It’s already another Friday with Sanibel and Captiva Islands gearing up for a holiday weekend. Our phones at SanibelSusan Realty have been quiet today, but those coming from off-island this morning remarked that there were families staking out spots on the causeway as early as 7:30 a.m.
Below are a couple of cell phone photos snapped this afternoon. It’s that time of the year when the sky is bright blue and the gulf is bright blue-green – gorgeous! These were taken at the Fulgur Street beach access between Compass Point and Sanibel Siesta.
At SanibelSusan Realty Associates
Our listings had few inquiries and showing requests this week, probably related to a slowdown in traffic, but with a home closing on Monday, us assisting clients in town doing due diligence and inspections, and another closing coming up early next week, we have stayed busy.
Teammate Dave has heading out to show a condo, while Elise finalizes her weekly report of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service which follows some news items below.
Wednesday was the annual island Association of Realtors® RPAC fundraiser at The Sanctuary. Dave played in the afternoon golf scramble, while I attended the event after work which included both silent and live auctions.
Because of the RPAC event, there was no caravan yesterday, but there will be one next week. Always interesting this time of the year to see if there are any new listings. We have one in the works.
Save Sea Turtles
“Turn Off Lights & Close Curtains/Blinds After Dark – Hatchling sea turtles are guided to the ocean by an instinct to travel away from the dark silhouettes of the dune vegetation and toward the brightest horizon – light from the sky reflecting off the ocean. Artificial light near the beach can deter females from nesting and disorient hatchling sea turtles. Most hatchlings that wander inland die of exhaustion, dehydration or predation. Local ordinances in effect year-‘round prohibit BOTH interior and exterior lights from illuminating the beach.
“PROBLEM: Interior lighting sources including chandeliers, lamps, and other fixtures that are visible from the beachfront. Unshielded interior lighting, even from just a single beachfront condominium, resort unit, or residence, is enough to disrupt the normal sea-finding behavior of sea turtle hatchlings. SOLUTION: Close curtains and blinds or turn off lights after dark.
“PROBLEM: Exterior lighting sources including flood lights, porch, ceiling fan lights, parking area lights, and other fixtures that are visible from or directly, indirectly, or cumulatively illuminate the beach. SOLUTION: Shield or turn off outdoor lights near or facing the beach. Replace the light source with a low-wattage yellow or amber bulb.
“PROBLEM: Portable lighting sources including flashlights, lanterns, or flash photography. SOLUTION: Avoid using flashlights, lanterns, or flash photography while on the beach at night. Cover the lens of your flashlight with red cellophane to make it less disruptive to sea turtles.
“For more information regarding sea turtles on Sanibel or the City’s beachfront lighting regulations, please visit the City’s website at http://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Beaches/Sea-Turtles….”
Sea Turtles & Gopher Turtles – Big Difference
I messaged the author, Kelly Everette Householder, who agreed to share her thoughts here too. Thank you, Kelly!
“Friends of this page – I want to relate a story that happened on the beach yesterday. My husband and I were sitting in our chairs at the water’s edge just enjoying the day. There was a small commotion behind us. There was a kind old gentleman who had found a “turtle”. He placed it at the waters edge but it tried to crawl toward the beach so this man thought to “help” the turtle by carrying it out past the second sandbar and letting it go.
“Although we did not get a good look at the animal, we became convinced that it was not a sea turtle but instead a small tortoise. The man returned from his rescue and walked off down the beach. My husband and I and another family watched as this “turtle” floated and swam. My husband swam out and got him and brought him back to the beach. Sure enough it was a gopher tortoise as we had suspected. Hubby took him over the dunes and released him back to his habitat.
“I post this to educate people the difference between a tortoise and a sea turtle. The biggest difference that is obvious is sea turtles have flippers (or fins) while land turtles have claws for digging. (See pictures below. Sea turtle in top photo, gopher tortoise on bottom.) Other differences include shape of the shell and color. I know this man thought he was doing a good deed but we should all remember that wildlife does not first and foremost need our human help except in rare instances such as what my hubby did. If you see an island animal in danger please call the authorities (i.e. C.R.O.W., or even the Sanibel Police Dept).
“We have been coming to this island for 22 years and have raised our children to love and respect the wildlife here. I’m saddened by several things I have seen on this trip. A man sailing sand dollars like Frisbees and a young mother who swatted a young child’s hand after he picked up a tiny crab to show her. We have seen people leaving the poles to their umbrellas on the beach overnight and even after being tagged for it continuing to do so. I guess they thought they were special and did not have to follow the laws that the rest of us follow every day. And finally, the people who came from the public park next to our complex and set up camp at the end of the beach in front of our building and proceeded to help themselves to our pool. I have been amazed and disheartened by the lack of respect to nature and mankind in general.
“I’m not sure all the awards and advertising is a good thing for our island sanctuary. This truly is not a beach for everyone. If you are looking for white, pristine beaches with absolutely nothing on them but people please go to one of the many other beaches in Florida that can accommodate the average beach-goer.
“Please come to Sanibel to enjoy the preserved and as unspoiled as possible flora and fauna that we all appreciate so much. Keep in mind that our beaches have many, many shells that can hurt your feet. There are shell casings, driftwood and numerous washed up items on the beaches. Our beaches are not groomed to look like a perfect photograph. We find that real nature provides a much more beautiful picture. Enjoy it but leave only footprints!”
Summer Vacation Bookings
At lunch today with pal David Schuldenfrei and his wife, Roberta, we talked about how our business stayed busy longer this year and how this is the first week that the phones have noticeably stopped ringing. David manages VIP Vacation Rentals and sells real estate here too. He remarked with another “first” when he said, “Of VIP’s many weekly vacation rental properties, fewer than 35 are available for any week between now and the end of August.” With schools not out yet, he said that is a new record, probably related to the recent announcement that Sanibel is the nation’s top family vacation destination.
Soooo, if you know anyone looking for a vacation rental here this summer, better suggest that they get those reservations made now!
City of Sanibel Hurricane Seminar for 2015 Season
Next Friday, May 29, from 1 to 3 p.m., the City of Sanibel will sponsor the 2015 Hurricane Seminar to educate residents, property owners, business owners, and island workers. The seminar is free and will be held at BIG ARTS at 900 Dunlop Road. Sanibel hurricane re-entry permits will be available for residents and businesses. For requirements, visit the Police Department section of the City website www.mysanibel.com. (The 2012 hurricane re-entry passes still are valid and in use.)
Economists Revise Housing Forecasts
“Economic growth is expected to moderate for the rest of the year, but housing is one sector that is expected to post solid gains, according to Fannie Mae’s newly released report from its Economic & Strategic Research Group.
“Economists with mortgage giant Freddie Mac also released a report this week revising housing forecasts upward for the remainder of the year. Economists expect that with tight for-sale inventories home prices will rise 4.5% this year, revised up from 4% in a prior report.
“”The labor market has added 5 million additional jobs, the unemployment rate is significantly lower, and housing markets are generally in much better condition than two years ago,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.
“Fannie Mae economists note that mortgage applications for home purchases –a gauge of home sales — have moved up consistently for the past couple of months.
“”While refinance applications have recently pulled back, the actual volume of both purchase and refinance originations earlier in the year came in stronger than we had projected,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. As such, Fannie Mae economists have raised their mortgage origination forecast to $1.46 trillion for this year
“”We are seeing positive developments in the housing space, supporting our forecast of moderate but broad-based improvement in 2015 compared to last year,” Duncan says.
“The wild card for the market may be what happens with mortgage rates in the next few months. Low mortgage rates have helped to keep homebuyer affordability high in the first quarter of this year, but housing markets will likely see an increase in interest rates for the remainder of year, Freddie Mac economists note.
“”For the remainder of this year, we’re likely to continue to see these mortgage rate swings as market participants try to anticipate Fed timing around rising short term interest rates,” says Kiefer. “Unfortunately, perspective home buyers may experience bouts of affordability shock in many housing markets. So far it’s been low mortgage rates that have helped to keep homebuyer affordability strong in the face of rising house prices, while income growth remains stagnant.””
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22
4 new listings: Sundial #B408 1/1 $465K, Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 $649K, Sandalfoot #4C3 2/2 $699K, Junonia #210 3/2 1.195M.
3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $339K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $639K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.28M.
4 new sales: Duggers #2 1/1 listed for $329K, Sundial #H109 1/1 listed for $339K, Sundial #J401 1/1 listed for $499K, Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 listed for $669K.
6 closed sales: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 $205K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 $450K, Nutmeg Village #304 2/2 $600K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 $759K, Lantana #102 4/3.5 $1.325M, Seascape #105 3/3 $1.75M.
2 new listings: 2451 Blind Pass Ct 3/4.5 $2.41M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/3 $3.97M.
5 price changes: 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $539K, 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $598.9K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $675K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $709K, 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 now $749.9K.
3 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 listed for $299K, 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 listed for $599K, 4203 Dingman Dr 4/3 listed for $2.695M.
12 closed sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $320K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $350K, 659 Donax St 2/2 $475K (our Seller), 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $530K, 603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $640K, 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $755K, 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $775K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 $800K, 1056 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $835K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $995K, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 $1.05M, 2720 Coconut Rd 3/3.5 $1.5M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $219K.
1 new sale: 3354 Barra Cir listed for $319K.
3 closed sales: 1332 Eagle Run Dr $242.5K, 643 East Rocks Dr $300K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct $600K.
No new listings.
2 price changes: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 now $499K; Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1,895,555.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2237 2/2 $670K, Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/3 $755K.
No new listings.
1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $7.699M.
1 new sale: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 listed for $3.69M.
No 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan