Early August Happenings on Sanibel

It’s been another quiet week in the real estate world on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Lee County Schools began today, which sure seems early, but most local kiddos were excited and ready this morning.


Much of the week, SanibelSusan was in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention and Trade Show, followed by their annual business meetings. More info from that next week. Meanwhile, below are some news items, followed by the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday.

State of Emergency Declared By City

Reported in the Island Sun this week:Island Sun logo

“Following a lengthy and detailed update on the status of the impaired water quality impacting Sanibel and the surrounding Southwest Florida coastal region, members of the Sanibel City Council unanimously agreed to declare a local state of emergency.

“During Tuesday’s council session, which had been postponed for two and a half hours in order to allow Mayor Kevin Ruane to speak before the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting in Fort Myers, the head of the city’s natural resources department talked about the ongoing blue-green algae bloom, red-drift algae bloom and fish kills.

“According to James Evans, the blue green algae – known as cyanobacteria – has been identified as Microcystis aeruginosa, a known toxin-producing species. The bloom has resulted in the closure of beaches along the Caloosahatchee and the Florida Department of Health to post warnings for people who may suffer from respiratory issues. Evans also reported that city staff has been “very busy” managing teams of contractors hired to clean up dead marine life on island beaches, canals and waterways.

“Since July 30, the city has engaged in collecting thousands of dead fish — including more than three dozen goliath grouper and tarpon carcasses — along San Carlos Bay and local canals. Manatees and sea turtle populations are also being effected by the blooms.

“Asked by Vice Mayor Rick Denham in which direction the algae blooms may be headed, and how quickly they might take in order to move away from local shores, Evans stated that while his department is awaiting an update from the state regarding the movement of the bloom, its progress towards Collier County and points south and west can be affected by both wind conditions and water currents.

“Earlier in the day, Ruane addressed the county commissioners — along with representatives from Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, and Fort Myers Beach — on the impacts the algae blooms are having on the local economy. Ruane estimated that Sanibel hoteliers have lost between $70,000 and $100,000 this summer due to the impaired water conditions.

“As a result of the natural disaster, Lee County leaders agreed to declare a state of emergency based upon the red tide infestation. Last week, commissioners declared a similar emergency for the blue-green algae bloom. A state grant totaling $3 million will be divided among seven Florida counties affected by the blooms, including Lee. Those funds will be available to reimburse municipalities who spend money on cleaning up dead fish in bays, canals and beaches.

“Last week, Ruane, Evans, and Councilwoman Holly Smith travelled to Washington, DC to share the impacts that the impaired water quality has had on the island with federal and state officials. Ruane added that Florida Governor Rick Scott has been “more than reactive” to their requests for government assistance.

“Among the short term solutions suggested by Evans and Ruane were moving freshwater from Lake Okeechobee to the north for storage and sending additional discharges from the lake southward. Currently only 24 percent of water released from the lake is directed south, with the majority sent west towards the Caloosahatchee.

“This is definitely a hot button issue in Washington right now,” said Smith, who reported receiving lots of positive feedback from each representative the Sanibel contingent met with. “A lot of legislators are fighting the same fight.”

“Following some additional discussion, Ruane announced city Proclamation and Resolution No. 18-065 officially declaring a state of emergency on Sanibel. The two-page document was called “an emergency measure necessary for the protection the public health, welfare and safety, due to the Lake Okeechobee water releases by the Army Corps of Engineers causing toxic blue-green algae, as well as due to the red tide harmful algal bloom and the resulting mass kills of marine organisms.”

“The state of emergency allows the city “to waive the procedures and formalities otherwise required of political subdivisions by law,” which include:

Performance of public work and taking whatever action is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community

Entering into contracts

Incurring obligations

Employment of permanent and temporary workers

Utilization of volunteer workers

Rental of equipment

Acquisition and distribution, with or without compensation, of supplies, materials and facilities

Appropriation and expenditure of public funds”

Beach Update From City of Sanibel

Sanibelcityseal logoPosted earlier today to mySanibel.com:

“Status Report #12: City of Sanibel Beach Clean-Up, Lighthouse to Bowman Beach in “Very Good” to “Excellent”. Today, Friday, August 10, 2018 brings major changes to our beaches. As of this morning all Sanibel beaches from Lighthouse to Turner are in “Very Good” to “Excellent” condition. As of noon a total of 30 bags of dead sea life, mostly fish, has been collected mostly from Bowman’s to Turners. Additionally, thus far today our west end canals & bayous are also looking much improved as well as the east end canals. The only area with Red Tide respiratory irritation this morning has been a “moderate” amount on the far north-west end of the Island.

“On August 8th the Governor announced that the State is making available an additional $400,000 to Lee County to Clean Local Waterways.

“On August 9th the Lee County Tourism Council endorsed an “open-ended” amount be allocated from the bed tax reserves to assist with the clean-up costs. Additionally the Tourist Developments Council (TDC) endorsed allocation of an additional $1 million in bed tax reserves for a marketing campaign once the beaches are clear of dead fish. The “bed tax” is a 5 percent county tax collected by the county on short-term rentals including hotels, motels, condominiums & campsites. Councilwoman Holly Smith represents the City of Sanibel on the TDC. “

Hidden in Plain Sight: Contract Clauses Clients May Miss

Florida Realtors logoPosted on FloridaRealtors.org this week:

“When a buyer and seller enter into a contract, the law treats both parties as if they read and understood all terms, even if they just gave the contract a quick skim.

“This can be a significant problem if one of the parties fails to notice a provision that impacts that party’s specific transaction until after the contract is executed.

“Here are just a few questions we hear on the Legal Hotline that illustrate a few of these blind spots. For this article, we’re looking exclusively at the most popular contract for residential transactions in Florida, the residential contracts prepared by the Florida Realtors and Florida Bar. All sections discussed in this article are the same in the “AS IS” version and the inspection and repair version of the contract.

  1. What happens if a buyer isn’t approved for a loan but neglects to cancel by the loan approval deadline?
    The main purpose of the financing contingency in section 8 is to allow the buyer to cancel the contract without penalty if the buyer is unsuccessful in getting loan approval by the deadline. The default loan approval deadline is 30 days unless the parties negotiate a different number. But what if the buyer doesn’t have loan approval and misses the deadline to send a written cancellation notice? Section 8(b)(v) provides that if the buyer doesn’t deliver a written message that either terminates the contract or waives the loan approval, then “Loan Approval shall be deemed waived, in which event this Contract will continue as if Loan Approval had been obtained …” This can be a big problem for the buyer if the loan is later denied, since the buyer waived the loan approval by failing to cancel in time.
  2. What personal property can a buyer force the seller to leave?
    Many sellers get distracted by listing photos or conversations negotiating the contract when thinking about what personal property is included in the purchase. What they should primarily focus on instead is section 1(d) and 1(e) of the contract. Section 1(d) provides a default list of items the buyer is entitled to at closing, such as refrigerators and ovens, provided that those things are “owned by Seller and existing on the Property as of the date of the initial offer.” There is additional space to write in specific other items the buyer and seller want to specifically include or exclude as part of the sale.
  3. When can a seller deny access to a buyer who wants to conduct inspections?
    Sometimes sellers feel like buyers are overstaying their welcome with inspections and appraisals. So, who controls this issue? The contract has a broad provision that favors buyers. Section 18, standard L provides that “Seller shall, upon reasonable notice, provide utilities service and access to Property for appraisals and inspections, including a walk-through (or follow-up walk-through if necessary) prior to Closing.” Therefore, once the buyer notifies the seller that they would like to conduct any inspection(s) or appraisal(s) permitted under the contract, the seller has already agreed through this contract clause to provide utilities and access.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 3-10, 2018sancap GO MLS logo



No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 listed at $729K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 listed at $899K. Without contingencies: Sundial #E104 2/2 listed at $850K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 $390K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $525K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $575K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.015M.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex now $599K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $849K.

4 new sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $695K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $749K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed at $1.799M.

3 closed sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 $420K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $522.5K, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $740K.


No new listings, new or closed sales.

1 closed sale: 1639 Serenity Ln $265K.



Nothing to report.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $4.975M, 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $7.49M.

2 new sales: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 half-duplex listed at $2.995M.

1 closed sale: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $925K.


Nothing to report.

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.

Have a great weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan