It’s Susan reporting another week of nice Sanibel summer weather. The island has been a little quieter following the departure of holiday visitors, but there are still plenty of vacationers enjoying the islands.
Sunday night, I had dinner with friends at the new Doc Ford’s and was surprised to find a wait from as early as 6 p.m. right through closing time. It’s a popular place and worth the wait. These friends also shared some of their vacation photos – fine examples of the great weather, sparkling gulf, and how empty the beach was this week at Chateau Sur Mer. Thanks, Pia.
Yesterday was the July Membership Breakfast Meeting at the islands Association of Realtors®. Very little real estate activity was announced, but the speakers were excellent. Affiliate members, David Arter (Private Client Insurance Services), Chris Heidrick (Heidrick & Co. Insurance), and Mike Gadaleta (BB&T Oswald Trippe & Co.) updated members on insurance issues. Below is some info from David Arter’s handout on Wind Insurance.
Following some other news items is a summary of the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.
Wind Insurance & More
There are three types of providers for wind insurance here:
- Admitted Markets – these are the insurance providers licensed & approved by the State of Florida. Several carriers write wind insurance on Sanibel & Captiva.
- Citizens – this is the admitted carrier that is operated by the State of Florida.
- Surplus Lines (or Non-Admitted Carriers) – these must be access through a broker, no standardized forms are required (meaning they do not need to comply with state requirements), and there is no minimum earned premium.
What is Citizens? – Citizens Property Insurance can insure residential dwellings to a maximum value of $699,999 (per Florida Senate bill 1770). Policies could be subject to a “surcharge” (of up to 45%) if Citizens sustains a deficit as a result of a hurricane or other reason. They have strict underwriting and administrative guidelines, limited endorsement availability, and a depopulation program. Originally designed as the “Carrier of Last Resort’, Citizens was the largest property insurance carrier in Florida. Recently, it has gone from 1.1 million policies to under 450,000 personal residential policies.
Wind Mitigation Inspections – The Wind Mitigation Inspection form used today was revised in 2012. It contains such information as the age of the roof, the roof deck attachment, wall attachment, geometry or shape, secondary water resistance, and opening protection (shutters, hurricane glass, etc.). A wind mitigation inspection is recommended even on an older property, if was permitted before 2001, but the roof meets 2001 Florida Building Code (meaning a new roof was permitted after 3/2/2002) – or if a roof permitted before 2001 Code has hurricane wraps or clips (3 nails required), has Level B or C Roof Deck Attachment, and/or Level A Opening Protection.
Helpful Tips When Looking for Insurance Coverage
- To get insurance credits or a better price, get a Wind Mitigation Inspection done, even on homes built before 2002.
- For homes 30 or more years old also get a 4-Point Inspection. This inspection covers the roof, plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems. From this inspection, insurance agents can determine if the property is eligible for coverage by different providers. Many require that a roof have a remaining useful life of at least five years. Polybutylene plumbing also is a problem for virtually all carriers. Electrical Fuse panels and Federal Pacific Panels are generally unacceptable by most carriers. (Some also restrict Zinsco and Challenger panels.)
- For flood insurance, a copy of the current policy helps as does an Elevation Certificate (prepared by surveyor).
- When buying a property, providing the insurance agent with a copy of the MLS information helps too. They use that and county public records to provide estimates.
- Establish the closing date and bind polices early. Insurance agents are often balancing between available markets, zip code openings/closings, and storms. During Hurricane Season, carriers can stop writing policies at a moment’s notice. A storm threat usually means companies will stop writing policies until the storm passes. A signed application and payment are needed to bind a policy.
Sanibel Planning Commission Reaffirms Position on Retail Stores
Good summary about this week’s Planning Commission meeting at the “Santiva-Chronicle” on-line.
“The Sanibel Planning Commission reaffirmed its stance on formula retail, or chain, stories in a unanimous 6-0 vote at City Hall Tuesday, July 11, and also was in agreement that the city needs to keep a close eye on the changing face of retail business. With no public hearings on its agenda, the Planning Commission spent just over 90 minutes discussing formula retail, after which it voted to stick with the recommendations it unanimously passed at its June 13 session. The commission will vote on approving a resolution at its Aug. 4 meeting that will forward four recommendations to the City Council for its consideration as either amendments to the Land Development Code or action items. They are:
“1. Adjust the current review trigger that requires additional review and approval by City Council from 50,000 square feet to 60,000 whenever a new formula retail stores is permitted in excess of this total amount of commercial floor area representing all formula retail stores within the City Commercial District;
“2. Amend the current definition of Formula Retail Stores so that it does not apply to retail businesses with fewer than three existing stores;
“3. Develop and post on the city’s website mysanibel.com an instructional guide with the necessary steps for starting any permitted business on Sanibel;
“4. Request that the city examine the future economic development of its Commercial District to ensure that it maintains an appropriate mix and variety of uses.
“The commission discussed all the points Tuesday with several commissioners stressing that the nature of the retail business is going through changes. ““The idea that a mom-and-pop business is going to succeed is changing,” Commissioner Chuck Ketteman said, referring to consolidation into large chains and the effect of the Internet. “Our focus might become what kind of formula retail business it will be rather than just on how much of it we have,” he said.
“Chairman Dr. Phillip Marks agreed, noting the effect of an Internet service like Amazon Prime that delivers quickly with free shipping. “We may have to change our focus when it comes to new businesses,” Marks said.
“The commission also looked at ways to help new businesses, whether formula retail or not, to follow the proper procedure for opening. That, the commission agreed, should include brief questions on the business tax receipt that would identify potential formula retail conflicts both for new businesses and existing ones who may have become formula retail after opening here.
“Presently City Council and Planning Commission must approve a formula retail application because the 50,000-square feet trigger plateau has been surpassed. Both boards approved applications for a pair of Periwinkle Place businesses, Fanta Sea and Everything But Water, in the past 15 months. It was those two applications that prompted City Council to ask for a potential overhaul of its formula retail procedures.
“Commissioner Karen Storjohann noted that Fanta Sea was open for two years before it came before the Planning Commission. She and Vice Chairman Holly Smith have been vocal about updating forms to both help businesses comply and to track violators like Fanta Sea was.“We need to assure that people are getting the right information on the front end,” Smith said. Ric Base, president of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is often a first contact point for prospective new businesses. “We would like to have something to hand to people. It shows that we are all on the same page,” Base said. He agreed with Ketteman and Marks that the landscape is changing for the retail industry. “We will see huge changes in the how retail operates in the next five years,” Base said.
“The Land Development Code Subcommittee, which consists of the entire Planning Commission, will meet in September. Ketteman said two points that might be addressed at that time are the guidelines for swimming pools and decks and the guidelines for vegetation buffers. The commission has approved several decks and pools in recent years upon reasonable requests from property owners. If the code were rewritten, approval could come from the Planning Department without commission involvement.
“The design of the vegetation buffer was the main sticking point at the recent hearing at which Mud Bugs Cajun Restaurant was approved on a narrow 4-3 vote. More flexibility in the Land Development Code regarding vegetation buffers deserves consideration, Ketteman said.”
Sanibel Surveys News
Bean, Whitaker, Lutz & Kareh, Inc., a local Surveying and Civil Engineering firm based in Fort Myers since 1987, has announced that they have acquired Sanibel Surveys. Andy Johnson, owner of Sanibel Surveys since 2005, will be appointed senior project manager and will continue providing professional surveying services on Sanibel Island as well as Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and throughout Lee County. Mr. Johnson is a survey graduate of New Mexico State University and has been involved in the survey profession for over 20 years.
Air in Green Homes May Be A Health Risk
This article caught my eye on REALTOR®Mag on-line on June 27, 2017:
“Energy-efficient homes built too tightly have building experts warning about the potential health impact on owners. A home sealed efficiently can be great for reducing heating and cooling costs and managing its environmental impact. But the home itself still needs to breathe, some experts warn.
““Many homeowners are now having trouble with their more tightly built houses because the homes lack the ventilation necessary to get the stale inside air to the outside of the house and bring fresh air inside,” Remodeling writes.
“Bryan Henson, president of Allen Construction in Santa Barbara, Calif., says a house that’s sealed up completely would become a toxic environment to humans.The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million people worldwide die each year from indoor air pollution. Cases of asthma are on the rise, and asthma can be triggered by indoor contaminants such as mold, dust, and dander.
“More homeowners are questioning their indoor air quality and its impact on their health, sparking a growing interest in the “healthy home” concept. Healthy home systems tend to focus greatly on indoor air quality by providing filtered fresh air into the home.
“For healthier air, homeowners need to consider their home’s air flow. In some homes, the air may be pushed down through the attic into the home or come out from a crawlspace through the living area and out the attic. The problem with crawlspaces, building experts note, is that they often contain moisture, soil gases, and even rodents and their droppings. Indoor air space needs to be properly sealed off from the crawlspace and attic, and older homes may need more sealing off because of their older toxicity, such as lead paint, says Henson.
“To help gauge how healthy a home is and find areas worth improvement, homeowners can take a quiz made by Hayward Healthy Home. The Pharos Project lists different products and includes their chemical ingredients and potential hazards to homeowners’ health. More resources for improving a home’s health and indoor quality include The Healthy Building Network, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Indoor Air Quality Association.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 7-14, 2017
1 new listing: Moonshadows #2C 3/3 $1.775M.
1 price change: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 now $419K.
4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 listed at $529K, Sanibel Surfside #223 2/2 listed at $778K, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $999K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.
1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $602K.
3 new listings: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $629K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $689K, 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 $699.9K.
4 price changes: 9113 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 now $639,999; 732 Windlass Way 4/3.5 now $1.195M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.699M; 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 now $4.395M.
6 new sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $524.9K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $546K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 listed at $569K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 listed at $689K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed at $789K, 390 Old Trail Rd 4/4.5 listed at $2.195M.
5 closed sales: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $515K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $590K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.075M, 408 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.35M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $7.2M.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 9441 Peaceful Dr now $249K (our listing), 1311 Par View Dr now $274K.
1 new sale: 6159 Starling Way listed at $639K.
1 closed sale: 2529 Wulfert Rd $230K.
No new listings.
1 price change: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 now $495K.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 listed at $375K.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $320K, Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 $590K.
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.)
Until next Friday, here’s one more fun picture from Pia. Pelicans love special perches.
Happy weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan