Almost Halloween 2015 on Sunny Sanibel Island

sanibel sunset 10-28-15It’s SanibelSusan, reporting another bright sunny warm yet fall-like (lower humidity) Friday on Sanibel Island! How about this sunset that I snapped this week on the causeway.

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate News

sancap GO MLS logoCommuters are adding a few minutes to their travel time now that the roadways are busier, but island real estate business has been slow to pick up this fall. Below are quick summaries of the Sanibel & Captiva inventory and sales this year, followed by a few news items, then the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Some points worth mentioning are that the number of home sales closed on Sanibel year-to-date already exceeds the number of sales in every year since 2005. The prices aren’t back to those levels, but the activity has returned. Sanibel lot sales are following suit, with the number of closed vacant residential lot sales this year also already more than any year since 2005. The number of Sanibel condo sales still lag a little, but could reach a similar level by year end.


Condos: 88 for sale, average asking price $796,733; 140 sold/closed this year, average sale price $699,762.

Homes:  102 for sale, average asking price $1,404,272; 212 sold/closed this year, average sale price $875,895.

Lots:      62 for sale, average asking price $459,983; 38 sold/closed this year, average sale price $388,103.

On Captiva, where the number of sales is smaller, the correlation is different; however, the average Captiva 2016 sale prices – condos, homes, and lots – are all higher than recent years.


Condos: 33 for sale, average asking price $779,845; 30 sold/closed this year, average sale price $1,112,050.

Homes:  36 for sale, average asking price $3,731,652; 20 sold/closed this year, average sale price $3,168,625.

Lots:      3 for sale, average asking price $2,564,667; 2 sold/closed this year, average sale price $2,847,500.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoIn the Office – Last weekend brought two offers on our new listing at Island Beach Club which illustrates how a unique property generates quick interest. With sellers and buyers all in different locations, that offer was a good test of the new Forms Simplicity program (available through Florida Realtors® so it always has the most up-to-date forms).

Remembering back to the days when contract paperwork was mailed and took days, this new process also is an improvement over faxing or scanning/emailing. Anyone with an email address can receive and sign documents with Forms Simplicity software. Wherever you are, documents can be e-signed by cell phone, iPad or tablet, or computer – it’s easy and a big timesaver.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the Association – Yesterday was the last Thursday until spring without a Realtor® Caravan meeting. Starting next week, Caravans will rotate every Thursday morning between West End and East End with 15 properties allowed on tour each week. Per our Association MLS rules, each property may be on tour only once every six months.

Florida Says All State Insurers OK for 100-Year Storm

Florida Realtors logoThe below article from the “Miami Herald” was posted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line. It has good news about Florida insurance providers:

“Even if Florida gets blasted by four hurricanes in one season as it did a decade ago, 67 Florida-based insurance companies tested by the state have enough of a financial cushion to handle the damage, according to a new report touted by the state’s top financial regulator Monday.

“Although the report contains little specifics for customers to compare carriers, the state’s chief financial officer Jeff Atwater praised the results. He said the report, which shows every Florida-based insurer passing every “stress test” scenario, should inject a new level of confidence in Florida’s rebounding insurance industry. “Consumers deserve to have confidence in their carrier, and we’ll continue to share information that shows the processes that are undertaken to test their financial strength,” Atwater said in a statement to the media.

The new report comes as state-run Citizens Property Insurance Company continues to aggressively depopulate itself by pushing customers toward private insurance carriers – often through tactics that Atwater himself has worried are close to “scare tactics.” Since 2012, about one million customers have been ushered out of Citizens, with another 130,000 slated for removal by the end of the year.

“Atwater said he called for new aggressive stress testing of insurance companies partly because he knew homeowners were being led toward private companies that many may have never heard of and may have questioned if they could sustain a major catastrophe. He said the last thing Floridians need to be anxious about during hurricane season is whether or not their insurance provider will be there after a major storm.The new testing ran all 67 insurance companies through storm models that are based on three past historic storm seasons: a 1947 Fort Lauderdale storm, a 1921 Tampa Bay direct hit, and 2004’s season in which four storms struck Florida, leading to 1.6 million insurance claims.

In the 2004 models, even after having four storms hit, the report says all 67 companies passed – meaning they had enough surplus equal to 10% of their liabilities after payouts from all the storms were accounted for….”

More States Help With Association-Condo Issues

realtor logoI agreed to chair the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® ombudsman group next year, so it was with interest that I read that homeowners associations are using a similar process with their complaints. Using ombudsmen is fairly new to the Realtor® organization which already has a long-standing process for reviewing written grievances and holding hearings when merited. 2016 will be the 2nd year that the islands Realtors® have used ombudsmen to enhance communications and perform initial problem-solving to callers concerning Realtors® and real-estate-related transactions.

The below article from the Sebring, FL “News-Sun”, was reposted Monday, Oct 26, on “FloridaRealtors®”. It describes how home and condo associations are employing a similar process.

“Has your homeowner association fined you for painting your house purple? Have you ignored requests to pay annual maintenance fees for your condo’s clubhouse and swimming pool? Has your association refused to let you see its financial documents?

“These are the types of conflicts that frequently erupt between residents and homeowner or condo associations. Some can get quite heated – or downright nasty.

“A small but growing number of states are trying to tackle the problem by creating ombudsman or homeowner information offices to handle the deluge of complaints that often land at state and local agencies. The goal is to educate residents and association board members about their rights and responsibilities under the law and help settle disputes before they wind up in court.

“”You’re dealing with people and personalities and homes and emotions,” said Heather Morton, a legislative analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Having an ombudsman is a way to have somebody a little more neutral offer help and information to the homeowners and the board, and possibly mediate and bring the parties together so they can reach an amicable solution.”

“Last year, Delaware and Illinois passed laws creating ombudsman offices. Delaware’s opened this year; Illinois’ legislation becomes effective in July 2016. Four other states – Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia – already have an ombudsman or a homeowner information center.

“Ombudsman bills were introduced this year in six states – Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York – but none passed, according to the Community Associations Institute, or CAI, a trade group for homeowner and condo associations and their managers.

“More than 66 million Americans live in planned communities of single-family homes, or in condominiums or co-ops, according to CAI. The residents automatically become members of an association when they move in and must comply with the association’s covenants and bylaws.

“Elected volunteer board members usually are responsible for association finances and enforcing the rules. The boards require dues to operate and maintain common areas, such as clubhouses and sidewalks and, in some places, services such as snow removal and garbage pickup. They can levy fines and place liens on properties when homeowners haven’t paid their fees. And they can regulate the exterior appearance of a home, and enforce rules that affect parking and pets.

“Over the decades, the number of associations in the U.S. has exploded, climbing from 10,000 in 1970 to 333,600 in 2014, according to CAI. Florida, California, Texas and Illinois have the largest number of associations.

“Ombudsmen say they’re making a difference by preventing conflicts from escalating into legal battles….”

New Island Business – La France Alterations & Dry Cleaners

LaFrance logoSaw a social media posting this week about La France Alterations & Dry Cleaners opening at 2496 Palm Ridge Road #3. That’s in the same shopping center as Subway and The Pecking Order. La France already services other areas of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Sarasota Counties, plus Boca Grande. Offering dry cleaning, laundry, clothing alterations and repair, they have free pick-up and delivery service. Watch for their grand opening at

Island Halloween Happenings

IslandPawsToday – Oct 30 – Island Paws annual Howl-O-Ween Bash – 5 to 7 p.m. – At the Over Easy Café patio. $10 donations to benefit the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Judging at 6:30 p.m. for the best pet costume. Raffles, prizes, and good bags too.

Community House logoSat – Oct 31 – Sanibel Community House annual Costume & Candy Fall Carnival – 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Admission is one bag of wrapped candy per family – festivities include carnival and homemade games, skit, and hay rides. Costumes encouraged with prizes awarded. Hamburgers, hotdogs, & pizza available.

TweenWatersLogoSat – Oct 31 – ‘Tween Waters annual Hallo ‘Tweened – adult part 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with music by the Bret Foreman Band. Admission $15. Costumes judged at midnight.

Sanibel Beach Parking Permits

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel residents and property owners can purchase their 2016 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits starting Sunday, Nov 1, at the Sanibel Recreation Center, seven days a week during operating hours (Mondays through Thursdays 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays noon to 5 p.m.)

To qualify for any Beach Parking Permit, bring valid vehicle registration for each vehicle and a valid government issued identification. A driver’s license showing a Sanibel address or proof of Sanibel property ownership is required to purchase a resident/property owner “A” sticker. 2016 parking permit decals are valid through Nov 30, 2016.

“A” resident/property owner $12: resident and/or Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owners, “A” permit parking only at beach access lots 1 through 7 on West Gulf Dr.;

  • “B” nonresident permit $90: nonresident/non-Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner;
  • “C” restricted permit $90: resident and nonresident;
  • “A/C” resident/property owner permit $102;
  • “B/C” nonresident permit $180;
  • Decal transfer or reissue fee: $3: residential and restricted;
  • General parking meter rate: $4 per hour or any fraction;
  • General parking at $4 per hour or “C” permit required for parking at Gulfside City Park (Algiers), boat ramp and the Causeway parking lot.

How We Will Avoid Another Recession

NAR gray-logoMore good news from my favorite economist, posted in Wednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on ”Realtor®Mag”:

“The economy may be showing signs of slowing lately, but the housing market is likely to keep its positive momentum rolling, writes Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, in a new column for Forbes. In fact, he predicts that it will be housing market gains that enable the overall economy to avoid a recession.

“Indeed home sales, construction, and prices have all been rising and are expected to continue to increase. Over the last year, existing-home sales have risen 7.9%; new-home sales are up 17.7%; housing starts have risen 12%; and the median price of sold homes is up 6.4% (all along on a year-to-date basis).

“The main reason behind the gains is a rising population, Yun notes. At the turn of the century about 282 million people were living in the United States, but that number has jumped to 322 million today. Taking into account births and deaths and international immigration, about 2 to 3 million additional residents arrive in America every year.

““As long as Americans believe in the American Dream of steadily moving up the economic ladder – from renting to a starter-home to a better home to eventually a retirement comfort home – there are plenty of legs in America that will be moving around in the upcoming years to further boost the housing market,” Yun writes.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 23-30



7 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $499K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 $519K, Cottage Colony West #126 1/1 $649K, Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $725K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $894K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.079M.

1 price change: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $599K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #E31 2/1.5 listed at $349.5K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 listed at $487K, Seawind #105 2/2.5 listed at $524.8K, Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 listed at $589K, Sundial East #T302 2/2 listed at $729K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 listed at $1.1M (our listing), Somerset #B201 3/2.5 listed at $1.95M.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 $365K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 2/2 $440K, Sanddollar #A203 3/2 $979K.


3 new listings: 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $570K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $929K, 6101 Starling Way 3/3 $1.298M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $579K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 listed at $989K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 listed at $999.5K, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 listed at $1.995M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $3.575M.

1 closed sale: 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $757.5K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5148 Sea Bell Rd now $215K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3855 Coquina Dr $240K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4202 1/2 now $315K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 listed at $295K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 listed at $629K.

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 Halloween to all…   Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan