It’s Almost Easter 2014 on Sanibel Island

BirdofParadiseCaptivaIt has been the pre-Easter hustle-bustle on Sanibel and Captiva this week, with nice weather and the bike paths often full with vacationing families on spring holidays. Though the islands appear busier, our pals in the accommodations business advise that they are booked at only 75% this week, with about the same occupancy expected next week, after Saturday turn-overs.

At our last end of “season” Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting yesterday, it was obvious from the announcements that real estate sales have slowed down, price reductions are up, and the business population is looking forward to a little breather.

SanibelSusan put another condo listing under contract on Monday (love it when you can sell a listing yourself) and had a home listing close on Monday too. We held our new listing in Mariner Pointe open for Realtor caravan yesterday.

View from the Captiva house I showed today!

View from a house I showed today!

I was out showing Captiva homes again today. Season may be winding down but we still have buyers in town.

SanibelSusan listings had some showings this week too. None yet scheduled for the holiday weekend, but that can change once new visitors arrive tomorrow. I’ll be working tomorrow and ready for showing requests. 

Here are a few news items, followed by the week’s update on the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action.

Earth Day at the Refuge

Earthday2014 Tomorrow, Sat, April 19, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day in partnership with “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and Tarpon Bay Explorers. The first 200 visitors will get a free upcycled tee shirt bag, courtesy of DDWS. Throughout the day, visitors will meet and greet refuge educator Bagzilla, costumed in a year’s worth of an average person’s disposable bag consumption. There also are free bike rentals and Wildlife Drive admission for bikers and hikers to encourage visitors to get outdoors and get active. Events include:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Wildlife Dr free to bikers/hikers, only $5 fee per vehicle. Plein-art artists will be painting along Wildlife Dr during the day.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free bike rentals from Tarpon Bay Explorers at 900 Tarpon Bay Dr (returns by 6 p.m.).
  • 9 to 11 a.m. – Bike the Refuge Tour with a naturalist on the 4-mile drive to learn about bird life and ecology (meet at the flagpole).
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Ongoing Earth Crafts in the Education Center Classroom.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. – Guided Hike Along Indigo Trail with a naturalist (meet at the flagpole).
  • 10 to 11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 to 1:30 p.m., 2:30 to 4 p.m. & 4 to 5:30 p.m. – Narrated refuge tram tours (regular tram fees apply, tickets in booth in parking lot).
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Reading in the Refuge, family story-time about sea turtles at the Education Center Auditorium.
  • Noon to 12:30 p.m. – Let’s Talk Trash Marine Timeline competition for kids at Education Center Auditorium.
  • 1 to 1:30 p.m. – Reading in the Refuge, family story-time about manatees at the Education Center Auditorium.
  • 2 to 2:30 p.m. – Upcycle Trash. Learn how to turn trash into yarn, jewelry, & other masterpieces at Education Center Auditorium.

Another Update on Flood Insurance 

Heidrick & Co logoChris Heidrick, owner of Heidrick & Company Insurance,, one of our Association of Realtors® affiliate business partners, yesterday gave our members a quick update on the national flood insurance program. When the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act was signed into law on March 21 to repeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s authority to increase premium rates when a property is sold (& more), consumers were advised that it would take some time for the government to interpret these changes. 

Chris advised us that “36 hours ago” they got that first interpretation (quoted during our 8 a.m. meeting). It is that starting immediately any new flood insurance policies and renewals on pre-FIRM properties (or those built before the initial flood insurance map was used in that community) will not require an elevation certificate and that the pre-FIRM insurance rates will apply. (Note: FIRM = Flood Insurance Rate Map).

That is great news! As an example, Chris described recent quotes he has made for island ground-level homes in the AE Zone (which is typically near beach but not gulf-front), where the flood cost will be $2K-$4K/year.

I expect that Chris will keep us further updated as more interpretations are received.

Lee County Watering Restrictions

Lee County_logoTo those heading home for the summer, remember that Lee County’s water restrictions remain in effect year-’round. Although the hot summer season is often called the rainy season too, unless you have an eco-friendly landscape, your lawns and vegetation may suffer without proper irrigation. The county rules are: 

Odd numbered addresses (those ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9) may only water on Wednesdays and/or Saturdays.

Even numbered addresses (those ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, & 8, or no address #) may water only on Thursdays and/or Sundays.

Approved watering times are between midnight & 9 a.m. &/or between 5 p.m. & midnight. No irrigating is allowed between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. OR on Monday, Tuesday, or Friday at any time.

If you want to make your yard more environmentally friendly and less water dependent, contact the Native Plant Nursery at SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) at They are a wonderful and helpful resource with a “landscaping for wildlife program” too. 

Sanibel Author Charlie Sobczak on C-SPAN

Living SanibelAfter being recommended by Margie Byers of the Lee County Library system, our real estate colleague and island author, Charlie Sobczak will appear on C-SPAN’s BookTV this Earth Day!

The segment, titled “Cities Tour” will focus on the unique literary stories and history of Ft. Myers, FL. Charlie’s book, “The Living Gulf Coast – A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida” will be mentioned, along with two of the destinations from the Lee County section of the book: J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Lover’s Key State Park.

C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network based out of Washington, D.C. and serves an estimated 100 million homes nationwide. The program is scheduled to air tomorrow and Sunday (April 19th and 20th, 2014) at noon (EST) on C-SPAN2 (Comcast channels 29 and 104 in Ft. Myers but check your cable provider for your local channels). After the broadcast, the segment will be archived and available online from To learn more about the book, go to or

In Collier County, Charlie also will be speaking at 10:30 a.m., April 19, 2014, at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of Earth Day.  The Conservancy is at 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. The topic of the presentation is: Florida’s Wildlife: Past, Present and Future. 

SanibelSusan often includes an autographed copy of Charlie’s book “Living Sanibel” (a nature guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands) as one of their closing gifts. It is one of the best reference books about the area. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 11-18, 2014


2 new listings: Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $624.9K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $699K.
3 price changes: Sundial #Q202 2/2 now $699K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $869K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.22M.
6 new sales: Captains Walk #C1 2/1 listed for $310K, Seashells #6 2/2 listed for $369K, Lighthouse Point #130 2/2 listed for $530K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 listed for $599K (our listing), Pine Cove #302 2/2 listed for $1.15M, Sanibel Seaview #B1 3/3 listed for $1.395M.
8 closed sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 $280K, Beach Road Villas #103 2/2 $325K, Sundial #I402 1/1 $335K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 $515K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $703K, Pine Cove #1A 2/2 $740K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 $1.325M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $1.75M.
5 new listings: 1049 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $599,555; 1380 Jamiaca Dr 3/2 $619K; 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $749K; 1058 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $849K; 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 $1.589M.
10 price changes: 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $599.9K; 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $790K; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 now $848K; 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $899K; 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $899K; 1048 Kings Crown Dr 4/4 now $1,299,999; 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 now $1.448M; 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 now $2.498M.
5 new sales: 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 listed for $439K, 950 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $499K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $599K, (short sale), 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex listed for $698.5K, 2520 Harbour Ln 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M.
4 closed sales: 972 Fitzhugh St 3/2 $358K, 1960 Roseate Ln 3/2 $440K (our listing), 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $540K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 $735K.LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 1325 Eagle Run Dr now $475,555.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 5749 SanCap Rd $365K.


1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 $599K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 now $662.5K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $789.9K, 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $829K.
No new or closed sales.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.

Easter Clip ArtHappy Easter!