It’s SanibelSusan, again reporting that all is well on the islands, as we await our first winter cool front which is expected to arrive tomorrow after some rain.
We may need to get out our Christmas sweaters by Sunday, as the latest forecast calls for highs in the 60’s/low 70’s with nighttime lows into the 40’s for about the next week. Yikes!
Big difference yesterday compared to last Thursday at our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting. This week, attendance was light, just a handful of new listings were open for viewing, and “no” new sales were announced. Our listing in Seagull Estates went under contract shortly after the meeting, so I will have that to announce at next week’s event which will be our December monthly membership meeting. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few news items below.
Sanibel Shoes for Homeless Veterans
Until Dec 19, the American Legion Post 123 at 4249 San-Cap Rd is collecting shoes for homeless veterans. Donations of new sneakers, work boots, dress shoes, and socks are being accepted.
- Holiday Stroll – tonight 12/8, tomorrow night 12/9, & 12/15, 12/16, 12/22, & 12/23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at South Seas Island Resort yacht harbor and marina. Tickets $10, children under 10 free. Proceeds to benefit Community Cooperative.
- BIG ARTS Holiday Concerts – at 7 p.m. in Schein Performance Hall, The Band Concert is tomorrow night, 12/9. The Chorus concert is Thurs, 12/14 (you-know-who is singing). Tickets still available for both events.
- Captiva Carol Sing – Sun, 12/10 at 6 p.m. at the historic Chapel by the Sea. It’s fun, though may be chilly, with singing of holiday favorites by a few soloists and attendees. Six of us from the BIG ARTS Chorus will be singing “Carols Around” and “It’s a Wonderful Time of the Year”.
- Shell Harbor Boat Parade – CANCELLED. It was scheduled for 12/16.
- 5th Annual Heart Walk & Wellness Festival – Sun, Jan 28, at the Community House beginning at 2 p.m. More info at www.SanibelCaptivaHeartWalk.org
Mortgage Rates Rise as Economy Shows Signs of Strength
The following article was posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® on-line with credit to The Associated Press:
“U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the economy showed signs of strength, which makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate next week.
“The rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.94% from 3.9% last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said. The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance, also increased, rising to 3.36% from 3.3%.
“The five-year adjustable mortgage rate rose for the third straight week to 3.35% from 3.32% last week.
“Shorter-term rates are rising more quickly than longer-term debt, and the gap between the 30-year mortgage and five-year has narrowed since the summer. As a result, more homebuyers are choosing the longer-term fixed rate, Freddie Mac said.
“Even with the increase, the 30-year rate is down from the beginning of the year, when it stood at 4.13%. Any rate below 5% is low by historic standards.
“The number of people seeking unemployment benefits is near a four-decade low and surveys of manufacturers and service firms point to healthy growth.
“Federal Reserve policymakers meet next week and are widely expected to lift their short-term rate for the third time this year.”
Florida Regulators Approve Citizens Insurance Rate Hikes
I was recently notified that another insurance company is picking up the wind policy on my home. It previously was covered by Citizens Property Insurance. If you still have coverage by Citizens you may be interested in this article posted on-line yesterday by News Service of Florida, Tallahassee.
“State regulators have approved a series of rate increases for Citizens Property Insurance customers now that a 90-day rate freeze due to Hurricane Irma has been lifted.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said Wednesday that it approved an average 6.6% increase for homeowners’ multi-peril policies under the Florida-owned property insurer. That increase is slightly lower than a 6.7% hike requested by Citizens.
The average wind-only homeowners’ policy will go up 0.9%, rather than the 1.7% sought by the state-backed Citizens.
Regulators approved Citizens’ request for a 4.8% increase in multi-peril coverage for condominium associations, while wind-only condominium association policies will see a 10.1% hike.
“Actual rate changes will vary across the state and even within local areas based on factors such as the amount of coverage, the type of policy and the location of the property.
“Because of the freeze imposed after Hurricane Irma, the new rates will begin May 1, 2018, rather than Feb. 1 as initially requested.
“Citizens had 448,737 policies as of Oct. 31, 2017, with residential homeowners making up the majority of them.”
Most seasoned Realtors® have gone through their share of walk-through woes. I’ve heard the stories, but I guess that I have been lucky as I’ve not encountered any unusual scenarios. That didn’t keep me from getting a chuckle from the following article written by Meredith Caruso. She is the Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors®. Maybe you will enjoy it too.
“In the final days before a closing, most buyers choose to do a walk-through of the property. Under Florida Realtors’ contracts, they’re entitled to do this on either the day before or day of closing. While not mandatory, the walk-through can be an important buyer step to confirm that the property is in the condition warranted by the contract.
