Another Friday with Gorgeous Weather & Hot Real Estate Activity on Sanibel Island

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another week of good real estate activity on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Remember those four new condo listings that I mentioned in my blog last Friday? Well, one already is under contract. Another condo listing sold over the weekend and our only home listing now is under contract too. I also was out two days showing homes this week. We love being busy, especially when there are good results!

View from Kings Crown #302

View from Kings Crown #302

“Season” is Winding Down

united_states_post_office_112279None of our new listings were vacant for Realtor Caravan this week, so we were not able to hold them open, but occupancy will be changing.

I heard at the Post Office yesterday that they already are fielding inquiries from snowbirds getting ready to forward their mail for the summer. Some may be ready to head north, meaning traffic will most likely be easing up in the upcoming weeks. Our rental company colleagues advise that some properties have already transitioned from their high “season” winter rates to shoulder rates and even summer rates. 

San Cap LogoBelow are a few news items followed by the week’s Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity report which shows the islands real estate busy-ness. Sanibel inventory is now less than it has been in a long time. Until sales have closed, the general public does not know how the market has changed, but here is a little sampling:

  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 34 Sanibel condos closed. This year during the same period, 37 have closed, BUT another 48 are under contract. That’s 84 condo sales already this year, compared to 161 in all of 2013 (compared to 86 in all of 2007). 140 Sanibel condos remain for sale.
  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 51 Sanibel homes closed. This year during the same period, 54 have closed, BUT another 46 are under contract. That’s 100 home sales already this year, compared to 197 in all of 2013 (compared to 124 in all of 2010). 194 Sanibel homes remain for sale.
  • Last year, Jan 1 to Apr 4, 5 Sanibel lots closed. This year during the same period, 7 have closed, BUT another 7 are under contract. That’s 14 lot sales already this year, compared to 26 in all of 2013 (compared to 11 in all of 2009). 90 Sanibel lots remain for sale.

As follow-up to my blog posting last week about the good funding in Florida’s new budget for water quality improvement solutions, here is some more positive news on the same subject. 

Pumping Polluted Water Into Lake Okeechobee Must Stop, Judge Rules

earth justice logoPosted on on Friday, March 28:

“A major decision in federal court today will put an end to government-sanctioned pollution that’s been fouling Lake Okeechobee for more than three decades. The case, first filed in 2002 by Earthjustice, challenged the practice of “back-pumping.” For years, South Florida sugar and vegetable growers have used the public’s waters, pumped out of giant Lake Okeechobee, to irrigate their fields. They wash the water over their industrial-sized crops, where it is contaminated with fertilizers and other pollutants. Then, they get taxpayers in the South Florida Water Management District to pay to pump the contaminated water back into Lake Okeechobee, where it pollutes public drinking water supplies. Lake Okeechobee provides drinking water for West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, and the entire Lower East Coast metropolitan area.

“Earthjustice contended that the South Florida Water Management District was violating the Clean Water Act by allowing the agricultural companies to send fertilizer-laden water into public water supplies, instead of cleaning it up first.

“U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in the Southern District of New York ruled today that the water transfer practice does, indeed, violate the Clean Water Act. The case ended up in New York because clean-water groups and several states also challenged the practice of allowing dirty water transfers into public water supplies without Clean Water Act protections. All the cases – including Earthjustice’s Florida case – on behalf of Friends of the Everglades, Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club – were  bundled together.

“”It’s well established by now that a city can’t just dump sewage into a river – they’ve got to clean it first,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “The same principal applies here with water pumped from contaminated drainage canals.” “This victory has been a long time coming,” said Florida Wildlife Federation president Manley Fuller. “Stopping pollution at the source is the key to cleaning up South Florida’s water pollution problems – the toxic green slime in the rivers, the dead wildlife washing up in the shores, the contaminated drinking water — and this decision will make that happen at long last.” “Big sugar corporations have been illegally dumping dirty water into Lake Okeechobee for years.  They won’t be able to do that anymore, thanks to this very important decision by the federal courts,” said Sierra Club’s Florida Staff Director, Frank Jackalone.

“Transfers of contaminated water have triggered numerous toxic algae outbreaks around the United States.  The algae growths can make people sick and sometimes kill livestock or pets that drink the water.  The drinking water supplies for millions of Americans across the country have been affected, including notable cases in Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, and California. The dirty water is a health risk for pregnant women, and taxpayers are on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional treatment costs while polluters put more profits in their pockets. 

““Instead of tightening protections and cleaning up the pollution, the EPA chose to legalize it,” said Albert Slap, attorney for Friends of the Everglades. “Now the courts have settled it – the South Florida Water Management District has to comply with the Clean Water Act.””

BIG ARTS 2nd Annual Photography Scavenger Hunt

photo-scavenger-imageSanibelSusan is the sponsor for this BIG ARTS scholarship program fundraiser next week (Tues April 8). At this 2nd Annual event, BIG ARTS invites all aspiring photography buffs to embark on a conceptual scavenger hunt. The adventure begins at 3 p.m. when teams pick up their clues at BIG ARTS. Each team will use one digital camera to capture images inspired by the given clues. Thinking “outside the box” is encouraged.

Teams must return by 5 p.m. and hand in their camera’s memory chip. While the teams are enjoying a gourmet boxed dinner, the collected images will be gathered together for judging and display. 

Steve Greenstein will serve as the emcee. During a wine and desert reception at 6 p.m., the images will be showcased on the big screen at BIG ARTS and prizes will be awarded for the best images. Team member tickets are $45 which includes dinner and reception. Reception only tickets are $8. 

Sanibel’s Civic Core Master Plan Updated

Sanibelcityseal logoThe latest version of the civic and cultural core plan was presented to Sanibel City Council this week. The architect creating the conceptual plan that would consolidate BIG ARTS, the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, Center4Life, and The Community House onto a 25-acre site along with City Hall, the Sanibel Public Library, and the Public Works Department shared the most recent plans for the project which was earlier approved by all stakeholders.

The plan is both bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, plus provides a net gain of almost twice as many parking spaces. It has gone through 33 versions. Unanimously approved by Council to move forward, future work on the plan will continue a “village approach” relying upon stakeholder and public input, developing a budget which may include applying for grants.

It’s Snowy Plover Time Again

snowy ploversIf you need education on the staked nests on the beach now or the families of little birds with tiny chicks running around, be sure to go to the SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) presentation on Tues Apr 8.

Learn more about their ongoing snowy plover research and the conservation efforts on Sanibel and around Florida. 

Site Names Top 10 Best Downtowns in U.S.

Photo by Jeremy Harvey/Courtesy of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

Photo by Jeremy Harvey/Courtesy of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

Having lived in Olde Town Alexandria, VA for many years before moving to Sanibel, I got a kick out of reading this article in “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to

““The best downtowns instill a sense of pride in their cities,” according to The website recently ranked the top 10 best downtowns for 2014. Among the factors analyzed for the list, say the editors, were data on improvement in retail and office vacancy rates, the number of people moving to the area, income growth, unemployment, and the ratio of people who live and work in the downtown.

“Having a great downtown is about more than just having a great main street,” says Matt Carmichael, editor. “A downtown should have a cultural and retail focal point, like a main street, but it has to expand beyond that, providing a solid core for the entire community.”

“Livability listed the following downtowns as tops in 2014:

  1. Fort Worth, TX
  2. Providence, RI
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Provo, UT
  5. Alexandria, VA
  6. Frederick, MD
  7. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  8. Bellingham, WA
  9. Eugene, OR
  10. Birmingham, AL.” 

Vacation Home Tip Sheet

RSPS LogoAs the author and instructor for one of the segments required for Realtors® to earn the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Specialist designation, SanibelSusan is always on the lookout for information to share on the “Resort and Second-Home” market. I hold the Resort & Second Home Property Specialist designation.

Here’s a summary tip sheet posted on-line at “RealtorMag” by Barbara Ballinger with the six factors buyers need to consider when investing in a second home.

“1. Keep costs within the budget.

2. Determine the frequency of use.

3. Pick the right location.

4. Understand upkeep.

5. Research rental potential and costs.

6. Think about resale and changing needs.” 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 28-April 4, 2014

ASSOC LogoSanibel


5 new listings: Sanibel Shores #2 2/1 $299K, Seashells #6 2/2 $369K, Coquina Beach #3H 2/2 $2/2 $424K, Breakers West #B5 2/2 $459K, Beachcomber #C102 2/2 $1.575M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #3 2/2 now $493K, Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 now $849K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.27M, Plantation Village #B321 3/3 now $2.299M.

8 new sales: Seawind #A102 2/2.5 listed for $397.9K, Island Beach Club #310F 2/2 listed for $474K (our listing), Sunset South #1B 2/2 listed for $534K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 listed for $715K, Pine Cove 31A 2/2 listed for $779K, Kings Crown #302 2/2 listed for $899K (our listing), High Tide #A102 3/2.5 listed for $1.299M.

7 closed sales: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 $269K, Sundial #G105 1/1 $305K, Sundial #G401 2/2 $412K, Blind Pass #C203 3/2.5 $ 461K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $490K, Lighthouse Point #324 3/2 $635K, Kings Crown #303 2/2 $930K. 


5 new listings: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $489K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 $799K, 1818 Buckthorn Ln 3/3 $875K, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 $3.345M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 $5.295M.

15 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $315K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 now $439K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $489K, 950 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $499K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $499K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $710K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $725K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $799K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $889.5K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 now $890K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $925K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 now $949K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 now $979K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.098M, 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.35M (short sale).

8 new sales: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed for $449K, 1344 Tahiti Dr 2/1 listed for $450K, 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed for $499K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 listed for $598K, 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $770K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 listed for $799K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed for $999K (our listing), 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 listed for $1M.

6 closed sales: 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $425K, 1787 Serenity Ln 3/2 $520K, 617 E Rocks Dr 3/2 $585K, 231 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $935K, 836 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $995K, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.35M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $165.9K, 2324 Starfish Ln now $495K.

1 new sale: 3334 Saint Kilda Rd listed for $315K.

No closed sales.



No new listings.

1 price change: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $1.045M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $258.5K, Tennis Villas #3139 2/2 $380K.


1 new listing: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 $2.394M.

2 price changes: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 now $929K, 16814 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $7.495M.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.749M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Happy weekend to all, from SanibelSusan…

More fantastic weather with temperatures in the 70’s is expected for the next week…island perfect!