Summer Weather Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Our listings saw good activity this week with viewings by several holiday vacationers. Midweek REALTOR® teammate David held open houses for a couple of days in vacant gulf-front condos hoping to attract some interest. Though most of the unsolicited lookers were renters staying in the complexes, he did also get viewings by other REALTORS® and their clients. With glorious summer-like weather continuing on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, most visitors are out enjoying the great outdoors (daily temps of 84 degrees F & higher are expected until at least Wed).

REALTOR® Caravan and Annual Meeting

realtor logoA good sprinkling of new listings and new sales were announced at our biweekly Association of REALTORS® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Because of this pre-season additional activity, these caravans are expected to return to a weekly Thursday schedule in November. See report below for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity over the last seven days.

Yesterday during REALTOR® caravan, REALTOR® teammate Lisa and I previewed several new listings including the waterfront home of renowned photographer Charlie McCullough. Visiting this property was like taking a step back in time. Built originally at the turn of the century as a fishing camp, this quaint three-bedroom is on two acres surrounded by preserved lands. Inside it has an old brick fireplace and antique fixtures including claw-foot tub. Overlooking panoramic views of the bay are a wonderful big wrap screened porch (minus most of the screens), dock and boat lift. Some of the most well-known historic Sanibel photos were taken from this very home, including those of Esperanza Woodring throwing her infamous cast nets. Priced at just under $2M, this property offers a wonderful opportunity for someone to restore a true island gem. The expansive water views are amazing. Here are a few photos including of the dolphins frolicking near the dock. You may have to look carefully to spot them. The one from the dock looking back at the home shows its interesting architectural lines.

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Last night was our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Annual Meeting. As 2013 Professional Development Committee Chair and Nominating Committee Chair, my association duties are winding down. Our next event is Monday morning when we host an educational session with Certified Floodplain Managers J.R. Evans Engineering. Hopefully then, our REALTORS® will learn about some island areas that have been identified as candidates for flood map changes that could ultimately reduce flood insurance premiums. Rumor has it that part of my street (among others) is on the list! News worth sharing will be posted next work.

The Peabody Ducks

Peabody DucksFlorida REALTORs® involved in our state association’s leadership team attend mid-year and annual business meetings each January and August in Orlando. Handy to the Orange County Convention Center which sometimes hosts the National Association of REALTORS® annual meeting too, is The Peabody Orlando Hotel. The Peabody is famous for its ducks which perform a traditional red-carpet march every day from to/from their upper floor boarding area and the lobby fountain/pond. I stayed there a handful of times and always enjoyed watching the duck march. Having recently heard that The Peabody sold, it was a surprise to read about the ducks in the October “”Ding” on the Wing” (“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society newsletter). It seems that these famous birds visited “Ding” Darling for the opening of the Visitors Education Center many years ago. The article says: “Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently purchased The Peabody Orlando Hotel. As a result of the rebranding, The Peabody’s famous ducks, who visited “Ding” Darling for the opening of the Visitors Education Center many years ago, were retired at a party on September 30, 2013, in Orlando. At the party, as a gesture to the tradition and community, Hyatt Regency Orlando donated $5,000 to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society to benefit the Refuge….”

More Good “Ding” Darling News

Ding Darling Society logoWhile passing out hotel kudos, it also was nice to read about another kind gesture: “When the Refuge was forced to shut down, due to the legislative impasse, it left the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society “homeless”.  Society staff turned to Candlewood Suites Fort Myers-Sanibel Gateway” who gave them a great rate on office space rental.

Ding Darling DaysThe good news yesterday was that the Refuge and Wildlife Drive reopened in the morning, while the free Visitor/Education Center reopened yesterday afternoon. Tarpon Bay Explorers also is open and began running its tram tours again on Thursday too. The remaining 24th Annual “Ding” Darling Days will continue with all scheduled activities beginning Monday. That is one of the most important events at the Refuge each year. Thankfully visitors arriving for those festivities next week will not be disappointed.

Support Public Land Funding 

SCCF logoThis is a reprint of an email received this week from SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). Please take action, if you can.

“Thanks to everyone who has signed the Florida Water & Land Legacy petition to secure a funding source for Florida’s conservation lands and parks.  As you may know for 20 years the Florida legislature has allocated 33% of existing doc stamp tax revenue (the taxes paid on real estate transactions) to fund Florida’s amazing parks and land acquisition programs.  However for the past five years the legislature has redirected 95% of those funds.  This year the legislature passed a bill that required the state to sell existing conservation lands in order to fund new land purchases.  

“We need a dedicated funding source to preserve Florida’s heritage.  This amendment  will designate 33% of existing doc stamp taxes to a dedicated fund for conservation purposes, such as acquiring conservation and recreation lands, managing existing lands, protecting lands that are critical for water supply and restoring degraded natural systems.

“SCCF strongly supports this statewide conservation initiative, which is being spearheaded by the Florida Water & Land Legacy . As a like-minded organization, SCCF has contributed $5000 towards the petition drive expenses in addition to the countless hours our staff, board of trustees and volunteers have spent manning clipboards to educate the public about the petition and obtain signatures from registered Florida voters.

“At this point, all the volunteer organizations working on this have obtained 184,469 of the 459,973 signatures gathered to date. To get this initiative on the 2014 ballot an additional 220,027 signatures are needed (680,000 total) by November 30, 2013.   If you are a registered Florida voter and have not yet signed the petition, you can still do so by stopping by SCCFs Nature Center or going online and downloading the form at:  

“Many, many hours have gone into this drive so far, let’s not fall short of the goal when we are so close.   For additional information you can access the FWLL website and Frequently asked Questions at :

“The campaign continues to need financial support.  If you can help, you can do so online at  or by mail or phone: 

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy  
316 Williams Street     
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
(850) 629-4656″

Next Big Investment: A Million-Dollar Flip

wall street journalThis “Daily Real Estate News” article on Monday sourced “The Wall Street Journal”. If this trend starts on Sanibel and Captiva, we won’t have enough inventory for resident buyers. Island inventory already is very low, particularly for high-end homes.

“Some investors are betting that renovating and flipping million-dollar properties is the next big opportunity in the housing market. Investors had been mostly focused on foreclosed and distressed properties, buying them on the cheap and turning them into rental properties. But as foreclosures have dried up in many markets and competition has increased, some investment companies are turning to flipping more expensive properties, particularly in California, where limited inventories are available. 

“Unlike the flippers of the housing bubble, who bought homes with little or no money down, those investors today often have to make all-cash purchases, which has reduced the pool of potential buyers,” The Wall Street Journal reports. For example, American Coastal Properties LLC is buying up properties with what it considers “lot value”: homes with no curb appeal but that are located in exclusive neighborhoods in Southern California. ACP is spending between 50% to 100% of the purchase price in redesigning — and, in some cases, rebuilding — the homes, says ACP owner Nick Sinatra. “It’s a land trade,” Sinatra says. “We’re essentially higher-end home builders in highly desirable neighborhoods that, even in bad times, don’t suffer.” After ACP bought a Venice, Calif., home last year for $900,000, the company sold it in June for $2.065 million. It had spent nearly $600,000 on renovations. Sinatra told the Journal that he believes flipping luxury homes offers better returns because the market for turning less-expensive homes into rentals or flips has grown “overcrowded.” “There are fewer competitors in this space because it’s more difficult,” he says.”

More on Surge Protection

Lcec logoWhen I got my LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) bill this week, it made me think of the islanders who remarked this summer about power surges that blew electronics and appliances during storms. The bill contained a nice tidbit of information: “About 60% of surges occur inside the home from microwave ovens or air conditioning motors. Even turning lights off and on can result in a power surge. Surges caused from within or outside your home can cause costly damage to your appliances if left unprotected. LCEC surgeSENSE Protection is $5.95 plus tax per month.” More info at

Speaking of LCEC, they will have “no rate increase for 2014”. LCEC has not raised their rates since 2008! Gotta love a well run non-profit!

Finally a Quick Traffic Alert

If you are on the island in the morning (Saturday, Oct 19), the F.I.S.H. 10K race will result in the following road closures. (Please note that the end times are approximate and depend on the length of time needed for runners and walkers to clear the area.)

6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Tarpon Bay Rd from Periwinkle Way to West Gulf Dr, & Island Inn Rd from Tarpon Bay Rd to West Gulf Dr, & Southbound Casa Ybel Rd from Periwinkle Way to Tarpon Bay Rd.

6:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. – Eastbound Periwinkle Way from the Sanibel Community House to Casa Ybel Rd.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from October 11-18

2 new listings: Oceans Reach 4C2 2/2 $825K, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 $2.55M.
4 price changes: Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 now $379K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 now $492.5K, Sandalfoot #1A1 2/2 now $699K, Tamarind #B301 2/2 now $1.779M.
3 new sales: Colonnades #13 1/1 listed for $169K (short sale), Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed for $379K, Sunward #301 3/2 listed for $1.895M.
3 closed sales: Lake Palms #10 2/2.5 220K (short sale), Mariner Pointe #1042 2/2 $400K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Arms West #L3 2/2 $453,750.
5 new listings: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $439K, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 $695K, 750 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $970K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.049M, 1824 Woodring Rd 4/4 $1.449M.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: 6467 Pine Ave 3/3 $410K, 200 Robinwood Cir 3/3.5 $1.187M.
Nothing to report.
4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 $298K, Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 $525K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $725K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $775K.
1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $1.997.5M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $1.895M.
No 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.


Happy weekend to all, SanibelSusan

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