Summer Island Scoop, Plus What’s Happening With the Sanibel Home Market


Photo by our photographer pal, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Photo by our photographer pal, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

It’s SanibelSusan reporting that it has been a slow quiet seven days on Sanibel. Unlike last week, there has been little rain with the few visitors here out having fun in the sun! We did not have an Association of Realtor® Caravan meeting this week, so many sales associates also are taking summer vacations now.

school busLee County Schools start in less than two weeks. Former-Yankees still have trouble understanding why the Florida school year starts so early. With schools back in session, the island traffic will slowly transition into fall.

men workingFirst comes, the August/September period, we islanders refer to as fix-up time. Many restaurants and businesses begin a staggered vacation schedule with facilities being cleaned and spruced up for the upcoming “high season”. Yesterday, the City announced the schedule for this year’s road resurfacing work.  The work begins on Monday, July 29, and includes the following areas:

  • West Gulf Drive (Tarpon Bay Road to west end)
  • Junonia Street (Donax Street to Pyrula Avenue)
  • Oliva Street
  • School Ball Fields access road (Sanibel-Captive Road).

You can tell I had a little extra time on my hands this week, as I have a few more news today. Read the good scoop about Sanibel homes, just before the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service action this week below.

More scenes of summer by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

More scenes of summer by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Home Inspection Red Flags

AOL logo“Daily Real Estate News” on Monday posted the following article sourced to AOL Real Estate. Following the article is SanibelSusan’s revised-edition tailored for Sanibel Island home inspections. Things are a tad different on a barrier island in Florida! The AOL article says:

“A home inspection is a buyer’s opportunity to see if any problems lurk that may prove expensive to fix later. Home inspections nearly always uncover something in a home to watch for or minor repairs needed. But what repairs should buyers especially be alarmed about that could possibly send them back to the negotiation table? Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated radio show on home improvement, points out some of the following home inspection red flags:

  • Termites and pests: The sooner termites are detected, and steps can be taken to get rid of them, the better.
  • Drainage issues: A home that has poor drainage can have wood rot and wet basements and crawlspaces, which can then lead to major mold growth.
  • Mold: Pervasive mold growth may indicate an issue with improper ventilation issues and can also cause health issues to those living in the home.
  • Faulty foundations: A cracked or crumbling foundation could be a very expensive repair.
  • Wiring issues: Outdated wiring or overloaded circuits can pose a fire hazard.”FLRealtors_newlogo

Now some of Susan’s ramblings: In Florida where our standard sales agreement does not provide for renegotiation following an inspection, here are a few contractual things to consider:

  • The standard Florida Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase contains a “Property Inspection and Repair” clause which gives the Buyer the right to inspect during a prescribed time period. Within that inspection period, the Buyer must inform the Seller of any repair items that are not in the condition required by the contract. Then, the Seller is obligated to make the repairs provided they are within the contract’s General Repair Limit (usually 1-1/2% of the purchase price). There is another 1-1/2% limit for Wood Destroying Organisms (i.e. termites and wood rot) and another 1-1/2% for closing out open or expired building permits. Total Seller repair liability often is 4-1/2% of the purchase price. Here, renegotiation does not come into play, unless limits are exceeded.
  •  The Florida “AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase also contains an inspection clause, but it is called “Property Inspection: Right to Cancel”. This contract similarly gives a Buyer the right to inspect during a prescribed time period. However, with this contract, the Buyer may determine within the inspection period that “in Buyer’s sole discretion, that the property is not acceptable.” With this contract, renegotiation is often the method of compromise used to make the property acceptable to the Buyer.
  •  The most commonly used contract on Sanibel today is the “AS IS” contract. I prefer it too, as it puts the Buyer in the driver’s seat if any repairs are needed and it provides that window for renegotiation – or to walk away – should pricey defects be found that are not easily recognizable.SANSLogo

Real estate here on the island can be different from other areas. For example, homes do not have basements.

Below are SanibelSusan’s Island-Specific Home Inspection Red Flags:

