As the sun gets ready to set on another year, why is it always a surprise when the islands are snarled with traffic during Christmas/New Year week? With mostly delightful weather (sunny with daytime temperatures high-70’s to mid-80’s), the causeway has been a slow crawl in the mornings from before the toll booth coming onto the island through the 4-way stop and down Periwinkle Way.
About 3 p.m., the same crawl begins in reverse making it a fun ride home in the evening. It sure appears that more folks have been enjoying things on-island this year.
Today, with holiday closings, there is less traffic and it started out foggy – an unusual occurrence here. It burned off about noon, but more fog is expected tomorrow morning with a cool front forecast to pass through Florida Monday. (That probably means daytime temperatures then will only go into the low 70’s that day.) Otherwise, the next ten days are expected to be sunny and warm.
A summary of the week’s real estate activity is after a couple of news items below. There have been a few more year-end closings so first an updated island inventory table. (Data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of 12/31/21.)
Hard to believe that there are only 19 Sanibel condos/homes for sale and that nearly 700 have gone under contract/sold this year.
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New Year Weekend Happenings
- San-Cap Motor Club Cars and Coffee Cruise-in – Sat, Jan 1 at Periwinkle Place – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society Bird Walk – Sat, Jan 1 on Wildlife Dr at J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge at 9 a.m. Meet in overflow parking lot on left as you enter the Refuge. On a side note, the Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count conducted Sun, Dec 18, with 108 participants counted a total of 10,869 birds comprised of 96 different species. The results of the San-Cap count are reported to the National Audubon Society and will become part of the 122nd Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The overall count was below average. Warm temperatures up north may have delayed migrations could have played a part.
- Sanibel-Captiva Polar Bear Plunge 2022 – Sat, Jan 1 at northside of Sanibel Causeway Island B. (Island closest to Sanibel). Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. At “crack of noon”, swimmers will plunge into the “frigid” (70 degree) water to kick off the new year!
- Community House Arts & Crafts Show – Sun, Jan 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Lending Rules Threaten Some Condo Sales
By Kerry Smith, the below article was posted Dec 22 on FloridaRealtors®:
“Fannie and Freddie tighten condo-lending rules. Details vary, but they generally won’t back single-unit condo loans if a building has deferred maintenance issues.
“ORLANDO, Fla. – In response to the Surfside tragedy, Freddie Mac announced last week that it would immediately start taking a closer look at a condo development’s maintenance issues before approving individual loans. The change follows a similar announcement made earlier by Fannie Mae. The two mortgage giants back over half of all U.S. loans.
“The new requirements can be complex – Freddie Mac posted its announcement online – but they will generally deny condo and co-op unit loans if the building has deferred maintenance issues, special assessments to fix deferred issues or other problems.
“All changes announced in Freddie Mac’s bulletin “will be effective for Mortgages with Settlement Dates on or after Feb. 28, 2022.” Fannie Mae’s earlier bulletin says its rules will be “effective for whole loans purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2022, and for loans delivered into MBS pools with issue dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.”
“Both policies “remain in effect until further notice.”
“As part of the process, Fannie Mae lenders will send condo managers a five-page form that must be completely filled out. Under the section that covers insurance types and amounts, it even includes instructions, such as “Do NOT enter ‘contact agent.’” The regulations apply to all condominiums with five or more units, even if that complex is otherwise exempt from review.
“While individual condo buyers may immediately face hurdles getting a loan approved, the tighter policies could have a longer-term impact on entire condominium complexes. Even condo associations without concerning maintenance issues could find that unit owners – without the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – will have a harder time selling their property if the new paperwork isn’t filled out correctly and returned promptly.
““Loans secured by units in condo and co-op projects with significant deferred maintenance or in projects that have received a directive from a regulatory authority or inspection agency to make repairs due to unsafe conditions are not eligible for purchase,” Fannie Mae states in its Oct. 13 announcement. And those projects “will remain ineligible until the required repairs have been made and documented.”
Fannie Mae considers acceptable documentation to be “a satisfactory engineering or inspection report, certificate of occupancy, or other substantially similar documentation that shows the repairs have been completed in a manner that resolves the building’s safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability concerns.”
“While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s changes apply nationwide, Florida may feel a greater impact due to the number of condo buildings across the state. In addition, condo complexes that have deferred maintenance issues or one of the other problems noted won’t be approved for Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed loans until those issues have been fixed.”
Updated Captiva Land Development Code & Regulations
Realtors® were noticed this week (see letter below) following amendment approvals to Captiva’s land development code by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners. The new code revisions are shown below in red while some rule reminders are included too:
“CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
P.O. Box 72, Captiva, FL 33924-0072
“Dear Captiva Property Owners and Companies Doing Business on Captiva:
“The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has just approved amendments to the Captiva land development code. These changes were recommended by the Captiva Community Panel and they will keep our Village beaches pristine at the end of each day, protect our dark skies and reduce unnecessary light trespass onto neighboring properties, protect our bicyclists and pedestrians from dangerous conditions caused by overgrown vegetation on Captiva Drive, and reduce the number of contractor, design professional and real estate signs on our islands.
“It is important that all of us who live and work on Captiva review these new updates to the code as well as existing provisions which protect and preserve our fragile barrier island. The Panel believes in the power of community and in voluntary compliance with our codes and ordinances. Enforcement on Captiva should be necessary only as a last resort.
“To assist us, the Panel has summarized the new code provisions (in red) and reminds everyone of some of the existing regulations that apply to Captiva (in black). Please remember that Captiva is an unincorporated part of the Lee County and that many Lee County regulations (in addition to the Captiva-specific rules) apply to Captiva. We ask everyone to comply with them all.
“Beach Furniture and Equipment
All beach furniture and equipment when not in use and unoccupied must be removed from the beach between 9:00 p.m. and 8 a.m. at all times of the year between Alison Hagerup Park and the south end of Wiles Drive. Beach furniture and equipment not removed shall be considered abandoned property and subject to removal.
Remember: A similar rule applies to the rest of Captiva’s beaches during turtle season – from May 1 to October 31.
All new outdoor lighting, including landscape spotlights, must be hooded or shielded so that the light source is masked, and does not shine beyond or above the structure, property or highest foliage to be illuminated or spill onto adjacent property. Fixtures attached to poles, trees or buildings must also be hooded or shielded, shall be no more than 15 feet above grade, and directed downward. No new or existing lights may be aimed, directed, focused onto adjacent property, or allowed to cause direct light or glare to be projected onto adjacent property. Seasonal decorations are permitted for up to 60 days per year.
“Captiva Drive Landscaping
No vegetation shall be allowed to grow on Captiva Drive or its paved shoulder. A setback of at least 2 feet from the edge of the pavement must be maintained at all times for all vegetation below the height of 8 feet.
“Signs on Captiva
All residential identification signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. Remember: The height of these signs may not exceed 4 feet above grade. If illuminated, the lights must shine downward and wattage may not exceed 36 watts per sign. Uplighting is prohibited and approval for electric hookup to illuminate a new sign must be obtained from Lee County.
All contractor, subcontractor, or design professional signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. There may be no more than 2 signs per property and they must be removed within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. Remember: Any design professional, landscaper or contractor signs not located at a work site under construction are prohibited and must be removed.
All real estate signs advertising a property for sale or rent in a residential neighborhood may not exceed 2 square feet in size with the bottom edge of the sign no more than 12 inches above the ground. A property is limited to one real estate sign at any given time.
Remember: Sandwich signs, banner signs, pennants, flying signs and neon signs are prohibited on Captiva. (There are some exceptions for short-term special events.)
Rentals: Residential dwelling units cannot be rented for less than a week on Captiva. The one-week minimum does not apply to rooms in hotels and motels.
Golf Carts: Golf carts can operate between South Seas and ‘Tween Waters, and at night with the required lights and equipment. But no one can operate a golf cart on Captiva without a valid driver’s license.
Parking: Parking on all Captiva streets is prohibited.
Littering: It is unlawful for any person to place litter on a street, beach, or waterway on Captiva. Litter includes cans, bottles, boxes, straws, paper, and cigarette butts.
Open Containers: It is illegal to carry an open alcoholic beverage or drink any alcoholic beverage on a street, sidewalk, beach, or parking lot on Captiva. It is also illegal to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage while a passenger in a car or on a golf cart.
Dunes: No person may harm or destroy a dune or dune vegetation on Captiva, or harass, molest or disturb wildlife. And no one may light or maintain any open fire on the beach.
Building Height Restrictions: Captiva has very strict building height restrictions and requirements from which no variances or deviations can be permitted. Anyone planning construction should review these regulations carefully.
“Please remember: This letter only summarizes the new regulations – and only lists some of the existing ones. If any of them apply to you, it is important to review the full text of the regulation. Amendments to our Noise, Fertilizer, Parking, Golf Cart and Septic regulations have been presented to the County for future adoption.
“2021 CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
Members: Ann Brady – Jay Brown – Ken Gill – John Jensen – Mike Kelly – Linda Laird
Mike Lanigan – Tony Lapi – R. Bruce McDonald – David Mintz – Bob Walter”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 24-31, 2021
1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D41 2/2 $1.45M.
1 price change: Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.789M.
3 new sales: Blind Pass #D102 2/2 listed at $625K, Sanibel Moorings #1132 2/2 listed at $799K, Pointe Santo #D37 2/2 listed at $1.395M.
3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $510K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $769.9K, Sedgemoor #205 3/4 $4.27M.
1 new listing: 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 $769K.
No price changes.
4 new sales: 9217 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $865K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $1.498M, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 listed at $1.595M.
9 closed sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $650K, 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $680K, 4226 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $852K, 2539 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.1M, 1585 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.2M, 1410 Sanderling Cir 3/2 $1.2M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.9M, 807 Limpet Dr 3/2 $2.15M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $2.9M.
Nothing to report.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $1M.
No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.989M, 11548 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 listed at $7.5M.
1 closed sale: 15300 Captiva Dr 9/7 $6.19M.
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 New Year! Wishing your good health & safety, happiness & colorful sunsets in 2022!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan