Time for another Friday update from Susan and The SanibelSusan Team.
What a change here this week. Like magic as April 15 rolled around, the islands thinned out and traffic lessened, though the weather remains sunny and summerlike – mostly high-70’s low-80’s all week.
Many vacationing families continue to enjoy the bike paths, waterways, and beaches (spring break for several out-of-state schools), but if my “busy” gauge is how long it takes to drive from the office to my home either mid-day or during Sanibel rush hour, things here are back to what I call “normal”. I made the trip in nine minutes twice this week! (Compared to a record 1-1/2 hours on Presidents’ Day.)
Tomorrow is officially what is considered the end of “high season”, while accommodations over the next few weeks charge what are called “shoulder rates” for those looking to stay for less than in the winter. Later, “summer” rental rates will be even lower.
Seasoned visitors and locals often describe May as one of the best months on the islands – being just after the winter rush, but before schools are out. May weather often is some of the best since the rainy season isn’t in full swing, yet flowers are blooming and beach water is clear with sea turtles just beginning to nest.
Here are a few photos of what is flowering at my home. Great that longer days mean I get to enjoy the pink explosion when I get home. Can you tell I like that color? Had to compromise with the gardenia.
At Sanibel Susan Realty Associates
All’s well at SanibelSusan Realty, where we are finalizing things on three closings scheduled to occur next week and got another listing under contract. I was out showing a few times this week, including one on Easter Sunday afternoon – whatever it takes!
Teammate Dave held several open houses and we’ve opened some listings for showings too. Teammate Elise’s report with the details of the week’s Multiple Listing Service action follows a few news items below.
Next week, we will be working on updating data for our big post-season inventory mailout that will go to the printer in early May. It goes out to all island property owners and prospective buyers. Favored by many since it reflects current inventory as well as many “season” sale prices, if you are not already on our mailing list and would like a copy, please let us know.
High “season” may be winding down, but we have been in this business long enough to know that the next wave of buyers will be the serious ones who did not find exactly what they want to buy in “season” and they know that returning during the “shoulder” weeks is one of the easiest time to view properties – particularly those in rental programs. They know it’s a good time to make offers too. We are ready.
April Membership Meeting – Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Yesterday’s Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting was well attended, but only a handful of new listings were on the Caravan schedule that followed. Next month (May), the caravan meetings which are held every week in “season”, revert to a summer schedule – or every other week. Summer caravans also are not restricted to either east-end or west-end. When the traveling is easier, caravans are open to both islands. Upcoming caravans will be on the following Thursdays: May 4, May 18, and June 1, from 9 a.m. until noon.
Remodeling – Choosing/Replacing Windows – The meeting speakers were affiliate member business partners, Jeff Carroll with Tradewinds Custom Homes and Arthur Monahan with Seacoast Cottage Company. They each provided a short presentation on choosing/replacing/remodeling windows.
With most island owners buying for vacations, investment, or a 2nd or 3rd home, Jeff mentioned that he often hears new consumers, unfamiliar with Florida construction, say that they don’t really need good windows down here because “it’s not that cold”. He said, what they don’t yet realize is that “it is that hot”.
He also remarked that many buyers, new to the area will say that they expect to have their windows closed for just a couple of months each year, when in reality, he said that most will find out that they will only keep their windows open for eight to ten weeks, at best.
Art offered a hand-out with the following issues to consider when considering windows:
- Building Code (energy efficiency, turtle-friendly, 50% rule on remodels)
- Cost (style, size, coatings, frames, manufacturers)
Here is some other info from his handout.
- PGT $
- CGI $$
- Anderson $$$
- Pella $$$$
“With window frame types, always consider the warranty period when making a decision about frame type:
- Aluminum or metal – Although very strong, light, and almost maintenance free, metal or aluminum or metal frames conduct heat very rapidly, which makes metal a very pool insulating material. To reduce heat flow and the U-factor, metal frames should have a thermal break – an insulating plastic strip placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash.
- Composite – Composite window frames consist of composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber. These composites are very stable, they have the same or better structural and thermal properties as conventional wood, and they have better moisture and decay resistance.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass window frames are dimensionally stable and have air cavities that can be filled with insulation giving them superior thermal performance compared to wood or uninsulated vinyl.
- Vinyl – Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. Vinyl window frames do not require painting and have good moisture resistance. The hallow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames.
- Wood – Wood window frames insulated relatively well, but they also expand and contract in response to weather conditions. Wood frames also require regular maintenance, although aluminum or vinyl cladding reduces maintenance requirements.
“Glass types include:
- Heat-absorbing tints
- Insulated (which have less tendency toward condensation & the resultant growth of mold & mildew)
- Reflective coatings (allow for “turtle friendliness”)
- Spectrally selective coatings.
“Window styles include:
- Casement – One-hinged sash that swings outward from the side.
- Awning: One sash that hinges from the top to the outside
- Double-Hung – Two sashes that slide vertically to open shut or position to provide more efficient ventilation. Raise the lower sash to allow in a cool breeze. Lower the upper sash to pull hot air from the ceiling outside.
- Single-Hung – Looks like a double-hung window, but only the bottom sash slides vertically to open and shut.
- Sliding — One fixed and one moveable sash that slides open or shut horizontally – ideal for difficult to reach areas.
- Bay & Bow – Angled or curved combination of windows that extend outward to maximize view.
“Art further described casement windows as the best and that new windows should provide 60% energy efficiency.”
For further info:
Jeff Carroll with Tradewinds Custom Homes – www.TradewindsHomes.com
Art Monahan with Seacoast Cottage Company – www.SeacoastCottageCompany.com
FREE Summer Programs at J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge
With season winding down, summer events are being announced. Here’s a summary of the summer programming being offered at the Wildlife Refuge from June 2 through August 5, made possible by support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society as reported in their spring newsletter. They are “offered weekly, with no pre-registration necessary.
- Reading at the Refuge – every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Attendees at each 45-minute reading and crafts session learn about a Refuge animal and make a take-home craft related to it. Meet at the Visitor & Education Center Classroom.
- Indigo Trail Hike – every Thursday at 10 a.m. Join Refuge naturalists as they lead a one-hour tour to the Wildlife Education Board to identify and discuss the ecosystem’s plants, mammals, birds, and reptiles – fun for adults and children alike. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Visitor & Education Center.
- Family Beach Walk – every Friday at 9 a.m. The one-hour program convenes at Gulfside Park to explore the Refuge’s gulf-front Perry Tract. City parking fees apply. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
- Wildlife Wonders – every Saturday at 11 a.m. Refuge education staff lead this 30-minute indoor program about the mysteries of manatees, alligators, crocodiles, and birds. Held in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium.”
Tarpon Bay Explorers Schedule
- Tram Tours of Wildlife Drive – April: Mon-Thurs: hourly 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; May & June: Mon-Thurs: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., & 4 p.m.
- Kayak Trail Tour (any & all times substituted with low tide paddle when trail not accessible) – April: Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; May & June: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m.
- Sunset Rookery Paddle (2 hours prior to sunset) – April: Daily; May & June: Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat or Sun.
- Breakfast Cruise – Mon, Wed, Fri at 8:30 a.m.
- Standup Paddleboard Tour (all at 9 a.m.) – April: Mon-Sat; May & June: Tues, Thurs, Sat.
- Nature & Sea Life Cruise – Daily at 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
- Evening Cruise – Daily 2 hours prior to sunset.
- Aquarium & Touch Tank – Daily at 3 p.m.
- Rentals & Fishing Charters – Daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Most Consumers Are Wrong About Home Insurance
A “Daily Real Estate News” article published earlier this month and posted on Realtor® Mag News says:
“Fifty-six percent of consumers recently surveyed believe that a standard homeowner’s policy covers flood damage. But they’re mistaken, and their assumption could be a costly mistake.
“A survey by InsuranceQuotes of about 1,000 consumers shows a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to home insurance and what’s covered and what’s not.
“”Being misinformed about your home policy can be an extremely expensive mistake—especially when a few inches of water in a 1,000 square-foot home can easily cost over $10,000 in repairs,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes. “There are a number of widespread myths ranging from coverage for dog bites to items stolen from your car that frequently trip up policyholders.”
“Consumers tend to overestimate the amount of coverage they have when it comes to flooding protection, according to the study. Further, 81% of survey respondents knew that valuables stolen from their home were covered under most standard homeowner’s policies, yet only 28% knew that renter’s insurance would cover valuables stolen from their cars.
““It’s critical for consumers to thoroughly explore their options and really understand the protections that are included or excluded with a standard renter’s or home insurance policy,” says Adams. “Don’t wait until right before a big storm is headed your way to get coverage because there may be a waiting period.”
“Flood insurance is particularly a hot topic to address with clients lately. The National Association of REALTORS® has been warning its members about the threats to homeowners and property sales when the National Flood Insurance Program expires on Sept. 30. Policymakers in more than 22,000 communities nationwide rely on NFIP to protect them from flood risks, like torrential rain, swollen rivers and lakes, snow melt, failing infrastructure, and storm surges and hurricanes.
““When the NFIP expired in 2010, over 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result,” NAR President William E. Brown recently said in a statement. “That’s over 40,000 every month. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in the 100-year floodplain, but without access to the NFIP, buyers simply couldn’t get a mortgage or vital protection from the number one cause of loss of property and life, flooding.”
“The National Association of REALTORS® is working with lawmakers to strengthen the program and also create a path for a private market to take hold ahead of the Sept. 30 expiration.”
Milestone in Sanibel Sewer Expansion Project
As reported recently in several island papers, including the “The Santiva-Chronicle” write-up below and photo to the right:
“Sanibel has entered Phase 4 of its sewer expansion project on Woodring Road, the city announced on Monday, April 17.
“Phase 4 will connect 19 properties on Woodring Road. The work began Monday and the city said work will continue into the fall. During that time, the Bock Peace Park parking area at the north end of Dixie Beach Road will have very limited parking, the city said.
“Phase 4 also includes five properties on West Gulf Drive. When Phase 4 is complete, it will leave only 20 properties in four different areas of Sanibel to be connected in the final phase.
“Sanibel City Council approved Phase 4 in January, 2016 at a cost of about $1.2 million. “This is a milestone,” City Manager Judie Zimomra said to the City Council on Jan. 5, 2016. “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.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 14-21, 2017
1 new listing: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 $475K.
5 price changes: Tennisplace #A31 2/1.5 now $299K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $759K, Pointe Santo #C36 2/2 now $786K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $799K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1,039,999.
4 new sales: Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $399.4K, Blind Pass #F106 2/2 listed at $409K, Sundial East #L401 2/2 listed at $749K, Beachcomber #A102 2/2 listed at $1.445M (our seller).
1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 $860K.
2 new listings: 714 Durion Ct 3/2 $619K, 1032 Lindgren Blvd 3/2.5 $895K.
6 price changes: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 now $474.9K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $699K, 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $848.8K, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.595M, 267 Ferry Rd 3/2 now $1.895M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.777M.
9 new sales: 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 listed at $477K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 listed at $520K, 2154 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $539K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 listed at $664.9K, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 listed at $765K, 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 941 Pecten Ct listed at $949K, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.899M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.995M.
No closed sales.
1 new listings: 2356 Wulfert Rd $189K.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: 5687 Baltusrol Ct $300K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd $375K.
1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $255.5K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Homes #9 4/3.5 listed at $3.1M.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $5.25M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.495M.
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.)
Until next Friday, here’s hoping you have sunny days where you are too!
I had family in town over their Easter break. Here’s my great nephew, Caden, enjoying Sanibel beach!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan