Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & Flip Flops on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021



4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.


3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.


3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.



1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

No 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.

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

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan