Counting Down to Christmas on Sunny Sanibel

Ok, so it is sunny and bright but chilly and windy by island standards. Temperatures were only in the 50’s this morning and warmed up to 60 degrees F as I drove back to the office about 1:30 p.m. I took a little side trip up Dixie Beach Blvd to see how the water looks on San Carlos Bay. There have been a few reports of red tide mostly off shore and south of the islands, but the Army Corps of Engineers has reduced its Lake O releases so I bet between that and the breezes, things change. Can you tell from my photo that it’s a tad cool?

The SanibelSusan Team is counting down to Christmas, which is one of the few days that our office is closed. You can bet, however, that there will still be a Friday blog next week. Probably like yours, our individual 2020 Christmases will be different than any other year. We send good wishes that yours are safe, healthy, and happy! Below are a few photos from evening island spins. The first one is the bike path across the street from our office, followed by The Sanibel Community Church, and The Captiva House.

After a couple of news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. We are happy that three of the week’s closings were our listings!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the December Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Held via Zoom, there were just a few attendees. Speaker was Juana Watkins, Esq., Florida Realtors Vice President of Law & Policy, & General Counsel. One item she addressed also was the subject of a recent article (posted below) by Meredith Caruso who is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors®. You may have heard about letters like this.

Hot Topic at NAR Convention? Buyers’ ‘Love Letters’ – How can I get the seller to accept MY offer?”, buyers wonder in today’s heated, multiple-offer market. In some areas of the country, “love letters” – a note from buyer to seller praising the home – are common. But some of the letters may flirt with Fair Housing Act violations.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conference and Expo was held virtually this year, with meetings and events running from Nov. 2 to 18 – and many of the sessions involved discussions about buyer “love letters.” For those who aren’t aware of what I am referring to, “love letters” are written statements that accompany a potential buyer’s offer. While these types of letters are not in and of themselves illegal, it’s important to note that if done without careful consideration, it could end up being a Fair Housing Act (FHA) violation.

“How is this a possibility? Let’s examine a couple of examples of “love letters” – one that could be problematic with one that likely isn’t.

“Example 1: A buyer drafts a love letter that includes how excited the buyer is to raise a family in the home. They can’t wait to see future children excitedly running down the stairs on Christmas morning. Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? However, this buyer’s letter touches on two protected classes under the FHA: familial status and religion. Should a seller take these factors into account in arriving at a determination to accept the buyer’s offer, it could be a fair housing violation.

“Example 2: A buyer drafts a love letter that discusses the buyer’s love of the homes’ architectural features and the buyer’s appreciation of the various details of the home’s construction. Here, as the buyer solely focused on the property’s characteristics, none of which fall under a protected class, it’s likely not a fair housing violation.

“As agents, it’s important to remind consumers about fair housing issues if you see a potential problem on the horizon. While no agent is expected to explain the legal nuances of the Fair Housing Act, it may be wise to suggest a buyer or seller consult their personal attorney if either of the respective parties veer into potential FHA violation territory.”

Sanibel – COVID-19

Special City Council Meeting Dec 15 – Because of the nationwide increase in coronavirus cases, a special meeting was called to discuss the island’s COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions. Agenda items included:

  • Center-4-Life & Senior Center – which will remain closed with reconsideration in May.
  • More signage about masks on Sanibel.
  • Possibility extending the hours and footprint of the Sanibel Farmer Market if their visitor traffic increases as “season” gets underway.
  • Confirmed that the Mayor may enact changes quickly if needed to guard the health and welfare of citizens.

Florida Department of Health – reports that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 17 is 121. THAT INCLUDES 5 CASES REPORTED IN JUST ONE DAY THIS WEEK!  Last week, there were 17. Never had there been a week with a number in the double-digits. The number of Sanibel cases in December through 17th is 32, for November = 27. That means nearly half of the cases during the nine months of tracking, have been in the last few weeks. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

The Island Store Celebration

The Island Store at Captiva’s 4-way stop, on 11500 Andy Rosse Ln, recently celebrated its reopening with a ribbon-cutting. Purchased in 2018 by the Bailey family, owners of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, the store was completely renovated and restored. Built around 1915, the building became a grocery store in 1940 under the ownership of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. Remodeled to today’s safety and quality standards, the store retains historical charm while offering residents and visitors easy on-island shopping for groceries and spirits. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stabilization Project Expanded for Causeway

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”: “A project planned to stabilize the shoreline along the Sanibel Causeway has been expanded to improve drainage, parking and amenities on both causeway islands. The Lee Board of County Commissioners recently voted to expand the project, accept a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and allocated $2.4 million in tourism tax reserves for the project….” The project will “provide necessary erosion control structures and storm runoff by providing stabilization of the shoreline…will add beach sand, compacted shell and paved ADA parking spaces to Islands A and B and a picnic pavilion. Additional event parking areas and efforts to improve access to fishing on both sides of the islands are included.

“Construction is expected to begin with erosion control measures on Island B (closest to Sanibel) this summer, and all work will be completed by 2024. The total estimated cost to design, permit and construct the improvements and stabilize the shoreline is $8.5 million.”

Holiday Closings

At J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, The Visitor & Education Center and Refuge offices will be closed December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1. The Center’s restrooms will remain open during regular hours as will Wildlife Drive and its trails and Bailey Tract. Tarpon Bay Explorers also will remain open for normal operating hours except for Christmas, December 25, when it closes for the day.

Year-to-Date (through Dec 18) Sanibel Residential Real Estate Stats

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $* # Avg $* # Avg $*
For sale 88 825,292 72 1,874,126 54 879,735
Under contract 36 689,325 52 1,280,244 10 367,301
Sold/closed 2020 172 745,024 273 953,709 23 606,233
Sold/closed 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold/closed 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,747 21 602,095

* Avg $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” & “Under contract”. Otherwise, average sale price.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 11 – 18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $1,027,007; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $1.125M; Sundial #T204 3/2 $1.2M; Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.25M.

6 price changes: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 now $349K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 now $525K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $575K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 now $685K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725.5K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 now $929K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 listed at $430K.

10 closed sales: Sundial #D309 1/1 $430K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $529K, Compass Point #232 2/2 $550K (our listing), Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 $620K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 $650K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $725K, Sundial #O405 2/2 $1.15M, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/3 $1.85M, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 $2.195M, Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.275M

HOMES

5 new listings: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 $629K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $759K, 3960 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.079M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.295M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $449K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $699K; 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $725K; 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 now $849,950; 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $980K; 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 now $1.549M; 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

4 new sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $579K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $875K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $999K, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 listed at $1,148,990.

7 closed sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $530K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $560K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $784K, 250 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $875K, 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 $905K, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 $940K (our listing), 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1313 Par View Dr listed at $300K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 listed at $349K, Marina Villas #703 2/2 listed at $759K.

3 closed sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 $755K, Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $760K, Ventura Beach #2B 3/3 $970K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.1685M, 16189 Captiva Dr now $3.699M.

1 new sale: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/6 listed at $4.995M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, happy almost-Christmas! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo! A busy real estate kinda Friday at SanibelSusan Realty!

It has been another busy week for The SanibelSusan Team. Two more of our listings went under contract. We are very thankful to have ten closings in our “under contract” hopper simultaneously. In many ways, 2020 is a year for the record books. Two closings for us today too with the gals at Knight Barry Title Solutions who are super busy! The second being finalized now. Woohoo!

Also, this week our office carpet got its annual cleaning. Shout-out to Tru-Clean, Carpet & Tile Care, who always does a terrific job. This year, it seemed like summer and the rainy season went on forever – then like magic, it became winter. With the 2nd cold front here this week and another set to arrive next week, it has been a nice reprieve to have daytime highs in the 60’s – feels like Christmas is coming. We locals are bundled in our wool shirts, sweaters, and jackets, while tourists wearing tank tops and shorts are riding with tops down. It is always funny to see that.

The SanibelSusan Team island-wide holiday bulk mailing went to the post office today. With interest rates low and demand to buy high, there should be more sales in the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, we are looking for new listings to replenish our supply and still have a few wonderful listings available. Photos below taken today from our listing at White Sands #23.

Elise also has our tree decorated and the office looking festive. Pandemic or not, we celebrate the season!

Bailey’s antique delivery vehicle decorated for the season!

Earlier this afternoon, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® leadership team and 2021 Professional Standards Committee are attending a Florida Realtors® Zoom meeting that covers recent changes by the National Association of Realtors® to the Realtors® Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. I will be Zooming in as this update supplements the required Pro Standards training coming up in early January. Always new things to learn to stay current.

Sanibel – COVID-19

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 6 is 100. There were 63 cases in reported in the first seven months, but 37 in just the last six weeks. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

It was a smart addition this week to see the electronic sign in front of the Chamber of Commerce coming onto the island which reads “Welcome to Sanibel”, followed by “Wear Your Mask”. City Council acted on that notice at their meeting last week. At that same meeting, the City also agreed to advise of new cases as they are reported, rather than just weekly which is when the state provides their analytics.

Last night, a post on the City’s website announced that City Council has called a special meeting to discuss potential adoption or modification of COVID-19 related restrictions. It is scheduled for Monday, December 14 at 10 a.m. You can tune in to hear the audio live at www.MySanibel.com.

Pandemic Didn’t Change Work Model So Much as Accelerate It

Posted December 7 by Jennifer Quinn, economist, and Director of Economic Development for Florida Realtors®:

“Is the work-from-home trend here to stay, along with its real estate impact on new housing and location demands? A nine-month study suggests that the change was already underway before the pandemic started. It’s simply happening faster now.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Preliminary analysis of a nearly nine-month remote-work experiment points to the reality that the pandemic was not a change agent, but rather an accelerant. Meaning – companies were likely going to embrace more remote work and telecommuting options for their employees in the coming decade, particularly in areas where traffic is just unbearable (we are looking at you New York and Silicon Valley).

“However, adapting to the pandemic accelerated these plans, pushed forward technology adoption and created a new way of connecting and doing business. The future of work appears to have arrived earlier than previously expected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 remote work occupation categories according to the percent of people who teleworked because of the pandemic are:

  1. Computer & Mathematical Occupations
  2. Business & Financial Operations
  3. Life, Physical, & Social Science Occupations
  4. Legal Occupations
  5. Architecture & Engineering Occupations
  6. Community & Social Service Occupations
  7. Educational Instruction & Library Occupations
  8. Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media Occupations
  9. Management Occupations
  10. Office & Administrative Support Occupations.

“People who work in these occupations are seen as “suddenly mobile” – they are no longer tied to the gateway cities they lived in prior to the pandemic and are able to re-think their proximity to the office (and what the “office” even is). Faced with staggering home prices and wages that don’t seem to keep up, many are asking themselves, “Can we do this somewhere else?”

“So, if people no longer have to live near their offices, will they still choose to live where they have been? According to a survey by Upwork’s Remote Workers on the Move released in October 2020, 14 million to 23 million Americans are planning to relocate to a new U.S. city or region. The survey reveals that not all moves are minor, such as moving from an inner ring suburb to an exurb of the same city. Some of these moves are to different states entirely, depending on what percentage of their work will be conducted remotely.

“That is a lot of people whose view from their home office can go from one where snow blankets the backyard to one with a palm tree and some sand. Looking at the concentration of these top 10 industries, Florida tracks similarly to the U.S., meaning there are plenty of people here already living the dream. Focusing on in-migration from Northeastern and Western states is hardly new, as Florida has topped the lists for relocation for a while now. However, tapping into the new and potentially large suddenly mobile market could yield positive results for you and your business.

“But does this trend have legs? The Upwork survey indicates that companies find several advantages to increasing their remote workforce, chief among them lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction. Additionally, companies throughout the world can readily tap into Florida’s increasingly diverse workforce with increased ease.

“Many believe that once the pandemic fades and people can go back to the office as they did in 2019, not all will – at least not full-time. Several large tech firms have announced long-term remote work plans for employees and others are considering the same. And it’s not just tech – 57% of small and medium-size businesses plan to offer remote work plans for the long term as well.

“Florida offers many upsides to the suddenly mobile that benefit both their employers and themselves. Home prices in Florida remain affordable compared to the more expensive housing markets that people are coming from – Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and New York City. Combined with the lack of state income tax, the calculus to make the move to Florida pencils out….”

Mortgage Unchanged From Last Week’s Record Low

By Kerry Smith at FloridaRealtors®: “Last week, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit its 14th record low this year, and it held onto that 2.71% rate. The 15-year loan was also unchanged at 2.26%.

“MCLEAN, Va. – The average 30-year mortgage rate held onto the 2.71% average rate it hit last week – the 14th record low set this year. “Mortgage rates remain at record lows, resisting their typical correlation to Treasury yields, which have recently been moving higher,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The Treasury plays a role in mortgage rates since they are part of the funding mechanism.

““Mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year,” Khater adds. “Although today’s mortgage spread is about 1.8% and still has some room to move down if the 10-year Treasury continues to rise, it’s encouraging to see that the spread is almost back to normal levels.”

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.71% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 10, 2020, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.7%. The 15-year FRM averaged 2.26% with an average 0.6 point, also unchanged from last week. One year earlier, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.19%. Only the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) declined in this week’s survey. It averaged 2.79% with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.86%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36%.”

Even with the low interest rates, we are lucky on the islands that most of our sales are “cash”. One of our closings this week was scheduled to close November 30 but delayed because the lender is so busy – or taking on more business than they can support. These buyers got frustrated and instead paid cash. Local lenders are attuned to the idiosyncrasies of mortgages on a barrier island and usually have rates as competitive as anywhere. The SanibelSusan Team has preached for years – that it always pays to use a hometown bank.

7 Top-Rated Resorts on Sanibel Island, FL

Written by Lura Seavey, this article was posted November 17 on http://www.PlanetWare.com:

“Sanibel Island acts as a barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the larger Pine Island, connected to Fort Myers on the mainland by the Sanibel Causeway. The central and eastern part of the island is most active with tourists and is full of resorts, restaurants, and shops that can be easily reached by foot or via the trolley that stops at all the major hotels. The south-facing beaches are the island’s widest and most crowded, known for an extraordinary abundance of seashells.

“As you head west, the beaches narrow, but the resorts spread out, resulting in more privacy. At its northern tip, Sanibel Island connects via a bridge over the Blind Pass to its tiny sibling, Captiva Island. Here, you will find resorts that have shores facing both the gulf, as well as the more protected Pine Island Sound, perfect for vacationers who will be arriving by water.

“Marinas are also available on the north side of Sanibel Island, opposite the resort-lined beaches. All the island’s resorts have amazing sunsets over the gulf and offer plenty of recreational activities for both families and adults.

“Choose your tropical getaway with our list of the top resorts on Sanibel Island.

“1. Sanibel Moorings Resort – Located on the eastern end of the island near Sanibel Lighthouse, the Sanibel Moorings Resort is a quiet getaway boasting a private beach with complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas for guests’ use. Nature-lovers will appreciate the guided beach walks and shelling lectures conducted weekly by a marine biologist, as well as tours of the property’s six-acre tropical botanical garden, which includes a butterfly garden. Resort amenities include two heated pools plus a kids’ area with a separate pool, two tennis courts, a fitness center and business center, self-serve laundry, library, and resort-wide Wi-Fi. The resort also has rentals available for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as bicycles, so you can easily explore the island. Pet-friendly units are available, and all lodgings include a full kitchen, his and hers sinks in the master bath, and a private screened porch. There are also dockside units available for those arriving by boat. Accommodation: Sanibel Moorings Resort

“2. Sundial Beach Resort & Spa – Condominium-style lodgings at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa range from studios to three-bedroom suites equipped with full kitchens and on-site self-serve laundry facilities. Accommodations include a full breakfast, housekeeping, and complimentary use of equipment such as paddleboards and kayaks. In addition, the resort hosts recreational activities for all ages. Sports facilities include a fitness center, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and pickleball, as well as tabletop games like ping-pong and foosball. The resort is also home to an 18-hole golf course with club rental, and an on-site day spa that offers a full range of services. Live entertainment and refreshments are available at the resort’s swimming pools, and there are plentiful poolside cabanas and deck chairs to accommodate everyone. There are five restaurants on the property that offer everything from American fare to sushi, plus a convenience store with groceries and a gift shop. Check out the Sea Breeze Cafe, which is considered some of the best waterfront dining in southwest Florida. You can grab a table outside with gorgeous views, especially at sunset. There is also a pizza restaurant that is popular with families for its slices of pizza, hot dogs, and ice-cream scoops. Accommodation: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

“3. West Wind Inn – The West Wind Inn offers a choice of standard guestrooms or kitchenette rooms, all of which come with a screened-in balcony or deck with views of either the Gulf of Mexico or the resort’s lovely tropical gardens. The property includes a peaceful butterfly garden and goldfish pond, a heated pool with a large deck and poolside entertainment and refreshments, and a private beach. For guests’ convenience, management provides a shell-cleaning area, as well as multiple faucets throughout, where guests can rinse the sand from their feet and shoes to keep the grit out of their rooms. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, and local activities like sightseeing cruises can be booked directly by the concierge. Other resort amenities include tennis, shuffleboard, self-serve laundry, free parking, and Wi-Fi. Those with mobility issues should request a ground floor room as there is no elevator. Accommodation: West Wind Inn

“4. Casa Ybel Resort – The all-suite Casa Ybel Resort sits on 23 acres along Sanibel Island’s Knapps Point, facing south over the gulf. Every suite is oceanfront and includes a full kitchen and outdoor gas grill; a separate living room with a pullout couch; and a screened balcony or lanai, so you can enjoy the ocean views bug-free in the evening. The resort offers many ways to make guests feel welcome and get the most out of their beach vacation, including group classes like yoga on the beach at sunrise and sunset and family activities, like s’mores and a bonfire or an outdoor movie in the evening. Both experienced and new tennis players will enjoy the six courts and optional lessons and clinics, and those who want to have fun in the water can take advantage of Jet Ski, paddleboard, and ocean kayak rentals. In addition to a large, heated pool with the convenient Coconuts Grill, there is a well-shaded kiddie pool with plenty of room for parents to relax. The resort also offers on-site dining at Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant. Sanibel’s most historic dining establishment, it has hosted everyone from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison over the centuries. The fine-dining restaurant serves Floridian and European fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner and has special holiday menus as well. Other resort amenities include a range of spa services, including massages. These can be enjoyed in your room, at the pool, or on the beach. Accommodation: Casa Ybel Resort

