Traffic Kindness & Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva


RacoonPeekingIt’s another Happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. Once again it was a busy seven days on the islands. SanibelSusan listings had good inquiries and showing activity. One listing went under contract. Another has been accepted verbally, and several offers on other listings are being negotiated. We got four new condo listings too, all with showings already scheduled tomorrow. A report below after a couple of news items lists all of the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It was another good week for real estate even with the heavy traffic.

Speaking of traffic, I read the below editorial by Sidney B. Simon in yesterday’s edition of the “Island Reporter” and asked him if I could share it in my blog. With his permission, here it is:

Traffic Kindness

traffic-jam-cartoon-cars-waiting-31833185“To the editor: Traffic is awful. Tempers flare. Road rage is pending. And just think what it would be like without those marvelous, competent Traffic Police? So yell a thanks as you go by.

“But, there’s something else each of us could do. We could, yes we could, let someone in. For example, when we see a car that has to make a left turn coming down from the library. Or even a right turn coming out of Dixie Beach. Or any turn coming out of one of the shopping centers or the post office.

“A little traffic kindness could ease the pain. And, here’s a simple plan to encourage that.

“If you drive an SUV and you see an SUV trying to get onto Periwinkle, you stop traffic and let it in, and include one other car behind it, not matter what it is. It’s amazing what one SUV can do to help.

“Now, take it further. Every pickup truck lets in a pickup truck. Every convertible could make it a habit to let any other convertible in. Every German car lets a German car onto Periwinkle. You know you German cars can recognize a Mercedes, a BMW, or VW. Let one in. Then every Japanese or Korean car owner, stops and welcomes in one of their breed. Hummers and Yugos may have some problems. If you drive anything else, I leave it to you to figure out what kindness you want to perform.

“One of the nice things about being stuck in traffic, you and your passengers can start a conversation about kindness, how it needs to be encouraged, and what we can teach our grandkids about some of the kindnesses we have done during our long life. Kindness is one of the legacies we leave behind. I welcome your comments. Sidney B. Simon, Sanibel Island”

REALTORS® Forecast Home Price Increases

US Map mar14_DN_confidenceThis article was posted on Monday on “Daily Real Estate News”. With the wonderful weather in Florida this winter, I bet Florida ends up leading the pack in this year – particularly on the islands where most buyers pay cash.

“REALTORS® expect home prices to continue to rise over the next 12 months. But they expect them to do so at a moderate pace, given tight credit conditions and the chipping away of home affordability, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index, a monthly survey distributed to more than 50,000 real estate practitioners to gauge expectations over home sales, prices, and market conditions.

“Real estate professionals reported a median price expectation of 3.9% over the next 12 months. The states where practitioners are predicting the biggest increases—5 to 7%—are in California, Florida, Alaska, and Hawaii. Tight inventories have helped to lift home values in these areas, according to the survey. “In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, and the D.C.-metro area, the expected price increase is about 3 to 5%,” according to the report.

“Real estate professionals also expressed several concerns over the housing market holding back some buyers, particularly due to “unreasonably” tight credit conditions. “Access to credit was often cited as a deterrent to home buying,” according to the report. “About 13% of REALTORS® who did not close a sale in February reported having clients who could not obtain financing.” In those cases, about 6% of the professionals said their buyer gave up, while 7% said their buyer continued to seek new or other financing. Other transaction hang-ups were lack of agreement on a price (accounting for 11%); buyer losing a home to competition (10%); and appraisal issues (3%).”

FEMA Outlines Next Steps for Flood Insurance Law

FloridaRealtors® on-line posted the following notice yesterday:

capitol“In testimony before a U.S. House subcommittee, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate talked about the timing of implementation. He suggested that homeowners and buyers be patient – it may take awhile for the law’s mandates to filter down to insurance agents.

“President Obama signed the flood insurance law on Friday, but FEMA has up to eight months to develop guidance for insurance companies, according to Lisa Jones, a consultant hired by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) to navigate the complicated law. And after FEMA solidifies the new rules, insurers have up to six months to retool their software.

“Rep. Steven Palazzo, vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, asked Fugate at a hearing yesterday if there was a way to fast-track the process. According to Fugate, the first step is to explain the grandfathering clause – where a homebuyer pays the same rate as a home seller in areas where FEMA subsidizes some flood insurance rates – to insurance agents in the field because “It’s going to take time to get that out there to every agent and get that into the system.”

“Fugate says buyers, at least in the short term, may have to work with both their insurance agent and FEMA to get the correct flood insurance rate. FEMA “may need to handle some of the immediate (flood insurance rate requests) – literally, hand-walk it through the process until the system is fully up and running with the new changes,” he testified.

“Fugate pointed to one part of the new law that would take time to calculate: A mandate that no single premium exceed 18%, and “we’re looking at the timeframes you gave us to do refunds” for homeowners who already paid a higher flood insurance premium.

“Fugate said the new mandatory caps will also impact all calculations for rate increases, and it will take FEMA time to do that, followed by software changes to programs that insurers use to quote rates to homeowners.”

Florida Working to Protect Water Quality

floridaHere is some excellent news. These excerpts are from a www.flgov.org article entitled “Governor Rick Scott’s FY 2014-2015 Recommended Budget Highlights”. That budget is now approved! This is all good news for Southwest Florida. The next step is to get the Federal Government to be more proactive on water quality too. Florida Realtors® locally, state, and nationally have been pushing for this for years!

“Protecting Florida’s Economy, Water Supply, and Environment through the Restoration of the South Florida Ecosystem and Florida’s Everglades: The Governor’s It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget commits an historic $180 million dollars towards restoring and protecting the Everglades and Florida Keys. This is a $110 million increase from the FY 2013-2014 budget.

“Florida’s Everglades: The Governor continues his commitment to Everglades by committing $130 million for restoration projects.

• Restoring America’s Everglades means reestablishing its natural water flow to the 2.4 million-acre marsh, reviving habitat for more than 60 threatened and endangered species, creating a reliable water supply for millions of Floridians and providing flood control to South Florida.

• The funds provided will implement the Governor’s water quality plan for the Everglades and continue the state’s commitment to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). It will also fund critical projects such as the Kissimissee River restoration and the raising of an additional 2.6 miles of Tamiami Trail to allow more water to flow into Everglades National Park.

• In addition, funding is provided to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for implementation of agricultural nonpoint source controls in the Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee, and St. Lucie River watersheds. Together, these projects will provide clean water for the Everglades and reduce the excessive flow of water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River estuaries.

“Wastewater Treatment Upgrades: The Governor’s Budget also provides $50 million for wastewater treatment upgrades in the Florida Keys.

“Protecting Florida’s Springs, Lakes, Rivers, and Estuaries: Governor Scott’s Budget provides $55 million for springs protection and restoration, including ensuring the protection of the groundwater supply in Central and North Florida. This is a $45 million increase in funding from FY 2013-14.
Governor Scott’s Budget also provides the following funding for water resource protection:
• $17 million for nonpoint source pollution management grants;
• $9.4 million for total maximum daily loads;
• $77.2 million for drinking water facility construction, an increase of $4.3 million from FY 2013-2014;
• $161.6 for wastewater treatment facility/storm water construction, an increase of $18.8 million from FY 2013-2014; and $8 million for lake restoration.

“Protecting Beaches: Over 220 miles of beaches, or 55% of all Florida beaches, that were designated as critically eroded have been restored and maintained through partnerships with local, state, and federal governments. Governor Scott’s Budget provides $25 million of financial assistance to local and state governments and special taxing authorities for beach and dune restoration, beach nourishment, inlet sand bypassing, regional sediment management and innovative projects. This funding adds to the more than $393 million in state funding for beach and inlet management provided over the last 10 years.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 21-28, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
6 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #1322 2/2 $419K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $599K (our listing), Sand Pointe #122 2/2 $749K (our listing), Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $874K (our listing), Kings Crown #302 2/2 $899K (our listing), Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 $1.395M.
6 price changes: Captains Walk #C1 2/1 now $310K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $455K, Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 now $474K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $595K, Sandals #D 4/3 now $1.975M, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.295M.
9 new sales: Donax Village #9 1/1 listed for $249.9K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 listed for $349K, Sanibel Arms #C4 2/2 listed for $489.9K, Compass Point #212 2/2 listed for $569K, Pointe Santo #E32 2/2 listed for $739K, Sundial #E208 2/2 listed for $799K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 listed for $869K, Beachcomber #C302 2/2 listed for $1.695M, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 listed for $2.55M.
2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $170K, Sundial #O205 2/2 $755K.

HOMES
5 new listings: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 $350K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $525K, 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $579K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 $599K, 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $599K.
11 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $324K; 1481 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $524K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $569,555; 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $614K; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $627.7K; 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 now $729.75K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $749K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $825K; 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.79M; 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.795M; 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.459M.
8 new sales: 531 Birdsong Place 3/2 listed for $448K; 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed for $449K; 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 listed for $545K; 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $549K; 1356 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed for $674K; 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $825K; 909 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 listed for $1,199,999; 5423 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.479M.
3 closed sales: 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $545K, 1705 Serenity Ln 3/2.5 $551.75K, 211 Daniel Dr 3/2 $725K.

LOTS
1 new listing: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd $240K.
2 price changes: 667 Birdie View Pt now $349K, 5830 SanCap Rd now $395,555.
2 new sales: 1118 Sand Castle Rd listed for $199K (our listing), 5749 San Cap Rd listed for $399,555.
1 closed sale: 990 Beach Rd $525K.

Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5128 1/2 $325K, Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $622.5K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES
1 new listing: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 $4.495M.
1 price change: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.495M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 15127 Captiva Dr 8/8 multi-family $1.45M.
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.

’til next Friday, this Realtor will be working 24/7.
It’s a great time of the year in the real estate business on the islands! Woohooo!
SanibelSusan

HeronSurf

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