“Unfortunately, sellers can sometimes leave items that the buyer doesn’t want or take things meant to stay. Here are some tips to assist you should you find yourself faced with an upset buyer or a sneaky seller right before the closing:
“Scenario 1: Into the darkness – The buyer showed up at the property for a walk-through and noticed that the seller removed all the lightbulbs – including ones used for recessed lighting in the 20-foot ceiling. The buyer was very upset because purchasing and installing new lightbulbs is costly.
“The seller pointed to the contract and said that nothing obligated him to leave the lightbulbs because, in his opinion, lightbulbs aren’t fixtures required to stay. The buyer wanted the seller to credit him several hundred dollars at closing to cover this new expense. The seller refused.
“What now? To start, it’s important to remember that professionalism must prevail if faced with this type of situation. Do not pick up the phone and scream at the listing agent about how her client is in breach of contract. Often times, the listing agent has no idea the seller did this. Instead, try to address your buyers concerns by saying that you’ll get in touch with the listing agent to see why this has happened.
“To prepare for that call, ask your buyer what he thinks would remedy the situation, such as a credit at closing for the lightbulbs. Then reach out to the listing agent and discuss how you can work together to remedy the situation. Please note: In this particular example, based on the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract (FR/Bar), the buyer isn’t entitled to anything. But the point can always be negotiated.
“Scenario 2: Why’d it have to be snakes? – Buyers came in from out of town, and they arranged to meet their agent at the property a few hours before closing for a final walk-through. The buyer’s agent arrived early and decided to take a quick look around to make sure nothing was amiss. Upon entering the garage, however, the agent saw that a large glass fish tank was still there – worse, it contained a massive python.
“The agent panicked. His buyers won’t want a large predatory snake in their garage, but the sellers told him that they wouldn’t remove it – take it or leave it. What now?
“Believe it or not, this scenario actually happened. The agent resolved the issue by calling local animal control, and they removed the animal before closing.
“Yes, the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract says all of the sellers’ personal belongings will be removed from the property; but the fact is, it doesn’t always happen. In this case, the agent was proactive and got the issue resolved before it became a bigger problem that could have derailed the closing.
“However, take the snake component out of this example and replace it with a sofa that the sellers left behind, and the end result is similar. Yes, the seller was to remove this personal property item, but no, the seller simply did not.
“In cases like this, the core question is: Will the buyer refuse to close because of the personal property item being behind? While a snake can’t be tossed in the trash, the buyer may decide it is easier to drag the couch to the curb than not close on the home.
“Not always easy – Of course, there are instances without an easy solution. For example, what if the seller removes all the stainless-steel appliances and replaces them with mismatched older versions? Here the buyer has legal options and may well want to contact his attorney and ask how to proceed.
“Remember too that you and the other agent in the transaction should be working towards the shared goal of getting the parties to closing. Being on “opposite sides” and demanding results from either party rarely leads to a happy ending.
“Always keep in mind that you and your fellow Realtors are in this transaction together and continue to remain professional, even in the face of an upset or difficult customer.’
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 1-8, 2017
7 new listings: Colonnades #C3 1/1 $225K, Tennisplace #E32 2/1 $299K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 $819K, White Sands #32 2/2 $1.095M, Island Beach Club #220D 2/2 #1.45M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.45M, By-the-Sea #A302 3/2 $1.745M.
3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #220 now $482.5K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now 549K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 now $580K.
No new sales.
4 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $390K, Sundial West #B108 1/1 $450K, Sanibel Siesta #303 2/2 $507K, Sanibel Moorings #612 2/2 $545K.
11 new listings: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $459K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $647.5K,
5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $649K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 929K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $995K,
1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.099M, 580 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $1.249M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.249M, 2441 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 1.295M, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $1.85M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 $2.095M.
8 price changes: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 now $419K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $685K,
5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 now $699K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $739K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $948K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.25M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.299M, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 now $4.345M.
7 new sales: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 listed at $449.9K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $725K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $1.069M (our listing & sale), 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 960 Victoria Way 3/3 listed at $1.779M, 1255 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed at $1.795M, 4731 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $2.65M.
1 closed sale: 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $600K.
1 new listing: 5847 Pine Tree Dr $369,555.
4 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $179K, 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd now $239.8K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $339K, 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $339K.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Lands End Village #1662 3/3 $2.395M.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2523 1/1 $537K.
3 new listings: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/8 $2.799M, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.895M, 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 $3.1M.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
1 new listing: 16970 Captiva Dr $3.995M.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the 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… stay warm!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan