It’s a Tropical October on Sanibel & Captiva!

It has been another beautiful sunny Friday on Sanibel after a few cloudy rainy days earlier in the week – from more tropical waves passing through SW Florida. Those were a reminder that hurricane season runs through the end of November, though this time of the year sunny afternoons start outnumbering the rainy ones. (Photos here taken yesterday by JMA Photography for our new listing at Mariner Pointe #411, ground-level bayview 3 bedroom.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® continues to be physically closed for group gatherings, but at our monthly Zoom membership meeting yesterday, we heard insurance updates from two affiliate members: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services and Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Co. Insurance & Risk Management Services. I took a few notes, though some of the news was not the best.

Chris Heidrick in discussing flood insurance reminded that all properties located in AE or VE flood zones that get a mortgage will need flood insurance as a loan requirement. The coverage must be enough for either replacement cost, $250K, or the amount of the loan. Regarding condominium master flood insurance policies, he said associations may buy a master policy that also covers the individual units (up to a maximum of $250K/unit). These do not cover contents. However, many (most) associations do not buy this additional coverage or up to the $250K/unit allowed, so buyers getting a loan need to be prepared to pay for supplemental or enough coverage to satisfy their loan.

In 2014, occupancy also became a factor in the cost of flood insurance. Grandfathering does not apply to occupancy, but basically a property that is owner occupied and not rented at all will pay a lower flood premium.

Properties build pre-FIRM (or before there were area Flood Insurance Rate Maps) may see increases as much as 25%. Pre-FIRM on Sanibel is property constructed before April 1975, before October 1984 on Captiva. With many flood insurance policies assumable, Realtors® were advised to get the insurance carrier and policy information from a seller when a property is listed.

Area flood maps also are in the process of being changed. The new preliminary maps show many VE areas (those with highest premiums) changing to AE (also a velocity zone, but less expensive as rated with less chance of flooding). This map change process takes time with the new maps likely not resulting in rate reductions for a year or two. (You can view these maps and look up your property at http://www.msc.fema.gov. Be sure and check, you may be surprised to see that a property is, or will soon be, eligible for a reduction.

Further regarding flood insurance, Chris advised that beginning in October 2021, properties will no longer be rated based on flood map or flood zone, but rather on a system called “Risk Rating 2”. This system rates a property based on its risk factors like type of construction/structure, actual elevation, proximity to water, etc. Flood maps will still be needed but will not determine the premium amount.

David said that up until about 2018, insurance providers were looser with their underwriting requirements. As an example, prior to that time, a shingle roof that was 15 years old was acceptable, sometimes even those 18 years old, provided they had three years of life left.

Today, with so many storm payouts since then, often because of lawsuits from 3rd party insurance assignees, and Florida paying for the brunt of the claims, a single roof that is less than 10 years old now may be required. Premiums are increasing from 5% to as much as 30-40% (yikes).

Underwriting requirements are tighter with the best rates for properties built in 2014 or newer. For older properties, David’s advice is to mitigate them. Replace the roof, get opening protection (impact glass, shutters, on every opening), and ensure your roof has hurricane clips with three nails. (There are even local companies that specialize in this third nail.)

For new listings, Realtors® were advised to get the Wind Mitigation Report (in addition to the Elevation Certificate). Quizzed on what roof is best, David’s answer was “metal”, provide it meets 2001 building code.

David acknowledged that Florida Realtors® using RPAC dollars was instrumental in the recent reform on Assignment of Benefits, but more change is needed. Those legislative actions take time, with continued torte reform action needed.

RPAC Update – With a few weeks remaining in 2020, even with the many obstacles this year, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® already has raised over 400% of their RPAC goal. Always looking to get 100% participation from our members, there may be another push to get more contributors. Including from our RPAC Auction last week, over $22K has been raised this year – all to go toward preserving and protecting real estate and property rights. Congratulations to the two successful bidders that won SanibelSusan’s lobster dinners.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Statistics

As we work through the last quarter of the year, it is interesting to see how the market had rebound from those COVID weeks/months of lockdown. The benefits of island living are now more appreciated than ever. The below data as of today, proves it. Shown are the number and average price of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and those that have already sold and closed this year. Also shown are the statistics 2019 (in total) and the island often-referenced most recent “peak” year or 2006.

Condos Homes Lots All Residential
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Sanibel
For Sale 98 764,405 82 1,882,465 53 848,512 233 1,177,245
Under Contract 38 933,834 53 964,097 11 406,686 102 892,709
Sold 2020 thru 10/23 128 719,381 219 956,023 14 628,419 361 859,411
Sold in 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200 353 833,361
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 156 1,143,682 18 523,917 317 983,665
Captiva
For Sale 24 1,517,500 32 4,129,281 3 4,580,000 59 3,089,779
Under Contract 13 558,607 7 2,390,285 1 5,899,000 21 1,423,471
Sold 2020 thru 10/23 29 891,070 18 2,945,666 2 1,925,000 49 1,688,021
Sold in 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000 47 1,659,315
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 10 2,307,375 4 2,218,750 34 1,737,669

Note: Avg Price – shown in italics above for the properties “Available” & “Under Contract” – is average asking price.

The representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the author nor the Association guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

The statistics show that more property has already sold (and closed) on the islands that in all of last year, with inventory low today, particularly for Sanibel homes. With homes, the entry-level and mid-range ones are moving best, while with Sanibel condos, it is the larger more residential variety that are the top sellers.

With last quarter usually when island sales pick up, it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring, particularly after the election which often creates a hiccup while voters are distracted. Seems the many distractions this year, including the pandemic have served to make island real estate more desirable. Fingers crossed that the investment variety with rental bookings start moving next, those usually follow residential sales.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, this week, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 27, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) Additionally, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 60. (There were just 50 cases during the initial six months, but there have been ten since the first of this month. Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.)

Help the Gopher Tortoises

The City of Sanibel Department of Natural Resources encourages participation in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tortoise conservation efforts. FWC launched a new interactive web application that functions on any device and records sightings. Click here to learn more and report a sighting.

Sanibel has a sizeable population of gopher tortoises and is listed as a threatened species and is protected by both state and local laws. Gopher tortoises are long-lived reptiles that occupy upland habitat throughout Florida. They did deep burrows for shelter, forage on low-growing plants, and share their burrows with more than 350 other species (therefore, referred to as a keystone” species) Gopher tortoises must be relocated before any land cleaning or development takes place, and property owners must obtain permits from the FWC before capturing and relocating tortoises.

The gopher tortoise is one of five North American tortoise species and is the only tortoise naturally found east of the Mississippi River. Its range includes from southeastern Louisiana east to southern South Carolina, and south to Florida, where they are found in all Florida counties.

It is a moderate-sized terrestrial turtle, averaging 9-11” in length when fully grown, though can reach up to 15”. It is identifiable by its stumpy elephantine hind feet and flattened shovel-like forelimbs covered in thick scales. Hatchlings (less than a year old) and juvenile tortoises tend to be yellow-orange and brown in color, but the bright color fades with age. The shell of an adult gopher tortoise generally is tan, brown, or gray.

They can live 40-60 years in the wild, though captive tortoises may live 90+years. The breeding season occurs between March and October. Females typically lay one clutch of 5-9 ping-pong ball-sized eggs per year with eggs deposited between May and July. They nest in open sunny locations frequently with a soft mound of sand at the entrance of their burrow (called a burrow apron). Egg incubation lasts 80-110 days with hatchlings emerging between August and November.

The life of a gopher tortoise revolves around its burrow where they spend 80% of their time. Burrows average 15’ long and 6.5’ deep, though have been documented reaching up to 40’ long and 10’ deep. The burrows help to regulate their body temperature, offer shelter from predators, and serve as refuge for other species including burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, rabbits, gopher frogs, and more.

If you see a tortoise crossing a busy road, FWC grants permission to move it across the road in the same direction it was headed if it is safe for you to do so. Do not move the tortoise to another location or put it in a cage as this constitutes illegal possession.

To protect the community gopher tortoises and their habit, Sanibel property owners can:

  • Plant native vegetation for them to feed on.
  • Maintain open areas by trimming back woody vegetation that can “shade out” gopher tortoise burrows.
  • Leave existing gopher tortoise burrows undisturbed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 16-23, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 $499K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 $529K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 $562.5K, Sundial #G204 2/2 $749K, Sundial #O405 2/2 $1.25M.

3 price changes: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 now $527K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 now $815K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 now $959K.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 listed at $419K, Sundial #F205 1/1 listed at $419K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 listed at $549K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 listed at $1.7M, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 listed at $2.195M, High Tide #B302 3/2 listed at $2.295M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 915 Fitzhugh St 4/2.5 $945K, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $1.1425M.

4 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $519,555; 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex now $899K; 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 now $1.039M; 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.769M.

8 new sales: 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $639K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $737K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 listed at $895K, 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 549 East Rocks Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.525M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.269M.

7 closed sales: 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 $430K, 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $447K, 915 Main St 2/1 $450K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $695K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 $1.05M, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 $1.4445M, 2323 Starfish Ln 4/4 $2.415M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2933 Wulfert Rd $359K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5627 Baltusrol Ct listed at $289K.

1 closed sale: 9226 Kincaid Ct $122K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2314 2/2 $779K.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1634 3/3 now $2.345M.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Beach Villas #2525 2/2 listed at $760K.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 $350K, Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 $639K, Captiva Shores #C6 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 listed at $2.395M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A “King Tide” Kinda Friday on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday is here with Sanibel and Captiva continuing to get busier with increased daytime traffic on Periwinkle Way. Our days are getting shorter with sunsets closer to 7 p.m. Temperatures have been a little cooler too, often with lower humidity. I heard on a weather report yesterday that the average date for local temperatures to dip below 90 degrees F is October 30. So soon, it will be even cooler. This week, it has been mostly sunny and breezy with day-time temps in the mid-80’s, nights mid-70’s.

This afternoon when teammate Dave and I were checking a new listing at Mariner Pointe, I noticed the canal water over the boat docks. When I mentioned it, Dave said “that’s because of the king tide”. Those happen, usually once or twice a year, in coastal communities. Typically, the highest tides of the year, that made me take my time heading back to the office as I snapped a few photos from a few other locations.

King tide at Mariner Pointe 2020-10-16, see the water over dock area.

On entry road to Sanibel Lighthouse 2020-10-16

Bay beach access at end of Bailey Rd 2020-10-26

End of Dixie Beach Blvd 2020-10-16

Our weekly update about the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

How COVID-19 Has Changed The Real Estate Market

If you did not read the Sunday article on “ForbesLife” titled “COVID-19 Has Changed The Housing Market Forever”, here are a few tidbits.

“Amid all the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 over the past six months, one thing is assured: the pandemic has re-ordered real estate markets across the board on an unprecedented scale. Some of this may be irreversible. Real estate’s re-sorting this time isn’t just based on markets crashing (the Great Recession), political turmoil (the 1979 oil embargo), or financial speculation (the first and second dot.com busts)—after which there’s generally confidence that overall consumer demand and buyer preferences will sooner or later snap back to normal.

“Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more deep-seated, tectonic-sized questions beyond markets and interest rates are being asked this time around that no one really has the answers to yet—like will people feel safer living in the south and southwest where they can spend all year social distancing outside? What if companies let workers work remotely for the rest of their lives? Why go back to retail shopping when I’m already ordering everything online? What’s the point of living “downtown” if half of the restaurants, bars, and museums never open back up?

“How these questions get answered will fundamentally re-order how Americans live in the “new” pandemic normal, and as a result will play a huge X-factor in which cities and states will experience growth, demand, and price appreciation over the next 3-5 years, and which ones will stagnate and lose out….

“Against this backdrop, real estate’s new normal is also creating huge swathes of opportunity. Dozens of cities and counties that were once considered too small, too southern, too hot, too flat, or lacking in amenities, culture, or sophistication are now finding themselves being swooned to the top of the real estate desirability lists as Americans seek warmer, healthier, less dense, better educated, and more mobile places to live that offer closer access to the outdoors, better hospitals, smaller schools, and more open space with no clear end to the pandemic in sight….

“The repercussions of America’s great COVID migration has the potential to re-shuffle the essential demographic and economic balance of America for the next generation. Realtors, investors, and politicians should be paying attention…. By every metric, Americans are moving faster now than they were before the pandemic. Page-per-property views on real estate platforms like Realtor and Zillow are up over 50% year-over-year almost everywhere, inventory in America’s 100 top metro markets has been shrinking since March, along with days on market and the gap between list-to-sale price. A lot of real estate experts prefer the word “despite” when it comes to accounting for this phenomenon while the pandemic’s still raging, when it’s probably more accurately “because of”.

““Real estate markets have undergone noticeable shifts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic,” …“In the wake of the lockdowns in March, Americans discovered that existing homes were not adequate for the new work, teach, exercise, cook and live at home reality. Based on realtor.com surveys of consumers, we learned that home shoppers are looking for more space, quieter neighborhoods, home offices, newer kitchens and access to the outdoors, traits which have revived a strong interest in the suburbs and smaller metro areas.”

“…So what’s the bottom line? Keep your bathing suit and laptop ready to pack. The longer COVID-19 continues to push Americans into the “new” normal, the more of us will be moving south and west, working by the pool….”

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19, & Rental Property Deadline

Again, this week, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 20, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) Additionally, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 57. (Yes, that is a big increase in the last couple of weeks. Everyone is urged to continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and to avoid group gatherings.)

Also, this week, the City posted a notice to owners of island rental property reminding them that Dwell Rental License and Registration application submission is required by Friday, October 30. Questions about this process should be addressed to Code.Enf@MySanibel.com or Planning at 239-472-4136.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 9-16, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Compass Point #232 2/2 $599K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 $599K (our listing), Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $1.075M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.499M.

Drone photo of Compass Point taken 2020-10-15 by JMA Photography

View from Compass Point #232

3 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 now $679K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $726.5K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 now $899K (our listing).

Gulf view from Tarpon Beach #207

9 new sales: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 listed at $293K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 listed at $356.5K, Seashells #43 2/2 listed at $429K, Seashells #26 2/2 listed at $439.9K, Blind Pass #B111 2/2 listed at $475K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 listed at $569K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/3 listed at $1.895M, Plantation Village #B222 3/3 listed at $2.53M, Wedgewood #102 3/3.5 listed at $2.595M.

6 closed sales: Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $490K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 $700K, Sundial #J107 2/2 $700K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $760K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $1M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 $1.8M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 $895K, 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 $899K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 $925K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $949K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $2.195M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $449K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $579K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 now $625K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 now $639K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $714.9K, 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 now $870K, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.495M.

4 new sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 listed at $699K, 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $750K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $829K, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.525M.

10 closed sales: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $565K, 490 + 460 Old Trail 3/2.5 $675K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $780K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 $800K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $810K, 776 Conch Ct 3/2 $850K, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 $900K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.035M, 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 $1.18M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6000 White Heron Ln $889K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 2279 Wulfert Rd listed at $318K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 listed at $1.088M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 multi-home now $4.099M.

1 new sale: 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 listed at $2.649M.

1 closed sale: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.1M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd listed at $5.899M.

No closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Scoop – Columbus Day Weekend

SanibelSusan here reporting another day of beautiful weather on Sanibel. The islands continue to slowly reopen, as sea turtle nesting and rainy season finish up for the year. News on both is positive.

A few days ago, SCCF posted on their Facebook page that “Sea turtle season is really winding down on the islands. Currently, we are monitoring 12 nests, a substantial difference from the record number of 669 nests on Sanibel and 268 nests on Captiva earlier this season. So far, a total of 33,267 hatchlings have made it to sea.”

Water quality was an agenda item at Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting. Acting Director of Natural Resources, Holly Millbrand reported that although Lake Okeechobee water level is up and there has been some increase in water releases, there are no signs of any negative effects here, no red tide or blue green algae. “I’m pleased that the corps has been willing to take a more cautious approach,” she said, referring to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that determines when and how much water to release from the lake. “We encourage the corps to weigh all the factors…,” she said, adding that there is not so much concern from the corps of potential dyke failure even though the level is high.

Though that is all good news for returning snowbirds and the additional vacationers expected over the holiday weekend, many have been carefully watching the weather and the track of Hurricane Delta. All clear here today with that tropical weather pattern resulting in some lower humidity this week. The forecast says next week it will be in the mid to high 80’s with the usual chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. That usually equates to nice beach weather during the day, followed by a spectacular sunset. There have been some beauties lately.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Still closed for group meetings, the islands Association of Realtors® has revised plans for a couple of their annual events. Our end-of-season golf outing, party, and auction to benefit RPAC which were postponed from May until this month is revised again with a 2-day auction coming up next week (October 12-14) followed by an hour-long Zoom party.

Through the years, our RPAC dollars have worked on many ownership issues affecting islanders. As an example, last week, a bill that funded the federal government through December 11 was signed into law. That bill includes a full-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and surface transportation funding. Under the agreement, NFIP authority is extended through September 30, 2021. This is the second year in a row for a full fiscal year extension for flood insurance. While Realtors® continue to work toward comprehensive insurance reform and long-term reauthorization, the marketplace needs stability and continuity. In the continuing resolution is a similar extension of surface transportation funding. Transportation projects take years from concept to completion, and any lapse in funding is especially disruptive. This is a win for those looking toward a post-coronavirus market.

Here is another unusual twist because of COVID-19. For our local RPAC auction, SanibelSusan often donates a Maine Lobster Bake which is a dinner kit that comes from The Lobster Net in Brewer, ME. Included are not only jumbo fresh lobsters and a large pot for cooking them, but also all of the other ingredients, supplies, and instructions needed for a complete party-style meal, from appetizers to desserts. For years, the donation has sold for far more than the actual value. Imagine my surprise when I checked their website this year and found this message “Due to pandemic, live lobsters 2.0 – 4.0 lbs. are temporarily next to impossible to find.” So, this year’s donation is a little different.

The Association Annual Meeting and election of officers will be by electronic voting in early November. No word yet on when group in-person committee and Caravan meetings will resume.

The week’s action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 13, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) Additionally, this week, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 54.

Other Upcoming Events & Openings/Reopenings

The Sanibel Sprout Juice Bar & Vegan Café – reopened this week in their new just-remodeled location in Islander Center, 2407 Periwinkle Way, (former location of Totally Baked).

The Island Store (Captiva) – at the corner of Andy Rosse Lane & Captiva Drive, reopened this week after a nearly year-long renovation. Operated by Bailey’s General Store, it is open daily Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sanibel Historical Village – reopening October 20 with safety protocols. Will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors, volunteers, and staff will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Guided tours are suspended until January. However, visitors may make appointments for guided tours with 48-hour advance notice (for minimum of six, no more than ten guests). For self-tours, there are audio buttons in each building and brochures. Annual gala fundraiser canceled, but several Twilight Talks are in the planning stages. Events will be posted on museum website, http://www.SanibelMuseum.com.

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum “Mollusk Monster Mash” – October 27 at Traders. The Shell Museum’s kick-off fundraising event for the season will have a few new twists. Tickets include a gourmet meal served with wine either at the restaurant or with a takeout option delivered to your car. With socially-distance seating inside and out, reservations are needed. Call 239-395-2233 for more info.

SCCF’s “Wines in the Wild 2020” – November 13 – This year the event will not be at the Bailey Homestead, but at your homeINstead with SCCF providing the ingredients for a fun evening. The portable party “to go” will be available for touchless drive-by pickup at the Bailey Homestead on November 13. Included are a bottle of white and red wine; food by chefs from Cielo, Catering by Leslie Adams, Spoondrift, and Sweet Melissa’s Café; a centerpiece designed by the Native Landscapes & Garden Center; a link to a specially curated Wines in the Wild music playlist; & a yummy dessert, & surprises too. Contact SCCF by November 6 to reserve your box.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 2-9, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 $293K, Breakers West #B5 2/2 $569K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $579K, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 $2.195M.

3 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $585K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 now $699K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 now $1.025M.

3 new sales: Sundial #D204 1/1 listed at $450K, Island Beach Club #320C 2/2 listed at $829K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 listed at $935K.

3 closed sales: Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 $380K, Sandpebble #4E 2/2 $460K, Sunset South #11A 2/2 $537K.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $580K, 3926 Coquina Dr 3/2 $769K, 640 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $825K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $1.06M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.695M, 677 Anchor Dr 5/5.5 $1.895M, 418 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 $1,995,900.

3 price changes: 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 now $1.059M, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/4 now $2.195M.

5 new sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $499K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $725K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $775K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 listed at $855K; 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M.

4 closed sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $520K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $620K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 $950K, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 $3M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2486 Wulfert Rd listed at $129K

2 closed sales: 978 Main St $162,450; 4334 West Gulf Dr $900K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #6 3/3 $2.998M.

3 price changes: Gulf Beach Villas #2112 1/1 now $492.5K, Captiva Shores #1B 3/2.5 now $1.799M, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.085M.

2 new sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 listed at $755K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #2A 2/2 listed at $900K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $765K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.15M.

HOMES & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

October = Good Time to Buy for a Sunny Winter!

 

A reminder of how just beyond the Clam Bayou bridge is some of the best shelling in the world. Our condo listing at Blind Pass #E101 is just steps from the beach path.

This week’s real estate activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Farmers Market Back for 13th Season with Changes

With new safety guidelines, the Sanibel Farmers Market will return this weekend (October 4) and be open on Sundays through May 2021 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sanibel City Hall. Market parking is in the lots at City Hall, the Library, BIG ARTS and Schoolhouse Theater. Handicap parking and bicycle parking are in designated areas at City Hall.

Organized by Local Roots which is co-owned by island residents Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, the weekly market will feature a mix of vendors and products, plus crafters. With the ongoing pandemic, Local Roots has implemented several new protocols to keep the community/shoppers safe and vendors following CDC guidelines.

Most importantly, everyone (market visitors and vendors) will be required to wear a mask. Every vendor will have hand sanitizer, and it will be available upon entering and exiting the site. While the market in the past has served as a sort of gathering place for the community, this season, a “grab and go” format will be promoted to prevent lingering and gatherings. You are asked to “only touch if you are buying.” New signs will remind visitors of the mask requirement, to social distance, wash their hands. In spread vendors out, their number has been reduced and will be adjust as needed.

Shoppers will be able to stock up on fresh produce, seafood, breads and pastries, smoothies, BBQ, plants/flowers, and more. New vendors include: Swell Snacks with dried fruits, Chef Mazotta with frozen prepared meals and crab cakes, Daily Delice with French specialties, Uhmaze with fresh-pressed juices, Twila Mae Chicken Salad, Traveling Salad Bar, Sinless Sweets, Dream Earth Bowls, and Fresh Catch with seafood, pot pies, stuffed chicken breasts, beef, and pork. Returning favorites include: Island Seafood, Andre’s French Bakery, Pete’s Fresh Mozzarella, Venus Veggies Organic Farm, Dynasty Guacamole, Cherie’s Sweet Treats, and Ernesto & Luigi Sauces. There also will be five craft vendors each week – four permanent ones and one rotating artisan.

A different local nonprofit also will be provided a space every week, including the local PTA and Boy Scouts. Again, this year, Local Roots is partnering with F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva to help fill its pantry shelves with a program where market visitors may bring food donations or donate funds to buy items.

The market does not allow dogs, only service animals are permitted. The market also is free of plastic straws and plastic bags. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bag and swing by – and grab their items “to go”. More info online at www.BuyLocalLee.com.

Other Upcoming Events

Classic Car Show Tomorrow – The San Cap Motor Club Cruise-ins are resuming for season, with the kickoff tomorrow, October 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place shopping center. Masks are required. Donuts from Bailey’s General Store will be available along with complimentary coffee. All are welcome to bring their classic cars. No pre-registration is necessary.

39th Taste of the Islands – Renamed “Taste of the Islands Reimagined” – This year the event which is an annual C.R.O.W. fundraiser will move into island restaurants and last through the month of November. All month, each participating restaurant will offer their “Taste” items to showcase their cuisine. A portion of the proceeds from those food and beverage sales will be donated to C.R.O.W. Additionally, every Sunday, a different “C.R.O.W. Crawl” will feature different restaurants for patrons to visit. The C.R.O.W. tent with Animal Ambassadors will be at these events. In lieu of admission, participants will purchase a “Taste Passport” with a list and map of the participating restaurants. To track their progress, each restaurant will stamp/punch the passport when a patron visits them. Only passport holders will be eligible to vote for their favorite restaurant to win the coveted “People’s Choice Award”. Passport holders also will be entered into a drawing for prizes, including vacation stays and gift certificates. Passports will be available at C.R.O.W. and the participating restaurants, or on-line at “will calls” both on and off Sanibel.

Luminary 2020 – The Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce has extended Luminary 2020 from seven hours to seven days for the “Coastal Distance Edition” on December 4-11. Instead of just single night events, this year, it will take place from Friday through Friday during normal operating hours when businesses will offer special discounts and deals. Retailers, restaurants, accommodations, personal services, attractions, recreational activities, and other local operations are invited to participate. The Chamber will create a dedicated landing Webpage for showcasing the week’s offers. With the tagline, “Eat, Shop, Stay, Play” like traditional Luminary celebrations, it promotes commerce on Sanibel and Captiva. Unlike past Luminaries, however, this year there will be no luminary light bags, alcohol (except where licensed), and no entertainment, events, or activities that might attract a crowd.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 6, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 50.

Home Buying & Selling During COVID-19

From FloridaRealtor® magazine October 2020: “As work, play and education turn to virtual environments, a new survey by Realogy indicates that Americans ages 50 and older want comfort, virtual tours and home inspections….  Additional findings from the consumer survey reveal a generational divide between those under the age of 50 and those 50+. Older Americans prioritize different things in the home, indicate different moving location preferences and have different plans for how they would use additional monetary funds.

Virtual Tours & Inspections May Ease Home Buying Decision Making – Over half of Americans say they would be comfortable putting their home on the market for sale virtually and more than a quarter of the 50+ population are comfortable buying a home having seen it only virtually and not in person. Among Americans who are uncomfortable or only somewhat comfortable buying a home virtually, a majority say virtual tours of the home, virtual home inspections and detailed neighborhood information and high-quality photos would ease their decision to buy a home virtually.

“Americans 50+ Prioritize the Home Differently Amidst COVID-19 – Comfort and convenience reign supreme: Americans 50+ are more likely than Americans under 50 to say top priority features include: laundry in the home, a patio/deck, accessibility and convenience, and an open layout. Most Americans of all ages say a yard or access to outdoor space is priority….

“Dreams of Urban Living Shift to the Suburbs – Among those who currently live in an urban area, nearly 40% are thinking about moving to a suburban or rural area in the future due to COVID-19….

“Retirement Still in the Cards? – Only 8% say that the coronavirus has caused them to move back their retirement date, while 3% say they plan to retire early. Over one-third of those surveyed said they have no current plans to retire….”

Remodeling Projects with the Greatest Return

Realtors® get asked this a lot, “Will I get my money back if I (do this)?” An article in the latest FloridaRealtor® magazine says that Remodeling Magazine asked real estate professionals what remodeling projects will pick up the greatest return when a home is sold. Here are their estimates for the percentage of return in the South Atlantic states.

  • Garage door replacement – 88.7%
  • Siding replacement (fiber-cement) – 80.5%
  • Minor kitchen remodel – 76.3%
  • Siding replacement (vinyl) – 76%
  • Roof replacement (asphalt singles) – 68.2%
  • Entry door replacement – 67%
  • Bathroom remodel – 66.7%
  • Major kitchen remodel – 58.7%
  • Bathroom addition – 53.9%

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 25 – October 2, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $395K, Sundial #I102 1/1 $450K, Sundial #O201 3/2 $819K, Wedgewood #102 3/3.5 $2.595M.

5 price changes: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 now $494K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $525K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 now $599K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $727K, Sundial #T201 2/2 now $815K.

7 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 listed at $339K; Sundial #D308 1/1 listed at $409K; Ibis at The Sanctuary #202B 2/2 listed at $487.5K; Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 listed at $609,906; Compass Point #222 2/2 listed at $619K; Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 listed at $659K (our listing); Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 listed at $679K.

3 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102A 2/2 $461K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 $655K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $890K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $479K, 753 Nerita St 3/2 $589K, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.929M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 $1.975M.

5 price changes: 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $649K (our listing), 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $725K, 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex now $920K, 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $1.074M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 now $2,268,500.

1015 Fish Crow Rd in Gulf Shores

8 new sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $540K; 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $624,999; 525 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $789K; 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $895K; 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 listed at $1.199M; 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.329M; 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 listed at $1.575M.

6 closed sales: 4606 Brainard Bayou 2/2 $455K, 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $600K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $680K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 $769K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $975K, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1,163,500.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: with contingencies: 2297 Wulfert Rd listed at $187K, 2142 Starfish Ln listed at $400K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 $755K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: Beach Villas #2522 1/1 listed at $529K.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 $335K, Bayside Villas #4216 1/2 $345K, Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 $370K.

HOMES & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekends, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

First Fall Friday on Sunny Sanibel

There has been chatter this week that the run-off from recent rains has darkened the baywaters. Took this pix today at 11 a.m. overlooking San Carlos Bay. It’s a bit darker from the tannin run-offs, but there have been no releases from Lake O. The Army Corps of Engineers says there will be no releases into the Caloosahatchee River for now.

Good news today from sunny Sanibel Island. The flooding from Tropical Storm Sally has mostly disappeared. The rain that flooded the area the weekend of September 12 dropped more than 24”, culminating an already rainy week. It was a record according to a report this week by Sanibel’s Director of Community Services who categorized it as a 100-year event. Sanibel’s weirs, designed to deal with flooding, were opened that weekend when 12.1” of rain fell in one day on already soggy ground.

An added surprise from this week’s change in weather pattern was low humidity, breezy sunny days, and little rain – nice weather for the many shellers collecting the bounty that came in from the recent storms.

A few showers are expected off-and-on over the weekend, but next week, little-to-no-rain again is expected with more sunny days and low 80-degree temperatures forecast. Fall is arriving in the Sunshine State.

High tide at Sanibel Marina this morning.

Outside dining at Gramma Dot’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It has been a quiet week at SanibelSusan Realty. About all I can say about the Zoom class, that I taught Tuesday at the Association of Realtors®, is that I am glad it is over. It sure is hard to teach to an empty room and keep attendees engaged. With renewed respect for teachers and instructors dealing with today’s challenges, I appreciate the Realtors® that attended my session.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the activity since last Friday in the Sanibel Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Status of Sanibel’s Residential Market

Based on recent action (more than usual for September), it is a good time to compare island real estate sales last year to the unusual-ness of 2020.

The tables below show by month and property type, the number of closed sales and average sale prices. Naturally, a closing occurs several weeks and sometimes a month or so after a contract is written so look at these statistics being mindful that contracts written this month, probably will not close until October, November, maybe even December.

The first tables for Sanibel homes show how strong this year began, followed by a big slump in May. That reflects the few new sales in the preceding months (late February, March, & April) which typically are “high” season and have strong sales – not so this year.

Since June, the number of closed home sales each month has exceeded the same month in 2019. Year-to-date numbers are strong. Home prices overall are down a little but holding steady. Already, this year, more homes have sold and closed, than in all of last year.

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 15 848,755 18 1,095,708 25 1,171,820 30 1,097,441 9 732,388
2019 9 1,057,222 11 1,504,590 18 947,923 31 848,458 40 1,010,454

 

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 14 716,460 39 804,765 21 959,805 20 961,160 191 953,193
2019 14 797,692 25 871,282 9 819,222 10 978,170 167 957,429

Comparing these Sanibel homes sales to current inventory, it really is astounding that even with the pandemic, 191 have sold/closed. Compare that to there just being 82 homes available for sale now. Average asking price is $1,838,648.

Another 59 homes are under contract, average asking price of those is $985,760. That large number of sales compared to inventory, indicates a sellers’ market, particularly in the median price range.

Looking at the same statistics for Sanibel condos, the picture is not as bright. Condos are moving more slowly, yet still ahead of 2019 overall. Those moving best are higher-end units mostly in residential communities. Income-producing condos have not seen a bounce-back. Investors may be wary of future rental projections, but I bet that changes in the upcoming months.

Today, there are 106 Sanibel condos for sale, which is about a year’s worth of inventory. Average asking price is $790,741. There are 27 units under contract, with an average asking price of $850,525.

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 11 650,060 16 621,093 19 880,947 16 670,150 9 901,000
2019 6 626,875 9 622,944 16 586,312 16 744,203 20 792,350

 

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 6 622,666 14 598,642 10 792,622 13 724,769 114 720,375
2019 10 650,350 8 414,500 9 793,555 5 568,800 99 669,782

Year-to-date, nearly twice as many homes have sold as condos. Even more of a disparity between homes and condos was evident during the summer (June 20-September 20, 2020). During that time, 88 Sanibel homes sold and closed, compared to 22 Sanibel condos. That trend continued this week too. Lower-priced Sanibel homes are selling like hotcakes, condos not so much.

Great Places Where Beginning Birders Can Get Their Wings

A special to USA Today this week posted an article that began with “While most of us have stuck close to home this year, bird watching has taken flight. The outdoor activity, which naturally encourages social distancing, has soared in popularity… wildlife refuges and parks make it easy to see a wide variety of flyers and shares some prime locations:”

First on the list is J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

But this week it did not require a ride through the refuge to see my favorite roseate spoonbill. Many were spotted sloshing along the bike path in a few areas where the water has yet to recede.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 29, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

In other City Business, City Council will meet on September 29 at 5:01 p.m. for the final budget hearing for tax year 2020. That is when the debt service ad valorem millage rates for the tax year are adopted. That means the 2020 tax bills should come out on time, later next month.

COVID Personal Protective Equipment Kits

The City of Sanibel has received an allotment of COVID Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Lee County, and has partnered with FISH OF SANCAP, CHR, The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, and the Sanibel Community Association (SCA) to distribute these items on Wednesday September 30 and Thursday October 1st from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, with drive-thru contactless pick up. Kits are FREE to individuals and households that live or work on Sanibel. They include disposable masks, reusable cloth masks, and a bottle of sanitizer. (To help in the distribution, contact FISH at 239-472-4775.)

Openings & Fall Scoop

Sanibel Farmers Market – begins October 4 and runs through May 30, 2021 every Sunday (including Easter) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on City Hall grounds. Parking available in lots at City Hall, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, & Schoolhouse Theater. Handicap parking & designated areas for bicycles at City Hall, but no pets allowed.

“B” Beach Parking Permit Sales to Resume – Following up on the suspension of the sale of “B” parking permits when beaches were closed, the City announced plans to start reselling all stickers at their normal schedule of November 1. The City offers five different parking permits. The resident “A” sticker is $12/year for taxpayers and property owners. Restricted “B” permits, for nonresidents, are $124.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 18-25, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $480K, Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 $490K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 $789K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $935K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 $1.05M.

2 price changes: Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $875K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 now $1.15M.

6 new sales: Donax Village #10 1/2 listed at $358K, Sundial #I405 1/1 listed at $419K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $712K (our listing), Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 listed at $749K, Blue Gulf 201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sunward #201 3/2 listed at $1.259M

9 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 $280K, Casa Blanca #4 1/1 $337K, Seashells #36 2/2 $365K, Cottage Colony West #134 1/1 $575K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $750K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-4 3/3 $760K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $760K, Sanibel Moorings #522 3/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.39M.

1 price change: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $599K.

17 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $490K; 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $524K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $645,750; 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K; 934 Cormorant Cir 3/2 listed at $729K; 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $749K; 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $819.9K; 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 listed at $899K; 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 listed at $995K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M; 490/460 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $699.9K; 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $795K; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed at $919K; 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M.

8 closed sales: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $355K, 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $450K, 454 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $610K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 $722.5K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr $1.28M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2,754,333.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1303 Par View Dr now $310K.

1 new sale: 2501 Tropical Way listed at $695K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5134 1/2 $399K.

No price changes.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $390K.

HOMES & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, enjoy your fall! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Paradise Post-Sally… Just Another Sunny Friday!

Tropical Storm Sally caused some excitement on Sanibel this week, even if she did not come ashore here. Following many rainy season days, Southwest Florida already was soggy when the storm slowly passed offshore last weekend. So slowly, that as the week began, the City reported that in just nine days, 20.47” of rain had been recorded. Then, there was more.

Late Sunday, between bands (silly me, I thought it had stopped), I went out to check a nearby listing. Just minutes from my home, I received multiple City and County tornado warning messages – cell calls, texts, and emails. Thankfully, those were just caution alerts. Within the hour, the warnings were canceled. There are some cool wall-of-water photos taken then, posted on www.MySanibel.com.

With more often-heavy rain and strong winds Sunday night, by daybreak Monday, a moat surrounded my home and Anchor Dr, at the gulf-end was impassable in a low vehicle. Since that was the last day of my Continuing Ed classes via Zoom, I opted to take them at home, while Elise opened the office.

A surprise for her was finding SanibelSquare also flooded. A little water made it in up the step and through our back door, but for the most part, the buildings here bordering Periwinkle are OK.

The back buildings were not as lucky. They remained flooded as did the parking lot until the sun came out Wednesday.

Monday when the water in our front lawn along the bike path subsided, Elise spotted the return of a marsh bunny. We were worried about those little guys.

We love our critters and got a giggle Tuesday afternoon when ducks enjoyed our parking lot, swimming by our back door.

Island-wide, including on Captiva, it took nearly all week for the water to go down in many areas. Today, when out doing sign and property checks, I saw high water at the entrance to West Rocks and in the swales along West Gulf Dr. Luckily the forecast for the next week (other than Sunday) has little or no rain expected.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Our listings had a few more inquiries and showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

The Association of Realtors® annual 12-part educational series to earn the islands specialist designation began this week. On Tuesday morning, I will be teaching the Resort and 2nd Home Market module by Zoom. It probably will not be as much fun as a classroom setting but I have my course material updated and will do my best to make it informative.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 22, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

Effective today (Sep 18, 2020), on Sanibel, irrigation is permitted only two days per week based on property address. Odd addresses on Mondays and Thursdays, even addresses on Tuesdays and Fridays. No irrigation is permitted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. As of today, these regulations now apply year-‘round.

Another recent pro-environment City change is: As of Oct 1, 2020, plastic bags many no longer be used for yard and horticulture waste for collection by the City’s waste hauler. Yard and horticulture waste may continue to be properly bundled, collected in refuse containers, or disposed of in biodegradable paper lawn and leaf bags.

SCCF’s Turtle Patrol

SCCF Photo

The Conservation Foundation’s Turtle Patrol reported Monday that more than 50 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and about 25 on Captiva were still incubating as of Saturday. They thought about 10 nests may have washed away on Sanibel, but their team had not been able to assess Captiva due to high water.

Some nests were visibly washed out. Others had their stakes washed away, but eggs still incubating under the sand. Their turtle team worked all week to confirm which nests were fully lost. In some, they found stranded hatchlings and assisted getting them to the gulf.

Their updated report on Wednesday, said “Our team is using a GPS device to confirm which nests have been fully lost…. the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, once crowded with a record number of yellow stakes marking nests, now host only 51 incubating nests on both islands combined. The season is all but over, with our last nests due to hatch in October. So far, 569 nests have hatched and 32,862 hatchlings have started their long journey to the Loop Current.”

Openings/Closings/September Scoop

The September vacations, deep cleans, and maintenance projects and improvements continue with the following business announcements this week:

Blue Giraffe – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Cheeburger Cheeburger – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Joey’s Custard – closed through Sep 30.

Over Easy Café – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Paper Fig Kitchen – closed through Sep 20.

Schnapper’s – closed through  Sep 20.

The Sanctuary – Is often the site of our annual Realtor® End-of-Season Golf Tournament & Auction which some old-timers still call the “Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, because of the pandemic, it was postponed from late May until mid-October. This week it was announced that The Sanctuary has canceled all member and non-member events through December, so our tournament and party are canceled. But we will still have an RPAC auction – albeit a 2-day on-line event ending with a Zoom meeting. Just another twist to 2020.

Traditions at Island Inn – Closed for vacations through Sept 29.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 11-18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 $375K, Sundial #D204 1/1 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $679K.

4 price changes: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 now $528K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 now $579K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $719K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $899K.

5 new sales: Seawind #A103 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 listed at $689K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 listed at $745K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 listed at $1.95M.

2 closed sales: Colonnades #3 1/1 $235K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 $530K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $647K, 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.095M.

1 price change: 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $839K.

8 new sales: 915 Main St 2/1 listed at $439K, 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 listed at $445K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $695K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 listed at $899K, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 listed at $3.25M.

6 closed sales: 3001 Swinging Wind Dr 2/2 $406K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $708,375; 1406 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $830K; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $880K; 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $902K; 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1159 Golden Olive Ct now $1.599M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4767 Tradewinds Dr $1,435,750.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 listed at $369.5K, Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 listed at $389K, Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #5228 12 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 listed at $415K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 listed at $545K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 $300K.

HOMES & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel in September = Sunshine – Showers – Sunsets

 

Now that Sanibel September has settled in, it will be interesting to see how this year compares to those in the past. Usually the slowest month for island traffic, Septembers here usually are filled with annual repair and maintenance projects and a few temporary restaurant closures, staff vacations, and general “get ready for season” preparations. This year, September is coupled with election madness and the effects of COVID-19, but it does not seem to be affecting sales much. The market for single-family homes is hot-hot-hot.

This week, Southwest Florida weather has included plenty of summer showers, sometimes heavy, resulting in standing water in a few locations. Those big puddles make the wildlife happy but keep Lee County Mosquito Control super busy. They are doing a great job, by the way.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates 

Though the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® office remains closed, they have expanded their educational offerings. This week, I took two Zoom classes as part of the 14-hours of Continuing Education Realtors® must take every two years. Tuesday was a 4-hour “Internet Whiz” class by The Real Estate Technology Institute, followed by a 4-hour attorney-presented class Thursday on “Florida Realtors® Contracts”.

Monday is an all-day class that covers Ethics and Core Law. When done, SanibelSusan will be ready for license renewal (and better prepared for the Zoom class she teaches September 22).

This week our listings had some great inquiries/showings with more scheduled this weekend. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

City of Sanibel

Of concern to many again was the jump in the number of reported virus cases. With schools back in session and more folks traveling, it is not the time to put your guard down.

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Ruane issued City Proclamation 20-062, extending the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 15, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26, as of September 10, 2020 is 48.

Monday, September 15, at 9 a.m. is a regular City Council meeting with full agenda (available with live audio link at www.mySanibel.com). COVID-19 is one of many items on the agenda. It will be busy for City leaders that day as after the City Council meeting, the first budget hearing begins at 5 p.m.

Openings/Closings/September Scoop

400 Rabbits – probably opening in December at the Rabbit Rd former Doc Ford’s location, this new restaurant (by the owners of Paper Fig) today posted their new logo on Facebook.

It will be a Mexican-inspired restaurant and tequila bar. Now, that’s a new twist for Sanibel.

Fresh Produce – the clothing store at Periwinkle Place has closed for good (& will be missed).

Sanibel Sprout Juice Bar & Vegan Café – with remodeling almost complete, Sanibel Sprout expects to open soon in the former location of Totally Baked in Island Center at 2407 Periwinkle Way.

Traders Restaurant on Sanibel – which usually closes for the month of September for employee vacations will not close this year. Continuing through September, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8:30 p.m. for inside/patio dining, curbside pickup, & free delivery. Live music nightly beginning at 6 p.m.

Condo Projects Underway – In between the summer showers, several community projects are underway. Here are a few noticed this week: Exterior renovation including new paint & railings at White Sands. Major exterior renovation at Sanibel Arms West “B” building. Exterior work at Building C at Sanddollar too. At Loggerhead Cay, elevators being refurbished, & pool resurfaced.

What Precautions Are Vacation Rentals Taking?

Beach walk at Sanibel Moorings

Many have asked what island hotels and vacation rentals are doing to prevent spread of the virus? The below info is extracted from Sanibel Moorings website (www.SanibelMoorings.com) . It is a good example of how hard some businesses are working to keep visitors safe.

“*Important information: Per the City of Sanibel proclamation 20-040, face masks are now REQUIRED for all persons on the Island while indoors at public places, or when social distancing is not possible. Sanibel Moorings will require all persons to wear masks while inside all amenities such as the front office (currently closed for face-to-face interactions), conference room, guest laundry areas, fitness room, and anytime social-distancing is not possible, whether indoors or outdoors.*

“Vacation rentals are still under some restrictions per the State of Florida, Lee County, and the City of Sanibel.

The current restrictions and guidelines affecting Vacation Rentals in Sanibel are as follows:

  • Shall prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally.
  • Shall allow adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Shall clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the property between each guest stay.
  • Shall wash all linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests between each guest rental.
  • Shall provide sufficient soap and surface sanitation supplies for guests to use in the vacation rental property during the guest’s rental period.
  • Shall ensure adequate safety protocols are in place and publicly displayed, in line with CDC guidance, regarding shared or multi-residence amenities such as pools, gyms, and other communal spaces.
  • Shall follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting their facility, per the CDC site

“Sanibel Moorings Resort’s COVID-19 Cleaning Procedures and Fees: Safety and cleanliness are and always have been a top priority for us at Sanibel Moorings. At this difficult time, we understand providing the safest, cleanest environment for you is paramount and at the top of your mind! While we have always provided the cleanest accommodations, we have enhanced our already stringent protocols.

“Here are a few keys changes we have made to our condo cleaning process:

  • A 24-hour gap between guests is enforced to allow time to properly clean, disinfect and then sanitize every condo.
  • Housekeepers and staff may not enter a condo until at least three hours have passed since a departing guest has left the condo to allow bacteria and viruses in the air to settle to surfaces.
  • After three hours have passed, disinfecting spray will be applied to solid surfaces in the condo and housekeeping will remove all bath towels, sheets, bedspreads, blankets, and pillow shams to be professionally laundered after every guest departure. All garbage and recycling left by the guest will also be removed.
  • Maintenance will then enter the condo to perform preventative maintenance.
  • The following morning, housekeepers will thoroughly clean the condo.
  • After cleaning, the room will be inspected by a head of housekeeping.
  • After inspections, a disinfecting solution will be applied to the entire condo by an electrostatic fogger. The solution is botanical in nature and is non-toxic to humans and animals. Click here for more information about the product.
  • In order to allow the electrostatic fogger cleaning solution to penetrate all surfaces, decorative pillows and unnecessary paper items have been removed from every unit….

“With the new cleaning and disinfecting guidelines in place, we will need to have a minimum of 24-hours between guests in order to properly disinfect each unit. This may affect some reservations already made, which will need to be moved to accommodate this new process. We will contact all guests affected by the 24-hour policy directly. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this change.

“Changes in Staff Standard Operating Procedures:

  • A daily health questionnaire and temperature check is completed by each associate upon arrival to the office.
  • Associates that are not feeling healthy, have a temperature of more than 100.4 or that have symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to stay home, see a doctor, and call their supervisor.
  • Personal Protective Equipment is used by staff while cleaning condos and common areas
  • Masks are required to be worn by associates if they cannot maintain 6ft distance from others

“Current Status of Sanibel Moorings’ services, activities, and amenities (which could change at any time):

The following are OPEN or available:

  • The Beach (Beach chairs and loungers are self-service. Bring your own umbrellas!)
  • Pools
  • Grills
  • Tennis Courts (No equipment is available. Please bring your own.)
  • Conference Center
  • Guest Laundry Rooms
  • Fitness Center
  • Beach Towel Rentals (delivery only)
  • Maintenance Work Orders (unit must be unoccupied while workers are present.)
  • DVD Rental (Delivery Only from 8:00am-4:30pm. Please call or text.)

“The following services, activities and amenities have been suspended or closed until further notice:

  • Beach Umbrellas (Please bring your own through October, 2020.)
  • Monday Shelling Lecture, Wednesday Garden Tours, Friday Beach Walk with Sanibel Sea School (Hopefully resuming in November)
  • Paddle Boards, Bikes, Canoe and Kayak Rentals through Sanibel Moorings
  • Laundry Exchange Window (call or text for delivery of fresh towels from 8:00am-4:30pm). Dirty bath towels should be taken to the Exchange Window bins designated for dirty towels and linens.
  • Maid service for in-house guests

“Our office will remain closed to in-person interactions. We are available, however, via phone, texts, and email from 8:00am-4:30pm every day and from 4:30-6:00pm for guest arrivals (check-ins) curbside….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 4-11, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

5 price changes: Captains Walk #E8 2/1.5 now $385K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 now $489K, Sundial #D305 1/1 now $529K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $998K, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 now $1.95M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 listed at $490K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 listed at $525K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 listed at $679K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 listed at $789K, Blind Pass #G105 4/3 listed at $969K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

3 closed sales: Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 $625K, Sand Pointe #223 2/2 $735K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $825K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex $559K.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $570K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 now $699K, 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $895K.

10 new sales: 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $467K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $689.9K, 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 listed at $900K, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed at $939K, 595 West Rocks Dr 3/3 listed at $1M, 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed at $1.099M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.395M, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 listed at $1.539M, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 listed at $1.575M.

3 closed sales: 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $750K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $750K, 2417 Wulfert Rd 3/3 $945K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 9226 Kincaid Ct $129K, 489 Ponce De Leon Rd listed at $219K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.088M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $2,775,050.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex listed at $2.495M, 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 listed at $3.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Labor Day Weekend 2020 on Sunny Sanibel Island

There was an uptick in real estate showings and inquiries this week at SanibelSusan Realty. Many neighborhoods and complexes have annual maintenance and summer repair projects underway, yet the islands are expected to have more visitors over the three-day holiday weekend.

Following a couple of news items below are the week’s postings in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Ruane issued City Proclamation 20-061, extending the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26, as of August 31, is 42. That is the total number of positive cases reported during that 5+month period, not current cases.

Proclamation 20-061:

  • Extends temporary prohibitions of alcohol on beaches. (Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week at all City-operated beaches & associated parks or picnic areas with public parking (including Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass, Gulfside City Park (Algiers), Lighthouse Beach & fishing pier, Trost lot (Tarpon Rd beach), Bailey Rd north beach, & picnic areas at Sanibel boat ramp).
  • Extends temporary parking fines. (Until November 30, 2020, parking fines remain $200 to prevent overcrowding at beach parking lots & around beach access points.)
  • Extends until November 30, 2020, the temporary allowance for certain outdoor displays of merchandise.

The state of emergency extension is until September 8, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Shoreline Stabilization Project at Turner Beach

On Monday, the City posted that Turner Beach Park will be closed September 8 through November 6 for a construction project.

The project includes the removal and replacement of the rip-rap revetment along the south side of the park, drainage improvements throughout the entire park, ADA accessibility improvements, and dune restoration.

Lee County Tourist Development Council is providing the funding.

SCCF Documents Most Loggerhead Nests Ever

2020 is a record-breaking nesting season on both islands for loggerhead sea turtles. As of September 2, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) sea turtle team has documented 679 nests on Sanibel breaking the previous record of 649 in 2017. On Captiva, 265 nests have been recorded, beyond the previous record of 194 in 2016.

Sea turtles have complex life cycles – females lay more than one nest per year but do not typically reproduce every year, so even when the population is stable, it is natural to see fluctuations from year to year.

After the red tide during the 2018 nesting season stranded more than 100 loggerheads, there was concern that the number of adults lost would have a negative impact on the nesting season this year. SCCF has a research project underway to better understand how these algae blooms affect the health of surviving turtles.

Sanibel School Back in Session

The Sanibel School is back in session this week, with students adjusting to some changes due to the pandemic. The school has been shut down since Spring Break in March, when lockdown orders were issued, and the Lee County School District transitioned into a remote learning program.

This week, school leaders expected about two-thirds of its enrollment – or about 180 students – to be back in class for face-to-face learning. New safety protocols are in place aimed at keeping students and faculty safe. The remaining students opted for one of three home study options offered by the school district.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 28 – September 4, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #202 2/2 $487.5K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $669,555; Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $579K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $725K.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $339K.

2 new sales Sunset South #14B 2/2 listed at $950K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 listed at $999K.

6 closed sales: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 $392.5K; Sand Pointe #227 2/2 $715K; Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $763,225; Sand Pointe #116 2/2 $870K; Somerset #C302 3/2 $1.5M; High Tide #A301 3/2 $1.845M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $629K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $645,750; 2343 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.42M; 4067 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $5.9M.

3 price changes: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $850K, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 now $2.348M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.595M.

7 new sales: 915 Main St 2/1 listed at $439K, 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 $450K, 4455 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $738K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $869K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 listed at $1.199M, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.25M, 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 968 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $377K (our listing), 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $524K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $640K, 3117 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $788K, 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $925K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.04M, 912 Kings Crown Dr 3/3.5 $1.175M, 5089 Joewood Dr 6/5 $2.85M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2501 Tropical Way $695K.

2 price changes: 355 Cowry Ct now $295K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $340K.

2 new sales: 2307 Wulfert Rd listed at $199K, 2319 Wulfert Rd listed at $199K.

2 closed sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd $207K, 1219 Par View Dr $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 now $879K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $2.89M.

1 new sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 listed at $889K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Beautiful Friday on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday again is here with the SanibelSusan Team reporting a few more inquires and showings with our listings, plus two new listings this week. (See the views from those listings below.)

View from Mariner Pointe #541

View from Lighthouse Point #229

During the same time, as islanders/visitors continued to dodge summer showers, all eyes were on Hurricane Laura as it gained strength through the gulf. Our thoughts are with those affected by the storm.

Almost daily, Sanibel and Captiva have been getting a good soaking. Wednesday’s afternoon dousing was strong and heavy with minor flooding in some areas. Thankfully, most of that water now has disappeared.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

2020 Florida Realtors® Virtual Convention

This week was the first Florida Realtors® “virtual” convention. Since the mid-90’s, each August, I have attended these annual conventions in person in Orlando. It certainly was a different experience being virtual. Though it was a disappointment not to network with colleagues, it certainly was easy to hear/see the educational sessions and inspiring keynote speakers from the convenience of office or home. Those I viewed had excellent attendance, perhaps a plus from it being remote and FREE.

Kudos to Realtor® friends, Mike Bruno from Sarasota and Mari Colgan from Tampa who were the event chair/co-chair. Below are a few tidbits from a couple of the sessions I attended via ZOOM.

From the Legal Update presented by Florida Realtors® Law and Policy team, we learned that Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation shows that there are 205,926 active sales associates; 21,641 active broker/sales associates; and 41,844 active brokers. Huge numbers!

When I first got involved with the state leadership team and became part of the Professional Development Committee’s Audition Panel for instructors, we used to say that when folks moved to Florida, they got a real estate license right after they got their Florida driver’s license. That still may be the case.

Florida Residential & Economic Trends (by Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors® Chief Economist)

Brad and his research department track data from every area and with input from every Realtor® association in the state. He said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was looking to be a record-breaking year for residential real estate in the Sunshine State. Even with that derailing of the U.S. economy, Florida home values remained stable and sales overall are surging this summer.

In comparing pending sales of existing homes by month to last year, in January and February, Florida sales were more than 12% ahead of last year. Then COVID hit. In March pending home sales were down 22% and in April down 35%. Pending sales of existing condos were off even more, during those winter months which typically bring the most sales in Florida. In March, Florida pending condo sales were off 35%, when compared to 2019. In April, condo sales were down 56%.

May was a month of transition. Pending home sales were up 2.3%, but condo sales still were off, lagging 16% behind last year. Over the summer, pending sales of both homes and condos have improved state-wide. Year-to-date, Florida home sales are up (though less than 1%), while condo sales are down more than 8%.

Interestingly, when looking at actual closed sales by county, Lee and Collier have had more sales than many areas. So far, demand in Florida has recovered faster than supply. Home inventory is down, but not so with condos.

Another interesting tidbit is that the loss in employment is much less in Florida, than nationally.

What is the outlook for Florida’s housing and economy? Brad said several factors will affect this:

  • Inventory shortage looms large
  • Fiscal and monetary policy responses/stimulus
  • Mortgage forbearance & loan delinquency packages
  • Renter eviction moratoria
  • International buyer activity
  • Pandemic progression & school re-openings.

Calling the iBuyer Bluff (by Steven David)

Maybe you are not familiar with the term iBuyer, but I bet you have heard of Zillow, seen their website, and looked up their Zestimate® for a property, maybe your own home. Did you know that the actual market value of a property and a “Zestimate®” are WAY different? (P.S. FYI, an iBuyer is a company that uses technology to make an instant offer on your home.)

As a long-time fan of Steven David, in this class he provided data and calculations that explain the bottom-line difference Realtors® make in listing/selling property.

What is a Zestimate? Steven said that by Zillow’s own account, a Zestimate is the “estimated market value” of a property. By estimated, they mean a home value assigned using proprietary computer algorithms developed by statisticians. A Zestimate does not involve human touch, vision, or interaction.

I deviated from Steven’s presentation and looked up exactly what Zillow says on their website – by their own definition: “Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.” What does this definition mean? It means Zillow is a marketing company, looking to profit from real estate transactions.

Steven David, through his presentation, commented on how professional Zillow was in their email interactions with him, but the difference between what they said a property is worth and what they were willing to pay for it was astounding.

He used as an example a property in an area that he knows in Margate, FL that had a Zestimate® value of $260,071. Again, Zillow carefully explains on their site that a Zestimate is an estimate of valuation using basic facts or computer-generated data.

What does this mean? It means that no one actually viewed or visited the property, no people were involved in the calculation, no “real” comparables were used, and who knows if that value is what “real” people will pay for it.

Zillow also offered to buy this same property (with $260,071 Zestimate®) for $226,550 and that offer is before they deducted their fees and selling costs.

Here is some info about those: From the $226,550, they deducted 6% selling costs. (Maybe what they think a sales commission could be.) Then they deduct a 1% Zillow service fee. Now the Seller net is down to $210,645, but there is more!

They then deduct closing costs (in this case $3,461). (Maybe they know who pays what for closing costs in that county or area, or maybe it is another Zestimate. The closings costs at that sales price wouldn’t have been that much here.)

Next, they deduct repairs and upkeep based on what they consider the market average for a property in that price range. In this case, they said the repairs needed would be between $9,800 and $17,200. (Where do these numbers come from? Have you ever sold a property that needed that much in repairs?)  For his example, Steven used an average of Zillow’s repair range or $13,500.

Are you wondering how they can deduct monies to fix up a property that they have not seen? Maybe that property is in tip-top condition and does not need a thing.

Pure and simple, using this actual example with the documentation to prove it. Zillow would buy the property they Zestimate at $260,071 for $226,550, with a net to Seller of $193,684 (after deducting their costs of sale). That is more than 25% less than their own Zestimate®.

So, the question becomes, why pay someone to get you less than fair market value? It has been proven time and time again though real sates data, that Realtors® bring added value to a transaction. Above and beyond the money, Realtors® bring hope and confidence to a transaction.

The virus is driving demand to real estate with folks vacating big cities and Florida being one of the best states for growth. Real estate “always” comes back and long-term “always” works. Do not be swayed by an estimate or Zestimate® and do not be taken advantage of by someone who does not know your community and has not seen your property.

Steven said that the total value of all real estate in the United States is $38 trillion. With Zillow, those owners could lose trillions. Be smart, know that a Zestimate may include as much or more than 25% in guesstimated fees.

City of Sanibel COVID-19 Update

On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until September 1, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

The proclamation #20-060 and posting on the City’s website says: “Per the State Department of Health the number of COVID-19 positive cases reported in the 33957 zip code since the inception of the pandemic remains at 41. This is the accumulative number of COVID-19 positive cases since March 26, 2020 not the number of currently active cases.

No new cases on Sanibel have been reported by the Florida Department of Health for the past eleven days. This is not a reason to lessen our community’s diligence in reducing the spread of the virus. To assist the citizens of Sanibel, City staff track Sanibel specific trends of the COVID-19 cases, released to the public by the State Department of Health. As of today (March 25, 2020), the total number of COVID-19 cases reported on Sanibel represent 0.2% of the total COVID-19 cases reported in Lee County (in which Sanibel is located) since the inception of the pandemic. Per the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 Population Estimate, Sanibel represents 0.9% of the total population of Lee County.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 21-28, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 $515K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #229 2/2 $712K (our listing), Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $745K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 $959K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 $979K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 now $705K, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $950K.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Sand Pointe #223 2/2 listed at $749K; Plantation Village #322 3/3 listed at $2.55M.

1 closed sale: Colonnades #13 1/1 $283K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 915 Main St 2/1 $439K, 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 $949,949.

5 price changes: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $499K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 now $524K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $900K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $925K, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 now $1.575M.

7 new sales: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $580K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 listed at $719K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 listed at $829K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed at $849K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 listed at $899K, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 listed at $999K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.095M.

8 closed sales: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $540K, 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 $560K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $589K, 1813 Farm Trl 3/2 $610K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $670K, 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 $810K, 660 Durion Ct 3/2 $850K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $858K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5627 Baltusrol Ct now $289K.

1 new sale: 4334 West Gulf Dr listed at $989K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 listed at $3.65M.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3234 2/2 $472K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.725M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. I had fun preparing that one!

Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend, the last few weeks of summer, & please contact The SanibelSusan Team if we can help you with real estate on the islands!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

BOGO With Gulf Of Mexico Tropical Storms

Time for another Friday update from SanibelSusan Realty, where we are keeping a watchful eye on the weather. 2020 sure has been one for the record books. Today, adding that two tropical storms are expected to arrive simultaneously in the Gulf of Mexico adds to the unpredictability of the year.

Teammate Dave was out this morning checking our listings and we will continue to follow projections. The latest indicates that Tropical Storm Laura may be nearby, though maybe off shore, Monday into Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, though the islands already have experienced plenty of summer showers this week, the surrounding gulf waters are clear and beautiful. Jim Sazbo, owner of SanCap Aerial photography, provider of drone views for the City, on Wednesday posted the below photo showing the Lighthouse end of the island. May the water stay looking like this!

Island Real Estate Action

Island sales action has slowed a little this week. Often fewer visitors are here late August through September, but it also is the time that those looking usually are serious – particularly those wanting to have a property in place to enjoy or rent this winter.

We got an inquiry this week about one of our condo listings that resulted in a showing and it was interesting to hear the same question from them that I heard last week from a buyer interested in another complex.

That question is “Why are so many properties for sale in that community?”. It certainly makes sense to ask why owners are selling and to be cautious if it looks like a community may have a problem. But in all my years here, it has been rare to have owners want to sell because of something negative about a neighborhood. More often, owners sell to move up to another property, or for investment, or because of a change in life situation.

What also is interesting is that some communities sell more one year than aother, often without a common explanation. Here are a few that have had noticeable jumps in sales this year:

  • Blind Pass condominiums: 5 units have sold/closed this year to-date, compared to just 2 in all of 2019.
  • Gulfside Place, 4 sold/closed, compared to 2 last year.
  • Sand Pointe, 5 sold, compared to 2 last year.
  • The Dunes, 20 homes have sold to-date, compared to the same number in all of 2019, but another 10 are under contract.
  • Sanibel Estates, where I live, 12 homes have sold, compared to 9 last year, 2 others under contract.
  • Sanibel Isles, 4 homes sold to-date & 2 under contract, just 1 sale in 2019.
  • Captiva in South Seas Plantation, Bayside Villas: 2 sales last year, 4 year-to-date, 7 more units under contract in last 2 weeks.
  • Captiva Beach homes also are ahead of last year: 3 homes sold then, 5 have sold this year, 3 others under contract.

The activity post since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Here in the office, I am close to finishing my annual update of the Resort & 2nd Home module that I teach for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation. It is challenging trying to convert it to a Zoom format without losing the fun associated with in-person classes. Hoping to learn some tips, I have signed up to take the 14-hours of Continuing Ed required of Realtors® every two years, by Zoom.  

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

City of Sanibel – On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 25, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Since March 26, a total of 41 COVID 19 cases have been reported on Sanibel by Florida Department of Health (DOH).

F.I.S.H. 12th Annual 10K Race Will be Virtual – While the “official” date of the race was scheduled for October 24, runners may participate virtually and log their time at any point from when they register through October 31. Registration will open later this month through the Fort Myers Track Club. More info regarding incentives for runners who help register groups or raise funds for F.I.S.H. will be available on the F.I.S.H. and Fort Myers Track Club websites. Participants will receive a dri-fit shirt with this year’s Hortoon logo and matching face covering. (www.fishofsancap.org). (SanibelSusan will not be needed as a Sanibel Square race safety monitor this year, but fully supports all that this wonderful organization has done and continues to do for those needing a hand, particularly in these trying times. The Association of Realtors® Summer 2020 challenge continues with our members and affiliates donating bags of items with school supplies and non-perishables for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Their needs this year are enormous.)

Library Reopens – Monday, the Sanibel Public Library’s building reopened to the public following a deep clean. Precautions are in place to help protect staff and visitors from COVID-19. Inside the building, social distancing and wearing of masks (except those under age 6) are required. Library cards are available at no charge to residents of Sanibel and Lee County. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. The Library is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more info, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at www.sanlib.org. Contact-less curbside service is continuing, call or go online to place a hold.

Virus May Have Boosted the Housing Market

Locals recognize that the pandemic is boosting the island real estate market, but here is a more national glimpse, from an article posted August 11 on FloridaRealtors® by Kerry Smith.

“In earlier times, a pandemic + recession would have slowed the market, but today’s unique circumstances seem to have sparked an even stronger demand for homeownership.

“SEATTLE – Three-quarters of homebuyers who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months say the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their homebuying plans – and one in four (25%) says it caused them to move faster or speed up their timeline.

“However, one in five (20%) say they’ve postponed homeownership, and 17% are now looking at less expensive homes, according to a survey conducted by Redfin.

““Somewhat counterintuitively, the coronavirus-driven recession is propping up the housing market,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. He says homebuyer demand surged in the second quarter of 2020 even though GDP took a nosedive.

““Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing even as they cut back on other expenses,” says Fairweather. “Additionally, the Fed is using low interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is giving buyers more purchasing power and boosting home sales. But even with low rates, widespread unemployment and financial uncertainty mean not everyone who wants to buy a home is able to” do so.

“The pandemic’s most common homebuyer impact is a desire for more space: 21% of respondents want a designated area to work from home and 21% want more outdoor space; in addition, 10% of respondents now want a bigger home, and 7% want a designated space for children to learn from home.

““When the pandemic first hit, a few buyers canceled contracts due to economic uncertainty and concerns about potential layoffs,” says Phoenix Redfin agent Thomas Wiederstein. “I’ve also had some clients take breaks from searching because they don’t know how the economic situation is going to play out.

“But then there’s the other side,” says Wiederstein, “those who are encouraged by low mortgage rates, sitting around in their tiny apartment dreaming of the space a single-family home can offer.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 14-21, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 2/2.5 $999K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102 2/2 listed at $479K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 listed at $599K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 listed at $675K, Sundial #J107 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex $999K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.595K.

8 price changes: 981 Main St 4/2.5 now $675K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $745K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $799K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $829K, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.195M, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.25M, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 now $1.539M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.575M.

8 new sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $549K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $795K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $875K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.075M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.195M, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 listed at $1.199M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.989M.

3 closed sales: 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $685.9K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $860K, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.035M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4995 Joewood Dr now $2.45M.

2 new sales: 0 Island Inn Rd listed at $599,555; 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4216 1/2 listed at $374.9K, Bayside Villas #5218 1/2 listed at $399K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 listed at $1.459M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 listed at $2.85M.

2 closed sales: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 $1.175M, 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.65M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr $8.95M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. 

Enjoy your weekend & watch out for those BOGO’s.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan