Sunny Sanibel Holiday Expected


Here it is Presidents’ weekend following another week of fabulous weather with more expected through the holiday. The photos above taken noon-ish today at Sanibel’s Beach Access #6. A few shellers in the distance are doing the Sanibel stoop.

Island traffic has picked up and set-ups are underway at the Community House and City Park across from our office for the annual Rotary Club Arts and Crafts Fair tomorrow and Sunday. It’s always the “big one”, so attendees are encouraged to bike/walk. We hope those with real estate interests, stop in here.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoSometimes when the weather is nice, real estate inquiries are down. Seems that was case this week.

The island buying scenario, usually begins with a visitor vacationing. It often starts with a geography tour followed by community/complex education, then looking at properties for sale within their area of interest. Sometimes this process takes years or at least several visits. So, though we always encourage showings, we appreciate it when colleagues recognize that their clients are not yet “ready to buy” and don’t want to inconvenience others who may be on vacation renting or visiting a property that is listed.

This week we had a few of those situations, but others were where the prospective buyers had fishing, tanning, and general rest and relaxation higher on their priority list than looking at real estate. That could change with a cloudy day – one of those is not expected until next Wed.

Lisa and I will be here tomorrow, me on Sunday. No holiday for those here in the real estate business. Dave, Elise, and I are ready for any Monday madness.

February Realtor® Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoIt was a full room yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Breakfast Membership Meeting. High season meetings – February and March always bring out the most of us. In addition to standard announcements of new sales, new listings, price reductions, and changes in general information, the monthly membership meetings always include a speaker. Yesterday’s was Lynn Schneider, Director of Marketing and Communications at Shell Point Retirement Community. Before I share her info. Here are the announcements that I made.

Price reductions of two of our condo listings, both in residential complexes: 3-bedroom bay-view walk-out at Lighthouse Pointe #129 to $574,000 and Nutmeg Village #303, which is a top-floor unit with gulf views from every window, to $774,000. Dave held Nutmeg Village open to coincide with the caravan that followed the meeting. (Photo from Nutmeg Village #303 below.)

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Following some news items below is the activity posted this week in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service. Buyers take note – it includes way more price reductions than sales. Sellers recognize that now there are just nine weeks left “in season”.

At the membership meeting, I also shared that I talked this week with Rod Middleton with Suitor Middleton Cox & Associates, the company that manages Beachcomber condo association. Rod said that Beachcomber, like some other associations his company manages, hired an engineering firm to evaluate their FEMA flood zone.

femaThose familiar with flood insurance lingo, probably know that federal flood insurance rates are based on the zone in which a property is located. Zone “V” is the coastal zone, often known as being the high-hazard area, with owners and communities there, subsequently paying the highest flood rates.

Several years ago, with flood insurance rates on the rise, our local Association of Realtors® at a similar monthly membership meeting, had a speaker from J.R. Evans Engineering, an Estero firm that specializes in flood zone modifications. Companies like Evans, charge clients only when they are successful in getting a zone changed.

With Beachcomber, Rod said their project (which cost $28K) resulted in their zone being downgraded. With a big immediate refund from their flood insurance provider and premium reductions in future years expected to save them between ~$20-25K/year, it was a project worth pursuing.

(As a side note, I shared this info with my teammates and Dave found the FEMA site showing the letter of map revision. Since I live just inland of Beachcomber and my home also is in a “V” zone, I was anxious to see if my property zone also changed. It did not, but many neighboring properties did. Check out the below link – or go to the FEMA site to see if any properties near you have had their zone changed. If your flood insurance is on the rise, you might want to explore this too.)

Now for the info about Shell Point.

Shell Point Retirement Community

shellpoint_sign_smallIsland Realtors® often work with island owners selling their island property to move to Shell Point, so it was with interest that our members learned a few new things about that community. Here’s a summary:

Located just off island, across the causeway, Shell Point is a CCRC which is a Continuing Care Retirement Community – meaning they offer independent living, assisted living, medical care and social services, skilled and rehabilitative care, as well as convenience services. Not a lot of retirement communities offer all of this.

Shell Point has 2400 residents and 1000 on staff, including physicians. Their community of new homes, some under construction today, is sold out, but they are expanding some facilities and will be announcing a new project soon.

Today, accommodations range from the new large 2800 sq. ft. single-family homes to studio apartments.

Facilities include a marina, restaurants, 18-hole championship golf course, hospital, pharmacy, salon and spa, pools, recreational and fitness facilities, bank, laundry services, automobile services, personal shopping, mini-mart, church, community auditorium, transportation, and more. Almost like going on vacation.

The comment made that stuck with me, is that “it’s like going to college and making new friends your own age.” Sounds fun to be able to do that in your senior years – and get Florida resort-style living with the peace of mind of guaranteed life-long health care – on your own terms.

Shell Point offer lots of options, a variety of care programs, and all it takes to put your name on the wait list is $4,000. That money is refunded if you change your mind, but in the meantime, it gets you on the list for a property that may become available. Their turn-over rate is about 150 residences a year. Call the Welcome Center at 239-466-1131 to take a tour, or check out

Loans, Loans, & More Loans

american-momentum-bank-logoRealtors® often get emails from bankers and loan officers with updates on changes in interest rates and new mortgage options. Here is an extract from an email that I received this week from Dan Royal, Mortgage Loan Originator, at American Momentum Bank in Naples. Dan has been an affiliate business partner member at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors for as long as I have been selling real estate.

Like most lending institutions, his bank offers typical Fannie Mae fixed-rate mortgages, but it was the more creative program explained in this recent email that caught my eye. With his permission, here it is:

“At American Momentum Bank, we offer a Renovation Loan for purchase transactions and refinance.

“Example: $750,000 sales price + $250,000 renovation cost = $1,000,000 total acquisition cost

x 80% LTV= $800,000 loan amount and a $200,000 down payment

“This loan allows the buyer to finance the majority of their renovation cost at the same time they are closing on the home or condo.  We treat it as a construction loan with interest only payments during the renovation period.  When the renovation is completed, the loan is modified to a traditional mortgage with monthly principal and interest payments.

“This program is one of several flexible portfolio mortgage programs that we offer:

  • Title in LLC
  • 1031 exchange
  • Foreign borrowers
  • Non-warrantable resort condo
  • 90% LTV preferred mortgage to $1 million
  • Asset dissipation
  • Construction to perm & lot loans
  • Condo & single family renovation loans…”

For further info, reach Dan at or toll free at 866-530-2265.

Lawmakers Need REALTORS® on Tax Reform

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_From the Thursday, Feb 9, 2017, “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on-line at Realtor®Mag:

“The chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee joined REALTORS® at NAR’s 2017 Federal Policy Conference in Washington yesterday and urged them to stay engaged over the next year while lawmakers in Congress look at a full-scale reform of the country’s tax code.

““We have a historic opportunity, the first time in 30 years, to completely reform the tax law,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told hundreds of politically active REALTORS® in Washington Feb. 8 for the conference, which NAR holds annually to educate its most politically involved members on the issues that are expected to dominate the Washington agenda for the year.

“This year, tax reform is expected to be high on the list of priorities Congress and the new Administration are expected to take up. Reform of the secondary mortgage market is also on the agenda for later in the year, along with flood insurance reauthorization and reform.

“Brady introduced REALTORS® to a tax reform blueprint that Republicans in the House are working on and which stands a good chance of being the main vehicle for any tax reform effort that gets taken up in the House.

“The blueprint envisions broadening the tax base by condensing tax brackets from seven to three, with tax rates of 33, 25, and 12%, respectively, and increasing the standard deduction to almost twice its current amount. It would also eliminate many itemized deductions, including for state and local taxes. The mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for charitable contributions would remain, but because of the higher standard deduction, it’s likely most homeowners would no longer have an incentive to itemize, a concern of NAR’s.

“On the commercial side, the blueprint does not specifically repeal 1031 like-kind exchanges. However, Brady admitted the committee is considering eliminating the provision.  The blueprint would allow owners to deduct 100% of the cost of new business assets, including buildings (but not land) in the first year of ownership. Brady along with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), chair of the tax policy subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee, said the accelerated expensing could go a long way to offsetting the 1031 exchange as an investment incentive, but they wanted to hear from REALTORS® more about their concerns. “We haven’t made our decisions yet,” said Roskam. “Were listening.”

“Maintaining 1031 exchanges is a top priority for NAR. In the question and answer period, a REALTOR® asserted that two-thirds of commercial investment is spurred directly or indirectly by the exchanges.

“At the conference, REALTORS® also heard about the prospects for secondary mortgage market reform. The big ideological debate on that issue centers around whether the federal government should continue to back mortgages sold in the secondary market. A staff aide at the conference said legislation has been introduced to help make the debate easier by allowing more private sector parties to buy the risk held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other legislation would touch on a common securitization platform Fannie and Freddie are working on, which would allow private insurers to get into the market more. “These are things we can agree on and make the decision [about federal backing] easier once we get there,” he said.

“NAR wants to see the federal government stay in the market to ensure the viability of affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and also ensure mortgages are available in bad times as well as good.

“On flood insurance, congressional aides said many lawmakers want to avoid the kind of short-term reauthorizations of the National Flood Insurance Program that the market saw several years ago. NAR supports early reauthorization of the program, which expires later this year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 10-17, 2017



3 new listings: Donax Village #9 2/2 $499K, Villa Sanibel #3D 2/2 $599K, Sundial West #K403 2/2 $899K.

8 price changes: Tennisplace #A35 2/1.5 now $309K, Tennisplace #A31 2/1.5 now $329K; Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $359,555; Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $679K; Nutmeg Village #303 2/2 now $774K (our listing); Sundial West #A308 2/2 now $799K; High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.649M; High Tide #A302 3/2 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 listed at $359,555; Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 listed at $369K; Heron at The Sanctuary II  #1B 3/2.5 listed at $610K; Sundial East #S404 3/2 listed at $850K; Tamarind #A102 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sale: Kings Crown #315 2/2 $790K.


11 new listings: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $450K, 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $537K, 1447 Albatross Rd 3/2 $579K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $729K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 $829K, 1140 Junonia St 3/2 $849K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $1.295M, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $1.3M, 0 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $1.375M, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.4M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $2.599M.

15 price changes: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $595K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $629K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $664K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $699K, 1717 Sandpebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $719K, 3918 Coquina Dr 3/2.5 now $899K, 2459 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 now $899K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $995K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $995K, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.235M, 6101 Starling Way 3/4 now $1.275M, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.695M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.175M, 6494 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $2.249M.

6 new sales: 671 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 listed at $775K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 3944 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M.

5 closed sales: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $439.5K, 1709 Sand Pebble Way 5/3 triplex  $495K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.25M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 $1.6M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 $1.7M.


2 new listings: 0 Island Inn Rd $295K, 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $999K.

1 price change: 978 Main St now $199K.

3 new sales: 1301 Sand Castle Rd now $380K, 5830 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $385K, 602 Boulder Dr listed at $439K.

No closed sales.



No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $259K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3131 2/2 listed at $405K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $4.499M.

1 price change: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2.199M.

3 new sales: 15161 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.295M, 16455 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $2.495M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $4.295M.

1 closed sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.25M.


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.)

flag cell towerHappy Presidents’ Day Weekend to all… if we can help with island real estate, please contact me & The SanibelSusan Team,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan