It has been another quiet few days on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The weather has improved over last week, as the days have been mostly rain-free, but it definitely has been typical pre-summer routine.
There was no Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday, but SanibelSusan got a new listing that will be posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), once professional photography is done. It is Cottage Colony West #136, which is a top-floor gulf-front unit in the condo section of Casa Ybel Resort. If you know anyone looking for a good investment property, these 1-bedroom units are definitely that. Most gross $80K-90K/year with the resort fully handling the rentals and owners getting half. Since the resort is the venue for many weddings and parties, the units can be difficult to view, so often sell sight-unseen – making the internet presence and that photography so important. (Photo above of the beach in front of Casa Ybel Resort & photo below of the lawn before the beach.)
After a few news items, below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva MLS over the last seven days.
Restaurants & More
Visitors are forever asking Realtors® for dining recommendations, so we try to scoop out what’s happening, particularly during the off-season. Sometimes that’s not easy, even for locals, but here’s a little.
The former Sanibel Steakhouse has been empty for months, the sign is down, and their web site says that restaurant is retired, but we occasionally see activity there. This week, I noticed a Benchmark Construction sign posted. Maybe a newly remodeled restaurant will be springing up there in the months to come. We’ll be watching.
The new Doc Ford’s on Tarpon Bay Road now is moving along quickly. Rumor has it that their CO (certificate of occupancy) is expected in a few weeks, with the restaurant probably opening later this summer or when their staff is trained in their wonderful new location.
1st Annual National Seashell Day is Monday
Don’t forget, that Monday June 20, has been proclaimed the 1st annual National Seashell Day. A new promotional vehicle, The Shell Love Bug, will debut then on the “Good Morning America” national broadcast. The Volkswagen Beetle will be driven by Pam Rambo, Sanibel shelling expert, who designed the vehicle with a team of shellers in partnership with the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.
The Shell Love Bug is decorated with more than 19,000 local shells. It will be on display at Bailey’s General Store from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. The Shell Love Bug will be on a county-wide tour the entire week. As it is illegal to collect live shells in Lee County, no live shells were used in the creation of the car.
Travelers who visit on National Seashell Day will have access to special travel deals and seashell activities including a social media-driven scavenger hunt. Visit the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau site, nationalseashellday.com to enter the Shell Yeah! Sweepstakes and view a full list of activities and accommodations participating in the 4th-night free deal.
Many Baby Boomers Plan to Move Again
This was posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on-line on Monday, June 13, 2016:
“About 60% of home owners age 55 or older say they would prefer to age in place if they had complete control over their living arrangements. That said, nearly 40% indicate they would prefer to move at least one more time.
“That means nearly 27 million home owners may move again, according to the Freddie Mac 55+ Survey. Of those baby boomers who expect to move, 13% say they will likely move within four years.
“”The decisions the nation’s baby boomers and other older home owners make will have an enormous impact on the demand for housing and new mortgage credit for the foreseeable future,” says Dave Lowman, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac. “Whether they buy new homes or decide to refinance and renovate their current ones, the size of this generation and the fact that they hold close to two-thirds, approximately $8 trillion, of the nation’s home equity makes it very important that we watch what they do.”
“Twelve percent of those baby boomers who would consider moving say they expect their next home to be more expensive than their current one. The survey showed that 37% believe their next home purchase will be in the same price range as their current home, and half say that it will be less expensive.
“Here are some additional findings from the survey:
- 76% of baby boomers surveyed say they are confident they will be financially comfortable in retirement.
- 59% of home owners say they are “very satisfied” with their communities, 64% with their current home, and 54% with their quality of life.
- Nearly 25% of the respondents say they have already helped someone financially with a down payment for a home.
- The top factors influencing whether to move and where to live: affordability of living in a particular community (46%); having the amenities needed to live there for many years after I retire (44%); less maintenance (41%); having a place where I was no longer responsible for caring for the property (e.g. yard work, snow removal) (30%); proximity to other family members (31%); being in a walkable community (28%); having abundant services for adults my age (25%); access to public transportation (17%); warmer climate (19%); having a place that is smaller than my current home (e.g. downsizing) (19%).”
SANTIVA TODAY: Rooms Need Constant Upgrading, Study Says
This article was posted yesterday on line by the “Santiva-Chronicle”:
“The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva are renowned around the world for their beauty. That’s why vacationers come in droves. But what about the time that isn’t spent at the beach, like time back in the room?
“The Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau has asked that question and then went seeking the answer. The result is the Highland Study.
“The Highland Study was completed in early 2015 by The Highland Group Hotel Investment Advisors of Atlanta and is intended as a tool to help Lee County, including Sanibel and Captiva, keep and build its market share and grow lodging revenue. Within the past year the Highland Study has been presented at, among other places, Sanibel City Council and most recently the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce.
“Using data compiled through the end of 2014, the Highland Study begins with five important numbers:
- $16,627 – Vacation rental units in excellent condition average $16,627 more revenue annually than units that are in fair to poor condition, according to the Highland Group unit pair analysis. Renovation pays.
- $2 – Lee County only gained $2 in hotel average daily rate between 2009 and 2013, well below gains in comparable counties. The national and Florida average increases were more than five times higher, according to Smith Travel Research. Improving revenue management can benefit both property owners and the county.
- 24% – Only 24% of Lee County visitors are visiting for the first time and this figure has been dropping, according to Davidson-Peterson Associates.
- 52 – Average age of visitors to Lee County is 52 and has been rising, according to DavidsonPeterson Associates. This is unusually high and puts the county at risk of aging out of a viable clientele and becoming identified as obsolete.
- 10% – Only 10 percent of visitors identify Lee County as more expensive than anticipated, according to Davidson-Peterson Associates. This is unusually low and means that the county is missing revenue opportunities.
“The Highland Study puts it all together with the conclusions that the demographics of vacationers are changing. If we want younger visitors to continue to replace older ones then we can’t sit still. This means updating the rooms. It doesn’t have to be done all at once, but it needs to be done and the best way is a plan or program that keeps putting money back into updates.
“Everyone, no matter what age, wants a nice, clean, bright room. That always has been important. But needs of the younger generation are different. While older visitors might never expect, or even care, if their room is equipped with a flat screen television, the new generation of vacationers does. Older visitors have come here for years and never had Wi-Fi in their rooms and don’t care. The new visitors expect Wi-Fi and will start tweeting immediately that their room doesn’t have it.
“Lee County was compared to four other counties in the Highland Study. Hotel lodging inland in Lee County and on Fort Myers Beach tended be newer that other parts of the county, and that includes Sanibel and Captiva, whose “product is uniquely concentrated from the late 1960s and 1970s.”
“We suspect most hoteliers in Lee County have read the Highland Study, which flatly states, “lodging requires constant upgrading. Lee County lodging will need to be upgraded to be competitive in the future.””
The Real Estate Profession is Getting Younger
It’s always good news to hear that the Realtor profile is changing in the right direction. According to statistics released earlier this month by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the real estate profession – is getting younger! It says “There’s been big change in the average age of real estate professionals. In just one year, the median age of Realtors® dropped – from 57 last year, to 53 this year! That’s according to the 2016 NAR Member Profile…What’s driving the decrease? Well, Realtors under the age of 30 have more than do0ubled in the last year, from just 2% of all members to 5%, and the share of Realtors 65 and older dropped significantly—from 25% to just 16%”.
“As a result of the change, 20% of Realtors today—that’s one out of every five—have been in the business just one year or less. And a third of all Realtors have been in the business three years or less….”
That doesn’t mean that SanibelSusan is retiring any time soon, but it hopefully means that there will be more new members contributing to the health of the real estate family. As a member of the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee again this year, it can be challenging finding young members willing to volunteer their time for committee work which makes them eligible for our Board of Directors and future officer positions. Explaining to candidates how networking is key to a successful business helps.
Wondering how many years The SanibelSusan Team has in this business?
Together, we have a whopping 72 years! And they really have been together too!
Four professionals for the price of one!
Susan Andrews – 27 years licensed, 21 as a broker
Elise Carnes – 19 in real estate, licensed for 13
Dave Anderson – 17 in real estate, licensed for 4
Lisa Murty – licensed and in real estate for 9 years.
What Dads Want in Their Homes (all hail the man cave)
Thanks to our client pal, Scott, for emailing me the following article that he shared with us in honor of the upcoming Father’s Day weekend. It was published on line today in the “Wall Street Journal” – “MarketWatch”. Best wishes to Scott and all those other man-cave loving Dads!
“This Father’s Day, when it comes to what dads want in a home, the answer seems clear: their own space.
While moms appear to be more practical when it comes to home design, dreaming of features like mud rooms so kids can change out of grubby clothes before tracking dirt into the house, or open floor plans so they can keep tabs on kids who are hanging out in the living room while they’re in the kitchen, dads want to get away from it all.
““We’ve been asked to search for homes with a separate snack kitchen, cigar lounge, a quiet napping room just for dad,” said Bruce Elliott, a Realtor with Regal Real Estate Professionals in Orlando, Fla. “Even room for a home brewery.”
“Barring the cigar lounge, at the top of the list for dads is — not surprisingly — the original man cave, namely the garage, said Elliott. Dads have also asked for cabinets on porches big enough to install a small fridge, a shaded platform for a grill, or storage sheds for pool games and floating toys, he said. Dads spend time really evaluating the potential a garage has and “will it fit their jet skis or other toys, a workbench or, of course, that mountain of kids’ stuff,” he said.
“Of course, plenty of dads, like Chad King, a 42-year-old marine biologist who lives in Gilroy, Calif., are all about being practical when it comes to what they want in a home. “Good school district, not near busy streets so there’s no noise pollution, low crime rates, quality construction materials and everything up to code and permitted,” he said. Still, King looked for a house with a large garage for at least three cars “plus a man-cave or office far from the kids rooms so I don’t keep them up at night,” he said.
“And if dads can’t find the ideal space in a home, they’ll make it. Or at least have somebody else do it, said Frederick Wilson, an architect who co-founded the firm Morgante Wilson in Evanston, Ill.
“Wilson, a father of three who himself, created a separate space in his house for his Lionel trains and railroad memorabilia, and reported that he’s been asked to create special spaces for dads, including one for a client who wanted to mount his trophies from big game hunting trips. “[His] wife didn’t want the stuffed heads anywhere near the house,” he said. So Wilson designed a one-and-a-half-story study off the main floor with lots of natural light but kept it separate from the main floor.
“Another client wanted to mount his guitars and have a place to jam. Yet another wanted the wall of his study knocked out so he could stare at his classic cars in the garage. “Most guys have something they want to celebrate, but they don’t know how,” Wilson said.
“And if it’s not a man cave, it’s access to the great outdoors that fathers want, said Jerry James, president of Glenview, Ill.–based Edward R. James Homes, a residential developer. His company’s town house designs outside Chicago feature a square private outdoor deck on the main level that’s easily accessible from the kitchen and family room and is accessed through a den.
““The connected den can be used as a kids’ playroom where dad can keep an eye on them while relaxing and reading a book on the deck,” said James. “Or, if the den is used as a home office, the deck makes a nice change of scenery if dad is working from home for the day and wants to work outside on his laptop.”
“Karen Schmid, sales manager at Red Seal Homes in Northbrook, Ill., said the company’s Willow Lake development, which includes waterfront homes with deck and water rights along two natural lakes, was particularly popular with dads. “That’s been a huge pull for the guys,” she said, many of whom prize it for fishing and kayaking.
“A little more down-to-earth dad amenity is the outdoor kitchen. “It’s a popular upgrade for dads who not only want a fully equipped, dedicated space where they can show off their skills as family ‘grill master,’ but also have a great area for outdoor entertaining,” Wilson said.
“Greg Lukianoff, a 41-year-old attorney and father in Washington, D.C., is one of those budding grill masters. He said any outdoor grill needs to be connected to the house’s gas line so you don’t risk running out of gas while in the process of cooking or have to swap out propane cylinders. It’s also important to have the outside grill area connected to the kitchen, he said. “As someone who loves blackened fish, it’s also great for keeping your house smelling good,” he added.
“Lukianoff’s wife, Michelle, declined to comment.” (I love that last sentence.)
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 10-17, 2016
2 new listings: Kimball Lodge #263 1/2 $415K, Sundial #F208 1/1 $439K.
No price reductions.
3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 listed at $529K, Compass Pointe #222 listed at $689K, Sundial #M301 2/2 listed at at $749K.
1 closed sale: White Caps #5 1/1 $505K.
1 new listing: 6111 San-Cap Rd 5/4.3 $27M
6 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $395K, 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $429K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 now $729.9K, 9468 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $759K, 726 Cardium St 3/3 now $775K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.1M.
4 new sales: 242 Christopher Ct 3/2 listed at $729K, 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $779K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $975K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $2.4M.
4 closed sales: 746 Cardium St 4/2 $599,998, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $660K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $950K, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $1.135M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $199K.9K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 5639 Baltusrol Ct $235K.
No new listings or price reductions.
1 new sale: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 listed at $1.875M.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas $5106 1/2 $275K, Bayside Villas #4301 3/3 $584K.
HOMES & LOTS
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.)
Enjoy your weekend & Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan