Pelicans Diving, Dolphins Jumping, & Realtors® Learning


It’s SanibelSusan with a weekly update on Sanibel and Captiva Islands happenings. It is a gorgeous day here today, but most of us have our minds on those along the eastern seaboard who are experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Florence. Floridians, particularly islanders know too well the angst and worry associated with those events.

Here, though Southwest Florida’s water quality continues to affect visitor business, things are rebounding – even during what usually are the slower weeks of September. The gulf and beaches look sooo much better – and people and wildlife are out enjoying them again.

Only two real estate sales were reported this week on Sanibel, none on Captiva. Overall, island inventory remains low – with only 60 condos and 121 homes for sale on Sanibel, 30 condos and 33 homes on Captiva. The team and I are hopeful that when fall and winter visitors return, sales will be strong. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe local Association of Realtors® had no weekly Caravan Meeting this week but hosted their annual 14-hour continuing education classes. Florida Realtors® are required to complete 14 hours every two years. This year, the Association also offered the Ethics class that all Realtors® nation-wide must complete before the end of the year.

It’s always fun to be the oldest student in the class. Wednesday’s 7-hour class “Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living” was especially fun in the afternoon when we boarded “Play Time” out of McCarthy’s Marina for a ride up/down Roosevelt Channel and around much of Pine Island Sound – viewing the water, wildlife, and mangroves.

Though we passed one small patch where red tide probably lingered as several attendees coughed simultaneously, by the time we got to the old fish houses just north of North Captiva Island (the ones on pilings that are on the Historic Register), the water was crystal clear right to the bottom. The seagrasses looked healthy and small fish were swimming among them.

Fish houses 09-12-18

Then within about a 10-minute span, we saw a flurry of wildlife – dolphins jumping, pelicans diving, a nurse shark, and a loggerhead turtle. It wasn’t perfect, but it obviously was an area where the water quality was much better.

Red fish house 09-12-18.jpg

Nearby, in front of Demere Key on Pine Island, we saw a huge group of swans, ducks, and geese swimming. (Yes, swans. They can live in salt water too.) It was a gorgeous day – vivid blue sky, bright white clouds, balmy breeze, and flat water.

demere key 09-12-18.jpg

Those white birds are swans!

Water quality specialist Dr. Rick Bartelson on board for questions with SCCF’s Director of Education Kristie Anders said that he and others from the marine lab had been diving recently several miles off shore in the same area he earlier had viewed as a dead zone. The news really went crazy with that information. (A “dead zone” is an underwater patch with no plant or animal life.)

Dr. Bartelson had reported back in mid-August that they started noticing an area like that off the island coast. Then, they measured no oxygen in the water about 3 to 5 meters down from the surface, in some places all the way to the bottom (about 8 meters). This week, he reported that from Tropical Storm Gordon breaking things up, the oxygen levels in that same area are “up” and improving. You bet we want that to continue!

East Rocks Water Main Replacement

Island Water reports that the East Rocks water main replacement project is almost done. The new main has been installed on most of East Rocks Drive and Boulder Drive. The last section to be completed is Durion Court. For this project, Island Water used a polyethylene piping for the boring under paved roads and driveways, rather than cutting up/then repairing driveways or removing/reinstalling pavers. Bet those owners appreciate that they weren’t inconvenienced.

Temporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopened today.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – reopens Sep 17.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10 through 20.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

International Coastal Cleanup

Postponed from Sept 15 to Sat Oct 13 (9 a.m. to noon) on Causeway Island B (island closest to Sanibel). Organized by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their van will be parked onsite.

Galloway Captiva Triathlon

captiva tri logoThe Captiva Triathlon held on the grounds of South Seas Resort scheduled tomorrow (youth segment) and Sunday (adult segment) has been changed to a duathlon due to concerns over water and air quality conditions due to red tide on the northern end of Captiva. The swim leg will be replaced by a run of the same length (approximately a quarter mile), followed by the usual 10-mile bike and 5K run. The children’s events will be the same format – run/bike/run. More info at packet pickup.

Spectators are welcome with parking available at the south end, with shuttles to take them to the north end. The public is reminded that Captiva Drive will close at 6:45 a.m. More info at www.captivatri.opg.

National Public Lands Day

ding darling goose logoCelebration at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sep 22, with free admission to Wildlife Drive (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), discounts at Tarpon Bay Explorers, and multiple activities at the refuge.

First Annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt

Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School will host this island-wide family event that will end with a bonfire celebration on the beach. Save the date, Saturday, Nov 3 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds will support the Sea School’s scholarship fund.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $240K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $619K.

Boardwalk b.jpg

Mariner Pointe bay walk & private fishing pier

1 price change: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $535K.

3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $440K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $600K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.26M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $749K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $845K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $585K, 480 Las Tiendas Ln 3/3 now $749K.

1 new sale: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $699K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $658K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,999.

1 price change: 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.695M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $340K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $4.95M.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you bright skies with sunshine!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade


It’s getting harder to make lemonade out of the lemons, but here is some island news. It’s not all good, but it’s real – followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Red Tide Numbers Stay High in Southwest Florida; Bloom Extends About 130 Miles

http___m.myfwc 08-21-18The follow article is from the “Fort Myers News-Press. It was posted on-line and updated on Wednesday. The picture shown here was downloaded from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“A strong red tide that’s lingered in the region since October is still producing high levels of toxins along the coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its latest red tide report Wednesday. Counts in Southwest Florida have upwards of 1 million cells per liter and more in the past two months and are still matching or exceeding that level in many areas.

“The bloom now extends about 130 miles, from south Tampa Bay area to Marco Island and can be detected from space. The National Weather Service extended a beach hazard advisory for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties through Thursday evening. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday issued a breathing advisory for Southwest Florida that says irritation will be intense for the public in coastal Lee, Charlotte, and northern Collier counties.

“Some experts have said the red tide may last until winter when cold fronts from the mainland and windy conditions often break up the blooms. Red tide season typically runs from October to January or February, but this bloom has lasted for 10 months and has shown no sign of dissipation.

“Counts along Southwest Florida have ranged from background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher. Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to FWC. This bloom has become much stronger along the coast since the first of June. Millions of pounds of fish and marine wildlife have been collected from Lee County beaches just this month. Hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida from the bloom, so have manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

“High counts extend at least 15 miles offshore, according to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“The University of South Florida’s college of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will move to the south and toward the Naples area over the next three days.”

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

I bet some of you also are fans of local author (and Realtor®) Charlie Sobczak. He has written some terrific books including “Living Sanibel” which The SanibelSusan Team often gives as one of our closing gifts. Another of his, that I especially enjoy, is “Six Mornings on Sanibel” (published in 1999, but still available on Amazon). It takes place at the fishing pier. “Way Under Contract” is great too – particularly if you like real estate stories. If you read this one, you may think some of the characters are real islanders.

Charlie Pix 08-23-18Charlie is also a pretty serious fisherman so it was good late yesterday to see his below Facebook post. This is his pix too.

“While I seldom post fish pics I felt that since all we are seeing on Facebook these days are images of horrid, decaying fish it might be refreshing to see that the offshore waters are still untouched by this massive red tide and algae bloom. We had perfect conditions yesterday, August 22nd, 2018, when we headed out 32 miles west of Redfish pass with Captain Nate Buffam and crew. The water is crystal clear blue out there and the fishing was fantastic. The dirty water stretches from shore to about 15-18 miles then, after that, we saw “live” loggerhead turtles, dozens of bottle nose dolphins, flying fish, jellyfish, frigate birds and bait. Not everything is lost but if we continue to allow this unabated dumping of toxic water I fear the worst in the years to come. Please support the Captain’s for Clean Water Fundraiser on Saturday afternoon at the Clam Shack on Sanibel.”Clam Shack Flier

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

I know you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, but if it comes from folks you know and it includes videos, it’d pretty hard to beat it.

Last night after work, Royal Shell Vacation’s Kris Slagle posted: “Just saw two bait pods on the West side of the Sanibel Causeway C span, and birds feeding on them! NOT saying it’s all perfect, but saying it’s some positive news! And hundreds of birds feeding on the mud flats!”

Then, early this morning Sanibel Holiday’s General Manager, Rebecca Cosentino posted a video of her walk down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Loggerhead Cay condominiums. She said that they have several check-ins there scheduled tomorrow so a personal visit was the best way to report the conditions. Though she said she is sensitive to red tide, she noticed no smell and had no eye or throat irritation. The video was early 7:45 a.m., but she wasn’t alone. The video showed some folks in the water and a few joggers and shellers. Unfortunately, it also showed a few dead fish – several puffer fish, baitfish, and a couple of eels. With winds blowing onshore that isn’t surprising, particularly after reading Charlie’s posting from the day before.

Then a couple of hours later, Select Vacation Properties’ Patience Rodriguez posted a similar video of her beach walk taken today in front of Sundial Resort. The water here showing better color and looking clearer than it has recently. She said that she is asthmatic, but similarly noticed no smell and had no breathing difficulties. A couple of small pufferfish were along the waterline here too, but very few. She encouraged listeners to Text MYSANIBEL to 52886 to participate in the call-to-action to stop the Lake O discharges (which have started up again).

So, it’s probably safe to say that the beaches continue to look better, but we aren’t out of the woods. We all need to keep the pressure on and respond to each and every call to action.

After seeing these gals’ gulf-side videos, about 1 p.m. I checked the bayside beach near the lighthouse and fishing pier. It’s looking good there too – likewise no smell and I saw no dead fish or wildlife – just one lone fisherman on the fishing pier and a handful of beachgoers at Lighthouse Beach.

Yet, it’s a gorgeous day and we all hope that it only continues to get better.

Stopped at my house on the way back to the office to be sure the canal there is looking good. Taken today, this is sooo much better than just a week ago. Sure hope it continues.

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

LeePALogoLee County property owners recently were mailed their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices. In compliance with Florida Statutes, this document is required to advise of the property’s valuation as of January 1, 2018 and its proposed ad valorem taxes for the year. Ad valorem taxes are based on the value of the property with taxing authorities determining the tax rate, or millage, based on the money needed to fund their budgets.

If property owners have questions about their valuation, exemptions, classification or characteristics of their property, they are encouraged to contact the Lee County Property Appraisers Office (www.LeePA.org) at 239-533-6100. If unable to resolve a matter as to market value, classification, or an exemption, a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board may be filed. Online filing is available, but petitions must be filed on or before September 10, 2018.

Hurricane Season Peaks in Sept. – Got the Right Insurance?

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiWhile most of us are counting down to the end of hurricane season (Nov), Florida Realtors® posts reminders that the peak time is coming up.

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted in their on-line news on Tuesday.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2018 – Keeping up with property insurance coverage in hurricane-prone Florida can be tricky, to say the least.

“To help sort things out as summer and the storm season heat up, we spoke with Locke Burt of Ormond Beach-based insurer Security First and Doug Iannarelli of travel club AAA’s insurance division.

“Question: What do I need?

“After many hurricanes, including Matthew and Irma in the past two years, insurers said they saw claims filed under homeowners’ policies that could only have been covered under flood policies. Rising water that makes it into your home will only be covered if you have flood insurance, Burt said.

“But if a tree limb or other debris hit your house and creates a hole through which rainfall could enter, that likely would fall under windstorm coverage.

“Also, weigh the amount of coverage you need – and how low you need your deductible to be, given the savings or credit limit you would have available if an emergency hits.

“Although few studies have shown a strong link between hurricanes and increase in number of births nine months later, labor and delivery nurses say the phenomenon is the real thing.

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

“Alternatives to the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program are increasing. More than two dozen insurers are issuing private flood coverage – which might save you money or might simply make it easier to file claims if a storm causes wind and water damage. Security First is among a few insurers that add flood coverage as an option, called an endorsement, on homeowners’ policies rather than require it as a separate policy.

“New mapping technology that breaks down the entire country into blocks about the size of a tiny house makes flood maps obsolete, Burt said, and enables private insurers to issue a flood-coverage quote more accurately and easily. The private policies are an expansion of those that traditionally have been written on $1 million-plus homes.

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

“Whether buying down the deductible of your existing homeowner and windstorm coverage or seeking another policy to plug that potential financial gap, you can reduce the financial risk storm damage can pose.

“New policies called parametric coverage can use mapping technology to determine the storm conditions that hit your location and quickly pay a flat amount directly to you. This can spare the trouble of waiting for an adjuster before getting a check, but it also is designed to just provide enough coverage to make up for your deductible. “StormPeace and Cat4Home are two such providers mentioned in a recent Sun-Sentinel story.

“Question: What are the rules?

“Keep in mind: Your property damage will most likely be your own claim. Unless you can prove the tree limb that blew over from someone else’s yard is sitting on your living room floor because your neighbor was negligent, you’ll be filing that claim on your own policy.

“Deductibles can be set for the calendar year, much like health insurance. So even if your deductible is $7,500 and one storm causes $6,000 in damage, get it on the record in case you have another claim later in the year.

Get claims filed quickly, as you might have only a few weeks to submit damage to your insurer. Check with your agent on the amount of time your policy allows – then don’t let busy signals or Internet outages deter you.

“You can’t buy insurance at the last minute. Whether you’re comparing rates or looking for coverage you’ve never had before, insurers have the right to wait until after a storm passes (or misses the area) once it’s coming close to Florida.

“Question: Should I shop around?

“Yes. Innovative policies, such as those mentioned above – or new insurers, such as Farmers which plans an August debut for Florida homeowners, according to its website – can help you save money.

“Use ratings companies such as A.M. Best or Demotech to see how financially stable the insurer is. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation has this resource and others posted on its website.”

Copyright © 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

construction-site-clipart-7914449-under-constructionPre-Season Closings & Late Summer Projects

  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Pointe Santo – Pointe Santo’s building concrete restoration project Is underway. Buildings A and B were done last year. This year, from Aug 11 to Oct 19, Buildings D and E will be done. Building C is scheduled for 2019.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sundial West – Sundial West has had several projects underway since Jul. Completion is expected mid-Nov. Some buildings are being painted, pavers are being installed in parking areas, and electrical and elevator work are being performed. Also, their pool is scheduled to be closed Sep 24 to Oct 5, but owners/guests may use the resort pool then.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Is closing Sun, Aug 26, for their annual break. They plan to reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – Is already closed and reopening Wed, Oct 3.

Upcoming Events

crow-logoSat Aug 25 – CROW’s Walk on the Wild Side at Lakes Regional Park at 7330 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness about the organization and continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Admission & activities free, fees for city parking. In the amphitheater: Wildlife Rescue 1012 at 10:30 a.m. and again at noon; Turtles of Florida at 11 a.m.; Owls of Florida at 11:30 a.m. Three pavilions will be set up with activities and info on different kinds of wildlife. CROW’s tent will offer info on volunteering and student programs. More info at www.CROWClinic.org .

Sat Aug 25 – Fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water at The Clam Shack on Sanibel from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring entertainment by local musicians, 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Captains for Clean Water is a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality. More info about them online at www.captainsforcleanwater.org .

sundial-logoSep 28-30 – USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships will be at Sundial Beach Resort. This is their 3rd year hosting the event. The tournament includes a Saturday evening party and trophies. Players can register online at www.tennislink.usta.com , using tournament ID No. 150046618. Deadline is Sep 26.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was off and only three properties (including our new Pointe Santo listing) were open for Realtor® Caravan following yesterday’s Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting.

lee schools logoWe got good information, though, about the upcoming Lee County School Board’s Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum that is on the Nov 6 ballot. Speakers were the county’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory Adkins and School Board Member (& Florida Gulf Coast University adjunct professor) Chris Pattricca. Here are my take-aways, with some interesting tidbits:

  • Lee County is the 9th largest school district in Florida, also the 32nd largest in the U.S. It has 95,000 students
  • In 1886, there was just one school in SW Florida (with 56 students) and it burned to the ground. This area then was part of Monroe County so when students began running amok, a group of parents got together and went to Key West asking for a new school to be built. Their request was denied. Lee County was incorporated in 1887 with the need for a school being the driving force for that action.
  • Today, Lee County has 96 schools, 121 counting Charter Schools. There are 12,000 school employees (closer to 14K when counting substitutes).
  • School population is growing at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 students per year.
  • Florida is 50th in the nation in dollars spent on education.
  • Today 40% of Lee County’s students have English as their 2nd language.
  • When school money comes from real estate taxes, often a disproportionate amount is received from high-end communities, so their schools are better. Here, the county spends $7,700 per year per child which ranks us 47th in the nation.
  • Though enrollment has increased since 2006/2007 from 70K students to 95K, capital funding has gone down from over $300M to just over $100M.
  • This proposed amendment is to increase the sales tax in Lee County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% per dollar, to fund school capital projects. The proposal calls for a limit of 10 years with the tax expiring December 31, 2028. Approximately $59 million annually would be raised, paid for by everyone who purchases taxable goods. Exempt items like groceries and medications would not be taxed, and the additional half-percentage tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 for large purchases.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of the revenue generated would come from tourists.
  • The money from this sales tax will be used strictly for capital expenditures to build two new elementary and middle schools, one new high school, rebuild an elementary and middle school, to install school camera systems, hearing-impaired lock-down lights, fire alarm systems, and HVAC systems. It cannot be used to fund salaries, benefits, and training for faculty/staff/administrators, classroom materials, district and school services, administrative technology, or charter school buildings, repairs or improvements.

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 17-24, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial West #H209 1/1 $545K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $869K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Atrium #201 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $440K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $449K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $455.5K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $725K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $979K, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.442M.

2 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $759.5K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.598M.

2 closed sales: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $399.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $284K, Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $535K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.499M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping for more good news next week!sanibel-island-sunset.jpg

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Shhhhh…it’s September on Sanibel/Captiva


It is another Friday of beautiful summer weather on the islands, but it sure is quiet. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items and illustrates that real estate action is pretty slow too.

The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market

real-estate-clipart-rs13A couple of island brokers commiserated with SanibelSusan yesterday about the market. Our consensus is that we will have another strong “season”. But, surprisingly, it has been slow for most of the summer. Probably related to the press making it sound like all of Florida has red tide/blue green algae, Zika virus, flooding, sink holes, and anything else that makes for dramatic reporting. Of course, here on the islands do not have those things and hope that we never do, but we have heard plenty of these objections, particularly from inquiries from afar from those relying on the news. Election unrest has not helped either.

Closings/Openings/Renovations

doc-fords-managersThe new Doc Ford’s opened today. After last night’s heavily-attended Open House, staff and owners were happy today to have that behind them and be “really” open.

A pal and I had lunch there, seeing plenty of other locals also checking it out.

The décor is relaxing comfortable fish-shanty-style, yet delightfully new bright airy and spacious. (Photo above borrowed from their Facebook page. It shows the new flagship Doc Ford’s managers with co-owner Brenda Harrity in the center. From left to right: Katie, Kim, Brenda, Donna, & Liz.)

Now that it is September a few more restaurants may be closed briefly for their annual deep cleans, fix-ups, and/or staff vacations. Here is an update:

As reported last week, Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro is closed until Oct 6, and Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts is closed until Oct 3. Here are a couple of additional closings. (There are still plenty of good eats open, though!)

  • Blue Coyote is closed until Oct 4.
  • Gramma Dots is closed until Sep 29.
  • Mad Hatter is closed until Oct 1.
  • Matzaluna will be closed Sep 12 to 18.
  • Over Easy Café will be closed from Sep 12 to 22.
  • Rosie’s Café will be closed from Sep 20 to Oct 7.
  • Sandbar is closed until Sep 29.
  • Traditions is closed until Sep 23.

If you like the outside of the new Huxter’s Market & Deli, be sure and stop in after Sept 27 to see the new interior. They are closed until then for inside remodeling.

fishing-pierThe Sanibel Fishing Pier reopened this week after a 3-month renovation that included installing new stringers, decking, and improved handicap accessibility. Work was funded by a grant from the Lee County Tourism Board.

Work now begins on the adjacent boardwalk. (Fishing pier photo at right borrowed from Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra.)

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market opens again on Sunday, Oct 2, and will be open every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. until May 28, 2017, except it will be closed Christmas Day (but will be open the next day, Monday, instead). It even will be open on Easter Sunday.

Located on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City of Sanibel’s annual street resurfacing project began this week. Each year the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and their condition. This year the effort involves full-width surfacing of twelve streets and a few other small paving projects. Most of the paving will be done during normal daytime hours other than a small section of Periwinkle Way from Palm Ridge Rd to Tarpon Bay Rd which will be done at night. The work is expected to be complete within 30 days. The streets included this year are: Main St., Fitzhugh St., Angel Wing Dr., Whelk Dr., Pecten Ct., Sand Dollar Dr., Kings Crown Ct., Oyster Ct., Conch Ct., Pen Shell, and Dixie Beach Blvd (3 sections at the road pipe crossings).

Shorebird Nesting Season Ends

snowy ploversShorebird nesting season which typically runs from February through August was more successful this year compared to 2015. Out of 28 snowy plover nests, seven produced a total of 17 chicks. Last year only nine hatched.

No nesting attempts were made on Captiva. Least terns were not as successful and did not produce any fledglings.

Five Fixes That Can Raise a Home Value

Florida Realtors logoThe following article was posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Information Inc., “This Old House.” It offers some good suggestions.

“For homeowners looking to spruce up their home before listing it, there’s plenty they can do to attract more buyers and potentially boost the value of their home too.

“Veteran real estate professionals recently weighed in at This Old House on some of the best home improvement projects they believe can help a home show better. Here are a few of their ideas:

“1. Open up the space. Create more space, whether that’s even removing a kitchen island or knocking out a non-structural wall. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” Kristin Wellins, senior manager of program development at ERA Real Estate, told This Old House.

“2. Light it up. Keep the home bright: Have windows open to let the natural light flow in, consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off, or install sun tubes, a reflective material that funnels natural light from a hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture in a room. “High wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces,” This Old House notes.

“3. Enhance the front door. “Don’t underestimate the power of a front door,” Willens says. “People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house.” Have an overhang on the front porch, such as an awning or portico above the front door, suggests Roger Voisinet, a real estate professional in Charlottesville, Va.

“4. Pay attention to the floors. Spend some money on the floors, suggests the real estate professionals surveyed by This Old House. Even a $600 to $900 investment could help boost the home’s value by possibly $2,000, they say. Get a carpenter or handyman to eliminate distracting squeaks from floors, repair any broken tiles, patch damaged floorboards, and remove wall-to-wall carpeting, they suggest.

“5. Tackle easy bathroom upgrades. Bathroom upgrades can quickly get pricey but a few upgrades can still make a big difference. For example, swap frosted glass for clear glass, remove any rust stains, apply fresh caulk, update doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replace faucets, buy a new toilet seat, or install a low-flush toilet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2-9, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $449K (our listing).

(Photos below at Mariner Pointe with its many amenities (2 pools, private fishing pier, 2 tennis courts, boat dockage, shuffleboard, bbq areas, deeded beach access, plus resident manager. The view from #522 is the 1st photo.)

2 new sales: Sundial West #F105 1/1 listed at $399K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.49M.

4 price changes: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 now $699K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $799K (our listing) (photos coming next week – our photographer filmed today), 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.425M.

4 new sales: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $439K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $6449K, 998 Beach Rd 3/3 listed at $899.9K, 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M.

No closed sales. 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 6411 Pine Ave now $375.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir $233,166.

Captiva 

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.625M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

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.)

quiet-as-a-mouseIf you like quiet, now is a great time to come to the islands…just don’t tell too many!

Happy Friday! Until next week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Another Happy June on Sanibel/Captiva


sun & rainIt’s SanibelSusan reporting that in typical fashion, the islands’ 23rd Annual Sam Bailey Islander Night at Hammond Stadium Wednesday night again was rained out. After several weeks of beautiful weather, it should have been no surprise when the first big downpour of the rainy season began just as the parade was scheduled to start. It has happened many times before and June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season.

Continuing the summer trend, more showers are expected later today and through the weekend with all of us watching the tropical storm expected to develop in the gulf early next week. That certainly will not make next week’s vacationers happy, but may result in good shelling and more folks wanting to view property.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Activity-wise in the office, it has been quiet. Even the holiday weekend was very quiet, probably weather-related, as all days were fabulous for the beach. A few listings shown and some phone/email inquiries, but not many – certainly nothing like when it’s snowing somewhere!

Yesterday, The SanibelSusan Team was happy to receive a new listing at Beachcomber (gulf-front ~2600 sq. ft.) which will be posted in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service as soon as we receive a couple of clarifications from the sellers.

View 3.JPG

View from our new listing at Beachcomber #A102

 

May is always an in-between month here, post “high” season, but pre “summer” season. A quick snapshot of the islands’ May real estate sales show that it was not a month with much real estate action.

May Sanibel Sales

In May, were just five new Sanibel home sales with no contingencies (three inland priced under $530K, one on a deep-water canal (asking price $1.545M) and one bay-front in Ferry Landing (asking price $1.995M)).

Another 13 Sanibel homes went under contract with contingencies (four inland priced under $535K, five near the beach (priced from $569K to $600K), one in Beachview (asking $1.195M), one in Gulf Pines (asking $1.479M), one deep-water canal (asking $1.548M), and a unique one across the street from the beach (asking $1.595M)).

In May, Sanibel condos did not have as much action as homes. Just two Sanibel condos went under contract with no contingencies: a 1-bedroom at Sundial (asking $299K) and a recently-remodeled Lighthouse Point bay-front unit (asking $830K).

Another four condos went under contract with contingencies: a Seashells unit (asking $379K), a 1st floor Sanibel Moorings 2 bedrm with peek of gulf (asking $449K), a 3-bedrm Heron-model at The Sanctuary (asking $665K), and a beach-front 2-bedroom at Sanddollar (asking $870K).

During the same time, in May, just two Sanibel lots went under contract: one near beach (asking $244.9K) and one on the bayou (asking $1.295M). Both contracts have contingencies.

May Captiva Sales

In May on Captiva, four homes went under contract with contingencies (two at Sunset Captiva asking $885K and $995K, one gulf-front asking $3.998M, and one on Roosevelt Channel asking $4.8M).

Also in May, three Captiva condos in South Seas Plantation went under contract, all with contingencies. Asking prices ranging from a 1-bedroom Bayside Villas for $289K to a 2-bedroom Tennis Villas for $405K, to a Bayside Villas 3 bedroom for $629.9K

A Captiva gulf-front lot went under contract (with contingencies) in May too, asking price $4.999M.

Below are a few other news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation

ASSOC LogoWednesday, for the fifth year, SanibelSusan taught the Resort & Second-Home module to those Realtors® training to receive their Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist designation. This designation is a 12-part educational series, offered each summer by the local Association of Realtors. The coursework needs to be completed over a 2-year period and provides instruction to those looking to specialize in working the Sanibel/Captiva market.

2016 Resort ClassI authored the module that I teach, update it each year, and always enjoy the teaching experience – getting as much in return as I give. It was especially fun this year since my students ranged from some new Realtors® to those with many years of real estate experience, but in other parts of the country.

Here are my students adorned in the funny resort-wear they earned for answering questions correctly in my pop quiz.

1st National Seashell Day

As reported in Monday’s “Santiva-Chronicle”:

2016 National Seashell Day“As the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau said, it’s official. June 20 has been proclaimed National Seashell Day. The news is also out that the first National Seashell Day will be on Good Morning America.

“The VCB (Visitors Convention Bureau) already has a National Seashell Day page on its website. Visitors to the page can enter the “Shell Yeah! Sweepstakes,” for which the grand prize is three nights for four at Sanibel Inn, a Captiva Cruises shelling cruise to Cayo Costa and the chance to go shelling with Pam Rambo. The grand prize is enough to make any Sanibel sheller nod with approval.

“Rambo had the news about Good Morning America on her amazing blog iloveshelling.com. The blog says Ginger Zee, Good Morning America and ABC’s chief meteorologist, will be here on June 20. We don’t know the exact details yet other than it will be in the morning….

“The VCB’s idea for National Seashell Day will get the word out to people of all places about the wonders of shells on our beaches, which is good for anything having to do with shells. The VCB also hopes it will be a driver for tourism….”

Fishing Pier Rehab Project

sanibel fishing pier.jpgOn Tuesday next week (June 6), the Sanibel Fishing Pier at Lighthouse Beach Park will be closed temporarily due to a necessary rehabilitation project. Construction is expected to continue through August 2016.

Top 10 Outdoor Features, Where Most Are, & What They’ll Pay

realtor.comPosted in Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”, you will see Naples, FL on the list below. Buyers all over Southwest Florida like outdoor kitchens!

“As temperatures heat up, more home owners and buyers are taking a closer look at their home’s outdoor features. Realtor.com®’s research team took a look at 10 popular outdoor home features to find the premium that owners will pay. They also identified the regions of the country that are most likely to feature these popular outdoor amenities.

Amenity                        Premium           Where You’ll Most Likely Find Them

Tree houses                     5.2%                Asheville, N.C.

Gazebo                              7.6%                McAllen, Texas

Putting green                 11.4%               Phoenix

Hot tub                             11.8%               Bend, Ore.

Tiki bar                             13.8%               Key West, Fla.

Tennis court                   14.6%               Los Angeles

Outdoor fireplace           21.5%               Dallas, Texas

Outdoor kitchen             26.2%               Naples, Fla.

Private dock                     44.7%               Traverse City, Mich.

Infinity pool                      56%                 Kahului, Hawaii”

Red-Hot South Florida Home Prices Are Cooling Off

miami herald logoMuch like island Realtors® often look to activity in larger complexes and communities here as bellwethers of the local market, we also look to bigger East Coast communities to foretell what may be in the future. The below article is from the May 31 “Miami Herald”.

“So far in 2016, South Florida home prices are growing at the slowest pace since the real-estate market began to recover four years ago.

“Home prices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties rose 6.2% between March 2015 and March 2016, according to the closely watched S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices. They grew 8.7% between March 2014 and March 2015, and at a double-digit clip for much of 2013 and 2014, fueled mainly by red-hot demand from foreign investors. But a strong dollar and troubled economies abroad have stymied the flow of cash into local real estate.

“Residential home sales fell in Miami-Dade in April, according to Realtors’ data. Weak demand could help make homes more affordable for locals — if wage growth keeps picking up and developers start building more units for the lower tiers of the market.

“The nation’s hottest housing markets are in Portland (12.3%), Seattle (10.8%), Denver (10%), San Francisco (8.5%) and Dallas (8.5%). Home prices in the Tampa area (7.6%) also grew faster than they did in Miami in March.”

Sanibel Prescribed Burns Begin Today

Sanibelcityseal logoAs described in an earlier update, Sanibel will have prescribed burns in six different areas this summer, so if you are on the island today do not be surprised if you smell smoke.

SCCF logoSCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the City of Sanibel are scheduled to perform a prescribed burn of about 19 acres of the Sanibel Gardens Preserve today. (That’s just west of Tarpon Bay Rd. on Island Inn Rd.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 27-June 3, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #8 1/1 $229K, Sandalfoot #5A1 2/2 $799K.

1 price change: Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1,163,999.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 listed at $399K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #E2 1/1 $347.5K, Loggerhead Cay #474 2/2 $489.9K, Donax Village #14 2/2 $505K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 732 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $1.395M.

5 price changes: 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $679K, 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 now $729K, 232 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.195M, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.449M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.75M.

3 new sales: 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 listed at $598K, 1245 Isabel Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.548M, 4257 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.495M

9 closed sales: 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $410K, 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 $475K, 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 1380 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $570K, 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $622K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $750K, 595 Birdsong Pl 4/2 $835K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.675M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 9426 Sage Ct $287K, 223 Robinwood Cir $299K, 2288 Starfish Ln $499K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $244.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3231 2/2 listed at $405K, Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 listed at $629.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

3 closed sales: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $855K, 15 Seascape Ct 3/2.5 $985K, 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 $4.225M.

LOTS

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.)

rain‘til next Friday, here’s hoping the raindrops stay away & the sunsets continue like the one below!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

sanibel sunset pinterest.jpg