“5. Island Inn – The eco-conscious Island Inn provides guests with all the amenities of a full-service resort without the extra fees, offering lodgings ranging from standard rooms with kitchenettes to fully equipped beach cottages that can accommodate up to 12 people. Set on 10 acres, the property sits in the central part of Sanibel Island and includes a private beach, where you can enjoy educational naturalist-guided tours. There is a convenient cleaning station for shell-collectors, as well as fishermen – you can cook your catch on one of the gas grills or opt to have the inn’s restaurant expertly prepare your fresh-caught meal. On-site recreational facilities include volleyball and tennis courts, shuffleboard, and horseshoes, while rentals are available for bicycles, as well as kayaks and paddleboards. For a break from the sun or to socialize on a cool evening, the library and family lounge offers a fireplace, television, computers, books, and games. Accommodation: Island Inn

“6. South Seas Island Resort – Occupying the entire northern section of Captiva Island, the South Seas Island Resort provides guests with everything they need to enjoy this island paradise. The property is so large that a trolley runs from one end to the other, and resort activities are nearly endless. In addition to a full-service marina, the resort’s Offshore Sailing School provides lessons and rentals, and several fishing and eco-tours depart from here as well. Guided nature walks throughout the 330-acre wildlife preserve offer a chance to learn more about the ocean life, birds, and ecosystem, while guests are free to roam the 2.5 miles of pristine beach. Kids’ and teen education programs are also offered, as well as many family activities, including crafts, games, and even crab racing. Camp Skullywags is open for half or full days to kids aged three to 11, perfect for giving them a change of pace and giving parents some alone time or a chance to relax at the full-service resort spa. There are an astounding 20 pools to choose from, including the main pool area, which features dining and live entertainment.

Other recreation includes a playground, tennis, volleyball, and an arcade room, as well as fishing and a wide array of water sports. The resort also boasts a private, nine-hole, par-27 golf course with a pro shop, and multiple dining options, including full-service restaurants; a gourmet market; an ice-cream shop; and, of course, a Starbucks. The resort has a wide range of lodging options to fit every need, including hotel-style rooms, condos of various sizes, and even beach home rentals with as many as six bedrooms. Accommodation: South Seas Island Resort

“7. ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa – Located in the narrow central part of Captiva Island, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa has the ambience of “old Florida” hospitality. The 13-acre property faces the water on both sides, with a private beach to the west and a marina on Pine Island Sound to the west. The marina is available for guests’ private craft and also offers rentals, as well as guided eco-adventures. In addition to the beach, water bugs can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, the smaller Serenity Pool, a hot tub, and a kiddie pool for little ones. Other resort recreation includes tennis, pickleball, and kayaking, as well as crab races, karaoke, and live entertainment nightly. The resort spa offers a full range of services to help guests relax, and although there is no golf course on the property, guests are given a discount at a nearby golf club. There are a few different dining options on-site, including the award-winning Old Captiva House restaurant. It is a national historic landmark and is famous for its homemade breads, fresh Florida cooking, and locally sourced produce all served in a nautical setting. It is open for breakfast and dinner. Also on-site is the Crow’s Nest Grille. It features views of the Gulf of Mexico and island classics served in casual, family-friendly environs. Accommodation: ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

Sanibel & Captiva Water Conservation Rules

Highlighted in the Winter 2020 issue of IWA Pipeline, Island Water reminded property owners that Sanibel’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:

  • Even numbered addresses – Tuesdays & Fridays
  • Odd numbered addresses – Mondays & Thursdays.

For Captiva, Lee County’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:

  • Even numbered addresses – Thursdays and Sundays
  • Odd numbered addresses – Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4 – 11, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 $710K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 $2.15M.

2 price changes: Sundial #F106 1/1 now $465K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $579,990.

6 new sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 listed at $419K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 listed at $489K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 listed at $529K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 listed at $549K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed at $599K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $310K (our buyer), Seashells #43 2/2 $427K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 $570K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 $585K.

Sanibel River area aka Panama Canal behind Spanish Cay condos

HOMES

3 new listings: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $459K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $1.05M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.

3 price changes: 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.8959M.

6 new sales: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $599K, 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 listed at $995K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.075M, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.

6 closed sales: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $600K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $736K, 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $790K, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 $925K, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.475M. 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.3M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.695M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd listed at $149K (our listing).

4566 Buck Key Rd lot

1 closed sale: 5251 Indian Ct $600K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #2 3/2 listed at $1.899M.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.45M.

1 price change: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: 11540 Laika Ln listed at $1.29M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 $2.049M.

LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Tropical Storms, Multiple Offers, & Other Island Fun!

The real estate market craziness continues here even with a tropical storm thrown in on Wednesday to complicate things. Lee County schools were closed Monday because of the bad weather forecast. At that time who knew where Tropical Storm or Hurricane Eta would end up? That was one unpredictable storm.

Schools were back in session Tuesday and students also instructed to attend on Wednesday (Veterans’ Day) which was a previously scheduled holiday, but instead used as a hurricane make-up day. No sooner were the kiddos settled in their classrooms on Wednesday when the weather took a turn for the worse and parents were notified that schools would close three hours early.

It was wild and wooly outside the office then too. Teammate Elise and I watched as driving rain and wind sometimes knocked down branches at City park across the street. By late morning, there also were periodic power outages. During this, Teammate Dave was at a home inspection that finally was halted when the electricity went out there too.

Coming back to the office, Dave noted flooding all over the east-end and long lines of traffic going off-island at the 4-way stop. This water accumulation was different from the 100-year rain event earlier in October. This one was salt water from the gulf being driven ashore by the wind – especially causing havoc at high tide. Earlier, the City had removed some of the beach walkway mats at Lighthouse Beach where the parking lot flooded, becoming impassable.

Dave also took a drive by my house, noticing a few tipsy trees, downed branches, and my dock mostly submerged. East-end beaches had all but disappeared with water coming up the beach paths onto the roadways and parking lots in many areas.

We heard the causeway was closed temporarily while debris was removed from the roadway. When Elise left the island about noon for school pick-up, she reported that waves were crashed over the cars as they neared the bridge. Later, when Dave left, he saw front-end loaders removing sand from the roadway on Summerlin just off-island past the toll booth.

After closing at 5 p.m., as I drove home, there was little activity on Periwinkle Way. I passed just a lone “Prime” delivery vehicle and a couple of parked cars at just a handful of businesses still open. Most were closed.

It was not long after I got home that the rain stopped, the wind let up, and a stray biker in a rain slicker pedaled down my street. Sanibellians and her visitors make the best out of any weather!

By yesterday morning, the weather was back to normal, though the parking lots at the fishing pier side of the lighthouse and the big one at Blind Pass remained closed due to standing water.

Today, it was back to being a beautiful bright-blue sunny 78-degree morning as I drove to the office. The forecast for the next ten days is much the same. I probably should not say it too loud, but the 2020 hurricane season may finally be over! Or almost!

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Even during the wild weather this week, there were three more SanibelSusan Realty sales. There also are reports of multiple offers and some properties selling at or over asking price. As more visitors arrive and snowbirds return, inquiries and showing requests continue to increase. The action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19, now it goes until November 17, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) The City face covering mandate remains in effect too.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 68. Numbers are being posted now by the week, but unfortunately like much of the nation, cases are increasing here too. Below is a summary to put the number of cases in context, over time:

  • Week-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – two months = 11 cases
  • Week-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – two months = 30 cases
  • Week-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – two months = 22 cases
  • Week-ending 11/8 – 1 week = 5 cases

Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Yesterday, the local Association of Realtors® hosted a brokers’ roundtable Zoom meeting. Officers and directors of the association were in attendance as were brokers from John Gee & Company, John Naumann & Associates, John R Wood Island Real Estate, Pfeifer Realty Group, ReMax of the Islands, Royal Shell Real Estate, South Seas Sanibel & Captiva Properties, VIP Realty Group, and, of course, SanibelSusan Realty. Updates were provided on the City review of requirements for temporary business signs, on requirements for Realtor® team advertising, and on recent MLS monitoring, changes, and improvements.

Biweekly Zoom caravan meeting will continue followed by caravan open houses with safety precautions. The next one is next Thursday.

Last night the Association held a toy drop-off event called “Merry F.I.S.H.-mas” to provide donations to F.I.S.H. for the upcoming Christmas season. Donations (unwrapped toys, gift cards, checks made out to “F.I.S.H.”) are being accepted at the Association Office until the end of the month.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 6-13, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1091 2/2 $559K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 $657K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 $759K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $799K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 $925K.

3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #120 3/2 now $620K, Sundial #T201 2/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $1.1M.

12 new sales: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 listed at $325K (our buyer), Sundial #D309 1/1 listed at $434K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 listed at $479K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $480K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 listed at $484.9K (our listing), Blind Pass #G201 2/2 listed at $540K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 listed at $546K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 listed at $562.5K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 listed at $599K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 listed at $849K (our buyer), Sayana #103 2/2 listed at $948.5K, Atrium #103 2/2 listed at $1.175M.

3 closed sale: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 $465K, Sundial #O201 3/2 $810K, Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.04M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 660 Oliva St 3/3 $829K.

2 price changes: 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex now $859K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $2.149M.

6 new sales: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $524K; 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $739,937; 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $789K, 250 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.2685M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.749M.

5 closed sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $483K, 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 $710K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 $750K, 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.115M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $3.05M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5301-25 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.2M.

1 price change: 6008 White Heron Ln now $819K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2486 Wulfert Rd $100K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 listed at $975K, Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 listed at $979K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 $1.29M.

2 price changes: 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 now $3.75M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 now $15.95M.

1 new sales: 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 listed at $4.889M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you are storm-free & safe! Be well, too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

How Island Realtors® Can Tell It Snowed Somewhere

At SanibelSusan Realty, last weekend when New England was getting their first accumulation, there also was a flurry of activity with multiple offers on our Tarpon Beach condo listing and multiple showings at our new home listing on Olga Ave. Both properties now are successfully under contract.

It always happens after cold weather hits up north, as the remainder of the week brought more inquiries and showings at other listings. The number of listing internet viewings also are up.

This website, Realtor.com, and Zillow usually get the most hits, but it was interesting to get my monthly report from ListHub (which syndicates to some 47 lesser known real estate sites). Through them, our listing hits increased from 24 in September to 1,005 in October. Another good sign that Sanibel sales are picking up.

Unfortunately, as traffic has increased, with more arrivals, COVID-19 cases have increased too. More info about that below, followed by other news items, then the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last week.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19, now it goes until November 10, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) Additionally, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 67. (That is an increase of five since I posted last week. Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors  Annual Meeting

Yesterday was our first local Realtor® Association annual meeting via Zoom. Zoom meetings certainly are not as much fun as networking in person. The 2021 slate of officers and board of directors were approved with reports provided by outgoing President Mike Badenoch, Treasurer Amy Wainright, Executive Officer Bill Robinson, RPAC Co-Chair Dave Arter, and Governmental & Political Affairs Co-Chairs Eric Pfeifer and Dave Schuldenfrei.

RPAC – Big congratulations to the RPAC Committee for their recent successful Zoom auction fundraiser. In addition to the amounts raised and percentage of goal reached during such a challenging year, rumor has it that our percentage of member participation puts the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® within the top “10” in the nation. Even when the going gets tough, you can always depend on our island association rallying. Thank you to all who worked so hard, sponsored, donated, purchased, and made it another banner year for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® RPAC.

Though we still await some election results, 95% of Florida Realtors® PAC-endorsed candidates won their elections, including ten Realtor® Legislative Caucus members. That means our Association is well-positioned to successfully advocate for the profession and real estate industry in the upcoming legislative sessions. On top of that news, Amendment 5, which Florida Realtors® supported, was approved by 74.5% of Florida voters. As a result, beginning on January 1, 2021, accrued Save Our Homes benefits may be transferred for three years, instead of the previous two. This increase in the portability period will benefit some homeowners by allowing them to maintain their property tax benefits longer as they transition between living situations.

Caravan – This was the first week in many when properties could be held open for a morning Realtor® caravan of new listings. Just four properties were held open. At SanibelSusan Realty, we continue to follow CDC and state guidelines, opening properties with precautions, no in-person Open Houses for us yet. It does not seem to be hurting our sales though, as I was happy to announce that five of our listings have gone under contract since our last meeting. (Next Zoom Caravan is in two weeks, November 19.)

Governmental & Political Affairs Committee Report

Here are a few tidbits from committee co-chairs:

Seawalls – An offshoot of the Planning Commission, Land Development Code Subcommittee, is discussing a new seawall repair method. Many original island concrete seawalls are aging and deteriorating. One way to repair them is to install a vinyl corrugated material on the waterside of the walls to prevent further damage. Questions have come up regarding this type of installation both from environmental and coverage angles. Will the material increase the size of the lot, thus affecting coverage limits? Make the canal traffic path smaller? If you have an opinion or want to attend the next meeting, Planning Commission meets Tuesday, November 10 at 9 a.m. at City Hall, the subcommittee meeting follows.

Sanibel Budget – With income reduced from COVID shutdowns, the City budget had to work around a $6 million deficit.

No Red Tide – Regarding water quality, the news is good, though bayside water has a brown tint right now from recent Lake O releases. The good news is that so far there is no red tide, with the Army Corps of Engineers slow in its water releases into the estuary. More lake water is being released than preferred right now, because of recent heavy rain resulting in high water levels in the lake. Unless there is a huge rain this weekend from Hurricane Eta, the releases should lessen. The funded reservoir projects (east, west, and south) are on schedule as is the project to raise Route 41, with the eventual goal of sending more water to the Everglades.

Algae Solutions – Regarding blue green algae (which can grow in fresh, brackish and marine water) and has been found in Lake O, a contract has been signed with an Israeli company called BlueGreen Water Technologies. This company has been successful in other countries working to eliminate the algae in both large and small bodies of water. It is unknown if their methods will work on red tide (which is in salt water), but tests are underway. In the water world, this is better news than in a long time. Thanks to our local committee folks for keeping us informed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 30-November 6, 2020

Sanibel®®

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $325K, Sundial #D309 1/1 $434K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $540K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $599K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 $599K.

2 price changes: Sundial #D305 1/1 now $519.9K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.175M.

5 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #K6 2/2 listed at $579K; Loggerhead Cay #212 2/2 listed at $589,985; Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 listed at $599K; Sundial #H203 2/2 listed at $739K; Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 listed at $899K (our listing).

1 closed sale: Sundial #D204 1/1 $430K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $739,937; 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $1.225M; 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 $1.695M; 819 Tulip Ln 5/4 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $524K; 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 now $879,978; 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 now $995K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $2.099M.

4 new sales: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $789K, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 listed at $950K (our listing), 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 listed at $2.749M.

10 closed sales: 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 $430K; 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $530K; 934 Cormorant Cir 3/2 $685K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K; 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $868K; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 $895K; 1724 Bunting Ln 3/3.5 $912.5K; 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 $932,050; 595 West Rocks Dr 3/3 $1M; 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.52M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 0 Bunting Ln now $229,555; 1837 Buckthorn Ln now $499K.

2 new sales: 1048 Fish Crow Rd listed at $340K, 4995 Joewood Dr listed at $2.45M.

2 closed sales: 489 Ponce De Leon Rd $210K, 2501 Tropical Way $658.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 $979K.

No price changes or new sales.

4 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $375K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 $380K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 $390K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $525K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11541 Paige Ct 3/4/2 now $4M.

2 new sales: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 listed at $1.385M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $2.5M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11525 Murmond Ln listed at $795K.

No closed sales.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Don’t forget to remember Veterans on Wednesday!

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Stay Safe… It’s a Full Moon, Turn-Back-Clocks, Booo-tiful, Halloween, Pre-Election, Pandemic Weekend!

It has been a week of nice weather on sunny Sanibel with a little extra breeze midweek as Hurricane Zeta churned out in the gulf. The forecast says early next week, we may experience daytime temperature highs only in the 70’s, nights in the 60’s, for the first time in many months. That usually is a good indication that the rainy season is wrapping up. Hooray!

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, teammate Dave and I both have been working offers. Those can become challenging when buyers leave the islands or when there are national and international events causing distractions. There certainly have been enough of those this year.

Daytime traffic on Periwinkle again has picked up as more snowbirds return. The activity since last Friday posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

The ink is barely dry on our new listing on Olga Avenue which was professionally photographed this morning. Watch for those photos next week.

Openings & Re-Opening

Nature Store2 is expected to have its grand opening November 20 in Sanibel Square, so we will have a new neighbor. Launched by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Friends, this new off-campus store will feature a monitor streaming images of the wildlife, scenery, and activities at the refuge. It will carry many of the same popular items at their flagship store and on ShopDingDarling.com, but it also will be more art oriented.

The Savoury Spoon which debuted four years ago at the Sanibel Farmers Market has now opened a breakfast, brunch, smoothie, sandwich, lunch spot in the Bailey Shopping Center, hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., phone 239-312-8132

T2 Restaurant at The Village Shops has re-opened & serving food and drinks all day, Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Their nearby shop also is open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, this week, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until November 3, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) Additionally, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 60. (No increase since last week. Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.)

Best Places (Metro Area) to Retire?

13 of the ‘Top 25’ Are in Florida

Posted on FloridaRealtors® on October 14, 2020, by Kerry Smith:

“U.S. News & World Report’s latest ranking of top retirement communities could have almost said, “Pick any town in Fla.” Seven Fla. metros are in the top 10: Sarasota (No. 1), Fort Myers (2), Port St. Lucie (3), Naples (4), Ocala (6), Miami (9) and Melbourne (10).

“WASHINGTON – U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2020-2021 Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new lists evaluate the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, job prospects and desirability.

“In the “Best Places to Retire” category, Florida metro areas stood out with seven out of the top 10 slots and 13 of the top 25 slots.

““After a prolonged period of staying at home, people are taking a critical look at where they live, and many are looking to find a place they can feel happier, afford more or pursue new opportunities,” says Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The Best Places rankings can help people examine the details they consider important in a larger community.”

“This year, U.S. News increased the number of metropolitan areas evaluated for both sets of rankings from 125 to 150, to provide a broader and more accurate reflection of where Americans can live and retire.

“Best places to retire

“U.S. News & World Report’s announcement of top retirement destinations says it’s “dominated by Florida metro areas, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability.”

“An increase in Desirability and Job Market scores lifted Sarasota from No. 2 last year to No. 1 this year – but it overtook another Florida city, Fort Myers, which became No. 2. And while Port. St. Lucie’s Housing Affordability score decreased slightly, increases in Desirability, Job Market and Health Care scores helped it jump two places to No. 3.

“Miami also saw a decrease in Housing Affordability, but it broke into the top 10 this year, jumping five places to No. 9 thanks to Desirability and Job Market score increases.

“The top 25 places to retire also includes three Texas communities, and two places each in Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.

““Moving to a new place for retirement can reduce your cost of living and improve your quality of life,” says Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire includes information about housing costs, access to quality hospitals and the strength of the job market, which can help you find a retirement spot that will meet your needs.”

“The 2020-2021 Best Places to Retire were determined based on a methodology that factored in happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings. These measures were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire.

“Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

“2020-2021 Best Places to Retire – Top 25

  1. Sarasota
  2. Fort Myers
  3. Port St. Lucie
  4. Naples
  5. Lancaster, Pa.
  6. Ocala
  7. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  8. Asheville, N.C.
  9. Miami
  10. Melbourne
  11. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  12. Nashville, Tenn.
  13. Jacksonville
  14. Manchester, N.H.
  15. Daytona Beach
  16. Orlando
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  18. Lakeland
  19. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  20. Tampa
  21. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  22. Houston, Texas
  23. Charlotte, N.C.
  24. San Antonio, Texas
  25. Pensacola

“U.S. News & World Report is a global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. © 2020 Florida Realtors®”

Taste of the Islands Reimagined

CROW’s (The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) 39th Annual Taste of the Islands this year is a month-long fundraiser. For $10, attendees can purchase a passport that contains a list and map of the 31 participating along with the “Taste” items being offered at each restaurant. A portion of the proceeds from those designated food and beverage items will be donated to CROW. Items may be enjoyed dining in or ordered as take-out.

The restaurants participating are participating for the whole month of November, so the timing of your purchase is flexible. With each visit, the restaurant will stamp or punch your passport. With passport holders eligible to vote for their favorite eatery to win the coveted “People’s Choice Award.” Additional awards will be judged for “Best Appetizer”, “Best Seafood”, “Best Meat”, “Best Vegetarian”, “Best Dessert”, “Taste of the Taste”, and a new one, “Best Drink”.

Passport holders also will be eligible for prize drawings with ballot boxes set up around the islands. Passports must be turned in by December 4 at 4 p.m.

Another new element this year is a “CROW Crawl” each Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Each one focuses on restaurants in a different area of the island. These events will have CROW tent, sponsors, and giveaways. The CROW Crawls schedule is:

November 1 – Crow’s Nest, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille Captiva, The Green Flash, Lazy Flamingo (original), The Mucky Duck, Old Captiva House, & Sunset Grill.

November 8 – Great White Grill, Love Boat Ice Cream (Jerry’s Center), The Pecking Order Fried Chicken & Pies, Sanibel Deli, T2, & The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.

November 15 – Blue Giraffe, Island Pizza Company, Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen, Sanibel Fish House, Sweet Melissa’s Café, & Traders.

November 22 – The Clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille Sanibel, Joey’s Custard, Normandie Seaside Café, Spoondrift Island Bowls, & Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant.

November 29 – Cielo, Lazy Flamingo II, Matzaluna’s Italian Kitchen, Sanibel Fresh, Sea Breeze Café (Sundial), & Tipsy Turtle Restaurant & Bar.

Passports are for sale at CROW’s Visitor Education Center, Bank of the Islands, and Edison National Bank branches, Bailey’s General Store locations, and Huxter’s Market & Deli. They also can be purchased at any of the participating eateries or at www.CROWClinic.org (for pickup).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 23-30, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 $570K, Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 $574K, Sundial #H203 2/2 $739K.

2 price changes: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 now $479K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 now $564K.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 listed at $388,990; Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Road Villas #105 2/2 $479K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 listed at $579K; Compass Point #232 2/2 listed at $599K (our listing); Sundial #O201 3/2 listed at $819K.

2 closed sales: Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $570K, Compass Point #222 2/2 $595K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $789K, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 $950K (our listing).

1120 Olga Ave

3 price changes: 1035 S.Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $1.05M, 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 now $1.299M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 now $2.749M.

11 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $490K, 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $580K, 753 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $589K, 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 listed at $647K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 listed at $699K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $714.9K, 3926 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $769K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 listed at $949K, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 listed at $995K, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.695M.

8 closed sales: 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 $503K; 690 Durion Ct 3/2 $675K; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 $680K; 4455 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $706.5K; 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $830K; 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $875K; 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1,044,750; 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.095M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5398 Osprey Ct $299K, 575 Sea Oats Dr $389.9K.

1 price change: 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd now $269,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Marina Villas #808 2/2 $779K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.265M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $399,999.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1608 3/3 listed at $2.085M.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 $350K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 $1.02M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 $2.35M.

LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your Halloween! Stay safe!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

First Fall Friday on Sunny Sanibel

There has been chatter this week that the run-off from recent rains has darkened the baywaters. Took this pix today at 11 a.m. overlooking San Carlos Bay. It’s a bit darker from the tannin run-offs, but there have been no releases from Lake O. The Army Corps of Engineers says there will be no releases into the Caloosahatchee River for now.

Good news today from sunny Sanibel Island. The flooding from Tropical Storm Sally has mostly disappeared. The rain that flooded the area the weekend of September 12 dropped more than 24”, culminating an already rainy week. It was a record according to a report this week by Sanibel’s Director of Community Services who categorized it as a 100-year event. Sanibel’s weirs, designed to deal with flooding, were opened that weekend when 12.1” of rain fell in one day on already soggy ground.

An added surprise from this week’s change in weather pattern was low humidity, breezy sunny days, and little rain – nice weather for the many shellers collecting the bounty that came in from the recent storms.

A few showers are expected off-and-on over the weekend, but next week, little-to-no-rain again is expected with more sunny days and low 80-degree temperatures forecast. Fall is arriving in the Sunshine State.

High tide at Sanibel Marina this morning.

Outside dining at Gramma Dot’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It has been a quiet week at SanibelSusan Realty. About all I can say about the Zoom class, that I taught Tuesday at the Association of Realtors®, is that I am glad it is over. It sure is hard to teach to an empty room and keep attendees engaged. With renewed respect for teachers and instructors dealing with today’s challenges, I appreciate the Realtors® that attended my session.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the activity since last Friday in the Sanibel Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Status of Sanibel’s Residential Market

Based on recent action (more than usual for September), it is a good time to compare island real estate sales last year to the unusual-ness of 2020.

The tables below show by month and property type, the number of closed sales and average sale prices. Naturally, a closing occurs several weeks and sometimes a month or so after a contract is written so look at these statistics being mindful that contracts written this month, probably will not close until October, November, maybe even December.

The first tables for Sanibel homes show how strong this year began, followed by a big slump in May. That reflects the few new sales in the preceding months (late February, March, & April) which typically are “high” season and have strong sales – not so this year.

Since June, the number of closed home sales each month has exceeded the same month in 2019. Year-to-date numbers are strong. Home prices overall are down a little but holding steady. Already, this year, more homes have sold and closed, than in all of last year.

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 15 848,755 18 1,095,708 25 1,171,820 30 1,097,441 9 732,388
2019 9 1,057,222 11 1,504,590 18 947,923 31 848,458 40 1,010,454

 

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 14 716,460 39 804,765 21 959,805 20 961,160 191 953,193
2019 14 797,692 25 871,282 9 819,222 10 978,170 167 957,429

Comparing these Sanibel homes sales to current inventory, it really is astounding that even with the pandemic, 191 have sold/closed. Compare that to there just being 82 homes available for sale now. Average asking price is $1,838,648.

Another 59 homes are under contract, average asking price of those is $985,760. That large number of sales compared to inventory, indicates a sellers’ market, particularly in the median price range.

Looking at the same statistics for Sanibel condos, the picture is not as bright. Condos are moving more slowly, yet still ahead of 2019 overall. Those moving best are higher-end units mostly in residential communities. Income-producing condos have not seen a bounce-back. Investors may be wary of future rental projections, but I bet that changes in the upcoming months.

Today, there are 106 Sanibel condos for sale, which is about a year’s worth of inventory. Average asking price is $790,741. There are 27 units under contract, with an average asking price of $850,525.

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 11 650,060 16 621,093 19 880,947 16 670,150 9 901,000
2019 6 626,875 9 622,944 16 586,312 16 744,203 20 792,350

 

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 6 622,666 14 598,642 10 792,622 13 724,769 114 720,375
2019 10 650,350 8 414,500 9 793,555 5 568,800 99 669,782

Year-to-date, nearly twice as many homes have sold as condos. Even more of a disparity between homes and condos was evident during the summer (June 20-September 20, 2020). During that time, 88 Sanibel homes sold and closed, compared to 22 Sanibel condos. That trend continued this week too. Lower-priced Sanibel homes are selling like hotcakes, condos not so much.

Great Places Where Beginning Birders Can Get Their Wings

A special to USA Today this week posted an article that began with “While most of us have stuck close to home this year, bird watching has taken flight. The outdoor activity, which naturally encourages social distancing, has soared in popularity… wildlife refuges and parks make it easy to see a wide variety of flyers and shares some prime locations:”

First on the list is J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

But this week it did not require a ride through the refuge to see my favorite roseate spoonbill. Many were spotted sloshing along the bike path in a few areas where the water has yet to recede.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 29, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

In other City Business, City Council will meet on September 29 at 5:01 p.m. for the final budget hearing for tax year 2020. That is when the debt service ad valorem millage rates for the tax year are adopted. That means the 2020 tax bills should come out on time, later next month.

COVID Personal Protective Equipment Kits

The City of Sanibel has received an allotment of COVID Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Lee County, and has partnered with FISH OF SANCAP, CHR, The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, and the Sanibel Community Association (SCA) to distribute these items on Wednesday September 30 and Thursday October 1st from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, with drive-thru contactless pick up. Kits are FREE to individuals and households that live or work on Sanibel. They include disposable masks, reusable cloth masks, and a bottle of sanitizer. (To help in the distribution, contact FISH at 239-472-4775.)

Openings & Fall Scoop

Sanibel Farmers Market – begins October 4 and runs through May 30, 2021 every Sunday (including Easter) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on City Hall grounds. Parking available in lots at City Hall, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, & Schoolhouse Theater. Handicap parking & designated areas for bicycles at City Hall, but no pets allowed.

“B” Beach Parking Permit Sales to Resume – Following up on the suspension of the sale of “B” parking permits when beaches were closed, the City announced plans to start reselling all stickers at their normal schedule of November 1. The City offers five different parking permits. The resident “A” sticker is $12/year for taxpayers and property owners. Restricted “B” permits, for nonresidents, are $124.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 18-25, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $480K, Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 $490K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 $789K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $935K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 $1.05M.

2 price changes: Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $875K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 now $1.15M.

6 new sales: Donax Village #10 1/2 listed at $358K, Sundial #I405 1/1 listed at $419K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $712K (our listing), Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 listed at $749K, Blue Gulf 201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sunward #201 3/2 listed at $1.259M

9 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 $280K, Casa Blanca #4 1/1 $337K, Seashells #36 2/2 $365K, Cottage Colony West #134 1/1 $575K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $750K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-4 3/3 $760K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $760K, Sanibel Moorings #522 3/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.39M.

1 price change: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $599K.

17 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $490K; 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $524K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $645,750; 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K; 934 Cormorant Cir 3/2 listed at $729K; 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $749K; 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $819.9K; 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 listed at $899K; 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 listed at $995K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M; 490/460 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $699.9K; 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $795K; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed at $919K; 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M.

8 closed sales: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $355K, 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $450K, 454 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $610K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 $722.5K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr $1.28M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2,754,333.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1303 Par View Dr now $310K.

1 new sale: 2501 Tropical Way listed at $695K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5134 1/2 $399K.

No price changes.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $390K.

HOMES & LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, enjoy your fall! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Paradise Post-Sally… Just Another Sunny Friday!

Tropical Storm Sally caused some excitement on Sanibel this week, even if she did not come ashore here. Following many rainy season days, Southwest Florida already was soggy when the storm slowly passed offshore last weekend. So slowly, that as the week began, the City reported that in just nine days, 20.47” of rain had been recorded. Then, there was more.

Late Sunday, between bands (silly me, I thought it had stopped), I went out to check a nearby listing. Just minutes from my home, I received multiple City and County tornado warning messages – cell calls, texts, and emails. Thankfully, those were just caution alerts. Within the hour, the warnings were canceled. There are some cool wall-of-water photos taken then, posted on www.MySanibel.com.

With more often-heavy rain and strong winds Sunday night, by daybreak Monday, a moat surrounded my home and Anchor Dr, at the gulf-end was impassable in a low vehicle. Since that was the last day of my Continuing Ed classes via Zoom, I opted to take them at home, while Elise opened the office.

A surprise for her was finding SanibelSquare also flooded. A little water made it in up the step and through our back door, but for the most part, the buildings here bordering Periwinkle are OK.

The back buildings were not as lucky. They remained flooded as did the parking lot until the sun came out Wednesday.

Monday when the water in our front lawn along the bike path subsided, Elise spotted the return of a marsh bunny. We were worried about those little guys.

We love our critters and got a giggle Tuesday afternoon when ducks enjoyed our parking lot, swimming by our back door.

Island-wide, including on Captiva, it took nearly all week for the water to go down in many areas. Today, when out doing sign and property checks, I saw high water at the entrance to West Rocks and in the swales along West Gulf Dr. Luckily the forecast for the next week (other than Sunday) has little or no rain expected.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Our listings had a few more inquiries and showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

The Association of Realtors® annual 12-part educational series to earn the islands specialist designation began this week. On Tuesday morning, I will be teaching the Resort and 2nd Home Market module by Zoom. It probably will not be as much fun as a classroom setting but I have my course material updated and will do my best to make it informative.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 22, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

Effective today (Sep 18, 2020), on Sanibel, irrigation is permitted only two days per week based on property address. Odd addresses on Mondays and Thursdays, even addresses on Tuesdays and Fridays. No irrigation is permitted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. As of today, these regulations now apply year-‘round.

Another recent pro-environment City change is: As of Oct 1, 2020, plastic bags many no longer be used for yard and horticulture waste for collection by the City’s waste hauler. Yard and horticulture waste may continue to be properly bundled, collected in refuse containers, or disposed of in biodegradable paper lawn and leaf bags.

SCCF’s Turtle Patrol

SCCF Photo

The Conservation Foundation’s Turtle Patrol reported Monday that more than 50 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and about 25 on Captiva were still incubating as of Saturday. They thought about 10 nests may have washed away on Sanibel, but their team had not been able to assess Captiva due to high water.

Some nests were visibly washed out. Others had their stakes washed away, but eggs still incubating under the sand. Their turtle team worked all week to confirm which nests were fully lost. In some, they found stranded hatchlings and assisted getting them to the gulf.

Their updated report on Wednesday, said “Our team is using a GPS device to confirm which nests have been fully lost…. the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, once crowded with a record number of yellow stakes marking nests, now host only 51 incubating nests on both islands combined. The season is all but over, with our last nests due to hatch in October. So far, 569 nests have hatched and 32,862 hatchlings have started their long journey to the Loop Current.”

Openings/Closings/September Scoop

The September vacations, deep cleans, and maintenance projects and improvements continue with the following business announcements this week:

Blue Giraffe – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Cheeburger Cheeburger – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Joey’s Custard – closed through Sep 30.

Over Easy Café – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Paper Fig Kitchen – closed through Sep 20.

Schnapper’s – closed through  Sep 20.

The Sanctuary – Is often the site of our annual Realtor® End-of-Season Golf Tournament & Auction which some old-timers still call the “Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, because of the pandemic, it was postponed from late May until mid-October. This week it was announced that The Sanctuary has canceled all member and non-member events through December, so our tournament and party are canceled. But we will still have an RPAC auction – albeit a 2-day on-line event ending with a Zoom meeting. Just another twist to 2020.

Traditions at Island Inn – Closed for vacations through Sept 29.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 11-18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 $375K, Sundial #D204 1/1 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $679K.

4 price changes: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 now $528K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 now $579K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $719K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $899K.

5 new sales: Seawind #A103 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 listed at $689K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 listed at $745K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 listed at $1.95M.

2 closed sales: Colonnades #3 1/1 $235K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 $530K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $647K, 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.095M.

1 price change: 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $839K.

8 new sales: 915 Main St 2/1 listed at $439K, 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 listed at $445K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $695K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 listed at $899K, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 listed at $3.25M.

6 closed sales: 3001 Swinging Wind Dr 2/2 $406K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $708,375; 1406 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $830K; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $880K; 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $902K; 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1159 Golden Olive Ct now $1.599M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4767 Tradewinds Dr $1,435,750.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 listed at $369.5K, Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 listed at $389K, Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #5228 12 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 listed at $415K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 listed at $545K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 $300K.

HOMES & LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

BOGO With Gulf Of Mexico Tropical Storms

Time for another Friday update from SanibelSusan Realty, where we are keeping a watchful eye on the weather. 2020 sure has been one for the record books. Today, adding that two tropical storms are expected to arrive simultaneously in the Gulf of Mexico adds to the unpredictability of the year.

Teammate Dave was out this morning checking our listings and we will continue to follow projections. The latest indicates that Tropical Storm Laura may be nearby, though maybe off shore, Monday into Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, though the islands already have experienced plenty of summer showers this week, the surrounding gulf waters are clear and beautiful. Jim Sazbo, owner of SanCap Aerial photography, provider of drone views for the City, on Wednesday posted the below photo showing the Lighthouse end of the island. May the water stay looking like this!

Island Real Estate Action

Island sales action has slowed a little this week. Often fewer visitors are here late August through September, but it also is the time that those looking usually are serious – particularly those wanting to have a property in place to enjoy or rent this winter.

We got an inquiry this week about one of our condo listings that resulted in a showing and it was interesting to hear the same question from them that I heard last week from a buyer interested in another complex.

That question is “Why are so many properties for sale in that community?”. It certainly makes sense to ask why owners are selling and to be cautious if it looks like a community may have a problem. But in all my years here, it has been rare to have owners want to sell because of something negative about a neighborhood. More often, owners sell to move up to another property, or for investment, or because of a change in life situation.

What also is interesting is that some communities sell more one year than aother, often without a common explanation. Here are a few that have had noticeable jumps in sales this year:

  • Blind Pass condominiums: 5 units have sold/closed this year to-date, compared to just 2 in all of 2019.
  • Gulfside Place, 4 sold/closed, compared to 2 last year.
  • Sand Pointe, 5 sold, compared to 2 last year.
  • The Dunes, 20 homes have sold to-date, compared to the same number in all of 2019, but another 10 are under contract.
  • Sanibel Estates, where I live, 12 homes have sold, compared to 9 last year, 2 others under contract.
  • Sanibel Isles, 4 homes sold to-date & 2 under contract, just 1 sale in 2019.
  • Captiva in South Seas Plantation, Bayside Villas: 2 sales last year, 4 year-to-date, 7 more units under contract in last 2 weeks.
  • Captiva Beach homes also are ahead of last year: 3 homes sold then, 5 have sold this year, 3 others under contract.

The activity post since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Here in the office, I am close to finishing my annual update of the Resort & 2nd Home module that I teach for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation. It is challenging trying to convert it to a Zoom format without losing the fun associated with in-person classes. Hoping to learn some tips, I have signed up to take the 14-hours of Continuing Ed required of Realtors® every two years, by Zoom.  

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

City of Sanibel – On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 25, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Since March 26, a total of 41 COVID 19 cases have been reported on Sanibel by Florida Department of Health (DOH).

F.I.S.H. 12th Annual 10K Race Will be Virtual – While the “official” date of the race was scheduled for October 24, runners may participate virtually and log their time at any point from when they register through October 31. Registration will open later this month through the Fort Myers Track Club. More info regarding incentives for runners who help register groups or raise funds for F.I.S.H. will be available on the F.I.S.H. and Fort Myers Track Club websites. Participants will receive a dri-fit shirt with this year’s Hortoon logo and matching face covering. (www.fishofsancap.org). (SanibelSusan will not be needed as a Sanibel Square race safety monitor this year, but fully supports all that this wonderful organization has done and continues to do for those needing a hand, particularly in these trying times. The Association of Realtors® Summer 2020 challenge continues with our members and affiliates donating bags of items with school supplies and non-perishables for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Their needs this year are enormous.)

Library Reopens – Monday, the Sanibel Public Library’s building reopened to the public following a deep clean. Precautions are in place to help protect staff and visitors from COVID-19. Inside the building, social distancing and wearing of masks (except those under age 6) are required. Library cards are available at no charge to residents of Sanibel and Lee County. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. The Library is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more info, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at www.sanlib.org. Contact-less curbside service is continuing, call or go online to place a hold.

Virus May Have Boosted the Housing Market

Locals recognize that the pandemic is boosting the island real estate market, but here is a more national glimpse, from an article posted August 11 on FloridaRealtors® by Kerry Smith.

“In earlier times, a pandemic + recession would have slowed the market, but today’s unique circumstances seem to have sparked an even stronger demand for homeownership.

“SEATTLE – Three-quarters of homebuyers who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months say the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their homebuying plans – and one in four (25%) says it caused them to move faster or speed up their timeline.

“However, one in five (20%) say they’ve postponed homeownership, and 17% are now looking at less expensive homes, according to a survey conducted by Redfin.

““Somewhat counterintuitively, the coronavirus-driven recession is propping up the housing market,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. He says homebuyer demand surged in the second quarter of 2020 even though GDP took a nosedive.

““Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing even as they cut back on other expenses,” says Fairweather. “Additionally, the Fed is using low interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is giving buyers more purchasing power and boosting home sales. But even with low rates, widespread unemployment and financial uncertainty mean not everyone who wants to buy a home is able to” do so.

“The pandemic’s most common homebuyer impact is a desire for more space: 21% of respondents want a designated area to work from home and 21% want more outdoor space; in addition, 10% of respondents now want a bigger home, and 7% want a designated space for children to learn from home.

““When the pandemic first hit, a few buyers canceled contracts due to economic uncertainty and concerns about potential layoffs,” says Phoenix Redfin agent Thomas Wiederstein. “I’ve also had some clients take breaks from searching because they don’t know how the economic situation is going to play out.

“But then there’s the other side,” says Wiederstein, “those who are encouraged by low mortgage rates, sitting around in their tiny apartment dreaming of the space a single-family home can offer.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 14-21, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 2/2.5 $999K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102 2/2 listed at $479K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 listed at $599K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 listed at $675K, Sundial #J107 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex $999K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.595K.

8 price changes: 981 Main St 4/2.5 now $675K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $745K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $799K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $829K, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.195M, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.25M, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 now $1.539M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.575M.

8 new sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $549K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $795K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $875K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.075M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.195M, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 listed at $1.199M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.989M.

3 closed sales: 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $685.9K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $860K, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.035M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4995 Joewood Dr now $2.45M.

2 new sales: 0 Island Inn Rd listed at $599,555; 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4216 1/2 listed at $374.9K, Bayside Villas #5218 1/2 listed at $399K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 listed at $1.459M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 listed at $2.85M.

2 closed sales: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 $1.175M, 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.65M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr $8.95M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. 

Enjoy your weekend & watch out for those BOGO’s.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

When It Rains on The Islands, Just Wait a Few Minutes

It has been another week of typical July weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies with big white puffy popcorn clouds often rolling in, bringing along a quick shower and resulting in some terrific sunsets. I took a quick detour on my way back to the office about 1 p.m. this afternoon trying to capture a photo of those clouds. My quick trip up Bailey Road was not fast enough, so I tried Dixie Beach Blvd. You can see from the photos below that it was already raining off island with waves forming on San Carlos Bay and Pine Island Sound. Now the rains have stopped, with both islands first getting a good dousing.

From the lot at the end of Dixie Beach looking toward Woodring Rd

Already raining across Pine Island Sound.

A few little white caps on San Carlos Bay

New real estate action was down a little this week following the departure of holiday visitors, but overall, closed sales are doing well. Below is a summary comparison of island sales (from January through today) over the last three years. Current inventory also is shown.

For those who can work from home or want to spend more time here, there is plenty of inventory and lenders are offering some of the best programs in decades. Prudent buyers also will note that prices again are creeping up.

Residential Property – Condos, Homes, & Lots
Sanibel Captiva Total Both Islands
Sold/Closed from 1/1 to 7/17 # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
2020 214 879,346 32 2,024,593 246 1,028,321
2019 227 841,871 22 1,856,533 249 931,522
2018 272 1,011,547 29 1,430,385 301 1,051,900
For Sale Now 316 1,156,219 86 2,610,933 401 1,469,652

Looking more carefully at sales to-date this year, here are answers to some questions often posed to Realtors®. (My answers are based on the island Multiple Listing Service.)

What is the cost of a 2-bedroom condo on the gulf? On Sanibel, today there are 55 for sale, average asking price $815,576. On Captiva, seven are for sale, average asking price $1,285,214.

What if I need 3 bedrooms? Expect to pay a lot more. On Sanibel, 16 are for sale, average asking price $1,634,125. On Captiva, six are for sale, average asking price $2,456,500.

How much do properties sell off their asking price? Looking at those same property types and sales this year, 33 Sanibel 2-bedroom gulf condos sold in prices ranging from $508,000 to $1,200,000 (a huge spread). Average sale price compared to average list price = 94%. On Captiva, there were just four gulf-side 2-bedroom condo sales. Prices ranged from $674,500 to $1,480,000. There, average sale price compared to list price is 96%.

What is the cost of a single-family 3-bedroom home with pool near-the-beach? That is the most popular island property. On Sanibel, 14 are for sale, average asking price $855,278. Year-to-date, 13 have sold at prices ranging from $447,000 to $1,167,500. Average sale price $875,657 is 94% of the average asking price. On Captiva, four are available, average asking price $1,818,500. Year-to-date, just two have sold. Average sale price of $1,862,500 is 94% of average list price.

Below are a few news items followed by the activity this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that there was just one new Sanibel condo sale, while there were eight home sales. Closings were similarly split this week with no Sanibel condo closings, but 11 Sanibel homes closed. Usually condo buyers are here now… hopefully they are coming soon!

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting. One item discussed was the City budget and the expected 2020 millage rate.

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”:  “Despite COVID-19, island property values are projected to have risen this year, although by less than one percent, and the City is projected to have the lowest tax rate since 2007.”

There was no change in the Mayor’s State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19, other than extending it until July 21.

Great News from Turtle Patrol

Posted Wed on SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) FaceBook page:

“Captiva has broken its record for the most loggerhead sea turtle nests ever documented! With 231 nests, the island is well ahead of last year’s record of 193 loggerhead nests.

“On Sanibel, we are up to 585 loggerhead nests with a couple weeks of nesting still to go. The previous record on Sanibel was set in 2017 for loggerheads, with 649 nests.

“We are now tracking three loggerheads that nested on our beaches this summer. Last week, our team tagged a loggerhead named Periwinkle…. Pepper, Junonia, and Periwinkle received satellite transmitters this nesting season to learn more about the inter-nesting movements, migratory pathways, and foraging grounds of loggerheads nesting on our beaches. Click here to track these turtles! https://www.trackturtles.com/

Why We Love It Here

Here are a few reminders of why so many love Sanibel and Captiva:

Tops in Nation – Widely recognized & consistently ranged as one of the country’s top destinations for beach combing, shelling, kayaking, bird watching, and biking. Family Fun magazine has rated Sanibel a top overall family attraction.

Popular Winter Destination – The American Society of Travel Agents has ranked the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva in their top ten most popular winter destinations. The Weather Channel also has ranked the islands in its top five winter escapes, along with Key West, Kahului (in Maui), Honolulu, and Miami.

Sanibel Shell Festival – Beaches are ranked some of the best in the world for shelling. More varieties can be found here than anywhere else in North America. Shelling posture is so common, that it has a name – The Sanibel Stoop. It also is no wonder that the Sanibel Shell Festival will celebrate its 84th year in 2021. Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip, and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is banned, but shell seekers are encouraged to pick up abandoned treasures that wash up on shore.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Occupying more than half of Sanibel, the national wildlife refuge was named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who also was the first environmentalist to hold a presidential cabinet post (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration).

Boating – There are plenty of opportunities on the islands and surrounding waterways for water enthusiasts, from easy kayaking to serious tarpon fishing. Boat straight across the state from Fort Myers/Sanibel to Palm Beach via the Caloosahatchee River and Okeechobee Waterway, both part of the intra-coastal waterway.

Creativity Abounds Here – From authors to artists to musicians & more – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of America’s famous aviator, wrote her best-selling book, “A Gift from the Sea,” without identifying it as Captiva Island.

Gladiolus Capital – Some of Lee County’s original settlers were flower growers from the Benelux region of Europe. At one time their horticultural efforts made nearby Fort Myers the “Gladiolus Capital of the World.”

Update on The Wildlife Refuge

From the July 16, 2020, “’Ding’ on The Wing”, News from the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society:

Tarpon Bay Explorers has restructured its Sealife and Nature Cruises schedule. Currently, the tours depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11, 1:30, and 6. Keep current on developments via our COVID-19 web page.  In the meantime, we urge you to #StayHome as much as possible, get out in nature when you can, and maintain social distance and mask guidelines when you must go out.”

At the Refuge store, their special edition Sanibel Shells masks are in stock and more Roseate Spoonbill masks are expected to arrive soon. Easy to order at ShopDingDarling.com.

Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

Posted July 10 on FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Realtor.com says its monthly website traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. It also broke its daily record on June 25 when 7 million unique users visited the site.

“Realtor.com created a new Housing Market Recovery Index in early June to gauge how fast the pandemic-slowed real estate market returned to “normal.” The index considers a score of 100 to represent the real estate market on Feb. 1, 2020 – before the pandemic hit – and any current metro score below 100 represents its relative weakness compared to the pre-pandemic market.

“In many metro areas, however, the index has returned to something close to normal; in some areas, it’s even improved.

“In the four Florida metro areas realtor.com includes in its Index, one has already passed the Feb. 1 baseline – Jacksonville with an index of 100.4 – and the other three are only slightly below for the week ending July 4.

Nationwide, the index number reached 97.8, which is the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced. The week’s 2.1-point increase week-to-week brings the index just 2.2 points below the pre-COVID baseline. However, supply remains the biggest factor that will slow a recovery, realtor.com analysts say. Total listings on realtor.com are down 31% year-to-year.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “With supply at record lows, the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.

“Nationwide, listings spent three days less on the market year-to-year the week of July 4. Asking prices on realtor.com were up 6.2%, and the number of new listings were down 4%. Out of the 50 metros included in the Index, the Boston area ranked first with a score of 119.9; the Milwaukee metro area ranked last with a score of 85.8.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $525K; Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $699K; Sundial #T201 2/2 $830K; Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $849K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $419K, Sundial #C301 1/1 now $460K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2 now $589K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 now $838K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $775K.

1 price change: 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 now $995K.

8 new sales: 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $589K; 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 listed at $698.5K; 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $849,948; 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $995K; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $997K; 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $1.325M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $2.995M.

11 closed sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $514K, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $550K, 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex $640K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $655K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $680K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $700K, 1220 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $775K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 $830K, 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.45M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $599,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 now $399K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 now $3.65M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 listed at $329K, Beach Homes #21 3/3 listed at $3,000,050.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.589M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.389M.

1 new sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.5M, 16221-16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.6M.

LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Is Opening Slowly… Just in Time for Memorial Day

This week brought the first of the islands’ good summer showers which already have greened things up and affected some of the bright orange blooms on the big Royal Poinciana trees that are so spectacular here in May.

Also spectacular is the color of the gulf and bay waters. Though that changes when the rainy season begins and things get stirred up, this week many islanders remarked that driving across the causeway looks like a Caribbean postcard. (This photo was gulf side yesterday.)

Today is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty, but the island could get busier soon. Check out the scoop below about the City Council Meeting yesterday. After that is info about the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel Emergency Proclamation Extended

As background on City openings, on Tuesday, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the City’s Emergency Proclamation another seven days – or until May 26. The following three changes were part of the updated Proclamation which may be read on http://www.MySanibel.com.

  • The temporary parking restrictions at Pond Apple Park (1380 Periwinkle Way) and at The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (1159 Causeway Rd) are lifted.
  • Earlier restrictions on beach/pool chairs/equipment were modified to allow chair/equipment in the same percentage as the occupancy allowed (for example, hotels/resorts/timeshares approved for 50% occupancy may provide for guest use the same amount of chairs/equipment).
  • Additionally, the 227 units in the on-site resort rental program at Sundial were added to the hotel/resort/timeshare list based on their recent receipt of a motel license from Florida Division of Business & Professional Regulation.

So, Sanibel’s pay-parking lots remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday (will reopen June 1, unless there is another change). At that time, vacation rentals remained limited to 30 days or longer, except those properties with licenses as hotels/resorts/timeshares which may rent up to 50% occupancy (with safety precautions and with guests from COVID hotspots not allowed).

I ventured into a couple of off-island Publix this week and was surprised to find few patrons wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing precautions. At Bailey’s, they continue to provide a mask if you do not have one.

Sanibel Opens Vacation Rentals, With Restrictions & Exceptions

Last Friday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that beginning this past Monday, Florida was in full Phase One of reopening. Full Phase One includes a stipulation that vacation rentals can reopen on a county-by-county basis as long as the county submits a plan to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and it is approved by the secretary of DBPR. As of today, in just a week’s time, 26 Florida countries have received state approval for vacation rentals.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Lee County Commission on Tuesday and later in the week Lee County’s Safety Plan received state approval. Those plan details say:

  • Vacation rentals should open and operate for in-state reservations only (i.e. only Florida residents).
  • Short-term rental properties should prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally or from a state or locality with a substantial community spread of COVID-19.
  • Short-term rental properties should maintain 72 hours between guest check-ins to allow for effective cleaning and disinfecting of the rental unit.
  • Short-term rental properties shall thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals following CDC guidelines. cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-fac…
  • Short-term rentals shall post signage in all units detailing cleaning and sanitation procedure.

The county plan was revised and approved by the state to restrict vacation rentals to residents of states that have less than 700 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. That currently means residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are prohibited.

Those changes resulted in a Sanibel City Council Meeting yesterday afternoon which unanimously adopted the county plan.

During further Council discussion yesterday, regarding face masks, a motion to make them mandatory in public places (where social distancing cannot be done) was defeated 3-2, but a motion passed that recommends them, following the CDC requirements regarding face coverings. Those details were posted on www.MySanibel last night.

Things in Florida seem to be moving at a steady pace in the Full Phase One Reopening with places like gyms and fitness centers opening back up, and more people going into restaurants and stores. The latest breaking news was the Governor’s announcement that he will be lifting all restrictions on youth activities such as summer camps and youth sports. Hopefully, this will begin to provide some relief to both parents and kids as everyone settles into a new normal. The last day for Lee County Schools is right around the corner, June 3.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $789K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $895K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $353K, Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 listed at $469K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $729K.

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $790K, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.36M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $899K.

6 price changes: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $670K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 now $698K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $699K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $719K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $789K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.095M.

10 new sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $439K, 954 Donax St 3/3 listed at $525K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex listed at $525K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 listed at $625K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $694.5K, 1828 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $695K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 listed at $1.75M, 5044 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.15M.

2 closed sales: 730 Cardium St 2/2 $491.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 6411 Pine Ave listed at $329K, 6419 Pine Ave listed at $889K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.545M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2227 1/1 listed at $539K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.125M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 11542 Wightman Ln 5/5 $3.08M.

LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Rain is expected here on Monday, but we need it & afternoon showers will soon be our norm.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan