connections which are common cell phone complaints. A recent article in The New York Times highlighted some ways signal strength may be improved. Those living on Sanibel’s east end – like me – are familiar with the areas where phone signals are not good. I have successfully used one of the remedies (a 3G MicroCell) suggested in this article, so hopefully by repeating that info here, it will help someone else too.

“If you don’t receive a good signal indoors, check with your cell phone carrier. All major carriers sell a device or technology that allows access to the standard cellular network via a home’s broadband connection (such as AT&T’s 3G MicroCell or Verizon’s Network Extender). You just plug the device into your router and it can potentially help to improve your connection quality as much as five bars.

“T-Mobile offers Wi-Fi Calling, which allows users to make calls over a Wi-Fi network when cell reception is poor. But an iPhone would not work with this system; you need a Wi-Fi Calling-capable phone to use it, such as an Android or BlackBerry. 

“Signal boosters may also help. Boosters can amplify signal strength, but the hardware is bulky. The benefit with this option is that boosters don’t require you to have a certain carrier in order to add them. 

Phone carriers are debuting HD Voice, boasting that it can reduce background noise and improve voice calls so it’s like talking to someone on a landline. But the technology is in its infancy. It’s currently only delivered on certain phones, and will only work over LTE networks with some carriers.”

Source: “Remedies for Better Cellphone Signal and Quality,” The New York Times (June 26, 2013)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 21 to July 5

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 $325K, Coquina Beach #4F 2/2 $439.9K.
2 price changes: Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 now $589K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 now $590K.
4 new sales: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 listed for $175K, Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 listed for $399K, Signal Inn #12 1/1 listed for $419K, Sundial #E308 2/2 listed for $835K.
11 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #M3 2/2 $385.5K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $375K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $435K, Lighthouse Point #230 2/2 $465K, Sundial #L202 2/2 $489K, Nutmeg Village #202 2/2 $585K, Coquina Beach #2E 2/2 $585K, Nutmeg Village #105 2/2 $610K, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 $625K, Surfside 12 #B4 3/2 $830K, Atrium #101 3/3 $970K.

3 new listings: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $499K (our listing), 1014 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $585K, 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/3 $1.094M.
2 price changes: 1249 Par View Dr 4/4.5 now $1.395M, 1950 Woodring Rd 4/3.5 now $2.475M.
3 new sales: 1021 Sand Cast Rd 2/2 listed for $409K (short sale), 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 listed for $450K, 1251 Anhinga Ln 3/3 listed for $1.995M.
11 closed sales: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 $350K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $480.5K, 1744 Bunting Ln 3/2 $560K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $575K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $620K, 1405 Jamaica Dr 3/2.5 $620K, 1255 Isabel Dr 3/3 $869K, 940 Victoria Way 3/3 $900K, 919 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $935K, 479 Lagoon Dr 3/3 $1.025M, 2429 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.275M.

Nothing to report.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Lands End Village #1625 2/2 listed for $1.225M.
No closed sales.

Nothing to report.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ll be putting up our holiday “stars” on Monday so SanibelSusan Realty is ready for the 4th! Until next Friday, best wishes for a safe & happy holiday!