The good news is that the islands just got their first heavy dousing of rain in months. It was part of a band of cooler air passing through Florida, with another band expected to arrive soon. The parking lot behind the office was briefly a humongous puddle, but it was absorbed quickly. Water is badly needed here with many areas parched from the extended dry season this winter.
The bad news is that two more Sanibel corona virus cases were posted yesterday by the Florida Department of Health. After several weeks of having just six cases, the number jumped to eight. The “stay at home” order remains in effect and social distancing continues with Sanibel’s Emergency Proclamation running through April 28 and rental restrictions until April 30, unless further extended.
It has been another lonely week with just me in the office for at least a few hours most days. With today’s technology, it is certainly easy to stay connected from home, but the office routine sure helps to keep one productive.
Thankfully, this week there were a few more inquiries about our listings, including a couple of showings. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Unfortunately, there were no sales on either island.
I was encouraged again this week by conversations with colleagues who think, as I do, that when this is over, the island again will boom. There already was pent-up demand and that will increase when vacation travel reopens. One even predicts our future will have what he calls the “boomerang” affect. I hope he’s right.
Florida Realtors® COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form
Though not mandatory, Florida Realtors® Legal Department has released a form on their database, Forms Simplicity which is free to state Realtors®. Called the COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form, it addresses the risk of entering real estate properties. Safety is the main consideration.
The form was designed to be given once to a seller by the listing agent, to cover future showings during the term of the listing, where the seller directs the listing agent/brokerage to continue to bring potential buyers to the seller’s property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.
It also can be given to a buyer by a selling agent, when a buyer requests a selling agent to show buyer property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.
There is no language that can prevent a lawsuit, but this form provides an opportunity for Realtors® to confirm with owners and prospects that they understand there are risks involved with in-person showings, will minimize these risks as outlined in the form and are willing to assume these risks.
Buy & Build Renovation Program
With interest rates low, more folks are refinancing, and more buyers – some who usually would be paying cash – are financing to take advantage of today’s programs. Realtors® often receive email from local lenders about their rates and program offerings. Here is info from an interesting one received yesterday from Dan Royal with American Momentum Bank.
“We offer the “Buy & Build Renovation Program” for purchase transactions on single family homes and condominiums!
“Example: $1,000,000 sales price
+ $500,000 renovation cost
= $1,500,000 total cost
= $1,200,000 loan
= $300,000 down payment
“This allows the buyer to finance their renovation cost at the same time they are closing on the home or condo, with interest only payments during the renovation period. When the renovation has been completed the loan is modified to a traditional mortgage with monthly principal and interest payments. This is available to primary and second-home borrowers for single-family homes and condominiums.”
That day’s rates with no points were 2.875% for a 15-year fixed loan and 3.125% for 30-year fixed. Contact Dan for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Making Good Use of the Down Time from Effects of COVID-19
Many are making good use of their time from “stay at home” orders. They are cleaning out closets, purging of unneeded items, donating to those less fortunate, sorting photos and files, deep cleaning, and making household repairs.
Tarpon Beach – This week I also heard that the condo association at one of our listings, Tarpon Beach, has decided to begin their fall Concrete Restoration Project sooner. With their contractor considered an essential business and working within Covid-19 guidelines, it could be that the lanai work at this complex will start soon.
Kings Crown – At Kings Crown, they have a similar construction project scheduled to begin this summer when occupancy restrictions are required as units and buildings get new balcony screens and other repairs. Due to these access changes and any hardship resulting from COVID-19, that Association is easing their two-week rental restriction for this summer and next. Through Oct 3 this year and from May 1 through Oct 2, 2021, the Association has advised owners that they will conditionally waive their normal 2-week rental requirement with the understanding that the Association fully intends to respect, adhere to, and enforce any City of Sanibel accommodation rental requirements, social distancing, or travel restrictions that may exist at any given time.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins
April 15 officially marked the first day of sea turtle nesting season which goes through October. Monitoring of sea turtle nests on islands began in the 50’s and was taken over by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in 1992.
SSCF’s Sea Turtle Program staff monitor the 18 miles of beaches from the Sanibel Lighthouse to Redfish Pass, looking for signs of new turtle activity. When a nest is found, it is roped off, documented, and watched. (When the virus “stay at home” orders are lifted, over 100 volunteers also will assist.)
The first two nests of the year were recorded on Sanibel, none yet on Captiva. On the very first day, on the east end, a loggerhead turtle nest was recorded. This is the earliest one documented on Sanibel. Two days later, a rare leatherback turtle nest was spotted further west.
Before the official start of season, SCCF documented a couple of false crawls. On April 1, a leatherback was reported on Sanibel and on April 14 a loggerhead was reported on Captiva.
Loggerheads are the most common marine turtle species to nest on the islands, followed by green sea turtles, which are unusual. Leatherbacks and Kemp’s Ridley’s are rare but have nested here before. Here are their differences:
- Loggerhead turtles grow to 3’ to 3-1/2’ long, weighing 150 to 300 pounds. Females lay three to six nests per year on average, but only nest every couple of years. These turtles produce the most common sea turtle nests found in Florida.
- Green sea turtles are bigger, about 4’ long and weighing up to 400 pounds. They lay three to six nests every other year. Green turtles are more common on Florida’s east coast.
- Leatherbacks are the largest, growing to 7’ and weighing to 1,500 pounds. Nesting every couple of years, leatherback turtles typically lay five to eight nests. They also are more common on the East Coast.
- Kemp Ridley’s are the smallest. They also are endangered, with sightings rare. They average 1-1/2’ to 2’ and can weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Nesting every other year, or more, though not at night, they normally lay two to four nests. These nests are found mostly in Texas and Mexico.
Important reminders to keep the islands sea-turtle friendly:
- Turn off or shield all lights visible from the beach.
- Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
- Before dark, remove all beach furniture and equipment from beach.
- Properly dispose of fishing line to avoid wildlife entanglement.
- Fill in large holes that may trap hatchlings and nesting turtles.
- Do not disturb nesting turtles.
- Pick up litter.
- Recreational boaters, reproductive-age turtles are close to shore, please slow down and watch for them.
To report a nest or false crawl, contact SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-728-3663 (978-SAVE-ONE). More info about the program at www.SCCF.org.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 17‑24, 2020
No new listings.
2 price changes: Sunset South #11A 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 now $799K.
Colonnades #3 1/1 now $269K.
No new sales.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 990 & 992 Greenwood Ct N (duplex, both sides) 3/2.5 (each side) $724K.
3 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 now $485K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 now $999K, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.695M,
No new sales.
6 closed sales: 766 Donax St (duplex, both sides) 2/1 (each side) $599K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $655K, 1014 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $675K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $825K, 637 Lighthouse Way 3/4 $1.2M. 1490 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $1.5M.
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 $495K.
No new listings.
1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6.5.5 now $6.899M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings, 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.
Below our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan