Woohoo, Another Fun Busy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

It’s Susan, reporting another busy week at SanibelSusan Realty – two closings, two new listings, two inspections, out showing property a few times, a property open for Realtor Caravan yesterday, and several positive showings and listing inquiries. 2016 is off to a great start.

The weather cool down has made for a nice week too. Funny how observers easily can tell the difference between locals and visitors. Locals joyfully got to wear their long sleeves and jackets for the first time in many months. (Some say it was the first day under 70 degrees F after a record 300-some days). Vacationers, regardless of the temperature, are everywhere from beaches to bike paths to restaurants in their bathing suits and short shorts.

Business should continue to increase through the month. Full occupancy is not expected again until February, but island business should stay brisk until then too.

Before I get into more real estate news, if you missed the nature photos posted last week and taken by our friend Scott. Here are a few more he shared, taken in late December at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge and in Tarpon Bay. Thanks again, Scott – you saved me again during a busy week! :-)

12-28-15 Scott 512-28-15 Scott 112-28-15 Scott 7 White pelican12-28-15 Scott 412-28-15 Scott 312-28-15 Scott 6

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was our first Thursday Caravan meeting since before the holidays. Surprisingly only a handful of activity was announced and only nine new listings were open for viewing. It was lightly attended too – as evidenced later by the few visitors at our Open House. The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last week follows some news items below.

I was at the Association office all morning today for the kick-off meeting for the 2016 leadership team. Attended by Board of Director members and committee chairs, not only did it include some problem solving and goal setting, but our Venice friend and trainer, Chuck Bonamer, presented a class called “Critical Thinking”. It expanded on how the real estate business and work with members today require communications that, not only cross generations (civics, baby boomers, X Generation, and Y Generation), but also both low context and high context individuals. Chuck is a Realtor® Emeritus which means he’s been a Realtor® for more than 40 years and has served at the national level of the Realtor® organization. He offered some excellent tips.

The Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® annual Installation and Awards Banquet is tomorrow night at The Dunes. Fingers crossed for no rain as it will be outside under the pavilion.

Florida Realtors® Through the Years

Florida Realtors logo2016 marks the 100th year anniversary of Florida Realtors®. In 1916, the Florida Realtor® association was formed at a meeting in Jacksonville with 67 charter members representing 19 cities.

In 1917, Florida became the first state to join the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

In 1919, Florida population reached 1 million, with 63% of residents living on farms. Jacksonville had 100,000 residents, Tampa 50,000, Orlando 9,282, and Miami 644.

In 1925, the Florida Association of Real Estate Boards moved from Jacksonville to Orlando.

Emerging Trends

The January/February 2016 issue of FloridaRealtor® contains an article that has some interesting new technology applications, innovative housing designs, and federal regulatory changes that they consider will have the greatest impact in the coming years on state residential and commercial real estate markets. Here’s a summary:


 “Airport expansions. Tampa International Airport has embarked on a $953 million expansion project…, Orlando International Airport is well under way on a $1.1 billion expansion project that involves a people-mover connection between the main terminal and a $215 million Intermodal Transportation Facility that would include a new SunRail station for Central Florida commuters as well as the northernmost All Aboard Florida station….

“Seaport dredging. …PortMiami is ready to handle the massive post-Panamax cargo ships from Asia that will transit the expanded Panama Canal when the Central American project is completed in 2016. In Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades has received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a similar dredging project…These projects may stimulate South Florida’s economy and increase the value of industrial land in the region.

“Cuba travel & investment. As long-standing barriers to U.S. travel with Cuba diminish, Florida may become a staging ground for businesses seeking to capitalize on improved relations between the two countries….

“Affordable housing. New companies relocating here are finding it more difficult to find affordable housing for their employees….

“A new Central Florida community? A vast tract of ranch land in Central Florida could become home to 500,000 Floridians if initial development plans come to fruition. In October, Osceola County officials approved a framework for developing the Mormon-owned Deseret Ranch, which spans 133,000 acres south of Orlando….

“Rail lines. Construction is under way on the controversial $1.5 billion All Aboard Florida project, a privately funded passenger rail service that will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando….


“A nation of immigrants. As the U.S. foreign-born population continues to rise, it could break at 125-year-old record within the next decade….

“An inflow from Puerto Rico. Continuing financial and social concerns in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico could lead to greater in-migration from Puerto Rico to Florida in 2016….


“Bigger houses? New houses are increasing in size, according to the National Association of Home Builders…A post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions….

“More townhomes. Lack of prime land for residential development and higher construction costs are making it difficult for Florida builders to keep up with the demand for affordable homes…That’s one reason we are seeing more attached homes.

“Community amenities. One factor influencing demand for homes in golf course, country club and other planned communities is the current condition of the amenities. “Associations that were smart enough to invest in new clubhouses, fitness centers and social amenities are doing substantially better in attracting new buyers….


“Online search. Realtors will have to devote more of their time and resources to creating a strong online presence because online search is becoming the predominant way new customers will find them….

“Global portals. Portals like Zillow and Realtor.com serve the U.S. residential real estate market. “None of the other countries around the world is served by either of these…Pay close attention to the evolving relationships between U.S. and international portals to build connections with their global markets.

“Lead conversion. The Internet has evolved from promotion to search, to lead generation, to lead conversion….a very large number of these visitors are simply real estate surfing and with no intention to buy anytime soon. That huge gap between lookers and buyers means that brokers and agents need to learn how to scrub leads, identify the meaningful ones and convert them to actual dollars.

“Electronic signatures. Buyers and sellers appreciate the convenience and simplicity of being able to sign real estate documents electronically.

“Predictive analytics. Data on communities, neighborhoods, housing markets, walkability, traffic and a thousand other topics is readily available online.

“Collaborative design. Communications technology makes it easier for architects, designers and contractors to collaborate on new commercial and residential projects…That could accelerate the design process and reduce the overall project cost.


“Generational shift. Boomer real estate professionals need to stop talking about Gen Xers and Gen Yers as if they were kids. In 2015, the oldest Gen Xers turned 50….

“Mid-sized brokers being squeezed. Federal regulations that make it more difficult for brokers to operate affiliated mortgage and title companies, combined with the ever-increasing cost of technology, are putting a financial squeeze on mid-sized brokers….

“Team domination. Teams are out-producing individuals at rapid rates, and these rates are continuing to skyrocket….

“Serving investors. From Wall Street firms to local individuals, investors remain deeply interested in real estate as an asset….

“Sellers choosing high-producing agents. To serve sellers effectively, Realtors must increasingly invest in robust marketing and customer service systems….

“Agent reviews. “Agent reviews are becoming more important to home buyers. Progressive agents should ask their customers to leave reviews….


“RESPA. Until recently, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “Enforcement has not been very strict, but is about to change….

“Changes in tax rules. Many presidential and congressional candidates are talking about changes to the nation’s tax structure, such as eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on second homes or doing away with 1031 like-kind exchanges on the sale and purchase of qualifying properties….


“An AirBNB model for offices. With the growth in the mobile workforce, more professionals and companies will need office space on a temporary or flexible basis….

“Downtown retail. In many Florida markets, downtown has been the last frontier for retail developers and tenants, who have focused on the affluent suburban neighborhoods. That focus continues to shift…Young adults are showing a greater propensity to live in downtown neighborhoods….

“Changing business practices. Commercial brokerage practices vary in different countries in Europe and South America. That could lead to changes in the way contracts are written in Florida, as well as brokers’ fiduciary obligations and fee structures….

“An Uber model for trucks. Rather than engage a trucking company to move goods to and from a warehouse near one of the state’s air- or seaports, shippers and freight forwarders may consider an on-demand Uber-like model….

“Shared-space warehouses. Advances in product identification technology now make it possible for third-party logistic providers to use one warehouse facility to store, pack and ship goods belonging to different customers….”

City Moves Ahead with Sewer; Eyes Captiva Sewage

Sanibelcityseal logoFrom Tuesday’s “Santiva Chronicle”:

“The number of residences on septic systems and not connected to the Sanibel sewer system is not down to zero, but it’s getting closer with the approval of Phase IV of the Sanibel Sewer Expansion Program by the Sanibel City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at City Hall.

“Also Tuesday, the council viewed a city report regarding septic systems on Captiva and took several actions on a variety of subjects.

“Sewer System Phase IV – At a cost of about $1.2 million, the city will connect five properties on West Gulf Drive and 19 on Woodring Road to the sewer system. That will leave only 20 properties in four different areas of Sanibel to be connected in the final phase.

““This is a milestone,” City Manager Judie Zimomra said to the City Council. “Sanibel has invested more than $70 million on sanitary sewers island-wide. That’s a significant accomplishment on a barrier island.

“We have put ourselves in position to do this and today we are glad to move into the final phase,” Zimomra said.

The council had two options before it as to how property owners would be assessed. One was to split costs equally and the second was to put a $10,000 cap on assessments with the city picking up the balance. In its unanimous vote to move ahead with Phase IV, the council went with the $10,000-cap option.

““Sanibel needs to continue to walk the walk and talk the talk about the environment,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. “Set the cap at $10,000. It’s important to finish what we started. We have the money in sewer reserves so we can do the projects as planned.”

“Many of the remaining unconnected properties are considered low-flow septic systems. They will be required to connect to the sewer systems when those septic systems fail. The Woodring part of the work in Phase IV will begin at 1800 Woodring Road.

“Captiva Sewage

“Sewage incidents on Captiva in April and October have the Sanibel Council concerned and the council unanimously approved a motion by Ruane to gather the stakeholders together and talk about solutions and possible penalties for violators.

“Captiva is an unincorporated part of Lee County that has no sewer system. The report the Sanibel Council received said Captiva has waste water treatment plants at Captiva Shores Condominium Association, South Seas Resort, ‘Tween Waters Inn and Sunset Captiva. It also said 171 septic systems are known on Captiva with another 355 likely septic systems for a total of an estimated 526 septic systems.

“In the course of the discussion, the council heard from several Captivans who stated the island’s willingness to sit down with Sanibel.

“One recent event found the waste water treatment plant at South Seas filled to capacity with untreated sewage having to be transported off the island. Another incident involved a 38,000-gallon spill that briefly closed Turner and Blind Pass beaches.

““We need to get the stakeholders together and have a conversation about what occurred,” Ruane said. “We need to talk about the short term situation that has occurred and talk about penalties, and simultaneously talk about a feasibility study.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 1-8, 2016



5 new listings: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 $495K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $599K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #3-3 2/2.5 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #101 2/2 $799K (our listing), Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $998K.

2 price changes: Sundial West #I104 1/1 now $389.9K, Compass Point #221 2/2 now $624.9K (our listing).

3 new sales: Sundial West #F308 1/1 listed at $380K, Sanibel Moorings #1412 2/2 listed at $419,914, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 listed at $1.079M.

6 closed sales: Colonnades #15 1/1 $212.5K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 $358K, Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 $445.25K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Arms West #B1 2/2 $485K, Sundial West #B206 2/2 $546K (our listing), Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $675K.


6 new listings: 1576 Wilton Ln 3/2 $439K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 $788K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $819.9K, 1658 Sabal Palm Dr 2/2 $875K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 $1.895M, 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.795M.

8 price changes: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 now $684.9K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 now $695K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $849K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $995K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 now $1.279M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $1.445M, 1730 Jewel Box 4/3 now $1.795M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.395M.

9 new sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed at $440K, 3870 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 listed at $679K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 listed at $749K, 597 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 listed at $749K (our listing), 3724 Agate Ct 3/3 listed at $929K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 listed at $975K, 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 listed at $2.249M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.498M.

5 closed sales: 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 $520K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 $570K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 $630K, 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $855K, 812 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M.


1 new listings: 1466 Sand Castle Rd $239K (our listing).

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 1820 Farm Trail $203K, 6002 White Heron Ln $685K.



1 new listing: Lands End Village #1641 2/2 $1.35M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.


1 new listing: 11515 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6.5 $2.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 listed at $2.29M.

1 closed sale: 11546/48 Wightman Ln 3/2.5 $3.5M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16297 Captiva Dr now $1.549M.

No new or closed sales.

 (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.)

Until next Friday, here’s to more continued island fun….

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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