Another Friday On Sanibel

A steady increase in traffic is noticeable here on the island, which we expect to continue through Easter. The weather has been great this week, but an additional cold front is expected to arrive this weekend and is due to stay around all next week. Wednesday morning low looks to be in the 30’s.

Sanibelcityseal logoBoat Ramp Rehabilitation Project Complete

The City of Sanibel Boat Ramp Rehabilitation project is complete and now open to the public. The project consisted of removal and replacement of the deteriorated concrete boat ramp. The completed boat ramp includes modified slopes for improved boating access and a new v-groove pattern for added vehicle traction. The dock walkways were widened and a railing added for safety. Parking at the boat ramp is available as paid hourly or through a valid Sanibel “C” parking pass.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 5-12, 2018



4 new listings: Sundial West #J307 2/2 $759K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $849K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 $1.249M.

6 price changes: Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 now $450K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 now $475K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 now $499K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $589.9K (our listing), High Tide #C101 2/2 now $939K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.248M.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 listed at $419K.

4 closed sales: Sundial West #G105 1/1 $425.1K, Loggerhead Cay #153 2/2 $870K, Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 $965K, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.


8 new listings: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $489K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $679K, 1550 Centre St 4/3 $725K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $875K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $1.195M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.395M (our listing), 4641 Belle Mer 3/2.5 $3.295M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $5.795M.

6 price changes: 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $625K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $874.5K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $920K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.025M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.975M.

8 new sales: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 listed at $489K, 5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $649K, 1513 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $689K, 1314 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $800K, 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $845K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $1.7495M, 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.789M.

4 closed sales: 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 $685K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 $675K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.15M, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $7.8M.


7 new listings: 1313 Par View Dr $365,555; 809 Pyrula Ave $475K; 217 Violet Dr $575K; 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $699K; 6000 White Heron Ln $169K; 0 Sawgrass Pl $949K; 1321 Seaspray Ln $995K.

3 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $169K, 0 Island Inn Rd now $279K, 5251 Indian Ct now $729K.

No new or closed sales.



1 new listings: Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $650K.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 $830K, Beach Homes #7 2/2 $1.4M, Beach Homes #8 4/3 $2.35M.


1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $989K.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $2.149M.

2 new sales: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 listed at $1.495M, 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sales: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 $850K.


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.

Have a Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

Brrrr…It’s Cold Outside

Well, this week has been a cold week on Sanibel. We won’t complain though, as we are thinking of everyone elsewhere in the US dealing with far greater cold temps. Stay warm & safe everyone.

Insurers Try New Tactic To Limit Damage Claims

Florida Realtors logoHere is an article posted on FloridaRealtors® website: Some Florida homeowners are discovering their insurance companies are employing an interesting strategy to avoid future claims costs.

Settlement checks sent by at least three companies include language stating that accepting the check releases the companies from further obligations connected to the claim.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys say they have major problems with this strategy: It tries to intimidate policyholders into not seeking payment for additional costs that come up during repairs and is likely unenforceable.

Palmetto Bay-based trial attorney Joe Ligman pointed to a section of Florida insurance law stating an insurer, after paying “actual cash value” for an insured loss minus any applicable deductible, “shall pay any remaining amounts necessary to perform such repairs as work is performed and expenses are incurred.”

But that’s not what notices from two of Florida’s largest insurers say.

On the back side of checks sent to homeowners, Fort Lauderdale-based Universal Property & Casualty includes the statement that an endorsement by the payee “constitutes receipt and release in full settlement for the claim or item mentioned in the draft.” Universal P&C is the state’s largest property insurer, with 612,227 policies statewide and 237,172 in the tri-county region as of Sept. 30, according to state records.

Along with a check sent to at least one of its homeowners, Deerfield Beach-based People’s Trust Insurance sent a letter stating that “your endorsement of the indemnity check constitutes a full accord and satisfaction of a disputed loss.”

And a third company, Sarasota-based Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Co., enclosed with checks to at least two victims of Hurricane Irma a “release of property damage” that “does hereby … release, acquit and forever discharge” the company and its officials “from any and all claims, actions, causes of actions, demands, rights, damages, costs, loss of service, expenses and compensation whatsoever” stemming from the hurricane.

By contrast, state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. acknowledged in December that rising labor and materials costs triggered by Hurricane Irma would likely result in higher repair costs than initially estimated.

“As they go through the claims and repairs process, things will come up that may require us to readdress [and reopen] the claim,” Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier said Wednesday.

Locke Burt, chairman and president of Ormond Beach-based Security First Insurance, said his firm does not send release language with its claims checks “because we agree with the trial lawyer. It wouldn’t stand up in court.” Plus, he said, “We wouldn’t treat people that way.”

The Sun Sentinel contacted Universal P&C, People’s Trust and Gulfstream and asked each why they assert that acceptance of a settlement check releases them from supplemental claims.

The state law requiring insurers to pay any remaining amounts for additional work does not apply to People’s Trust, which operates a unique business model known as “managed repair,” countered Amy Rosen, the company’s chief marketing officer.

The company, with 129,626 policies statewide and 56,511 in the tri-county region, provides a premium discount in exchange for a customer’s agreement to use its affiliated “Rapid Response Team” contractor to make repairs. Rosen said it only sends the letter asserting acceptance of its check releases it from future obligations when a policyholder “wishes to receive a monetary payment in exchange for [the company’s] agreement to waive its right to have [the Rapid Response Team] perform the repairs.”

“If the insured accepts the monetary payment … then a settlement has been reached,” Rosen said. “If the insured does not accept the payment, then [the Rapid Response Team] repairs the property and, if additional covered damage is found, that is also repaired.”

Perry Cone, Gulfstream’s general counsel, declined to respond to questions about why it directs its policyholders to sign the release forms. “Gulfstream absolutely follows Florida law in its claims handling processes,” Cone wrote.

Travis Miller, spokesman for Universal Property & Casualty, said the statement on the checks “does not preclude claims for replacement costs or supplemental damage,” adding it “represents payment for items that have been reported to the insurer, have been reviewed, and are included within the scope of the draft.” He said other statements with the check will specify that the release pertains to a portion of coverage the check is for, such as additional living expenses, and “does not affect other payments such as replacement costs or other portions of the same claim [or any other claim.]”

Trial attorney Ligman, representing a policyholder who has declined to endorse a check from Universal, has filed a petition asking a Miami-Dade County circuit court judge to determine whether endorsement of the company’s check would bar him from making future claims.

“Universal refuses to change their check policy and continues to send the check release endorsement in violation of Florida law in order to trick their insureds to believe that they are releasing all future claims,” the petition states.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 29, 2017 – January 5, 2018



1 new listing: Sandy Bend #4 2/2 $779K.

6 price changes: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 now $244.8K, Captains Walk #B2 1/1 now $249K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 now $450K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 now $1.25M, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.273M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.749M.

1 new sale: By-The-Sea #9 3/2 listed at $1.749M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $470K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $745K.


8 new listings: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $537K; 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $575K; 1513 Sand Castle Rd 2/2.5 $689,000; 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $799K; 529 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $799,997; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $889K; 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 $1.049M; 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 $1.195M.

6 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $489K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $548K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $630K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.225M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 now $1.389M; 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.899M.

12 new sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $499K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $545K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 listed at $599K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed at $750K, 335 East Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.095M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $1.1M, 1277 Par View Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.15M, 1106 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 1313 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 1052 Whisperwood Ln 3/3 listed at $1.499M, 3945 West Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $3.195M, 4115 West Gulf Dr 4/5 listed at $5.485M.

4 closed sales: 725 Nerita St 2/1 $385K, 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $540K, 3273 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $820K, 4155 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $4M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 667 Birdie View Pt listed at $345K.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $330K.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $725K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 listed at $609K.

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 20 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $989K, 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $2.695M.

2 price changes: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $2.899M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.2M.

1 new sale: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 listed at $5.6M.

2 closed sales: 11461 Old Lodge Ln 2/2 $995K, 11500 Gore Ln 3/2 $1.15M.


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.

Have A Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team














Happy New Year From Sanibel

We have enjoyed another week of nice weather here on Sanibel. Today and into the New Year we are expecting a “cool front” with morning lows in the 50’s (later next week to be in the 40’s) & the afternoons warming to the mid 60’s, low 70’s. Lots of people this week, walking, biking, & filling up the roads. Here at the office we know when it is 3:30, as the cars are stopped on the road out front.

polar bear plungeNew Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

On Monday, January 1, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will hold its 18th annual meeting at “the crack of noon” at Tarpon Bay Beach (the south/gulf end of Tarpon Bay Road). The meeting will begin with the singing of the traditional Polar Bear anthem by the Cubbies (first-timers), Juveniles (one-time previous dippers) and seasoned Adult bears (those who took the plunge in previous years). Following the anthem, the Polar Bears will enter the “icy” gulf waters. Everyone is welcome. Chairs and coolers are optional.

Sanibel Library Earns Award

sanibel libraryThis year marks the fourth time the Sanibel public library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country by Library Journal. The rating is based on the number of people walking through the library’s doors, number of program attendees and the number of books checked out. The rating is also based on electronic material.

“Ding” Darling Announces 2018 Film Series

ding darlingThe sixth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series kicks off its bi-weekly showings this winter with a schedule of seven films that explore natural facets from pollinators and coral to wild Florida and the war on coal. It runs Jan. 10 through April 4.“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the free film showings in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center with sponsorship from Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.

Below are the season’s scheduled films. All films begin at 1 p.m. except the Jan. 24 film, which airs at 10a.m. A short discussion will follow each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched. For full descriptions of the films, please visit

Jan. 10 – Wings of Life

Jan. 24 – Tapped

Feb. 7 – From the Ashes

Feb. 21 – Chasing Coral

March 7 – The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida

Mach 21 – Mission Blue

April 4 – STRAWS

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 22-29, 2017



1 new listing: Sundial West #F308 1/1 $439K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, White Sands #32 2/2.5 listed at $1.095M, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 listed at $1.299M (our Buyer).

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #A8 2/2 $347K.


2 new listings: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $539K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $699K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $898K.

3 new sales: 1394 Middle Gulf Dr half-duplex listed at $524.9K, 1943 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $649.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $430K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $635K, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $605K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.25M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 $1.49M.


2 new listings: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $258K, 1817 Long Point Ln $399,555.

2 price changes: 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K, 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.


4 new listings: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.085M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.795M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $4.3M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $4.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex listed at $1.749M.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

happy new year

Happy New Year!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

Merry Christmas from Sanibel

It’s been a beautiful weather week, some fog in the early mornings, but with sunny skies every day. The Christmas Eve & Christmas Day forecasts look just as nice & sunny.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoAs a reminder, there was no Realtor® Caravan this week, but the every-Thursday-morning schedule begins again on Dec 28 with a West Caravan.

ding darling goose logoFree Refuge Programs and Tours Begin In January 

This year, JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge adds a new Horseshoe Crab program to its calendar of daily free tours and activities. The seasonal calendar of free programs and tours begins on Tuesday, January 2 and runs through April 8. Daily programs begin at 8:30 a.m. and include programs such as Nature Photography, Beach Walk, Birds of Prey, and Indigo Trail Walk. They have something for visitors of all ages and the programs/tours last anywhere from a half hour to two hours. For a full calendar of programs/tours and descriptions, visit

henderson-franklinRent Tax Reduced Beginning January 1, 2018

Here is an article written by Henderson Franklin, Attorneys at Law:

The Florida Legislature recently delivered a small win for the business community with Florida House Bill 7109. Effective January 1, 2018, Florida Statute 212.031(1)(c) is amended by lowering the sales tax levied against commercial tenants from 6% to 5.8%. A more significant decrease would have been better, but commercial tenants will take what they can get, we suspect. The tax – known as the Business Rent Tax or “the BRT” – affects commercial tenants including retail, office space, and industrial tenants.

What is the BRT?

The Florida Legislature enacted the BRT in 1969, declaring that the business of renting, leasing, letting or granting a license for the use of commercial real property is a “taxable privilege.” In part because Florida has no personal income tax, the state government relies on sales taxes, including the BRT, as a significant source of revenue. Many local governments also impose a local option sales tax on top of the state BRT.

Florida is the only state to levy a statewide tax against commercial tenants, and thereby creates a competitive disadvantage for Florida businesses that lease rather than own their commercial space.

House Bill 7109

Florida’s BRT is unique from a national perspective in two respects: not only is it the only standard, statewide sales tax on commercial real estate rents, but unlike other corporate taxes, it is not pegged to profitability. As a result, the BRT significantly raises occupancy costs on all commercial tenants, regardless of their financial condition. New and/or struggling businesses in Florida may have the greatest difficulty with the burden this tax creates, and these businesses are likely to benefit the most from the tax relief in House Bill 7109.


Many voices within Florida’s business community have pushed for years for steep cuts to the BRT and, beginning in 2018, start to see their lobbying efforts bear fruit. Considering the significant impact the tax has on occupancy costs, the BRT should continue to be the subject of considerable debate in Tallahassee. As with all tax matters, please consult with your tax professional.

homesteadYou Can Inherit A Home, But You Can’t Inherit Taxes

Here is a helpful article posted at FloridaRealtors®. This one on Dec 18, 2017 is credited to Marty Kiar, Broward County property appraiser.

“The family home often passes from generation to generation as parents pass on, but Broward County’s property appraiser says he often gets a similar question the following year: Why did my property taxes go up so much?

“This happens when the decedent’s Homestead Exemption is removed the year following their passing and the Save Our Homes value is reset,” says Broward’s Marty Kiar. While alive, the parents had a cap on the amount their property taxes could go up each year thanks to Florida’s homestead exemption.

However, that protection ends and the house’s taxable value resets when it gets a new owner, even if that new owner inherited the house from his or her parents. In some cases, that higher taxable value can be dramatic.

Kiar notes only a few exceptions: A surviving spouse can inherit a house as well as the existing tax savings via Save Our Homes, as can a “legal dependent who was permanently residing on the property at the time of the decedent’s death.”

In all other cases, the new owner – even if he or she grew up in that house – must file for a new Homestead Exemption when they become the legal owner. Once filed, they also then have protection from yearly increases through Save Our Homes, though going forward it’s based on the first year they applied for the Homestead Exemption.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 15-22, 2017 



7 new listings: Spanish Cay #4 2/2 $374K, Sundial West #G105 1/1 $425K, Blind Pass #B211 2/2 $469K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 $775K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $995K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 $1.149M, Atrium #201 3/3 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Sundial West #G204 2/2 now $649,999; Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $979K; Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $995K.

2 new sales: Sundial West #G105 1/1 listed at $425K, Sundial West #J207 2/2 listed at $695K.

6 closed sales: Seashells #44 2/2 $320K, Captians Walk #B5 2/1 $340K, Sundial West #C306 1/1 $404.5K, Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 $469K, Sanibel Arms West #G8 2/2 $475K, Bougainvillea #A3 4/4 $3.55M.


12 new listings: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $575K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $579K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $599K, 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex $650K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $784.5K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $875K, 1106 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.2M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.9M, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.395M, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.7495M, 1191 Bird Ln 5/4.5 $7.9M.

5 price changes: 667 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $619,555; 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 now $648K; 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $990K; 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $1.195M; 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.349M.

9 new sales: 915 Palm St 3/2 listed at $475K, 3273 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $825K, 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 listed at $979K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed at $1.224M, 899 Almas Ct 3/2 listed at $1.249M, 2441 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.295M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 listed at $1.675M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed at $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $737.5K.


1 new listings: 2987 Wulfert Rd $450K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1311 Par View Dr listed at $274K.

1 closed sale: 461 Lake Murex Cir $325K. 



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 now $2.895M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 listed at $300K, Lands End Village #1657 2/2 listed at $1.095M

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.5375M.


2 new listings: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.749M, 16814 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $8.2M.

2 price changes: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.795M, 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5/2 now $3.599M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

Santa on Beach

Wishing You & Your Family A Happy Holiday Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team


It’s Another Happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan here, with the first report in a long time of a cloudy Friday. Following a picture-perfect holiday weekend when the causeway and beaches were busy with families and vacationers, it has been a nice, though quiet week.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Not as busy as we’d like it though at SanibelSusan Realty. Good weather often keeps phones from ringing, but our listings did get a few showings. teammate Dave accompanied a couple of home inspections, and I showed homes most of Wednesday, while yesterday following our Association of Realtors® meeting, Dave and Elise covered our Caravan Open House, I chaired a meeting at the Association office, we had a good closing, and then Dave was out showing condos too, including our new listing. This afternoon, Dave’s back to holding another Open House, while Elise’s weekly report of the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few news items below. You’ll probably notice, there was no real estate action on Captiva. That’s unusual.

We had a surprise visit this morning from a family here on vacation. They bought their home through us five years ago and it is always such a treat when we get an update from them. Dad Scott is a terrific photographer and follows my blog. It was great to get his reminder that I may always share the pictures he posts on-line. Their bay-front home has probably one of the most active osprey nests on the island and he said that the last of the three fledglings in the nest this year was hesitant to make its first flight. As a result, he got some terrific close-up shots before it finally used its wings. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

SanCapAssnLogoThough attendance was light at our Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, our new CEO was given a rousing applause. Bill Robinson who joined our Association in 2012 and been promoted to MLS Director and Chief Operating Officer, was announced as our new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Peggy Hummel who will retire at the end of August.

A handful of new sales were announced. I got a thank you for bringing the buyer for Anchor Pointe #C and I gave a thank you to the Realtor® bringing the buyer to Lighthouse Point #129. Just seven properties were on the Caravan that followed, including our new listing at The Sanctuary, Ibis #B102. (Photos of Ibis #B102 below.)

CEO’s Bill and Peggy both later participated in our Communications & Public Relations Committee meeting. Big props to Bill for getting my press release in the “Santiva-Chronicle” within hours of submission. Check out our June 1 progress report on this year’s “Association of Realtors® Working Together to Make A Difference” campaign at

Here Comes The Rainy Season

Sanibelcityseal logoThe rainy season finally is here, with occasional showers expected for a least the next seven days. Though we need the water, it’s always a bit of downer when clear bay and gulf waters get stirred up by storms. We also are always hoping that we don’t get too much rain or water quality can be affected.

To illustrate, Jim Szabo with SanCap Aerial Photography has been taking aerials of the island for many months. On Memorial Day, his Facebook posting next to a stunning post-card like photo, said “Our water around Sanibel is amazingly beautiful. I take weekly 360° interactive panoramic images exclusively for the City of Sanibel.” Then he described that the one posted was taken around 12:30 p.m. at 350 feet above the lighthouse using his airborne camera system.

His message further says, “The City of Sanibel does this to show the current conditions, good or bad, for almost the last year. Toward the end of June, we will be able to compare current conditions to a year ago. Big thanks to the City of Sanibel for doing this.”

His images can be seen at Scroll down when you get to that page and you will see links to weekly panoramic aerials taken at Lighthouse Beach Park going back to June 28, 2016. (Check out the difference between early and late June last year, it’s amazing.) There also are some taken from Gulfside City Park, Blind Pass, Clam Bayou, and the Causeway.

20 Questions To Ask When Buying a Condo

Buying or selling, it’s good to be aware of these questions and how they apply to a property.This provided courtesy of FloridaRealtors®.


Sanibel School Tops District on State Test

sanibel schoolMany of us wish we’d found Sanibel when our families were young. The Sanibel School is one of the reasons why.

As reported in this week’s “Islander”, “The Sanibel School was one of two schools in the district that had 97% of its third-grade students score a three or higher on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) English Language Arts test.” This is an increase from last year’s 94%. The state percentage was 58%, compared to 54% last year. This is the third year that students in the county have taken the FSA. Although the Sanibel School tied with Pine Island Elementary School, their overall score was highest at 325, compared to their 318.

Congratulations to The Sanibel School for focusing on lots of reading. The school has offered a reading roundup for kids who were struggling, by offering more reading time during the school day. F.I.S.H. also sponsored after school tutoring to any student needing extra help.

The local district ranked third out of 10 mega districts in the State of Florida based on this last English Language Arts test.

Shell Mueum to Hold Bunche Beach Clean-Up

bailey-mathews shell museum signThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum will celebrate World Oceans Day on Wed, June 8 from 7 to 9 a.m. when museum staff and their Shell Ambassadors will hold a clean-up at Bunche Beach (at 18201 John Morris Rd). The public is invited to participate.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. uses 380 billion plastic bags per year and only 3% of that is recycled. This is the first time that the Museum has participated in World Oceans Day, but not the first time they have held a clean-up at Bunche Beach. It was selected instead of Sanibel because it seems to be more of a hotspot for trash and debris. If you can help with the clean-up, please register with Stefanie at Their tips for cutting down on plastic:

  • Use a reusable bag.
  • Use a reusable water bottle.
  • Say no to straws.
  • Bring your own containers for take-out/leftover food.
  • Stop chewing gum (it contains a molecule that is used in making plastic).
  • Shop local farmer’s markets.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 26-June 2, 2017



2 new listings: Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.149M, Sanddollar #A303 3/2 $1.349M.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 now $529K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 now $629K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 now $1.315M, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.495M.

No new sales.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #D403 1/1 $420K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $725K, Beachcomber #A102 2/2 $1.25M (our listing), Tamarind #A102 2/2 $1.495M, Somerset #E202 3/2.5 $1.54M.


3 new listings: 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $599K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $649K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $729K.

5 price changes: 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 now $449K; 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 now $449.9K; 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $679K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $768,885; 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $685K.

4 new sales: 986 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $529K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $729K, 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 listed at $799.9K, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.649M.

5 closed sales: 770 Donax St 2/2 $422.5K; 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $490,723; 1210 Par View Dr 4/2 $680K; 1028 Demere Ln 3/2 $892.5K; 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $1.81M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 2998 Singing Wind Dr now $189K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5121 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $180K.


No activity to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 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 friday

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A January Island Friday With Sunshine

cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17This week the Sanibel/Captiva weather improved, even saw a little sunshine, before it deteriorated again midweek. With a record 12″ of rain this month, compared to the average January when there are only 2”, those here on vacation probably are not happy campers.

There also was gridlock traffic on both Sunday morning and Monday evening when accidents on the causeway brought incoming and outgoing vehicles to a standstill. The Monday event had both main and secondary roadways at a crawl for hours.

There now is a lake in the parking lot behind the office, but clearing is expected today. The rain sure beats the white stuff stacking up in much of the country and the dry spell out west. Mother Nature and her friend El Nino get the attention of all of us!

Unfortunately with bad weather, island real estate action has slowed down. After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week – just a handful of sales.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors® leadership team and state committees meet twice a year in Orlando, now and again in late August. I was appointed to two this year and should make it to Orlando in time to attend the Major Investors RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) Reception tonight, followed by the annual RPAC Jamboree where the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® should clean up with several awards. After dying my hair pink last May as part of the challenge to raise a few more dollars, I sure hope we come home with trophies.

government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeIsland property owners may not know it, but the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® has put plenty of RPAC dollars to good use here. They have helped in beach re-nourishment, the eventual passing of the City’s build-back ordinance, and more recently to pay for the study that convinced local and state politicians that poor water quality negatively affects property values. Water quality issues have been in the forefront for our association for the last 20-some years with the fight continuing at the state meeting today when representatives from Sanibel report about what is happening with the water around Southwest Florida at the Florida Realtors® Land Use, Property Rights, and Sustainable Development Subcommittee Meeting.

Saturday I take part in the Florida Realtors® Professional Standards Forum, followed by the Resort & Second Home Specialists Forum. Saturday night is the Inaugural Banquet, then I’ll be back on the road first thing Sunday morning heading back to Sanibel.


Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

The new Japanese steakhouse & sushi bar at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is opening Feb 2. Called “Shima”. Make reservations at

AT&T Breaks Silence by Applying for Donax Tower Permits

AT&T_logo_svgSince I live on the east-end where AT&T service is non-existent without a booster cell in my house, I was excited to read the below article posted on line yesterday by the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“AT&T has applied for permits to install its equipment on Sanibel, a move that would improve cell reception and put an end to the impasse between the city and the communications giant.

“The application was made Wednesday, Jan. 27, just days after the mayor involved the island’s citizenry, but months after the island thought it would happen. The installation is expected in the second quarter of this year and Mayor Kevin Ruane said the city will do all it can to make it happen as soon as possible.

“The development and building permits applied for Wednesday by a third-party contractor will allow AT&T to install its equipment on the Donax Road cell tower already occupied by Verizon. The installation will significantly boost the wireless reception on a big part of Sanibel Island for AT&T customers.

“Ruane turned the city loose on AT&T last week. In appearances around the island, he gave citizens phone numbers and the e-mail address of AT&T’s Maria Johnson, the area representative, and urged all to contact her. The Chamber of Commerce transmitted the mayor’s message.

“All that came after months of inactivity that followed the sudden withdrawal last summer of permits to put up the equipment. The City Council discussed it in August and the resulting story in the Santiva Chronicle caught the eye of someone who introduced Ruane to Johnson.

“Then things went silent, according to Ruane. On Wednesday he found out why – Johnson left her position with AT&T in November. Ruane spoke Wednesday with Don Sadler, a new representative from AT&T, who told him the permits had been applied for and work would be completed no later than the second quarter. “We don’t have an exact time frame, but no later than the second quarter,” Ruane said.

“Ruane said he learned Wednesday that the tower isn’t owned by wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, but by a third party and that the tower recently changed hands. The AT&T representative told him the sale required an engineering study and that has slowed progress. “I told him how frustrated the island is,” Ruane said. “He sensed my frustration.”

“That frustration has been building since the end of last year following his September meeting with Johnson.

“We had a face-to-face meeting,” Ruane said. “She told me this could take a long time, and I told her that, in all due respect, we have been waiting three years. She said she would try to get it moved up to the fourth quarter in 2015. “I took her at her word,” Ruane said. “Around the holidays I reached out to her, and her voice mail said the best way to reach her was to send a text. I sent text messages, and after three or four of not getting anywhere I started talking to groups and telling them what they can look forward to. I told them I have no update because nobody is communicating.”

“Ruane said Sadler told him correspondence to Johnson had been rolling into a central bank and Ruane surmised that the recent glut of contacts from Sanibel caught AT&T’s eye.

“In relating the news that the permits had been applied for, City Manager Judie Zimomra said that processing the permits will be a high priority.”

The Proper Home Seller Etiquette logosSome good reminders here, from the Jan 26, 2016 “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“What unwritten etiquette rules should home sellers follow to show their home to potential buyers?® recently highlighted a few of these must-follow etiquette tips…

  • Don’t stay for showings. Home owners who lurk during an open house or showing can unnerve buyers. “Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move,” says Nicholas Kensington, a real estate professional with Scottsdale Real Estate. “Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.”
  • Keep your car out of the way. “Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home,” Kensington notes. “No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.”
  • Take the pets with you when you go. Not everyone likes pets. What’s more, some home buyers will have allergies and your pet could make them sick. “Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone,” says Brenda Hayward, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Keep out important documents. “Leaving necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot isn’t just good for selling, it’s also good selling etiquette,” says Kensington. “Put out the home inspection report, appraisal, home warranty, monthly bill information — gas, oil, electric — and proof of any major repairs are all good things to let people look through when they are considering buying your home.”
  • Have some refreshments available. “Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Don’t be stubborn. Sellers who are unwilling to negotiate will likely see their home linger on the market. “Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but greed can lead to disaster,” Josh Myler, a real estate professional with The Agency, told®. “Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Generosity will lead you to your promised land.””

See the full list of tips at®.

Source: “8 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Seller Should Know,”® (Jan. 25, 2016)

Trends That Will Influence Homes in 2016

realtor logoAs Realtors® part of the job includes helping buyers and sellers learn what is new to meet their own needs as well as the desires of future buyers. The following article is a long one, so I shortened it up some – but right-on. Written by Barbara Ballinger, it came from the Tuesday on-line edition of RealtorMag®.

“Design changes, as does architecture. Trends don’t emerge as rapidly here as they do in say, food or fashion, but the economy, the environment, and demographics all spur shifts in the choices of materials, designs, layouts, and construction methods for single- and multifamily dwellings.

“These 12 trends reflect ways to cope with environmental challenges, incorporate new building materials and methods, and alter the looks and functionality of our homes. Hear top designers and architects explain why these emerging trends are important and how they’ll influence real estate choices in the near future.

“1. More Resilient, Sustainable Homes – Mounting climate change pressures mean buildings need to better withstand natural disasters. Similarly, because our natural resources are dwindling, it’s increasingly important that structures be designed and built sustainably. Industry professionals are finding materials and construction techniques to meet both challenges. The Fortified Home Certification standard—created by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and Architectural Testing Inc.—represents engineering and building levels that provide sturdier structural envelopes that are more resilient against the worst weather conditions than those found in most current building codes. And the trends of making better use of natural resources and generating energy on site—for a double win of more energy and less money spent—will continue into 2016… Increased durability means more lives and buildings will be saved, costs to rebuild will be pared, and insurance premiums will be lowered. The trend is happening nationwide, not just in hurricane-prone locales like Florida….

“2. Classics, Made More Affordable – More home owners want quality, luxurious materials, but the finest choices aren’t always in the budget,…  With construction and material costs increasing, the need has emerged for less expensive options that still look luxe and hold up well. For example, instead of solid stone facades, architects may opt for stone veneer on studs and drywall instead of plaster inside. Or, rather than go with terra-cotta, a timeless but expensive material, they can select a handsome thin terra-cotta veneer applied to manufactured panels….

“3. Drought Awareness – Droughts continue to affect large areas of the U.S., making water more expensive and decreasing its availability, especially in the Southwest and California. Water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and showerheads have become standard—even mandated—in many areas…. Water conservation will become as important as energy conservation, and homes that collect as much water as they consume will be as popular with buyers as Net-Zero–energy homes now are… with more demand for water-saving measures such as water-smart irrigation sensors, composting toilets, gray-water recycling systems, and rainwater harvesting.

“4. Digitized Manufacturing – Sustainable materials such as glass, in conjunction with new manufacturing technologies, are expanding the choice of colors, textures, and sizes of materials available for home design. At the same time, 3-D manufacturing, what some call the third industrial revolution, has created a new panoply of readily available, prefabricated materials as an alternative to more expensive custom choices…. The glass-and-LED combination is just one new technique that can result in a product that incorporates a sustainable material into a sturdy, practical, energy-efficient, and glamorous new surface for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Such choices greatly personalize rooms much more than another granite, laminate, or Corian top might do, and help to distinguish listings in a crowded market.

“5. Reclaimed Wood Floors – Many home owners crave authenticity, no matter how durable, affordable, and convincing the imitations may be. A case in point: the increased demand for reclaimed wood boards, which wear well, show the patina of age, and reveal visual character….The type of wood flooring found in many homes will take on greater importance for many segments of the home-buying population, and it may be that soon not just any wood will do. The crème de la crème of wood flooring —reclaimed boards—may become the equivalent of once sought after granite and now quartz or marble….

“6. Softening Modern Severity – With so many home owners now favoring modern design, yet not wanting a harsh, laboratory look, designers search for alternatives….

“7. The Tiny House Movement on Wheels – Downsizing is big, reflected in part by the growth of the tiny house movement. But flexibility and mobility are also sought after, and many desire a hipper method of attaining this than RVs can offer…. The design profession keeps looking for options beyond traditional, stick-built houses, hence the uptick in prefabricated, manufactured housing. This brand-new example offers shelter to those who are keen on smaller houses, but don’t like the idea of always staying put,… It also offers other possibilities for the real estate industry. It allows some home owners to “test drive” small-scale living. And if the trend continues to expand, landowners may find empty lots in vacation areas to be the perfect spot to rent out to these home owners on wheels.

“8. Walk-In, Universal Design Pantries – Currently there are 78 million baby boomers and the aging population is increasing — in fact, it’s expected to rise by 50% between 2010 and 2020, according to Aging in Place, a state survey of livability policies and practices. A deep, wide walk-in pantry allows a walker or wheelchair to maneuver through easily….

“9. Better Integration of Indoors and Outdoors – Screened porches once were the prime quasi-outdoor space in a home that could protect occupants from bad weather yet offer a feeling of the outdoors. But many porches block daylight and views, and they can only be used part of the year in some climates. Now, well-designed, large-scale door panels that fold up like garage doors or open into a home’s walls via big pocket doors are becoming more readily available at affordable prices,…  Some have highly functional, retractable insect screens, too… These new bigger openings permit better views of the outdoors, greater enjoyment, and easier access between indoors and outdoors….

“10. Softer, Layered Color Palettes – Color trendsetter Pantone typically debuts only one superstar color of the year. But in 2016, two are taking center stage: “rose quartz” and “serenity.” Both reflect the rise of softer colors, along with the continued use of whites and creams. Some designers think this color direction and its layered palettes lead to a more personalized, sophisticated design….Time will tell if a non-election year and fewer terrorism threats may inspire a return to bolder hues…. These new colors are already turning up inside homes in countertops and backsplashes….

“11. Copper Chic Surges (Even More) – The old standby of copper—think of those pots your parents, grandparents, or Julia Child used—started its re-emergence last year. And the reason that it’s becoming a more widespread alternative to stainless steel, wood, and other materials isn’t all surface. Yes, copper can add sheen, sparkle, and a 1940s Hollywood glamour. But an equally big impetus is that it reduces more than 99.9% of bacteria in between routine cleanings, important because antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise…. This shiny gold-like hue will become more prevalent in homes as concern grows about buying healthy houses without mold, toxins, and bacteria. To help, U.S. manufacturers are producing more options in copper than just refrigerator, oven, and other appliance fronts, the developments that initially helped revive the trend. Throughout homes, buyers can add copper sinks, door handles, light switches, and trim. To enhance its appeal, manufacturers are also expanding the types of hues available. Already, there’s a copper-penny color, brushed nickel, yellow brassiness, and bronze on the market.

“12. Enhancing Entertainment Space with Niches and “Back Kitchens” – Living keeps getting more casual, and this is certainly the case in the kitchen. “Everything happens in the kitchen, and people don’t want to be closed away from interaction with their families,”…Consequently, they’re willing to put more into their kitchens — more space (500 square feet is not uncommon, he says), bigger budgets, better design, more windows and light, and the types of detailing, like moldings and beams, once reserved for more formal spaces…. As open plans that incorporate more important kitchen space become commonplace, finding ways to keep the workspace neat becomes key, too. This may mean more niches and elements that hide small appliances built into the main kitchen. Home owners with more room and a bigger budget might consider adding a “back kitchen,” where preparations take place and small appliances like toasters and coffee makers are stored. To maintain the interflowing social feel, the spaces remain open to one another. A growing number of home buyers may be willing to forgo a dining room….”

The Top States for Retirees in 2016

Florida the sunshine state“Those in the 65-plus bracket may find their money will go further and their quality of life will be better in certain areas of the country. To help figure out which ones are best, WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 metrics to determine the most retirement-friendly states:

  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Pennsylvania

Check out the full list, linked below, to see where your state landed.”

Source: “2016’s Best and Worst States to Retire,” WalletHub (January 2016)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 22-29, 2016

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


6 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $599K, Surfside 12 #A2 3/2 $799K, Sundial East $M301 2/2 $799K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $849K, Atrium #302 2/2 $1.645M, High Tide #B101 2/2.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 now $639K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #2-2 3/3 now $739K, St.Croix #4 2/2.5 now $935K, Island Beach Club #350D 2/2 now $1.1M, West Shore #3 3/3 now $1.699M, Tigua Quay #487 3/3.5 now $1.989M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 listed at $375K.

1 closed sale: Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 $795K.


1 new listing: 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

7 price changes: 847 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 now $410K, 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $515K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $765K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $799.9K, 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.19M, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 now $1.259M, 911 Strangler Fig Ln 4/3 now $2.85M.

3 new sales: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 listed at $684.9K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 listed at $1.275M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 listed at $6.975M.

2 closed sales: 1429 Sandpiper Cir 3/3 half-duplex $415K, 5436 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $950K.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $199,555; 2626 Coconut Dr now $317K; 9066 Mockingbird Dr now $380K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $559K.

No new or closed sales.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $4.85M.

5 price changes: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.495M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.895M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.925M, 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $2.345M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $3.75M.

1 new sale: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $1.7M, 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.15M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Bring on the sunshine, Florida is ready for it!

Happy weekend all, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan



It’s All About the View at SanibelSusan’s Newest Listing

It’s Susan with another Friday real estate and news report about what’s been happening on the islands over the last week. With the Monday Columbus Day holiday and winter residents returning, activity and traffic increased a little. With owners getting their properties ready for “season”, most of the real estate activity this week has been new listings – seven new condo listings and seven new home listings on Sanibel alone. One is our new gulf-front west-corner unit at Island Beach Club with direct beach plus sunset views. No professional photos yet, but being filmed soon. Here are a few snapshots taken by cell phone. It’s all about the view!

Some of our listings had inquiries or were shown this week while teammate Dave held open houses too. Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Island Weather, Happenings & Upcoming Events

The island had wonderful weather this week – partly cloudy to sunny skies, plus lower temperatures and lower humidity. Pre-season events are beginning. Here are a few:

FISH 2015 10K logoTomorrow, Oct 17 – 7th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – With the start-finish line at the Community House, this is an annual fundraiser for FISH of San-Cap (neighbors helping neighbors). Start time is 7:30 a.m.

pigs_in_paradise_logo_2015_correctedSunday, Oct 18 – Pigs in Paradise 2015 – Children’s Education Center of the Islands family-friendly fundraiser at Sanibel Community House from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door.

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 18 to 24 – 26th Annual “Ding” Darling Days – kicks off with Sunday Family Fun Day and ends with Conservation Art Day next Saturday. Event schedule at

BIG Arts logoMonday, Oct 19 – BIG ARTS Monday Night Film Series Begins – The Monday night film series begins at BIG ARTS Schein Hall with “The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window & Disappeared”. Every Monday at 7 p.m. through April a new talked-about and award-winning film is featured. Tickets are just $10 followed by moderated discussions and complimentary receptions. See the full schedule at

Baileyfest2015-save_the_dateSunday, Oct 25 – 30th Annual BaileyFest Celebration – From noon until 4 p.m. at the Bailey’s Shopping Center, this event is free to the public and includes live entertainment, games, raffles and giveaways, face-painting, pony rides, food and refreshments, and local service organizations. The BIG ARTS Community Chorus kicks off the fest at noon with “The Star Spangled Banner”, followed by lots more music and fun.

A Few Sanibel Projects Still Underway

In our travels this week, we couldn’t help but notice a few annual projects underway including plenty of landscaping crews engaged in post-summer end-of-rainy season tree trimming and mulching. One of the big trees was taken down at Periwinkle Place yesterday. Other summer/fall construction projects seen in progress include:

Mariner Pointe

Mariner Pointe

Intersection of Periwinkle Way & Casa Ybel – New crosswalk work in progress, expected to be done in November.

Mariner Pointe – Piling repairs and dock improvements canal side.



Poinciana – Balcony restoration work.

Pointe Santo

Pointe Santo

Pointe Santo – Balcony and concrete restoration work continuing in Buildings A and E.

Seascape – Balcony restoration project.

Sundial Resort – Balcony and concrete restoration work in progress in Buildings S and T.

Sundial East

Sundial East

Also at Sundial, Sanibel Planning Commission this week approved a permit for a new Japanese hibachi-style steakhouse and sushi bar. Remember Noopies? This won’t be exactly the same, but will bring back more variety to island dining. The new eatery is expected to be open in December or January.

Villa Sanibel

Villa Sanibel

Villa Sanibel – Crane on premises with work underway on what appears to be new roof(s).





Sanibel Seeking Feedback on Shares Use Path Improvements

Sanibelcityseal logoCitizens of Sanibel have been invited to submit their input on each of the recommendations included in the draft Shared Use Path Intersection Improvement Study. Before Fri, Oct 30, you are asked to submit your input in one of three ways.

  1. On-line at
  2. Attending the Thursday, Oct 22, Open house at the Sanibel Rec Center (3880 San-Cap Rd) from 9 a.m. to noon and from 3 to 7 p.m.
  3. Submitting written comments by mail or in person to Sanibel City Hall.

See more info on

Homeowners Insurance Protects You from Halloween Horrors

Halloween treat-clipart-halloweenYesterday, NAR’s (National Association of Realtors®) on-line “Weekly Report” posted the following article by House Logic:

“When zombies, Snookies, and Lady Gagas storm your front door…, don’t fear! Your homeowners insurance will protect you from Halloween mishaps.

“Halloween is all fun and games until a trick-or-treater trips, knocks over your jack-o-lantern, and sets your front porch on fire. Fortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover these common Halloween home mishaps:

“Tricksters damage your home. Standard homeowners’ policies cover vandalism, such as dents in your siding caused by eggs thrown at your home, when repair costs exceed your deductible.

“Candles or decorations cause a fire. A fire started by a Halloween candle or a string of holiday lights will be covered. If the fire makes your home unlivable, your homeowners’ policy will pay your living expenses while you wait for repairs.

“A trick-or-treater gets hurt on your property. Injuries to trick-or-treaters or your party guests are covered by the homeowner liability portion of your policy. The injured person files a claim with your insurer.

“You crash your car into a telephone pole to avoid hitting a trick-or-treater in your driveway. That accident would be covered by the collision portion of your auto insurance (if you have it). If you hurt anyone, the liability portion of your auto insurance would cover the cost of their treatment.

“If everything on this list of Halloween home horrors occurred, your umbrella insurance would kick in to cover costs — if you have it.

“To make your property safe for Halloween, the Insurance Information Institute has these recommendations:

  • Pick up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop, or porch that a person could trip over.
  • Turn on your outdoor lighting so kids can see where they’re going.
  • Use battery-powered lights in your jack-o-lanterns.
  • Don’t put matches, lighters, or candles in places children can reach.
  • Pets, candles, and trick-or-treaters don’t mix. Keep pets away from the front door on Halloween.
  • Look for safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), on your decorative lights.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 9-16



7 new listings: Seawind #A101 2/2.5 $514.9K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $524.8K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 $710K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-2 3/3 $795K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 $1.1M (our listing), Compass Point #151 3/2 $1.245M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 $2.695M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms E8 2/2 now $487K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 now $1.895M.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 listed at $335K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 listed at $369.9K, Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.295M.

3 closed sales: Sundial West #H303 2/2 $572K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.05M, Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 $2.3M.


7 new listings: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $379K, 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $449K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $649K, 720 Elinor Way 3/2 $649K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 $989K, 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 $1.15M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1.649M.

3 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 4/2 now $469.9K, 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $499K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $799K.

5 new sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed at $450K, 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $529K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $679.9K, 1220 Morningside Pl 5/5 multi-family listed at $1.198M, 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.695M.

2 closed sales: 1537 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $760K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 $1.5M.


1 new listing: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.8M.

1 price change: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $149K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2142 Starfish Ln $383.5K.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $299.9K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 $4.495M.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $7.1M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.26M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 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 weekend to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Real Estate Is Moving, Traffic Not So Much

It is hard to believe that more people are expected to be on the islands next week for the President’s Day holiday. Suffice it to say, that Sanibel is busier now than The SanibelSusan Team ever remembers it and we are trying to “nicely” share with the many vacationers, snowbirds, and owners here enjoying it too.

No one seems to mind that the daily temperatures this week have, for the most part, only been in the mid-60’s. Bikers in their shorts and tee-shirts continue to fly by our office on the bike path, while we locals have rare chances to wear sweaters and jackets. Here are a few photos taken by our client/friend Ellie Hayward and others during some of the recent breezy days when the shelling has been amazing.

SanibelSusan had lunch this week with VIP’s Vacation Rentals Manager, and he said they do not have a single accommodation left that is available between now and Easter. Other companies and accommodations likewise report 100% occupancy. That is great news for the local economy, but tough traveling for us trying to keep showing appointments on schedule.

We also heard this week that the “Sports Illustrated” annual swim suit edition has hit the streets with some of the photos taken on the islands. Do suppose that could bring even more traffic to Southwest Florida?

SCCF 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon

SCCF logoTuesday, we attended SCCF’s 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon which concluded with a terrific presentation by Director Eric Lindblad on current and future conservation plans. This organization does so much for the islands, we should all be strong supporters.

Eric advised that thanks to cooperation with Tarpon Bay Explorers, SCCF in early April will begin construction of a new marine lab on the grounds of Tarpon Bay, facing the water, in the location of the former concession stand.

SCCF work at rehabbing and reconfiguring The Bailey Homestead continues with preliminary plans in-the-works for eventually moving the Native Plant Nursery there. It has already increased usage of the connected paths that now go from the Chamber of Commerce through the Shipley Trail to Pond Apple Park and City Park via the Starr D. Thomas Boardwalk. A colleague recently saw an eagle there. Here’s a link to the trails:

Other Island Happenings

rotary logoThe Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 32nd Arts & Crafts Fair is tomorrow and Sunday at the Community House across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, they expect to have 7,000 attendees.

I’ll be at the office then, hoping they want to buy real estate to go with their other purchases. Here’s a link to the fair website:

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty

SANSLogoNext week again will be busy. We have some Open Houses planned and have a big (over 6,000-piece) bulk mailing going out. It’s our annual inventory lists for owners of all of the property for sale on the islands, plus for comparison, recent sales.

If you would like a copy too, just give us a call (888-603-0603 or 239-472-HOME (4663)) or send us an email (

Below after a few more news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Vacation Home Tax Deductions

taxesTax time is here and though it is best to consult your tax advisor, here is a handy summary that was posted on-line by HouseLogic and reprinted in NAR’s “Real Estate News” on Monday.

“The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

  • If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
  • Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Your expenses are deducted on Schedule E.
  • Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days you rent it and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and allocate them based on how often you used and how often you rented the house.”

Read more about home tax deductions at

‘Domino Effect’ to Set Off 2015 Housing Wave

clear capital logoInteresting concept recently described in the “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to a Clear Capital report of February 2, 2015 titled “Traditional Home Buyers, Make Your Move”:

“Home prices between the top and bottom segments of the housing market are rising, which could unleash a “domino effect” that builds first-time and move-up buyer momentum this year, notes a new real estate report by Clear Capital. But the build-up in traditional home buyers is coming at the cost of declines in the luxury home market.

“”The rate of appreciation for top tier homes is stalling, which is a more direct reflection of waning fair market demand,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “While this is a concerning development, there is a silver lining. The moderating upper tier may give traditional buyers a moment to catch their breath, and entice move-up buyers to enter this segment of the market. The ripple effect of opening up inventory all the way down the price spectrum could provide opportunity and motivation across all segments, including first-time buyers, to enter the marketplace.”

“The lower and middle-range ends of the housing market is stabilizing, allowing traditional home buyers to re-emerge. “The next phase of the housing recovery is dependent on healthy demand from this segment,” Villacorta says.

“The lower-end of the housing market was once driven mostly by investor activity, but now doors are opening for first-time home buyers to break in.  Also, as the number of underwater mortgages steadily decreases, home owners in the mid-tier of the home pricing segment can finally trade up to a larger, more expensive home.

Lower-end properties have been outpacing price growth in the luxury market, Clear Capital reports. The low-tier has posted double-digit gains year-over-year of 10.2%, compared to the top tier, which saw the lowest price growth rate among the three tiers, at 3.6% year-over-year.

““This divide between a healthy low tier and stalling top tier could kick-off a domino effect,” Clear Capital notes in its report. “Stalling prices in the top tier of the market could create the perception of a good deal. This instills confidence in mid-tier home owners, motivating them to move-up to the top tier. In turn, this opens up more opportunity for low tier home owners to move-up to the mid-tier. … This domino effect could be the catalyst for balanced demand across all sectors of the market.

“The Midwest is leading the pack, according to Clear Capital. The Midwest posted double-digit gains in the low-tier segment at 13.6 percent, while seeing its top-tier of the market fall 3.3% with prices. The Midwest is the only region currently seeing price appreciation in the low and mid tiers, growing above 1%. As such, Clear Capital economists are predicting the Midwest to be the first region in U.S. to realize full buyer momentum among first-time and move-up buyers, due to its moderating top tier.”

“Bleu Rendezvous” Coming to Sanibel

Bue windowsMany islanders call it a “road trip” when we venture off island for dinner. A favorite spot for that since discovering it a few years ago is Blue Windows French Bistro in South Fort Myers which is a small classic French restaurant. Though tiny and only visited occasionally, I always see other islanders there enjoying it too, so it is great news that Christian and Mari Vivet are planning to open a second restaurant, Bleu Rendezvous, on Sanibel in May. It will be in the space of the former Sangria Grill at 2430 Periwinkle Way just up the street from our office.

According to a posting in the “News-Press” this week, “The Vivets, who usually close Blue Windows during the summer, plan to keep both restaurants open throughout this year. Christian hinted they might have other plans for the south Fort Myers store, but said it was too early to disclose anything. As for Blue Rendezvous’ menu, fans of Blue Windows won’t be disappointed. “We’re taking exactly what we’re doing here and doing the exact same thing there, even the same wine list at this point,” Christian said. “It’s worked for us so well, we didn’t see any reason to change it.”

“Blue Windows serves dinner Monday to Saturday at 15250 S. Tamiami Trail, south Fort Myers. Call 849-0622 or visit for more info.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 6-13 



6 new listings: Sundial #C306 1/1 $329K, Sundial #D312 1/1 $349K, Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 $670K, Sundial #F201 2/2 $829K, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.595M.

6 price changes: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 now $239.9K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 now $424.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $490K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 now $499.9K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 now $798K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 now $825K.

3 new sales: Seashells #15 2/2 listed for $324.9K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 listed for $525K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 listed for $940K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 $439K, Sand Pointe #235 2/2 $665K, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 $783K, Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2.0625M.


7 new listings: 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 $699K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $769K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $ 875K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/2 $979K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $1.1M, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.149M.

7 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $329K, 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $530K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $725K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $799K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A 3/3 now $939K, 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 now $2.249M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.359M.

13 new sales: 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $629K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed for $715K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $719.9K, 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed for $775K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed for $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $89.5K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $939K, 857 Birdie View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $995K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed for $999.9K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed for $1.295M, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 listed for $1.898M.

2 closed sales: 490 Christine Rd 2/2 $534K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1.058M.


No new listings.

7 price changes: 0 Bowmans Beach Rd now $125K, 9239 Dimmick Dr now $139K, 9277 Belding Dr now $179.9K, 2324 Starfish Ln now $449K, 1242 Anhinga Ln now $525K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $699K, 4334 West Gulf Dr now $899K.

No new or closed sales.



2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 $322K, Sunset Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $650K.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $674.9K.

2 new sales: Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 listed for $898K, Captiva Bay Villas #C 3/3.5 listed for $2.395M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 $585K.


1 new listing: 11520 Murmond Ln 5/5.5 $2.075M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

valentineUntil next Friday, best wishes for a great Valentines Day.

P.S. There’s no gift like a property in paradise for the one you love. SanibelSusan is working all day tomorrow for your last minute gift shopping!

There’s Still Time to Buy Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate for Your Valentine

valentine-clipartcom-free-valentine-clip-artIt’s another beautiful Friday on Sanibel Island – yet another one of those days where we watch the weather in other parts of the country and remain thankful that we are here in sunny Florida where the forecast for the next seven days remains in the low 80’s.

We have a buyers arriving this week in time to buy their sweethearts a vacation retreat in paradise. What a great Valentine’s Day gift that will be!

Last weekend was a busy one with showings to three sets of buyers and we were smiling on Monday after two contracts presented, were accepted as written on Sunday (early Valentines for those folks).

A few other sales were announced at our Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday. A report of the weekly Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity is posted after a few news items below.

Dave brought his new camera along when we viewed a property overlooking Roosevelt Channel yesterday. Here are a few shots taken there and during his island other rounds.

View toward Blind Pass & Roosevelt Channel

View toward Blind Pass & Roosevelt Channel (where Teddy Roosevelt used to fish).

Just a few sea oats along the Gulf of Mexico beach

Just a few sea oats along the Gulf of Mexico beach

One of the mangrove-fringed waterways behind Periwinkle Park

One of the mangrove-fringed waterways behind Periwinkle Park

Bougainvillea are still blooming here everywhere...

Bougainvillea are still blooming here everywhere…

Sundial Resort’s Upgrades on Fast Track

Sundial gallery-th-03Yesterday’s “Fort Myers News-Press” posted an update on the ongoing improvement project at Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. (New name & new amenities.)

“The Sundial Beach & Golf Resort had seen better days when it was purchased in July by an investor group – now it’s renovating at lightning speed and expects to have its $5-7 million facelift complete by March 1. That would have been a daunting task a few years ago but thanks to new streamlining of the permitting process by Sanibel officials, the city’s aging resorts are finding it’s feasible to make major renovations without spending prohibitive amounts of time and money, said Ric Base, president of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. In the case of Sundial, the renovations will make striking differences in how the resort operates and in what it offers to the community.

Waterview is expected to open March 31, 2013.

Waterview restaurant is expected to open March 31, 2013.

“For example, it will have a restaurant and spa with views of the Gulf of Mexico and a lighter, more contemporary look overall,” said Brett Lindsay, director of sales and marketing at Sundial.

Sea Breeze Cafe also expected to open March 31.

Sea Breeze Cafe also expected to open March 31.

He added that the spa and restaurant will be open to the public for the first time in years since Blackstone cut off public access after it took over in 2006.

Turtles Cafe to open March 31, too.

Turtles Cafe to open March 31, too.

The new Sundial also will be able to go after conventions, corporate retreats and weddings, which Lindsay expects to be major sources of income that will also stimulate the local economy with spillover spending by the guests. Weddings were once a mainstay of the resort, he said. “In 2006 they did 200 weddings then it slowly declined.”

“Last week the resort, which was developed in 1972, was a beehive of activity, with construction crews ripping up old tile floors and reconfiguring the inside to take advantage of Gulf views….Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane said the new approach started after Hurricane Charley clobbered the island in 2004 and city officials realized that if a major storm destroyed a resort built years ago, it might not be possible to restore it to the same size under modern rules and regulations. The city enacted a build-back ordinance allowing the resorts to come back intact. “We wanted to be fair and to give somebody exactly what he had in the past.” But mainly, Ruane said, the change has come in how the city treats permits: for example, offering informal pre-application meetings where the applicant can discuss the project with all the city officials who have to sign off on it.

“City Manager Judie Zimomra said it’s important now to make renovations more practical because most of Sanibel’s resorts are decades old and ready to be modernized. “Our big growth period was after the causeway was built (in 1963),” she said. “In the ’70s and ’80s Sanibel was essentially built out.”

“The Sundial renovations are the first major test of the city’s changed procedures, but Chris Davison, general manager of the Island Inn on Sanibel, said that over the past two years he’s done $2.5 million in rehabilitation of aging accommodations and expects to do another $4-5 million. “Right now we’re in the process of preparing and getting ready to submit a complete redevelopment of our site, a complete master plan,” he said. It’s not just his resort that needs updating, Davison said. “Sanibel has become a spot where, yes, it’s pristine, yes, there are no buildings over three stories, but your TV and facilities and rooms are from the 1980s. People want their wi-fi to work. They want granite tops.”

This charming corner resort suite is available for just $349,900. It gets terrific rental income too!

This charming corner resort Club Suite is available for just $349,900. It gets terrific rental income too!

Best Places to Buy a Foreclosure in 2013

cnnmoney-logoAn on-line article posted this week at “Daily Real Estate News” sourced a “CNNMoney” article from Jan 31, it said:

“If you’re looking for big foreclosure deals, Florida may offer the most, according to a new study by RealtyTrac. Palm Bay, Florida, topped its list of the best places to buy a foreclosure in 2013. Foreclosures accounted for nearly 24% of all sales in Palm Bay last year, and buyers tended to pay 28% less for a home in foreclosure than other homes. The following are the markets with the high number of foreclosures available and some of the largest price discounts for foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac.

“Palm Bay, FL – Average foreclosure discount: 28%

Rochester, NY – Average foreclosure discount: 26%

Albany, NY – Average foreclosure discount: 35%

New York City – Average foreclosure discount: 40%

Lakeland, FL – Average foreclosure discount: 15%

Tampa, FL – Average foreclosure discount: 27%

Jacksonville, FL – Average foreclosure discount: 32%

Poughkeepsie, NY – Average foreclosure discount: 28%

Orlando, FL – Average foreclosure discount: 19%

Chicago – Average foreclosure discount: 46%.”

What About The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Market?

SANSLogoClients know that SanibelSusan Realty produces weekly lists of the island real estate for sale. These lists are broken down by island (Sanibel or Captiva), property type (condos, homes, or lots), and subdivided by complex or subdivision. For comparison, they also include recent sales. (These are easy to e-mail, if anyone out there is blog land wants copies.)

With Sanibel and Captiva being a relatively small market area, compared to the major cities discussed in the article above, sometimes it takes a keen eye to observe when the trends change here. Here are my latest observations. 

Was it good news when last year on Sanibel, 367 properties sold compared to 340 in 2011? You bet. It looks even better compared to 2010 when only 265 Sanibel properties sold.

On Captiva, was there a similar trend? Yes, in 2012, 64 properties sold; in 2011 only 47; and in 2010 just 37.

What about this year, 2013? Some may say that it is too early to tell. But I think we are seeing some momentum. Here it is just the first week in February and already 74 Sanibel properties are sold or under contract (28 condos, 43 homes, & 3 lots); while on Captiva, 12 properties have closed or are under contract (5 condos, 6 homes, & 1 lot). (These amounts are 20% and 19%, respectively, of what sold last year!) Usually our busiest sale months are February and March, but it appears that activity started sooner this year.

Do we have short sales and foreclosures on these two little islands? Sure, but we do not have many. Today, on Sanibel, there are three homes and one condo available in the Multiple Listing Service as “short sales” and one home in foreclosure. On Captiva, two homes (no condos) are in “short sales”, none are in foreclosure.

With limited alternate investment opportunities, Sanibel and Captiva’s niche market has become attractive to not just those that love their environmental offerings, ambience and life-style. Investors and builders recognizing the unique opportunity for appreciation again are buying. I think we are going to have a busy few weeks, probably a better winter selling season than we have seen in a long time.

Lee Memorial Hospital

Lee Memorial logoThough I have always known that we have terrific medical facilities in Southwest Florida, it has always amazed me how many snowbirds get all of their health care here. Maybe this recent on-line posting by Lee Memorial has something to do with it. Local hospitals are always getting kudos: “Lee Memorial Hospital is a #Healthgrades Five-Star recipient for back and neck surgery (spinal fusion), seven years in a row (2007-2013)!”

Are Home Prices Rising Too Fast?

FLRealtors_newlogoFlorida Realtors® posted this article yesterday. Who thought we would be hearing this and so soon?

“In a historical context, home prices typically increase about 3 to 4% a year. But in the years preceding the housing crash, prices in 2002 started soaring 7% a year, then 8% in 2004, and 12% by 2005, reports.

“A “new bubble” may be forming, CNBC columnist Diana Olick writes. CoreLogic’s latest housing data shows home prices rose 8% in December year-over-year, the largest gain in more than six years. In some places, home prices are up by double digits from a year earlier; in Phoenix, prices are up 26% year-over-year.

“Inventories of for-sale homes are very tight, and experts point to the tight inventories as a cause of rapidly rising home prices. Inventories of for-sale homes are at their lowest supply since May 2005, according to the National Association of Realtors®. “The greatest concern in the market is the inventory situation,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Even if we see an increase in the spring and summer, if home sales hold at the [current] level or even a five- to six-month supply, price increases are guaranteed. We don’t want to see rapid appreciation in prices faster than income.”

““Healthy housing market gains are historically driven by increasing employment and income, not by lack of supply,” reports CNBC reporter Diana Olick. “The latter leads to price bubbles.” But low inventory is not the only cause of rising prices. In many markets, a flood of investor demand has also caused a shortage of listings. Investors are cashing in on once hard-hit markets by the foreclosure crisis. Many investors are hedge funds turning single-family homes into rentals.

“However, quickly rising prices could cause these investors to take profits quicker than they originally planned by selling the rental homes now. That would add inventory to the market and slow price increases, Olick says. “What we had thought were safer, long-term buys, may now turn into flips of the last decade,” Olick says. “The question will be if there are enough non-investor buyers out there to support those sales?”

“But the home price gains may be sustainable, others say. Consumer confidence is increasing, employment is improving, and price gains may soon allow more homeowners who are seeing equity to once again trade-up.”

Source: “Housing Market Already Shows Signs of New Bubble,” (Feb. 5, 2013) and “New Housing Fears: Home Prices Are Rising Too Fast,” (Jan. 22, 2013)

Sanibel Library – What It Has To Offer

Sanibel library signThis afternoon, I received a nice email from an island owner and fellow blogger who also reads these Friday real estate blogs. She offered her recent blog about the Sanibel Library. Here is a link. I enjoyed it and I bet you will too. There are some great tips here that could apply to any library. (Thank you, Helen; we love sharing too!)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 1-8

3 new listings: Sundial #D408 1/1 $359K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $399K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $435K.
10 price changes: Sundial #I104 1/1 now $369K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $542.5K, Loggerhead Cay #521 2/2 now $559K, Heron at The Sanctuary II-2A 2/2.5 now $609K, Shorewood #1D 3/2 now $795K, Surfside 12 #B4 3/2 now $869K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $897K, Compass Point #181 2/3 now $899K, Junonia #203 3/2 now $974K, Seascape #302 3/3.5 now $1.344M.
7 new sales: Colonnades #12 1/1 listed for $129K, Tennisplace #C33 2/1.5 listed for $260K, Blind Pass #D205 2/2 listed for $291K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 listed for $419K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1-1A 2/2.5 listed for $489K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed for $499K, Pointe Santo #B44 2/2 listed for $699K.
2 closed sale: Blind Pass #A105 2/2 $380K, St.Croix #3 2/2.5 $800K.

7 new listings: 567 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $485K; 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $499,994; 1319 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $549K; 1342 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $589K; 1662 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $839K; 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 $1.495M; 5721 SanCap Rd 3/3/2 $1.595M.
6 price changes: 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $459K, 6138 Castaways Ln 3/2.5 now $654.9K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 now $1.049M, 2367 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 now $1.188M, 1826 Woodring Rd 3/2 now $1.549M (foreclosure), 4215 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 now $4.749M.
10 new sales: 2985 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed for $399K (our listing), 754 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed for $399K, 2560 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $495K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 listed for $599K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed for $690K, 765 Conch Ct 5/4 listed for $750K, 4996 Joewood Dr 3/3 listed for $760K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed for $795K (our buyer), 1660 Bunting Ln 4/3.5 listed for $945K (our buyer), 780 Birdie View Pt 5/4.5 listed for $1.749M.
3 closed sales: 750 Nerita St 3/2 $420K, 1350 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $540K, 6190 Henderson Rd 3/2 $1.25M.

1 new listing: 4318 West Gulf Dr $1.25M.
1 price change: 1637 Sabal Sands Rd now $295K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 6006 White Heron Ln $650K, 1028 Bayview Dr $1.6M.

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3138 1/1 $425K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

2 new listings: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.589M, 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.59M.
2 price changes: 17201 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $3.698M, 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $12.35M.
No new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 16915 Captiva Dr $1.59M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its 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.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Nemo I'm comingUntil next Friday, sending warm wishes and happy thoughts to our friends and family dealing with Nemo and snow!

Here’s hoping you can come to Sanibel and Captiva soon!

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate in Paradise 2013

It is another Friday afternoon on Sanibel Island. Here are a couple of pictures taken at noon today at a West Gulf Drive beach access. If you closely in the first one you can see some folks behind these dunes grasses doing the “Sanibel stoop” in a tidal pool – always a good spot to find a few barely-buried shells.

2013-01-04 BeachStoop

2013-01-04 Beach

With the holidays winding down, it is bittersweet to see island decorations being put away for another year. Here’s a photo of Santa being put away at Jensen’s Twin Palms Resort and Marina on Captiva. Note the supervisory ibis atop the davit.

Jensen's santa

The New Year‘s week visitors had terrific weather nearly every day with warm afternoons (70s to 80s) and cool evenings (50s & 60s). Unusual fog both yesterday and today burned off early and we even had a surprise shower this morning – all good for keeping the islands lush green and tropical. We saw our first “season” traffic jams this week, with Periwinkle Way busier than it has been since last year at this time. Afternoons find Sanibel’s finest directing traffic at most of the 4-way-stops.

Mid-week, teammate Dave held a couple of open houses in hopes of attracting business; but with the weather so nice, attendance was sporadic. I had a good walk-in New Year’s eve – 1st-time visitors to the island. It didn’t take them long to decide that Sanibel is a very special place; so both Wed and Thurs afternoons, we looked at condos. It is great fun to share the wonders of the island with folks like that.

realtor logoLittle sales action was announced at our Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday.

Below is an update of Sanibel’s current inventory, followed by the 2012 sales, compared to 2011.

                                     Condos                         Homes                          Lots

                                      #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price          #        Avg Price

For sale                        184       697,093            218     1,305,070          87      590,657

Closings pending          13        512,900            20       739,055             2        514,000

Sold/Closed in 2012      151      551,244           181      825,837            33      487,687

Sold/Closed in 2011      142      591,861           179      826,130           19       363,729

It will be interesting to see what happens when new government changes are enacted – or not. Some prospective buyers say that they are waiting to see what is happening with the “fiscal cliff” – others are taking stock market funds and instead investing in real estate where they see greater investment potential.

Below is some real estate news – beginning with the “fiscal cliff” – followed by the weekly report of action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

fiscal cliffHere is the Issue Brief that was posted on line Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors®:

“On January 1, 2013 the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” the bill will be signed by President Barack Obama on January 2, 2013. Below are a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders

  • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014
  • Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012
  • Leasehold Improvements: the 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Energy Efficiency Tax Credit: the 10% tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy efficiency improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.

Return of the “Pease” limitations on itemized deductions for high income filers – Under the agreement so called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers. “Pease” limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. The thresholds are indexed for inflation so will rise over time. Under the formula, filers gradually lose the value of their total itemized deductions up to a total of a 20% reduction. First enacted in 1990, and named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea, the limitations continued throughout the Clinton years. The limitations were gradually phased out starting in 2003 and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. NAR has never had an official position on Pease limitations. The reinstitution of these limits has far less impact on the mortgage interest deduction than a hard dollar deduction cap, percentage deduction cap, or reduction of the amount of MID that can be claimed.

Capital Gains – Capital Gains rate stays at 15% for those the top rate of $400,000 individual and $450,000 joint return. After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20%. The 250/500k exclusion for sale of principal residence remains in place.

Estate Tax – The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that the rate will be 40%, up from 35%. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.”

Rental Demand to Edge Higher in 2013?

leaseAn article posted on Wednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” said:

“Five to six million new renter households may be created within the next 10 years, likely caused from low inventories of homes available and tight credit conditions, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.  Rental demand is expected to particularly increase among seniors looking to downsize their homes, as well as young adults and a growing immigrant population. “We expect to see an increase in household formation and for a variety of reasons that household formation is likely to be more heavily concentrated among renters and households who are likely to be renters for somewhat longer than was the case for the last 20 years,” Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for Consumer Federation of America, told HousingWire. 

“Tight credit conditions continue to be one main culprit holding back home ownership among some potential buyers. “Credit for home ownership borrowing will likely be tighter and potentially more expensive, relative to earlier times,” Zigas predicts. “Families will likely have less wealth because the rising generation is starting with less wealth. If down payments are at any significant level, it will be a barrier to acquiring a home for longer than may have been the case in the past.””

Seven Housing Markets Needing Big Jolt in 2013

Florida_state_map2Another “Daily Real Estate News” article also on Wednesday, mentions several Florida towns including our local area:

“While the housing market has made notable gains in the past year, some areas are seeing a longer road to recovery. AOL Real Estate recently listed some of the least healthy housing markets going into 2013, based on employment, foreclosures, home sales, and prices. Nearly all of these housing markets have seen notable improvements recently, but they still remain the nation’s least healthy housing markets entering 2013, according to AOL Real Estate.

  • Detroit: Foreclosures remain high and home values lost nearly 60% of their peak value.
  • Fort Lauderdale: Home prices likely hit bottom in 2012 but Fort Lauderdale still has the nation’s 3rd largest foreclosure inventory.
  • Miami: Foreign buyers are driving demand for luxury housing here, but Miami still faces the 4th highest unemployment rate in the nation.
  • West Palm Beach: Foreclosures remain high here with one out of every 349 homes having received a foreclosure notice in July.
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers: While higher construction permits is a bright spot here, the area faces high foreclosure rates. 
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: Home sale prices have remained low, and this market was dubbed the No. 1 “foreclosure capital” in the nation as of July.
  • Chicago: Foreclosures remain high with the foreclosure rate rising 18% in 2012.”

View the 7 Healthiest Housing Markets for 2013.

Free “Island Jazz” Concerts

island jazzFor those lucky enough to be on the islands, from now until Easter is when the most educational and entertainment-related events are offered here. The first of the year’s free Sunday afternoon jazz concerts is January 13 at 3 p.m. in the Boler Garden of BIG ARTS. Comprised of eight local popular and well-seasoned jazz musicians, “Island Jazz” plays all styles of music from jazz standards and Dixieland to bop, pop, and more. At SanibelSusan Realty, our Sunday agents look forward to these winter events where we open our back door and hear the tunes. To attend in person, there is plenty of parking at BIG ARTS, but bring your beach chair as seating is limited.

Other concert dates and events through spring are posted on SanibelSusan’s calendar.

Two New Baby Bald Eagles466018-american-bald-eagle-perched-on-a-tree-branch

Here is a link to the Southwest Florida “Eagle Cam” which provides a 24/7 live video stream of an active pair of bald eagles in their nest in North Fort Myers. These bald eagles have been coming to the nest for the past 5 years between the months of October to April. Last night the second baby eaglet hatched. Take a look:

Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service Activity December 28 – January 4

1 new listing: Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 $495K.
3 price changes: Blind Pass #D205 2/2 now $300K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 now $419K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $475K.
4 new sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 listed for $349.9K, Sanibel Arms West #L8 2/2 listed for $479K, Sandpiper Beach #404 2/2 listed for $695K, Gulf Beach #205 2/2 listed for $725K.
5 closed sales: Colonnades #9 1/1 $110K, Seashells #15 2/2 $255K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #341 2/2 $380K, Compass Point #213 2/2 $510K, Sandpiper Beach #106 2/2 $635K.

7 new listings: 1409 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex #299K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $599K, 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $639K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $649K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $887.9K, 4164 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.995M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $1.69M.
5 price changes: 1366 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $649.9K, 1750 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2.5 now $679K (short sale), 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 now $975K, 6440 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.64M, 775 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.695M. 
2 new sales: 1002 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $349K, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 listed for $1.895M (short sale).
3 closed sales: 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $435K (our listing), 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $550K, 1314 Isabel Dr 4/3.5 $1.8M.

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd #329K.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 659 Anchor Dr $375K

Nothing to report.

No new listings.
1 price change: 59 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $795K.
No new or closed sales.

Nothing to report.

This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its 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.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Welcome to 2013!