Brrrr…It’s Cold Outside


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

Insurers Try New Tactic To Limit Damage Claims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

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

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

 

Veterans Day Weekend on Sanibel


Today On Island 11-10-17

It’s Susan with your Friday news from The SanibelSusan Team. After recent reports about the weather up north, you may not want to hear that it has been another week of wonderful weather here. (Photo above taken today. It doesn’t get much prettier!) Temperatures topping out in the low 80’s and cooling into the 60’s at night is near- perfect to many locals. We hope it continues.

The roadways and bike paths continue to fill up, so though we are not quite into “season”, it is getting close. I heard the first “the traffic is awful” comment this week. That very well may be the norm this winter. With so many resort areas in Southern Florida and the Caribbean recovering from the summer storms, I bet Sanibel and Captiva are more popular than ever this winter. Many vacation rental properties already report that they are “fully booked” for season.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoWed evening from 5 to 7 p.m., the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® “Fall Into Christmas” benefit for Friends Who Care was a huge success. Member attendees and their families and guests came with unwrapped toys, gift cards, and check/cash donations. With close to $3,000 collected as well as a tree full of toys, these contributions will be delivered to this local non-profit before their toy sorting and wrapping event at The Community House on Dec 19. Deliveries then will be made by Kiwanis Santas on Dec 23.

It sure was fun and rewarding to spearhead such an event. Thank you to event sponsors: American Momentum Bank, Barrier Island Title, Dorado Property Management, Florida Community Bank, Private Client Insurance Services, Rosier Insurance, Seacoast Cottage Company, Superior Title, and Tru-Clean Carpet and Tile Care.

Thanks too to Danny Morgan who provided the music and Jim Anderson the photos, while many Realtors and affiliate business partners helped behind the scenes, especially our hardworking committee members, aka Santa’s elves.

Fall Into Christmas

Yesterday was the first “east end” Caravan of the now-weekly schedule. Thirteen new listings were open for viewing, with several other new listings announced too, but only a handful of new sales.

Next week is “west end” caravan, followed by Thanksgiving, so the next “east end” caravan is not until Nov 30. We will have our new Anchor Drive listing open then.

A weekly report after a few news items below, covers the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Upcoming Events

Memorial Day Eagle FlagVeterans Day Ceremony – Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov 11, on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall at 10:45 a.m.

Taste of the Islands – CROW’s 36th annual fundraiser, this year called “A Taste of CROW at Taste” is Sunday, Nov 12, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House and Park, right across the street from our office. The new twist this year is the opportunity to attend programs and visit some of the animal ambassadors. Bring your lawn chairs, but no pets, as wildlife will be there this year. Tickets are $7 for adults. Free for children up to 12. The trolley starts at 11 a.m. with parking available at Bank of the Islands, Sanibel-Captiva Trust Company, and the Post Office. Starting at 1 p.m., parking also is available at the three near-by churches.

crow 36th tasteInside the Community House, at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., CROW will have animal ambassador presentations with Bashful (a Virginia opossum), Sheldon (the gopher tortoise), Lola (an American Kestrel), and Violet (an Eastern Indigo snake). Also at The Community House, attendees may purchase from the popular Adopt-A-Species program. Some of the species offered for adoption include a bald eagle, sea turtle and gopher tortoise. A silent auction in The Community House will be ongoing until 4:30 p.m.

Outside, fourteen restaurants are participating in the event and looking for your votes. Dishes will range in price from $1 to $6 and can be purchased with CROW bucks. Beer, wine, and margaritas will be available, plus a variety of music by LCEC Killa-Watts will entertain all afternoon.

give-thanksAnnual Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration – Sunday, Nov 19, at 6:45 p.m. at The Community House. Free admission. A non-denominational program with music and song by the BIG ARTS Community Chorus and Sanibel School’s Seahorse Chorale. Following the celebration, cookies and apple cider donated by Bailey’s General Store and Jerry’s Foods. Guests are encouraged to bring a donation for FISH of San-Cap.

To Addendum Or Not to Addendum?

Florida Realtors logoThose of you who know me well, know that I am conservative and a stickler for detail. Some good examples are offered in the below article posted on-line Nov 6 at FloridaRealtors®.org. It is by Meredith Caruso, Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors®.

“In an ideal world, after a buyer and seller execute a contract, things proceed seamlessly, no issues arise at all, and the parties close on their agreed-upon closing date.

“The reality: While that can occur in your transactions, many times it just isn’t the case. One thing or another pops up along the way, and the parties need to change their current agreement, whether that’s an extension of a closing date or amending the contract to add a new term. Before you race to grab an addendum, though, first consider whether or not it’s actually needed. Depending on the details, it’s entirely possible you don’t need to do anything. This article considers a few different scenarios that can occur and whether or not an addendum is needed. (For purposes of this article, the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar (“FR/Bar”) contract is referenced).

“Scenario 1 – The title company handling the closing finds a lien on the property that the seller didn’t realize was there. The seller says he’ll handle it, but it probably can’t be settled on time for the agreed-upon contract closing date. Do the parties need to sign an extension for the closing date? In short, no.

“Per Standard 18A of the FR/Bar contract, the buyer is supposed to notify the seller, in writing, of any defect in the title commitment within five days after receiving it. The seller then has 30 days after receiving this notice, defined as the seller’s Cure Period, to “take reasonable diligent efforts” to remove the defect. Assuming the seller is able to fix the defect within the Cure Period, the seller needs to notify the buyer in writing, along with proof of the cure acceptable to the buyer, and the parties should proceed to closing.

If the closing date has passed during the 30-day cure period, the closing is to take place “within 10 days after buyer’s receipt of seller’s notice.” In this example, there’s no need for the parties to sign an extension since the contract already addresses how the closing should proceed in the event of a title defect.

“Scenario 2 – The buyer and seller have an “As-Is” version of the FR/Bar contract. The buyer performs her inspection and decides she wants to ask the seller for repairs. The buyer’s agent emails the listing agent to ask about the seller’s willingness to make repairs. The seller verbally indicates he is willing to fix the some of the items the buyer is asking about – but not all. Is an addendum needed? In short, it probably is.

“It could be an addendum extending the inspection period so the parties can further negotiate the repairs, or it could be an addendum to address the agreed upon repairs. In either case, the parties should have something in writing. It’s not a good idea to rely on verbal representations about a party’s willingness to make repairs; and it’s not a good idea to think that simply inquiring about repairs provides more time or an automatic extension of the inspection period. The seller could refuse to honor the repairs later and the buyer likely would have little recourse.

“Additionally, there is no “pause button” on your inspection period clock. Even if the parties are negotiating repairs, the clock is still ticking. If the buyer can’t get an agreement in writing with the seller about the repairs or an extension for the inspection period, she will need to decide whether to cancel the contract before the inspection period ends or her deposit could be at risk.

“Scenario 3 – A hurricane sweeps across Florida. While the property isn’t damaged, power is out around the state and the title company doesn’t have any power to conduct a closing on the agreed-upon contract closing date. Do the parties need to get an addendum to extend the closing date? In short, no.

“Standard 18G addresses this scenario and states, in sum, that neither party will be required to perform any obligations under the contract when the non-performance is due to Force Majeure. All time periods will be extended “a reasonable time up to 7 days after” such Force Majeure no longer prevents performance. So, in this example, the parties should close within 7 days after the title company regains power and can process the closing. No addendum is necessary since the contract already addresses what happens when a defined Force Majeure event prevents performance.

“Note: It’s important to keep in mind that all contracts are different, and the above examples are specific to just one contract. In general, when in doubt over whether an addendum is necessary or not, look to the contract provision that covers the issue. Many times, these types of “what if” scenarios are considered by the contract terms and can save the agent from taking additional – and possibly unnecessary – steps.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 3-10, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $449K, Sundial West #G206 1/1 $509.5K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $529K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.498M.

5 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 now $629K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 now $654.9K, Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $654.9K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $672.5K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 now $875K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 listed at $399K, Sundial West #H409 1/1 listed at $465K, Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 listed at $499,997.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 $420K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $470K (our listing), Cottage Colony West #138 1/1 $570K (our sale).

HOMES

9 new listings: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $472K, 1057 Seahawk Ln 3/2.5 $699K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 $725K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $839K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $895K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $999K (our listing), 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.3959M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.595M, 3757 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $7.595M.

Dock c

Dock at 734 Anchor Dr

 

6 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $499K; 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599K; 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $688,888; 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $724K; 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 now $1.199M; 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.445M.

1 new sale: 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 listed at $8.495M.

5 closed sales: 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 $670K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $797.5K, 6081 Henderson Rd 3/2 $740K, 2628 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.2245M, 5639 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.695M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 461 Lake Murex Cir listed at $349K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

2 new listings: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $865K, 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 now $5.995M.

1 new sale: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 listed at $929K.

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.

Always Remember… Veterans… on Veterans Day & every day!flag-p-sm

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Island Life – Getting Back to Normal


It’s SanibelSusan, reporting that there has been good progress this week in getting the islands back in order post-Irma – with more owners returning, more summer projects wrapping up, and more tree debris removed from the sides of local roadways

Post Irma Recovery

Today is the 18th consecutive day of roadside debris collection with three huge trucks and one smaller one working systematically from one end of the island to the other. The latest report from the City said that sweeps will continue until every roadway (public and private) have been serviced twice. So far 40,000 cubic yards of what has been collected has been converted to mulch, with the City finalizing plans to offer it to the community free.

Yesterday bright-and-early, I was excited to have a claw truck removing the huge pile in front of my home. This is a long tedious process with piles growing and utility lines often hampering efforts, but the crew was careful and efficient.

FISH 2017 10 K raceBecause of the main debris collection site being on Island Inn Road, the City is working with F.I.S.H. to come up with an alternate route for the F.I.S.H. annual 10K fundraiser race which is scheduled for October 28. I got a call from Nicole McHale, 2017 F.I.S.H. Board of Directors Chair, asking if I could get Realtor® volunteers willing to work that morning, manning the route, particularly at driveways, to aide in runner and public safety. The call is out, with plenty of us already volunteering.

A little advice to those not back on-island yet, bring patience. Those looking for pressure/window washing contractors and screen repairmen will likely have a wait. I’ve heard that screening material now is in short supply, compounding the delay for some repairs. Last night, the local news reported that it may take months, if not years, for some cage work to be completed. Orange barricade fences are recommended where needed for safety.

I got a letter from my landscaper advising that they expect to have their customers’ properties back to normal by Christmas. So, we are thankful that island damage was minimal and look forward, with patience, to a warm and wonderful fall and winter season.

Sanibel Approves Budget; Irma Plays Big Role

santiva chronicleSanibel City Council met yesterday, below is the article posted this morning at “Santiva-Chronicle” on-line:

Sanibelcityseal logo“Sanibel will operate on a budget lower than last year in 2018 and it will include expenses from Hurricane Irma, higher beach parking rates and a 15% increase in the cost of a membership at the Recreation Center.

“The City Council gave final approval to the 2018 fiscal year budget at a special budget meeting at City Hall on Thursday, Oct. 5. Most of the budget details had been finalized in the council’s regular meeting and budget hearing on Oct. 3 and Thursday’s meeting was a formality.

“The city’s final approved budget total for fiscal 2018 is $60,033,596. It was prepared based on a millage rate of 1.9139, which is the same as last year.

“By everyone’s assessment, the City of Sanibel performed well before, during and after Hurricane Irma, which came through on Sept. 10. The massive post-Irma cleanup has been orderly, but it still goes on and it hasn’t come without a cost.

“Irma caused Sanibel to dip into its 2017 disaster relief money and that is reflected in the new budget’s beginning fund balance. The disaster reserves haven’t been restored to the 2017 level and the city anticipates that state and federal reimbursements might be a long process. The reserve for disasters is budgeted to be reduced from $4.5 million to $3.7 million due to Hurricane Irma recovery expenses.

“The budget hit from Irma is a one-time occurrence, but the city’s budget woes involving beach parking and the Recreation Center are lingering problems. The council addressed both in the meetings leading up to the final budget approval session.

“The deficit in the beach parking fund now sits at $1.8 million. At its regular meeting on Oct. 3, the council on a 4-1 vote raised the hourly beach parking fee from $4 to $5, raised the B decal for non-resident parking from $99 to $124 and the BC decal for non-resident parking with a boat from $198 to $248. The increase goes into effect Nov. 15.

“The gap to make ends meet for the Recreation Center in the tentative 2018 budget was $384,000. The cost of classes at the Recreation Center will not increase, but much is coming under the knife and membership fees are going up 15% following action by the council at the Tuesday budget meeting an in an emergency meeting Thursday just prior to the final budget hearing.

“Several citizens appeared at the Tuesday budget hearing and they were relieved when Mayor Kevin Ruane said at the top of the meeting that class prices at the Rec Center will not go up. None of them complained at the 15% increase the council arrived at after discussion.

“Ruane presented figures showing that the 15% increase will offset $105,000. He also gave figures for 5% ($35,000), 10% ($70,000), 20% ($140,000) and 25% ($175,000). Several times over the past few years Ruane has said that he believes the cost of a membership is a value not offered in other communities. Councilman Jason Maughan picked up on that theme at the Tuesday budget meeting. “We are below one-half where everyone else is,” Maughan said. “I say we raise it 25% and call it a day.” “Is there a sweet spot?” Councilman Chauncey Goss asked. Recreation Department Director Andrea Miller suggested that 10 to 15% would be a good compromise. The council decided on 15% by unanimous vote.

“The second reading and public hearing would have occurred at the Nov. 7 council meeting, but that was moved up to the emergency meeting Thursday, where it passed on a unanimous vote. Since it was an emergency action, the council is required to approve the increase through the normal process in the coming months. The effort to bring the Recreation Center back to financial fitness will also include cuts totaling $76,000 in operating expenses and $156,000 in staff reductions.

“The 2018 final budget adopted Thursday is 3.9% lower than the 2017 adopted budget of $62,468,100 and 8.43% lower than the 2017 amended budget of $65,302,567.

“While the millage rate remains the same as 2017, it will raise more tax dollars. Sanibel’s taxable property value for fiscal 2018 was assessed by the Lee County Property Appraiser at $5.05 billion, which is 6.17% higher than the final posted value in 2017.

“Ruane said Thursday that had it not been for Irma, the city could have gone to the rolled-back millage rate of 1.8132. All of the budget proceedings were to have taken place in September, but were pushed back to October by the passage of Hurricane Irma.”

Water Quality

West wind 2017-10-06.jpgPhoto above taken this afternoon at the beach in front of West Wind Inn. The beach is narrow and the water still churned up from recent rain and wind, but the water looks pretty typical for post-storm.

I had lunch yesterday with a Realtor® pal often involved in continued efforts locally to improve water quality. Many of you have seen the aerial photos showing the discolored water in the bay now. That really does happen whenever there is a big rainfall and dead vegetation is churned up, particularly in mangrove area. Now, exacerbated with Lake Okeechobee releases. According to this week’s report on www.MySanibel.com:

“As of October 2, 2017, the elevation of Lake Okeechobee was 16.47 feet. Click here to see the Current Level of Lake Okeechobee .  The Lake is currently within the Top of the High Sub-band of the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS2008). The Lake level is currently 0.71 feet HIGHER than it was at this time last year and approximately 1.71 feet HIGHER than it was in 2015.

“Heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Irma resulted in Lake Okeechobee levels rising dramatically during the past three weeks. This prompted the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin regulatory releases to the estuaries. Click here for links to weekly Caloosahatchee Conditions Reports.

“During this past week, flows at the Franklin Lock averaged 10,497 cfs, with approximately 57% of the flow coming from Lake Okeechobee. Average flows are currently more than three and half times the high-flow ecological harm threshold of 2,800 cfs establish for the estuary, resulting in very poor salinity levels throughout the estuary.

“Water clarity in San Carlos Bay and along Sanibel’s beaches are being impacted by runoff from the Caloosahatchee watershed and discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Click here to see an aerial of the current water conditions at Lighthouse Beach Park.

As my lunch friend said, it is probably inevitable that there will be a bloom of red tide this winter, if not sooner. Please stay involved in efforts to improve water quality. Red tide is a natural phenomenon, but it can be limited/prevented.\

Trump Signs NFIP Extension Into Law

NFIPOn September 8, President Trump signed a 3-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that was due to expire on September 30. The signed legislation also authorized $15.25 billion in emergency funding for disaster relief and rebuilding that includes $7.8 billion for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The program now will remain in effect until December 8. The NFIP provides flood insurance to 5 million homeowners nationwide. Lenders require flood insurance in order to close on mortgage financing if the home is in a flood zone.

The National Association of Realtors® supports the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, H.R. 2874, which passed the House Financial Services Committee a few weeks ago. The bill would reauthorize the program for five years, encourage private insurers to enter the market, cap annual insurance premiums at $10,000, and grandfather existing rates for certain homes that are already covered and in compliance with building standards. It also would make money available for owners to elevate their homes or take other flooding precautions and enable communities to use flood mapping techniques that are more accurate than the government’s. The bill would make a number of other reforms, including improvements to the processes for owners who file a claim or want to submit an appeal. (For updates, go to www.floodsmart.gov )

36th Annual Taste of the Islands

crow 36th tasteC.R.O.W.’s (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlfe) 36th Annual Taste of the Islands will be held Sunday, November 12, at the Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). Gates open at 12 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. The event features live music and showcases Sanibel and Captiva Islands’ vibrant and diverse restaurant community. New this year, guests can meet CROW’s Animal Ambassadors in the Sanibel Community House.

Live entertainment will be provided by the LCEC Killa-Watts. This unique musical group started as a fundraiser a few years ago and has grown, benefiting many causes throughout the Southwest Florida community. The core Killa-Watts members have been true to the mission of making music, having some fun, and helping those in need by sharing their talent at little, or no cost to help raise funds for worthy causes. They have opened for Lee Greenwood for a Veterans fundraiser, played dozens of United Way and Chamber of Commerce events, and supported efforts to fight Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and many other worthy causes.

Admission to Taste of the Islands is $7 and children younger than 12 years of age are free. Guests purchase CROW Bucks to get their “tastes” from participating restaurants. Item prices range from one to six CROW Bucks. Admissions and CROW Bucks are available for purchase at the event and in advance through CROW’s website (click here to buy online) and can be picked up at the Will Call booth at Taste of the Islands. Proceeds from Taste of the Islands ensure CROW’s continued success in providing the highest quality care and treatment of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care. Funds also support public educational exhibits in the Visitor Education Center. Healthy wildlife means a healthy environment for all of us. For more information about the 36th Taste of the Islands, please visit http://www.crowclinic.org/articles/36th-taste-of-the-islands.

SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

Not a lot of island real estate action this week, but we did get a few inquiries from Sellers thinking about listing for “season” and the roadways are getting busier, indicating they “are back” and inventory may increase.

Florida Realtors logoCommittee assignments for 2018 at Florida Realtors® came out this week. It looks like the old gal isn’t going to be retiring anytime soon. Committee work yields good business connections, so I am happy to serve on the state leadership team again next year. The Mid-Winter Business Meetings are the end of January, with my five committees all during a 2-day window, so it will be a quick trip to Orlando for me then. The other committee obligation in Orlando is during the annual governance meetings in August (that sure seems like a long way off, and appreciated that it’s in what’s typically a slow time here).

We are hopeful that the island will be busy this weekend with some folks celebrating a 3-day Columbus Day holiday. We’ll be working.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoNo Association of Realtors® Caravan this week. The every-other-week schedule was revised to skip two weeks because of the Association’s annual meeting at the end of October. Next Thursday, we will have our new home listing in Gumbo Limbo on Caravan.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 29-October 6, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $499K; Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 $499,997; Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 $1.79M.

5 price changes: Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 now $409K, Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 now $519K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $699K, Sand Pointe #215 2/2 now $719K, High Tide #C101 now $995K.

1 new sale: Sundial West #H406 listed at $789K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #931 2/2 $490K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $750K, Royale Tern #103 3/3.5 $1.43M.

HOMES

5 new listings9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 $699K (our listing), 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $725K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 $899K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.2999M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $3.4M.

1 price change: 8995 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 now $949K.

2 new sales: 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed at $749K, 2628 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.35M.

4 closed sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $505K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 $525K, 587 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $660K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $670K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6411 Pine Ave $363.5K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 2501 Wulfert Rd listed at $183.9K, 1026 Fish Crow Rd listed at $395K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Beach Villas #2523 1/1 $539K, Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 $1.249M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 $3.445M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 $337K, Lands End Village #1614 3/3 $2.3M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $4.975M.

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.

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Amost Mother’s Day 2017 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting another week of wonderful summerlike island weather, but no rain or at least not yet. Possible morning thunderstorms are forecast for Mother’s Day, otherwise more of the same sunny days are expected. Rain is needed though and May typically is when rainy season begins.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoTeamwork was the name of our game this week. Our 7000+piece annual inventory mailing arrived from the printer, so we have spent every spare minute stuffing envelopes. About half went out today, the rest will go out early next week. If you are not on our “snail” mail list and would like a copy of the “Sanibel & Captiva Islands Inventory & Sales History” updated May 6, please let us know. We are happy to send it by snail or email.

Only a handful of our listings had showings this week, but we happily received a new condo listing on Saturday, which we put under contract yesterday. Sales don’t often happen that quickly, so it was a nice surprise.

Teammate Elise’s report with the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Surprise Closing

Plenty of islanders were shocked Monday to read that Bennett’s Fresh Roast Sanibel shop closed unexpectedly. Their web site says that unused coupons, gift cards and certificates will be honored in their Fort Myers Store. The rumor mill says that it sold. Stay tuned.

Island Coyotes on City Council Agenda

Coyote_large

(From mySanibel.com) First coyote documented on Sanibel, observed in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Erwin Kraus, March 2011

From the May 10, 2017 “Islander” “…Holly Milbrandt, an environmental biologist with the City, provided a coyote update at last week’s City Council meeting, which was a follow-up from a presentation two years ago. Coyotes are not accounted for in all 67 counties of Florida. On the island images of them have been captured at the Community Park (across the street from our office), Gulfside City Park (off Casa Ybel Road), Pond Apple Park (off Periwinkle Way), and Sanibel Gardens (off Tarpon Bay Road). Most sightings occurring between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m…. 

“At the end of her presentation, she said the working group has recommended that they continue to monitor coyote impact on sea turtles, as well as implement sea turtle next protection measures; expand wildlife camera monitoring efforts; continue public education and track sightings; investigate methods and funding opportunities for additional protection of sea turtle and shorebird nests and evaluate feasibility and funding options to conduct trapping and GPS collaring of coyotes on the island.”

Realtor® Political Action

rpacEach May, our local Association of Realtors® hosts an event long-know by some old-timers as the “Over-the-Hump Party”. It is a fundraising event for the RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) as well as celebration that we again made it through high season.

Sanctuary orchids

Always blooming at The Sanctuary clubhouse entrance!

Held Wednesday night at The Sanctuary, this year it included a golf scramble, followed by silent auction, and then live auction.

 

Lobsters 2017SanibelSusan’s lobster dinner donation again raised close to $1K and of course I did my share of buying too.

The final tally raised has not yet been reported, but the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has a tradition of winning state and national RPAC awards for our participation – raised mostly because we have seen those RPAC funds work.

Congratulations to the many Realtors®, business partners, and staff members that made our 2017 event another success. Photo below is of the island’s hardworking 2017 RPAC Committee who organized the event. Committee co-chairs are VIP Realtor Tina DiCharia (center in black) & Affiliate business partner Dave Arter (2nd from right) with Private Client Insurance Services.

RPAC Committee

The below graphic is a recap of the Florida Legislative Session that just ended. A good representation of how those RPAC dollars can make an impact. The graphic appeared on-line this week on “SPB – SaintPetersBlog” which is one of Florida’s most-read political sites.

Florida-Realtors-2017-Legislative-Wins

7 Common Home-Selling Mistakes

Below is another good graphic, compiled for sharing through FloridaRealtors®

7 Common HomeSelling Mistakes_May17.jpg

Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service Activity May 5-12, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $359K, Loggerhead Cay #342 2/2 $599K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 $675K.

2 price changes: Nutmeg VIllage #211 2/2 now $699.9K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.495M.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #D1 2/2 listed at $369K (our listing & sale) photos below, Sundial West #D403 1/1 listed at $435K.

4 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #842 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 $770K, Sundial East #T306 3/2 $1.2875M, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 $1.6M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $619K, 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $759K.

11 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $539K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 now $546K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $548K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $565K, 644 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $625K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $649K, 471 Las Tiendas Ln 3/2 now $744K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 now $899K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $924.9K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.695M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.795M.

7 new sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $589K, 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $629K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $675K, 1315 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $689K, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 listed at $1.495M, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 listed at $1.495M.

7 closed sales: 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $470K, 4694 Rue Bayou 3/3 $615K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 $620K, 5305 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $660K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $675K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $910K, 5838 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.09M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4995 Joewood Dr $2.695M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $348.5K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 now $375K.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 listed at $579K, Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $619K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $578K, Marina Villas #909 2/2 $749K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 952 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/5.5 $1.35M.

2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $829K, 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $2.099M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 $1.62M, 15161 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $1.85M.

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.)

mothers-day-clipart-1A Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate on Cinco de Mayo


cinco de mayoSanibel & Captiva Islands had another week of good weather and little traffic – or at least until late yesterday when a boat slid off a trailer coming out of Sanibel Harbour onto Summerlin Road just after the toll booth going off island.

That little roadway snafu kept vehicles leaving the islands at a slow crawl until close to 7 p.m. Silly me then, doing some off-island chores after work.

The weather this week included the first major shower of the rainy season. Boy, was the rain needed when it arrived late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Though off-island teammates Dave and Elise saw only a few drops and heard some thunder rumbles where they live, they noticed causeway flooding as they came onto the island. There were huge puddles from the east-end to Captiva. Most now have disappeared, with “greening” up already noticeable. I heard a Lee County Mosquito Control plane buzzing the east-end early morning yesterday, yet another sign that we got rain and it’s May.

The change in island occupancy is evident even to the lunch crowd. No waiting at Doc Ford’s on Tuesday when my lunch friends and I snagged a nice breezy outside table. They later sent me the below photo and said I could share it. Thank you, Susanna and Yves-Pascal, for a great visit and terrific picture too!

Version 3

First Off-Season Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was light at yesterday’s Thursday morning local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting which had just two homes (one bank-owned) and a single condo on tour. That’s another indication that “high season” is over. Here forward, until late fall when business picks up, Caravan’s will be held every other week and open to any new listings in any location on either island.

  • Water Quality Update – During the Committee Reports, Realtor® David Schuldrenfrei for the Government & Environmental Committee reported that SB #10, regarding Everglades restoration and water storage, passed in the Florida Legislature with the House of Representatives following the lead of the Senate. This bill has been decades in the making and provides $800 million in funding to create a dynamic reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in the Everglades Agricultural Area. The reservoir is needed to provide freshwater to Florida Bay and to alleviate discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie Rivers. The bill now is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature. Local Realtors®, City officials, and others have spent nearly 20 years working toward this milestone. David offered a big thank you to all involved for their continued persistence. A further update is below, on other issues in the forefront of Florida’s legislative session which wraps up today.
  • Working Together to Make a Difference – For the Communications and Public Relations Committee, I announced that Realtors® Bob and Diane Stocks joined me Monday morning in transporting to Catholic Charities of SW Florida, the gently-used clothing collected over the last two months by Association Members. That delivery was a humbling experience. Charity workers were very thankful for the carloads of goods delivered saying they are particularly in need of donations for Clewiston farm worker families, those who lost belongings in Florida’s fires, recent rescues human trafficking, as well as those down on their luck hoping and looking for jobs, to become more self-sufficient. This month, the Committee is spearheading a new campaign, collecting pillows, bed linens, and diapers which will be donated on June 1 to ACT (Abuse Counseling Treatment Center) in Fort Myers. Their needs increase in the “off season” too.
  • Real Estate Announcements – Under new and old business, a couple of old sales were announced. Listing agents are careful these days to wait until after inspection/cancellation periods are over – or contingencies are removed – to make an announcement.

Also, a “back-on-the-market” was reported where a property did not close because the buyer couldn’t get financing. That doesn’t happen here too often, but it could be because the home was found to have aluminum wiring, which can make a property difficult to insure. The listing agent announced that the wiring is being replaced and it again is available for sale.

I announced the price reduction at our Seagull Estates listing. A couple of upcoming new listings were announced too. There usually are not many new offerings this time of the year. These were the result of winter residents heading home and moving elsewhere. The details of the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows some other news items below.

While I was at the Thursday caravan meeting, Dave was at a property inspection. I hope he wasn’t on the roof when this picture was taken, but here is his photo showing how few were on Beachcomber’s east-end stretch of beach then.  The gulf waters are beautiful!

Roof 05-04-17 Cropped.jpg

Update on Florida Legislative Session

Florida Realtors logoAs Florida’s legislative session comes to a close, Florida Realtors® Vice President of Public Policy, Carrie O’Rourke, emailed the members of FloridaRealtors® Think Tank (yes, I am one of those) a summary of what she said is “is shaping up to be one of our most successful sessions in recent memory.” Here are some excerpts:

  • Business Rent Tax Reduction – We are closer to success than ever before! After years of fighting for a reduction to the business rent tax we were finally able to overcome the obstacles and there is a strong chance we will come out with a win for business owners, commercial Realtors®, and ultimately, Florida’s economy. Under the current proposal, which was just passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the business rent tax would be reduced 0.2%, moving from 6% to a permanent 5.8%. While this may at first seem like a very modest cut, there are two things to consider
  • First, this cut represents more than $60 million fiscal impact to the state, and comprises the vast majority of the small amount of funding that was available for tax cut purposes.
  • Second, this cut represents a big step for a legislative body that has been reluctant to even open the door on a cut to this revenue source.
  • The bill now travels to the full Florida Senate for a vote, and will also need to pass the House before the legislature adjourns on Friday, the scheduled conclusion of the Legislature’s 60-day session.
  • “10% Non-Homestead Property Tax Cap – Success! The joint resolution has passed both legislative chambers and will not be heading to voters during the 2018 general election. This is a significant victory for Florida Realtors® as it gives us the time we need to conduct a comprehensive, direct-to-voter campaign that will help voters understand why they need to make this important tax break permanent.
  • “Estoppel Certificate Fee Reform – …For three years, we have been advocating for caps on unreasonable estoppel certificate fees and all that hard work has paid off with the passage of SB 398. This legislature caps the fees that community association management companies can charge for estoppel certificates at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. An additional $100 can be charged for “expedited” estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days), and another $150 can be charged for owners who are delinquent in their assessments. This is a maximum of $500 for an expedited, delinquent estoppel certificate. Gone are the days of certificate fees that cost $1,000 or more….
  • “Vacation Rentals – It took about 4 hours of debate and a close vote for HB 425… to make it out of the House. This is the bill that essentially stops local governments from targeting vacation rental homes with restrictive ordinances. In other words, if a local government passes an ordinance targeted at vacation rental homes, it has to apply to all residential homes in the area; vacation rentals cannot be singled out. The original bill has been amended several times and has a tough road ahead of it in the Senate.
  • “Increase to the Non-School Homestead Exemption – The Senate passed a priority issue of the House concerning a proposed increase to the non-school homestead exemption by $25,000. Currently homeowners receive a tax exemption on the first $25,000 in the value of their properties. They pay taxes on the value between $25,000 and $50,000 and then receive an exemption on the portion from $50,000 to $75,000. The House ended up adopting the Senate’s version of the joint resolution which would apply the exemption to the portion of values between $100,000 and $125,000. This passage will place a constitutional amendment on the 2017 general election ballot.”

First Sea Turtle Nest

Turtle hatching 07-01-16As follow-up to last week’s posting about sea turtle nesting season beginning, the first nest of the season was found Saturday, April 29, near Gulfside Place condos. The nest has been staked off by volunteers from SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Monitoring Program. Reports say that this year’s first nest is early, but not as early as last year when the first one was found on April 20 on Captiva.

Sea turtles on Sanibel/Captiva are coming off back-to-back record years. A new record was set in 2015 with more than 600 nests. Last season that record was beat by a mile when the two islands had a combined total of 826 nests.

SCCF volunteers patrol the beaches early every morning during nesting season, recording new nests and false crawls (when a female comes ashore but doesn’t lay eggs). The volunteers take measurements and stake the nests. In recent years, they also have covered nests with mesh to prevent coyotes from getting to them.

Southwest Florida By The Numbers

As a numbers kinda gal, I enjoyed reading the statistics in the “Gulfshore Business Source Book 2017” that arrived in the mail this week. Below is a sampling, showing Lee County compared to neighboring Collier and Charlotte, the state, and the nation.

“Demographics              Lee             Collier          Charlotte     Florida               United States

2016 population             680,539      350,202        170,450        20.612 million   323.127 million

Projected by 2025          839,497       409,899       187,862        22.799 million   357.452 million

Median age (2016)         46.9              46.5             54.5                 39.4                     35.9

Percentage over 65        25                27.8             36.2                 18.8                     12.4

Cost of Living

Median home price      $246,900      $450,000     $195,000        $226,000          $233,500

Labor

Unemployment rate     4.4%              4.5%              5.2%              5.0%                 4.7%

(Feb 2017)

Median annual wage   $31,548         $32,946         $29,526         $32,789           $36,764

(2016)”

Further along in the article, it provided details on the major communities within the counties.

Here is their info for Sanibel:

“Population (2016) – 6,591

Per capita income (2015) – $79,354

Median household income (2015) – $98,818

Median home value – $664,500”

Wondering the largest employers in Southwest Florida? Here are the top ten with their number of employees:

  1. “Lee Health (12,600)
  2. Lee County School District (11,098)
  3. Publix Super Markets (8,533)
  4. Collier County Public Schools (7,000)
  5. NCH Healthcare System – Naples Community Hospital (4,200)
  6. Wal-Mart (3,792)
  7. Chico’s FAS Inc. (2,900)
  8. Arthrex Inc. (2,510)
  9. Lee County Government (2,362)
  10. Lipman Produce (2,300)…”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 28-May 5, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sundial West #D403 1/1 $435K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $659K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $659K, Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 $749K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 $1.489M.

5 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $349K, Seashells #11 2/2 now $365K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $438.5K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 now $485K, By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 now $1.495M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 listed at $463.5K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 listed at $475K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 listed at $699K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 listed at $749K, Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 listed at $774.9K.

5 closed sales: Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $705K, Sundial West #E304 2/2 $790K, Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $865K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 $910K, Wedgewood #202 3/3.5 $2.38M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $575K, 315 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $649K.

15 price changes: 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $578K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $584.9K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599.9K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $614K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $629K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $675K, 1717 Sand Peble Way 3/2 now $679K, 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $798.8K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $1.069M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.595M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 now $ 1.85M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 now $1.995M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 now $2.499M.

4 new sales: 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $495K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 listed at $5.799M.

3 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $850K (our seller), 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.475M.

LOTS

4 new listings: 644 Sea Oats Dr $295K, 223 Robinwood Cir $295K, 540 Birdsong Pl $390K, 3354 Barra Cir $425K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 434 Lake Murex Cir listed at $275K.

2 closed sales: 255 Hurricane Ln $310K, 1301 Sand Castle Rd $360K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $785K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #29 4/4 listed at $2.3M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1.198M.

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

I’m in the office tomorrow, if you want to list or sell on seis de mayo! Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Good Friday 2017 on Sunny Sanibel Island


It’s Susan and The SanibelSusan Team reporting a fun week on the island with continuing reports of “where is the Vice President now” and beaches, bike paths, and roadways often busy with vacationing visitors and families.

Sanibel Captiva Association of Realtors®

sancap GO MLS logoThe local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday was well attended. Not many sales were announced, but a few more price reductions, and new listings. With high season wrapping up, more sales closed this week, so below is another update based on today’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service data.  A report on the activity posted this week follows a few news items.

Sanibel Year-to-Date (1/1-4/14/17):

Condos – 41 sold/closed, 23 under contract, 108 for sale (average days-on-market = 209)

Homes – 64 sold/closed, 48 under contract, 186 for sale (average days-on-market = 180)

Lots – 12 sold/closed, 8 under contract, 64 for sale (average days-on-market = 390)

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayWith the island busy, I put a condo under contract, accompanied a showing, was out showing homes two days, and have fielded many requests for listing info. Also, spent time negotiating a couple of offers – no official news yet to report – just that things are in the works.

Teammate Dave held Open Houses for three days at vacant condos. Attendance was sporadic, probably related to the wonderful weather here all week.VP

Where is Vice President Pence?

Spottings of Vice President Pence and his family vacationing this week were frequent and sometimes humorous. Our travel wasn’t affected much by their visit and we hope they had a terrific vacation.  Here is SanibelSusan’s version of the week’s events.

Saturday, when I left the island late afternoon to do a little shopping just off island, I noticed multiple sheriff vehicles at every intersection from Harbour Cottages to Kelly Greens. All were quietly waiting, except the unmarked vehicle with lights flashing at the McGregor Blvd/Summerlin Rd intersection. I also saw a few spectators in lawn chairs near the entrance to Mariner Pointe, so it appeared the Vice President was arriving soon.

He arrived by motorcade – about 20 vehicles – just after 5 p.m. The quiet motorcade turned up Dixie Beach Blvd which had the island abuzz about “where is he staying?”. Turns out, we later heard that he has been vacationing here for many years. This trip he stayed in a bayside home on San Carlos Bay Dr. Those living in the neighborhood confirmed Secret Service sightings and some of their boats and vehicles being searched – all very quietly and professionally.

Sunday, he and his wife attended the 8 a.m. service at Sanibel Community Church. Another parishioner who usually also attends that early service, said they must have known they were coming, as the choir performed and usually they are at the later services. Later Sunday, the Vice President and Mrs. Pence were spotted walking on the beach. That night, there were more sightings when they dined at The Timbers. You-know-who got his picture taken with him and word is that the photo was framed and on the wall that evening. A client, there at the same time, dining with family said the Secret Service agents were very nice.

Monday, Vice President Pence left the island early for a quick trip to DC for the swearing in of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. When I came back on island early Monday evening after another quick run overseas, I passed a large group of 15-20 Lee County sheriff motorcycles and cars leaving the island. I found out later that they had just been part of the VP’s escort back on island.

Tuesday dinner, photos were posted of them at Matzaluna Restaurant. (I wonder if Matt got another photo?)

Wednesday, while teammate Dave was holding an Open House at Lighthouse Point, he reported in that he spotted a group of what looked like Secret Service vehicles and bikers. Also on Wednesday, the Vice President was spotted walking on the beach and had his picture taken with a fisherman who had just spent 10+hours reeling in what he thought was a small shark, but turned out to be a rare huge saw-tooth fish, which was tagged and released. The below photos were taken by Dr. Paul & Lynn Collins. They didn’t get the Vice President, but they sure got some good shots of the action during the catch.

Sawtooth fish 04-13-17sawtooth 04-13-17

Thursday, the motorcade was on the move again with reports of Mrs. Pence getting a manicure at Sanibel Beauty Salon and the Vice President getting a haircut. They were photographed later at dinner at The Mucky Duck. Rumor has it that the VP played golf and did a little fishing while here too.

They were to leave the island today and as Dave headed to the office this morning, he saw a group of bikers, then marked cars and sheriff vehicles at the intersections of Donax and Dixie Beach. The “Santiva Chronicle” just posted that they left the island just after 3 p.m.  Good that it was today, as tomorrow, the day before Easter, is traditionally the busiest day of the year on the island.

With more families and visitors arriving tomorrow and children’s Easter events from Sanibel City Park to the Sanibel Community Church and then Island Inn, traffic may be challenging. A good day to watch the Sanibel traffic cameras at http://www.mysanibel.us/traffic/ or go to the App Store and get the free app.

Good News About Florida Senate Bill 10

florida senateIt was great to hear on Wednesday that the Florida Senate took action to protect Florida’s unique waterways by passing SB 10. This legislation will accelerate the process of building a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Scientists have determined that increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake O are essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries.

The passage of this bill is a huge step, but the fight is far from over. Next stop is the Florida House of Representatives. If you want to stay attuned to what is happening in Tallahassee follow the news at www.NowOrNeverglades.com or at the 2017 Legislative Session Tracker at www.sccf.org

Happy Easter

Since I posted details of the holiday happenings in last week’s blog, I won’t include them again, but send best wishes to you from all of us on The SanibelSusan Team for a great weekend.

More summer-like weather is expected here (mid-80’s in temperatures), with sparkling Gulf water too.

sanibel beach

Here is another photo taken this week by the Collins, this time at “Ding” Darling. The brilliant pink makes me think of spring and Easter! Thanks again for sharing, Paul and Lynn!

Paul collins roseate 04-13-14

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 7-14, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Seashells #6 2/2 $395K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $759.9K.

8 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $339,555; Seashells #3 2/2 now $399.4K; Blind Pass #F106 2/2 now $409K; Donax Village #3 2/2 now $448K; Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 now $510K; Sunset South #2A 2/2 now $699K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5 2/2.5 now $699K; Royale Tern #103 3/3.5 now $1.75M.

3 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 2/2 listed at $498.5K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $939K, Tamarind #A102 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

6 closed sales: Sundial West #C406 1/1 $416K, Villa Sanibel #3D 2/2 $599K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 $610K, Compass Point #222 2/2 $650K, Bayview Village #1A 3/3 $782.8K, Sanddollar #B204 2/2 $859K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $549K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $775K, Moonshadows #F2 3/3 $919K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 $950K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.095M, 1340 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.1M, 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 $1.299M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $1.9M.

11 price changes: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $494K, 5305 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $579K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 now $624.9K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $664.9K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now $849K, 698 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $849.9K, 2628 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.839M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.399M, 3547 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $4.495M.

7 new sales: 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $675K, 3152 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 listed at $697K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $735K, 408 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $1.595M, 1757 Venus Dr 4/2.5 listed at $1.899M, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 listed at $5.799M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $7.595M.

5 closed sales: 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 $685K, 743 Elinor Way 3/2 $685K, 2459 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 $777K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $969K, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.225M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2307 Wulfert Rd $259K.

3 price changes: 540 East Lake Rd now $179K, 6519 Pine Ave now $829K, 6505 Pine Ave now $829K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1329 Par View Dr $307.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 listed at $519K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2333 3/2 $755K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.4995M.

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.)

happy-easter4Happy Easter! from Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

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

Best Weather – Here on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan wondering where March has gone? The last high season days are flying by, as the islands remain busy, with the bike paths and beaches as active as the restaurants, shops, and roadways.

Teammate Dave and I have both been out showing this week and he also hosted two busy Open Houses. Below are a few news items, followed by the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

First here’s a photo taken from the Sanibel Harbour Princess last Sunday night during their sunset dinner cruise of the Sanibel Lighthouse and fishing pier.

sanibel lighthouse 03-19-17

Island Weather – We Need Rain

Forecast 03-24-17Recent summer-like weather, makes for happy visitors/vacationers. More sunny days with temperatures in the high 70’s forecast through next week (screen shot from my cell phone last night at right).

There may be no prescribed burns on Sanibel this year. Since last fall, when Southwest Florida typically receives 10 to 11 inches of rain, only two have been recorded.

An article in this week’s “Islander” quoted the area’s Fire Zone Management Officer as saying, “We already are at a deficit since the beginning of November. We haven’t been this dry since 1958. This year is kind of lining up right now like it did in ’98 when Florida was on fire from one end to the other… If we find an opportunity when we can conduct a burn like this (a controlled burn) we will get it taken care of, but at the same time we are not going to make any decision to risk safety of our firefighters or the community just to get it done.”

Yesterday, right after I typed the above paragraph, the lightning alarm went off at Sanibel Community Park across the street from the office and a short afternoon shower followed. It probably was not enough to change what was reported above, but it was interesting today to read the “Island Sun” where it says “Four Locations Targeted for Prescribed Burns”. It further describes that ‘given the excessively dry conditions, …the prescribed burns for 2017 may never happen.”

This is a topic worth following. The good news is plenty of notice is given before a prescribed burn (which is a method for reducing the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires and to help preserve the natural ecology of an area). The four areas identified for the possible burns this year are listed below. They were looking to start the week after Easter, but that will be revaluated based on conditions.

  • Botanical Site (in J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge)
  • Frannie’s Preserve/Johnson Tract (SCCF)
  • Sanibel Gardens Preserve (City of Sanibel/SCCF)
  • North Center Tract (SCCF).

Thursday Caravan Meeting – Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

It was another heavily attended Caravan Meeting yesterday at the local Association of Realtors®. A little surprising that not more sales were announced. Also, unusual that many new listings continue to come on the market. That is not the norm this time of the year. Many are related to owners making life changes – some to retirement communities, others scaling-up or scaling-down – some snowbirds enjoying their last winter here.

Here is a quick inventory summary. Don’t let anyone tell you inventory is down. It continually fluctuates and is up again, with better than a year’s worth of inventory in most property types.

SANIBEL

Condos – 110 for sale – 26 under contract – 25 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24 – 143 sold/closed last year

Homes – 196 for sale – 39 under contract – 49 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24 – 181 sold/closed last year

Lots – 66 for sale – 7 under contract – 10 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24 – 25 sold/closed last year

CAPTIVA

Condos – 33 for sale – 6 under contract – 7 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24 – 22 sold/closed last year

Homes – 38 for sale – 8 under contract – 5 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24– 27 sold/closed last year

Lots – 1 for sale – 1 under contract – 1 sold/closed in 2017 thru 3/24 – 2 sold/closed last year

Upcoming Events

Sanibel Fire Dept Open House – Tomorrow, Sat, March 25 – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Station #171, 2351 Palm Ridge Rd. Free station and equipment tours, plus games and food. Also participating are: Lee County EMS, Lee County Sheriff Office, “Ding” Darling, CROW, Sanibel Serats, U.S. Coast Guard, Lee Flight, and a special appearance from Star Wars R2D2. Parking available at the Center 4 Life.

Seahorse Festival – Tomorrow, Sat, March 25 – from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Sanibel School. This annual PTA fundraiser will feature inflatable rides, rock climbing wall, bungee jump, games, face painting, entertainment by students, silent auction, plus food and beverages.

ChorusPoster_2017-02-22BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts – Tues and Thurs, March 28 and 30 at 7 p.m. at Schein Performance Hall. The Community Chorus is celebrating 10 years of leadership under the direction of Steve Cramer who is retiring this year. The concert includes a collection of excerpts from favorite pieces and a few new numbers too.

SanibelSusan sings with the altos in the general chorus and in the smaller ensemble too. Concerts usually sell-out, so be sure to get tickets in advance at the BIG ARTS Box Office open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on-line at www.bigarts.org .

Sanibel Heritage Trail (historical village pix)Historical Village Twilight Talk – Sanibel Heritage Trail – Mon, April 3 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House. This event will reveal details about the new Sanibel Heritage Trail which is expected to be completed this spring. It will have 21 outdoor reader panels along the mixed-use path, a free map-guide, a web page, and a cell phone app. (See map showing trail at right.) The evening program will include a presentation by the Sanibel Planning Department, followed by the Heritage Trail Coordinator, then a panel of long-time islanders will share their personal behind-the-scenes experiences from decades of living Sanibel’s history. Make reservations by calling the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village at 472-4648 or email info@sanibelmuseum.com.

Commissioners Approve $1.4M for Wulfert Land Purchase

Wulfert Property Adjacent to refugeAs reported today in the “Santiva-Chronicle”:

“By unanimous vote, Lee County Commissioners on Tuesday, March 21, gave final approval to funding $1.4 million toward the purchase of 8.15 acres on Wulfert Road, a crucial wildlife corridor for the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.

“As part of a unique partnership and collaboration, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge raised the remaining $600,000 of the $2 million needed to purchase the parcel, which lies between Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) land and the refuge.

“The refuge, by agreement with the county, will maintain the property, which provides habitat for 80 different land and marine species that live or feed on or near this property. The county funding comes from its Conservation 20/20 program, which voters helped create to preserve sensitive environmental lands locally.

“… If not preserved by the refuge, the land could have been developed with as many as five dwellings and one major boat dock with direct access into Pine Island Sound, as already approved by the City of Sanibel.

Species that would have been seriously threatened by development of the uplands, mangrove, and estuarine habitat include the gopher tortoise, American Oystercatcher, Black Skimmer, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Mangrove Cuckoo, Florida Manatee, Small-tooth Sawfish, and Green and Loggerhead sea turtles.

“In 2013, DDWS successfully completed a $1.4 million land acquisition campaign for the historical Woodring Homestead, which protected the water entrance to the Refuge on Tarpon Bay. In late 2015, it accepted a land donation of 9.1 acres near Clam Bayou…” To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 17-24, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 $495K, Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 $499K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $789K, Shell Island Beach Club #7B 2/2 $820K, Sundial East #T202 2/2 $849K.

9 price changes: Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $699K; Pointe Santo #B6 2/2 now $720K; Sundial West #A308 2/2 now $794K; Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 now $819K; Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $999,999; Signal Inn #19 3/2 now $1.149M; By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 now $1.595M; High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.595M; Royal Tern #103 3/3.5 now $1.995M.

4 new sales: Sundial West #C406 1/1 listed at $424.9K, Loggerhead Cay #252 2/2 listed at $569K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 listed at $790K, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 listed at $1.695M.

4 closed sales: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 $485K, Sunset South #4A 2/2 $759K, Sundial East #S404 3/2 $850K, Sundial East #O407 2/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1596 Bunting Ln 2/2 $499K, 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 $529K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 $675K, 625 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $699K (our listing, a few photos below), 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $929K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 $1.149M, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1.299M, 390 Old Trail Rd 4/4.5 $2.195M.

12 price changes: 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 now $477K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $579K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $609K, 644 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $679K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 now $769.9K, 1396 Tahiti Dr 4/3 now $899K, 3354 Barra Cir 3/2 now $975K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $1.145M, 6101 Starling Way 3/4 now $1.249M, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.345M, 615 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 now $2.345M, 3547 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $4.75M.

7 new sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $534K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $649K, 186 Southwinds Dr 2/2 listed at $699K, 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 1028 Demere Ln 3/2 listed at $899K. Without contingencies: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $537K, 243 Southwinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $855K.

5 closed sales: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $495K, 1714 Bunting Ln 3/2 $480K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $733K, 525 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $685K, 407 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.7M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2401 Blue Crab Ct now $774K, 5251 Indian Ct now $774K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1.5 $299K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 11535 Wightman Ln 5/4 $2.149M, 16171 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.22M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.695M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $4.995M.

1 price change: 11520 Murmond Ln 5/5 now $1,999,999.

1 new sales: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 listed at $1.775M.

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 – enjoy the weather – wherever you are! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Lighthouse bay beach 03-19-17