  • Wood rot and termites: On the island where the weather is warm and the moisture level high, exterior surfaces need to be checked, sealed, and painted more often than up north. Up until a few years ago, wood rot (which is really a fungus) was the most common finding by island home inspectors. Over the last 12 months, probably half of the single-family home inspections have found evidence of termites. (These usually are the dry wood variety, the kind that swarm in the spring and can be even transferred from place to place by way of antique furniture.) Our home inspector advises that any wood rot covering an area larger than a quarter should not be filled, but rather, the wood should be replaced. Wood rot does not go away, it must be removed completely! Keeping wood surfaces sealed, dry, and un-shaded by vegetation may help deter it. For termites, inspectors most often recommend tenting to ensure eradication.
  • Pin-hole leaks: Sanibel reverse-osmosis-produced water often creates havoc with copper pipes, so if the property you are buying has any of those, be warned. Reverse osmosis-treated water is aggressive to metallic pipe or to substances that can ionize and dissolve in water – not because of low acidity, but because it is pure and has few dissolved substances in it. This water most-often corrodes through on horizontal copper piping and creates pin-hole leaks that can drip occasionally and then corrode over, often later dripping in another spot. Many owners with property having metal piping have replaced some, if not all, of the copper with a plastic-type piping. Some condo associations replaced piping as a complex project, others have not. Remember too, that it sometimes is easy to replace piping in an elevated home with an open lower level. Ground-level structures, like my home, usually have the original metal pipes in the floor under the concrete. That makes for fun replacement when they start to leak, like mine did last winter. If you need a good plumber, let me know!  
  • Mold: Mold can occur as a result of the pipe-hole leaks mentioned earlier, but more often mold is the result of a leaky roof or aftereffects of storm damage. Nationwide, mold became a topic of media attention a few years ago, much like Chinese drywall, radon, and lead-paint had in years previous. None of these items are found much on Sanibel, but being that this is often-damp Florida a variety of mold spores are often found. If you have health concerns or suspect that a property may have had former storm damage or water intrusion, get a mold test done. The black toxic mold variety is usually found in areas that you cannot see, like behind the walls. If suspected, get air samples taken. The samples are sent to a lab and evaluated for mold spores. Mold reports shown elevated readings and describe the mold varieties that can be of concern.
  • Salt pulping of wood pilings: This is a fuzzy decay and deterioration on wood support pilings. Caused by salt water being absorbed from the ground up into the piling, this process is sometimes described as “wicking” and is much like how a straw works. Sometimes pulping happens because the piling is not dried, aged properly, or treated prior to use. To stop pulping, the water column action must be blocked.
  • Old electrical panels: If a property was built between 1950 and 1990 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, there is a risk of breaker malfunction and fire. Also, having this equipment can become an insurance obstacle. (Most insurance providers for a property older than 25 years will require a 4-Point Inspection which evaluates the HVAC, electrical panels and wiring, plumbing connections and fixture, and roof.) Over the last year, inspections for three of my sales were identified as having these panels. Some island condo complexes were built with them, sometimes with two per unit – one for the HVAC equipment and the other the standard electric breaker box. Records show that an estimated 2,800 fires each year directly result for FPE panel breaker malfunction. The company has been out of business for many years.753_Horizon-Inspection_WEB2

There are plenty of home inspectors in Southwest Florida but my favorite is Ron Dehler with Horizon Inspection Service, Inc., otherwise known to some Realtors® as “the deal breaker”. We both think it is better that you find out what you are buying before you buy, rather than after!

Baby Sand Dollars

Sanibel sanddollars, photo by Pam Rambo

Sanibel sanddollars, photo by Pam Rambo

Island shelling enthusiasts know that one of Sanibel’s most popular shellers is Pam Rambo. Pam often leads local shelling tours and her web site features her daily escapades at the beach and what she finds. Her posting about her Sunday evening adventures describes the thousands of baby sand dollars found at Gulfside City Park beach. Above the waterline, she describes many completely-dried mostly-white small ones with little or no “fur”.

Living sanddollars, photo by Pam Rambo

Living sanddollars, photo by Pam Rambo

In the surf, she and her husband found so many live ones (literally thousands) – those dark in color and with hairs along their bodies – that she contacted Dr. Jose Leal at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Kristie Anders, Education Director, and research scientist Dr. Richard Bartleson to find out why.

Dr. Leal told her that it is natural in low-tide situations with the full moon for mass mollusk die-offs or masses of animals exposing themselves (like the many fighting conchs sometimes on the beach). Kristie said that they could be “trying to move away from water that has little oxygen in it. The little bit of surf agitates the water and increases the oxygen much like a bubbler in an aquarium.” Dr. Bartleson said they will try to get some oxygen readings this week and Pam’s site said will provide updated info as she hears it.

Check out Pam’s video of the sand dollars at http://www.iLoveShelling.com.

2013 NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Home Features Survey

realtor logoThe results of the 2013 NAR Home Features Survey are out. Respondents for this survey purchased their homes within the last two years. They rated the importance of rooms, features (structural, interior, exterior, and neighborhood), and systems as they house-shopped and after they purchased. Here are some interesting statistics from the survey. They are in-line with my experience on the island too.

97% of all buyers are somewhat to very satisfied with their purchase

But there is buyer’s remorse, 55% of the new owners wanted more storage.

Of the buyers who purchased their homes without certain features, over half say they would have paid more for: new appliances, walk-in closets, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. Maybe these are improvements worth considering if you are updating your home with a future sale in mind.

What’s Happening with Sanibel Home Sales?

ASSOC LogoThe off-season always provides the time needed to take a careful look at market activity. This week, I studied the Sanibel Home segment. The tables below show by geographic area the number of homes for sale, their median price, days-on-market, and, for comparison, those under contract, those that have sold this year to-date (through July 25, 2013), and the total sales last year.

What do these statistics say?

Overwhelmingly, the Sanibel home market is hot, inventory is low, and prices are rebounding. Under the title of each search-able location below is a list of some of the communities or subdivisions that are included in that area.

This activity shows that Sanibel’s home market is shifting from a “balanced market” to a “sellers’ market”!

Next week I will post a similar analysis covering the Sanibel condo market.

Bay-Front

(Ferry Landing, Sanibel Estates, Sanibel Harbours,

Sanibel Isles, Richardsons, Woodrings)

Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale

8

2,239,000*

499

Under Contract

2

1,662,500*

178

2013 Sales

3

2,190,000

840

2012 Sales

8

2,195,500

335

Bayou-Front

(Castaway Estates, Del Sega, Dinkins Bayou,

Heron’s Landing, Sanibel Bayous,

Dinkins Bayou)

Status

Number

Median Price $

DOM

For Sale

12

1,260,000*

554

Under Contract

0

N/A

N/A

2013 Sales

3

836,000

378

2012 Sales

5

1,649,000

472

Canal-Front

(Anchors Aweigh, Caloosa Shores, Castaway

Estates, Del Sega, Harbour Cottages, Kinzie

Island, Sanibel Estates, Sanibel Harbours, Sanibel

Isles, Shell Harbor, Victoria Cove,

Water Shadows, Yachtsman Cove)

Status

Number

Median Price $

DOM

For Sale

32

1,902,278*

430

Under Contract

6

861,700*

309

2013 Sales

21

889,000

330

2012 Sales

37

749,000

275

Gulf-Front

(Cats Paw, Chateaux Sur Mer, Gulf Ridge, Gulf

Shores, Metes & Bounds (West Gulf Dr),

Tradewinds, Seaside)

Status

Number

Median Price $

DOM

For Sale

8

3,874,500*

278

Under Contract

0

N/A

N/A

2013 Sales

15

3,195,000

336

2012 Sales

11

2,350,000

309

Inland

(Belle Meade, Betts, Dunes, Foley, Gumbo Limbo,

Mitzi, Periwinkle Pines, Sabal Sands, Sanctuary,

Sanibel Center, Sanibel Gardens, Sanibel

Highlands, Sanibel Lake Estates, Sanibel Pines)

Status

Number

Median Price $

DOM

For Sale

27

579,000*

347

Under Contract

8

429,450*

177

2013 Sales

32

574,450

297

2012 Sales

32

493,000

168

Near-Beach

Bayshore Village, Beachview, Brightwater,

Butterknife, Buttonwood/Seagrape, Chateaux

Sur Mer, Eastwood Landings, Gulf Pines,

Gulf Ridge, Gulf Shores, Heron’s Landing, Kearns,

Kinzie Island, Lagoon Estates, Lake Murex & Little

Lake Murex, Las Conchas del Mar, Las Tiendas,

Leisure Acres, Palm Lake, Rocks East & West,

Sanibel Bayous, Sanibel Estates, Sanibel

Highlands, Sanibel River Estates, Sanibel Shores,

Sanibel Woodlands, Sea Oats, Sea Pines,

Seagate, Seagull Estates, Seahawk, Seaspray,

Southwinds, Terrel Ridge, Tradewinds

Status

Number

Median Price $

DOM

For Sale

49

845,000*

300

Under Contract

13

719,000*

226

2013 Sales

56

681,950

271

2012 Sales

79

565,000

330

DOM = days on market

* Asking price

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 19-26

Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Sanibel Arms #C1 1/1 $345K; Sundial #J307 2/2 $519,915; Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $985K.
1 price change: Spanish Cay #C3 2/2 now $335K.
2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 listed for $549K, Pointe Santo #D2 2/2 listed for $599K.
4 closed sales: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 $165K, Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 $410K, Sundial #E308 2/2 $785K, Shorewood #1D 3/2 $791K.
 
HOMES
3 new listings: 1475 Court Pl 3/1 $289K, 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family $449K, 6111 SanCap Rd 3/4.5 $23M.
3 price changes: 1549 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $469K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $999K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 now $1.285M.
3 new sales: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed for $424.9K, 916 Palm St 5/4 multi-family listed for $529K, 1826 Woodring Rd 3/2 listed for $1.33M (short sale).
2 closed sales: 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $475K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $530K.
 
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 3351 Saint Kilda Rd now $337,555.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 6401 Pine Ave $644K.

Captiva

CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
3 closed sales: Beach Villas #2222 1/1 $455K, Marina Villas #806 2/2 $565K, Lands End Village #1611 2/2 $1.062.5M
 
HOMES
Nothing to report.
 
LOTS
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.

 

Until next month – or next Friday, happy weekend to all!

SanibelSusan

"Sanibel Sunset" courtsey of JMA Photography

“Sanibel Sunset” courtesy of JMA Photography

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