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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

LOTS

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.

 Captiva

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

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.

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 www.dingdarlingsociety.org

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

LOTS

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.

 Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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.

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.

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 http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org

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.

Takeaway

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 

Sanibel

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

LOTS

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. 

Captiva

CONDOS

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.

HOMES

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.

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.

Santa on Beach

Wishing You & Your Family A Happy Holiday Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

 

Almost April & the islands are busy


It’s SanibelSusan and team reporting that the island is hopping with lots more families/spring breakers here this week. It was sunny and summer-like right through yesterday with temperatures into the low-80’s.

The below photos were taken yesterday by local fishing guide, Paul Primeaux. To see these gorgeous turquoise waters yourself and probably catch a few fish too, contact him directly at www.captivaguide.com.

water paul primeau 03-30-17

water Paul 03-30-17

Today is overcast with a few showers expected – so far, just a few sprinkles.

Teammate Dave had a few lookers during another Open House on Wednesday. I have been out showing property at The Sanctuary and will be again later this afternoon. Earlier in the week, Dave and Lisa finalized an off-island sale which came from an island referral. We love those.

Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan

Sanibel realtors logoIt was another quick, but busy meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® weekly caravan meeting yesterday. I was happy to be one of the sale announcements (our condo listing at Coquina Beach). Also, we already have had good results from announcing a price reduction at Beachcomber #A102. Can’t beat that gulf-front location for $1.445M (photos below)

Again, lots of price reductions were announced: 18 Sanibel homes and four condos. A report of the week’s status changes in the Sanibel-Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

Sanibel Public Library – Year in Review

sanibel libraryI bet the Sanibel Library won’t mind if I repeat a few tidbits that I enjoyed from their last mail-out. Always good to get a reminder about what is offered here. It also is a great place to park Sunday mornings for Farmers’ Market.

Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County, FL, at no charge.

Visitor cards are available for a $10 fee and are good for one year.

Here are the Sanibel Library’s state rankings:

  • #1 for Material Available Per Capita (books, movies, music, magazines)
  • #2 for Circulation Per Borrower
  • #2 for Program Attendance Per Capita
  • #2 for Public Computers Available Per 1,000
  • #3 for Library Visits Per Capita.

Sanibel Public Library also was awarded Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence” awards for 2014, 2015, 2016 and Library Journal’s national “Star Library” award in 2010, 2011, 2016.

In addition to books, the Library has more than 8,000 DVD’s, 200 different magazine and newspaper subscriptions, more than 50 eMagazine subscriptions are available for download with the Zinio app.

Since eShelf inception in 2010, 43,000 eBooks have been downloaded via OverDrive including 9,000 audiobooks. Thousands of 3Books, movies, audiobooks, and TV shows, as well as music, are available via the Hoopla app.

Rising Rates, Rising Sales

NAR gray-logoGood article by Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, in the March/April 2017 issue of “Realtor®” magazine:

“Interest rates are rising, but there’s no need to panic. In the past, for each 10-basis-point increase in mortgage rates, home sales declined by around 35,000 on a national basis. Since the presidential election, mortgage interest rates have risen by 70 basis points, from an average of 3.5% to 4.2%.

“If rising interest rates are accompanied by a strengthening labor market with higher wages, the economy will be fine. At least 2 million net new jobs are forecast for this year, and that is the reason we anticipate home sales will squeak out a modest gain over 2016. If mortgage underwriting standards normalize even modestly from the excessively stringent conditions of the past few years, such as through reduced FHA insurance premiums or lower guarantee fees on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then sales could be even better.

“Some analysis might say higher interest rates are not due to improved long-term economic prospects but to a steep increase in future budget deficits as tax revenue falls and spending increases. If that’s the case, the economic boost will be short-lived, harming home sales in the future.

“Which will it be? The task for us is to see how federal policies affect the dynamism in the economy. Fewer regulations will likely encourage entrepreneurs to introduce new products and services. However, if the government instead emphasizes protection of exiting companies, then economic growth could suffer.

“NAR’s survey of commercial members fortunately indicates that openings of small businesses have surpassed closings in recent months. That is a good sign, and some of those small businesses could well become the next Apple, Facebook, or Google. Let the economy work it’s magic.”

Upcoming Events

Captiva-Cruises-LogoSunset Sing Cruise – The Sanibel BIG ARTS Ensemble (30 members) is singing aboard Captiva Cruises sunset cruise on Sunday, April 2. This alto is part of the entertainment. A few tickets still are available (call 472-5100 or online at www.captivacruises.com.)

SCCF logoSCCF’s Beer in the Bushes – Saturday, April 15, 6 to 10 p.m. Beer in the Bushes has become the unofficial End-of-Season Party. Guests will enjoy a fun evening on the grounds of SCCF’s Nature Center in support of SCCF’s mission of conserving local coastal habitats and aquatic resources. This event is 21+, rain or shine. It includes new craft beer tastings, great food, world-class music, and just a chance to catch up with fellow islanders. This is the first time the event has had a Gold Record Award-wining group performing. The headliner is “G. Love & Special Sauce” which is known for their unique and laid-back music covering classical R&B and hip-hop sounds. More info at www.sccf.org or tickets online at www.sccfbeer.eventbrite.com.

Pine Island Sound Cruise – On the cusp of Earth Day, Friday April 21, SCCF is teaming up with Captiva Cruises and author Denege Patterson for a cruise through the islands of Pine Island Sound. Climbing aboard Captiva Cruises regularly scheduled lunch trip to Cabbage Key and Useppa, guests hear a narration by Denege who has spent over five years studying the geology and archeology of over 20 islands. (See above for ticket info.)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 24-31, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 2/2.5 $699K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 $939K.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $349,555; Kings Crown #106 2/2 now $849K; Pine Cove #102 3/2 now $1.347M; Beachcomber #A102 2/2 now $1.445M (our listing).

4 new sales: Coquina Beach #3G 2/2 listed at $499K (our listing), Kings Crown #106 2/2 listed at $849K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 listed at $899K, Somerset #E202 3/2.5 listed at $1.649M.

4 closed sales: Sundial West #G307 1/1 $400K, Sundial West #I303 1/1 $445K, Sanibel Moorings #841 2/2 $449K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $600K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499K, 471 Las Tiendas Ln 3/2 $749K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $889K, 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $898K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.399M.

18 price changes: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 now $439.9K, 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $518K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 now $520K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $589K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 now $589K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $615K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $719K, 1315 Par View Dr 3/2 now $729K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 now $735K, 1425 Causey Ct 4/3 now $779K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $949.9K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $955K, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.445M, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 now $1.495M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.699M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $1.995M, 1149 Paper Fig Ct 4/3 now $2.439M, 4731 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 now $2.5M.

12 new sales: 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 listed at $529K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $549.9K, 1895 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $615K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $675K, 1210 Par View Dr 4/2 listed at $695K, 3359 Barra Cir 3/3 listed at $789K, 276 Ferry Landing Dr 4/3 listed at $899.9K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 listed at $929K, 863 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.15M, 5838 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $1.295M, 615 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 listed at $2.345M.

3 closed sales: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 $530K, 671 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $620K, 2920 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $910K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 667 Birdie View Pt $349.9K, 2987 Wulfert Rd $450K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 5121 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $197,555; 5687 Baltusrol Ct listed at $315K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 now $519K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $1.015M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16596 Captiva Dr 6/5/2 $8.25M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1119 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $4.695M.

1 closed sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $1.82M.

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.)

april fools.gifUntil next Friday, don’t be fooled tomorrow… it’s already spring!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Real Estate & More on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan here reporting another week of wonderful island weather and the good news for those of us traveling Sanibel’s roadways has been a bit of a traffic reprieve. The islands remain busy with holiday vacationers, including many locals since schools are still out, but Periwinkle Way has been a little easier to maneuver this week.

Several of our listings had showings, with some future appointments scheduled. All-in-all, it’s looking like the first quarter of 2017 will be a busy one.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoWe received a terrific new listing yesterday and another today. The first a large beautifully-remodeled meticulous and professionally-decorated 3+bedroom along the back circle in Seagull Estates will be posted in MLS early next week, as soon as the professional photography is done. With three screened porches overlooking a tropical backyard that borders conservation land, it also is an easy stroll or bike ride to the community pool, clubhouse, tennis, and beach access.

xterior

239 Daniel Drive in Seagull Estates

 

The 2nd is another beach-front condo at Casa Ybel Resort in their guaranteed income program. You may remember that we had another unit listed there that closed the end of the year. Those units (there are only 40 condos within the resort) are what many local Realtors® call “no brainers” for investors looking for easy ownership. The resort takes care of everything (including utilities and updates/repairs) with owners getting half of the annual income which usually is just under $100K. Cottage Colony West #119 will be posted later today in MLS.

lanai

Balcony & private stairs to beach at Cottage Colony West #119 at Casa Ybel Resort

 

Teammate Dave held an Open House yesterday at Pointe Santo and had good walk-in traffic – other island owners and renters. As properties are vacant and available, he will continue those open houses through season. He’s been busy opening listings for showings and accompanying showings too – all good action this week.

closeup-view-to-straightlefteast

Looking from Pointe Santo #C34 over lagoon to clubhouse to gulf

 

The team and I are watching prices closely now that “season” is here. Overall sales in 2016 fell short of 2015. Prices, however, continue to creep up, but still are far from where they were in the heyday of 2006. The positive post-election vibes, I expect will keep those prices on the upswing. It should be a winter of plenty of offers (she said optimistically).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoThere were only a few sales announced at the Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Those are listed in the report below of the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Our meeting next Thursday morning is the island Association of Realtors® Annual Installation and Awards event. It is usually an evening banquet, but this year is a morning (8 a.m.) breakfast at The Sanctuary. The Caravan following will be a shortened version, so our listings due for caravan will be open the following week from 9 a.m. to noon.

 Want to Avoid Legal Hassles? Top Lessons From 2016

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted online today at FloridaRealtors® and has some good advice. It came from Fort Lauderdale’s “Sun Sentinel”. Info about the author follows the article.

“With the foreclosure crisis over and home prices continuing to increase, we’ve moved past the problems that were unique to the housing bust. It’s a more normal real estate market these days, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t issues around every corner.

“Here are my top lessons learned in 2016:

  • “Whether you’re on the board of your community association or just live in one, you need to read your governing documents. The answers to most problems can be found there, so it should be your first stop before you file a complaint or a lawsuit.
  • “Remember, when you bought your home, you agreed to the restrictions that are now vexing you. If you want to change the rules, get involved. Join the board of directors. If you’re on the board and want to change things, first clear it with the association’s attorney. Association litigation is expensive and often easy to avoid if you know your community’s rules and follow them.
  • “I’ll address two questions I hear several times a week: First, your association can foreclose on your home over a small amount of owed dues. Even if there is a mistake on your maintenance bill, pay the disputed money and then work with your association to resolve the error. Second, accept that residents are entitled to service animals under the law – even if the residents don’t appear to have visible disabilities. If you think a resident is abusing the rules, speak to the association’s attorney before you do anything.
  • “Interest rates are rising, and lenders are lending money again. If you have any intention of refinancing your mortgage, now is the time to do it. It’s also a good time to buy a home. As interest rates increase, your purchasing power will decrease. Although I don’t think interest rates will skyrocket, you should get the cheap money now while it’s still available.
  • “Finally, one of my favorite sayings is, “If you can say it, you can sign it.” Many times, relationships go wrong and promises get broken. Two people can have the same conversation and walk away with very different understandings. Whether you are agreeing to help your adult child buy a home or making a deal with a contractor to remodel your kitchen, always write down what you both agree to and then sign your names to it. While a properly drafted contract is best, just writing down, in detail, what each party agreed to, will reduce the chances of a dispute and make things easier to resolve if there is a disagreement.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at http://www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 30, 2016 – January 6, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $514K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $515K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $674K (our listing), Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 $1.039M.

1 price change: Sundial West #S404 3/2 now $850K.

1 new sale: Pointe Santo #E37 3/2 listed at $1.475M.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #137 1/1 $602.5K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 474 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $399K, 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $529K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $549K, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 $4.495M.

5 price changes: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 now $278K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $659K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $800K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $895K, 407 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $2.99M.

5 new sales: 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $499K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed at $889K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 listed at $995K, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 listed at $1.25M, 5125 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $2.595M.

1 closed sales: 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $625K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 629 Lighthouse Way $1.095M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 2379 Wulfert Rd listed at $289K, 592 Sea Oats Dr listed at $349.9K.

1 closed sale: 2411 Blue Crab Ct $307,318.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 $255K, Bayside Villas #1/2 $315K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11551 Wightman Ln 3/3.5 $5M.

3 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $879K; 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1,377,935; 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $2,343,925.

1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed at $1.549M.

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 activiislty in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until next Friday, here’s hoping your winter is warm and bright. Another cool front is expected to pass through here on Sunday when the high is forecast to be just 61 degrees F and breezy. Back into the 70’s right after that. Just how we like January on Sanibel.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

beach-path

Beach path at Casa Ybel Resort

Lotsa Rain & Lotsa Shells


It has been another quiet few days on Sanibel. Luckily Tropical Storm Colin passed to the north, though it brought some much needed rain which has continued off and on through much of the week. By today, most of us are over it, but the rain continues. Certainly not a good week to be here on vacation if you are a sun-worshipper, but the shelling is amazing!

Rainy lighthouse sanibel-island

A few turtle and snowy plover nests were damaged from high water, but many remain on Sanibel’s both east and west end and Captiva. Turtle patrols are out checking nests every day. Interestingly those sea turtles do not lay all of their eggs at one time, so Mother Nature planned for events like these.

SanCapAssnLogoUnfortunately, it was another slow week for real estate too. Attendance was down yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® meeting and the nine properties open for Caravan after the meeting had to deal with the buckets of rain that continued most of the day. No condos went under contract this week on either island, just two homes sold on Sanibel, none on Captiva. More details on the week’s action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow some news items below.

Hurricanes

santiva chronicleMost islanders do not like to think about hurricanes, but there was a nice article with some island history published in the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Monday, June 6.

rotary logoWith June the start of hurricane season, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club had SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Education Director Kristie Anders as their speaker at their meeting last week. This is the report that they provided to the paper.

SCCF logo“Well here it is the first week of June and we’re already talking about a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean.  Watchful eyes are keeping a lookout on this storm and are tracking it’s movements in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.  After all, we are now officially in Hurricane Season…June 1 through Nov. 30 and although early in hurricane season, these tropical disturbances can take unexpected twists and turns intensifying into full-blown hurricanes, at any time.

“Our Rotary speaker this week was Kristie Anders, SCCF education director, talking about hurricanes. She started out by giving us this statistic:  50% of our Island residents have never been through a hurricane season here on the Islands.  This is important to note, since this year the predictions “The 2015 hurricane season was somewhat benign in the Atlantic, but if La Nina kicks in this coming summer (as predicted), it could be a troubling season,” according to NASA climatologist Bill Patzert.  By the numbers: 14 named storms, 8 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 4 of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher)

“Anders said, “Hurricane season is a roll of the dice.”

“Kristie gave us a look-back at previous storms that have hit our area:

  • 1873 NO NAME a hurricane hit Punta Rassa wiping away all the buildings and demolishing the area with raging winds and a 14’ storm surge.
  • 1910 “The BIG STORM” hit the Islands destroying all the crops.
  • 1919 “Key West Hurricane” washed over the islands, salting the soil.
  • 1921 “The Tampa Bay Hurricane” Category 3 Captiva was split at Red Fish Pass.
  • 1926 “The Great Miami Hurricane” Category 4 This storm was very destructive to the Islands.  Captiva was severed from Sanibel when a hurricane storm surge created a new channel – Blind Pass.
  • 1960 “Hurricane Donna” Category 4 The dry hurricane.  Damage to the roads was caused by the tides that “crested four to six feet above normal.  Australian pines, insecurely anchored by wide-spreading but shallow roots, fell like tenpins across the main road that travels down the center of Sanibel and along the Captiva Gulf. Much of the Captiva road was impassable, parts of the Sanibel road were blocked under sand drifts, and tree falls. Upper Captiva washed away.”
  • And Now to Hurricane Charley – 2004 Hurricane Charley Category 4… winds of 131 mph.  Turns from simple tropical Storm to Hurricane…changes course from going to Tampa… hits dead on North Captiva, Captiva, and Sanibel.  Mandatory evacuation of Islands…some stayed…Islands closed.  Although 18-foot storm surge was predicted, luckily that wasn’t the case.  Wind and tornadoes disseminated fauna, foliage, and homes on the islands. The Islands had no functioning sewer system, electricity, or water.  Phone lines were downed.  Electricity was knocked out and not restore for about five days.  Roads were blocked with fallen trees and debris.  North Captiva Island was split in two by the hurricane.  Residents could not return to the Islands until roads were cleared.  Kristie and her husband Red lived on North Captiva and were caught off guard by Hurricane Charlie, they did not evacuate in time.  The National Weather Service and local meteorologists gave confusing information as to the direction of the storm and at some point, it was too late.  The damage to North Captiva was incredible, roofs were destroyed, windows blew in, and walls collapsed.  No electricity and no communication channels.  Boats and planes were destroyed; there was no way off the Island.  It wasn’t until the Monday after the storm that the National Guard arrived by boat to assess the damage to island property and secure property from vandalism. They realized Kristi and Red were not looters but residents of North Captiva. The soldiers helped in the cleanup of the Island.

“There were definite lessons learned by the residents that stayed on the Islands during the storms…don’t mess with Mother Nature.  Most of them definitely will not do that again.

“Resident hurricane passes are now available at Sanibel City Hall…don’t wait.  Hurricane forecasts give indications of the path of these storms…when it looks like the storm is coming this way, make hotel reservations…Kristie’s suggestion…somewhere near I-75.  Take forecasts of storm surges seriously.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary will not be meeting at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club for the next two months. On Friday, June 10, our meeting will take place at the Sanibel Shell museum starting with breakfast at 7 a.m.  Further meeting information, can be found at http://www.sanibelrotary.org or check our Facebook page Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club.  Guests are always welcomed at all of our San-Cap Rotary meetings.”

America’s Favorite Towns

Though it’s undoubtedly good for business, sometimes the locals cringe when Sanibel makes another “list”. Here’s one recently posted by “Travel + Leisure” magazine. According to the article:

“Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Towns were defined as governed bodies with a population less than 100,000. After discarding incomplete ballots and cities that received less than 8 votes, each entry was ranked according to an average score.”

Here are the top 30 favorite towns:

30. Sedonz, AZ
29. Hilton Head, SC
28. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
27. Naples, FL
26. Key West, FL
25. Duluth, MN
24. Laguna Beach, CA
23. Charlottesville, VA
22. Santa Barbara, CA
21. Newport, RI
20. Williamsburg, VA
19. Aspen, CO
18. Red River, NM

Lighthouse1

Sanibel Island

 

17. Sanibel Island, FL
16. Durango, CO
15. Cape May, NJ
14. Pigeon Forge, TN
13. La Jolla, CA
12. Sarasota, FL
11. Sonoma, CA
10. Asheville, NC
9. Traverse City, MI
8. Staunton, VA
7. Portland, ME
6. Harrisonburg, VA
5. Atlantic City, NJ
4. St. Augustine, FL
3. Sante Fe, NM
2. Provincetown, MA
1. Park City, UT

Sanibel StoopNice to see that five of the top 30 are in Florida. The write-up about Sanibel Island says, it “scored highly as a beach vacation and vacation getaway, but it enhanced both of these standings by getting a perfect score for free things to do.

“Indeed, the most popular thing to do here costs nothing: browsing the multitudes of seashells (there are reportedly 200 different kinds) on the beaches, an action known as the Sanibel Stoop…The island also ranked well for affordable cuisine….”

What is Your Opinion of Sanibel’s Civic Core Project?

As posted this week in several local publications, the Sanibel Civic Core group wants to know your opinion of the project and has created a website (sanibelccp.org) where citizens may see details and comment.

Civic Core Concept 02-16

The Civic Core project would rebuild BIG ARTS and move the Center-4-Life to the Civic Core campus near BIG ARTS, City Hall, and the Library. It would be a multi-purpose facility designed to host a variety of different events. It would add about 400 parking spaces and have the benefit of relieving some of the traffic congestion on Periwinkle Way during events.

The Civic Core project weighs in with a hefty $42 million price tag with the money coming from – grants totaling $22 million, $12 million from BIG ARTS, and $8 million from Sanibel taxpayers which would have to be approved in a ballot referendum.

The community’s ultimate opinion on the Civic Core project will be decided in the voting booth, but before that happens the Civic and Cultural Core Working Group has posted the website to ensure that voters are informed. Check it out at www.sanibelccp.org.

Property Values Up Throughout Lee County

Good news posted on-line at CaptivaSanibel.com on Wednesday. It says:

“For the fourth year in a row, property values in Lee County continue to increase according to the preliminary estimated Taxable Values for 2016 released late last month and that increase is 6.62% countywide.

LeePALogo.png“We have 91 taxing authorities in Lee County and there are no negative percentages anywhere in the county,” said Lee Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson. “I think they will all be pleased. Of course, we have another month to work on the figures so the value could still go up some as we check for errors.”

“The total taxable value on new construction countywide rose from $972.5 million in 2015 to over $1.3 billion for 2016. New construction figures in Sanibel rose from more than $13 million last year to more than $18 million this year.

“We had a surge in new construction from 2015 to 2016,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. “I think when the economy improves more people take advantage of that.” He said there are around 170 lots on Sanibel that are still buildable.

“Wilkinson’s office faces a July 1 deadline to notify the taxing authorities of their final estimate value figures, which will then be used by government agencies to set the millage rate through two required public hearings.

Those figures also will be sent to Tallahassee for approval, but, Wilkinson said, the state has never not approved the figures. The final estimate figures will be mailed to every property owner in the form of TRIM notices in mid-August.

“After the TRIM notices arrive, property owners then have 25 days to contact the appraiser’s office to appeal their taxable value if they think it is too high.

“Cape Coral’s total taxable property values are up 6.64% over 2015. Fort Myers Beach values rose by 6.72%, Sanibel by 3.98% and Fort Myers increased by 8.44%.

“Ruane said Sanibel did not go down 45 to 50% like other places did in 2007 and when considering an increase in percentage it is hard to go up as much when the decrease is not as large. “We historically have a better percentage between June and July,” he said, adding that he believes they will be closer to 5% once July comes.

“Ruane said the difference between Sanibel’s increase and Cape Coral and Fort Myers is those cities are still down 25%.

Sanibelcityseal logo“We are in single digits. They have to make up more than 20% than I do,” he said. Ruane said the percentage is kind of exactly where he thought they were going to be. “Would I like property values to go up more, yes, (but) Sanibel values continue to rise,” he said. “We continue to be noted as a great place to come.”

“The City Council will discuss a preliminary budget at its Tuesday, June 7 meeting, which Ruane said includes a budget planned around 3 and 4% for property values.

“Among the local fire districts, Upper Captiva increased the least, just 0.25%, and Fort Myers Beach rose the most at 6.06%. Captiva Fire District increased just 0.44%, Matlacha-Pine Island by 5.06, North Fort Myers by 5.47 and Sanibel by 3.84%. Lehigh fire district opted out of the county tax roll for 2016 by passing a Fire Service Assessment tax instead.

“Property values started to rise in Lee County overall three years ago while some communities still saw decreases. Most property in the county increased for 2013 with few exceptions. These last two years every city, town and taxing district in the county is seeing higher values. The Lee County market lost half of its total value between 2007 and 2013 when the market started to turn around.

“The annual process is complete when tax bills start arriving in property owners’ mailboxes in November.”

4th of July on Sanibel

In less than a month, the islands again will be celebrating another holiday. Wondering what’s in store for July 4th here this year? Morning, noon, and night, the line-up is below:

  • 2003 BonneParade

    An oldie

    26th Annual Independence Day Parade – Beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way, the parade travels down Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road. It is small town fun at its finest with many local businesses, organizations, community members and families participating in decorated vehicles and tossing goodies and holiday mementos to parade watchers. A good vantage point is the lawn in front of SanibelSusan Realty or just across the street under the shade trees bordering Community Park. Wear your red, white, and blue, and bring your lawn chair or blanket to join in the festivities!

  • 2016 July 4 Road Rally37th Optimists Club July 4th Road Rally – Register your team to rally against others as you follow a predetermined course around both islands while solving puzzles and guessing clues. A team includes a vehicle, driver, navigator, and spotter(s). The event begins at noon in The Timbers/Sanibel Grill parking lot with staggered start times (a vehicle begins every 2 minutes). It also ends there with an afterglow party where prizes are awarded for time, mileage, the most correct answers to the quiz, best decorated vehicle, and the team that traveled the farthest to get there. More info and entry forms on the club’s website and on their Facebook page at Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, or at Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Café, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, in the local papers, or at the starting line just before the event. Don’t think you have to know the island to win, following the directions and being observant are key!
  • fireworks clip artFireworks – At dusk, the causeway islands are where many residents and visitors gather to watch the fireworks which are launched right at dark from the bayside end of Bailey Road. Better get there early to get a spot. Or, see them from the water. Adventures in Paradise has a Sanibel Fireworks Cruise. You can book on-line at www.AdventuresinParadiseInc.com.

Sanibel Historical Museum Free Admission Day

Museum LogoFor the 3rd year, The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village is offering free admission for all visitors on Saturday, June 18. This time of the year, the Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a full guided tour at 10:30 a.m.

The museum closes for the summer on August 1, reopening October 18. More info at http://www.sanibelmuseum.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 3-10, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tarpon Beach #110 2/2 $799K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $689K, Sundial East #M301 2/2 now $749K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $995K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 $1.095M.

7 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $569K, 3118 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $599.9K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $675K, 726 Cardium St 3/3 now $775K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $999K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $999K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.499M.

2 new sales: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 listed at $459K, 1487 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $799K.

6 closed sales: 441 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $550K, 938 Strangler Fig Ln 2/2 $571.5K, 1858 Farm Trail 3/2 $610K, 1130 Junonia St 3/2 $669K, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $755K, 882 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.3M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5121 SanibelCaptiva Rd now $215,555.

1 new sale: 1837 Buckthorn Ln listed at $439.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $975K.

2 price changes: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 now $350K, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.795M.

No new or closed sales.

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 real3 estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

 Until next Friday, bring on the sun! 

(Oops, it’s 3:10 p.m. & the sun just peeked out, let’s hope it stays!)

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trip advisor sanibel beach cottages afternoon-storms-rolling.jpg

It’s a Happy May on Sanibel & Captiva


SanibelSusan here reporting another quiet week on the islands. There were no traffic directors at the Periwinkle intersections today and even the resorts have vacancies – a typical pre-summer pattern – but also a wonderful time to be here. Most locals swear that May and October are the best months on the islands – great weather and easy maneuvering when enjoying “all” of the things to do here – and the Royal Poinciana are in bloom in all their splendor!

 

LakeMurexRoyal1

In the island real estate world, there was no Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Considering that it is “after season” though, a surprising number of new Sanibel listings came on the market this week (12 over the last seven days). There also were nine price reductions, and ten closings. Not so much real estate action on Captiva, however, where there were no new listings, but four price reductions, and three new sales.

Sanibel realtors logoIt’s a terrific time to be come to look at property as most listings are easy to view and probably will be until schools are out and summer vacationers start arriving.

The details of the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a few news items below.

23rd Annual Sam Bailey’s Island Night

islands-night-logoOn Wednesday, June 1, Island Night will return to Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex when the Fort Myers Miracle play the St. Lucie Mets. This is the 23rd year of this annual community tradition that encourages islanders to come together for a fun evening of baseball and camaraderie. Pre-game festivities with parade begin at 5:30 p.m. with the game at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are free and available at Bailey’s General Store (both in Bailey’s Center and at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa) and at event sponsors which include island service organizations. Again this year, the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club and the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club will be in a friendly competition to support local charities.

2016 Sanibel Prescribed Burns

Sanibelcityseal logoYesterday, Sanibel’s Natural Resources Department issued the following news release about the upcoming prescribed burns:

“During the 2016 spring/summer season, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Partnership will be looking to conduct prescribed burns on the following conservation lands:

  • Bailey Tract (USFWS J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge)
  • Frannies/Johnston Tract (SCCF)
  • Sanibel Gardens Preserve (City of Sanibel/SCCF)
  • South Center Tract & Postell Tract (SCCF & City of Sanibel)
  • Gulfside City Park Extension (City of Sanibel)

To view a map of the conservation lands, please click here.

“We would like to invite the public to an informational meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in the “Ding” Darling Visitor and Education Center to discuss the burn plans and address any questions or concerns.

“When forecasted conditions are favorable, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Partnership will issue further notification that a prescribed burn is possible and identify the specific location of the burn.  All prescribed fires must be authorized by the Florida Forest Service on the morning of the scheduled burn.  A change in the forecast conditions may result in cancellation of the planned burn.  A prescribed fire will NOT be conducted if the prescription conditions cannot be met prior to ignition or if conditions change after the prescribed fire has been ignited.

“A burn plan, or “prescription,” has been established for the priority areas within these conservation lands.  The prescription details the required conditions that must exist in order for a prescribed burn to take place.  These include environmental conditions such as soil moisture, fuel conditions, and recent rainfall as well as forecasted and actual weather conditions including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction.  Following a predefined prescription allows fire management officers to establish the desired fire behavior (intensity, flame length, direction of fire spread and smoke).  The prescription also identifies the number of qualified fire personnel needed to conduct the burn as well as the types and number of equipment required to safely complete the burn.

Why are prescribed fires needed?

“Fire is a natural part of Florida’s ecosystem, historically set by lightning. Because of this history of periodic fires many of Florida’s natural communities are adapted to burning. Fire removes old vegetation, promotes new growth of native vegetation and suppresses the growth of non-native invasive plants. In the absence of fire many plant communities are displaced by dense, woody vegetation which can reduce plant diversity and eliminate foraging opportunities for the island’s wildlife. Species such as the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snakes, and the Sanibel rice rat all depend on a fire maintained ecosystem.  In addition to the natural benefits of fire, carefully planning and conducting managed burns can prevent the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires and help preserve the natural ecology of the area.   This technique, called “prescribed fire,” reduces the amount of vegetation – or “fuel”-that would be available in the event of a wildfire.

Why can’t prescribed burns be conducted some other time?

“The window of opportunity for conducting prescribed burns in southwest Florida is very narrow and may vary from year to year.  By mid to late spring, soils and fuels are often too dry and prescribed fires may be prohibited by State authorities.  By mid- to late summer, soils on Sanibel are often too wet, humidity is high, and afternoon thunderstorms render wind conditions unsuitable.  Plus, on any given day all the conditions detailed in the prescription must be met and personnel and resources must be available to conduct the burn.  To maximize our opportunities for conducting prescribed fires, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Partnership has identified a number of priority burn sites for 2016.  Because the prescription requirements for each site are different, this provides us with the flexibility to determine if the forecast conditions will meet the prescription requirements for any of the priority burns sites and then to schedule the prescribed fire accordingly.

What can I expect on the day of a prescribed burn?

“Depending on the wind direction and strength, it may be possible to see or smell smoke.   The fire prescription identifies the specific wind conditions necessary to achieve the burn objectives while minimizing smoke impacts to roads and communities.  However, smoke and ash associated with a prescribed burn cannot be prevented.  Smoke sensitive individuals should keep their windows closed and avoid outdoor activities in the affected areas.  If you would like to be registered on the City’s list of smoke sensitive individuals, please contact Joel Caouette in the City’s Natural Resources Department at (239) 472-3700.  Once registered, the City will notify you in advance of any prescribed burn on Sanibel.

“During the prescribed burn operations, residents and visitors are encouraged to:

  • close windows
  • cover pools
  • move cars and furniture indoors
  • stay indoors to minimize the impacts from smoke
  • visit other areas of the Island away from the burn site
  • abide by all signs, road closures, and instructions about closed areas provided by law enforcement and fire personnel

“After the prescribed burn has been completed, there may be occasional smoke or burning embers seen from the burned area for several days.   Fire personnel will monitor the burned area and adjacent roads, day and night, taking all precautions and maintaining readiness to minimize fire activity and smoke impacts to the public.  Do not be alarmed if you see smoke or burning embers within a burned area.

Is Sanibel at risk for wildfires?

“Of course!  However, prescribed fires, planned and carefully conducted by well-trained and experienced fire personnel are a cost-effective way to reduce fuel loads on Sanibel and reduce the risk of a catastrophic wildfire.  To address safety and wildland fire issues on Sanibel, the City of Sanibel, the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge formed the “Sanibel Firewise Task Force.”  To reduce the risk of wildfire around your home, the Sanibel Firewise Task Force recommends that you:

  • Trim dead palm fronds from trees
  • Trim tall grasses near the home
  • Prune large, leafy hardwood trees so the lowest branches are six to ten feet above the ground
  • Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline containers, firewood, and building supplies under or around the home, and
  • Keep mulch and other landscaping material well watered

“For additional information regarding fire and prescribed burning on Sanibel, please contact the City of Sanibel Natural Resources Department at (239) 472-3700.

Watch Out for Inflation

realtor logoAs follow-up to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, DC last week, here are some predictions from NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun as reported in Friday’s “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Home sales will grow modestly this year, but a continuing inventory shortage will keep upward pressure on prices and make it hard for many people to buy, even though interest rates remain low…

“Yun predicted existing home sales will rise to 5.5 million at the end of the year, up slightly from 5.4 million last year. New-home sales will rise to 540,000 units from half a million, but because that segment of the market is currently so far below historical levels, the gains won’t come close to closing the inventory gap, Yun said.

What’s more, most new homes are at higher price points, exacerbating affordability struggles for first-time and moderate-income home buyers. Yun said larger homes are the most profitable for builders, who have to worry about meeting local ordinances and other costs. He added that most new homes come on the market at more than $300,000.

“The West saw home prices rise 35% over the last three years, making that the least affordable part of the country and dampening sales there, he said. While sales increased almost 20% last year in the Northeast, they dropped almost 10% in the West.

“Inventory shortages continue to be a main driver of price increases, which were almost 7% nationally last year. The increase far outpaced wage gains, which were up only about 2%. Yun is forecasting prices to rise another 4.5% this year.

“Continuing low interest rates are a bright spot, but Yun warned that when inflation picks up, mortgage rates will follow suit. Yun said today’s low consumer price index (CPI), at about 1.7%, doesn’t reflect the rise in prices people are seeing on everyday items because low gas prices are keeping the broader index down.

“But CPI won’t stay low forever. Yun said the monthly rental rate tenants pay is going up (almost 4% this year, a seven-year high) and that will send the broader index up. When that happens, the Federal Reserve will raise the short-term interest rate it charges banks, which in turn will impact mortgage rates.

“Right now he’s forecasting mortgage rates to be at 3.9% at the end of this year, about where they were last year, and to rise to 4.6% in 2017. Yun identified 6% as a mortgage-rate threshold, noting anything much higher than that will curb home sales. “If rates get to 7 or 8%,” he said, “watch out.”

“Bottom line: Look for modest market growth this year and next, but as long as inventory shortages persist, homes will become increasingly unaffordable. Once mortgage rates start going up, which they could do as rental rates continue rising, sales will be hurt.”

What Makes a Smart Home Smart?

smart-home-essentials-for-living-85947231Interesting info posted last week on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to “Smart Home Glossary,” and “Smart Home and Internet of Things FAQ,” CRT Labs (May 2016)

“More consumers than ever see the benefits of buying a home with smart technology. A 2016 Coldwell Banker survey found that owners believe smart home technology makes their home safer, saves them money and saves them time.

“The same survey also found that 54% of homeowners would buy or install smart home products if they were selling their home because they believe it would make the home sell faster.

“In order to help agents and consumers understand the common smart home benefits and buzzwords, CRT Labs put together a guide. Here are some highlights:

Smart home terms and facts

What are the benefits of smart home technology?

“Smart home technology automates household tasks like adjusting a home’s temperature, unlocking the front door or opening the garage door using voice-activation devices. Smart devices can work together to offer owners safety by alerting them if something in their home seems amiss, and it can save owners money by automatically controlling the temperature and energy of a home. Insurance companies and utility companies may offer reduced rates and rebates for homes with smart devices.

Who owns the data, how is it used and are there security risks?

“A home’s smart home data can be used in a variety of ways, according to CRT Labs. Data is “generally used by smart device companies to improve product development and provide additional services to their customers,” but: “You should also read the vendor’s privacy policy to see what they are legally allowed to do with the data. They may allow themselves to sell your data to third parties, so read carefully.”

What’s the impact on selling prices?

“On a large scale, the financial impact is yet to be seen since the technology is so new, but survey results showed that 72% of millennial owners would spend $1,500 or more to add smart home technology. Fifty-nine percent of parents with children would also pay more for a smart home, according to Coldwell Banker’s survey.

3 smart home phrases to know:

IoT (Internet of Things): This buzzword describes automated devices like lights, thermostats and locks that work together and are connected by the Internet. IoT products use data to simplify things that previously weren’t automated.

Hub: In the world of smart homes, a hub is almost like a universal remote, according to CRT Labs. A hub is the main device that connects all of the different smart home products together so they’re all automated.

SmartMeter: These electric and gas meters help owners monitor their utility usage by sending real time meter readings.”

Leaving Your Property for the Summer

Lcec logoSome excellent tips were posted this month in “LCEC News” (Lee County Electric Cooperative):

“If you are leaving your home for the summer, there are some very important tasks you should consider to keep your home in tip-top shape while you’re gone:

  • Enroll in LCEC kiloWATCH so you can be alerted of any unusual electricity usage. Sign up at www.lcec.net.
  • Avoid mildew damage by installing a timer on the air conditioner to cycle the air for two hours per day. Or install a humidistat and set it to cycle when indoor humidity reaches 65%.
  • Unplug the water heater.
  • Leave all interior doors open to promote airflow. Space out clothing, shoes, and other stored materials for the same reason.
  • Fill jugs of tap water to put inside the refrigerator/freezer – a full unit will use less power than an empty one.
  • Finally, have a neighbor, friend, or professional house sitter check your home periodically during your absence.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 13-20, 2016

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $249.9K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 $999K, Pine Cove #104 3/2 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #822 2/2 now $449K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 now $519K, Loggerhead Cay #211 2/2 now $615K.

(Photos below are some of the community amenities at Sanibel Moorings. Click the tab above for more info on this listing.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 new sale: Sanddollar #C101 2/2 listed at $870K.

2 closed sales: White Caps South #7 1/1 $520K, Sanibel Arms West #L4 2/2 $520K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 984 Greenwood Ct 3/2 half-duplex $462K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 $598K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $675K, 1333 Par View Dr 3/2 $879K, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/2.5 $880K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $975K, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 $1.895M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $2.695M.

5 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $580K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $750K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 now $845K, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.7497M, 4449 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 now $4.65M.

8 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 listed at $349K; 5131 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $465K; 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 listed at $499,999; 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $529.5K; 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 listed at $535K;  676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $749K; 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.195M; 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.479M.

6 closed sales: 748 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $500K, 1460 Court Pl 6/5.5 multi-family $610K, 1970 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $690K, 775 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $900K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $950K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 $1.24M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2441/2453 Los Colony Rd $179K.

1 price change: 497 Sea Oats Dr now $499K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $600K, 3723 West Gulf Dr $2.6M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3227 1/1 now $279.9K, Bayside Villas #4202 1/2 now $305K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2632 2/2 $675K, Beach Homes #20 3/3 $2.4M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.949M.

3 new sales: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 listed at $885K, 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $3.998M, 16665 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $4.8M.

1 closed sale: 16665 Captiva Dr 2/2 $4.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16298 Captiva Dr now $4.999M.

No 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Until Memorial Day weekend, Happy Friday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

tgif 2

Spring Is Busting Out All Over on Sanibel


It’s another quiet Friday for the SanibelSusan Team. With the Lion’s Annual Arts & Crafts Fair beginning today at The Community House across the street, there is plenty of traffic traveling by, but with it being another bright sunny beach day, so far phone traffic is light.

Again this week, the weather has been been spectacular. Here are two photos showing what it has been like. The first was taken at West Wind Inn on Wednesday midday. The second taken this morning as I was heading out to the office. Spring is busting out all over!

West Wind Inn wed

Susan Yard 03-18-16

Indicative of “season” wrapping up, there were quite a few price reductions announced at our Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Before a summary of the real estate action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week, here are a few other news items.

Sanibel Mayor Speaks on Water Quality at Realtor® Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® was happy to welcome Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane as the guest speaker at our monthly membership breakfast meeting yesterday.

Updating the group on water quality, when Mayor Ruane spoke of how water quality locally affects $3 billion in tourism and $90 billion in real estate, he got everyones’ attention.

Kevin Ruane 03-17-18Most have heard about the cooperative efforts by the Lee County governments and mayors’ recent trips to Tallahassee and Washington. Mayor Ruane advised that these group efforts now also include the twelve counties in Florida affected by Lake Okeechobee releases and run-offs. These counties equate to $1.5 trillion in real estate.

He reminded attendees that there is no “silver bullet” instant fix to the issues, but said the most important component is to accelerate funding for the dike. He recognized the long-time efforts by our organization toward improving water quality here and encouraged Realtors® to stay involved.

Of course, Realtors® know that it’s always easier to sell when the water is crystal clear and bright blue. We also know that just because it looks good today, doesn’t mean that there couldn’t be another unexpected rainy month so it could change. This is an issue that requires constant attention and many more years of work. If you want to stay up-to-date, there is good info at Sanibel H20 Matters, here’s the link: http://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Water-Quality/Sanibel-H2O-Matters

Mayor Ruane deserves a big thank you from all of us. We are lucky to have such a strong businessman, financial and insurance expert at the helm. Good things are happening here and when he talks, people listen.

Real-Time “Sanibel Street Cams” Activated Through Pilot Project

Sanibelcityseal logoThe SanibelSusan Team is happy to share the below press release issued from the Sanibel City Manager’s Office yesterday.

“The newest component of the City of Sanibel’s 2016 Traffic Communications Strategy has been launched. Residents and visitors to Sanibel now have access to real-time road conditions on Span C of the Sanibel Causeway, and both east and west bound Periwinkle Way at the Casa Ybel intersection http://www.mysanibel.us/traffic/ .

“Upon the activation of the pilot project, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane stated, “We have dedicated 2016 to testing a number of pilot traffic management strategies including investigating hardscape improvements, behavior modifications and technology deployment to determine where we see our best return on investment.  We look forward to hearing feedback from our citizens if live streaming of current traffic conditions is helpful as we plan our days during peak season.”

“Additional information on the City of Sanibel’s 2016 Traffic Communications Strategy is available here:

Traffic Mitigation Strategy

Traffic Message from the Mayor

Important Peak Season Traffic Information

“Cycling on Sanibel” Video

Kitchen Remodeling Projects That Pay Off

free-kitchen-clip-artI got another call last week from an owner asking if they would get back the cost of putting in a new kitchen. Well, there are new kitchens and then there are new kitchens. It is easy to say that you usually will get back most of your money if the renovation is tasteful, but we know how tasteful can vary with the eyes of the beholder.

Below is a different slant on the same question. It was posted on “Daily Real Estate News” online and talks about the kitchen projects that can pay off.

“Kitchen re-dos can be pricey. That means homeowners on a budget must be choosy when trying to decide what kitchen projects to spend money on and what improvements can wait.

realtor.com“Realtor.com® recently launched a new series “Renovations That Really Pay Off,” and their first article focuses on kitchen projects that have the best return on investment and won’t be too much of a financial burden….

“Here are a few of the kitchen projects highlighted:

Amped Up” Appliances – New appliances like a refrigerator, stainless-steel dishwasher, and stove can have a strong pull with home buyers, says real estate pro Al Cannistra. For example, Cannistra says he had a listing that lingered on the market with outdated appliances but as soon as the owners updated the appliances, the home received two offers in the first week and the home ended up selling above asking price. Just be sure to “keep the appliances and plumbing where they are because the rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you relocate either,” suggests Justin Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency.

Spruce Up The Cabinets – New cabinets can range from $3,900 and $12,000. That’s why home owners may be better off trying to give a face-lift to what they already have, such as replacing the cabinet hardware or painting the cabinets. “If you have existing wood cabinets that are still in decent shape, instead of completely re-facing them, give them a fresh coat of paint,” says Tracy Kay Griffin, designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold.” For example, Rust-Oleum offers a Cabinet Transformation kit.

Add a Charging Station – Everyone is looking for a plug to charge for their smartphones, tablets, and electronics. Nearly two-thirds of remodelers say they’ve added a charging station in the kitchen for the gadgets, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trend report. Cabinets and drawers can be modified to add hidden power strips, for example.

New Countertops – A new countertop can have a big impact on the look of the kitchen. And don’t assume granite. NKBA says quartz countertops are gaining popularity. A new countertop “provides an opportunity to install a new glass or subway backsplash for additional punch,” says designer Erin Davis, co-owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Ore. “A budget-friendly option is to install a 4-inch-high splash out of the same countertop material.”

Wood Floors – NKBA’s latest report shows that wood floors are the most popular kitchen flooring. Plus, averaging $9 to $12 a square foot, wood flooring tends to be cheaper than tile too.”

View more details about top kitchen renovations at realtor.com®.

Source: “6 Kitchen Renovations That Really Pay Off,” realtor.com® (March 2, 2016)

Sanibel Bicycle Club Named 2015 Club of the Year

Sanibel bike clubAs posted on line on the Santiva-Chronicle this week:

“The Sanibel Bicycle Club has been named 2015 Club of the Year by the Florida Bicycle Association for its contributions to bicycling – an award the club also earned in 2011….

“Since 2010, the City of Sanibel has been designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community, one of four Florida communities elevated to “Silver” status by League of American Bicyclists. The city has launched a traffic communications strategy focused on reaching peak season visitors, including a key message about biking or walking. Those efforts are yielding results.

“Part of the Sanibel success is the continuous involvement of the Sanibel Bicycle Club. In March 2015, the club worked with the city to produce the educational video “Cycling on Sanibel.” It’s had more than 4,000 views on You Tube and slides are being used around Sanibel to amplify its message.

““The video caught our attention. It speaks to people,” said FBA Executive Director Becky Afonso, who presented the Bike Club with the award. “This club is a strong advocate for cycling safety and has maintained a steady message – exactly what we are looking for in Club of the Year.”

“The award’s purpose is to bring attention to the efforts and achievements of groups, organizations and individuals that help shape FBA’s vision for all Florida bicyclists to be safe, respected and encouraged to bicycle for transportation and recreation….”

How I Stay Sane Selling Real Estate in Season

2016 Spring Concert FlierSanibelSusan is off to sing with the BIG ARTS Ensemble at a freebie concert at Faith United Methodist Church on McGregor Blvd, just off island, tonight at 7 p.m. The Ensemble is a small group from the Sanibel Community Chorus. We usually perform just a few songs at venues where there is not enough room for the full chorus, but for this event we were asked to sing a full concert.

The music will include most of the songs that the big chorus performs later this month at Schein Performance Hall, including tunes from West Side Story and Kiss Me Kate. It is definitely not a religious program and it will have not just singing, but some tap dancing, kazoo playing, and calypso too.

If you can’t make a Community Chorus performance at BIG ARTS on Mar 29 at 7 p.m., Mar 30 at 2 p.m., or Mar 31 at 7 p.m. (where tickets are needed, but just $10), you might enjoy hearing the smaller group tonight. It will be good practice for us and the price is right – open to the public and free!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 11-18, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

9 new listings: Sundial #B108 1/1 $369K, Sundial F103 2/2 $475K, Sundial #B207 1/1 $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #211 2/2 $629K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 $799.9K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 $999.9K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 $1.089M, Gulfside Place #306 3/2 $1.395M, Moonshadows #2G 3/3 $2.395M.

4 price changes: Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 now $595K, Sandalfoot #4C3 2/2 now $669K, Surfside 12 #A2 3/2 now $674K, Sanctuary Golf Village #2-2 2/2 now $710K.

5 new sales: Sundial #G404 2/2 listed at $559K, Compass Point #203 2/2 listed at $639K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 listed at $949K, Kimball Lodge #306 2/2 listed at $989K, Seascape #301 3/3 listed at $1.195M.

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $495K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 $459K, 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $595K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $999K (our listing), 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $1.095M.

10 price changes: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $449K, 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $489K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 now $749K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 now $768.5K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $799K, 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $839K, 3402 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.95M, 4731 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 now $2.849M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3.5.5 now $3.865M.

12 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 1380 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $580K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $599.9K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $679K, 600 E Rocks Dr  3/2 listed at $685K, 1438 Albatross Rd 4/3 listed at $779K, 4215 Old Banyan Way 3/3 listed at $825K, 169 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M, 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.479M, 907 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $2.295M, 911 Stangler Fig Ln 4/3 listed at $2.695M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.995M.

5 closed sales: 1576 Wilton Ln 3/2 $435K, 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $475K, 1113 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $575K, 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 duplex $699K, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 978 Main St now $219K, 1204 Par View Dr now $359K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $549K, 6159 Starling Way now $619K.

1 new sale: Dinkins Lake Rd, lot 28 listed at $238K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes or closed sales.

1 new sale: Lands End #1641 2/2 listed at $1.35M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $975K.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $4.85M.

No new closed sales.

1 closed sale: 11515 Murmond Ln 3/3 $1.37M.

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.)

Until next Friday, here’s hoping spring is springing where you are too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Just Another Happy Friday on Sanibel Island


It’s another Friday and time for another report from SanibelSusan. Island visitors this week should be happy. The weather has been terrific – temperatures in the low 70’s with bright blue skies and sun shiny days. The outlook for the beaches and waterways has improved too.

white-pelicans from trip advisor

Several of our listings again had showings this week. We had another nice closing – lot in The Dunes. Our condo listing at Compass Point went under contract too. Before the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listings Service, here are a couple of news items – most highlighting water initiatives.

Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors Monthly Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoThe islands’ Association of Realtors® had their monthly membership meeting yesterday with updates by two affiliate members. Birgie Miller, Executive Director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, who sponsored the breakfast and Dave Owens, from Midland IRA and 1031, who spoke on tax-deferred exchanges.

Ding Darling Society logo“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Birgie’s pitch included reminders that the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge now covers 7,608 acres with 35 species of mammals, 102 species of fish, 272 bird species, 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, 14 threatened and endangered species, and more than 750,000 visitors each year. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has four Realtor® board members and encourages everyone who enjoys the islands to join at www.dingdarllingsociety.org.

1031 Exchanges – During Dave Owen’s update, he reminded us that he first talked to island Realtors about tax-deferred exchanges in the late 90’s, they were fairly new to the island. Back then it was common for property owners here to exchange out of an investment rental condo into another one of higher value. Today, he said the most common scenario has changed. The states with the most tax-deferred exchanges are California, followed by Texas, then Florida. He said that today, more investors are coming out of investment properties in a highly taxed northern state and buying in Florida to defer capital gains and other taxes.MidIRALogoREV

In summary, a deeded property that qualifies for a 1031 exchange is one that is used for business, investment, property rented out or used in business, or land, if it was held for speculation. Property that does not qualify are primary residences, second homes with little or no rental history, or property not intended for business or investment use. Dave reported that since he first spoke to our group, he has performed some 10,000 exchanges. Good info on his web site at www.1031company.com.

Sanibel City Council Backs Mayors’ Water Quality Initiatives

Sanibelcityseal logoLocal papers report that on Tuesday, Sanibel City Council officially agreed with the initiative by Lee County’s mayors to combat short- and long-term water issues. Council unanimously voted to approve four points involving control of water prepared by the mayors of all Lee County’s cities at a recent emergency meeting in Bonita Springs. The approval came at the request of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, who chaired the meeting.

The request from the mayors to the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other involved parties to, in times of emergency, release water south from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades, identify public and private land suitable for storage and use it, and to provide transparency when drastic water release decisions have to be made.

“The mayors came up with the bullet points and continue to challenge the Corps of Engineers to use its operational flexibility,” Ruane told the council.

During the meeting, Holly Milbrandt, Acting Director of the Sanibel Department of Resources, framed the problem. “It was the wettest January on record with rainfall 400% above normal,” she said. “This is unprecedented for all of us and we are still evaluating. We are not out of the woods yet,” she said. “Weather forecasts are for far above normal rainfall. Water goes into the lake six times faster than it is released, so that is a challenge.”

She reported on Monday the Lake Okeechobee level was at 16.24’, compared to 16.33’ a week ago. She noted that the lake level “is finally falling for the first time in a long time.” She said the lake is 1.45’ higher than it was at this time last year and two feet higher than two years ago. Its level is in the range where the Corps of Engineers can release water.

Ruane and Milbrandt both highlighted that the fresh water pouring into the local estuary from the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River has not all come from the lake. During the heavy rains in January, most of the water was runoff from the local watershed. Now 89% of the water is coming from Lake O.

Ruane pointed out the importance of the C-43 Reservoir, which will hold local runoff but will not be ready until 2020. He also said C-43 covers only part of the storage acreage that is necessary in times of heavy rainfall and runoff.

The mayors’ document addressed both short- and long-term options. Under the heading: “What are the options for relief now?” the document asks to:

  • Initiate discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the 700,000 acres of agricultural lands south of the lake and to all other public and private lands in the C&FS system.
  • Identify and utilize emergency storage on all public lands within the Kissimmee, Lake Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee basins.
  • Maximize storage within the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and provide adaptive flexibility for water level management in the regulation schedules to allow more water storage.
  • Seek emergency temporary deviations from federal and state water quality criteria and restrictions that limit discharges south into Everglades National Park during extreme wet conditions and events.

Long-term solutions included land acquisition for and construction of the EAA Reservoir to help move water south of the lake and projects to create storage within the Caloosahatchee watershed, including C-43.

Council members noted the lead by Sanibel in getting action and creating awareness during the recent crisis. The council also pointed out how important it is for Sanibel to continue to be a leader when it comes to environmental practices. In conjunction with that, Council passed a second motion to provide a list of its management practices regarding nutrients and fertilizers and make it available to other municipalities.

Mayors Off to Washington

Capitol Bldg DCAs reported in “The Santiva Chronicle”:

“Next week, Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane is off to Washington as part of a delegation that will bend Capitol Hill’s ear on water in Florida. Ruane believes that the mood is different in Florida now after the state was drowned with 16” of rain in January – the dry season. The drenching got everyone’s attention and it pointed out the frailties and inadequacies of the water management practices in the Everglades-Lake Okeechobee system.

““It’s not like 2013. It’s all hands on deck now,” Ruane said Tuesday afternoon, hours after the Sanibel City Council had given its unanimous approval to a brief prepared by Lee County’s mayors.

“Ruane is part of delegation that will include Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki and Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson. It will also include elected officials from other areas, including the East Coast.

“The delegation will arrive in Washington Sunday and hit the pavement on Monday. Lawmakers are on the list, particularly the Florida delegation and those who hold key committee positions. Ruane has been effusive in his praise of Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Bonita Springs. Clawson is working closely with Ruane and others to get movement on several fronts. The delegation will also be in contact with Florida’s senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. Committee chairpersons for water resources and the environment are on the list and, of course, appropriations.

“But Ruane says the first visit needs to be paid to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps, Ruane said, is often painted as the enemy because it’s the Corps that turns the tap and starts the pumps at Lake Okeechobee, often to the detriment of places like Lee County. But the Corps, just like the rest of the Army, follows orders and operates within the framework of the resources it has been given.

““The first talk will be with the Corps of Engineers,” Ruane told the Chronicle Tuesday. “We won’t go there to argue or point fingers. We want to talk about how we can help one another. The Corps needs funding to complete major projects. A united front can help them get that funding.”

“This visit to Washington won’t involve appearing before any committees or subcommittees, but Ruane said that will be done if it is helpful and the opportunity arises…. “It’s all about working together, getting others to recognize each other’s problems and then finding solutions. The mayors, City Council, our lawmakers in the state and in Washington, and many others are pulling together this time. That’s what it’s going to take,” Ruane said.”

More Canadians Choosing to Sell U.S. Homes

Canada maple leafAs posted in “Realty Biz News” on Monday, this is the trend on the islands too.

“With the Canadian dollar currently around $.72 to the US dollar, an increasing number of snowbirds are choosing to sell their properties in the United States.

“Previously a large number of Canadians bought US property when prices were cheap and are now choosing to sell them to take advantage of higher real estate prices and a favorable exchange rate. Even when additional costs such as capital gains tax are taken into account, many Canadians feel it is too good an opportunity to miss. Quite a few chose to buy their property back in 2010 when the US and Canadian dollar were almost at par and when real estate prices had yet to recover. Thanks to low exchange rates and rising prices, this means that many are able to sell for a big profit. According to the article in CBC.ca, real estate agents in Arizona, an area very popular with snowbirds, are seeing an increase in the number of Canadian homeowners wishing to sell their property.

“Figures from the American National Association of Realtors® survey, for the year ending March 2007, show that Canadian buyers accounted for 11% of property sales to foreign buyers. As the strength of the Canadian dollar increased, so did the percentage of real estate deals to Canadian buyers. By March 2011 to March 2012, the percentage of sales to Canadians had more than doubled, increasing to 24% and accounting for approximately US$15.9 billion. Since then house prices have increased by between 30% and 50% and when the weak Canadian dollar is factored in to the equation, then sellers are able to make a large profit, even when tax is taken into account.

“In Florida, real estate agents are also seeing an increasing number of Canadians who wish to sell, compared to 2009 to 2013 when most wanted to buy. There is also another good reason as why selling is a popular option for those north of the border, as a declining Canadian dollar increases the costs of running a home in the US, and utility bills and property taxes have all become considerably more expensive.

“Real estate agents are confident this selling trend will continue for as long as the Canadian dollar remains weak. Some of those choosing to sell their homes will still escape harsh Canadian winters, but intend to rent in the future rather than buy.”

Low Rates Spark Big Rush to Refinance

As posted on Realtor®Mag on-line on Wednesday:

Mortgage Bankers Assoc logo“Applications to refinance mortgages surged to their highest level in more than a year as home owners rushed to take advantage of low rates. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.83% last week, the lowest level since April 2015, MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) reports.

“The refinance boost fueled an 8.2% jump last week in total mortgage applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinance applications jumped 16% during the week ending Feb 12. Mortgage applications for home purchases, on the other hand, dropped 4% during this same time. The volume for all refinances is now 50% higher than just four weeks ago.

“”Treasury rates fell again last week, and mortgage rates fell to their lowest level in over a year, with rates on jumbo loans dropping to their lowest level since December 2012,'” says Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “As we have noted in recent weeks, borrowers with larger loans tend to be more sensitive to a drop in rates, because they stand to benefit more from refinancing.”

“Mortgage lenders reported a new record for the average loan size for refinances last week at $316,000, according to MBA.

“While mortgage applications for home purchases fell last week, the gauge of future home-buying activity still remains strong for the year. Mortgage applications for home purchases remains 30% higher than the same week one year ago, MBA reports.” Source: “Refinancing Pushes Mortgage Applications 8.2% Higher,” CNBC (Feb. 17, 2016)

Sanibel New Resident Reception

SanibelCityHallNew residents are invited to a reception on Wed, March 2 at 9 a.m. in Mackenzie Hall at Sanibel City Hall. Mayor Kevin Ruane and City Council Members will be there to welcome new residents and answer questions.

Sanibel Hurricane Reentry Passes Available Now

The City is issuing 2016 series hurricane passes. All residents, property owners and businesses need to apply for a new 2016 series pass. (Our old ones were dated 2012.) The new residential passes are purple and the commercial are tan. These will be the only ones that will aid in re-entry to the island following a storm. Passes are issued at the Police Dept Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info and application forms on www.MySanibel.com.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 12-19, 2016

Sanibel
CONDOS
5 new listings: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $399K; Sanibel Siesta #402 2/2 $569K, Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $699K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 $745,555; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 3/2 $949K.
1 price change: Gulfside Place #115 2/2 now $1.795M.
6 new sales: Sundial West #H407 1/1 listed at $465K, Seawind #A101 2/2.5 listed at $514.9K, Compass Point #221 2/2 listed at $599.9K (our listing), Sundial West #A305 2/2 listed at $799K, Island Beach Club 2/2 listed at $1.1M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.
1 closed sale: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $230K.
HOMES
9 new listings: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $549K, 577 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $769K, 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 $799K, 979 Oyster Ct 2/2 $940K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $969K, 1174 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/2 $1.129M, 1665 Sabal Palm Dr 3/2 $1.295M, 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.35M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $4.995M.
7 price changes: 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 now $699K, 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $749K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $749.9K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $759K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $1.548M, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.995M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $2.995M.
8 new sales: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 listed at $459K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $599K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $630K, 1130 Junonia St 3/2 listed at $679K, 1259 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $869K, 437 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $895.9K, 280 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed at $899.9K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $1.029M.
2 closed sales: 9477 Peaceful Dr 4/2 $450K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 $955K.
LOTS
1 new listing: 6419 Pine Ave $1.699M.
2 price changes: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $99.9K, 1311 Par View Dr now $299.9K.
1 new sale: 1304 Eagel Run Dr listed at $219K.
1 closed sale: 1466 Sand Castle Rd $239K (our listing).
Captiva 
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Beach Villas #2525 2/2 now $615K.
No new or closed sales.
HOMES
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 listed at $1.445M.
No closed sales.
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.)

Until next Friday, more of the same wonderful island weather is expected!

February days in the mid-70’s are the best!

Beach santa

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Santa Goes Kiteboarding on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan, reporting that after a successful, though sometimes drizzly overcast, island luminary weekend, Sanibel and Captiva Island weather since Monday has been fabulous – mostly sunny or partly-cloudy days with temperatures just into the low 80’s during the days, low 70’s at night. Not quite Christmas weather, but getting close. Perhaps by next week it will get down into the mid-70’s during the day!

Driving Periwinkle Way on Sanibel, to the lighthouse, or on Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva are particularly fun this time of the year. Holiday decorations and twinkling lights contribute to the tropical wonderland of the islands. The decorations may remain through the first week in January.

Here are a few news items, followed by the real estate activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Wondering Where Santa Was Last Weekend?

These photos were taken at Sanibel’s lighthouse beach…

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SanibelSusan Realty Action This Week

Sanibelsusan LogoWe were lucky to be involved in two of the eleven closings on Sanibel this week – our Island Beach Club listing and a home I sold in Shell Harbor. Other days, while teammate Dave was busy with home inspections and open houses, I was out showing property a few times, as teammate Elise kept track of other showings, and inquiries. We also had visits from some owners thinking of selling.

Adding two team birthdays, the BIG ARTs Chorus Holiday Concert, a Realtor West-End Caravan Meeting yesterday, and a couple of offers, made for a pretty busy week. “Not so for them”, say our pals in the accommodations business. They say that their calls have essentially stopped – probably because they have few if any winter vacancies and because many folks are busy with holiday planning and festivities. Another dilemma for those rental organizations is that the balcony restoration project at Pointe Santo has turned into a lengthier process than expected. Now the two gulf-front buildings there cannot be occupied in January. Moving tenants is not an easy process. Sometimes, we are very thankful that we work just real estate sales – no rentals!

Planning Commission Approves Restaurant at The Village Shops

Village Shops on Sanibel signAt Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, a proposed 50-seat restaurant for The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way, was approved (with conditions).

A conditional use permit and a development permit for RLR, or Royal Shell, was granted to go forward with the proposed restaurant.

Community House Renovation OK’d by Historical Preservation Committee

1927 Community House North Room

Sanibel Community House in 1927 (the old North room)

At yesterday’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, Teresa Riska-Hall, Executive Director of The Sanibel Community House reiterated to our members that the Community House is not moving, but will be renovated. The following article is from The “Santiva Chronicle” on-line and was submitted by Tom Sharbaugh, President of the Sanibel Community Association Board.

 

“Renovation of the Sanibel Community House moved a step closer to reality as the plans received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Committee at the committee’s meeting Thursday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

“The North Room portion of the Community House structure, now approaching 90 years old, is listed on the City’s Local Register of Historical Sites and Structures, therefore any modifications to the building must be reviewed by the committee to insure that proposed changes preserve the original appearance of the building. The planned renovation will repair deteriorating sections of the building exterior, restore the distinctive row of windows on the enclosed porch overlooking Periwinkle Way, and replace the aging roof with textured shingles resembling wooden shakes.

“Inside, the North Room will be restored to its original size by eliminating a storage closet. In addition, the original heart-pine flooring will be replaced with a new wooden floor. Said Teresa Riska-Hall, “People have always loved these pine floors, but after so many years they are worn so thin we’re just not able to refinish them anymore.”

“Beyond the North Room, the renovation will result in a redesign of the entire facility, inside and out, in an “old Sanibel” style harmonious with the original historic building. However, the vast majority of the renovation work will be devoted to installing new infrastructure and systems to bring the facility up to today’s code. This includes replacing outdated electrical, lighting, plumbing, air conditioning, fire alarms and sprinklers, and woefully inadequate restrooms and kitchen facilities.

“In approving the renovation plans, the Historic Preservation Committee was very complimentary of the design. The unanimous opinion of the committee was that the new work will improve the appearance and utility of the facility in a way that is respectful to Sanibel’s traditions and to the history of the original structure.

“Commenting on the plans, Committee member Lynn Campean said, “Architecturally, it is beautifully designed, and it meets our highest expectations.”

“Now that the historical appropriateness of the renovation project has been confirmed, permit applications for the project are tentatively scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission in January.

“Most importantly, a major fundraising campaign will now move forward chaired by Community House Board Members Nicole McHale and John Talmage. Commenting on the upcoming Campaign, McHale said: “In the coming months we will be asking islanders to dig deep as we raise funds to preserve and protect this jewel of our community. Sanibel’s gathering place needs toilets that flush, sinks that drain, lights that come on when you flip the switches, and a host of other basic things. We’re excited to be coming to the members of our community to ask their help. The Community House belongs to all of us.””

‘Ding’ Darling Adds Acreage

ding darling goose logoAccording to an article in the local papers today:

“The ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge now is 9.1 acres larger than before with the addition of a parcel of wetlands and mangroves that came through a donation. “The property is not accessible by car and was big enough for one house. After being held for many years, the National Investment and Development Co. decided to turn it over to ‘Ding’ Darling. The property is adjacent to Bowman’s Beach.

““It’s a combination of wetlands, sand ridges and mangroves. It’s a generous donation of a valuable piece of wildlife habitat,” said John McCabe, immediate past president of the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

“The donation was revealed on Dec. 5 at the annual meeting of the DDWS. The property is located along Bowman’s Beach with access to Clam Bayou and has a number of gopher tortoises as well as an active Osprey nest, and will provide opportunities for wildlife in this area.

““This will become part of ‘Ding’ Darling and will be managed in coordination with the City of Sanibel,” McCabe said. “Through this donation the property will remain what it is now – an excellent wildlife habitat for a wide variety of species, including gopher tortoises.””

Mortgage Rates Edge Higher This Week

Though most island sales continue to be “cash”, there still are some with financing. One of my closings this week was the first since the new rules went into effect from the Federal changes in early October. Though more complicated for lenders and title companies, Barrier Island Title Services Inc. did a great job transitioning to this more cumbersome process. Thank you, Angie Martin!

Here’s what “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” posted today about mortgage interest rates:

FreddieMacLogo_3“Mortgage rates inched higher this week following on the heels of a better-than-expected November employment report, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. “The economy added 211,000 new jobs in November exceeding analysts’ expectations, and the prior two months were revised higher as well,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This momentum is likely to cement a decision by the Fed to begin raising interest rates this month. Following the release of the employment report, Treasuries rose 7 basis points and in response the 30-year mortgage rate ticked up two basis points to 3.95%.”

“Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 10:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95%, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 3.93% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.16% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.20%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.03%, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.99% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.98%.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.64%, with an average 0.2 point, inching up from 2.61% last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.4%.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4-11

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $539K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 $780K, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 $2.195M.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 now $465K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 now $659.9K.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 listed at $412K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $499K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 listed at $799K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 listed at $1.079M, Gulfside Place #317 2/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 $462K, Sundial East #T302 2/2 $700K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $650K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 $1.1M (our listing), Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 $595K, 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 $650K, 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 $679K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $369K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $569.9K.

1 new sale: 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M.

3 closed sales: 720 Elinor Way 3/2 $639K, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 $1.4M (our buyer), 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $1.9M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1639 Serenity Ln $299,555.

1 price change: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $229K.

1 new sale: 690 Birdie View Pt listed at $384K.

2 closed sales: Pine Ave, lot 24 $175K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr $1.075M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Marina Villas #904 2/2 listed at $665K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 listed at $1.275M.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $265K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $618K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $885K, 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4.5 $2.99M.

1 price change: 16177 Captiva Dr 8/7 now $5.95M.

1 new sale: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $1.99M.

No closed sales.

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.)

It was another week of beautiful sunsets on the islands too! Here’s a favorite!

Dec sunset

’til next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan