Santa Goes Kiteboarding on Sanibel Island

It’s SanibelSusan, reporting that after a successful, though sometimes drizzly overcast, island luminary weekend, Sanibel and Captiva Island weather since Monday has been fabulous – mostly sunny or partly-cloudy days with temperatures just into the low 80’s during the days, low 70’s at night. Not quite Christmas weather, but getting close. Perhaps by next week it will get down into the mid-70’s during the day!

Driving Periwinkle Way on Sanibel, to the lighthouse, or on Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva are particularly fun this time of the year. Holiday decorations and twinkling lights contribute to the tropical wonderland of the islands. The decorations may remain through the first week in January.

Here are a few news items, followed by the real estate activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Wondering Where Santa Was Last Weekend?

These photos were taken at Sanibel’s lighthouse beach…


SanibelSusan Realty Action This Week

Sanibelsusan LogoWe were lucky to be involved in two of the eleven closings on Sanibel this week – our Island Beach Club listing and a home I sold in Shell Harbor. Other days, while teammate Dave was busy with home inspections and open houses, I was out showing property a few times, as teammate Elise kept track of other showings, and inquiries. We also had visits from some owners thinking of selling.

Adding two team birthdays, the BIG ARTs Chorus Holiday Concert, a Realtor West-End Caravan Meeting yesterday, and a couple of offers, made for a pretty busy week. “Not so for them”, say our pals in the accommodations business. They say that their calls have essentially stopped – probably because they have few if any winter vacancies and because many folks are busy with holiday planning and festivities. Another dilemma for those rental organizations is that the balcony restoration project at Pointe Santo has turned into a lengthier process than expected. Now the two gulf-front buildings there cannot be occupied in January. Moving tenants is not an easy process. Sometimes, we are very thankful that we work just real estate sales – no rentals!

Planning Commission Approves Restaurant at The Village Shops

Village Shops on Sanibel signAt Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, a proposed 50-seat restaurant for The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way, was approved (with conditions).

A conditional use permit and a development permit for RLR, or Royal Shell, was granted to go forward with the proposed restaurant.

Community House Renovation OK’d by Historical Preservation Committee

1927 Community House North Room

Sanibel Community House in 1927 (the old North room)

At yesterday’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, Teresa Riska-Hall, Executive Director of The Sanibel Community House reiterated to our members that the Community House is not moving, but will be renovated. The following article is from The “Santiva Chronicle” on-line and was submitted by Tom Sharbaugh, President of the Sanibel Community Association Board.


“Renovation of the Sanibel Community House moved a step closer to reality as the plans received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Committee at the committee’s meeting Thursday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

“The North Room portion of the Community House structure, now approaching 90 years old, is listed on the City’s Local Register of Historical Sites and Structures, therefore any modifications to the building must be reviewed by the committee to insure that proposed changes preserve the original appearance of the building. The planned renovation will repair deteriorating sections of the building exterior, restore the distinctive row of windows on the enclosed porch overlooking Periwinkle Way, and replace the aging roof with textured shingles resembling wooden shakes.

“Inside, the North Room will be restored to its original size by eliminating a storage closet. In addition, the original heart-pine flooring will be replaced with a new wooden floor. Said Teresa Riska-Hall, “People have always loved these pine floors, but after so many years they are worn so thin we’re just not able to refinish them anymore.”

“Beyond the North Room, the renovation will result in a redesign of the entire facility, inside and out, in an “old Sanibel” style harmonious with the original historic building. However, the vast majority of the renovation work will be devoted to installing new infrastructure and systems to bring the facility up to today’s code. This includes replacing outdated electrical, lighting, plumbing, air conditioning, fire alarms and sprinklers, and woefully inadequate restrooms and kitchen facilities.

“In approving the renovation plans, the Historic Preservation Committee was very complimentary of the design. The unanimous opinion of the committee was that the new work will improve the appearance and utility of the facility in a way that is respectful to Sanibel’s traditions and to the history of the original structure.

“Commenting on the plans, Committee member Lynn Campean said, “Architecturally, it is beautifully designed, and it meets our highest expectations.”

“Now that the historical appropriateness of the renovation project has been confirmed, permit applications for the project are tentatively scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission in January.

“Most importantly, a major fundraising campaign will now move forward chaired by Community House Board Members Nicole McHale and John Talmage. Commenting on the upcoming Campaign, McHale said: “In the coming months we will be asking islanders to dig deep as we raise funds to preserve and protect this jewel of our community. Sanibel’s gathering place needs toilets that flush, sinks that drain, lights that come on when you flip the switches, and a host of other basic things. We’re excited to be coming to the members of our community to ask their help. The Community House belongs to all of us.””

‘Ding’ Darling Adds Acreage

ding darling goose logoAccording to an article in the local papers today:

“The ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge now is 9.1 acres larger than before with the addition of a parcel of wetlands and mangroves that came through a donation. “The property is not accessible by car and was big enough for one house. After being held for many years, the National Investment and Development Co. decided to turn it over to ‘Ding’ Darling. The property is adjacent to Bowman’s Beach.

““It’s a combination of wetlands, sand ridges and mangroves. It’s a generous donation of a valuable piece of wildlife habitat,” said John McCabe, immediate past president of the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

“The donation was revealed on Dec. 5 at the annual meeting of the DDWS. The property is located along Bowman’s Beach with access to Clam Bayou and has a number of gopher tortoises as well as an active Osprey nest, and will provide opportunities for wildlife in this area.

““This will become part of ‘Ding’ Darling and will be managed in coordination with the City of Sanibel,” McCabe said. “Through this donation the property will remain what it is now – an excellent wildlife habitat for a wide variety of species, including gopher tortoises.””

Mortgage Rates Edge Higher This Week

Though most island sales continue to be “cash”, there still are some with financing. One of my closings this week was the first since the new rules went into effect from the Federal changes in early October. Though more complicated for lenders and title companies, Barrier Island Title Services Inc. did a great job transitioning to this more cumbersome process. Thank you, Angie Martin!

Here’s what “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” posted today about mortgage interest rates:

FreddieMacLogo_3“Mortgage rates inched higher this week following on the heels of a better-than-expected November employment report, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. “The economy added 211,000 new jobs in November exceeding analysts’ expectations, and the prior two months were revised higher as well,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This momentum is likely to cement a decision by the Fed to begin raising interest rates this month. Following the release of the employment report, Treasuries rose 7 basis points and in response the 30-year mortgage rate ticked up two basis points to 3.95%.”

“Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 10:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95%, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 3.93% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.16% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.20%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.03%, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.99% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.98%.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.64%, with an average 0.2 point, inching up from 2.61% last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.4%.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4-11



3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $539K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 $780K, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 $2.195M.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 now $465K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 now $659.9K.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 listed at $412K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $499K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 listed at $799K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 listed at $1.079M, Gulfside Place #317 2/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 $462K, Sundial East #T302 2/2 $700K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $650K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 $1.1M (our listing), Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.275M.


4 new listings: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 $595K, 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 $650K, 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 $679K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $369K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $569.9K.

1 new sale: 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M.

3 closed sales: 720 Elinor Way 3/2 $639K, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 $1.4M (our buyer), 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $1.9M.


1 new listing: 1639 Serenity Ln $299,555.

1 price change: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $229K.

1 new sale: 690 Birdie View Pt listed at $384K.

2 closed sales: Pine Ave, lot 24 $175K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr $1.075M.



No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Marina Villas #904 2/2 listed at $665K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 listed at $1.275M.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $265K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $618K.


2 new listings: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $885K, 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4.5 $2.99M.

1 price change: 16177 Captiva Dr 8/7 now $5.95M.

1 new sale: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $1.99M.

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.)

It was another week of beautiful sunsets on the islands too! Here’s a favorite!

Dec sunset

’til next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan