Before embarking on today’s weather report, here is a little shell art. The gingerbread man was in front of Coquina Beach condos earlier this week. Probably washed away by now. The others from past years, but fitting for the holiday season.
As The SanibelSusan Team counts down to the Christmas holiday and hopefully more real estate action, it has been interesting to have a winter storm pass through Florida. I liken it to a northern snowstorm, but without the white stuff and the cold. With westerly winds blowing on shore off the gulf beginning about noon yesterday, early flooding was reported at The Castaways cottages (the Santiva area) as I read email warnings from my local landscaper and the City, about the expected high wind, waves, erosion, and possible tornadoes in the forecast – all of this while the air conditioning still on at the office.
Today temperatures haven’t gotten out of the 70’s. The rain has become sporadic, but the heavy wind continues with palms down and debris reported in some beachside locations. Social media has shown videos of gulf waters crashing through some beach access paths along West Gulf Dr. I hope it is rolling in junonias.
Teammate Elise just saw it posted that electricity is out in Naples and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay is closed (following reported 78 mph winds). Yikes!
With the team off on extended holiday both Monday and Tuesday, Elise today is busy printing extra fliers and checking listing occupancies so we are ready for arriving visitors looking to make a last minute Christmas real estate purchase.
Teammate Dave, on the other hand, has already scooted out and is busy networking with his kiteboarding buddies on the causeway, I expect we’ll see them on the evening news later, as wind like today hasn’t happened here in a very long time.
Teammate Lisa will be in the office tomorrow, while I am covering Sunday and Monday. As I make showing appointments for next Wednesday morning, it seems that many island offices will be closed for the long weekend. Here’s wishing them all and you a very Merry Christmas!
Below are a couple of news items before the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.
Real Estate in a Digital Age
Having been involved in the islands’ transition of real estate listing info from the old 3”x5” index cards, to listing books, and then to the internet, it was fun to participate in the task force that just picked a new MLS provider for our Association of Realtors®. Technology changes always take time and training, so won’t be occurring until after “season”, later in 2019. Since the details about our new provider haven’t been issued to our members yet, suffice it to say that the new features and capabilities of what is coming will blow the socks off anything you have seen or used before. Users both consumers and Realtors® will be “wowed”. With that in mind, an email today from the National Association of Realtors® with the below article, seemed timely:
“The world we live in today is a digital one and searching for a home is no different. Buyers now have apps that let them search by location and neighborhoods. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer connects with a real estate agent.
“In the Real Estate in a Digital Age report, we examine the process home buyers go through in the initial online search and how REALTORS® are connecting with customers in the digital space.
“In 2018, buyers worked with an agent 87% of the time to find their home, so trust in a REALTOR® is still king. While the initial process may start online, home buyers turn to the advice from a trusted real estate agent.
In addition to the home buying process, REALTORS® also utilize technology in their everyday business practices. Staying up to date with new technology is important, but also cited as one of the biggest challenges for firms in the next two years.
“Over 90% of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on their websites were property listings.
“Along with web use, REALTORS® are also using their mobile devices for a multitude of different activities, with the primary being to communicate with their clients.”
Condo Boards Don’t Always Understand Florida Law
This below article posted on-line Dec 17 by Florida Realtors® has a few disclosures, but also contains some interesting information. Here is the article in total:
“By Richard D. DeBoest
“Dec. 17, 2018 – Question: I am an owner in a condominium. I have made a request to see the individual unit owner assessment ledgers for owners who are delinquent in the payment of assessments. The board has denied my request and they claim I am not allowed to see this information. Is this true? – J.B., Hutchinson Island
Answer: No, it is not true. You are legally entitled to this information. The individual assessment ledgers of all owners are official records of the association. Both Statutes 718 (Condominium Associations) and 720 (Homeowner Associations) provide that most official records of the association must be made available for inspection and copying within 10 working days of a written request.
There are certain official records that are not allowed to be given to owners. These records include medical records, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and social security numbers, but there is no exception for individual owner assessment ledgers. If an association intentionally fails to provide access to the records within the time provided, the owner is entitled to $50 a day up to $500 a penalty.
“Question: I wanted to organize a “meet the candidates” night in our condominium clubhouse for local political candidates in the area. When I talked to the board about this, I was told this is illegal because the association common elements cannot be used for political purposes. Is this true? – S.F., Vero Beach
“Answer: No, it is not true. Section 718.123, Florida Statutes expressly provides that “no entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit owner’s right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in the common elements, common areas and recreational facilities.” If the board violates this law, you could sue the association to enforce your rights.
“Question: If the association sends information out to owners via e-mail, am I entitled to copies of the other owners’ e-mail addresses? Also, can I refuse to receive information via e-mail and, if I do, does the association have to send the information to me in the traditional way? – K.J., Palm City
“Answer: An association’s use of e-mail to communicate with homeowners is common, but very often the use of electronic transmission is not done in accordance with the law.
“First, and foremost, it is important to understand that while both the Florida Condominium Act (Chapter 718 Florida Statutes) and the Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720 Florida Statutes) allow associations to send official communication to the owners via electronic transmission, it may only do so if the owner chooses to receive official communications electronically.
“Second, if some owners elect electronic transmission and some do not, the association must send official communication in two different forms. Thus, it becomes cumbersome to keep track of each owner’s preference.
Most associations use e-mail for “casual” communication about the goings on of the association but still use regular mail for things with legal implications such as notice of meetings, election ballots, notice of covenant violations, warning letters and the like. This, however, presents another problem when dealing with an official records request made by an owner.
“All e-mail addresses kept by the association are official records BUT only the e-mail addresses kept for those owners who have chosen e-mail as their official form of communication are available to other owners who make an official records request. All other e-mail addresses are not to be made available to owners who make official records requests. As such, if the association keeps e-mail addresses in the official records, it must segregate the e-mail addresses between those persons who have chosen e-mail as the official form of communication and those that have not.
“Finally, if the association does use e-mail for “un-official” casual communication with the owners, I believe an owner who does not have or use e-mail could complain that he or she is being treated differently and unfairly. Although I know of no condominium arbitration cases or other rulings on this issue, I suspect that a court or an arbitrator would rule in favor of the unit owner on this issue.
“The bottom line is that for all official communication and communication that has legal significance, the association should use the traditional U.S. mail. For lesser items, e-mail and posting on the association’s website is, for now, acceptable.
“Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
“The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.
“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC., respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.
© 2018 Journal Media Group, Richard D. DeBoest”
Christmas Dining on The Islands
It’s getting pretty last minute, but visitors continue to ask what island restaurants are open on Christmas. Here’s a short list, but please call to be sure there is room for you if you don’t already have a reservation:
- Bubble Room
- Captiva House (in Wakefield Room) (buffet 11:30 a.m. to 8: p.m.)
- Crow’s Nest at Tween Waters
- Doc Ford’s Captiva (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- Island Cow (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Island Pizza ( 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
- Keylime Bistro (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Normandie at West Wind Inn (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 to 7 p.m.)
- R C Otters (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Sand Dollar at Sanibel Island Beach Resort (7 to 11 a.m. breakfast buffet, 5 to 9 p.m. dinner)
- Sanibel Café (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
- Sanibel Grill (4 to 11 p.m.)
- Sea Breeze Café at Sundial (7 to 11 a.m., buffet dinner seatings at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., & 7 p.m.
- Thistle Lodge (holiday buffet 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Timbers (4 to 8 p.m.)
For quick eats, the following also will be open on Christmas:
- Dairy Queen
- Gepetto’s (2 to 9 p.m.)
- Huxter’s Market & Deli
- Joey’s Custart (5 to 9 p.m.)
- Pinocchio’s (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Sanibel Sprout (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 14-21, 2018
10 new listings: Sundial #F206 1/1 $429K, Blind Pass #D205 2/2 $490K, Sundial #B407 1/1 $529K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $719K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 $799K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $825K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 $829K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $935K, Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $949K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.695M.
2 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $825K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.035M (our listing, view below).
1 new sale: Sundial #H309 1/1 listed at $455K.
2 closed sales: Blind Pass #C102 2/2 $455K, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 $760K.
11 new listings: 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $625K, 945 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $649K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $695K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 $779K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $849.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 $945K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $1.295M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.495M, 5145 Joewood Dr 5/4.5 $2.997M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.495M (our listing, views below), 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $6.395M.
11 price changes: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $552K, 659 Donax St 2/2 now $585K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $647K, 721 Cardium St 3/2 now $795K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $879K, 205 Hurricane Ln 3/2 now $1.089M, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.149M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.25M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.394M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.575M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.499M.
5 new sales: 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.099M, 6412 Pine Ave listed at $1.175M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 listed at $6.995M.
4 closed sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $558K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.025M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.22M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.5M.
3 new listings: 2319 Wulfert Rd $199K, 3013 Poinciana Cir $249K, 1219 Par View Dr $374.9K.
2 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $199K, 5170 Sea Bell Rd now $324.9K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.
No new or closed sales.
2 new listings: 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.849M, 16405 Captiva Dr 8/7/2 $6.2M.
3 price changes: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $1.028, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 now $2.695M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $3.9M.
No new or closed sales.
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.
Merry Christmas from Sanibel Islands!
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan
P.S. I sold a house once on Christmas Day & would love it do it again, just please make it after brunch. I’ve got the family coming for that! Enjoy your holiday!