It’s a Colorful Time… Vivid Rosy Bougainvillea, “Pink Out”, & …


Happy Friday, everyone! Following another sunny week on Sanibel Island, rain is expected to begin here soon. The tropical storm passing in the northern Gulf of Mexico is forecast to produce scattered showers over SW Florida into tomorrow afternoon. We need the rain.

Dry late fall weather usually gets bougainvillea trees and bushes blooming. Below are some that I noticed on my ride home last night. They are at the Pointe Santo entrance.

IMG_8830

Mine at home are starting to pop out too. This photo from Nov 2018.IMG_7125.jpg

Red Tide

The news that I don’t like reporting is that locals and visitors are in a tizzy about red tide. The City’s panoramic aerials posted Tuesday afternoon (link here), show such a huge difference in how the water looks now compared to last year at this time, that was it heartbreaking to read that the Marine Lab had done local testing and found presence of the red tide organism in some areas. Below is the message posted Tuesday night on social media by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

2019-10-15 SCCF“Research scientists from SCCF’s Marine Lab took water samples on a short cruise today on the lower Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. They found Karenia brevis, the organism that blooms into red tide, present at all sites sampled. The maximum concentration they found was 880,000 cells/liter two miles offshore of Tarpon Bay Rd Beach on Sanibel. Levels higher than 100,000 can result in fish kills and respiratory irritation in humans. Next week, they will do a more expansive cruise into the Gulf from North Captiva Island to Sanibel. Stay tuned for ongoing updates.”

That posting sparked some questions, so they further clarified saying: “Our Marine Lab’s testing is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant to study harmful algal blooms (HABs). The NSF grant is intended to investigate how the intensity of red tide blooms is “related to nutrients in freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee, a large inland lake in south-central Florida that is managed for flood prevention.” The research will contribute to the lack of “strong scientific evidence to support the connection between the red tide and Lake Okeechobee water releases.” The objective of the project is to provide water quality data prior to and throughout major freshwater releases. These data will provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships between freshwater releases, and algal blooms.”

SCCF logoWith SCCF reporting the highest number of organisms around the island off the beach at the end of Tarpon Bay Road, it is not surprising that this same area produced complaints, both yesterday and today, from beachgoers experiencing respiratory irritations. Some marine life also has washed ashore. Teammate Dave reported a noticeable smell on his drive over the causeway last night.

As a reminder, there had been no releases from Lake O all summer until just over a week ago when small releases were sent this direction to dilute the salinity in the estuary. This was to help the health of seagrasses in areas that had not received rain in recent weeks.

Prior to these reports, recent red tide incidents were mostly further south in the Naples/Marco Island area. Not a good omen for things to get better soon is the forecast for winds from the south all weekend.

Annual Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the annual meeting of the islands’ Association of Realtors®. Congratulations to newly elected board members, Realtors® Greg Demaras, Mike McMurray, and Janka Varmusa. With over 250 Realtor® members and nearly 150 Affiliate members, the Sanibel & Captiva Association is vibrant healthy and ready for “season”.

Caravan meetings will continue Thursday mornings biweekly until the end of the month, when we celebrate Halloween (costume contest) and revert to the “season” weekly schedule rotating from East End to West End. All winter you can expect to see Open Houses on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon. City rules allow only two open houses a month, up to 4-hours each, while Association MLS rules allow only one Caravan Open House every six months. You can be sure that we follow the rules and also try to schedule these events when they produce the most results.

Between now and the end of the year, the Association will continue to collect non-perishable food for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Since Hurricane Irma and the water quality issues last year, local food needs have increased with supplies depleting quickly. Members and friends are encouraged to bring donations to either the Association of Realtors® Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 (over Finnimore’s Cycle) or at F.I.S.H. at 2430-B Periwinkle Way (behind Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro). The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

After work on November 14, the Association will hold its annual “Fall Into Christmas” fundraiser for local charity “Friends Who Care”.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

2017-09-12 OfficeThe Association’s new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provider offers a variety of new reports and advertising opportunities. Yesterday, Elise mailed our team’s monthly summary progress report letters which included the Islands’ 3rd Quarter Market Report. Lingering evidence of the market downturn from the water problems last year remains.

Below is an update of Sanibel’s inventory today. As the island gets busier, likewise, more listings come on the market every day. Both number of sales and average sale prices are off, even when compared to last year. That could change last quarter which is when we see the most sales to those wanting to winter in paradise or benefit from owning in 2020.  For arriving buyers, there is plenty of good well-priced inventory for them.

Sanibel Inventory
Condos Homes Lots
Status # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM
For sale 108 839,859 196 142 1,338,771 171 67 730,723 442
Under contract 9 861,322 128 23 886,254 106 3 321,333 74
Sold 2019 thru 10/18 101 667,163 151 172 972,271 173 12 392,333 816
Sold 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504

 

Event Reminders

Ding Darling Day31st Annual “Ding” Darling Day – Free Family Fun Day – Sunday, Oct 20, all day beginning at 8 a.m. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

breast cancer month8th Annual “Let’s Pink Out” – Thursday, Oct 24, Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration & Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sanibel Fire & Rescue District Station #1 on Palm Ridge Road. Saturdays, all month, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Pink Out” volunteers are bagging groceries at Bailey’s for tips. Donations collected go to F.I.S.H. to help those in the community with cancer-related needs.

Rising Financial Wealth Boosts Demand for Vacation Homes

RSPS-Resort-Second-Home-Property-Specialist-Real-Estate-DesignationAs the instructor for the local class on the Resort & 2nd Home Market, I carefully follow the statistics published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and their newsletter from the RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) group. Here are some excerpts from an article they published on Oct 10, 2019:

“Increased financial wealth and low mortgage rates boosted the demand for and price of vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report, https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/us-vacation-home-counties.

“Between 2013 to 2018, the median sales price in vacation home counties increased at a slightly higher pace of 36% compared to the pace of increase of all existing and new homes sold,1 at 31%. Median price increases occurred across both expensive and inexpensive areas. The counties with the highest price increases during this five-year span were in three states: Pennsylvania, which includes Pike and Monroe counties; Wisconsin, which contains Price and Washburn counties; and Massachusetts, which includes Nantucket.

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the present figures are telling, especially when compared to data from 10 years prior. “As of 2018, household net worth reached an all-time high of $100.3 trillion – that’s nearly double from a decade ago when wealth declined during the recession. Some of this tremendous growth in wealth, although concentrated, increased demand for vacation homes.”

“Although most homebuyers purchase their residence with an intent to use the property as a primary home, that is not the case for all buyers. In fact, a portion of homeowners purchase a second home expecting to use it as a general family vacation spot, as a tenant rental, a means to gain equity, or – upon retirement – a future primary residence….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 11 – 18, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 $455K; Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $579K; Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $609,906; Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $925K; Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.1899M; Compass Point #181 2/3 $1.195M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.425M.

4 price changes: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $695K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 now $869K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.395M (our listing, photos below).

1 new sale: Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $587K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $799K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $897K, 261 Ferry Landing 2/2 half-duplex $1.095M.

7 price changes: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $575K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $669K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $715K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $729K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.149M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $3.699M.

3 new sales: 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 listed at $799.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $398.5K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $639K, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.2M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.51M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.7225M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $220K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $415K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.899M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $957K.

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.

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

No Snow Here, But This Egret Sure is White!


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island roadways are getting busier. With 2018 off, it sure is great to again see activity pick up in October. In the summer, I often make a quick trip home during the noon lunch hour. That 2.9-mile trip up Periwinkle, in the off-season, usually takes about seven minutes. By yesterday, that time had expanded to 15 minutes. But, that’s OK, businesses need those returning owners and visitors.

Island friends, Ed and Ellie stopped in this week to say “hello” and Ellie shared the below photo she took at the Sanibel fishing pier. I told her this beauty will be the star of this week’s blog! It’s a beautiful great white egret (I think), not a snowy egret. Those are smaller and have the opposite coloring – still bright white, but black beak and yellow feet. Great white herons are similar too. Also large and their coloring is like the great white egret, but they have large heavy bills. If I guessed wrong, I bet a birder will set me straight!

2019-10 Ellie's bird

It still feels like summer! Weather this week cooled down to the high 80’s (degrees F) during the days, low 70’s at night – mostly sunny with occasional showers inland off-island. We need rain, so on Saturday the Army Corps of Engineers initiated minimum water flows from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee estuary. During certain times of the year, scientists say water releases like this are necessary to maintain a health estuary. The releases were expected to continue until tomorrow.

With the news reporting big weather changes elsewhere – huge temperature drops, plus snow and ice storms. That should make Sanibel & Captiva even more appealing.

Teammate Elise advises that the Lee County Schools first quarter ends today – that was fast. Local kiddos also get a full week off for Thanksgiving vacation this year, usually they just get a few days.

We did not have a local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week. Next Thursday is our annual meeting. After a few news items below, check out the action since last Friday reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that in comparison to last week, there was not much. We hope that changes with the holiday weekend and that you enjoy your weekend too!

Vice President Pence to Visit Sanibel Again This WeekendVice Presidents Logo

Once again, the island is a twitter with the news that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to make another trip to Southwest Florida this weekend. A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) has been issued for VIP movement at Southwest Florida Regional Airport and southern Sanibel Island from Thursday at 11:45 p.m. through Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

During that time, the airspace around Sanibel has been designated as “national defense airspace,” which is common when the president or vice-president visits an area. The Sanibel Causeway and other roads are expected to close at times during the high-profile visit, but please know that it is not much of a disruption. He stays at a client’s home here that is off the beaten path so unless you happen to be on Periwinkle or the Causeway when he is on the move, you probably won’t even know that he is in town.

Process for Registering Sanibel Short-Term Rentals

Sanibelcityseal logoRecently, Sanibel City Council approved establishing a registration process for island short-term rentals. Council supports an ordinance to create registration of dwelling rentals and rental licenses. The purpose of the process is to regulate and ensure compliance of non-resort housing and platform vacation rentals like Airbnb and to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods. (It is basically a record and licensure process to ensure that rules already in place are followed. Sanibel Code says that compliant resort dwellings have no rental time or frequency limit, while non-resort dwellings must be rented for four consecutive weeks or more.) More on this in the weeks to come.

Events & ReOpenings

“Season” begins with lots of annual happenings:

Sanibel shellsSanibel-Captiva Shell Club – Though the Shell Museum remains closed while the new Aquarium construction completes, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club’s first meeting of the season is this Sunday, October 13 at the Sanibel Community House beginning at 2 p.m.

historical village logoSanibel Historical Village – reopens Tues, October 15 and will be open Tues-Sat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Season highlights include several Twilight Talks and their annual gala fundraiser February 18 at The Community House. The talks are at noon on the 1st Mondays, December through March. New museum volunteers are always needed. Training begins November 4. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Tower gallery13th Annual Tower Gallery Attic Sale– Fri & Sat, October 18 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.towergallery.net

 

4th Annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Fest – Sun, November 3 from noon to 7 p.m. in the backyard of Bailey’s Center sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Annual fundraiser for the club’s charities, including scholarships and summer youth programs at the Sanibel Rec Center. sanibel Jazz festival pixPerformances by islander Johnny Jensen at 1 p.m., the local Marty Stokes Band at 2 p.m., Sean Chambers featured on the U.S. Billboard Blues Album Chart at 3:30 p.m., & British Blues Hall of Famer Matt Schofield at 5 p.m. A jam session featuring all of the performers ends the event. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, & George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille.

Hobie cat race 2019.pngSouth Seas Hosting World Championship Hobie Class Races – from Nov 1-16. This is the 1st time since 1984, that these races are being held in the U.S. and the 1st time in SW Florida. According to race organizers, the Hobie 16 World Championships is the only sailboat class in the world to supply brand new identical boats for all competitors to race. The course will be just off Sunset Beach, at the north end of Captiva. Sailboat racing fans may enter the resort entry gate and proceed to hotel registration where $5 per vehicle will be collected, parking pass issued, and wristbands provided for each spectator. Tickets also are available for special events (www.hobieclass.com).

crow-logo2019 Taste of The Islands – Sun, November 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park with CROW’s animal ambassadors and silent auction in The Community House. The participating restaurants were announced this week including The Bubble Room, The clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, The Jac Island Bar & Grille, Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen, MudBugs Cajun Kitchen, Rosie’s Café & Grill, Sanddollar Restaurant, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse, T2 (Traders 2), Thistle Lodge, and The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.

coastal keepers loglCoastal Watch 3rd Annual Fundraiser, The Launch – Sat, November 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Community House, in support of local conservation initiatives.

UCF Economist: Recession No Threat to Florida

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted on-line this week at Florida Realtors®.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, expects Florida’s economy to grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next three years.

His third-quarter economic forecast indicates that the state’s “powerful” economy will produce a higher percentage of jobs than the nation and attract more job seekers from other states through 2022. Snaith predicts that much of the job growth will come from the professional/business services, education/health care services, and construction sectors.

““Florida’s economy continues to hit on all cylinders, and there are no economic storm clouds on the horizon,” he says. “Our biggest challenge over the upcoming years will revolve around how best to manage and facilitate economic growth.” In addition, Snaith says the fundamentals of the state’s housing market remain “solid,” and economic and job growth and the influx of retiring baby boomers should continue to support the upward trend on sales.

““Low inventories of existing homes for sale and lagging housing starts growth contribute to an environment where home prices continue to rise,” Snaith adds. “The shortage in the single-family market will be rectified as the pace of single-family housing starts to ramp up over the next several years. Single-family housing starts in 2022 are expected to increase by 79.7% from 2014 levels.””

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (10/03/19) Hielscher, John

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 4 – 11, 2019

Sanibel realtors logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #2C 2/2 $609K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $727.5K, Sundial #J208 2/2 $769K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $629K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.35M.

5 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $504.9K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now 645K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $825K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $889K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M.

3 new sales: 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed at $695,555; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1837 Buckthorn now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.549M.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $419K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $429K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 $2.9M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $1.699M.

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.

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a fun holiday!

SanibelSusan Realty will be open so you won’t need Columbus. We can help you find what you want!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!

 

 

 

Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website www.IslandWater.com under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at http://www.sccf.org/preserves. SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at http://www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at www.USTA.com using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to BuyLocalLee.com
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at www.MySanibel.com. The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map

END”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

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, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

No closed sales.

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, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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