Woohoo – Another Gorgeous Day on the Islands

Sanibel and Captiva have had wonderful warm sunny weather this week, until today when temperatures are expected to reach only the low 60’s. With more cool weather forecast for the next week too, the real estate action should be brisk. Hot beach days usually are when there are the fewest showings, so Realtors® love the chilly, but bright days – like today!


A report of the week’s activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

Upcoming Events

With those cool days ahead, here are few things to do inside:

Tomorrow, Feb 6 – Center4Life Seniors Arts & Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.’

Pink-Mask_for-Web1-266x300Also tomorrow, Feb 6 – Mardi Gras Celebration to support CHR (Community Housing & Resource) from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. More info at www.SanibelCHR.org/Mardi-Gras-2016

Saturday & Sunday, Feb 13 & 14 – San/Cap Rotary Club Arts & Crafts Show at the Sanibel Community House. Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..  More info at www.sanibelartfair.com

kiwanis logoSaturday, Feb 27 – Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner at the Sanibel Community House.

Foreign Sellers Update

Recent federal tax legislation increases the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act) general withholding rate from 10% to 15% effective for closings on or after February 16, 2016.

Sanibel Outlets Acquired by Dahlmann Properties

Outlet storeAs reported today in the “Island Sun”, “Dahlmann Properties announced that it completed the purchase of Sanibel Outlets (formerly known as Tanger Outlets) on January 12…Work has already commenced on rebranding the property to Sanibel Outlets as well as a top-to-bottom assessment of the current tenant mix and physical plant…Dahlmann also owns Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, Heart of the Island Shopping Center, The Sanibel Inn, Song of the Sea Oceanfront Resort, Seaside Oceanside Resort, Sunset Beach Oceanside Resort, and The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on Sanibel.”

Quilt Raffles to Benefit PAWS of Sanibel – Captiva

Dog quiltWe had a nice surprise yesterday when we got a visit from Sheila Rodriguez who has made two quilts to benefit PAWS of Sanibel – Captiva. One named “Muchas Poochas” is on display at Three Crafty Ladies, Heart of the Island Shops, 1628 Periwinkle Way.

Cats QuiltThe other called “Cats at Play While the Mice Are Away” is displayed at the Bank of the Islands, 1699 Periwinkle Way.

Please buy raffle tickets at these two locations.

PAWS (or Protection of Animal Welfare Society, Inc.) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit rescuing domestic animals here since 1987. Drawings will be March 31, 2016 and you need not be present to win.

If you are willing to foster, adopt, or help PAWS, please call Pam at 239-472-4823.

Real Estate Q&A: Don’t Be Tempted to Ditch Insurance

Florida Realtors logoGood answer here to a question that was posted at Florida Realtors® online yesterday:

“Question: We are snowbirds and have a condominium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where we stay five months a year. We keep nothing of real value in the property and don’t have a mortgage. We are thinking about canceling our hazard insurance on the property to save $700 a year. Is this a good idea? – Larry

“Answer: No. I understand your desire to save a few bucks, but this is not the way to do it.

“Your property insurance covers more than just your furniture. Depending on the details of your policy and the policy carried by your condo association, the insurance may cover your appliances, flooring and even your drywall. If there is a fire, for example, you will need to replace a lot more than just your furniture.

“Your insurance also should cover you if your water heater bursts and floods your neighbors’ units. If you are in town when the damage occurs, it also may pay for the hotel you have to stay in while the repairs are being made.

“Your insurance also will step up if one of your guests gets hurt while visiting. Just because they like you doesn’t mean they won’t sue you. Even when you are out of town, you may be sued if someone breaks into your condo and gets hurt. Many homeowners have a hard time justifying the cost of insurance, but there is a reason you have it. It can keep you from enduring a financial crisis.

“While I strongly recommend that you keep your policy in place, you should shop around to make sure that you have the right coverage and the best deal.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.”

Farm Water Hits SWFL, Leaves Coast Brown, Murky

News Press logoThe recent rains resulted in the below posting yesterday on www.news-press.com

“It was just a matter of time before polluted farm water from Lake Okeechobee made its way to Southwest Florida.

“”Boy, yeah, we saw it,” said Rick Bartleson, a water quality scientist at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, when asked if the polluted water had worked its way here.  “The water at the (Sanibel) causeway is pretty brown (because) the flows are up to rainy season levels.”

“The South Florida Water Management District spent four days, starting Wednesday night, pulling water off farm fields south of the lake, although the district didn’t send out a public notice about the “emergency” measures until nearly 24 hours after they had started.

“Critics say these water management practices are largely responsible for toxic algal blooms that often plague both the west and east coasts of Florida.

“Polluted and unnatural water from Lake Okeechobee and lands within the Caloosahatchee River watershed kills sea grasses and oyster beds.

“Excess nutrients from the landscape contribute to the duration and frequency of harmful algal blooms, like red tide. Red tide, caused here by Karenia brevis, is a neurotoxin that causes fish and marine mammal kills and can lead to respiratory issues in humans

“Record rains have not made the situation better as the lake level is rising at the same time the state was back-pumping farm water into Okeechobee.

“With levels around 17 feet above sea level, well over the Army Corps mandated maximum of 15.5 feet above sea level, the only way to quickly drain the lake is to send billions of gallons of dirty water down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

“Measurements taken by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation show more than 12,000 cubic feet per second flowing through the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam, an Army Corps structure that holds back lake waters. Discharges begin harming the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary when levels reach 2,800 cubic feet per second.

“Freshwater has also blown out much of the estuary, causing low salinity levels along the coast — which can kill marine species and disrupt the aquatic food chain.

“Recent Caloosahatchee flows have literally been off the chart.

“”When flows are at 2,800 (cubic feet per second at Franklin Lock), that is one level a harm, but this was another level,” Bartleson said. “Over 4,500 (cubic feet per second) is considered extremely high. We don’t even have an indicator that goes that high (to 12,000 cubic feet per second and above).”

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane said the city has received many emails from concerned residents and business owners. “There was definitely a breakdown in communication between the Corps and the water management district,” Ruane said. “But with the impressive rain, they’re going to have to pump some of the water off the farms.”

“Ruane, who was in Tallahassee Monday lobbying for more water quality projects in this region, said that the current water management system was designed to take in more water than it can push out, a fact that became painfully obvious during floods and record rains in 2013.

“”We’re going to have to pull out every trick in the playbook to offset some of these releases,” Ruane said.

“”We’re going to have to talk to as many private property owners as possible to store water. We’re in a bad situation. The effects of the releases sometimes you don’t see for months.”

“The rain is expected to continue for the next 60 days or so, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is calling for El Nino conditions to bring more rain and slightly cooler temperatures this winter.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 29 – February 5, 2016



4 new listings: Sundial West #H110 1/1 $299K, Sanibel Arms #8 1/1 $375K, Cottage Colony West #137 1/1 $649K, Sundial East #S404 3/2 $849K.

2 price changes: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $759K, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.295M.

6 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 listed at $529K, Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 listed at $639K, St.Criox #4 2/2.5 listed at $935K, Atrium #302 2/2 listed at $1.645M, High Tide #B101 2/2.5 listed at $1.795M, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 listed at $2.235M.

5 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 $450K; Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $485K; Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 $698,750; Clam Shell #C 2/2 $975K; Sunset South #5A 2/2 $1.138M.


16 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $459K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $599K, 1113 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639.9K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $699K, 2549 Harbour Ln 3/2 $799K, 595 Birdsong Pl 4/2 $849K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $849K (our listing), 1259 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $869K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $895K, 437 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $895.9K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $975K, 1146 Buttonwood Ln 3/3 $999K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $1.2M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.299M, 1326 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $2.45M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $3.8M.


View from 1311 Sand Castle Rd


2 price changes: 6491 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 now $1.95M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 now $2.375M.

3 new sales: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $539K, 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 listed at $699K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.098M.

4 closed sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $360K, 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $500K, 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 $575K, 699 Anchor Dr 3/4 $950K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5148 Sea Bell Rd now $199K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 690 Birdie View Pt $360K.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 $639.5K, Beach Cottages #1413 2/2 $950K.


No new listings.

3 price changes: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.049M, 11515 Murmond Ln 3/3 now $1.494M, 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $4.995M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 1127 Longifolia Ct 4/3 $5.3M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $16.3M.


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.)

TweekedLowSunsetUntil next Friday, wishing you bright sunny days & magnificent sunsets regardless of the temperatures!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan