Almost Mother’s Day on Sanibel & Captiva


Another sunny Sanibel Friday has arrived. The rainy season may be beginning as the first of the big white summer popcorn clouds rolled in late yesterday which resulted in some island showers last night. This afternoon, after a morning of bright blue sky, it looks like those clouds again are forming on the eastern horizon. Early summer is when rain often come across the state & rolls onto the island from the mainland. The joke is that though the rest of Lee County gets wet from these showers, they always don’t make it to the island – as they don’t have toll money.

This was the first week of the Association of Realtors® off-season biweekly Caravan schedule, so there was no meeting yesterday. There has been some sales activity though, three condos and two homes on Sanibel went under contract this week. I got one of them done last Sunday with folks who viewed Saturday and were at the airport boarding. Gotta love modern technology!

Mom & child

The SanibelSusan Team wishes all the Mom’s a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.

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

A Look at the Real Estate Market Nationally

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Realtor® magazine’s May-June 2019 issue had another article from my favorite economist, Lawrence Yun. Though his comments are about real estate nationally, it has good news.

“Consumer confidence remains high and many people are saying now is a good time to buy. Inventory is also increasing, reducing buyers’ concerns they’ll be elbowed out of the way whey they try to buy.

“But the market is bifurcated. Moderately priced homes are in high demand while upper-end homes are moving slowly. Affordability is what consumers are looking for….

“With the economy set to grow this year, we expect to set a record with more than 120 consecutive months of GDP expansion. More than 20 million net new jobs have been added, and the average wage has increased to $23.18 per hour, up 3.5%, the largest annual rise in a decade. Consumer confidence is following suite; the index reached 124 in March compared to the 50-year average figure of 93. Moreover, 37% of consumers strongly believe now is a good time to buy, according to National Association of Realtors® figures for the 1st quarter of 2019, up from 34% in the prior quarter. Low mortgages rate help. But a good economy and more inventory are also boosting consumers’ outlook….”

“Existing home sales jumped almost 12% in February. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes the surge largely to the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low for the remainder of the year. The one-month gain is among the largest ever recorded by NAR.”

Want Flood Insurance for Hurricane Season? Hurry Up!NationalFloodInsuranceProgr

Good reminder article posted on-line at Florida Realtors® on Monday:

“WASHINGTON – May 6, 2019 – While some Florida homeowners have private options, national flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period in most cases – and hurricane season starts in 25 days.

“As it stands now, the entire National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires on May 31, 2019. Should that happen, homeowners won’t lose coverage, but homebuyers may not be able to secure coverage even if it’s demanded by their lender. Congress may have a new plan in place for the program by then, or they may authorize a short-term extension as they have done in the past.

“In any case, homeowners and buyers should prepare for the possibility of another NFIP hiatus. NFIP issued the following commonly asked questions about flood insurance coverage:

Why do I need flood insurance? Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods, and it’s wise to consider flood insurance even if you are not required to purchase it. Even if you live outside a high-risk flood zone, called a Special Flood Hazard Area, it’s a wise decision to buy flood insurance. In fact, statistics show that people who live outside high-risk areas file more than 25% of flood claims nationwide.

“It’s often said that wherever it rains, it can flood. So, while flood zones are specific geographic areas where there is a higher statistical probability of a flood occurring, floods do occur elsewhere. Florida, for example, has exceeded that statistical probability, putting more homes and properties at risk than expected over the last five years.

“FEMA calculates that just three inches of floodwater in a home likely will require replacing drywall, baseboards, carpets, furniture and making other necessary repairs. If you don’t have flood insurance, your likely out-of-pocket cost (based on a 1,500-square-foot, one-floor home) is estimated at $15,000. For six inches of water, estimated loss jumps to an estimated $23,000. And 18 inches or more could require repairs to electrical, heating and cooling systems plus replacing doors, appliances and cabinetry. The estimated cost: $30,000.

“How does flood insurance work? If a community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), both building and contents coverage can be included in a policy for homeowners and businesses. Renters can get coverage for contents only. Policies issued by the NFIP pay even if a federal disaster isn’t declared.

“In Florida and other states recently impacted by hurricanes, NFIP streamlined the claims process, enabling policyholders to receive advance payments to jump-start rebuilding. Some policyholders were recently able to get advance payments up to $5,000 without an adjuster visit or additional documentation. Some received advance payments of up to $20,000 if they had photos/video evidence and receipts or a contractor’s estimate.

A Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate-to-low risk areas. This policy can be purchased for as little as $325 per year.

“When should I buy a policy? As soon as possible. There’s a waiting period. NFIP cannot pay a claim without a policy in effect when damage occurs. A new insurance policy from NFIP becomes effective 30 days after you buy it, unless the purchase is associated with the origination, renewal or extension of a federally backed loan on property in a high-risk area.

“Even if I’m not in a flood hazard area, can I purchase flood insurance? Yes, providing your community participates in NFIP. You’re eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area.

“Can I get flood insurance if I’m renting a property? Yes. If you live in a community that participates in NFIP as a renter, flood insurance covers the contents of your home, apartment or business at a rented location. An insurance agent can talk about the costs and ways to lower those costs.

“NFIP policy holders choose their amount of coverage. The maximum for one to four family residential structures is $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. For residential structures of five or more units, the maximum is $500,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. The maximum for businesses is $500,000 in building coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage.

“How much will I get from NFIP after flood damage? There are some misconceptions about the amount a policyholder will receive following flood-caused damage. While a policy may state it covers losses up to a certain amount:

  • The amount paid to the policyholder on a homeowner’s flood insurance policy will cover only the cost of actual damage caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid on contents will cover only actual losses caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid to businesses covered for structure and contents will be only for actual losses by the flood.

“Where can I buy flood insurance? Contacting your insurance company or agent. For an agent referral call 800-427-4661 or visit FloodSmart.gov.”

SanibelSusan Realty has the following local insurance providers on their vendor list:

Visit the BIG ARTS Construction Site

If you are wondering about the progress of the new facility being constructed at BIG ARTS on Dunlop Road next to City Hall & the Historical Village & Museum, they have installed a camera on the construction site. You can click on the video all summer on at https://bigarts.org

 

Work is ahead of schedule with the grand opening expected in January 2020. In the meantime, BIG ARTS staff have expanded their temporary office space behind SanibelSusan Realty.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 3-10, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 $470K, Gulfside Place #326 2/2 $1.449M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 $1.55M.

5 price changes: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $684.5K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $739K, Sundial #P203 2/2 now $899K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 now $1.05M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.295M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $544K, Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 listed at $605.9K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $675K.

5 closed sales: Island Beach Club #310B 2/2 $635K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 $680K, Sundial #A201 2/2 $825K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $870K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 $1.045M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $665K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $985K, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.949M.

12 price changes: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex now $549K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $649K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $810K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $924.9K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $979K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.169M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 now $1.189M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.299M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.349M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 now $3.199M, 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.895M.

2 new sales: 5869 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $595K (our buyer), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K.

5 closed sales: 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $599K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 $700K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $1.15M, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.295M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $5.25M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2438 Wulfert Rd $349K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6217 Starling Way $1.3M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.73M.

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.

mother-duckUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The clip art to the right is reminiscent of Dave’s open house yesterday on Limpet Dr. He found ducks frolicking in the swimming pool. “When the owners’ away, the ducks will play.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sanibel Bunnies, Easter, & Real Estate


Though the national news this week has been filled with reports of late snow and winter storms up north, on Sanibel and Captiva Islands the weather again has been almost summerlike, including a couple of midweek showers.

marsh bunnyHere at SanibelSquare the bunny population continues to explode. I haven’t been able to get to my phone quickly enough to get a photo of the entire group at once. Usually when I am leaving in the office in the evening, I am the last car out of the parking lot. That’s when they are out chowing down on the grassy area in front of my car.

I’ve seen as many as six together (three grown-ups and three small ones). They sure are cute. I’m featuring a few photos of them in my Easter ad next week in the “Island Sun”.

SanibelSusan’s Real Estate Market Predictions

An island homeowner who lives in Gumbo Limbo dropped in at the office recently and asked about the real estate market. He often bikes his neighborhood and was surprised to see so many “for sale” signs.For sale sign

Gumbo Limbo probably offers a good market representation. Today, there are 13 homes for sale there. In a community with fewer than 200 properties, to the passer-by, that may seem alike a lot for sale at once. Looking at the community’s sales history, in 2017, 12 Gumbo Limbo homes sold. Last year, only six, plus a vacant lot. Year-to-date one home has sold and closed, while two other homes and our lot listing are under contract.

Do these numbers reflect that inventory is up and are prices down? Yes, inventory is up and prices may be trending down, but it probably is too soon to make that prediction. I prefer to view the status of the market today as a correction to the downturn caused by the water quality issues of last summer.

When I stopped on my way home midweek to view the progress at our bayfront listing that is undergoing renovation, I couldn’t help but take a couple of pictures of the water in San Carlos Bay (see below). Unlike its appearance last fall, it was as beautiful as I remember seeing it, in all my 30-some years here. You know the look, sparkling clear and bright teal in color, like often photographed in the Caribbean.

04-10-19 San Carlos 104-10-19 San Carlos 2

Inventory is up because there have been fewer sales. Fewer visitors came to the island this winter. Traffic reports about causeway traffic indicate that fewer cars came onto the island last month which usually is the busiest month here. Late 2018 traffic was off even more. I’ll never forget the times last year that I drove across the causeway and did not see a vehicle (on land or water) or a person or bird in any direction. It was eerie.

The good news is that from that catastrophe, more positive “water” things are happening, more people are involved, more water solutions are in the works, more money is being allocated to fund solutions, and construction is underway on others. Unfortunately, the results of those efforts take time to implement. Seems that the good news takes longer to disseminate than the bad news – which seems to spread fast!

Perhaps some would-be first-time island winter visitors this year decided to vacation elsewhere. Can’t blame them for that, if they don’t really know what the beaches and waterways really are like. Future rental bookings with many income-producing properties are showing less income this year too.

What will happen to the islands’ real estate market in the upcoming months? That’s tough to predict. Often there are buyers that return in the spring who are folks that vacationed here in the winter but could not view all the listings that met their requirements. This year there are plenty of choices for those returning prospects.

In the spring, do these buyers sometimes try to negotiate better terms thinking sellers may not want to hold a property over the slower summer selling season which also is hurricane-prone rainy season? I’m sure you know the answer to that.

Some folks think the economy and political unrest are affecting the market today. They may be true to some extent, but I think that island lovers will continue to see the value in owning a piece of paradise where winter weather is tropical, development is controlled, island ambience is like stepping back in time, and concerned citizens are pro-environment and taking action to protect the areas we live in, work in, and love.

Some also say that the upcoming Federal elections in 2020 will affect real estate sales here. It could be that the islands are immune to that hype. Historical data does not support that elections affect sales, other than maybe the few days around and including the actual voting day.

crystal ballMy crystal ball says that provided there are no national emergencies or hurricanes, the Sanibel and Captiva market will continue to rebound from the downturn of last year. Yes, it’s a good time to buy because there is plenty of good inventory, but it also is a good time for sellers, particularly those that have their properties priced right.

Upcoming Holiday Happenings

In response to inquiries about events over the holiday next weekend, here is a summary:

Helping Those Needing a Hand-Up

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva is assembling Easter food and bunny baskets for those in the community needing a hand-up during the holiday. To donate items, please call 239-472-4775. Distributions will be on April 17 & 18.

Family Events

  • happy easter“25th Annual Spring Festival” to benefit The Children’s Center of the Island at Sanibel Community Park, across the street form SanibelSusan Realty, Saturday, April 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. with Easter egg hunt for children of all ages followed by pony & unicorn rides, face painting, slide, games/crafts, & more. The Easter bunny will be there for photos at 10:15 a.m.
  • “Community Easter Egg Hunt” at Sanibel Community Church, Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. includes thousands of eggs, pony rides, games, bounce houses, face painting, lunch, & more.
  • “Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Dolphin Cruise” by Adventures in Paradise aboard 45’ power catamaran departing at 9 a.m. Easter Sunday from Port Sanibel Marina, reservations needed 239-472-8443.Sanibel farmers market bike

Sanibel Farmers Market – open Easter Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall.

Easter Sunday Services

  • “Annual Sunrise Celebration on the Beach” by Sanibel Community Church on Causeway Island A at dawn. More info at www.SanibelChurch.com
  • Also, services at the church (Sanibel Community Church) at 8, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Captiva’s Chapel by the Sea at 11 a.m. More info at www.CaptivaChapel.com
  • Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ services at 7:45, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Saint Isabel Catholic Church services at 7, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • St. Michaels & All Angels Episcopal Church services at 7:30, 9:30, & 11:30 a.m.

Easter Eats

  • “Easter on the Gulf” at Sundial Beach Resort with seating on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call for reservations 239-395-6017.
  • “Sunday Brunch Buffet” at The Fish House Restaurant from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • “Easter Dinner” at Traditions on the Beach from 4 p.m., reservations recommended 239-472-4559

Recession Fears “Over Blown”

Florida Realtors logoPosted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line, this article has an interesting perspective on how past recessions affect home values.

Arch-logo“GREENSBORO, N.C. – Apr 10, 2019 – Research on how past recessions affected home values shows current conditions – including a shortfall in housing construction – likely mean the next recession will have a less severe impact on housing than the recession in 2008 did, according to the spring edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HaMMR) by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company.

“Housing market trends are now nearly the complete opposite of conditions in the months prior to the Great Recession, according to Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, global chief economist for Arch Capital Services. “A recession is inevitable at some point, but it’s likely to be far less severe for the housing market than the Great Recession,” DeFranco says. “We estimate that the current market is underbuilt by 1 million or more homes, buyers are more cautious and loan quality is far higher. In 2007, conditions were completely flipped: housing was hugely overbuilt, speculative demand was off the charts and the market was awash with high-risk loan products.”

“DeFranco also notes that home prices were overvalued by 25% or more then and are closer to expected values now. “In the 11 recessions recorded over the past 80 years, major price declines for housing have been more the exception than the rule, with home values only turning negative once in the five recessions since 1975,” he says. “The ongoing housing shortage is likely to limit price declines in a recession to 0-5% for a year or two before home values start to recover.”

“The quarterly Arch MI Risk Index, a statistical model based on nine indicators of the health of local housing markets, suggests that the probability U.S. home prices will be lower in two years is 9%, an increase from 6% in the previous HaMMR.

“In Florida, an Arch index infographic suggests that Florida home values have only a 6% chance of declining in two years. However, a higher risk (25%) in Miami suggests the chances are even lower in the rest of the state.

Nationally, the overall risk of a decline in home prices remains better than the historic average of 17%. Every state is expected to have positive home price growth over the next two years, continuing recent trends.

“The states with the highest risk of lower home prices in two years are North Dakota (27%), Alaska (24%), Wyoming (23%) and Connecticut and West Virginia, both at 22%.

“Among the 100 largest metros, the areas with the highest risk of having lower home prices in two years are Miami and San Antonio, Texas (25%), because of overvalued home prices. Those areas are followed by three metros in Connecticut – Bridgeport-Stamford, Hartford and New Haven (all at 22%) – which have shrinking populations of homebuyers and a state economy that lags behind the nation.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 5-12, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Seashells #15 2/2 $439K, Captains Walk #F4 2/2 $349K (our listing) (exterior photo below – professional interior photos & streaming video coming after estate sale next week), Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 $689K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $899K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.

9 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $339K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $465.9K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 now $499.9K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $720K, Sanibel Moorings #1111 2/2 now $969K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 now $1.05M, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.299M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.595M, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.997M.

1 new sale: Gulfside Place #305 2/2 listed at $1.249M.

3 closed sales: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $565K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $740K, Pine Cove #204 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

13 new listings: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $479K; 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $495K; 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 $629K; 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K; 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 $699,999; 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $759K; 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $897K; 788 Nerita St 3/3 $949K; 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.169M; 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.329M; 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.444M; 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.699M.

17 price changes: 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $679K; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719.9K; 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $739K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $759K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $759K; 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $769K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $799K; 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $849K; 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $899K; 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $999,999; 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.15M; 430 Glory Cir 4/5.5 now $1.275M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.4695M; 6425 Pine Ave 4/3 now $1.489M; 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 now $1.539M; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.995M.

9 new sales: 6141 Henderson Rd 2/1.5 listed at $424.5K, 1870 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $575K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $699K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $729K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $850K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $1.189M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.245M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 listed at $1.399M.

4 closed sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $580K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 $849.5K, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $889K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $970K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2462 Wulfert Rd $229K, 2133 Starfish Ln $419K.

2 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $329K, 1219 Par View Dr now $349K.

2 new sales: 1204 Par View Dr listed at $329K; 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $377,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $829K.

No new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $5.75M.

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… enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Sanibel Sharing, Singing, Shelling, Sales, & Scoop


Sanibelcityseal logoFamilies on spring break are on Sanibel – or at least those wanting an environmentally-fun outdoor vacation with fabulous weather. Traffic is challenging with the City encouraging no unnecessary travel from 3 to 7 p.m. That’s what happens in “peak” season. The City traffic app showing the cameras at the intersections helps us plan our routes which always includes turning “right”, not left.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThe team and I got our Friday work done early this week to give me time to run home and change for our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Singers were/are required to be on-stage for pre-performance warm-ups at 6 p.m. and with the traffic being iffy, extra time was anticipated. It took me 45 minutes last night at 5 p.m. to drive the 3 miles from my east-end home to get back to BIG ARTS. Hopefully, it will be easier tonight. Last night’s performance was a sell-out!

Chorus Pic spring 2018.jpgThese concerts were early this year because the buildings at the BIG ARTS campus on Dunlop Road will be coming down in just a few weeks when the construction project for the new facility begins. Next year, when the new performance hall is complete, the entire chorus will fit on the stage and the audience will enjoy more comfy seating.

With our listings, teammate Dave held three open houses again this week and we had closings yesterday and today where they are both our listing and our sale. All of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. You’ll notice that price reductions continue, but there also was good sales action.

1st Meeting of the New Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District

We heard excellent news yesterday following the first meeting of the entirely new board of the South Florida Water Management District. You may remember that just days after he took office, Florida’s Governor DeSantis called for the resignation of the former board members. Over the course of the last few weeks, Gov DeSantis appointed new board members.

Chauncey GossIn West Palm Beach yesterday, at the first meeting of this new board, they chose their new leaders to fulfill the District’s flood control, water quality projects, environmental restoration and water supply missions. The new board elected Sanibel’s-own Chauncey Goss as their Chairman. That is great for the 8.1 million residents of South Florida. Congratulations, Chauncey!

Shell Identification App

banner-shellmuseumappThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has announced that their shell identification app now is available. Many members of the local shell club including SanibelSusan helped for several months with the beta version as the shell library was compiled.

The app is available through the link below and is helpful in several ways. First it helps identify shells, provides a full-color shell guide, offers info from museum experts about shells, and provides info on the daily activities and special events at the museum, and beach walks. You can take a picture of a shell and quickly identify it using the app. That’s the part of the testing where I participated.

https://www.shellmuseum.org/shell-app

Florida Homes Are Hot

Posted on-line by FloridaRealtors® on Tuesday, this article is sourced to “Builder” magazine  (03/11/19) Sowers, Scott:builder

“Florida ranked as the No. 1 place for buyers, according to a recent Lending Tree survey. “Out of all mortgage requests made during the study, 9.1% were for homes in Florida, and moving companies that worked with out-of-state homebuyers reported that 12.4% of all requested destinations were in Florida. Builder magazine calls Florida’s growth “explosive.”

florida“The study broke Florida down into five distinct housing markets.

“”In Southwest Florida you have a lot of retirees. In central Florida you have retirees and international buyers,” says Tony Polito, Metrostudy’s regional director for the Tampa area. “In South Florida you have a lot of international buyers.”

“The largest pool of buyers in Jacksonville are first-time and entry-level buyers impacted by a lack of choices and affordability. In Central Florida, there is local demand as well as a diversified base of buyers that includes investors, seasonal residents, international and vacation homebuyers.

“High demand and low inventory have pushed prices up, according to Toby Hoff, Metrostudy regional director.

“Builders moving out of the core areas of Central Florida have been able to bring more affordable homes online. Buyers in this supply-constrained market are now willing to deal with longer commutes or less-than-desirable schools in order to find something that is both new and in their price range,” he says.

“Although Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg are all interconnected, they are very different housing markets, with Tampa booming and generating new jobs. “We have two counties that account for 90% of the housing activity. Hillsborough, which the city of Tampa sits in, and Pasco County to the north,” says Polito. “Between Pasco and Hillsborough County, today we have a 14.8-month supply of vacant lots. Market equilibrium in this market is 24 to 36 months. Anything below 24 months means land prices are still rising. You can’t even find a small orange grove to develop.””

Florida Realtors® & Dubai Land Dept. Sign Agreement to Encourage Collaboration

Florida Realtors logoHaving visited Dubai last year, it was fun to read the below Wednesday news release from Florida Realtors® – where friends President Eric Sain and President-Elect Barry Grooms represented our organization at MIPIM 2019.Dubai govt

“CANNES, France, March 13, 2019 — Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department today signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during MIPIM 2019, the international real estate and property investors conference held March 12-15, 2019, in Cannes, France.

dubai land dept“The MoU establishes the parties’ cooperation in developing a mutually beneficial relationship in the general field of real estate, building a foundation for future business opportunities.

““As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Dubai and throughout the world,” said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. “Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department share mutual goals for future success. We look forward to strengthening our cooperative efforts and building more connections to enhance business opportunities for all of our members.”

“As part of the agreement, Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department “affirm the value of international collaboration and agree to exchange information in the general field of real estate, promote professionalism in the real estate industry and engage in other activities that offer mutual benefits.”

“According to Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department, establishing this relationship with Florida Realtors enables the parties to develop a greater mutual understanding and more mutually beneficial opportunities.

“The MoU signing took place today at the Dubai Pavilion. Florida Realtors 2019 President-Elect Barry Grooms attended the signing along with President Sain; Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department; Mr. Shadi Bteddini, CEO of AQARI Global, the USA Trustee of the Dubai Land Department; and Florida Realtors Director of Global Business Maria Grulich.

“Also in attendance: Spanish International Realty Alliance CEO Francis Fernandez Ariza, representing another global partner with Florida Realtors; André Perrissel, president of FNAIM Provence International Committee, FNAIM Aix Marseille Provence; Michel Platero, president of FNAIM Grand Paris; Ingrid Damoiseau, president of World Property Business Club; and Adam Scott, an international delegate also representing the last three groups, all highly regarded real estate organizations in France that also are global partners with Florida Realtors..

“Representatives of several sponsors and partners with Florida Realtors for this year’s MIPIM were present as well, including: Enterprise Florida, Florida Power & Light, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) and the Pinellas Realtors Organization (PRO).”

Island Water Reminders For Seasonal Residents

island-water-logoThere was a nice checklist in the spring issue of the “IWA Pipeline. Here’s the abbreviated version for keeping your water secure when you are away.

  • Take advantage of IWA’s annual free turn-off and turn-on of your water at the meter. If you don’t have a pool or irrigation system, it makes sense that you have IWA do this if you are heading north and won’t be back until next “season”.
  • If you don’t want your water turned off at the meter and don’t have a backflow prevention device, turn off your house water valve. That turns off all spigots inside the house. If you do this, it is wise to also shut off the hot-water heater valves and corresponding circuit breaker.
  • As a precaution remove any outside hoses that won’t be used while you are away.
  • Have your home-watch read your water meter to see if water is going through the meter or if you have high usage. IWA reads meters only once a month.
  • Check the usage and amount of your water bill every month.
  • Put a fresh battery in your irrigation controller. Power outages and surges are common in the summer. Irrigations system controllers have battery back-up for these instances, but if the battery is dead, some systems will default to water every day. Also check your rain sensor to be sure that it’s operating correctly for your property. Speaking of sensors, Sanibel irrigation systems are required to have a working rain sensor.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 8-15, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 $515K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $525K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $1.095M.

6 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $349K, Sundial #H210 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 now $749K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $799K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.049M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.25M.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $249K, Pine Cove #204 2/2 listed at $1.45M, Atrium #207 2/2 listed at $1.55M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $214K (our listing & sale), Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $650K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $699K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 $739K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 $825K, 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $975K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $1.195M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

20 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $599,999; 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $645K; 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $689K; 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $689K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $749.9K; 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $795K; 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $799K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 now $849K (our listing); 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $875K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $949K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $969K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $999K; 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.12M; 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.195M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.295M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.485M; 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 now $1.495M; 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.499M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 now $2.59M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $2.95M.

Pool View

Pool & water view at 1050 White Ibis Dr in Gulf Shores

13 new sales: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 listed at $399K, 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $524.9K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 6143 Henderson 4/3 listed at $599K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 listed at $749K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 listed at $1.169M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 listed at $1.795M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $2.374M.

2 closed sales: 9448 Cotton Ct 3/2 $800K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $900K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 223 Robinwood Cir $329K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $399,999.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $638K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2636 2/2 listed at $759K.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2428 2/2 $625K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 listed at $929K.

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.

Enjoy your weekend! st pats day.jpg

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

February Flowers & Sanibel/Captiva Happenings


It’s another Friday and another month almost over, as Sanibel/Captiva weather continues to be summer-like. It has been another week with temperatures in the high 70’s/low 80’s, with more of the same expected over the next few days.

February Bougainvillea

The bougainvillea & roses in my yard always get happy in February!

Now that it’s really “season”, getting from one end of Periwinkle to the other has been challenging, sometimes in both directions, but particularly on Presidents’ Day and most days as workers head off-island (from about 3 to 6 p.m.)

SSRA with flagHere in the office, SanibelSusan listings had some action this week, with a sale, a price reduction, a new listing, and a home inspection.

The complete action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days, follow a few news items below.

February Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday morning was the island Realtors® monthly membership meeting. It brought a standing-room only crowd which is typical for February which usually is when business here is best. Surprisingly during the Caravan portion of the meeting, when new sales are announced, there was only one – a condo unit at Loggerhead Cay

During the educational portion of the meeting, speakers from the Sanibel School updated members with info we can use in presenting the school to prospective buyers. Assistant Principal Jamie Reed provided a school history, explaining how the school expanded a few years ago from K through 5, to K through 8. She also said that today school enrollment is down. The school has capacity for 354 students, with enrollment today at 270.sanibel school

With school funding based on the number of students, that also is down, but strong community financial support contributes to the school’s success. The Sanibel School Fund, for example, which is a group of education-minded citizens and parents raised the money needed to hire the school’s Spanish teacher, providing that foreign language training to all grades. The school’s PTA and close relationships with local organizations like the Wildlife Refuge, BIG ARTS, and the Conservation Foundation, also provide School support.

Classroom sizes at The Sanibel School include two classes in each of the lower grades with no more than 18 students per class. Grades 6 through 8 each have one class with up to 22 students in each. This family-like network of students and teachers provide a nurturing environment contributing to the school’s academic success rate, with grades continually ranking in the top 5-6% of the state.

Donna Marks, Sanibel School Registrar and Information Specialist, is available to provide school tours and explain what is needed for school enrollment. It no longer is a requirement that their students live on Sanibel/Captiva or have parents who work on the islands. More info at https://sbl.leeschools.net/our_families/registration__enroll_my_student

2019 Lee County Market Report – January

FL gulf coast mls logoThis morning, the following report was released by the Florida Gulf Coast MLS:

For the fourth straight month Single Family Homes shows a decrease

“Lee County’s Single Family housing market saw a decrease for the fourth straight month in January, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®. Year-over-year, sales were down for both by double digits, but Townhouses and Condos are holding steady over the last four months.

“January showed a -18.7% decrease in the number of Closed Sales for Single Family Homes, and a -10.4% decrease for Townhouses and Condos, compared to the same time last year. Sale prices were up slightly for Single Family, while townhouse and Condos remain steady. Inventory is on the rise for Single Family showing 6.5% Months Supply of Inventory and 7.5 for Townhouses and Condos. The number of Active Listings jumped up again for a fifth straight month at 18.9% for Single Family Homes and 12.5% for Townhouses and Condos compared to 2018….

“Broken down by cities, Single Family sales in Bonita Springs, Pine Island and North Fort Myers saw an increase in number of Closed Sales, year over year. All remaining cities saw a decrease over last year. With Sanibel having a -60% and Fort Myers Beach having a -58.2% showing the largest decrease over 2018….”

Note: The numbers reported represent sales by all members of Florida Realtors®/SWFLA Matrix for Lee County, FL. Statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is released.

What Do Home Inspectors Usually Find?

Florida Realtors logoWith Florida being a full-disclosure state, Sellers and their representatives are required by Florida law to disclose defects that may materially affect the value of the real estate being sold. With many island properties owned by snowbirds, part-time visitors, and investors, in recent years it has been common to see Sanibel and Captiva property sold using the Florida Realtors® “As Is” contract.

Under the terms of the “As Is” contract, the Buyer accepts the property in its physical condition and the Seller is not responsible for any repairs. That contract also includes an “Inspection/Cancellation” period when the Buyer may perform due diligence, usually having the property professionally inspected.

The SanibelSusan Team always suggests a home inspection. A good one considers all the physical elements of a property and provides the age, service life, and condition of all mechanical items. Regardless of a property’s end use, it makes sense that a Buyer handle any repairs needed to ensure that they are done to their standards and satisfaction.

The below article posted on-line Wednesday by Florida Realtors® contains the same suggestion. Repair credits are not typical with the “as is” contract. That applies to the older Florida purchase agreement where a Buyer also may have a property inspected during a certain time period, but with that agreement, the Seller is advised of defects found and required to fix them by closing. With the “as is” contract, no Seller repairs or credits are required.

“LAS VEGAS – Feb. 20, 2019 – A study of 50,000 home inspections by Repair Pricer, a company that estimates repair costs for items cited in home inspection reports – found that some repair costs tend to appear more often.

“Nearly 55% of home inspections nationally cited doors that needed adjusting, for example; and 54% lacked exterior caulking and sealant, which could leave the home susceptible to extensive water damage. And about 48% of homes lacked GFCI protection to minimize the risk of electrocution in areas like the kitchen or bathroom. The most expensive home defects ranged in repair prices from slightly more than $1,000 to less than $10,000:

“Top 10 common home defects – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Doors need adjusting/servicing: 54.9% of reports – $254 to repair
  • Faucets and heads need servicing: 54.8% of reports – $273 to repair
  • Exterior caulking/sealant missing: 54.5% of reports – $310 to repair
  • Outlets or switches with deficiencies: 53.7% of reports – $248 to repair
  • No GFCI protection: 48.0% of reports – $433 to repair
  • Absence of or defective smoke alarms: 45.06% of reports – $378 to repair
  • Cosmetic sheetrock cracks or nail pops: 45.02% of reports – $545 to repair
  • Fixtures and/or bulb deficiencies: 40.5% of reports – $209 to repair
  • Caulking, grout and sealer are missing interior: 33.9% of reports – $353 to repair
  • Service panel deficiencies: 33.7% of reports – $298 to repair

“While expensive repairs are less common, one in 10 inspections cite a roof nearing the end of its useful life as the most expensive common repair generally noted. However, one in five reports find a problem with window seals, which can cost over $1,000 to repair.

“5 most expensive repairs found – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Roof nearing end of its serviceable life: 9.6% of reports – $9,948 to repair
  • Coil and condenser at end of serviceable life: 10.7% of reports – $5,818 to repair
  • Heating unit exceeded serviceable life: 10% of reports – $3,798 to repair
  • Water heater may need replaced: 10% of reports – $1,259 to repair
  • Window seals failed or fogged: 20.8% of reports – $1,026 to repair

“What should buyers do with inspection report information? Repair Pricer says buyers’ first instinct is often to ask sellers to make repairs, but “this tactic can frequently backfire. Even if the seller agrees … they’re under no obligation to implement quality repairs and frequently execute the cheapest option or fix, potentially leaving the buyer with substandard work, no transferable warranty and no recourse.” Seller repairs can also give buyers a “false sense of security, believing their agents have negotiated and built a home warranty into their contracts.”

The best tactic, according to Home Repair, is to ask the seller for a repair credit if appropriate under the contract and hire a contractor after closing to complete the repairs to the buyer’s standards – not the seller’s.”

Update on Water Issues by SCCF and Everglades Foundation

SCCF logoAn important update sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is scheduled next week. Here’s their announcement:

“Historically, nearly all the water from Lake O flowed south. Now, over 70% flows to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. Don’t miss the chance to get the latest updates on the status of water management projects impacting the Caloosahatchee and the Everglades. After the devastating impacts of the 2018 Red Tide and the recent promising actions by Governor DeSantis, real improvements are now possible.

“Join us for “New Opportunities to Advance Water Quality Improvement and Everglades Restoration!” on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The event is free and registration is not required. Doors open at 6:30 and light refreshments will be served.

SCCF Water flows

“Some key indicators of current conditions:

  • Current Lake O levels are lower than they have been in recent years. A weak El Niño may bring higher than normal rainfall in the next few months.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning work on a new water management schedule for Lake O releases.
  • And Governor DeSantis has asked the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to expedite work on the EAA Reservoir, the keystone project that will reduce harmful flows to the estuary by 40-60%.

“ALL of us will need to stay engaged to make sure that this emerging leadership vision is successful. Learn the latest from SCCF and the Everglades Foundation on recent progress, ongoing challenges and what you can do to help. For more info, call 472-2329.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 15-22, 2019

Sanibelsancap GO MLS logo

CONDOS

8 new listings: Sundial #G405 1/1 $439,555; Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 $605.9K; Villa Sanibel #2G 2/2 $685K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 $769K; Sundial #J204 2/2 $769K; Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $889K; Sanibel Moorings #111 2/2 $999.99K; High Tide #A301 2/2 $2.149M.

7 price changes: Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 now $595K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $699K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 now $725K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $824K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $920K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $944K, Pointe Santo #E35 2/2 now $1.35M.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $239K (our listing & sale), Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial #B407 1/1 listed at $529K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $305K, Sundial #F206 1/1 $420K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $595K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $949K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $999K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.089M, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.499M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $2.374M, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 $2.495M (our listing), 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.25M.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

Our new listing at 842 Limpet Dr

21 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $528K; 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $529K; 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $669K; 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $674K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $769.9K; 697 Birdie View Ct 3/2 now $774K; 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 now $799K; 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $799.9K; 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $824.9K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $849K; 686 East Gulf Dr 3/2 now $849K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $879K; 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $899K; 501 Lagoon Dr 3/2 now $949K; 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 now $950K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $989K; 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 now $995K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $999,995; 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.095M; 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.395M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C 3/3 now $1.549M (our listing).

Image 8 c.jpg

Home just reduced at 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, Moonshadows #2C

5 new sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $415K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 listed at $739K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M.

3 closed sales: 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $725K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $900K, 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $997K.

1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $194K.

1 new sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $379K.

1 closed sale: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $185K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3124 1/1 $370K, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.279M, Lands End Village #1635 2/2 $1.429M.

2 price changes: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 now $889K, Lands End Village #1602 3/3 now $2.15M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 now $2.4M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.799M, 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M, 952 S Seas Plantation Rd 6/5.5 now $4.15M.

No new or 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 warm sunny beach-like weather too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Nice beach shot

Still Time to Get Your Valentine a Piece of Island Paradise


Blind Pass 01-31-2019

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another nice often-sunny Sanibel Friday with temperatures in the mid-70’s. Visitors and vacationers continue to fill the roadways, bike paths, beaches and waterways, as snowbirds and locals readjust to their annual “plan ahead & share” mode – a certain necessity here every February and March.

West Wind new signWith continued good weather in the forecast, more folks are arriving all the time.

We had some 1st time island visitors come into SanibelSusan Realty this week inquiring about real estate. We like those. It’s always fun when they say they are staying at West Wind Inn, where Dick and I stayed during our first visit 30-some years ago.

I was at their Normandie Seaside Café today for lunch and noticed their new sign. It’s a great spot for a quick meal away from the hustle-bustle.

Island Real Estate Happenings

San Cap LogoThere was a big turnout yesterday at the local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Realtors® Thursday morning Caravan Meeting. The week’s activity in the Multiple Listing Service is posted after a few news items below.

Teammate Dave held several Open Houses again this week with another marked increase in the number of visitors. We are getting good showing action and inquiries with our listings too. I’ve been out showing and will be at it again this weekend. Photo below taken along the entrance to Chateau Sur Mer yesterday afternoon where lots of birds were along the bayous.

Chateau birds.jpg

The “high season” craziness here has begun. Woohoo! (That also means from now through Easter, it makes sense to make a reservation or call-ahead before you go out to dinner.)

Update of Sanibel’s Shared Use Path System

sanibelmapbikeFrom an article in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”:

“Extending more than 26 miles and spanning from Lighthouse Beach Park on the east end to the Blind Pass Bridge on the west end, the Shared Use Path system is one of the City of Sanibel’s unique gems.

“And city staff, in partnership with the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking feedback from residents and visitors – pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists – on the operation.

“The city and county recently kicked off a project to update the master plan for the Shared Use Path. The current version was adopted in 2009 and has guided the implementation of updates to the system over the past decade. A Project Advisory Committee has been established to assist with the process.

“On January 31, the eight-member group held its first public meeting with officials and staffers…” The group’s goal is to “identify gaps or needs in the system – current challenges – then determine how to go about addressing the recommendations, including exploring funding options.”

Look to wrap up by June, City Council must sign off on it. This Committee will organize Open Houses, hold pop-up events at farmers markets and festivals, and an on-line survey, plus will question path users. On February 11, the online survey will launch at www.sanibelbikeped.com. Visitors to the website have until April 30 to complete the survey and have their feedback considered. The site also features info on the plan update and project, background on the existing path system, and an interactive wiki map tool.

On February 16, the team will conduct its path intercept surveys, which will include stopping users at multiple locations along the system to ask them to participate in a questionnaire.

“Prior updates to the system have focused on areas like widening paths, making markings and crossings more consistent and uniform, and updating amenities along the path such as adding shelters, benches, and water fountains.” They also looked at “incident data, including bike versus bike, bike versus vehicle, and falls.”

“There are five common challenges when looking at paths and trails…space, speed, surfaces, signage, and social behavior.” Some additional and emerging challenges are “congestion and user conflict, bicycle parking, shared active transportation and micro-mobility and ACES (autonomous, connected, electric, & shared) vehicles. Check the website for more info and to provide your feedback.

Island Events

big arts logoNow that it’s February, the schedule of island events is staggering. BIG ARTS often has sold-out performances, while the classes, beach walks, conservation talks, current events discussions, recreation and fitness opportunities, lessons, games, arts, and crafts go on and on. Many island fund-raising and annual meetings happen this time of the year too, so be sure and check the events tab above for links to some of them.

Asian Buyers

mapfareastWhen I attend our state leadership team meetings in Orlando and talk to other colleagues around the state, they often ask if we are seeing an increase in Asian buyers on the islands. That answer has always been “no”, but recent real estate news from other areas indicates that those buyers are purchasing more and more in the U.S.

I have often explored more advertising in that overseas market, some recent news may mean the time is right. Here are a few tidbits from a recent article.

More and more Koreans are parking their money in real estate overseas as their domestic economy wallows in the doldrums. According to the Bank of Korea, individual Koreans and business spending on properties abroad last year, was up a whopping 47% or 3.8 times more than five years ago. In 2008, that government lifted restrictions on buying overseas real estate. The U.S. is their most popular destination for real estate investment, followed by Vietnam, Canada, Thailand, and Japan. Property in major cities in the U.S., Japan and most advanced countries is considered a stable source of rental revenues. For cash buyers, the estimated rate of return is four to five percent compared to interest on savings of around one percent.

In Japan, which will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, real estate prices are rising, while their economic policies have resulted in ultra-low interest rates, prompting many investors to turn to real estate.

My Transnational Referral Certification which gets our listings promoted on WorldProperties.com now has partnerships with the real estate organizations in Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, and United Kingdom. The Far East may be next.

‘Aging In Place’ Keeps 1.6M Homes Off Market

FreddieMacLogo_3I saw this article posted this morning on Florida Realtors®. Interesting study:

“Freddie Mac’s February Insight identifies a key factor contributing to today’s housing shortage: seniors choosing to age in place. It calls this shortage “an important barrier to young adults buying their first homes.” “We estimate that approximately 1.6 million more senior households are staying in place than would have been the case if they had behaved like previous generations of homeowners,” says Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “For scale, 1.6 million units is roughly the same as the number of new single-family and multifamily housing units built each year, and it represents more than half of the current shortfall of 2.5 million housing units that we estimated in our December Insight.”

“Khater says the increase in home-holding older adults will “increase the relative price of owning versus renting, making renting more attractive to younger generations.”

“Seniors born after 1931 are staying in their homes longer, resulting in higher homeownership rates for this group relative to previous cohorts.

“Estimate: 1.1 million existing homes have been held off the market through 2018 by those born between 1931 and 1941; 300,000 are held off the market by those born between 1942 and 1947; 250,000 are held off the market by those born between 1948 and 1958.

“To provide context for the 1.6 million existing homes being held off the market due to seniors aging in place, the Urban Institute recently estimated that 3.4 million millennials are missing out on homeownership.

“The trend of seniors aging in place is likely to grow as both the number of seniors increases and the barriers to aging in place are reduced. More older Americans prefer to age in place because they’re satisfied with their communities, their homes and their quality of life.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 1-8, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #D204 1/1 $419.9K, Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 $949K, Atrium #103 2/2 $1.495M, La Playa #1B 3/2 $1.55M.

8 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $379.9K, Sundial #J101 1/1 now $449K, Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 now $459K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.079M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.459M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 now $1.695M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.785M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 listed at $305K, Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 listed at $319K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 listed at $729K, Sundial #A201 2/2 listed at $899K, Tarpon Beach #112 2/2 listed at $1.149M..

2 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1641 2/2 $560K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 $639K.

HOMES

9 new listings: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 $538K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 $645K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 $769K, 3861 Coquina Dr 3/3 $819K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.235M, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 2332 Troon Ct 4/5 $1.595M, 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.795M, 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 $2.15M.

21 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $529K, 659 Donax St 2/2 now $575K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 now $619.9K, 724 Rabbit Rd 2/2 now $625K, 945 S. Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $635K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $695K, 9444 Cotten Ct 3/2.5 now $699K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $719K, 1212 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $724K, 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $739.9K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $779K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $779K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $799.9K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $819.5K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 now $825K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $845K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.365M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.3958M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 now $1.479M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.695M.

2 new sales: 747 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $559K, 4755 Ruelle 3/3 listed at $785K.

2 closed sales: 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.95M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 $6.45M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $149K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5128 1/2 $399K, Marina Villas #708 2/2 $749K.

2 price changes: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $849K, Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.7999M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Home s#13 4/4.5 $3.75M.

HOMES & 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, don’t forget there’s still time to get your Valentine a piece of paradise. I’m working all weekend if you need help with that!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanvalentine

valentines-day-clipart-hapy-6

Sunny 79 Degrees F = Happy Sanibel on Feb 1st


w gulf dr sanibel beach with more peopleIt sure is great to be back on the islands, especially with the deep winter freeze reported in so many areas of the country. With temperatures here this week about 10 degrees lower than normal at this time of the year, a few islanders have grumbled about needing to kick their heat on and dig out their warmer sweaters and jackets. Mostly however, we have worried about friends and family up north and wish their frigid weather soon ends.

w gulf dr sanibel beach pathThe islands’ good weather news today is that day-time temperatures here finally are back into the high 70’s, with even some low-80’s predicted for the weekend. The SanibelSusan Teams hopes that being the warmest state in the nation will bring more visitors and buyers to the sunshine state, especially the islands.

As traffic here increases, business likewise seems to be growing. Our various Open Houses this week had more visitors, while our listings had a little more activity too. Teammate Dave and I also were both out working with buyers and showing property.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the islands’ Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, there were more new sales announced – also, many new listings and price reductions. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week follows a few news items below.

First, a summary of today’s inventory (2/1/2019) compared to sales action this year, and 2018.

  Condos Homes Lots
Sanibel # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM
For sale 117 776,218 137 236 1,377,691 160 65 677,785 417
Under contract 10 804,150 78 23 1,300,213 148 1 189,900 23
Sold to-date in 2019 6 626,875 123 9 1,057,222 149 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
 
Captiva # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM
For sale 41 1,153,068 223 43 3,065,012 244 3 4,296,333 418
Under contract 5 1,759,380 453 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date in 2019 1 389,000 43 1 2,800,000 181 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A

First Florida Water Policy Summit

Organized around the idea that “clean water is a basic human right”, the first Florida Water Policy Summit was held on January 21 featuring six speakers from local conservation groups speaking about actionable water policy that can improve Florida’s impaired waters. According to experts, Florida has a lot of impaired waters – currently 12 million acres under Best Management Action Plans which are 15-year restoration plans required by the federal government when a waterbody is not meeting quality standards.

clean water actThe Federal Clean Water Act requires each state to compile a list of such waterbodies. Then the Department of Environmental Protection conducts water shed assessments. Any waterbody that does not meet pollution standards is scheduled for a Total Maximum Daily Load, which is a limit for the amount of a particular pollutant that a waterbody can handle. The next step after establishing that “Load” is writing up the Action Plan to restore those waters. Current reports show that Florida has 416 waterbodies with “Loads”, with 80 others on a waitlist to receive one.

ConservancyofSWFLSpecialists with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida offered some insight into how Florida got the point where almost a third of the state is under water quality restoration plans. Those answers are complicated (quotes below from January 30, 2019 “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”:

“A combination of harmful agricultural run-off, insufficient urban stormwater treatment, and fertilizer use have mixed us a cocktail of toxic water.

“Under Florida water law, farmers can sign a notice of intent to implement best management practices – essentially promising to comply with water quality standards.

“This grants a “presumption of compliance,” regardless of whether they are actually meeting standards or not.

“…Doing away with that presumption of compliance, updating stormwater run-off standards to remove more nutrients, and strengthening local fertilizer ordinances can all help improve water quality.

“And then there is Lake Okeechobee.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule in 2008, and it was intended as an interim measure until repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dam were completed.

“Those repairs still are not done.

“The Corps expects them to be finished by 2022, but they have said they will not change the Schedule until the dam is completed.

“According to Florida’s director of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Schedule did not consider cyanobacteria and red tide, claiming it was unlikely that discharges from the lake caused harmful algal blooms, and did not analyze them any further.

“But discharges from the lake do cause problems.

“Rae Ann Wessel, natural resource policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, refers to the issue of balancing the lake’s flow levels as “The Goldilocks Condition.”

“Propelled by gravity, Lake Okeechobee’s discharges travel across 75 miles of freshwater river and estuary and three lock and dam systems to reach the Gulf of Mexico.

“Too much flow from the lake washes valuable fish and oyster nurseries out into the Gulf, decimating the ecosystem.

“Too little flow chokes these habitats with salt.

“”When we don’t get enough flow into the system through the western lock, the water that is fed by tidal action from the Gulf up the river brings much more salinity than some of these habitats can tolerate,” Wessel said.

“Habitats like tapegrass, which provide a home for crab, fish, and oysters that filter feed and clean water naturally, are destroyed.

“”Not only do we lose the tapegrass, we also lose 100% of the oyster reef that is downstream, and those are filtering water for free. 50 gallons a day for a single oyster is a huge contribution to our water quality,” she said.

“In 2001, the South Florida Water Management District set a minimum flow level of 300 cubic feet per second.

“Scientists realized this forgot to account for inflows to the estuary coming downstream from Telegraph Creek and Orange River, so they adjusted the number to 450, Wessel said.

“”That’s important because it shows up in the Schedule, and every habitat analysis for every state and federal Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan project as a habitat metric. So if you’re meeting 450 cubic feet per second for the Caloosahatchee, it says you’re golden… and we know that’s just not true,” she said.

“A more ideal number is closer to 800, all the way up to 1,000 cubic feet per second, according to Wessel.

“The South Florida Water Management District recently set the flow level to 400 cubic feet per second, and the City of Sanibel gathered three other neighboring municipalities, including Cape Coral, to challenge that rule in administrative court, asking for more flows.

“That case is still awaiting a ruling.

“We’re doing oyster restoration and tapegrass restoration, but it’s not accounted for in the district’s analysis. They say the tapegrass is doing fine, but that’s because we keep going in and planting it,” Wessel said.

“With all of this in mind,… it is important for citizens to ask the Corps to address the regulations schedule as soon as possible, and to finish repairs to the dam by June 2020.

“”It can be done by then, and we need to demand it….”

“Wessel reminded everyone that it is not just Lake Okeechobee to blame for all our problems, because the watershed the discharges flow through to reach the Gulf is almost two Lake Okeechobees in size.

“”There are many times when we are getting no discharges from the lake, and we’re having harmful flows just from the estuary and river watershed. So keep in mind that when we talk about where the problems start, and where the solutions lie, it’s important to recognize that it’s all of us, we all contribute to it,” she said.

Important Addition to South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

sfwmd LOGO.jpgLocal water quality advocates were encouraged two weeks ago when Florida’s new Governor, Ron DeSantis took office and almost immediately issued a water policy order and requested that all board members of the South Florida Water Management District board resign.

This week, Gov DeSantis appointed outgoing Sanibel City Councilman Chauncey Goss to serve on the district’s 9-member panel. Chauncey has not only a keen connection to the island (yes, his Dad was Sanibel’s first Mayor), he has an impressive resume, having served in senior roles in politics both in the U.S. House and the White House. He is on the Board of Directors at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Lee County Coastal Advisory Council, Lee County Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, among others. Last week, he announced that he would not seek re-election to the City council post he has served on since March 2015.

Following Goss’ appointment, the SFWMD released the following statement:

“The South Florida Water Management District appreciates Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership in making the restoration of Florida’s Everglades and the protection of its water resources such a high priority. His recommendation to allocate $625 million for state water resources projects like the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir, as well as the actions laid out in his recent executive order, show that Gov DeSantis is leading the charge to restore, and protect Florida families, businesses, and the environment.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 25 – Feb 1, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 $959K, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $889K, Sundial #P203 2/2 $929.9K, White Sands #25 2/2 $999K.

6 price changes: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $259K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $479K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 now $699K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $769K, Gulfside Place #305 2/2 now $1.49M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.595M.

2 new sales: Sand Pointe #228 2/2 listed at $749K, Kings Crown #311 3/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 $457.5K, Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $940K.

HOMES

12 new listings: 747 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $559K, 4619 Rue Bayou 3/2 $699K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $749K, 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 $824.9K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $929K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $949K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 $1.245M, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.295M, 228 Violet Dr 4/2/2 $1.949M, 572 Kinzie Island Ct 5/5 $2.15M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 $2.174M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.895M.

9 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $535K, 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $549.5K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $689K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $799K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $999K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $1.0355M, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.19M, 6425 Pine Ave 4/3 now $1.595M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.699M.

7 new sales: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $439.5K; 529 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $749,947; 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $889K; Moonshadows #2E 2/2 listed at $895K (our buyer); 3351 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 listed at $1.25M; 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 listed at $1.375M; 5407 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

Image 4.jpg

Moonshadows looking from Sanibel River to Gulf of Mexico

2 closed sales: 4290 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $510K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $730K.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 1817 Long Point Ln now $309K, 5251 Indian Ct now $689K, 6505 Pine Ave now $779K, 6519 Pine Ave now $799K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Beach Villas #5114 1/2 $412K, Beach Villas #2227 1/1 $539K.

2 price changes: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.25M, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.895M.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $1.049M, 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.595M.

2 price changes: 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $6.979M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.98M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 half-duplex $2.8M.

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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanRoseatesAnhinga

Real Estate Scoop from Florida Realtors & Sanibel


i-wear-flip-flops-in-winterFlorida Realtors logoIt is a long-distance joint effort this week as SanibelSusan finishes up today at the Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando while teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa keep things running smoothly on the island.

It is always rewarding to be part of the state leadership team. Though we only meet twice a year, much is accomplished in just a few meeting-packed days, while the networking and friendships made create invaluable resources and future referrals for years.

header_midwinter_2This business has changed so much since I got my real estate license almost 30 years ago, that just keeping up with the times can be challenging. To think that there are now over 400,000 real estate licensees in Florida, just the numbers are staggering. Last year, Florida real estate sales totaled $126.5 Billion. Also last year, Florida Realtors offered 1,158 courses with 35,235 students attending. Those are all record numbers.

Those numbers make it sound like peanuts that on Wednesday our state Audition Panel evaluated more prospective instructors to teach state-approved classes than we have ever done in a single day – a total of 48 live auditions and 12 written. Yesterday, our Curriculum Subcommittee also voted to approve, renew, update, and translate many classes.

Through the year, I occasionally am called upon to evaluate a written application to teach a class, or to perform a telephone interview with a prospective teacher. It’s satisfying, through the years, to watch some of these rookies turn into cracker-jack instructors, successful brokers, and even authors. One of them will Chair the state Professional Development Committee next year. Today, that Committee approved all of the instructors and class changes that the subcommittees recommended.

Another interesting aside from these Florida Realtors meetings are our common problems. As part of the Legislative Think Tank, the Resort and 2nd Home breakout group meeting yesterday shared the same difficulties being experienced in many areas. Those ranged from short-term and vacation rentals affected by such third party purveyors as AirB&B and VRBO, to similar changes in city/town/community regulations, to occupancy changes from water quality issues and the like.

Florida Realtors PAC continues to provide strong representation and lobbying in Tallahassee to protect your property rights and property values. (Wednesday night, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors received two state awards for their 2018 member PAC participation. Our local district pals in Bonita Springs -Estero won an award too.)government_affairs_rpac_logo_home

In the technology and legal world, changes in rules on advertising, teams, and copyrights, plus phishing, spams, wire fraud, and new contract requirements, make attendance at these meetings so important in staying ahead of the curve and out of trouble. Thanks to my team for making it possible for me to be part of these meetings. I’ll be back on Sanibel tomorrow in time to show homes on Sunday.

The action posted in the islands’ Multiple Service this week follows a news item below. On the island, and echoed in Orlando, is that last quarter 2018 and 2019 business to-date is off, but expected to improve. Here, it usually happens when the islands are busiest February and March. That’s soon. The SanibelSusan Team is ready.

What Will Increase the Value of My Property?

Money tightRealtors® often are asked what improvements will increase the value of a property when it is time to sell.

In most cases, buyers want a property that is move-in-ready. Usually, a few interior updates will help. In considering those improvements, do not over-improve beyond your community’s reasonable resale value.

Probably the most desired are remodeled kitchens and baths. They also bring the biggest return on investment. If full renovations are not possible, instead freshen with light neutral paint, new appliances, updated light fixtures, and kitchen/bath hardware.

Having consistent quality flooring throughout also is a plus with today’s buyers. Classic timeless styles rather than trendy options usually produce the best results.

Keeping the roof, windows, HVAC system, pool including cage and equipment, and hot-water heater well maintained also are important.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 18-25, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sundial #C410 1/1 $475.9K, Sundial #I401 1/1 $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $569K, Sanibel Arms West #K5 2/2 $579K, Sundial #J204 2/2 $793K.

6 price changes: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 now $305K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-1 2/2.5 now $640K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 now $729K, Sundial #A201 2/2 now $899K, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.395M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 now $1.745M.

2 new sales: Sundial #F206 1/1 listed at $429K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 listed at $795K.

1 closed sale: Sundial #J401 1/1 $561,750.

HOMES

9 new listings: 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 $529K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 $839K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $850K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 $950K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $998K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $999K, 1450 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2.5 $1.248M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.298M, 1653 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $1.495M.

9 price changes: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $547K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $627K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $689K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $699K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $699K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $849.9K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 now $999K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.295M.

2 new sales: 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $850K, 925 Whelk Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.375M.

4 closed sales: 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $850K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $1.025M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.09M, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 $2.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6217 Starling Way $1.4M.

1 price change: 3354 Barra Cir now $399K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 $384,999.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Beach Villas #2538 3/3 listed at $909.9K, Lands End Village #1655 2/2 listed at $1.055M, Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 listed at $ 2.248M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16333 Captiva Dr 4/2/2 $2M.

1 price change: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 now $874.5K.

No new or 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! Signing off from chilly Orlando where it’s been into the 40’s & 50’s all day (that’s degrees F). Good thing I brought my winter flip flops. It hasn’t been much warmer on Sanibel.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Sunny Friday on Sanibel Island


Susan here with another Sanibel/Captiva update following our 1st full week in the office in 2019. With holiday families and visitors gone, it has been pretty quiet. Though there have been a couple of chilly windy mornings (yesterday and today), the weather has been mostly sunny to the delight of those here enjoying nature, beaches, waterways, and bike paths. On my way back to the office this afternoon, I snapped the below cellphone photos at the Fulgur Street beach access. It was a bright 71 degrees F, so clear I could see all the way to Naples along the eastern skyline. (By the way, I am wearing a jacket with sweater (& flip flops) but viewed some bikini-clad shellers on the beach.)

img_7362img_7363img_7364img_7365img_7367

The word on the street is that vacation rental bookings are off with some usually-faithful annual visitors choosing other winter destinations this year as a result of the broad summer/fall news about our water woes.

With today’s technology and recent worries about water conditions, business, and travel, I click on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s red tide status updates as often as I click on the Sanibel travel cams to see the easiest route home. Yesterday when some Realtor® pals in Sarasota indicated a rise in the red-tide organism there, I quickly checked again. Though a new report will be issued later today, below is their mid-week (January 9, 2019) report:

“Current Conditions – The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. This past week, K. brevis was present in samples from and/or offshore of Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Monroe counties, with bloom concentrations observed only in and offshore of Sarasota County. Additional details are provided below.

“Over the past week in Southwest Florida, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County, very low to low concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, background to low concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and low concentrations offshore of Monroe County.

“Fish Kills – No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported this week (please see https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline).

“Respiratory Irritation – Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“Forecast – Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict southwestern transport of surface waters and southeastern movement of subsurface waters over the next four days.”

Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate

Sanibel realtors logoThe Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday at the local Association of Realtors® had the heaviest attendance in recent memory with the room full of Realtors® and Affiliates ready for a busy “season”. Plenty of new listings and price reductions were announced, but not many sales.

Knowing we are all worried about how the water issues will impact business this year, below is a summary of the closed sales posted in the local Multiple Listing Service last year and the year before compared to this year for the 3-month period Oct 11 through Jan 11. Current inventory numbers were added to illustrate number of units on the market.

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Total Condos Homes Lots Total
For Sale 109 228 63 400 42 39 3 126
2018/2019 18 31 2 51 2 7 0 9
2017/2018 36 34 6 76 6 3 0 9
2016/2017 29 35 10 74 7 5 0 12

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some good news articles below. Yes, there is good news.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Major Water Policy Reform

desantis logoThe good news is that though it has only been days since his inauguration, Florida’s new governor already is acting on water quality. The below news release and Executive Order were posted on-line yesterday by Governor DeSantis’s office:

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. “Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The protection of water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. That’s why today I’m taking immediate action to combat the threats which have devastated our local economies and threatened the health of our communities.”

“The order calls for:

  • $2.5 Billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources (a $1 Billion increase in spending over the previous four years and the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history).
  • The Establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.
  • Instruction to the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.
  • The Creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.
  • The Appointment of a Chief Science Officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians.”

Florida Governor Asks SWFL Water Management District Board Members to Resign

miami herald logoPosted on-line late-day yesterday by the “Miami Herald”.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, two days into office, discusses executive orders he signed to address the red tide issues impacting the state.

“After a whirlwind day visiting both coasts to announce sweeping measures to address the state’s environmental woes, Florida’s new governor demanded water managers overseeing efforts to fix the Everglades step down on Thursday.

“At an afternoon meeting in Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wanted the nine-member board at the South Florida Water Management District to resign because he believed they failed to understand the toll endured by communities by repeated algae blooms triggered by dirty lake water released into coastal rivers. “I just want good people who are willing to do the right thing,” he said.

“Board members infuriated the new governor in November when they voted to extend a lease to sugar farmers two days after the election. News of the pending vote was posted the night before a district field meeting in Miami, with less than 12-hours notice. U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, who headed up DeSantis’ environmental transition team, raced down to the meeting and urged board members to put off the vote to give the new governor time to review the matter. But they refused.

“ “Brian calls me at 8:30 at night and said there’s this meeting in the morning about this lease that might impact the reservoir,” DeSantis recalled Thursday. “I don’t know why it was handled that way. I think it really upset a lot of people.”

“At the time, chairman Federico Fernandez, a Miami attorney, said the board was obliged to extend the lease by the state law authorizing the reservoir. The law, passed under former Gov. Rick Scott, which also dramatically reduced the reservoir from 60,000 acres to 17,000 acres, said sugar farmer should be allowed to continue farming until it interfered with construction. The lease, which could be canceled after 20 months when the district expected design plans to be completed, allowed district crews on the site to begin prep work.

“On Jan. 7, the district began relocating about 800,000 cubic yards of rock to be used to construct the reservoir.

The district is also awaiting news from its partner on the project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about design plans. In June, the Corps issued an 86-page review raising questions and saying it needed more information before agreeing to split the $1.8 billion cost.

“Fernandez had said he did not believe the governor could remove board members before their terms expired. He declined to comment Thursday. He was scheduled to be part of a panel on restoration efforts at the annual Everglades Coalition conference this weekend in the Keys but will be replaced by a district staff member.

Board member Melanie Peterson along with district general counsel and chief of staff Brian Accardo sent letters to Scott earlier this month saying they were resigning. The nine-member board has staggered appointments. Terms for three, including Miami-Dade tomato farmer Sam Accursio, end in March.

“On Thursday, DeSantis sent letters asking for the board members’ resignations after Mast recommended it.

“We want to make sure we have everybody in the boat rowing the same way,” he said.

“In his letter, DeSantis thanked board members but said “voters spoke clearly in support of our bold vision for action.”

“DeSantis said he also plans on holding back many last-minute appointments to state positions made by Scott, a move viewed as an insult to the incoming governor.

““For all the midnight appointments that require Senate confirmation, I’m going to be pulling them back,” he said. “Some of the people in that batch are people I know and respect and you may see me reappoint them … but we’re going to be pulling them all back.”

“Scott said Thursday in Washington that he did not take the move personally. “Every governor has the opportunity to make their own decisions. I’m proud of what we got accomplished. I’m glad that Gov. DeSantis cares about water issues. He’s walking into a totally different situation than I was” when Florida was in the midst of recession. “Governors have the right to make appointments. That’s what they ought to do,” he said. “They ought to find who they believe are the best people.””

(Tampa Bay Times staff writer Steve Contorno contributed to this report.)

You Can Sell an Inherited Property in Probate – But Do It Right

Sun sentinelIn real estate sales, we often run into situations where a family heir wants to sell a property. Good info about this was posted on-line Monday on Florida Realtors®. The author is Gary M. Singer, the article came from the “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Mr. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Here’s the question posed and his answer.

“Question: I inherited two lots in Florida from my mother who recently died. Her estate was probated in South Carolina, and she left everything to me. The Florida tax bills still show the property is in her estate. How do I transfer the lots to my name? – Barbara

“Answer: To answer your question I need to review the concept of jurisdiction. A court’s jurisdiction refers to its power to make and enforce legal decisions and judgments. For a court’s decision to be binding, it must have jurisdiction over either the person who is being affected, known as “in personam,” or over the property being ruled on, known as “in rem.”

“The South Carolina probate court had jurisdiction over your mother’s estate because she had her primary residence there. It could probate her assets, such as bank accounts, jewelry, and even her South Carolina home to you because it had the jurisdiction to do so.

“However, only the court in the state where real estate is located has power over that property. This means that the South Carolina court could not do anything with the Florida lots because it lacked “in rem” jurisdiction.

You will need to open a secondary probate, called “ancillary probate,” in the county where the lots are located.

“This probate will deal only with the Florida lots and will be much easier and less expensive than the full probate administration you already had to do.

To ensure that you do not create the same issue for your heirs, you should look into estate planning methods such as titling the property in a life estate or by forming a living trust to avoid the need to probate any out-of-state properties.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity Jan 4-11, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

8 new listings: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $237.5K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $699K (our listing) (photo below from master bedroom), Sand Pointe #132 2/2 $724.9K, Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $749K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 $797K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.395M.

Master View.jpg

6 price changes: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 now $319K, Sundial #H209 1/1 now $535K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $668K, Pointe Santo D32 2/2 now $739K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $749K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 listed at $799K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 listed at $1.449M.

1 closed sale: Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $787K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $699.9K, 1212 Sand Caste Rd 3/2 $749K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2/2 $799K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 $895K, 955 S.Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $895K, 1230 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $1.095M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 $1.15M, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.395M.

11 price changes: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $565K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $597K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $699K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $699K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $795K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 now $799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $999K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.05M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.169M, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 now $1.299M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.432M.

4 new sales: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $550K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $789K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.394M.

3 closed sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $840K, 542 N.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $920K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd now $189.9K, 6411 Pine Ave now $358K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct now $550K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.495M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5303 3/3 $649K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.795M.

4 price changes: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $949K, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.125M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.8M, 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $4.9M.

No new or 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, enjoy your weekend.

Wishing you wonderful sunny weather, too!

From sunrises to sunsets!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

sanibel-island-sunset

 

Thanksgiving & Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s Susan with another Friday report about Sanibel & Captiva Islands. It sure seems like these weeks are flying by quickly. The island is busier, with traffic increasing with more probably to come with the pre-holiday weekend here.

As predicted last week, a mini-cool front arrived late yesterday. Though nothing like the inches of snow we heard about from callers in the Northeast and Midwest, local temperatures got down into the high 50’s last night. Today, it is expected to reach just 70 degrees F. Convertible tops are down and windows are open again! But do not worry, island Thanksgiving visitors, predictions are that it will be back into the 80’s by Sunday, continuing right through next week.

Teammate Dave held an Open House this afternoon at our gulf-front listing at 1351 Middle Gulf Drive where the beachfront area just had its annual trim.  With the sliders open, below are a couple of his cell phone photos of the fantastic water views. With nearly 3000 sq. ft. of living space, it has a huge great room, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a large updated white bright kitchen, separate utility room, plus a family room with beachside patio.

Tweek 5Tweek 4Tweek 6

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Happenings

Sanibel realtors logoThere was light turnout yesterday morning at our local Association of Realtors© weekly meeting. Announcements included a few properties that will be coming-on-the-market-soon and a couple of price reductions. One sale was announced too – an improvement over last week. Eight Sanibel east-end properties were open during the following 9 a.m. to noon Open House Caravan, including our new listing at Signal Inn.

More info about the postings since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House

Thanksgiving 4 some

First organized in 1991, the first Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration took place on Thanksgiving eve. To make attendance easier, it was moved to the Sunday before the holiday. That tradition continues with this year’s event coming up this weekend, Nov 18, at The Community House beginning at 6:45 p.m. Donations from attendees, including non-perishables, will go to the local F.I.S.H. Food Pantry.

Free and open to the public, the celebration brings the community together with music, fun, and fellowship. The program lasts about an hour and includes a proclamation from Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, prayer by City Manager Judie Zimomra, and Thanksgiving presentation by representatives from local houses of worship. Guest speaker, F.I.S.H. Board Chair Nicole McHale also will provide a report on how “water” affected their work this summer. There usually are a few pilgrims and Indians in attendance too.

Other event highlights include music and audience sing-a-long. You can be sure that I’ll be there again with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. The Seahorse Chorale from the Sanibel School too will take the stage. The program concludes with a combined piece we will perform together called “Give Thanks”, followed by cider (provided by Bailey’s General Store), cookies (from Jerry’s Foods), and ice cream samples (from Pinocchio’s).

The Launch

the launch 2018It is going to be a busy weekend, with this event tomorrow evening, also at The Community House. “The Launch” is raising funds for island conservation initiatives. In March, Coastal Keepers (formerly the Sanibel-Captiva chapter of START or Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) held its first “The Launch” (once called Cracker Fest). This weekend’s event includes a sustainable dinner, both live and silent auctions, and a reveal of the group’s new conservation initiatives in the works.

Coastal Keepers’ goal is to increase awareness of the impacts we have on beaches, water quality, and marine habitats, and to help citizens become more effective stewards of the ocean. Through business and community partnerships, Coastal Keepers recently encouraged Sanibel City Council to pass an ordinance on the sale and distribution of disposable plastic straws. With that initiative wrapping up, they now are overseeing a “Bring Your Own Bag” campaign where free reusable canvas bags are distributed to the public. Thousands of bags have already been given out in efforts to build a more environmentally-friendly island.

More info at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org.

Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

News Press logoA lengthy article in today’s Fort Myers “News-Press” on line has some interesting observations and an update by Rae Ann Wessel, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Director of Natural Resources. Read the complete article at https://www.news-press.com/. Here are some excerpts:

“Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

“With uncertainty still clouding the elections’ outcome, that remains an open question.

“The fragility and importance of the state’s natural systems headlined the lead-up to the recent midterm vote, as red tide and toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) fouled both Gulf and freshwater throughout the region, slaughtering sea creatures, sickening residents and snuffing hospitality jobs.

“Candidates quickly organized town-hall meetings. Nonprofits marched. State agencies stayed on the sidelines to the dismay of activists.

“Yet once it was time to vote, “the algae and the red tide issues sort of dissipated,” said FGCU political science professor Peter Bergerson. “I think the appearance of the president at the very end dominated the turnout.”

It’s not that the environment didn’t matter to voters, Bergerson said; it just mattered less than other issues. “If you look at the exit polls, it wasn’t top-of-mind,” he said. “Jobs, the economy and immigration were. I think that (conservative voters’) attachment to traditional party loyalties overcame their commitment to the environment.”

“For many water champions, gloom was the order of the day after….

“Others urged advocates not to lose sight of what progress has been made.

SCCF logo“We have to remember we are living now in a time when there are whole series of Everglades ecosystem restoration projects coming to fruition and ready to be finishing up,” said Rae Ann Wessel, natural resources policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. “It seems like molasses for those of us who have been living it, but you have to celebrate that those things are coming together.”

“Another positive to come from the water crisis is “all these concerned people coming out of the woodwork, groups forming like Captains for Clean Water,” Wessel said. “I’ve said, ‘Don’t let a good disaster go to waste.’ We need to be pulling together a set of expectations for the new administration, whoever they may be.”

“And ultimately, Wessel said, as long as residents stay engaged, there will be progress.

“We can’t just hand off our democracy. You can’t just trust that once somebody is elected, they’re going to do the right thing because they got elected,” she said. “It’s up to you and me, it’s up to all of us. We will get the government that we allow … So now, we keep the pressure up, we become partners, we become educators, we praise them when they do something that serves the public interest and we call them out when they do something that is against the public interest.”….”

Fed May Raise Interest Rates at Slower Pace Than Predicted

Florida Realtors logoPosted yesterday on FloridaRealtors© online and credited to 2018 Information, Inc. (Forbes (11/13/18) and Bloomberg (11/14/18):

“The Federal Reserve is forecasting U.S. interest rate increases well into 2020, but the financial markets believe policymakers could rethink their tightening policy as soon as early next year.

“Observers point to a slowdown in economic growth from this year’s stimulus-boosted pace. TS Lombard’s Steven Blitz believes that a December rate hike will most likely occur, but he sees 2019 as more questionable.

“If employment growth starts to slow towards a neutral pace early next year and the unemployment rate creeps up as a result, does the Fed keep going just because wages are accelerating? We doubt it,” he says. “The noted slowdown in business spending will only be further negatively impacted by the strong dollar and higher real rates.”

TS Lombard’s prediction: The Fed will suspend its rate-hike campaign in March 2019.

“The Fed sees interest-rate increases as a tool to fight inflation, but the latest report for October found little evidence of inflation despite strength in the economy and wages.

“The consumer-price index (CPI) increased 0.3% in October from the prior month, the Labor Department said Wednesday; year-to-year, overall consumer prices climbed 2.5% in October, compared with 2.3% in the 12 months that ended in September.

“Excluding the volatile categories of food and energy, the core CPI rose 0.2% last month, largely in line with recent trends, and 2.1% from a year earlier.

“”These are pretty steady inflation prints,” with “nothing in here that argues inflation is going to overshoot,” says Omair Sharif, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale. Also, there’s little to concern policy makers, so they’ll “continue to stay gradual” with interest-rate hikes, he said.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 9-16, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #C310 1/1 $469,750; Signal Inn #4 1/1 $499.9K (our listing, shown below), Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $895K, Oceans Reach #3D2 2/2 $989K.

1 price change: Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 now $969K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #T301 2/2 listed at $845K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 listed at $1.749M.

2 closed sales: Seashells #43 2/2 $318K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $611K (our listing).

HOMES

9 new listings: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $687K; 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 $689K; 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $875K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $889K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $899K; 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.175M; 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.295M; 5250 Caloosa End Ln 3/2.5 $1,594,500; 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 $1.799M.

8 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $670K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $739K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $810K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $899K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $909.9K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $999K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.339M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.999M.

4 new sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 listed at $885K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.699M.

3 closed sales: 6093 Henderson Rd 3/2 $450K, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $935K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 1318 Par View Dr $425K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $529,555; 1729 Jewel Box Dr $999.9K.

1 price change: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd now $268.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9232 Dimmick Dr $170K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $399K, Beach Villas #2538 3/3 $909.9K, Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.25M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 now $1.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $950K.

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.

turkey-pilgirm-in-autumn-leavesEnjoy your Thanksgiving!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Thanksgiving words

Things Are Looking Up on Sunny Sanibel


It is Friday again and the islands are getting busier as more winter residents return. Beaches and local waterways continue to recover. During off-island jaunts, it is great to again see cars on the causeway with folks picnicking and enjoying sunsets, while boaters head up and down the intra-coastal and out into the gulf, and fish-hunting pelicans skim the bay alongside the bridges. Love it when those birds abruptly dive down to grab dinner.

junonia 05-25-17Visitors report that Sanibel’s shelling has been excellent too – probably the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew stirring things up in the gulf. There have even been a few photos in the local paper of finders with cherished junonia shells. After 30+years searching, I’m still looking for a whole one.

10-19-2018Fishermen are back too, with plenty of videos posted on social media including tarpon jumping, following baitfish pools.

Now if the summer temperatures and humidity would subside, it would really feel like fall here. That’s expected to happen on Monday when a mini-cool front is expected to arrive. (Mini means staying in the 80’s during the day!)

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoOn the real estate front, it again was a week with just a handful of new island sales: on Sanibel – two condos and two homes, and just one home on Captiva. Those details follow a couple of news items below.

Sometimes when taking to property owners thinking of selling, we must tell them that their property may not be worth what they think. That’s not fun.

Here is some info that can help convince them. Lee County property taxes are paid in arrears each year with the taxable value based on a percentage of comparable property sales the preceding year. A property’s taxable value is not the same as the sale value, but it does provide a way to correlate it.LeePALogo

This is probably a generalization, but most Sanibel properties are worth less now than they were if they were if purchased between 2002 and 2009, or even last year. To check the assessed value of any Lee County property, go to the appraiser’s website at www.LeePa.org. Click the “database search” button in the left-hand menu. Then click “property data search”, then enter the address or the owner’s name. When the record pops up, click on the blue “parcel details” link on the right. When the property data page comes up, on the left-hand side under the legal information is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Under that heading is what the county appraiser determined as the property value for 2018 taxes.

Just to the right of the heading is a little icon that looks like a stack of papers (it has a red/blue/yellow graph on it). Click on that icon and up comes the property value history, all the way back to 1992. If it was purchased after that, you can pinpoint what the taxable value was in the year that it was purchased. Comparing that to its taxable value today, offers a way to calculate what the 2018 sale value may be.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was our last off-season Thursday morning Caravan Meeting. Beginning Nov 1, those will be every week until spring. These events are an opportunity for our members to announce new listings and price reductions, congratulate colleagues on sales, and then visit as many as 20 new listings held open by the listing agents so that Realtors® can learn about the special features of each specific property in advance of showing it.

As homeowners and condominium associations have their annual meetings and their fees/special assessments and/or amenities change, Caravan also is when listing agents advise of that info. It then is posted by the Realtor® Association in our resource material which is available to all agents.

So, if you are out-and-about on a Thursday morning from 9 a.m. until noon on any given week, there are Open House signs and listings to preview – often they are new to the market.

Island Events

  • 4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roastceci logoTomorrow, Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.
  • 33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.Bailey fest 2018.jpg
  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.howl-o-ween 2018
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House. SanibelSusan is the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!fish 10K 2018.jpg
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Churchflip flop scavenger hunt 2018
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-506081633792018 sanibel jazz festival.jpg
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islandstaste of the islands 2018
  • The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at http://www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launchthe launch 2018

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 12-19, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 $440K, Seashells #3 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 $849K, Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 $874K (our listing, pictured below).

ViewExt Back aBeach WalkBeach Walk bBeachExt Back b

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2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $389.9K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.69M.

2 new sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 listed at $475K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

8 new listings: 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $649K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $650K, 256 Daniel Dr 2/2 $799K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $1.189M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.279M, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.299M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.335M.

10 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $525K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 749 Cardium St 2/2 now $729K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $848K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.749M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $2.59M (foreclosure), 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.875M.

2 new sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $585K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr (Moonshadows #2F) 3/3 half-duplex listed at $849K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2994 Island Inn Rd $209.9K, 539 Sea Oats Dr $495K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $350K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1B 2/2 $895K.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 now $639K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.995M.

1 new sale: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 listed at $1.095M.

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! Enjoy your week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan