It’s a Great Time to Buy on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands

SanibelSusan reporting another sunny island Friday on the cusp of the rainy season. I heard one of the local weathermen say this week, that the rainy season usually doesn’t begin until May 20 in SW Florida, so it’s pretty much still gorgeous weather here with just a couple of recent sprinkles.

At our biweekly local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, attendance was light and just seven new listings were open for viewing. It sure is a great time to come and look at real estate though! The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Island Scoop

26th Annual Sam Bailey’s Islands Night – The tradition continues into 2019, with Islands Night on Monday, May 20 at the ball park (CenturyLink Sports Complex, Hammond Stadium) in Fort Myers when the Fort Myers Miracle will play the Bradenton Marauders at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30, with parade kicking off at 5:45. Tickets are free and open to the public. Pick them up at the service desk at Bailey’s and other event sponsors. Since it began, contributions from this annual event (more than $175,000) have been given back to individuals and island non-profits through scholarships and donations.

Old Captiva House Reopens – The Old Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters Island Inn Resort & Spa officially reopened on Wednesday following a renovation. With all new menus and new décor, the historic restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. It’s a wonderful spot for dining with a sunset view.

Tarpon Bay Road Restrooms Approved – On Tuesday, Sanibel Planning Commission approved a variance that allows for the construction of a restroom facility built below the base flood elevation standard. The new restroom at the Tarpon Bay Road beach public parking lot will consist of three family-style restrooms with one toilet, one sink and one baby-changing station in each restroom. Construction already is underway and the variance was required to make the facilities more easily ADA-compliant.

Sanibel-Captiva Road Erosion Project – Sanibel City Council voted to proceed with the project which is for emergency shore protection for the area south of Blind Pass, adjacent to San-Cap Road. It involves addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet-pile wall with a concrete cap along the edge of the right-away for about 400’ of the vulnerable roadway. The City hopes to get this project permitted quickly with work underway before October. The beach naturally accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of winds, so if the project is done before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand added.

Turner Beach Stabilization Project – Though on the southern tip of Captiva, Sanibel manages Turner Beach as part of an interlocal agreement. Like along San-Cap Road, the shoreline along Turner Beach has been subject to significant erosion, including the loss of a guardrail. The goal here is to re-enforce the shoreline to better withstand future events. The project design is expected to be complete by early fall, go out for bid after the New Year, with construction about a year away.

Realtors® Meeting Lawmakers & Advocating Issues This Week

“Realtors® are in Washington, D.C., this week talking to lawmakers and advocating for homeowners in their district. “Congress knows we mean business,” John Smaby, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said Tuesday at the kickoff event for the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. With more than 9,000 real estate professionals arriving in the nation’s capital for the conference, “this is the perfect time to let Congress know who Realtors are.”

“Playing off NAR’s current consumer ad campaign, “That’s Who We R,” Smaby and Immediate Past President Elizabeth Mendenhall encouraged attendees at the event, known as NAR 360, to tell their stories to their Congressional representatives. “Our Hill messages are directly tied to our consumer campaign,” Mendenhall said. “You need to talk about the trust and integrity you bring to the industry and your communities.”

“Among the pressing topics Realtors will discuss with their congressional representatives: flood insurance, qualified opportunity zones and fair housing. However, practitioners stand to have an even more powerful opportunity: President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to address the conference Friday. (SanibelSusan is listening to him live as I’m posting this.) “We have the attention of the Oval Office,” Smaby said.

“Mendenhall noted that many U.S. presidents, dating back to Herbert Hoover in the early 1930s, have either attended or spoken at the annual conference. “The clout Realtors have gained on Capitol Hill opens doors for all of us,” she said.

“NAR’s annual Washington event also fuels media coverage of the real estate industry. According to research presented at the NAR 360 forum, the event serves as a source for 74% of published or broadcast real estate news….”

House OKs Another Short-Term Flood Insurance Extension

As posted on May 15, by Florida Realtors®:

“The House voted Tuesday to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Sept. 30, 2019. The Senate must also approve the measure before May 31 – the date NFIP is set to expire – to avoid lapses in government-backed flood insurance policies. After that, President Donald Trump must sign it.

“”Thanks to Realtors®, the Senate is well aware of the deadline for flood insurance,” says Austin Perez, senior policy representative at the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “There seems to be broad bipartisan agreement not to let the program lapse on May 31.”

“The House passed the four-month NFIP extension as a standalone bill but also proposed wrapping it into a larger disaster relief package for the Midwest and Puerto Rico, which have suffered from recent floods and hurricanes. Realtors on Capitol Hill this week will urge their Congressional representatives to avoid a lapse of the NFIP and work toward a long-term reauthorization that includes meaningful reforms to the financially beleaguered program, which is billions of dollars in debt.

“”With that basic message, Realtors are well-positioned on a complex issue,” Perez says. “We just need to keep up the pressure for Congress to reauthorize and reform the program long-term.”

“Florida has a vested interest in flood insurance. More Sunshine State homeowners have NFIP policies than any other state.

“NAR estimates that the industry could lose 40,000 home sales per month if NFIP expires. The program provides flood insurance to more than 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities across the country. Federal law requires the purchase of flood insurance for a federally backed mortgage in special flood hazard areas designated by FEMA.

“Private flood insurance is also available in many high-risk areas, and regulations requiring lenders to accept private insurance under strict conditions go into effect at the end of July. However, NFIP may still be the only option for some homeowners.

“Among other things, NAR advocates for a long-term program reauthorization in addition to removing federal barriers to a more robust private market for flood insurance. The association supports a number of specific NFIP reforms, including improved flood maps to better identify properties at high risk of flooding, pricing flood insurance closer to the specific flood risk of each individual property, and federal assistance, including grants and low-interest loans for owners, to mitigate their properties’ flood risk.”

Florida Ranks Best State in the Nation for Higher Education

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the best high schools in the nation, here’s a follow-up with an announcement I saw this week.

“The state of Florida ranks first in the nation for higher education, according to U.S. News and World Report .

“The main factors used in the report were 2-year college graduation rate, 4-year college graduation rate, low debt at graduation, educational attainment and tuition and fees.

“Florida is home to three of the nation’s top 100 colleges, the website says.

“The Sunshine State was also in the top 10 for 4-year college graduation rate and low debt at graduation, while ranking #2 in both 2-year college graduation rate and tuition and fees.

“Governor DeSantis touted the state’s ranking in a press release issued Tuesday morning. “It is no surprise that U.S. News & World Report has again named Florida the top state in the nation for higher education,” said Governor DeSantis. “Our state colleges and universities have prioritized affordability and pathways for career and life and, as a result, they are transforming our state. I look forward to celebrating continued success as we build on this positive momentum.”

“This is the third year in a row Florida’s higher education system has earned the top ranking from U.S. News and World Report.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 10-17, 2019



2 new listings: Signal Inn #10 1/1 $549K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 $599K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $399.9K; Sundial #G405 1/1 now $419,555; Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 now $690K; Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 now $849K.

3 new sales: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $750K, Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 listed at $1.029M, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.225M.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I401 1/1 $470K, Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 $549.5K, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 $1.8M.


2 new listings: 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $1.03M, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 $1.29M.

13 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $432K, 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $434K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $518K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $585K, 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $699.9K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $745K, 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $765K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $824K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $850K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $889K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 now $894K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $948K, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 now $1.05M.

3 new sales: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $517.5K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

10 closed sales: 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 $480K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $540K, 1870 Farm Trl 3/2 $575K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $606.5K, 1212 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $670K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 $872.5K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 $920K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.075M, 2502 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.8M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $2.174M.


1 new listing: 461 Sawgrass Pl $799K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1204 Par View Dr $300K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 $378.9K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #11 4/3 now $2.795M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

3 price changes: 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.395M, 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.13M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.749M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 $887.5K.


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.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan & working all weekend if anyone wants to talk island real estate