On the Islands, Fall Doesn’t Feel Like Fall


fall leaves pumpkinsAs the rest of the country is transitioning into fall weather, the summer pattern in Southwest Florida continues. Days have been warm, humid, and sunny with daytime temperatures mostly in the low 90’s. Late afternoons and evenings have included heavy rain and lightning storms. That has meant more runoff and more Lake O releases into local waterways, so red tide numbers remain high. Conditions change daily, dependent on direction of wind and tide. Here is a link to the latest midweek test readings from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Beach with seagrapesTuesday night, I met up with a group of friends at Tarpon Beach where we attempted to celebrate sunset on the beach. We were not outside long because of the thunder, but the water at that time was clear and sparkling. I saw no dead sea life, other than a few small sand dollars. The no-see-ums, however, were ferocious!Sanibel in shells

Obviously, we all hope that water conditions improve soon. Snowbirds are starting to arrive. Restaurants and businesses are reopening for “season”. The SanibelSusan Team is ready for more real estate action!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis was an off-week with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, so no caravan meeting yesterday. Caravans continue every other week until November, when they revert to weekly. Next one is Oct 4.

Tuesday, our Association’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Task Force listened to a presentation from the 3rd of four possible future system providers. It is amazing how much the internet has affected the industry in the last few years. The features offered today are bound to make all parties happy – our customers (both buyers and sellers) and our Realtors® and affiliates. The last interview is next week.

Below are some news items, followed by the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva MLS.

First a summary of SANIBEL inventory today and sales-to-date this year, compared to last year and 2016. (For those for sale & closings pending, the average prices shown are the asking prices. For those sold & closed, they are average sale prices.)

CONDOS                HOMES                      LOTS

#     Avg $ Price     #     Avg $ Price      #      Avg $ Price

62   720,019          121  1,396,191         54    635,946        For sale

8     717,250              9  1,179,389          2     249,278        Closing pending

134  725,803         188  1,146,082        17    694,657        Sold & closed 2018 thru 9/28

149  728,793         186  1,004,237        32    327,229        Sold & closed in 2017

143  717,768         181    979,576          25   487,095        Sold & closed in 2016

Water District Nixes Request for Higher Dry Season Flows

Sanibelcityseal logoWhile Southwest Florida is in the throes of getting too much water released from Lake O, the local papers this week also report the results of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane’s attendance Sep 13 at the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board’s monthly meeting in West Palm Beach. City councilors Chauncey Goss and Holly Smith attended too, as well as neighboring mayors from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita, and Estero.

The board was considering a proposed amendment to raise the minimum flow levels for the Caloosahatchee River and Franklin Lock while maintaining salinity at the Fort Myers salinity monitoring station. As Mayor Ruane and others (including SCCF scientists) explained, more releases are needed in the dry season to maintain the ecosystems of the estuary. They also noted that drawing more water out in the dry season, leaves room for the lake to hold more water during the wet season.

Unfortunately, they were not successful in convincing the board to change their proposed amendments to the South Florida Water Management District rules, as since that meeting, the City of Sanibel, along with the City of Cape Coral and Town of Fort Myers Beach, have jointly signed a petition challenging these documents. The state has 10 days to respond to the petition.

Hurricanes Make Us Poorer, But Don’t Slow The Economy

herald media logoPosted yesterday online at FloridaRealtor®s and sourced to Hagerstown, MD, The Herald–Mail, Peter Morici, Deseret News.

“Hurricanes impose huge losses of wealth and initially slow regional economies, but over time they can be a tonic that creates more prosperous communities. After Florence, resort areas along the coast and thriving commercial areas inland are likely to rebuild quickly, but poorer, rural inland communities may be left to languish.

“Initial estimates of the destruction from the storm range from $17 billion to $22 billion but may go much higher. The sums paid out to homeowners will only be a fraction of losses because many homeowners’ policies do not include flood coverage and often contain high deductibles for hurricane damage.

“As hurricanes go, Florence could be among the 10 most costly to hit the United States, but it won’t be near the top of the list. When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the figure was $161 billion, and last year, Maria hit Puerto Rico and Harvey trounced Texas with losses of $90 billion and $125 billion.

“Florence’s path includes valuable beach homes, hotels and attractions and inland activities vital to the national economy – Boeing, Daimler and Volvo factories halted production ahead of the storm.

“Hurricanes hitting those areas provide opportunities to start over and replace with larger and more modern facilities. After Hugo (1989) and more recent storms hit the Outer Banks, smaller beach homes on large plots were replaced by structures with more bedrooms and baths and attractive kitchens that could more comfortably accommodate large families and command higher rents. Insurance settlements permitted owners of aging restaurants and amusements to reinvest in more attractive businesses.

“This increased the value of the shoreline and nearby shopping malls and other businesses. It permitted owners who were inadequately insured to more easily borrow to rebuild or recoup some of their losses by selling land at better prices.

“Seventy percent of the flood damage imposed by Harvey, which hit Texas last year, was not insured. Many homeowners took their chances with the weather and got burned or were not aware that ordinary homeowners’ policies often don’t cover flooding. Many moderate–income families and smaller businesses are struggling and may never find the money to rebuild.

“In some rural areas, far from coveted beachfront and big employers, the values of property and homes were well below the regional and national averages before the storm. Those communities may never adequately recover – land values, if anything, will lag further and permanently.

“It seems homeowners and businesses buy insurance immediately after a hurricane, become complacent as storm memories fade and then get caught when disaster strikes again. Communities hit by Florence are ripe for a repeat for such tragic situations.

“The National Flood Insurance Program has about 134,000 policies in place in North Carolina – covering fewer than 15% of residences and down 3.6% from 2013.

“Storms temporarily depress regional economies, but not as much as folks think – a lot of activity gets shifted around. Folks evacuated, factories closed, and movie theaters lost a lot of patronage ahead of Florence, but inland shelters hired staff; fleeing evacuees purchased gas and groceries; hardware stores did a robust business in sandbags, emergency pumps and the like, and livestock producers piled up on feed and fuel to keep their animals safe in barns.

“When the storm passes, lost production at aircraft and auto factories will be made up and the rebuilding of homes and commercial establishments will have profound multiplier effects for the local economy.

“On net, storms tend to subtract from gross domestic product in the early months and add to it in later months – leaving the economy, on balance, with few overall effects after a yea

“We are poorer – property and wealth are destroyed. Payouts from insurance companies reduce shareholder value. Uninsured property owners in more attractive locations may get a lift in land values, but those gains do not fully compensate for ruined residential and commercial structures.

“Those who plan ahead – buy enough of the right insurance and don’t build on the shore or flood plains unless their business interests absolutely require – generally recover. Investors from outside the region get opportunities to bring in new capital to improve local economies.

“Those who take their chances with the weather lose. They get saddled with bigger mortgages or too little money to rebuild and broken lives.”

What to Ask When Choosing A Lender

Florida Realtors logoThis simple list of 15 questions is thanks to “Florida Realtor®” magazine September 2018:

  1. “What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
  2. What fees are included in a loan; & what fees will be due at closing?
  3. Are your rates, terms, fees, & closing costs negotiable?
  4. Do you offer discounts for inspections, home-ownership classes or setting up automatic payments?
  5. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost & how long will it be required?
  6. What are your escrow requirements?
  7. What bill-pay options do you offer?
  8. What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
  9. Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
  10. Who will service this loan – your bank or another company?
  11. How long will the rate on this loan be locked-in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?
  12. How long will the loan approval process take?
  13. How long will it take to close the loan?
  14. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
  15. How much in total will I be paying over the life of this loan?”

Sanibel Re-openings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Thurs Oct 4.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs until Mon Oct 1.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance, reopens Fri Oct 5.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – reopens Tues Oct 2 and will be open Tues and Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – reopens Tues Oct 2 (Shell Museum Celebrity Dinner Mon night is sold out).
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – reopens Wed Oct 3.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 21-28, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #D304 1/1 now $435K, Compass Point #161 3/3 now $1.175M.

2 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Snug Harbor 3/2 listed at $1.099M.

1 closed sale: Sundial West #K105 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 718 Oliva St 3/2 $789K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $799K.

2 price changes: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $837K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.349.9M

2 new sales: 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $725K, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 listed at $2.799M.

1 closed sale: 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $553K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 978 Main St now $179K, 6411 Pine Ave now $363K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $649K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 $1.095M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16177/16179/16181 Captiva Dr $3.25M.

LOTS

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.

WildFlowerUntil next Friday, enjoy your fall wherever you are!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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