Island June = Raindrops & More Bunnies

SanibelSusan reporting that the good news this week is that the rainy season has begun in SW Florida. Not that we like to see a lot of run-off which in years past has affected local water quality, but the island bunnies which I love – like it when tropical vegetation is green and lush, not yellow and crunchy. It was great to see several of these little critters out enjoying my lawn Thurs morning after our first “big” rain Wed night.

The island real estate world has been quiet even through the holiday weekend. The action over the last seven days posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Not much is happening. Total available Sanibel inventory is 57 properties (condos, homes, lots) while Captiva has 19 available.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, teammate Dave returns to the office Mon, while I now have a plan of action for my sore knee with a quick surgical procedure scheduled next week to repair a torn meniscus. How handy is it that Island Therapy is right next door to my office? I am all set to be up and running again soon, while teammate Elise has been the glue that has kept us together this week, with teammate Lisa on Sat.

CROW Wildlife Walks & Daily Presentations Return

This week CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) announced that Wildlife Walk guided hospital tours and daily presentations are back. The guided hospital tours provide an opportunity for visitors to get an in-depth look into the inner workings of CROW’s hospital and the treatment process of over 5,000 wildlife patients each year. The 1-1/2-hour program has two parts: the daily presentation in the AWC Visitor Education Center followed by a guided tour through treatment areas of the hospital. Up-close encounters with Animal Ambassadors are included along the way. These tours resumed Jun 1 and will be offered Mon through Fri at 12:30 p.m. At all times, masks must be worn. Each tour is limited to eight people and advance registration is required. Program cost is $25 per person and includes General Admission to the AWC Visitor Education Center and the daily presentation. The program is open to all, but not recommended for children under the age of 13. Tours are subject to modification or cancellation based on animals being treated.

Free Summer Tours at The Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel will offer free summer tours from Jun 20 through Aug 7. There is no set schedule, so monitor the refuge’s Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/jn-ding-darling-nwr-32246304043 to see what staff and volunteers are offering each week and to sign up for tours such as Birding the Refuge, car caravan tour, Mindfulness Walk at Bailey Tract, Bike Tour and Beach Walk.

Faces of Change

It was great to see a friendly face on the cover of the May-June Issue of Realtor® Magazine. It was none other than a Florida Realtors® Audition Panel colleague, Adam Gurske from Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County which is in Gainesville. He is one of the young real estate practitioners selected for the 2021 Class of 30 Under 30 for their resilience and adaptability during rapidly changing conditions that have forced a quick rethinking of business practices. “Adaptability is one trait that Adam’s ten years in the business have helped him hone. His Mom has been the area’s association executive for 30 years, so Adam has grown up in the business. At 29, he is active in his local association, a longtime board member of a local nonprofit that is dedicated to helping homeless families, all while being a multi-million $ producer with 28 transaction sides last year. If you ever need real estate assistance in Gainesville, I encourage you to contact Adam, and mention SanibelSusan. He is a solid hardworking smart young man.

14-Day Rental Rule

Good advice in the recent RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist) Newsletter: “With the interest in vacation rentals rising across the U.S., owners of second homes may be tempted to make that property available for rent. There are certain tax implications (and possible deductions) that are determined by the use of the second property as well as the length of time the property is rented out. Anyone interested should consult with a tax professional before proceeding.” (Click here for a link to IRS Topic 415 Renting Residential and Vacation Property.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation

Speaking of RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist), this week I updated that module for the islands specialist designation classes that are offered annually by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Earning the designation requires completion of 12 modules including this one. It was 2012 when I prepared that class for the first time. Time flies. Was not as much fun last year to teach it via Zoom. The class interaction, where we share experiences and advice, is the fun part. Wish me luck on Tuesday as I teach for the 9th year.

SCCF Update – Periwinkle Wetlands Restoration Project Begins Next Week

Here is the latest, right from the Conservation Foundation’s Wed update email:

“Next week, SCCF will begin the preliminary steps of a multi-phase restoration project on the newly acquired Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve.  “We are grateful that we were able to acquire these key 12-plus acres and we ask the public to please understand that we must clear the land of exotics before we can restore it,” said SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera. “Since it’s right on Perwinkle Way and highly visible, we want to explain the process so a return to a diverse, natural habitat is well understood.”

“Land Clearing Phase – Over the next several months, contractors will be conducting the land clearing phase, which will include the removal and eradication of dense stands of large, invasive exotic trees. The work will be overseen by SCCF Habitat Management staff and vegetation debris will be mulched on-site.

“In addition to the tree removal, SCCF staff will be conducting selective herbicide treatments to manage invasive exotic vines, groundcovers, and grasses. Habitat Management also will begin to revegetate many areas throughout the property and construct hiking trails.

“SCCF wants island residents and passersby to understand what is happening at the site as it begins to unfold.

““As the initial land clearing portion progresses, the conversion from densely vegetated to nearly barren land can often seem destructive and a shock to the senses. However, as the planting stage begins to take root, the landscape rapidly transitions back to a diverse, natural habitat,” explained Wildlife & Habitat Management Director Chris Lechowicz. Removing exotic plants — which lack any native predators or pests to keep them in check — is key to successful restoration.

““Invasive species can become dominant, rapidly displacing native plant communities and resulting in the loss of key habitats for migratory and resident bird populations as well as other animal species found throughout Sanibel Island,” Lechowicz said. Restoring land to its historic natural state reinforces SCCF’s rich history of conservation and its core mission “to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems.”

“Lechowicz said the timing of the restoration was planned around nature itself, and a firm completion date has not been established. “Restoration projects often take place over an extended period and many factors contribute to the time it takes to complete a project,” he said. “As summer approaches, thunderstorms, seasonal flooding, and hurricanes can delay portions of the restoration.”

“Restoration/Improvement Phase – Following the initial preserve restoration, improvements will be added to the approximately two acres fronting Periwinkle Way between Purdy and Martha’s Lanes. These improvements will be open to the public, while the majority of the preserve acreage will be dedicated for exclusive use as wildlife habitat. “The intentional reimagining of this space will connect visitors to nature and celebrate our shared and historic role in protecting and nurturing Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems,” said Orgera.

“After the exotics are removed, the community space will be replanted with thriving native landscaping. Inviting and inspiring, it will feature a 1,100-foot loop walking/biking trail connected to the shared-use path. The trail will take bikers and walkers through a welcome plaza with a water bottle-filling station and interpretive panels.

“A lush demonstration marsh with wetlands features will include water-quality education panels. There will be interpretative gardens with seasonal blooms and a sculpture garden to encourage thoughtful reflection on the importance of land, water, and wildlife. Throughout the restoration process, SCCF Habitat Management staff will routinely conduct inspections for the reintroduction of invasive, exotic species to ensure it is a diverse, healthy ecosystem.

““The Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve restoration project is essentially revitalizing characteristics of Sanibel’s historic ecosystems,” Orgera said, “while inviting in the public to learn more about Sanibel’s environment and to contemplate its beauty.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 28 – June 4, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $895K, Villa Sanibel #2E 2/2 $959K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.21M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #3D 2/2 listed at $599K.

5 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $570K, White Sands #13 2/2 $938K, Gulfside Place #218 2/2 $1.35M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.4225M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 $1.595M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 $635K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $699K.

1 price change: 3010 West Gulf Dr now $1.245M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1550 Center St 3/2 listed at $799K, 1362 Tahiti Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 539 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

7 closed sales: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $725K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $780K, 4377 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $860K, 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $1.2M, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $1.325M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 $1.395M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/4 $1.945M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $339.9K.

1 new sale: 6141 Starling Way listed at $897K.

4 closed sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir $255K, 1044 Fish Crow Rd $350K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr $385K, 0 West Gulf Dr $3.7M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14991 Binder Dr 4/4 $6.295M.

1 price change: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $1.295M.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.499M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

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, wishing you only bright skies & easy summer rains,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan