Veterans Day 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday! There is island progress – though probably not as quickly as most desire. The mountains of debris from Hurricane Ian seem to be getting higher, though more removal vehicles and staging areas were reported during the City progress briefing Tuesday night. The City contractor handling the removal said that within the next two weeks, every City road will have their first removal pass. Periwinkle Way has already had multiple passes and the Gulf Drives also have had some.
The City briefing scheduled for last night was cancelled because of the Tropical Storm Nicole forecast, but it turned out to be a non-event here. A soaking of the hurricane dust was appreciated though. Next City progress briefing is scheduled at 5 p.m. Tuesday 11/15.

Island Real Estate

The rumor mill has been rampant with reports about various condominium complexes. Many are just now being evaluated by their insurance adjusters and remediation contractors. My advice is to “stay calm”, it never pays to make hasty decisions without confirming facts.
The new City Building Director and Deputy began work this week and their new on-line expedited permitting system is “up and running”.
Many property owners have inquired about contractors and appraisers. I also have received several inquiries from owners wanting to know the value of their property before the storm, compared to now. (Thinking ahead to their 2022 taxes, I guess.)  As I told them, a Realtor® opinion of value is not like a certified real estate appraisal. Sure, I can provide what I think a property was worth just before Ian, but I don’t think we will know the repercussions of the storm on actual sale prices for a few more weeks/months.
Based on the new listings that popped on the market this week, those looking to sell for the most part are owners of ground-level homes that were destroyed inside from the flooding and either they don’t want to go through the aggravation of restoration – or they have found they can’t without elevating the property.
After a couple of news items below, are those changes since last Friday posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Our office finally is close to empty. Teammate Dave has worked tirelessly both there and at my home, fighting the mold and emptying the contents. Still no word on when the office remediation will begin, but we are working remotely, easily dealing with inquiries. Thank goodness for the internet!
The contractor at my home has begun work, and today I selected my new cabinetry and countertops. Will be interesting to see how long the whole process takes. I’ve rented another Ft Myers apartment that I move into before Thanksgiving. Thankfully, it’s one where I can stay as long as needed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The complex that the local Association of Realtors® owns at 2353 Periwinkle Way also had damage, but Finnimores Cycle Shop, our downstairs tenant, reopened this week. Today, I also saw a crowd of workers emptying inventory at Winds Surf Shop.
Hopefully at our annual Association of Realtors® meeting next week (at their temporary off-island location), we will get an update on when our island facility will reopen.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 4 – 11, 2022

Like last week, most of these new listings had damage with those listing agents providing details in the “agent notes” that sales are to be “as is”, with no warranty on condition, and “cash”. The islands remain limited to access by those with re-entry permits, i.e., residents, their contractors, insurance personnel, and first responders (including debris removal and utility vehicles).
Curious lookie-loos are not allowed on-island while debris removal & utility restoration are underway. Police continue to monitor everyone entering and tow trucks leaving the island. You still must have a re-entry pass or local driver’s license with island address to get on.
Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closings.
HOMES
7 new listings: 1129 Sabal St 2/2 $649K, 695 Durion Ct 3/2 $695K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 $840K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $950K, 775 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $995K, 9015 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 $995K, 888 Limpet Dr 3/2 $1.65M.
3 back on market: 921 Strangler Fig Ct 3/2.5 $800K, 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $925K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $1.179M.
2 price changes: 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.1M, 6126 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $1.3M.
6 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir (1/2 duplex) 3/2.5 listed at $449K; 677 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $775K, 952 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $799,222; 780 Beach Rd 3/2 listed at $985K, 3845 West Gulf Dr 5/6.5 listed at $12M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
2 new listings. 809 Pyrula Ave $699K, 4717 Rue Belle Mer $3.75M.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday,
Happy Veterans Day!
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Nov 4 Post-Ian on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s another Friday with more progress noticeable daily on the islands as utility and demolition/remediation crews are starting to appear in complexes/communities.

The City’s progress briefing scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight was cancelled. Next one is scheduled for Tuesday 11/8 at 5 p.m. I will follow that and post a recap on Facebook as I have been doing with the others. If you missed the big one this past Tuesday, that was their last update and was part of their 6+hour City Council meeting. My recap of recovery items discussed at the meeting are below. (Sorry it’s so long.)

Recap of Hurricane Ian Recovery from 11/1/2002 Sanibel City Council Meeting

Day 34 – 11/1/2022 – Tues – Post Hurricane Ian – Below are SanibelSusan’s Notes from Progress Briefing which was part of City Council Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel, Fort Myers: (To listen to meeting yourself, go to The City of Sanibel, Florida Facebook page).

(Wow, big kudos for our City Council & staff. Meeting was 6 hours & 8 minutes, with just two 15-minute breaks. A lot covered. My summary below includes just hurricane recovery agenda items.)

Mayor Smith, Vice Mayor Johnson, & Councilmen Crater, Henshaw, & Miller in attendance. All provided opening remarks.

City Manager Souza provided Ian recovery update. Sanibel joined FEMA in 1979. According to 2017 records, 38% of the island properties were non-conforming, however, Sanibel is rated 5 out of 10 for their code requirements, which provides insurers a 25% reduction in flood rates.

Over 9,000 reentry passes have been issued since the storm.

Incredible efforts by City staff, state/federal/county/neighbors, multiple agencies, business partners, non-profits, & residents – positive – pushing forward.

Please know “that just because it’s taking time, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.” Continue to be patient.

Announcement coming soon on new emergency permitting process.

Kevin Guthrie, Director of FL Dept of Emergency Mgmt – Ian resulted in unprecedented damage & response action/reaction. He’s been here since 10/3. Asked County to assist in debris removal, then asked state. State has now assumed cost of debris removal off City streets. Will be here a long time removing that debris.

Residents & Commercial property owners may request assistance from FEMA for removal of debris & vessels from their private property. Also, could get travel trailer after debris removed.

Already In just 1-1/2 days identified 100 submerged vessels in coastal waters.

Not only will you see Crowder Gulf debris recovery vehicles, but also private debris removal vendors, & private divers with buoys, marking submerged vessels/debris.

If you are looking to apply for PPDR (Private Property Debris Removal) or CPDR (Commercial Property Debris Removal) go to www.CleanUp.com or call 850-951-2002. You will be asked to complete/provide:

1) Right of private entry document

2) Upload insurance info, as Federal govt can’t duplicate charges that your own insurance might cover (no duplication of benefits)

3) ID to ensure you own the property

4) List of waivers, indemnify FEMA

This could get your private property cleared after FEMA clears what’s in the City right-of-ways

Then FEMA travel trailer could be provided up to 18 months for permanent housing.

State program is for 6 months.

Suggested City prepare expedited project worksheets for reimbursements.

Yesterday based on direction from Governor, submitted request for additional 30 days FEMA reimbursement for costs 100% related to storm. This would extend current 60-day order to 90 days, or Dec 31. Only the President may grant this. Hope to hear back quickly.

Also suggested City apply for Community Disaster Loans which in past FEMA has waived payback (every time).

When Chief Dalton asked for additional mutual aid. State agreed to pay for that support through end of year.

City Manager Souza:

Expectation is that cost for just City debris removal will be more than $80M.

Whole City budget is just over $83M.

Already working on worksheets as well as other programs for City to get maximum financial aid.

Cati Sherrard, Resident Construction Engineer – restoring causeway & bridges.

Incredible responses from all parties in cooperation.

In 5 days from being brought on the job, achieved temporary access to island.

Day 15 – open to civilian traffic.

Remainder of work to be done in 2 phases. Now at the end of Phase 1A.

Phase 1 is completion of temporary bridge

Phase 2 is permanent.

Phase 1B will be next month or so, to more stabilize the current temporary access so that it’s good for a year.

Will remain on the job 24/7

Phase 2 will have some overlap, also stabilizing design that will be accomplished in bite-sized pieces. Goal is to have the new bridge there by Oct 2023. Unlike what you may be seeing on social media, it will look much like it did pre-Ian. It’s what you won’t be able to see that will be different.

Also, FL Dept of Transportation is going to rebuild the East Periwinkle Way bridge. Materials have been ordered. Expect it will be done within 2 weeks of start. Contractor is ready to go!

Diana Wilson, Island Water General Manager:

As of this morning water service restored to over 3,000 properties. Getting about 100 requests a day. Request yours at www.IslandWater.com or call 239-472-1502. Business office is now open Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Have received many questions from those who thought their water was reestablished but when they get there, they have no water. Tip: Be sure & check the valve for water to your house & your backflow device valve. Valves should be opened in direction of the flow.

Boil water notice still applies – will communicate when that changes.

Billing – late payment fees suspended until end of year.

Tricia Dorn, LCEC Key Account Executive:

LCEC will be working ‘round the clock until the last new meter installed.

Have received 1,485 affidavits that electrical systems are OK & ready to be powered up.

So far, 970 have been energized, another 35 turned on just during course of the meeting so far.

Taking 24-72 hours from receipt of affidavit to turn-on.

So far 117 orders were unserviceable.

Power back on to all lift stations.

If you received power & then it went out again, please call LCEC. A transformer problem after a major event like this could occur up to 6 months after.

There are 200 crews working on island now, 24/7.

Kevin Barbot, Sanibel Fire & Rescue Chief:

County had many structure fires, just 6 on Sanibel were complete losses.

4 electric-vehicle fires to-date

2 small fires (lithium batteries, e bikes)

32 golf cart fires at The Dunes

Initially most work rescue/evacuations, then 209 electric-vehicle removals, responding to emergencies, mitigation, & humanitarian efforts.

Working with Amerigas & Blossmans on propane tanks. Many moved during storm.

Call Fire Dept if you find one on your property.

1300 permitted tanks have been inspected.

Dealing now with a lot of traumatic injuries & increased industrial/construction emergencies.

In partnership with Lee County EMS, provided with additional ambulance & medics to assist.

Brush fire danger & conservation land precautions.

Now increased response time from mutual-aid partners just off island as they likewise dealing with devastation.

Strike team from Destin was here providing mutual aid. Hoping now to get more from other parts of state.

Please keep hydrants clear.

Fire Station at Bowman’s may be a total loss. Working 12-hour shifts 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Palm Ridge Station in better shape, it’s about 75% remediated.

If you see a problem or have a question, please call or email.

Didn’t lose a single apparatus, just one staff vehicle.

Incredible progress in just 34 days.

Regional & Project Director from Crowder Gulf & rep from Thompson Engineering (company that is monitoring the debris removed for FEMA reimbursement). Both living in campground.

10/3 – first emergency push.

10/7 – first barge with heavy loaders brought over

LCEC vehicles also barged over

Daily reports with every removal truck have a monitor.

Just added another 18 haul units.

Island Inn debris site too small, so now have opened up new sites at Purdy Rd & Wulfert Rd.

Removal amounts now will increase.

56 haul units. Today Sanibel has more haul units than used to process major storms like that hit Hilton Head (much larger community).

Expect 60-80% of debris will be removed in 60 days.

More haul units will be added when more sites are up. There need to be places to put/process the debris.

Once double-barrels (big black debris trucks hauling a big black debris trailers) are into communities, it will go faster. Will take several passes to get rid of it all.

As of 11 a.m. yesterday, Crowder Gulf removed. 4,134 loads or a total of 193,239 cubic yards of debris (1 cubic yard about the size of a washing machine). 126,379 cubic yards of vegetation & 66,860 cubic yards of construction/demolition debris (this is the debris that will be huge – just getting started).

Please separate your debris as shown on chart on City website. That’s splitting hazardous material, vegetation, appliances, construction debris, trash, etc.

Crowder Gulf cannot pick up black plastic bags – they must be able to see the debris that is being picked up – if you have those bags – leave them open.

Crystal Mansel, Sanibel Director of Administrative Services & Risk Management:

Efforts include human resources, benefits administration, operations at Crown Plaza where City has been many times & has been using 42 rooms, 2 ballrooms, meals, food/water to boots on ground on Sanibel, now looking for alternative location as hotel has other guests arriving.

46 City employees were reassigned to Crown Plaza to man call center, information desk, re-entry passes. Thanks to Recreation Dept staff who have often been answering calls & working in stressful environment.

Also shuttling staff to marina 24 hrs/day. That has now been reduced to 6 day/work-weeks, hope to get it back to 5.

Under risk management, City has 165 assets (value $100 million) through insurance trust. Insurance boots on the ground in 5 days. Belfor has inspected all. 126 assets damaged.

Most severe damage at buildings at museum & City Hall had storm surge & lower floor destroyed.

Level 2 damage at Rec Center (roof & floor), Donax Water Treatment facility, Lighthouse (missing leg was found & broken in 3 places). Developing plan to repair/shore up all.

48 properties had minor damage.

52 no damage.

2 cruisers lost, 2 workman comp claims.

Will have another tour of assets Thurs/Fri to determine rest of mitigation & rebuilding necessary.

Andrea Miller – Sanibel Recreation Dept Director, has been reassigned to also assist with industry passes & CHR contact.

She praised her team with a “service heart” for always asking “how can I help, & what’s next.”

Rec facility had substantial damage, but staff has hand-cleared the debris from pools.

Gym floors removed; cleaning debris, & playground shared with school.

Holly Milbrandt – Sanibel Natural Resources Director

Been serving in variety of roles, on Structural Safety Inspection Team, ham radio operations, transportation, passes, EOC coordination.

Considerations to animals, vegetation, water quality. Coordinated with partners.

Vegetation recovery guidance document on City website. Use only licensed contractors.

SCCF Has good tool on their website for reporting wildlife sightings. There have been good reports.

Beaches being evaluated with coastal engineering firm, hope to post conditions report by end of week including info for property owners, particularly on East End where most damage.

FGCU water school has been performing beach survey with dive-can-sonar equipment to locate debris that is buried or hard to see.

FL Dept of Health Dept swimming advisory remains in effect. Water is full of chemicals, hazardous materials, & bacteria. Avoid contact with water.

Post-storm water quality evaluations underway.

Johnson Engineering performing Sanibel Slew evaluations.

Considering Lake “O”, Sept was 3rd wettest Sept recorded. 185% of normal accumulation.

It will be a long recovery period. Lake had 8’ of slosh at water levels, 19’ of water elevation on north side. Highest ever recorded.

Red tide already blooming in the region & not unexpected. Latest sampling reports show evidence in Sarasota, Charlotte, & 5 positive samples off-shore in Lee County.

David Schmitt & Scott Crosley – Sanibel Public Works/Sewer – Director & Deputy – Work continues with roadside trash pickup, fleet maintenance issues (2 mechanics), 165 pump stations. 135 lift station panels damaged, but many now working. Donax plant now fully operating, manned 16-hrs/day.

Sewer system now pretty sound, flushing toilets OK, just be careful how much you use.

Also OK to now begin using dishwaters & washers.

Be sure initial cleaning is done using dry methods so drains/pipes are not clogged with sand. First get rid of sediment by hand, then supplement with water.

Sanibel Police Chief Dalton – again thanked the 60 officers that were here from Dade, 50 others here now offering mutual aid. Also, Lee Sheriff Dept help.

Originally was a mandate from state to allow tow trucks on island, then notified of possible fraud, so now checking all vehicles leaving with vehicles to be sure they have property documentation.

Paula McMichael, Sanibel Planning Director – This is her 36th day on the job, hurricane came on her 2nd official day on the job. Members of Planning Dept also were part of initial Structural Safety Team. Since then, helping owners with elevation certificates, build-back restrictions.

Toured all seawalls, only one severely damaged & helping with those repairs.

Shane Kittendorf, CAP Government contractor working as interim Director of Building Dept – Again described how owners of non-conforming property may look on LeePA.org for their parcel & the county Tax Appraisers value letter which shows building structure value. Or if that amount is not enough, consider hiring a certified appraiser.

Also please consider elevating your property if you have the opportunity.

By Nov 7 when new building officials start (both Director & Deputy) you will be able to apply for permit on-line.

Tomorrow, emergency repair guidance will be issued.

Be sure when comparing 50% of your structure value that you consider all of the work required to bring the property back (alterations, demolition, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roof).

Building Dept hopes to turn on their new permitting system quickly & issue permits quickly.

“Planning & Building” are not the bad guys.

Steve Chaipel, Sanibel Finance Director – assisting in Natural Resources, Recreation, asset control, & manning EOC.

At budget hearing on Oct 3, $84M Sanibel budget was approved. Financially we are OK, prepared for disasters & with environmental reserves.

News that the state is funding debris removal is huge.

This event likely will exceed $100M for just debris removal on Sanibel.

Finance Dept is interface with FEMA & state for assistance.

Documents have been filed & approved. Can ask for 50% of funding up front.

Have spent $8M in cash so far, mostly for pay.

After break, discussion/voting continued on other agenda items including emergency ordinances to temporarily use or park an RV or trailer on a residential property for up to 180 days or until damaged residence again becomes habitable. It must be a wheeled vehicle with quick-connects for utilities, needs temporary use permit issued by City, & may only be occupied by property residents. May be extended for 180 days.

Similarly for commercial businesses, they could get temporary use permit for up to a year max. Of course, homeowners/condo associations must approve.

Temporary moratorium on building new residences & on changes in resort housing district. See City agenda for details.

City also to bring back/apply for line of credit for up to $20M for term up to 3 years.

In summary, long-term recovery is expected, but there is already talk of moving back to City Hall.

As Mayor Smith said: “If you haven’t been to the island, you will be in awe of the magnitude of the destruction. But it’s coming back. It’s gonna get tougher, but we’ll come out better on the other side.”

Facebook Live scheduled for Wed at 5 p.m. has been cancelled.

At SanibelSusan Realty

I spoke yesterday with Marcel, our landlord, and teammate Dave met with him today. Here’s a picture of the Sanibel Square sign that I took this afternoon. Much of the complex is being used for staging of remediation equipment, but Marcel says his construction crew is ready to remove drywall soon.

Dave should have our place emptied in a few more days. The beauty shop behind my office and building next door rented by “Ding” Darling Nature Center Store are both off their foundations, so will need engineering evaluations before those may be rebuilt. Our building appears to just need remediation/new walls and utilities. I bet it’s ready before my home.

Meanwhile, I’m fielding calls, emails, and offers about our listings. Have talked to several colleagues (other heavy hitters) and they advise, they are getting offers from similar vultures. Though my crystal ball has never been used after a catastrophe like this one, I am advising clients who want to sell to keep their properties listed but expect that it may take many months for the market to stabilize.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® has a temporary office location at Midland Trust, 15671 San Carlos Blvd., #101, Fort Myers. Our annual meeting scheduled for last month also has been postponed until November 17 at this new temporary location and will be posted on Zoom. I’ll be there.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 28 – November 4, 2022

Some of these new listings had damage with those listing agents providing details in the “agent notes” on condition and viewing possibilities. The islands remain limited to access by those with re-entry permits, i.e., residents, their contractors, insurance personnel, and first responders (including debris removal and utility vehicles). The number of workers on the island is huge. The ongoing work on the causeway also is staggering. Big changes noticed daily.

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: By-the-Sea #B101 3/2 $1.2M.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #323 2/2 now $875K.

2 new sales: Sundial #C209 1/1 listed at $799K, Gulfside Place #205 2/2 listed at $1,295M

No closed sales.

6 withdrawn from market.

HOMES

5 new listings: 4427 Gulf Pines Dr 2/2.5 $595K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $675K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 $775K, 440 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.495M, Colony Beach Estates #4 (435 Bella Vista Way E) 3/3 $5.395M.

1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $1.995M.

2 new sales: 1219 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $700K, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5.5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

4 withdrawn from market.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: West Gulf Dr #1, now $4.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1994 Wild Lime Dr $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS, & LOTS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

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

1 withdrawn from market.

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

Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

30 Days Post-Hurricane Ian

SanibelSusan has been back in SW FL since Sunday when I finally moved into a little furnished Fort Myers apartment which will be my temporary abode during renovation of my home and office – thanks to that ugly decorator, Hurricane Ian.
Teammate son David has been working like a dog emptying them after they filled with water – close to the ceiling – and became mold-ridden almost immediately.
Nearly all contents a total loss, though he was able to retrieve our property keys and a few hard-surface belongings. I am finally meeting my flood insurance adjuster tomorrow and have signed with Ron DeCorte with DeCorte Four Custom Homes to repair my home. Dave has removed appliances, furnishings, cabinets, countertops. Contractor wall removals and remediation are next. Exterior had little damage – a few pool screens. Fingers crossed the work gets accomplished sooner rather than later, but I’m sure that’s just a wish.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Our Sanibel Square landlord, Marcel Middendorf who owns The Bean, advises that his insurance adjuster visited the property mid-week. Dave and his brother-in-law will be emptying the rest of our office tomorrow. Respirator masks needed.
Marcel knows we want to continue renting and he has retained the same contractor the City is using to restore the public buildings which are being done quickly. Betcha the office is done before my home.
Several clients have inquired about the 50% rule and asked for appraiser recommendations. I continue to post recaps of the City progress briefings that are on Mon/Wed/Fri nights at 5 p.m. through Facebook Live. Those recaps are posted on both my personal and business Facebook pages.
I am working on tonight’s recap now & it will be posted later on FB. Good updated info on letters that were posted today by the Lee County Property Appraiser regarding home values, i.e. 50% rule. I’ll have instructions on how to find that value on the recaps.
Many of Dave’s island photos and my videos also are posted on Facebook. We haven’t been everywhere as first responders, emergency, debris removal and utility vehicles are everywhere. There is sooo much debris that it will take weeks if not months to remove it all, but little green sprouts already are coming out on vegetation, so life is coming back on the islands. (Photos below of building debris embedded in a tree in front of Sanibel Moorings. Be sure & check out our other pix and videos on FB, you won’t believe some of them. Truly unbelievable in some areas.)
Here are a couple of appraisers clients have used:
Sharon Raimondi, owner of Raimondi Appraisal Services, 239-489-3881, cell 239-691-4415
Julie Valente, Equity Appraisal Group, cell 239-878-9531
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 21-28, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Gulfside Place #205 2/2 $1.295M
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
5 withdrawn from market.
1 back on market: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 $699K
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
4 withdrawn from market.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale asking $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
Summary of Sanibel & Captiva Inventory Available Today from MLS
Location
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Avg Price
#
Avg Price
#
Avg Price
Sanibel
24
1,203,370
25
2,226,000
7
1,476,428
Captiva
8
1,252,125
8
7,177,881
1
15,500,000
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Three Weeks Post-Hurricane Ian

Sanibel Lighthouse post Hurricane Ian

My Friday report this week is from aboard the Celebrity Infinity heading back to Ft Lauderdale after a week in the Caribbean. This trip was planned and paid for weeks ago and when I found out that it was not refundable and the Fort Myers apartment, I rented won’t be ready until Sunday, I decided to save paying for another week in a hotel – and just take the cruise.

Have I felt guilty floating about at sea while many are struggling – and while son/teammate David has been toiling every day removing more demolished furnishings/belongings at my home and our office? You bet, but I’m ready for reality when the ship docks in the morning & look forward to settling back closer to Sanibel, and finally getting back on island myself next week.
I have continued to follow the City progress briefings on Facebook Live, now Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays at 5 p.m. – posting recaps on both my personal and business FB pages.
Also be sure to check the City website at http://www.MySanibel.com. The link at the top of the page to Hurricane Ian Info has lots of valuable info.
The progress made on island in just three short weeks is amazing. City leaders/staff continue to work 24/7 coordinating efforts locally, county, state, federal. We owe them huge thanks.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Still no word from our landlord at Sanibel Square, so I’m not sure if the future location of SanibelSusan Realty will remain the same, but since listing & selling real estate, these days can be done from anywhere through electronic media, I have been working several hours every day, keeping up with listing inquiries, helping owners, & fielding questions from prospective sellers.
Below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last week.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 14-21, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages 1 #2-1 2/2.5 $1.15M
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
1 back on market: Pointe Santo #A25 2/2 $1.4M
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
2 back on market: 1835 Farm Trail 3/2 $899K, 1242 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.145M.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new sales or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever! #SanibelStrong
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Scoop on Day 16 Post-Hurricane Ian

Sorry I missed reporting last Friday, though I expect many are following my recaps of the City’s Facebook Live Post-Ian progress report meeting every night. Those are posted on both my business and personal Facebook pages.
To watch those City briefings yourself, either go through www.MySanibel.com or on Facebook at “The City of Sanibel, Florida” page. You do not need to be on Facebook to watch them.
Also, on the City website, there is an orange banner at the top of the page with a link that goes to Hurricane Ian info. On that info page, there is a link to the nightly updates, info on when residents may return over the temporary causeway, the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment Map, structure imagery, & more.

Office Post-Ian

My pool post-Ian

At SanibelSusan Realty
I am still in an East Coast hotel (day 17), doing what I can from afar, while teammate son Realtor David has been making daily trips to the island with his boat (my dock survived). It has been difficult working with the heat, mold, and no utilities. I owe him a debt of gratitude.
Also ground transportation is not easy with the Periwinkle Bridge out. He biked around the first couple of days and then when private operating vehicles could be used, friends lent him their jeep. Now he’s dealing with a nail in one of the tires. He is resourceful though and has taken many photos, helping many clients and friends see the exterior of their property for the first time.
My home and our office both filled with water (~7+’ at home, ~6’ at office) so David slowly has been trying to air them out and lug waterlogged furnishings to the curb. It is a long tedious process.
In pix with red love seat, see the waterline and ugly mold that only took minutes to start forming. My floors are off-while tile, see the sludge. Yuck!.
Office was home to the yellow love seat. It sure took a ride in the surge from our front reception area.
Thankfully, I evacuated with one of our laptops, so between that my iPad and iPhone, I have been able to conduct business anywhere where there is internet/cell service.
I haven’t heard from our landlord at Sanibel Square, but at home, I signed a contract with a general contractor to get my home restored. It likely will take a very long time. In the meantime, I have rented a small furnished apartment in Fort Myers beginning later this month. Hopefully by then that area of SW FL will have restored internet and potable water. Like at Dave and Lisa’s home, they already have power and some cell service.
Meanwhile, on the business front, I have heard from some prospective island buyers, as well as a few owners who think they may part with their property, rather than restore. With all that has occurred over the last two weeks, there has not been much activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The MLS details for the past two weeks, since September 30, are after a couple of info items below.
I know that Sanibel will be back better than ever. It will require patience, kindness, and understanding.
City leaders and staff are doing an amazing job coordinating efforts to open the island again safely and with utilities as soon as possible. They have/are requesting help from many federal, state, and local agencies. Responses have been amazing.
We all are anxious to get back to check our properties and look forward to later this month, when we may cross the causeway again, albeit slowly and carefully. Only island residents, business owners, licensed contractors, and insurance folks may return (all with property hurricane reentry pass/documents). If you are one of those, don’t forget to bring a respirator mask, goggles, boots, and gloves, and be prepared to see what you don’t want to see. #SanibelStrong
Also, if you vote in Florida, don’t forget to do that. I did mine today by absentee ballot.
Rental Resources
Our local district Realtor® Associations has created a website, www.HurricaneHomes.org for those looking for temporary rentals. The is a platform for housing in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island. It provides listings from licensed Realtors® whose properties have been vetted as reliable, safe, and clean.
Please be careful when contacting listings from Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as they may be fraudulent.
Operation Blue Roof & Other Resources
Operation Blue Roof, call 800-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258) or go to
Florida DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Lee County
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 30 – October 14, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
2 back on market: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 $1.325M.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $850K.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new sales or closed sales.
1 back on market: 4636 Rue Royale $825K.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever! Every day there is more progress! #SanibelStrong!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Strong Post Hurricane Ian

Sorry for the delay, as you know it was not another quiet sunny week on Sanibel.
Tuesday afternoon, the team and I evacuated to the East Coast where I remain today. Dave and Lisa drove back to their home in Ft Myers yesterday. They have minor damage and a generator so doing OK.
We so appreciate the many friends, family, and colleagues who have contacted us offering support.
Today, I finally heard from some friends who did not evacuate. They were rescued today. Those search and rescue operations are tedious for first responders with some roadway impassable, few working vehicles available on the islands, and waterways, in some cases, impassable. Some islanders have had to walk to the causeway boat ramp where they were boated to safety to a County rescue staging area in Cape Coral.
A Facebook Live meeting was held last night by Sanibel City leaders at Crown Plaza Ft Myers where Sanibel government currently is coordinating many efforts. A big thanks to Mayor Smith, City Manager Souza, Chief Dalton, & Councilors Crater, Henshaw, Johnson, and Miller for that event, and Manager Souza’s Facebook Live update this morning.
They reiterated that checking the island to ensure safety is of prime concern following search/rescue operations. The County is under a 24/7 curfew so no one should be on the roadways other than first responders.
No one is allowed to return to the island. Police presence and National Guard will be on the island ensuring no pirates try to land.  Until City first responders check all roadways and property, giving an all-clear, no one may go back, whether by boat or otherwise.
Another City Facebook Live update is expected to occur tonight, at 6:30 p.m. Watch The City of Sanibel, Florida Facebook page and www.MySanibel.com for info. The videos from the earlier meetings also are posted there. This message just posted by City:
“The City of Sanibel will provide a Facebook live update at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, September 30, 2022, on the City’s response to Hurricane Ian. Click here to watch the live feed.”

At SanibelSusan Realty This Week

I was at the office until noon Tuesday entering Multiple Listing info on a new listing at Sanibel Moorings. We also had a home inspection Monday afternoon, obviously not expecting the storm devastation to be so extensive. On my way home, I also removed all yard signs so we didn’t contribute to future flying/floating debris.
From the NOAA images posted online by the City, we can see our office building still stands though surrounded by water. My home on Anchor Dr looks to also be intact, as do our listings. Sure am thankful I put on a new roof last summer. What the insides of buildings look like remains to be seen. We will be patient.
All Association of Realtors meetings are canceled until further notice. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is posted  below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 23-30, 2022

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1522 2/2 $899.9K (our listing).
No price changes.
1 new sale: Pointe Santo #A25 2/2 listed at $1,4M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 994 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.55M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 9476 Balsa Ct 3/2 listed at $1.135M
No closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Here’s hoping I have better news to report next week. In the meantime, if you see me quoted by either the New York Times or CNN, the reporters have found SanibelSusan.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Sanibel Fall – or Like Summer With Pumpkins

If you are tired of hearing that it has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel, I won’t say it, though it’s still mostly true. One diversion has been watching the increasing storm activity coming across the Atlantic. My favorite on-line forecaster Mike’s Weather Page at www.SpaghettiModels.com does not have things looking good for Florida next week. Fingers crossed that projections change in the upcoming days.

The City of Sanibel has been sending out warning messages, encouraging checking of disaster supply kits and reconfirming hurricane plans. I have already stocked up both at home and office. Teammate Dave has moved things off the floor in the office and I will pick up our “for sale” signs if it continues to look like the islands will get hit.

At SanibelSusan Realty This Week

We were contacted by another returning owner thinking of selling, will meet with them once they have settled in. Also worked with buyers writing a successful offer on a property they viewed nearly a month ago.

There was no island Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but our listings have had showings.

The sales action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is below..

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Reatlors®

Next Thursday is the Association’s monthly membership breakfast meeting where speakers from the Captiva Erosion Protection Control District will update attendees.

At the Professional Development Meeting this week, we finalized the speaker schedule for the rest of this year. November speaker will be Amira Fox, State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida (covering Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties). December speaker is Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza.

There is no speaker in October since our annual meeting is then (on October 27).

Before that, the Association annual RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) Golf Tournament and Auction are scheduled for October 12 at The Dunes.

SanibelSusan’s donation (lobsters from Maine) usually sells for top dollar. Always happy to support fundraising efforts that protect and promote the real estate.

What Does the Fed Rate Increase Mean?

Below write-up received by email yesterday from Dan Krispinsky, Senior Loan Officer, at Lake Michigan Credit Union, Fort Myers Office. Bet you also enjoy it.

“The Fed increased policy rates by 0.75% at their September meeting and indicated they will continue raising rates until inflation is tamed. But that doesn’t mean mortgage rates will rise at the same pace. Why?

  • Market forces also influence mortgage rates. If inventors shy away from stocks and invest in safer mortgage bonds, for example, rates may come down.
  • If the Fed moves policy rates too far or too quickly, we could see a recession. Historically, that means lower mortgage rates.
  • Mortgage rates had already risen in anticipation of a Fed move. They may settle down now that the Fed has spoken.

“Does this mean you should wait for the possibility of lower rates? Not necessarily. I encourage my clients to consider all the moving pieces – not only in the markets, but also in their lives. If this is the right time for you to buy a home or access cash from equity, then let’s find a way to work withing the framework of the current interest rate environment. After all, rates are still lower than long-term averages, and there are options like hybrid ARMs, buydowns, and HELOCs that can help in this environment.

“Background on the Fed:

  • The Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) controls the federal funds rate and discount rate, which are charges for overnight loans from bank to bank or from the Fed to member banks,
  • The rate was lowered to near zero in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. These historic measures are now being reversed.
  • This is the fifth increase this year.

“Don’t let interest rates hold you back from making a move or accessing cash. I’m happy to help you navigate this market. After all, we’re still closing loans every day!”

Reach Dan at (239) 908-5936 dan.krispinsky@lmcu.org, 7920 Summerlin Lakes Dr, Fort Myers FL 33907

National Public Lands Day at The Refuge

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, across the U.S. is National Public Lands Day, a time to especially enjoy parks, refuges, and other green spaces protected by the federal government. At The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of FREE activities:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wildlife Dr free admission
  • 8:30 a.m. Morning Mindfulness at the Observation Tower on Wildlife Dr (pre-register on Eventbrite)
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided Scavenger Hunt with prizes. Check-in at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. Educational programs at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 12:30 p.m. International Color Blindness Awareness Month colorblind glasses giveaway. (Year-‘round the Refuge serves the color-challenged population with a colorblind scope at the Observation Tower and loaner pairs of colorblind sunglasses at the reception desk.)
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Artist Reception featuring Jacqui Roch at Visitor & Education Center.

Seasonal Events Beginning Again

SanCap Motor Club – will host its first “Coffee & Cars” cruise-in of the new season on Saturday, October 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place Shops (2075 Periwinkle Way). Shop owners and the Club will provide a continental breakfast, donuts, coffee, and other refreshments. Open to the public, no pre-registration required. Also, the Club will hold a dinner on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Membership is $60/person or $75/couple or family. Email Scot Congress for more info at scot@scongress.com.

Farmers Markets – on both islands also begin in October (and go through May). Sanibel Market, on City Hall grounds, next to the Library, is Sundays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. (every Sunday, except Christmas Day when instead it will be open on Monday). Captiva’s market is Tuesdays, at the entrance to South Seas Resort (5400 Plantation Rd), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info about seven other local markets is on www.BuyLocalLee.com  Big thanks to Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura for starting these markets. Time flies and expansion occurs when success abounds! Congratulations, ladies!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 16-23, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captains Walk #C6 1/1 $399K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $869K.

2 new sales: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 listed at $699K, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 listed at $1.325M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #K8 2/2 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $870K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.35M.

3 price changes: 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 now $805K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now $1.599M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/2 now $1.695M.

3 new sales: 749 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $1.179M, 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $1.499M (our sale), 424 East Gulf Dr duplex 4/2 listed at $2.599M.

2 closed sales: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $1.05M, 5690 San-Cap Rd 3/3 $1.65M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $3,990,050.

1 price change: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $4.799M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 $4.5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend! Keep an eye on the weather!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Mid-September & Islands Are Quiet

Here’s another update on another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. Here at the office, we had been noticing periodic slow internet service – which went out completely last Friday when I was trying to send our update.

Internet service can have problems during summer tropical storms, but teammate Dave thought this more serious and got Comcast “on it”. Now we have a new wireless modem plus all new wiring from our unit, under the parking lot, and over the buildings behind us, to the closest central pole. It took several days, but we are happy speedy internet users again.

Speaking of storms, all eyes are on Fiona, but “knock on wood”, 2022 continues to treat SW Florida well.

While out on Captiva this morning, I noticed many construction projects underway – some are huge. As I drove around the “S” curve, I remembered that before Hurricane Charley in 2004, we enjoyed the tunnel of tropical vegetation there – which was destroyed in that storm. A tunnel (of sorts) is back, without the Australian pines that created such havoc.

Out on Santiva, it looks like Castaways Cottages have received new bright cheerful coats of paint. Sunset Grill center also is getting updates. Similarly on Sanibel, all kind of projects are underway or wrapping up as we all look forward to a busy “season” beginning, hopefully, when the first snowbirds arrive in a few weeks. We are ready!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Monday through Wednesday, the Association offered the Continuing Ed classes required for state license renewals. At the biweekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, attendance was light and just two properties were open for viewing. Tomorrow morning (Saturday), Association members are participating in Coastal Clean-Up.

Photo from Seagrape Ln bayside, after class on Monday, 12:48 p.m. 09-12-22

According to the Sanibel & Captiva islands Multiple Listing Service, Sanibel inventory ticked up a little this week with one more condo and four more homes available today, compared to last Friday. (Today, there are 27 condos, 37 homes, and five lots are for sale on Sanibel. Captiva has seven condos, nine homes, and one lot for sale.)

The action this week posted in the local Multiple Listing Service is below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is here.

As mentioned before, most island offers today are on the Florida Realtors® “As Is” Contract which by default has a 15-day inspection/cancellation period. That timeframe often is negotiated. Because of that right to cancel and buyers going under contract before they have seen a property or had inspections, many listings recently have come of the market, quickly gone under contract, and then come back on the market. For example, since last Friday, three homes and a condo that were under contract again are available.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 9 – 15, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Heron #3A 2/2.5 $999K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $879.9K.

1 new sale: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 6054 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/2 $899K, 1986 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $975K.

1 price change: 1018 S Yachtsman 3/3 now $1.245M.

1 new sale:  1242 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.145M.

2 closed sales: 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.095M, 3169 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $1.2M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #803 2/2 $1.275M

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 listed at $3.9M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

An Interesting Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

Another quiet week for us at SanibelSusan Realty, so much so that yesterday Dave and Lisa took another long-deserved day off together. When we are in the office, we are catching up with database updating, reaching out to fence-sitting buyers and sellers, and gearing up for “season”. Inventory still is low. For sale today on Sanibel, just 26 condos, 27 homes, and five lots.
It was five years ago today, when many left the island as Hurricane Irma was looming. It arrived September 10, 2017. Thankfully, we have not seen any serious storms this year, though the heavy rain, thunder, and lightning that passed through the islands several times yesterday, kept the alarms ringing at the community park across the street from our office.
Late-afternoon, I also received repeated City warning announcements of severe thunderstorms. As they say in Florida this time of the year, wait a few minutes for the weather to change. I say, keep an eye on the sky and a good weather app. Yesterday, it was heavy rain on Sanibel, while the night before it was inland. Both events resulted in more than 1000 lightning strikes during very short timeframes.
With water quality always in our minds, particularly after storms, I stopped at the bayside beach on Bailey Rd enroute to the office this morning. Water not sparkling blue, but still clear.
This afternoon, we have been without internet service for hours so that’s why this is a little later than usual today. In fact, It came back on for a few minutes but is off again now, so am winging this from my iPad.
SanibelSusan’s Crystal Ball
So, over the long weekend, I both met and corresponded with more prospective buyers. Since we Realtors© often hear the same objections again and again, here is my 2-cents worth on some. First a little background from my 30 years selling island real estate and maybe a little credit for spending 23 years in marine engineering, management, and contracts before that.
These may be generalities, but most buyers here are NOT looking to purchase somewhere else. They want to be on the island. Maybe it’s the weather, or the laid-back lifestyle, or the taxes, or the school, or the environment, or something else, but they want to be on Sanibel. Most of these buyers also say they do NOT need to buy – or can wait to buy. Most also recognize that the Sanibel/Captiva market has been hot, inventory is down, and prices are up.
Many also say, they are waiting for the market to change because they think it will – for reasons like the economy, war in Ukraine, high interest rates, increases in insurance costs, storms, politics, and more.
What they can’t understand is that I don’t always agree with them. They look at me like I’m a salesman when I say that every island Realtor® worth their salt has a list of buyers just like them, that the difficulty is the amount of inventory and when it is available, not that the property is not worth what sellers are asking. Property values are determined by buyers, based on what they are willing to pay.
Here it is an issue of supply and demand. Sanibel often is a retirement destination which may mean buyers purchase more than one property here before they get their final one. There are few listings motivated by job or family changes. Those that sell to leave the island are often going for health reasons or to enter a retirement community.
Many of today’s prospective sellers would like to take advantage of the “hot market”, but where would they go? For that reason alone, many are sitting tight. Those that are choosing to sell though sometimes get the luxury of doing things on their own timeline and choosing from a variety of good offers.
What does a seller consider a good offer? That varies with their motivation, but in most cases, it is a cash full-price with strong deposit(s), no seller warranty or repairs, and closing at a time of seller choice.
What else happened here with real estate, from the pandemic, is that island owners who previously spent only short times on-island, now are here much longer, or moving here permanently, or working from here, or no longer renting their property. Real estate availability has been reduced.
Unfortunately, for prospective buyers, this market boom usually means the best deals are grabbed up quickly. Despite some media claiming otherwise, existing properties for sale and priced appropriately still are moving at a remarkably fast pace in many areas. According to statistics collected by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the average house in the U.S. is selling in just 14 days. To put that into perspective, U.S. homes took an average of 96 days to sell back in 2011.
It is true that Florida home prices are up over 30% over last year. Despite escalating mortgage rates and slumping home sales in the second quarter of 2022, a greater number of U.S. markets experienced double-digit annual price gains compared to the prior quarter, according to NAR. Eighty percent of the 185 tracked metro areas posted double-digit price gains, up from 70% in the 1st quarter of the year.
Nationally, the median single-family existing-home price eclipsed $400K for the first time, rising 14.2% from one year. Year-over-year price appreciation eased slightly compared to the previous quarter. Are there homes on the islands priced this low? No. As I had to tell recent prospects wanting to spend no more than $750K, the lowest-priced home on the island today is one that is inland for $815K. I’ll watch for some priced lower, but who knows when that will be.
Many real estate gurus predict that Florida will stay hot through the year. I bet it stays hot through winter too.  Will high interest rates affect the number of sales? Sure, just not much here, where few buyers make offers with mortgage contingencies. What I see those higher interest rates may do is slow price growth. (The key word here is “growth”, prices are not trending down.)
For years, the supply of new homes in Florida has trailed behind population growth. On the island, new homes are almost impossible to find. Adding the post-pandemic migration to Florida resulted in an enormous gap in supply and demand – which continues to drive prices up.
Many who follow the market also think that through the remainder of this year and into 2023, housing demand will be all about the Gulf Coast of Florida. As the popularity of working remotely grows, people are expected to continue to move from major cities to slower-paced lifestyles. That’s here!
Those selling in Florida this year will probably make a nice profit. They may not get multiple offers, but they should have choices.
Meanwhile, those island buyers sitting on the sidelines thinking the market here is going to crash, better think again. I bet prices will continue to go up – perhaps more modestly – until the day (if ever) that the islands become less desirable. That probably would take a catastrophic event.
Buy now, tomorrow is not promised. That is one lesson learned from the pandemic.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
No caravan meeting this week at the local Association of Realtors©, but there was still a little action posted in the Multiple Listing Service. See that below, after a couple of news items.
Next week, the Association is offering the classwork required every two years for Realtor© license renewals. I will be in class Monday morning and all-day Tuesday to finish up the continuing education required for my renewal in March. (It’s true, “old dogs can learn new tricks.”) I look forward to seeing long-time instructor pals, Chuck Bonamer from Venice who is teaching Bias Override and Pat Pitocchi from Naples who will teach both Code of Ethics and Core Law. (Tough to keep those subjects interesting, but I know these two will do it.)
SanibelSusan teammates Dave and Lisa have already completed their classwork and renewed their licenses for two more years.
September Restaurant Closures
Update below on when some restaurants are closed this month. Best September advice is to give them a call before going. Some are experiencing delays in reopening.
·        400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
·        CIP’s – In Sept, closed for lunch CLOSED & CLOSED all day Tuesdays, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
·        Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30, reopens 10/1
·        Island Pizza – 9/6-19, reopens 9/20
·        Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow
·        Mad Hatter – 9/5-30, reopens 10/1
·        Over Easy Café – 9/12-22, reopens 9/23
·        Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20, reopens 9/21
·        Rosie’s Café & Grill – 9/5-12, reopens 9/13
·        Schnapper’s Hots – 9/6-15, reopens 9/16
·        Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19, reopens 9/20
·        The Fig – 9/11-13
·        Trader’s – 9/18-10/2, reopens 10/3
·        Traditions – 9/4-26, reopens 9/27
·        Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13, reopens 9/14
Bankrate’s Best State for Retirement in 2022? Florida
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Nexstar Broadcasting:
“In a study heavily weighted for affordability, Fla. “unsurprisingly took the top spot,” while Alaska, despite its affordability, came in last.
“MIAMI, Fla. – Whether it’s kicking back on the porch reading the newspaper, enjoying the outdoors or just being closer to the grandkids, post-career goals vary for people. But all states are not the same when it comes to retirement, a recent study from Bankrate found.
“Bankrate conducted a study to find the best and worst states for retirement in 2022. “For this study, Bankrate looked at five broad categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. We placed the heaviest weighting on affordability,” according to the study, whose authors acknowledged that some things, such as proximity to loved ones or personal dislike of the cold, were just too subjective to measure.
“The Southeast dominated the top two spots followed by some Midwest states and others across the U.S. Florida, well known for its warm weather, abundant golf and retirement communities such as The Villages, unsurprisingly took the top spot.
“Let’s check out the best and worst states:
“Alaska was relegated to the last spot because of its poor scores for weather, crime and affordability. If avoiding taxes is your top goal, however, you may still want to consider Alaska, which beat out all other states in that category.
“As for overall affordability, Michigan is your destination. Despite the frigid winters, The Great Lakes State broke the overall top five for 2022 thanks in large part to its cost of living.
“Also in the top five were Georgia, for its mostly pleasant weather (outside of hurricane season) and affordability; Ohio for its affordability and lack of bad scores in other metrics; and Missouri, also for affordability and weather.
“If it’s still too hard to pick, consider the advice of Laura Kovacs, former director of education at the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in Arizona who recently retired herself: “Go to a variety of different places that you seem to be attracted to – places that have a lower cost of living and lower property taxes – and test them out for a while. If you’re interested in Florida or Arizona or California, stay there for a while and see if you like the climate at the time of year you’re going to be living there.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2 – 9, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Tiqua Cay #487 3/3.5 $3.4M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 listed at $685K.
2 closed sales: Sundial #G306 1/1 $845K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 683 Emeril Ct 2/2 now $1.049M.
1 new sale: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 listed at $2.339M.
1 closed sale: 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $755K.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 now $519K.
No new or closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 $3.9M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Continue reading

Labor Day Weekend 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

As we look forward to a holiday weekend, islanders continue to “knock on wood” that this has been the quietest hurricane season in decades. Island weather has been nice again this week too, though the lightning storm surrounding midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was another humdinger. More daytime temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s expected for the foreseeable future, again with a good chance of rain sometime during each 24-hour period.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave got another big postcard mailing out Wednesday. It featured our three east-end listings. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below also highlights them.

The next few months usually are busy with island real estate, mostly sellers thinking of taking advantage of the market and buyers wanting a property to benefit from themselves this winter – whether it be for personal use or income.

Below is an update of island residential inventory today (data from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS September 2, 2022):

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 25 1,250,080 66 30 2,225,633 61 6 1,702,000 90
Under contract 8 1,211,362 31 14 1,499,000 38 2 247,500 47
Sold to-date 2022 113 1,137,190 43 148 1,672,436 57 23 686,641 244
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 6 1,433,666 111 8 7,085,345 127  1 15,500,000 160
Under contract 0 N/A N/A 1 4,995,000 197  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 28 1,458,963 52 21 5,690,500 130  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors©, many donations of goods plus a $500 check were presented to Jennifer Benton, CEO of ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Inc.), the private non-profit in Fort Myers that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Always looking for volunteers and contributions, you also can support ACT through their thrift store (Second ACT which is on U.S. 41 at 12519 South Cleveland Ave), their gallery and boutique (at 2265 First St in the Fort Myers River District), and their annual benefit Gala/Art Auction (this year on October 29). More info at www.ACTAbuse.com

After the meeting, three newly-listed homes open for viewing – an indication that inventory is increasing albeit slowly and that new listings are no longer selling immediately – though one of those properties hit the MLS for the first time the day before and the listing agent reported that it already had nine showings. (It is a very large near-beach like-new well-furnished pool home.)

Beach Bucket Success

Posted in SCCF’s August 31 update, “Coastal Watch is happy to announce that the buckets at the beach bucket stations are being used! Several volunteers have been monitoring and reporting the usage of the buckets over the past two months at the three bucket stations – Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Rd Access, and Bowman’s Beach. We are thrilled to see the community and visitors taking advantage of this program and helping Coastal Watch keep our beautiful beaches clean! More volunteers are needed to help monitor the stations. If interested, please email CoastalWatch@sccf.org.”

September Closures & Happenings

Restaurants – Traditionally, September is the slowest month of the year on the islands. Social media has been overloaded with questions about what restaurants are closed – and when. Many with maintenance projects and improvements planned are dealing with construction and material delays. So best advice is to call the restaurant before you go to be sure they are open. Below is the list from the Chamber of Commerce website showing 2022 off-season restaurant closures:

  • 400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
  • Blue Giraffe 2 – 9/4-19
  • CIP’s – (Today on Facebook, their page says September hours: Lunch CLOSED; also CLOSED all day Tuesdays, CLOSED Labor Day Monday, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20
  • Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30
  • Island Pizza – 9/6-19
  • Lighthouse Café – 9/5-9
  • Over Easy Café – 9/12-22
  • Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19
  • The Fig – 9/11-13
  • Trader’s – 9/18-10/2
  • Traditions – 9/4-27
  • Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13.

CROW Visitor Center – Closed September 5 to 9 for Labor Day and fall cleaning. Call to schedule Wildlife Walk Guided Hospital Tours for the week of September 12.

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest – Beginning September 16 and running for ten days, this Southwest Florida festival features performances by singers-songwriters from Nashville and beyond. The first weekend is on Captiva (Sep 16-18), then downtown Fort Myers during the week (Sep 19-22), followed by weekend on Fort Myers Beach (Sep 23-25).  Get the full line-up of performers at www.island-hopperfest.visitfortmyers.com.

International Coastal Clean-Up Day – is Saturday September 17. Several island organizations including the local Association of Realtors©, CROW, and SCCF’s Coastal Watch are participating. For more info or to sign up through SCCF, visit www.Bit.ly/sccf-cleanup-2022 For off-island locations, go to www.KLCB.org/events/coastal-cleanup

SCCF Watch Party – This fundraising event supporting the Foundation’s community-based marine conservation and volunteer program, Coastal Watch, is September 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Sanibel Sea School (455 Periwinkle Way). It includes live music from Uproot Hootenanny, shrimp boil, other good eats, craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, casting competition, 50/50, and more fun ways to give. Tickets available at www.CoastalWatchParty.eventbrite.com.

Plan Ahead for “Taste of The Islands”

CROW’S oldest running fundraiser is evolving again. This year it will be a Sanibel-Captiva restaurant week, scheduled for November 12-19. Restaurants still will feature a “Taste” for judging and panels of judges will do tasting on each Saturday. More details to come in October.

More Insurance News

Posted yesterday, September 1, 2022, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to The News Service of Florida:

“State-Owned Citizens Insurance May Raise $700K Cap

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With homeowners struggling to find coverage, insurance regulators are looking at the possibility of lifting a $700,000 cap on policies sold by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens is barred by law from providing what is known as a “replacement cost” coverage of more than $700,000 for homes, except in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where the limit is $1 million.

“But as Florida’s property-insurance market has crumbled and home values have soared, many homeowners have been dropped by private insurers and cannot qualify for Citizens coverage because of the $700,000 cap.

During a Citizens committee meeting Wednesday, Susanne Murphy, a deputy commissioner at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR), said that regulators are analyzing whether they could increase the $700,000 cap in at least some counties.

“State law would allow such a move if regulators determine that “there is not a reasonable degree of competition” in those counties. That finding in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties opened the door for an increase to a $1 million coverage limit. “Whether there’s enough data to support that finding is what we’re trying to determine,” Murphy told members of the Citizens Market Accountability Advisory Committee. “The last time we did this (with Miami-Dade and Monroe), it was pretty clear … and I think that the data that we’ve looked at thus far is not as clear as it was years ago.”

“Committee member Lee Gorodetsky, a South Florida insurance agent, said “clients can’t even squeeze into Citizens insurance, even though they want to or need to.” That has resulted, for example, in homeowners having to turn to what is known as surplus-lines coverage, which is largely unregulated and can include more conditions on policies.

“Murphy, a member of the Citizens committee, said it will probably take another month before regulators decide on whether to lift the cap. The discussion about the cap is more fallout from the troubled private insurance market, as carriers have shed policies and sought large rate increases to try to curb financial losses. Since February, five insurers have been deemed insolvent and placed into receivership.

“Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has been flooded with policies during the past two years. As of Friday, it had about 1.02 million policies. By comparison, it had 499,056 policies on Aug. 31, 2020, and 687,079 policies on Aug. 31, 2021, according to data posted on its website.

“The coverage cap also is tangled in longstanding efforts by state leaders to have homes insured in the private market, rather than by Citizens. Those efforts, in part, stem from concerns about financial risks if the state is hit by a major hurricane or multiple hurricanes.

“Citizens policies had a $2 million coverage cap until 2013 when lawmakers passed a measure to gradually reduce it, with the $700,000 limit in place since 2017. Murphy said increasing the $1 million cap in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties – and potentially other counties – would require the Legislature to change state law. Home values vary in different parts of the state, and most do not exceed $700,000. But the cap issue has drawn particular attention in high-value areas such as Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“As an example, the metropolitan statistical area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach had a median sales price for existing single-family homes of $595,000 in July, according to the industry group Florida Realtors. In the area that includes Naples, Immokalee and Marco Island, the median sales price was $748,270.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 26-Sep 2, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or sales.

2 price changes: Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 now $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $1.345M.

2 closed sales: Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $885K, Pointe Santo #D44 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $2.239M.

1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.895M.

5 new sales: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $849K (stats), 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $899K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $1.15M (stats), 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $1.279M.

3 closed sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $769K, 1012/14 E Gulf Dr 4/2 $960K, 5802 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 $1.125M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4636 Rue Royale $825K, 1729 Jewel Box Dr $1.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1994 Wild Lime listed at $350K.

1 closed sale: 1321 Seaspray Ln $950K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $4.995M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping you enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan