More Steps Forward Post-Hurricane-Ian

It’s another Friday so time for another update on island real estate. First, Tuesday night, Sanibel had another City update on post-Ian recovery progress. While yesterday was the first (since the storm) membership meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® with new Sanibel Building Dept Director Craig Mole the featured speaker. More info below on both of those events.

Traffic going on/off the causeway is hit or miss with more owners returning and contractor work increasing. Teammate Dave continues to arrive at daybreak to beat the crowd, while I’m usually later, so we cover inquiries/showing requests. Yesterday at 10 a.m., Traffic was backed up to McGregor, while today at the same time, I drove right on. Patience is key.

After many days of bright sunny 70/80-degree F weather, SW FL got a good shower last night. Some of the hurricane muck dust got washed off and the vegetation a drink. Amazing how Mother Nature is sprouting new growth everywhere. So nice to see life emerge amid the devastation. Also have noticed more birds, butterflies, and our first post-Ian bunny.

It also was sweet to see this sign posted just outside the entrance to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve.

I took my first ride to Ft Myers Beach this past week. Sometimes one just needs a change of view to appreciate what you have. Ft Myers Beach though mostly cleared of roadside debris, is a mess. So sad to see many homes/properties, businesses, library, theater, and chapel destroyed. Some of the newer larger concrete structures (condos and homes) on the east end of Estero into Bonita survived, though appear to have 1st floor flooding/damage like Sanibel. None appear to be occupied other than by disaster/restoration companies. Construction continues at the new Margaritaville resort as you come onto the island. Just before the bridge, the pile of twisted shrimp/fishing boats is astonishing.

In the back of my mind, I was thinking Sanibel’s building code and environmental considerations sure seemed to help when visually comparing our island with Estero.

Sanibel Update

The City Manager and Council continue to get push back about the island reopening to non-entry-pass-holders on Jan 2. If you have an opinion one way or the other, at the Tuesday night meeting, they asked for those comments. It is easy to go to and click on Government, City Council, then click the link for “Contact City Council” to send them an email.

When I picked up my mail at Jetloop this afternoon, it again was wonderful to run into some islanders and see the Sanibel post office crew working. They have a written survey going with your preference “yes” or “no” on the post office reopening on the island. When I drove by the island Post Office today, it didn’t look like any work going on, but I know those island employees want to get back to work there. They hope it will be early next year and not a year from now.

I also asked Laura Ball about her Mailigator sales. She won’t be getting any more tee-shirts made so if you want a shirt featuring the alligator that camped out at the post office post-Ian – or a print of that art, or any of her other creations, go to She still has about 200 shirts, many sizes, and she ships them quickly (gotta love an artist that works at the Post Office).

Today, I checked a couple of properties in Chateau Sur Mer and Gulf Shores – still tough going in those neighborhoods. So surprising when the debris is gone to see the actual property damage.

On the business front, here is some business/restaurant/food news:

  • Bank of the Islands Sanibel branch has set up a trailer in their parking lot. Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank main office at 2406 Periwinkle also open Mon-Thur 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri until 5 p.m.
  • Huxter’s brought a food truck into their parking lot this week, offering subs & sandwiches.
  • Island Pizza also started up their smoker & today began offering BBQ. Their target reopening date is Jan 1.
  • Ron from Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen advises that they aren’t going to make their goal of opening tomorrow. Now they are shooting for Dec 22.

Building Dept Scoop from Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Meeting

Sanibel’s new Building Department Director Craig Mole offered some statistics during his presentation at our Realtor® meeting yesterday. Below are the numbers from his first slide showing initial damage assessments:

  • Unaffected – 188
  • Affected – 51
  • Minor – 2,525
  • Major – 2,193
  • Destroyed – 168

His next slide showed the permits that have been issued so far:

  • Demolitions – 22
  • Electrical – 224
  • Building Repair – 99
  • Mechanical – 181
  • Plumbing – 23
  • Roof – 221

Personally interesting that my home which filled with water was considered “minor” since the exterior is intact, while my permit which covers multiple disciples falls under “building repair”.

When he really got into the nitty gritty was in describing the steps for getting these repair permits. For 1- or 2-family homes, his next slide showed these steps:

  1. Lee County appraiser, private appraisal, elevation certificate
  2. Repair cost estimate, then substantial damage review
  3. Permit document preparation, permitting
  4. Permit inspections, permit closeout.

For repairs to multi-family properties (condos, resorts, apartments, etc.), the process is more complicated because the main property (building and grounds) must be safe before individual owners may apply for permits. Unit owners are encouraged to work with each other, use the same general contractor as their association, and not to be surprised if they cannot have any work done to the inside of their units or even access them while the association is making exterior repairs. Here are the steps from his slide for these properties. Note, the county appraiser does not assign a structural value to these properties, so they all need a private appraisal to determine the value of each building and an elevation certificate to determine if it is conforming before the association may apply for permits.

  1. Private appraisal, elevation certificate
  2. Repair cost estimate, then substantial damage review
  3. Permit document preparation, common area repair, individual unit repair
  4. Permitting, permit inspections, permit closeout
  5. Individual unit owner permitting.

It was encouraging to hear him speak of the build-back ordinance and how both Building and Planning Departments are gearing up for heavier workload and an improved on-line permitting system. He estimates that the big wave of those permits will not occur until January 2024 with most engineers, architects, and general contractors already booked out that far.

At SanibelSusan Realty

No work repair has begun inside our office, but the debris from the curb is gone and our flag continues to wave. We work remotely, embracing technology. Below is the info since last Friday with the week’s action from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS. More damaged homes came on the market this week. A big wave of condo listings likely will come next. Many of those owners are not arriving for the first time until after the holidays.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 9-16, 2022



4 new listings: Blind Pass #F210 2/2 $575K, Sundial #D404 1/1 $614.9K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 $725K, Atrium #104 2/2 $1.75M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 listed at $624.9K, Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 listed at $699K

No closed sales.


23 new listings (2 included in new sales below): 860 Rabbit Rd 2/1 $375K, 1977 Roseate Ln 2/2 $549K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $699K, 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $599K, 1057 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $699K, 214 Hurricane Ln 3/2 $719K, 577 Boulder Dr 3/2 $724.5K, 658 Donax St 795K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 2/1.5 $799K, 9126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $800K, 5892 San-Cap Rd 3/3 $850K, 1022 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $949.9K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $995K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $995K, 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $1.259M, 1034 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $1.349M, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 $1.45M, 979 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.6M, 2643 Coconut Dr 3/2 $1.795M, 664 Gopher Walk Way 4/3 $1.799M, 1230 Seaspray Ln 3/4.5 $3.95M.

5 price changes: 1399 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $774K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 4/3 now $829K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now 999K, 6136 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $1.2M, 2015 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.325M.

4 new sales: 686 Spartina Ct 3/2 listed at $629K, 293 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K, 954 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed at $1.65M, 4020 West Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $1.9M

3 closed sales: 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $715K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $755K, 3657 West Gulf Dr 4/5.5 $4.5M.


2 new listings: 9232 Dimmick Dr 399K, 725 Donax St $749K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 0 West Gulf Dr #1 listed at $4.995M.

No closed sales.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 16611-16615 Captiva Dr 6/6 $7.85M.

No price changes, new or 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.

Until next Friday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. I found a couple of holiday decorations that made it thru Ian. It’s getting merry on the outside on the east end!

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