The Friday Before Thanksgiving 2020… on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

The island continues to get busier as early Thanksgiving holiday vacationers/families arrive, and more snowbirds return. The weather this week finally took a long-awaited turn toward fall with lower humidity and daytime temperatures barely out of the 70’s on Wednesday. With little to no chance of rain, it also looks like the rainy season also finally is over. The forecast for the next ten days shows more of the same beautiful weather. Should be perfect for extended social distancing and outside holiday dining next week.

Many friends have returned to Sanibel for the holiday and shared photos taken this week. The below roseate spoonbill shots were taken Monday, Nov 16 at the wildlife refuge. Thank you, Dr Paul & Lynn.


While the next photo from our pal Scott was taken from Woodring Rd. Thanks for sharing!

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It also was another week of good action with our listings. With eight closings already in the hopper, all expected to close before the end of the year, we were happy to get another listing under contract yesterday. It should be our first closing in 2021. This has kept Dave busy following up on deposits, community applications, attending inspections, and ensuring sale action items are on time. Simultaneously, Elise has fielded more weekday showing requests and feedback, while Lisa and I cover those on the weekend. We are beating the bushes for new listings, if you know anyone thinking of selling.

The info the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

City of Sanibel – Politics, COVID-19, & More

Like much of the nation, islanders anxiously follow COVID updates and hope that SW Florida stays safe. This week Sanibel former-Mayor Kevin Ruane, who stepped down when he ran for a Lee County Commissioner seat, was officially sworn in as our County Commissioner for District 1. On Tuesday, his colleagues on the commission also elected him as their board chairman for next year. On Sanibel, that bumped Vice Mayor Mick Denham into the Acting Mayor position.

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until November 24, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 77. Cases are rapidly increasing here. NINE more cases in the last week.

Weeks-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – 2 months = 11 cases

Weeks-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – 2 months = 30 cases

Weeks-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – 2 months = 22 cases

Weeks-ending 11/8 through 11/15 – 2 WEEKS = 14 cases (that is nine more cases than last week)

Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Work Space, Outdoor Living, & The Burbs

A good article in the new FloridaRealtor® magazine (Nov/Dec 2020) summaries what is happening on Sanibel too, “as the pandemic changes what homebuyers are looking for…”

“With schools closed and businesses shuttered, many people found their entire lives confined to the four walls of their homes. From working and homeschooling to eating and entertaining, daily life started and ended at home, causing many people to recognize the importance of a comfortable, practical place to live.

“As more companies realize that working from home is a viable option and many schools are on a virtual or a hybrid leaning schedule, these shifts seem to be more than a passing fancy….”

Below are the four trends that followed:

“Trend 1 – More indoor space for remote working and family members. What buyers want: Home office, home gym, well-appointed kitchen, walk-in pantry….

“Trend 2 – Increased consumer appetite for more outdoor and entertainment space. What buyers want: Private and spacious outdoor area, pool, backyard, patio….

“Trend 3 – Move from urban to suburban. What buyers want: Less densely populated location, single-family living….

“Trend 4 – More tech-enabled homes. What buyers want: High-speed WiFi connectivity, tech improvements/upgrades….

The article ends with a note from John “Chuck” Fowke, Tampa-based custom home builder and chairman of the board of the National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.: “About 88% of our buyers indicated their home has become very important or more important because of the pandemic. There’s a trend of people thinking that, because they’re in the suburbs and not in congested areas, the health opportunities are much better. Emphasize the outdoor recreation and freedom of movement outside rather than being inside or in small spaces.””

8 Do’s & Don’ts of Owning a Vacation Rental

Also from the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of “FloridaRealtor®” magazine: “Are you considering a vacation home purchase that will produce valuable rental income when you’re not using the property? If so, check out these dos and don’ts to get the most out of your financial investment.

“DO: Create a financial plan. This will help you predict the potential revenue and expense of owning a rental property.

“DO: Work with a knowledgeable Realtor® when buying. A good agent can help you find a property in a good location with the best rental potential.

“DO: Get to know your property. Carefully check all parts of the property and repair and replace items that need it.”

“DO: Choose a property manager carefully. Check their reputation in the area, then ask how they’ll: Maintain the property so it stays in good condition, communicate with you and maximize your revenue.

“DON’T: Ignore preventive maintenance. It’s better to fix or replace that aging hot water heater or HVAC system now than have it break during a renter’s stay.

“DO: Be strategic about using the property yourself. If your goal is to maximize rental income, stick to planning your stay during the off season.

“DO: Plan to reinvest in the property. Figure you may have to spend 1% of the property value each year on maintenance.

“DO: Be realistic about pricing. Research area rental rates and don’t overprice. Your ultimate goal is to make a reasonable profit and that will require a high occupancy rate.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 13-20, 2020



3 new listings: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $450K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $589K, Sundial #L205 3/2 $1.495M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $349K, Blanca #8 2/1 now $365K, Sanibel Arms #H6 1/1 now $384.9K, Sundial #F108 1/1 now $450K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $726K.

6 new sales: Breakers West #B5 2/2 listed at $569K; Compass Point #221 2/2 listed at $639,999; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 listed at $799K; Sundial #T201 2/2 listed at $799K;  Pointe Santo #D47 2/2 listed at $974K; Junonia #103 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

10 closed sales: Sundial #I405 1/1 $405K, Sundial #D308 1/1 $414K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 $525K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $657.5K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $712K (our listing), Sunset South #14B 2/2 $920K, Blind Pass #G105 4/3 $950K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 $1.135M, Sunward #201 3/2 $1.2M, High Tide #B302 3/2 $2.08M.

View from Lighthouse Point #229, sold full price!


4 new listings: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $499K, 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2.5 $499.9K, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $1.595M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 5.2M.

4 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $514,555; 721 Durion Ct 3/3 now $649.9K; 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $658.5K; 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 now $1.35M.

9 new sales: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex listed at $559K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 listed at $625K, 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $649K (our listing), 482 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $789K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 listed at $829K, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 677 Anchor Dr 5/5.5 listed at $1.895M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.995M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $5.9M.

1015 Fish Crow Rd

8 closed sales: 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $612,408; 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $635K; 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $680K; 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $700K; 525 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $775K; 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K; 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 $895K, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.39M.


1 new listing: 5301-25 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5116 Sea Bell Rd listed at $229K.

1 closed sale: 2297 Wulfert Rd $179K.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $380K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $2.79M.

No new sales.

1 close sale: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 $2.85M.


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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Best wishes from The SanibelSusan Team for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan