Summer Rain in the Neighborhoods on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It was another fairly quiet week on Sanibel with late-day summer rains continuing and not much real estate action over the last seven days. Just had the electricity in the office go on and off multiple times as I was trying to post this blog. Those folks who scooted out early on a Friday afternoon had the right idea as a huge rain is dousing Southwest Florida now (4 p.m.).

In the real estate world, The SanibelSusan Team had another nice closing on Tuesday, the charming olde-Florida home with guest house, separate garage, and resort-style pool at 375 East Gulf Dr. Due to building code restrictions, we don’t see many multi-building residential properties like it on Sanibel. Since it dates back to the late 50’s, before City incorporation, it has some wonderful and unusual features.

375 East Gulf

Pool at 375 East Gulf Dr

Wednesday, we also had a walk-in looking for an entry-level income-producing condo at Sundial and we continue to receive inquiries about where to rent next winter. There aren’t many vacancies left!

Teammate Dave and I had a couple of listing presentations this week which resulted in two new listings – both pool homes. One, a split-plan 3 bedroom 2-1/2 bath near the beach in Little Lake Murex has an amazing wide and long lake view. The other, a large 5-bedroom 4-bath in gated Laguna Lakes with amenities, is just off-island.


View at 597 Lake Murex Circle

View 2

View at Sunset South #9C

It was another week without a Thursday Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, but there will be one next week when our new listing at Sunset South #9C is on the schedule.

Little real estate activity has been posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. Compared to “high season” when we may see as many as 15-25 island properties go under contract in a week, this week there were just five: a single Sanibel condo and four homes, three on Sanibel and one on Captiva. Those details follow a few news items below.

Florida’s Economic Growth Beats U.S. Average

Florida Realtors logoThe following article was posted at FloridaRealtors® on-line yesterday:

“Florida’s economic growth in 2014 outpaced the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday. Goods and services produced in Florida increased 2.7% last year compared with 2.2% nationally, the bureau said.

“Growth in Florida topped all states east of the Mississippi River except West Virginia where the economy jumped 5.1% thanks to its mining industry, said BEA spokesman Thomas Dail.

“Florida’s economy, meanwhile, has benefited from strong growth in real estate and rental and leasing, Dail said. Florida, with more than triple the national growth in the real estate sector, was behind only North Dakota, the federal data showed.

“”There has been fairly strong contributions from retail trade as well,” Dail added. Florida had nearly double the national growth in the retail sector and was behind only Arizona, Washington and North Dakota, according to BEA’s numbers.

“Overall, Florida’s economic growth ranked 11th in the nation – good enough to beat any state touching the Atlantic – including New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia.

“The one bleak spot: Florida’s per capita share of the economy – the state’s output of goods and services divided by its population – continues to lag the nation’s. Last year, Florida’s was $38,690 vs. the nation’s $49,049. Florida has yet to recover to its pre-recession high of $44,048 in 2006.

“Florida has been rebounding from a deep recession since 2011, when the state’s economy actually contracted 0.6%, federal data shows. Goods and services grew only 1.7% in 2012, below the 1.9% national average.

Florida’s economy outpaced the nation’s in 2013 and 2014.”

© 2015 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Donna Gehrke-White. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sanibel + Captiva Islands: Florida’s Best Family-Friendly Nature-Loving Escapes

We know it has helped the real estate market and the economy here as the islands have made top-ranking on many internet sites. FYI, here’s the article about Sanibel and Captiva that was posted yesterday on-line on “Forbes” by their travel writer, Katie Kelly Bell:

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-2015

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-2015

“The sister islands of Sanibel and Captiva are something of a special breed in Florida. You won’t find bustling theme parks, water parks or alligator attractions on these islands. There won’t be long lines of sweaty tourists or beaches thronged with sunbathers either. In fact, these islands with their fertile unspoiled habitats seduce visitors without even trying.

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-15

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-15

“The islanders like to think the appeal is in the numbers: 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 kinds of fish, 230 kinds of birds, 250 kinds of shells and their favorite number of all—zero traffic lights. Sanibel alone is home to 6,400 acres of mangrove wilderness, which is almost half of the total island. Many visitors just come to spend time in the J. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge—a birders paradise, but also an ideal place for nature hikes and the occasional alligator spotting.

“Sanibel and Captiva (which are connected by a short causeway) also have a few simple guidelines in place that keep this wildlife-rich paradise as pristine as it was when I first visited as a young girl almost 40 years ago. The island allows no weekly home rentals (although smaller condominiums can be rented weekly) and no developer, no matter how deep the pockets, is permitted to build a structure higher than three stories.

“Yet, most people really don’t care about the rules; they come for the uncrowded beaches and unparalleled shelling. During my first visit as a child, my father and I decided to go shelling in the rain. We discovered the most magical things on that gloomy day–lighting whelks, king conch, shark eyes–even the occasional fish or horseshoe crab washed ashore by storm tide. Our pockets bulged with loot. I felt like an explorer, alone in the beachy wilderness. The adventure remains one of my most treasured memories with my dad to this day.

“In the following years I’ve taken my own babies down those beaches—each walk its own treasure hunt. Shelling on Sanibel is a rewarding pursuit simply because it yields intact shells—the ones with critters have to go back—but the empties are yours to keep. Of course you can sunbathe, or just drift in the gentle waves, but busy bees like me find the shelling hard to ignore.

“The island is threaded with bike trails and it’s a great way to get around or just explore sections you haven’t yet seen. I prefer biking through the wildlife refuge to driving—one always sees more when you slow down—and see you will. You can also take a guided tour by kayak through the refuge or through the mangrove forest. (Tarpon Bay Explorers offer several options led by naturalists). Expect to see a wide range of wildlife including dolphins, manatees, alligators, anhinga, pelican, and more.

“Shoppers won’t be disappointed, nor will those who just eat out every meal…Sanibel and Captiva have enough of both options to keep visitors busy for weeks without ever having to return to the dreary “mainland”.

“Today I go for different reasons—my mother, who lives there now, is aging and we spend more time shuttling her to the hospitals in Ft. Myers than shelling or kayaking. But, on each trip the wildlife still give–I’ll spy an anhinga drying its wings, or a pelican diving for dinner, and shells still wash ashore. Maybe that’s why people come back year after year—the island never changes–and you can feel, if only for a while, that you haven’t changed either.

When to Go: Summer is certainly hottest—but the islands are quieter during this season. Once November hits (through late April) you’ll be competing with the high season in terms of pricing. There are never any lines or crowded beaches here—just traffic getting off and on the island. So year-round it’s still a pleasure to visit….”

Sanibel Sewer Project Moves to Last Phase

Sanibelcityseal logoThe Sanibel Sewer Expansion Program is moving into Phase Four which is the last portion of the program which included centralization in 1974 and consolidation of island wastewater in 1991.

The program is about 99% complete with 42 properties in Phase Four remaining to be converted from their current septic systems. A low flow exemption has been granted to 28 properties, which will remain on septic for a temporary time period, which allows these properties to remain on their systems until they fail. The construction of Phase Four is estimated to take three off-seasons with the potential of being completed in just two. A more firm timetable will be established for City Council’s July meeting.

Read a Book, Get a Donut

Bennetts logoSanibel’s Bennett’s Fresh Roast is encouraging children to read while out of school for the summer. The shop is offering donuts in exchange for reading. Through August 31, school-aged children, from kindergarten through 5th grade, may receive a complimentary fresh donut each time they read a book at Bennett’s. Children may receive one free donut per day before 4 p.m. when they read a book while accompanied by a parent. Books appropriate for children are available for reading on-site.

Island Businesses Earn Trip Advisor Awards

trip advisor logoTrip Advisor has awarded several Sanibel businesses with Hall of Fame Awards (which are earned after winning five years in a row) or single excellence awards. Trip Advisor says Sanibel is “a family destination offering the best of both worlds. Sanibel Island is a vibrant community with laid-back beach relaxation or deep sea adventures. Fishing excursions, dolphin-watching tours and snorkeling appeal to travelers of all ages. Sanibel vacation homes are praised for their cozy, yet airy vibes and proximity to some of American’s most gorgeous beaches, with views into the Gulf of Mexico to make for a frame-worthy picture or postcard.”

Here are the businesses that recently received awards:

pinnocchiosPinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream

Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame Winner.

tarpon bay explorers logoTarpon Bay Explorers

2015 Hall of Fame

Oceans Reach LogoOceans Reach Condominiums

Customer Satisfaction Index of 98.2 when rated for value, rooms, service, cleanliness, and location.

BeachView_logoBeachview Cottages

Hall of Fame Award for their unique vacation experience.

Fourth of July Events Announced

fireworks-clipart-fireworks_rocketsThe 4th of July is on Saturday this year. Here are the events promoted in today’s “Island Sun”.


25th Annual Independence Day Parade – themed “For The Fun of It”. Parade line-up begins on Island Inn Road at 8:30 a.m. & the parade begins at 9:30 a.m., traveling from Island Inn Road to Tarpon Bay Road down Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road. Commemorative T-shirts are available at Bank of the Islands and will be sold along the parade route.

36th Annual Road Rally – sponsored by Sanibel-Captiva Optimists Club, teams puzzle out clues while following a prescribed driving course around the island. Prizes are awarded for correct time and mileage, the most correct answers to the quiz about things seen along the route, as well as best decorated vehicle. Entry forms available in various locations around the island. Fee covers car, driver, navigator, unlimited crew, and includes one official Road Rally T-shirt (additional shirts available for $15). Rally begins at Timbers Restaurant/Sanibel Grill parking lot at noon, and ends there for the “after-glow party”. Starting times are staggered. All proceeds provide funds for college scholarships.

Sanibel Island Fireworks Nights 2015 – at 9 p.m. set off from the end of Bailey Road into San Carlos Bay. Best viewing from the causeway. (Sorry, no public event at The Dunes this year, but member and VIP event 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

First Federal Junior Duck Stamp Judging On Sanibel

Ding Darling Society logoNext year, for the first time, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will hose the Federal Junior Duck Stamp judging. The public is invited, so mark April 22, 2016 on your calendars, and stay tuned for news of other activities in the planning stages.

““Ding” on the Wing”, the “Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society newsletter, announced this week that “Every year, the Refuge hosts the judging of the Florida Duck Stamp program. In 2016, it will welcome the nationwide judging – a fitting tribute to Sanibel Island as the birthplace of the JDS program.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 5-12



1 new listing: Somerset #B201 3/2.5 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 now $315K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $485K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 listed for $339K.

5 closed sales: Colonnades #41 1/1 $185K, Sundial #H109 1/1 $315K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $450K, Sundial #J401 1/1 $465K, Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 $640K.


20150609_1622525 new listings: 1314 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $525K, 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $679K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 4/3 duplex $699K, 597 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $749K (our listing), 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 $768.5K.

4 price changes: 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 now $659K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $670K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $789K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.95M

3 new sales: 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $489K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed for $585K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 4/3.5 listed for $865K.

aerial 375 east gulf5 closed sales: 536 Boulder Dr 3/2.5 $650K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $950K, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 $970K (our buyer), 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $1.575M, 428 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.6M.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 915 Main St $150K.



1 new listing: Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $649K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $249K.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 16237 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.95M.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 now $2.049M.

1 new sale: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 listed for $3.99M.

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.

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan