Already Wrapping Up January 2023 Post-Ian

I apologize for this arriving so late tonight. The SanibelSusan Team has been busy including today when I worked with buyers making their first visit to the island. That turned into a long day, visiting essentially every community and covering what I call my geography tour of Sanibel. Of course, that includes info about lifestyle, utilities, amenities, shopping, health, insurance, living costs, etc.

I was worried not having driven buyers around for some time – with that not happening much during the pandemic – coupled with the island being in such a state of devastation. There was no need to worry, these folks knew about hurricanes and were wonderful. They have not yet decided between homes and condos, plus like many couples, they have some different preferences.

My day began with an early delivery to Superior Title with a closing checklist and contract for a new listing that sold quickly. After that began the geography tour which didn’t finish until dark (6:30-ish, now that the days are getting longer). My spiel on island weather including how most days are warm with bright blue sky sure didn’t fit the forecast today as it was overcast most of the day, barely getting in the 60’s. (I had to wear a jacket with my winter flip flops. That’s twice this winter.)

We stopped at Trader’s for lunch, where it was like old home week. Former Sanibel Mayor & Doc Ford’s owner, Marty Harrity, gave me a thumbs up and a pitch to these folks on how wonderful life is here. One of my BIG ARTs singing pals with her husband and family were at a nearby table and offered info on how great the fishing has been this week. Turns out they also cheer for the same football teams. Then at the table behind us was another Realtor pal who worked on the island for decades before moving north to be closer to grandchildren. It sure was a plus for these prospects to experience how warm and welcoming islanders are. Our small-town appeals to them!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Still no action on our office rebuild, but at my home, son Dave reported that drywall went up today. You can bet that I will be there checking it tomorrow. Hopefully progress will be quicker from here forward, as I moved into what I hope is my last Fort Myers rental this week. Please let it be the last stop before I am back living on island.

Dave spent time yesterday and today with appraisers and inspectors, while I put a condo under contract (in record time) on Tuesday, then on Wednesday posted the home in MLS, that sold Thursday. Those details are after a couple of news items below, plus the action since last Friday in the islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Our 2023 local association Installation and Awards Event yesterday included a luncheon at Cielo. It was great to see so many smiling Realtors® again, including leaders from other Associations in our district, including Bonita and Naples. SanibelSusan earned Honor Society status for the 30th year and though I don’t want to admit to being old, I was the most senior Past President (1999) in the line-up when we performed the “passing of the gavel” ceremony to the 2023 President.

Congratulations to Amanda Curran, owner at Superior Title of Sanibel. (Her company holds our escrow deposits and handles most of our closings.) They are excited to be back on the island in their office in Tree Tops Shopping Center. She received the Association 2022 Affiliate of the Year award.

Sanibel Update

There was no City post-Ian update meeting this week, but Mayor Smith is great about posting news on Facebook. Thanks to her hard work regarding Sanibel mail, two mobile units were transported to the Post Office parking lot midweek. It will take some time for them to become operational, but that delivery in itself is progress in the right direction.

 Another City post-Ian progress update is scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. at BIG ARTS Performance Hall. I will follow it on Facebook Live and post recaps on my Facebook pages, as usual.
 

Food

This week it was announced that Island Pizza is teaming up with Sweet Melissa’s chef for special meals on Thursdays and Fridays beginning next week Feb 2. Sweet Melissa’s Café building, next door to Island Pizza was taken down last week and will eventually be rebuilt.

Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro also announced yesterday that they hope to reopen in 30 days in a new location, at 751 Tarpon Bay Rd, adjacent to Tower Gallery. Their post said they will be open for lunch and dinner starting at noon, with non-stop Happy Hour, on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Out on Captiva, Mucky Duck has reopened, while on Sanibel the Steeler’s flag is a wavin’ at The Great White Grill which also is open.

Island Real Estate

Below is another update of island inventory today from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. There were 23 homes listed on Sanibel this week, several including our listing in Lake Murex already are under contract. During the same time five homes came back on the market, and five had price reductions, with some of those selling too. Seventeen Sanibel homes sold and seven home closings occurred.

SANIBEL

CONDOS

HOMES

LOTS

#

Avg Price

DOM

#

Avg Price

DOM

#

Avg Price

DOM

For sale

33

1,112,633

63

100

1,470,398

47

14

666,928

81

Under contract

20

1,142,115

31

43

1,005,079

23

1

145,000

6

Sold 2023 to 1/27

5

1,068,000

46

17

969,441

47

4

1,318,500

80

Sold 2022

123

1,136,199

44

184

1,597,868

52

26

779,528

223

Sold 2021

287

875,127

113

355

1,341,881

89

69

698,862

442

 

CAPTIVA

CONDOS

HOMES

LOTS

#

Avg Price

DOM

#

Avg Price

DOM

#

Avg Price

DOM

For sale

6

1,127,333

174

7

7,279,007

149

1

15,500,000

307

Under contract

2

1,299,500

127

5

2,139,800

8

0

N/A

N/A

Sold 2023 to 1/27

0

N/A

N/A

2

5,700,000

59

0

N/A

N/A

Sold 2022

28

1,458,983

52

22

5,636,386

133

0

N/A

N/A

Sold 2021

64

1,150,373

145

44

2,988,520

261

2

2,950,000

731

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 20‑27

Sanibel

CONDOS

12 new listings: Seashells #42 2/2 $374K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $399K, Donax Village #10 2/2 $499K, Sundial #C206 1/1 $599K, Lighthouse Point #217 2/2 $699K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 $714K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $795K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 $795K, Sanibel Surfside #122 2/2 $995K, Heron at The Sanctuary III-2A 3/3.5 $1.149M, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $1.369M, Seascape #106 3/3 $2.975M.

2 price changes: Beach Road Villas #101 2/2 now $624K, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 now $2.75M.

5 new sales: Sunset South #10B 2/2 listed at $650K, Sunset South #3D 2/2 listed at $749.9K, Her on The Sanctuary #III-2A 3/3.5 listed at $1.148M, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 listed at $1.425M, Gulfside Place #102 3/3 listed at $2.198M (our sale).

3 closed sales: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 $525K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 $675K, Pine Cove #A 2/2 $1.06M.

HOMES

16 new listings: 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $679.9K, 1859 Farm Trail 3/2 $719.9K, 4752 Rue Helene 2/2 $799K, 1341 Par View Dr 3/2 $799K, 526 Bunting Ln 5/3 $800K, 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 $800K, 591 Boulder Dr 4/3 $879K, 1145 Sabal St 3/4 $995K, 9248 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $1.025M, 1043 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $1.195M, 1578 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.199M, 1018 Demere Ln 4/3 $1.295M, 4628 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $1.695M, 5271 Indian Ct 4/4 $2.599M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.25M, 3941 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.25M.

3 price changes: 2623 Tamarind Rd 2/2 now $375K, 1679 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $847K, 1224 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 now $1.45M.

5 back on market: Moonshadows #1A 3/3 $949K, 557 East Rocks Dr 4/3 $999K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 2885 Wulfert Rd 7/6 $2.499M, 3699 West Gulf Dr 6/4.5.5 $5.695M.

17 new sales: 1413 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 1/2-duplex listed at $649K, 9126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $650K, 3285 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2.5 listed at $699K (our listing), 458 Casa Ybel Rd 1/1.5 listed at $799K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $829K, 4208 West Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $849K, 214 Palm Lake Dr 3/2.5 listed at $849K, 1230 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $859K, 720 Durion Ct 4/3 listed at $899K, 1040 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $995K, 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $999K, 729 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed at $999,999, 1002 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 listed at $1.125M, 454 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $1.289M, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 listed at $1.395M, 2450 Wulfert Rd 3/3 listed at $1.65M.

7 closed sales: 860 Rabbit Rd 2/1 $375K, 1282 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $559K, 4214 Old Banyan Way 3/2.5 $595K, 293 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $662.5K, 954 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $700K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 $750K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $850K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2235 4/3 listed at $1.899M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Delightful 72 Degrees F on Sunny Sanibel 01-06-2023

It’s another Friday. Hard to believe that Hurricane Ian was here over three months ago. Now that the holidays are over, more owners are arriving for the first time. Very sad for many to see in person the level of devastation. Others say it’s not as bad as expected.

Teammate Dave and I continue to meet with them to discuss plans for restoration &/or selling. We have new listings in the works, while we also continue to work with buyers looking to take advantage of the unique situation the post-storm market presents.

On a personal note, I finally got a new main breaker box at my home this week. Fingers crossed that power is restored soon so that my new pool subpanel and pump are installed next. Dave keeps telling me that reconstruction will move more quickly once the electric is on. Meanwhile, he continues to work there plus assist with others needing help. While this weekend I will move for the 6th time since evacuation. Believe it when I say I now have more patience than pre-storm. It’s the only way!

The below photo was sent to me by blog follower Terry Dempsey from NH. His e-mail said, “We were saddened by what happened during the hurricane and pray for Sanibel to bounce back soon. We have wanted to visit but know with nothing open, we don’t want to get in the way… On New Year’s Eve, we enjoyed the sunset from Bunche Beach, being able to at least enjoy Sanibel Lighthouse from a distance. I wanted to send you these photos to share however you like. I thought it was fitting on the last night of such a tumultuous year, the sun set over the Lighthouse which still stands tall.” (Thank you for sharing, Terry.)

Sanibel Update

Causeway Travel – The causeway opened this week with the islands assessable to anyone, except during curfew which remains 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Travel on/off island during those hours requires resident driver’s license or evidence of the need to be there.

Social media has been loaded with comments from visitors not knowing if they should come and help, either physically or financially to dine/shop, or to stay away and give the islands time to recover. As much as businesses need support, I believe that City leadership provides the best advice. Their Post-Ian Progress Update scheduled for Tuesday night again was canceled. One is scheduled next week, Tuesday Jan 10 at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, no public parking areas and only a handful of restaurants are opened.

Mail – Also the City announced yesterday that the Sanibel Post Office will not be operational until late summer, with pick-up to be continued indefinitely at Jetport Loop which certainly is a long trek for those back living on Sanibel. The Captiva Post Office is open, so an alternative for those folks is to open a post office box there and have their mail forwarded.

Recovery – Debris removal continues, but at a slower pace now. There still are mountains that need to go. Also noticeable is that more condo complexes are getting their grounds cleaned and buildings remediated.

Restaurant News – Saw a notice this week that The Pecking Order Fried Chicken & Pies will reopen this spring in a new location (former home of Rosie’s at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd).

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Resumes – Also received an email this afternoon that our Community Chorus will begin rehearsing next week. This is a non-auditioned choral class open to all singers of all ages and abilities. They will practice Thursday afternoons through Mar 30 with performances at the BIG ARTS Open House on March 15 and on April 4 at the Spring Sing with the Sanibel School. Let me know if you want to join us.

Want to Help With Cleanup?

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Refuge Cleanup with a Ranger takes place every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Meet at the Visitor & Education Center parking lot for a safety brief before traveling to the cleanup site of the week.

Participation is limited; preregister on EventbriteVideo

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Conservation Foundation – SCCF is holding more beach cleanups this month in conjunction with the The City of Sanibel, Florida! Two-hour shifts will be held between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 10, 11, 17, and 18. Learn more and volunteer here: https://www.signupgenius.com/…/10c0d4dabae2ea7fac43…

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

I checked in with our landlord at Sanibel Square today and he still does not have a timetable for reconstruction and occupancy.

We continue to make our daily treks to the island and didn’t notice a big increase in traffic, until yesterday when the City announced that the Florida DOT contractor constructing the new bridges needed to limit traffic to one-lane from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. I tried going about mid-morning thinking workers already had crossed, but waited in backup that stretched past the outlet malls, up McGregor. Dave was smarter and took his boat. Hopefully these delays will only be occasional, as there is lots of work to be done with material and contractor traffic expected to increase as more reconstruction begins.

Some island rental managers advise that many condo complexes won’t be ready for occupancy until late 2024. It won’t be surprising to see some buildings taken down and others rebuilt to current code. Some owners have asked, what happens to our investment if our building is destroyed? Good question.

We eventually expect to see a wave of condo owners looking to sell, like what is happening now with homeowners, particularly those that are in damaged non-conforming properties.

Below is an update of island inventory today from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Then after a couple of news items is the action posted in the MLS since last Friday.

SANIBEL CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 22 1,084,495 79 79 1,445,973 52 8 654,625 110
Under contract 13 1,290,061 49 32 1,115,196 15 4 1,459,500 72
Sold 2023 to 1/6 1 585,000 33 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2022 123 1,136,199 44 184 1,597,868 52 26 779,528 223
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

CAPTIVA CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 7 1,237,571 162 7 7,369,150 165 1 15,500,000 285
Under contract 1 700,000 7 6 3,533,000 26 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2023 to 1/6 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2022 28 1,458,983 52 22 5,636,386 133 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261 2 2,950,000 731

Five Trends That Will Shape Luxury Real Estate in 2023

Getting out of the hurricane mode for a minute to share this article by Melissa Dittman Tracey from the Jan 3, 2023 issue of REALTOR® Magazine:

“The luxury housing market, like most other real estate sectors, is adjusting to a slowdown. Affordability and home size are every bit as much on wealthy buyers’ minds as other consumers. “The reality is we are coming out of one of the best real estate markets in history,” Gary Gold, a luxury property specialist with Coldwell Banker Realty in Beverly Hills, Calif., notes in the latest Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Trends Report. “But that level of demand and price appreciation wasn’t sustainable.” Nearly 90% of respondents to the Coldwell Banker survey say they believe the real estate market will be better than or the same as 2022 for property investment. The following emerging trends were noted in the report.

“Smaller Homes Offer Greater Appeal – The pandemic-era trend of supersizing a home may be shrinking in popularity. Affluent buyers are embracing smaller properties for their 2nd- or investment-home purchases. Smaller luxury single-family homes between 2,500 and 3,5000 square feet sold nearly 19% faster than larger ones, according to the report. “Now that the pandemic has loosened its grip on lifestyle decisions, the big house may not be as much of a necessity as it was during 2020 and 2021,” the report notes. “Some affluent buyers may not need or want to work from home anymore. Schools are open again, and kids don’t need extra spaces for at-home learning and play. Others may be looking to return to city life, where smaller footprints prevail.” Further, higher home prices may prompt more downsizing, too. Many luxury buyers also tend to purchase in cash, so smaller homes may be appealing for their lower upfront costs.

“Buyer’s Remorse Grows – In the previous homebuying frenzy of the last two years, many buyers had to make hasty purchase decisions to beat the fierce competition. They now may regret their choice: About a quarter of survey respondents who purchased a home in the last two years say they are not satisfied with their property, citing lifestyle changes, property size, remote location, lack of neighborhood amenities or a return to full-time office work. This may prompt more luxury buyers to move. After all, more than two-thirds of survey respondents say current market advantages, like less competition and slowing growth in home prices, may change their minds about buying in the near future. However, some discontented affluent buyers may decide to keep their home and fold it into their real estate portfolio. 

“Global Buyers Return – International real estate transactions are back on the rise as foreign buyers eye U.S. housing—and Americans target destinations overseas. About 92% of U.S.-based respondents say they’re considering purchasing a property abroad. A strong U.S. dollar, the rising cost of living and surging home prices are among the top reasons driving interest in real estate overseas. Americans are showing the most desire for properties in Central America, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Asia. (Note: As of Jan. 1, a new Canadian law essentially bans foreign buyers from buying residential properties as investments for two years, with exceptions.) Also, the top international buyers in the U.S. (by dollar volume) are from China ($6.1 billion), Canada ($5.5 billion), India ($3.6 billion) and Mexico ($2.9 billion). Top U.S. destinations for foreign buyers in the U.S. are Florida, California, and Texas….

“Faith in Investments – Over a third of survey respondents believe real estate is the safest long-term investment, ranking higher than stocks and bonds, cryptocurrency, and pensions. They believe real estate as an investment can diversify a portfolio, offer long-term investment, provide financial gains from rental income and serve as an inheritance for their children, according to the survey. “Increasing numbers of the affluent appear to be gravitating toward real estate to create financial, emotional and psychological stability,” the Coldwell Banker report notes. They’re also showing greater optimism about returning to traditional luxury epicenters that have held long-term value (e.g. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston). Further, the report shows, they’re targeting areas that are less likely to be affected by climate change. In the search for greater stability within their portfolios, luxury home buyers are showing demand for second and third homes in multiple locations, eyeing the diversity as a hedge against inflation.

“More Cash Deals – Higher interest rates over the last few months have promoted buyers to seek alternative financing methods. The wealthy are leveraging more cash in real estate transactions. “I think buyers don’t mind taking some money out of the stock market right now and putting it into something more tangible like luxury real estate,” Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Realty in Sarasota and Longboat Key, Fla., writes in the report. Cash transactions are expected to continue increasing. All-cash sales comprised 26% of transactions in November 2022, up from 24% a year earlier, according to NAR data. Besides cash, wealthy buyers are using margin or stock portfolio loans and private bank loans, the report notes.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 30 ‑ Jan 6

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sunset South #4C 2/2 $849K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 $889K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $999K, By-the-Sea #A102 3/2 $1.325M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: Lighthouse Point #119 2/2 listed at $589K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 listed at $939K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $1.425M, Atrium #104 2/2 listed at $1.75M, Royale Tern #303 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

1 closed sale: Sundial #D403 1/1 $585K.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1314 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $779K, 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $789K, 4208 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $849K, 460 & 490 Old Trail 3/2.5 $875K, 214 Palm Lake Dr 3/2.5 $889K, 720 Durion Ct 4/3 $949K, 728 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $1.295M, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 2450 Wulfert Rd 3/3 $1.65M, 3191 Twin Lakes Ln 4/2.5 $1.793M.

3 back on market: 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $599K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $699K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $995K.

8 price changes: 1044 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $699K, 9126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $700K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 now $895K, 1022 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $939.9K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 now $999K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.499M, 2543 Coconut Dr 3/2 now $1.695M, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6.5.5 now $3.595M,

5 new sales: 3384 St Kilda Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 996 Greenwood Ct N (1/2 duplex) 3/3 listed at $779K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 2402 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.1M, 1034 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: 749 Cardium St 3/2 $1.1M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 0 Gulf Pines Dr $749K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing (under contract below).

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 listed at $700K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes or closed sales.

1 new sale: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $4.799M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, fingers crossed that recover speeds up!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Counting Down to Christmas on Almost-Chilly Sanibel

Time sure is flying on Sanibel where even here it is expected to be a chilly Christmas. Yesterday, following my second trip to the island, it was a surprise to find the causeway fogged in at 5 p.m. During the preceding hour, the temperature dropped from 80 degrees F to 70. Today, the day again began sunny with blue skies mid-70’s. It’s down to mid-60’s now. My phone weather app says it will be only 41 by 8 a.m. tomorrow with chilly weather continuing through Monday. It should be back to mid-70’s by the middle of the week.
I am just back from the island this afternoon and noticed fewer workers today, probably many are taking a long holiday weekend. Recovery progress, however, is evident everywhere. Debris piles are getting fewer/smaller. Earlier in the week, I saw many Comcast/Xfinity trucks about. (Residents who have moved back and rely on the internet advise that isn’t going well.)
I also tried to get my annual pre-Christmas lighthouse photo this afternoon. Roadways there still are closed and it was raining, so I didn’t venture out on the beach.  Here is a photo from a couple of Christmases ago, followed by picture from today (it shows new green growth).

Sanibel Update

This week on our island travels, the team and I saw more roofers and construction workers. The weekly post-Ian progress update was part of the Tuesday City Council Meeting. Then, this afternoon the following press release was issued:
“Hurricane Ian Recovery Update
December 23, 2022
STORM RECOVERY INFORMATION
Sanibel Causeway – Eliminating Requirement for Reentry Passes. By consensus, the Sanibel City Council supported the decision to end the requirement for reentry passes on January 2, 2023. The Police checkpoint that has been in place since the causeway reopened to traffic will be deactivated early that morning. However, the City’s curfew will remain in effect between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am daily and the Police checkpoint will be in place during the curfew hours.
The City of Sanibel asks that non-residents respect and understand the fact that Sanibel is still actively working to recover from Hurricane Ian. While the requirement for reentry passes will no longer be necessary on January 2, 2023, we are discouraging visitors at this time and look forward to welcoming back visitors later in our recovery.
Please note the following:
·        Beaches and beach parks, including the Sanibel Lighthouse, remain closed – Sanibel is not open to beach visitors and the Mayoral Proclamation, extending Sanibel’s State of Emergency, prohibits non-residents from being on the beach.
·        Fishing Pier and Boat Ramp are closed.
·        The City’s shared use path (bike path) still has stacked debris waiting for pickup in many places. Nails from debris, that could cause flat tires may exist on the bike path and the City is discouraging people from using it.
·        Debris collection from individual lots and the City’s rights-of-way is still ongoing. Trucks collecting debris will interrupt traffic flow at times and may cause travel delays.
·        Most businesses are closed.
·        There is nothing to see or do – yet.
·        Residents/contractors with reentry passes should continue displaying their reentry passes at all times on their vehicle’s dashboard to assist Police.
·        During the hours the curfew is in place, vehicles with the following credentials will be allowed through the island checkpoint:
·        Sanibel and Captiva residents with a resident reentry pass and a valid driver’s license. The name on the driver’s license must match the name of the person that the reentry pass was issued to.
·        Guests of Sanibel and Captiva resorts with a printed reservation confirmation where the name on the reservation matches the name on the person’s driver’s license.
·        People driving on Sanibel Island between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am should expect to be stopped by Police patrols to verify residency or resort guest status. All persons leaving the island after 9 pm should expect to be stopped by Police at the causeway checkpoint.
·        Residents and business owners who observe any suspicious activity at any time on the island, should report this activity to the Sanibel Police Department immediately by calling 911.
Below is the press release that the City issued earlier, summarizing the Tuesday special City Council meeting. Links to the referenced documents are available at MySanibel.com. Some of this info is a repeat of the above update.
“Summary of Sanibel City Council
Special Meeting – December 20, 2022
Sanibel Causeway – Eliminating Requirement for Reentry Passes. By consensus, the Sanibel City Council supported the decision to end the requirement for reentry passes on January 2, 2023. The Police checkpoint that has been in place since the causeway reopened to traffic will be deactivated early that morning. However, the City’s curfew will remain in effect between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am daily and the Police checkpoint will be in place during the curfew hours. Sanibel and Captiva residents should continue to display resident reentry passes when traveling on and off the island during curfew hours.
The decision to eliminate the reentry pass requirement was made to assist residents, business owners, and the community recover from Hurricane Ian as the following benchmarks established by the City early in the recovery effort have been met:
·        ROW Debris – 80% of the debris placed in the City’s right of way has been collected.
·        The E. Periwinkle Way Bridge is now open to traffic.
·        LCEC has completed pole replacement on main roadways.
·        Any increase in traffic will not interfere with FDOT’s causeway construction project.
·        Police security is sufficient on the island as other communities continue to send police officers from other jurisdictions to assist Sanibel and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office continues to assist Sanibel by assigning Sheriff Deputies to patrol the island.
The City of Sanibel reminds the general public that Sanibel is still actively working to recover from Hurricane Ian. While the requirement for reentry passes will no longer be necessary on January 2, 2023, we are discouraging visitors. Please note the following:
·        Beaches and beach parks, including the Sanibel Lighthouse, remain closed – Sanibel is not open to beach visitors and the Mayoral Proclamation, extending Sanibel’s Local State of Emergency, prohibits non-residents from being on the beach.
·        Fishing Pier and Boat Ramp are closed.
·        Most businesses are closed.
·        There is nothing to see or do – yet.
·        Residents/contractors with reentry passes should continue displaying their reentry passes on dashboard to assist Police.
Hurricane Reentry Passes – Ending Distribution on December 23rd. The City of Sanibel will stop distributing reentry passes tomorrow, December 23, 2022. Residents, contractors, and business owners who may need a reentry pass issued for use during the last week of December (2022) should visit the Fort Myers Regional Library Meeting Rooms located at 1651 Lee St, Ft. Myers, FL 33901, between the hours of 8 am – 1 pm on Friday, December 23, 2022. Residents who have extenuating circumstances that prevented them from obtaining a reentry pass by December 23rd should call 239-472-3700 for assistance.
City Offices and Phone Lines Closed December 26th and January 2nd – Sanibel offices, including the Hurricane Reentry Pass distribution center, and phone lines (except for 911 and Police Non-Emergency calls 239-472-3111) will be closed on December 26, 2022, and January 2, 2023, in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Building Fees. The City Council advanced an Ordinance (22-013) relating to Building Fee discounts for residents and contractors using private provider services for building inspections to a Public Hearing and Second Reading at the January 17, 2023, City Council meeting. The Ordinance also adds a provision that allows the waiver of Building Fees by resolution following a natural or man-made disaster….
Temporary Use Fees.  The City Council advanced an Ordinance (22-015) relating to Temporary Use Fee discounts for residents and contractors using private provider services for building inspections to a Public Hearing and Second Reading at the January 17, 2023, City Council meeting. The Ordinance also adds a provision that allows the waiver of Temporary Use Fees for the placement of a recreation vehicle or park trailer on a residential lot by Mayoral Proclamation or City Council Resolution following a natural or man-made disaster….
Development Regulations in the Resort Housing District – The City Council advanced an Ordinance (22-017) to update the Resort Housing Development Regulations to a Public Hearing and Second Reading at the January 17, 2023, City Council meeting….
Off-Street Parking Requirements and Land Use Regulations in the Resort Housing District – The City Council advanced an Ordinance (22-019) to amend the Off-Street Parking Requirement and Land Use Regulations in the Resort Housing District to a Public Hearing and Second Reading at the January 17, 2023, City Council meeting….
Finance Department Reports – The City Council received the following quarterly reports from the Finance Department. The Finance Department reports include:
1.      General Fund quarterly financial report for 2022 fiscal year to date as of September 30, 2022.
2.      Recreation Fund quarterly financial report for 2022 fiscal year to date as of September 30, 2022.
3.      Sewer Fund quarterly financial report for 2022 fiscal year to date as of September 30, 2022.
4.      Beach Parking Fund quarterly financial report for 2022 fiscal year to date as of September 30, 2022.
5.      City of Sanibel fiscal year 2022 quarterly investment report as of September 30, 2022….
Referred Review of Section 126-87 – Combined Residential and Commercial Development, of the Land Development Code to the Planning Commission for Review. City Councilman Mike Miller asked the City Council to refer Section 126-87 – Combined Residential and Commercial Development, of the Land Development Code to the Planning Commission for Review. Councilman Miller believes that Section 126-87(5) should be reviewed to ensure the code does not create a disincentive to develop affordable or below market rate housing units in mixed-use development projects. The City Council approved Councilman Miller’s request.
Dwelling Rental License Renewals – The City Council authorized the Finance Department to prorate Dwelling Rental License renewal fees for 2023 only to assist owners of short-term rental properties in recovering from Hurricane Ian.
Special Event Approvals – The City Council authorized the City Manager to approve Special Events for 2023 only to assist special event organizers in planning and scheduling special events on an expedited time frame due to Hurricane Ian.
Legislative Priorities. The City Council approved the legislative priorities presented by City Manager Souza. The Legislative Priorities presented to the City Council on December 6th were ranked in order of priority at the request of Sanibel’s Legislative Delegation members….
FUTURE MEETING DATES:
·        Monday, January 9, 2023 – Planning Commission – 9:00am at BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Rd., Sanibel
·        Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – City Council Regular Meeting – 9:00am at BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Rd., Sanibel”

At SanibelSusan Realty

Still no construction started inside our office at Sanibel Square, but Dave and I continue work on island every day. Construction is underway at my home though, so we may have space to work there first.
Below is the listing activity posted since last Friday on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS. I chatted with several colleagues who like us, are getting mostly calls from owners trying to decide if they are going to sell or restore. Some with property already undergoing remediation and repairs, but many still waiting for adjuster reports, contractor estimates, insurance checks, and/or permits.
It will be interesting to see how activity changes – if it does – in January when reentry passes are no longer needed. Meanwhile, damaged homes continue to dominate the market, while more and more condo complexes are being locked up as their restoration contractors work their way through build-back.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 16-23, 2022

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Sundial #G406 1/1 $624.9K, Sundial #A303 1/1 $845K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 $889K, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 $2.695M.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Pine Cove #A 2/2 listed at $990K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #4-5 3/3 listed at $1.395M.
3 closed sales: Sanctuary Golf Villages #2-1 2/2.5 $995K, Gulfside Place #205 2/2 $1.245M, Royale Tern #304 3/3.5 $2.745M.
HOMES
16 new listings (3 included in new sales below): 2623 Tamarind Rd 2/1 $379K, 1811 Ibis Ln 2/2 4625K, 775 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 $999K, 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $890K, 4733 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $895K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $899K, 969 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $899K, 1230 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $899K,1040 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $995K, 3060 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $999K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.349M, 1036 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.749M, 1027 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 $1.895M.
7 price changes: 1382 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $599K, 0126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $750K, 1835 Farm Trail 3/2 now $875K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 now $895K, 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $1.229M, 750 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 now $1.298M. 869 Limpet Dr 5/4 now $2.895M.
7 new sales: 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 listed at $499K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $699K, 577 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $724.5K, 740 Windlass Way 2/2 listed at $899.9K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 listed at $1.2M, 1153 Golden Olive Ct 4/2 listed at $1.995M, 791 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.6M.
13 closed sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $449K, 2551 Sanibel Blvd 3/2 $575K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/2 $610K, 486 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $635K, 596 Boulder Dr 3/2 $685K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 $850K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $850K, 520 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $975K, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5.5 $995K, 5435 Osprey Ct 4/3.5 $1.1M, 4172 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.125M, 4670 Rue Bayou 5/4 $1.249M, 888 Limpet Dr 3/2 $1.55M
LOTS
1 new listing (included in new sales below).
No price changes.
2 new sales: 2998 Singing Wind Dr listed at $299K, 9232 Dimmick Dr listed at $399K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Lands End Village #1650 3/3 $2.59M.
No price changes, new sales, or closings.
HOMES
1 new listing (under contract below).
No price changes.
2 new sales: 1106 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 listed at $1.6M, 11460 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 listed at $2.399M.
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.
Until next Friday, wishing you safe peaceful happy holidays & a very Merry Christmas!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Steps Forward Post-Hurricane-Ian

It’s another Friday so time for another update on island real estate. First, Tuesday night, Sanibel had another City update on post-Ian recovery progress. While yesterday was the first (since the storm) membership meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® with new Sanibel Building Dept Director Craig Mole the featured speaker. More info below on both of those events.

Traffic going on/off the causeway is hit or miss with more owners returning and contractor work increasing. Teammate Dave continues to arrive at daybreak to beat the crowd, while I’m usually later, so we cover inquiries/showing requests. Yesterday at 10 a.m., Traffic was backed up to McGregor, while today at the same time, I drove right on. Patience is key.

After many days of bright sunny 70/80-degree F weather, SW FL got a good shower last night. Some of the hurricane muck dust got washed off and the vegetation a drink. Amazing how Mother Nature is sprouting new growth everywhere. So nice to see life emerge amid the devastation. Also have noticed more birds, butterflies, and our first post-Ian bunny.

It also was sweet to see this sign posted just outside the entrance to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve.

I took my first ride to Ft Myers Beach this past week. Sometimes one just needs a change of view to appreciate what you have. Ft Myers Beach though mostly cleared of roadside debris, is a mess. So sad to see many homes/properties, businesses, library, theater, and chapel destroyed. Some of the newer larger concrete structures (condos and homes) on the east end of Estero into Bonita survived, though appear to have 1st floor flooding/damage like Sanibel. None appear to be occupied other than by disaster/restoration companies. Construction continues at the new Margaritaville resort as you come onto the island. Just before the bridge, the pile of twisted shrimp/fishing boats is astonishing.

In the back of my mind, I was thinking Sanibel’s building code and environmental considerations sure seemed to help when visually comparing our island with Estero.

Sanibel Update

The City Manager and Council continue to get push back about the island reopening to non-entry-pass-holders on Jan 2. If you have an opinion one way or the other, at the Tuesday night meeting, they asked for those comments. It is easy to go to www.MySanibel.com and click on Government, City Council, then click the link for “Contact City Council” to send them an email.

When I picked up my mail at Jetloop this afternoon, it again was wonderful to run into some islanders and see the Sanibel post office crew working. They have a written survey going with your preference “yes” or “no” on the post office reopening on the island. When I drove by the island Post Office today, it didn’t look like any work going on, but I know those island employees want to get back to work there. They hope it will be early next year and not a year from now.

I also asked Laura Ball about her Mailigator sales. She won’t be getting any more tee-shirts made so if you want a shirt featuring the alligator that camped out at the post office post-Ian – or a print of that art, or any of her other creations, go to www.LauraJBall.com. She still has about 200 shirts, many sizes, and she ships them quickly (gotta love an artist that works at the Post Office).

Today, I checked a couple of properties in Chateau Sur Mer and Gulf Shores – still tough going in those neighborhoods. So surprising when the debris is gone to see the actual property damage.

On the business front, here is some business/restaurant/food news:

  • Bank of the Islands Sanibel branch has set up a trailer in their parking lot. Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank main office at 2406 Periwinkle also open Mon-Thur 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri until 5 p.m.
  • Huxter’s brought a food truck into their parking lot this week, offering subs & sandwiches.
  • Island Pizza also started up their smoker & today began offering BBQ. Their target reopening date is Jan 1.
  • Ron from Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen advises that they aren’t going to make their goal of opening tomorrow. Now they are shooting for Dec 22.

Building Dept Scoop from Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Meeting

Sanibel’s new Building Department Director Craig Mole offered some statistics during his presentation at our Realtor® meeting yesterday. Below are the numbers from his first slide showing initial damage assessments:

  • Unaffected – 188
  • Affected – 51
  • Minor – 2,525
  • Major – 2,193
  • Destroyed – 168

His next slide showed the permits that have been issued so far:

  • Demolitions – 22
  • Electrical – 224
  • Building Repair – 99
  • Mechanical – 181
  • Plumbing – 23
  • Roof – 221

Personally interesting that my home which filled with water was considered “minor” since the exterior is intact, while my permit which covers multiple disciples falls under “building repair”.

When he really got into the nitty gritty was in describing the steps for getting these repair permits. For 1- or 2-family homes, his next slide showed these steps:

  1. Lee County appraiser, private appraisal, elevation certificate
  2. Repair cost estimate, then substantial damage review
  3. Permit document preparation, permitting
  4. Permit inspections, permit closeout.

For repairs to multi-family properties (condos, resorts, apartments, etc.), the process is more complicated because the main property (building and grounds) must be safe before individual owners may apply for permits. Unit owners are encouraged to work with each other, use the same general contractor as their association, and not to be surprised if they cannot have any work done to the inside of their units or even access them while the association is making exterior repairs. Here are the steps from his slide for these properties. Note, the county appraiser does not assign a structural value to these properties, so they all need a private appraisal to determine the value of each building and an elevation certificate to determine if it is conforming before the association may apply for permits.

  1. Private appraisal, elevation certificate
  2. Repair cost estimate, then substantial damage review
  3. Permit document preparation, common area repair, individual unit repair
  4. Permitting, permit inspections, permit closeout
  5. Individual unit owner permitting.

It was encouraging to hear him speak of the build-back ordinance and how both Building and Planning Departments are gearing up for heavier workload and an improved on-line permitting system. He estimates that the big wave of those permits will not occur until January 2024 with most engineers, architects, and general contractors already booked out that far.

At SanibelSusan Realty

No work repair has begun inside our office, but the debris from the curb is gone and our flag continues to wave. We work remotely, embracing technology. Below is the info since last Friday with the week’s action from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS. More damaged homes came on the market this week. A big wave of condo listings likely will come next. Many of those owners are not arriving for the first time until after the holidays.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 9-16, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #F210 2/2 $575K, Sundial #D404 1/1 $614.9K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 $725K, Atrium #104 2/2 $1.75M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 listed at $624.9K, Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 listed at $699K

No closed sales.

HOMES

23 new listings (2 included in new sales below): 860 Rabbit Rd 2/1 $375K, 1977 Roseate Ln 2/2 $549K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $699K, 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $599K, 1057 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $699K, 214 Hurricane Ln 3/2 $719K, 577 Boulder Dr 3/2 $724.5K, 658 Donax St 795K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 2/1.5 $799K, 9126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $800K, 5892 San-Cap Rd 3/3 $850K, 1022 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $949.9K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $995K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $995K, 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $1.259M, 1034 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $1.349M, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 $1.45M, 979 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.6M, 2643 Coconut Dr 3/2 $1.795M, 664 Gopher Walk Way 4/3 $1.799M, 1230 Seaspray Ln 3/4.5 $3.95M.

5 price changes: 1399 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $774K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 4/3 now $829K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now 999K, 6136 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $1.2M, 2015 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.325M.

4 new sales: 686 Spartina Ct 3/2 listed at $629K, 293 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K, 954 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed at $1.65M, 4020 West Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $1.9M

3 closed sales: 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $715K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $755K, 3657 West Gulf Dr 4/5.5 $4.5M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 9232 Dimmick Dr 399K, 725 Donax St $749K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 0 West Gulf Dr #1 listed at $4.995M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16611-16615 Captiva Dr 6/6 $7.85M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. I found a couple of holiday decorations that made it thru Ian. It’s getting merry on the outside on the east end!

Sunny Sanibel Recovering from Hurricane Ian

Another Friday already has arrived. Sure seems that these final weeks of the year are passing quickly. I’m again a little delayed in sending this as when I got back from my daily island trip, I found the apartment building where I am renting is without water. This is the 2nd day in a row. Ugh!

It has been slow going this week on the island, first with FL DOT causeway work sometimes limiting traffic to one lane and often with more debris-removal vehicles on East Gulf Dr which is a heavily traveled route since the Periwinkle bridge still is out. It’s all progress though, so staying patient is key!

With many of you in locations that are snowy, I also must note that although the islands still are in serious recovery-mode, the weather here has been fantastic. High 70’s, low 80’s, bright blue skies all week, with plenty of sunshine. Below is a picture of the Christmas tree that just appeared in front of Lighthouse Café. I think the shell fairies are keeping it stocked with painted shells, if you look carefully, you might see them.

Island Comradery

The Reimagined Sanibel/Captiva Luminary event last Friday night at Bell Tower in Ft Myers was under clear skies and very well attended. Our little group of BIG ARTS Chorus singers were on stage following Mayor Holly Smith’s welcome, so we had a great vantage point to look out into the crowd and see many familiar island faces. The entire evening was a great opportunity for many to reconnect for the first time since the hurricane and to support island businesses.

Sanibel Update

On Tuesday, the City Post-Ian progress update was part of the City Council Meeting held at BIG ARTS, They have offered their performance hall for City meetings while City Hall continues their restoration. A recap of that update is posted on both my business and personal Facebook pages.

I also followed the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and FDEM (Florida Department of Emergency Management) Town Hall also held last night at BIG ARTS last night. It was almost three hours long.

There are mixed feelings on the City decision to open the island to non-entry-pass-holders on January 2. The County previously had announced that causeway tolls would restart on January 1. Some think more debris removal and utility work needs to be complete before the island is reopened. Some are worried about security with many homes not able to be secured yet because of storm damage. May properties have swollen door, damaged locks and garage doors. But, some businesses and Captiva owners are anxious to get back.

With contractor work ramping up and more businesses reopening, the City Manager advises that he continues to confer with the Police Chief and others to monitor the situation. It was announced at the FEMA/FDEM meeting last night that the Governor already has approved extending the time the state will provide mutual-aid officers from other jurisdictions until the end of Jan. (That could be extended further.) I saw new police vehicles on the island today, from Panama City.

Residents are encouraged to call the Police if you see or hear of any suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something.” The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew remains in effect until further notice

Mortgage Rates

The following “instant reaction” was posted Thurs by Nadia Evancelou, NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Senior Economist & Director of Forecasting:

“Mortgage rates continue to move down. According to Freddie Mac, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 6.33% from 6.59% the previous week. Housing affordability rose about 8% in the last 4 weeks as mortgage rates moved closer to 6%. If inflation continues to slow down, mortgage rates may stabilize near 6% in 2023.

“With a 6% mortgage rate, housing will become more affordable to many buyers. While the typical family cannot currently afford to buy a median-priced home as the qualifying income exceeds earned income, housing will become affordable again for Americans if rates hover near 6%. In this scenario, the typical family will earn about $1,000 more than the income needed to purchase a mid-priced home.

“With more buyers back in the market, the housing market may turn around at the beginning of next year.”

At SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave continues to arrive on the island at daybreak nearly every day, while I often don’t get there until late morning. Again this week, we viewed properties for buyers thinking of purchasing and owners considering selling, rather than rebuilding.

On the east-end, the Periwinkle Way bridge did not open Wed as was rescheduled. When I left the island this afternoon, crews were still working, and it was not mentioned at the Town Hall Meeting tonight. It looks to be close to completion though.

It has been encouraging to see more debris being picked up on the Gulf Drives. Crowder Gulf, the City’s hired removal contractor, advises they still expect to have 80% of the debris removed before Christmas. The downside of the removal is now one views the damaged properties themselves. But there is obvious progress every day… just a lot of restoration work to yet come. Rumors are rampant about what may or may not be rebuilt or restored. If you have questions, call us. We certainly are not building experts, but have good resources if you need more help.

I also ran into Paul Zimmerman this afternoon. Paul worked for Sanibel Accommodations decades ago when my husband and I used to rent on the island. He opened his own company back in the mid-90’s, Gulf Beach Properties, where he handles mostly annual rentals, but basically any that are longer than 6 months (or when owners are not required to collect tourism taxes). He said, “If you have anyone thinking of renting, have them call me.”

Below is the week’s action from the island MLS. More damaged homes come on the market daily, many going under contract quickly to investor/developers willing to accept them “as is” with no additional repairs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 2 – 9, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sunset South #10B 2/2 $690K, Pelicans Roost #302 2/2 $1.199M, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-5 3/3 $1.395M, Royal Tern #303 3/3.5 $2.495M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 listed at $480K.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary Bldg 2 #3A 2/2.5 $900K.

HOMES

11 new listings (4 included in new sales below): 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 (duplex) $698K, 1153 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $729K, Moonshadows #1A 3/3 $949K, 1224 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.6M, 854 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.65M, 791 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 $2.6M, 869 Limpet Dr 5/4.5 $3.185M.

2 price changes: 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 now $895K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now $1.2M.

10 new sales: 486 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $675K, 4738 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 listed at $750K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 4/3 listed at $859K, 4747 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 listed at $995K, 440 Glory Cir 3/3 listed at $999K, 520 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 4172 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $1.259M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.349M, 2499 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.529M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 listed at $1.995M.

5 closed sales: 1874 Ibis Ln 3/2 $485K, 895 Durion Ct 3/2 $600K, 303 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $625K, 952 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $799,222; 9015 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $970K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

2 new listings (1 included in new sales below): 11460 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 $2.399M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed at $1.55M, 16778 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $6.95M.

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.

This afternoon, I saw the below display while checking a couple of new listings on Limpet Dr. These blow-ups made me think of the island. On one-hand trying to cheerfully celebrate the upcoming holiday and on the other hand kinda tipped over. We’ll be upright soon!.

Until next Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

51 Days Post-Hurricane Ian & Sanibel Remains Strong

It’s another Friday and almost Thanksgiving. Time sure is passing quickly here in Post-Ian hurricane land. I got tied up this afternoon selecting new appliances and then on-island dealing with only one lane of the bridge open, so my apologies that this is a little later than usual. Living in the real world of Ft Myers has its challenges.
On my business and personal Facebook pages are posted recaps of the City’s latest progress update from last night. Those meetings will be changing to weekly (Tuesdays at 5 p.m.) from here forward. Check Facebook for details on the new location (also new location for getting hurricane re-entry passes).
The islands remain limited to access by those with re-entry permits, i.e., residents, their contractors, insurance personnel, and first responders (including debris removal and utility vehicles). At the meeting last night, the City Manager said, though it’s discussed daily, it’s unknown when others may be allowed back on-island, likely not until roadways are safer. Because of all the debris, it is difficult now for both utility and debris-removal vehicles to share the roads.

Island Real Estate

East-end and the Gulf Drives are lined with piles so high some properties are not visible, but the good news is that removal has begun on some of the cul-de-sacs. I was not able to get down South Yachtsman this afternoon as the big trucks had worked their way down to the corner and it was impossible to get past. I bet when the East Periwinkle bridge opens for vehicle traffic after Thanksgiving, East end pickups will accelerate.
Some weeks ago when I said it may take weeks for the debris to be removed, I sadly probably was underestimating. Indications now are that by the first of the year, 80% of the debris will be removed. That too could be an ambitious goal.

At SanibelSusan Realty

This week, Sanibel Square contractors removed the remaining drywall and carpet from the spaces that likely will be restored. That includes our building with Island Therapy, Sanibel Fly Outfitters, the larger building behind us, and the building that houses The Bean. Unfortunately the Ding Darling Nature Store building and Sanibel Beauty Shop are off their foundations. Our landlord is worried that those may not be rebuildable in their current locations.
At our office, teammate Dave was able to salvage a few more of our historical paper files (plus a few Ikki prints) and we hope that experts will be able to retrieve some of the data from our back-up network drive. Meanwhile, I have been setting up new files and recreating documents in my temporary location.
While on the island this week, the team and I viewed properties for several clients wanting to buy and others thinking of selling. Pretty interesting getting into some of them, negotiating around contractor vehicles amid standing water, muck, and mold. Still we are seeing good progress every day.
It was especially positive yesterday to have lunch together at Cielo which just reopened with a limited menu. They had little storm damage, and many workers and residents are flocking there for a semblance of real dining. Their abbreviated menu is available Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., though our waiter mentioned those hours may change next week.
After a couple of new items below, are the changes since last Friday posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday morning I attended the annual meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Thanks to Affiliate member Dave Owens, the meeting was held at his company Midland Trust building at 15671 San Carlos Blvd in Fort Myers.
That also is where our Association offices are temporarily located. It was nice to be back in real contact with colleagues. Our organization is in good financial shape and three new directors were elected.
The building the Realtor® Association owns at 2353 Periwinkle Way suffered significant damage during the storm. Finnimore’s Cycle Shop is our downstairs tenant. Though they received flooding, they already have reopened and are back to repairing bikes if you need any work done.
Upstairs in our Realtor® Association offices, the west-end Board room was destroyed from damage to the side of the building and the roof. Insurance claims have been filed so restoration will begin soon.

Tradition Is Important

This week, a special long-time client who for decades has sent us a live fir wreath from Maine for the holidays, reminded me that tradition is important, when he asked where to send it this year.
It made me think of his comment when I saw a posting today that the annual ‘Tween Waters tree lighting event on Captiva will occur next week after Thanksgiving, just like it does every year. Attendees, of course, must have a reentry pass to get on the island. There should be more details about that posted in the upcoming days. Another step toward normalcy.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 11-18, 2022

Again, most of these new listings had damage with those listing agents providing details in the “agent notes” about the property condition. Most are offered “as is”, with no warranty on condition, and looking for “cash” sales. Some others indicate the remediation or repairs that are included in the sale price. Some of the new listings have gone under contract quickly. Listings below are posted based on current status. Four of the new home sales also were new listings this week, some receiving multiple offers.
Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $699K, Pine Cove #A 2/2 $1.175M, Atrium #104 2/2 $2M.
1 price changes: Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 now $3,149M.
1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages #1-4 3/3 listed at $1.45M.
1 closed sale: Sundial #C209 1/1 $425K.
HOMES
7 new listings: 2551 Sanibel Blvd 3/2 $575K, 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $875K, 3860 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $935K, 750 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $1.389M, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 $1.498M, 4020 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $1.9M, 4697 Rue Belle Mer 4/4.5 $5.25M.
No price changes.
9 new sales: 1874 Ibis Ln 3/2 $595K, 303 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $649K, 695 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $695K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 listed at $800K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $850K, 6065 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $899K, 775 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed at $995K, 9015 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 listed at $995K, 2324 Starfish Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.425M.
1 closed sale: 1219 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $700K.
LOTS
1 new listing: 328 Palm Lake Dr $799K.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
P.S. I am not cooking this year. That’s not really a benefit of losing  your home, but an interesting change. Thankfully, daughter-in-law Lisa’s brother is hosting. Should be fun to just be an attendee. I hope yours also is fun!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Veterans Day 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday! There is island progress – though probably not as quickly as most desire. The mountains of debris from Hurricane Ian seem to be getting higher, though more removal vehicles and staging areas were reported during the City progress briefing Tuesday night. The City contractor handling the removal said that within the next two weeks, every City road will have their first removal pass. Periwinkle Way has already had multiple passes and the Gulf Drives also have had some.
The City briefing scheduled for last night was cancelled because of the Tropical Storm Nicole forecast, but it turned out to be a non-event here. A soaking of the hurricane dust was appreciated though. Next City progress briefing is scheduled at 5 p.m. Tuesday 11/15.

Island Real Estate

The rumor mill has been rampant with reports about various condominium complexes. Many are just now being evaluated by their insurance adjusters and remediation contractors. My advice is to “stay calm”, it never pays to make hasty decisions without confirming facts.
The new City Building Director and Deputy began work this week and their new on-line expedited permitting system is “up and running”.
Many property owners have inquired about contractors and appraisers. I also have received several inquiries from owners wanting to know the value of their property before the storm, compared to now. (Thinking ahead to their 2022 taxes, I guess.)  As I told them, a Realtor® opinion of value is not like a certified real estate appraisal. Sure, I can provide what I think a property was worth just before Ian, but I don’t think we will know the repercussions of the storm on actual sale prices for a few more weeks/months.
Based on the new listings that popped on the market this week, those looking to sell for the most part are owners of ground-level homes that were destroyed inside from the flooding and either they don’t want to go through the aggravation of restoration – or they have found they can’t without elevating the property.
After a couple of news items below, are those changes since last Friday posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Our office finally is close to empty. Teammate Dave has worked tirelessly both there and at my home, fighting the mold and emptying the contents. Still no word on when the office remediation will begin, but we are working remotely, easily dealing with inquiries. Thank goodness for the internet!
The contractor at my home has begun work, and today I selected my new cabinetry and countertops. Will be interesting to see how long the whole process takes. I’ve rented another Ft Myers apartment that I move into before Thanksgiving. Thankfully, it’s one where I can stay as long as needed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The complex that the local Association of Realtors® owns at 2353 Periwinkle Way also had damage, but Finnimores Cycle Shop, our downstairs tenant, reopened this week. Today, I also saw a crowd of workers emptying inventory at Winds Surf Shop.
Hopefully at our annual Association of Realtors® meeting next week (at their temporary off-island location), we will get an update on when our island facility will reopen.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 4 – 11, 2022

Like last week, most of these new listings had damage with those listing agents providing details in the “agent notes” that sales are to be “as is”, with no warranty on condition, and “cash”. The islands remain limited to access by those with re-entry permits, i.e., residents, their contractors, insurance personnel, and first responders (including debris removal and utility vehicles).
Curious lookie-loos are not allowed on-island while debris removal & utility restoration are underway. Police continue to monitor everyone entering and tow trucks leaving the island. You still must have a re-entry pass or local driver’s license with island address to get on.
Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closings.
HOMES
7 new listings: 1129 Sabal St 2/2 $649K, 695 Durion Ct 3/2 $695K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 $840K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $950K, 775 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $995K, 9015 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 $995K, 888 Limpet Dr 3/2 $1.65M.
3 back on market: 921 Strangler Fig Ct 3/2.5 $800K, 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $925K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $1.179M.
2 price changes: 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.1M, 6126 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $1.3M.
6 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir (1/2 duplex) 3/2.5 listed at $449K; 677 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $775K, 952 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $799,222; 780 Beach Rd 3/2 listed at $985K, 3845 West Gulf Dr 5/6.5 listed at $12M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
2 new listings. 809 Pyrula Ave $699K, 4717 Rue Belle Mer $3.75M.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday,
Happy Veterans Day!
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Nov 4 Post-Ian on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s another Friday with more progress noticeable daily on the islands as utility and demolition/remediation crews are starting to appear in complexes/communities.

The City’s progress briefing scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight was cancelled. Next one is scheduled for Tuesday 11/8 at 5 p.m. I will follow that and post a recap on Facebook as I have been doing with the others. If you missed the big one this past Tuesday, that was their last update and was part of their 6+hour City Council meeting. My recap of recovery items discussed at the meeting are below. (Sorry it’s so long.)

Recap of Hurricane Ian Recovery from 11/1/2002 Sanibel City Council Meeting

Day 34 – 11/1/2022 – Tues – Post Hurricane Ian – Below are SanibelSusan’s Notes from Progress Briefing which was part of City Council Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel, Fort Myers: (To listen to meeting yourself, go to The City of Sanibel, Florida Facebook page).

(Wow, big kudos for our City Council & staff. Meeting was 6 hours & 8 minutes, with just two 15-minute breaks. A lot covered. My summary below includes just hurricane recovery agenda items.)

Mayor Smith, Vice Mayor Johnson, & Councilmen Crater, Henshaw, & Miller in attendance. All provided opening remarks.

City Manager Souza provided Ian recovery update. Sanibel joined FEMA in 1979. According to 2017 records, 38% of the island properties were non-conforming, however, Sanibel is rated 5 out of 10 for their code requirements, which provides insurers a 25% reduction in flood rates.

Over 9,000 reentry passes have been issued since the storm.

Incredible efforts by City staff, state/federal/county/neighbors, multiple agencies, business partners, non-profits, & residents – positive – pushing forward.

Please know “that just because it’s taking time, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.” Continue to be patient.

Announcement coming soon on new emergency permitting process.

Kevin Guthrie, Director of FL Dept of Emergency Mgmt – Ian resulted in unprecedented damage & response action/reaction. He’s been here since 10/3. Asked County to assist in debris removal, then asked state. State has now assumed cost of debris removal off City streets. Will be here a long time removing that debris.

Residents & Commercial property owners may request assistance from FEMA for removal of debris & vessels from their private property. Also, could get travel trailer after debris removed.

Already In just 1-1/2 days identified 100 submerged vessels in coastal waters.

Not only will you see Crowder Gulf debris recovery vehicles, but also private debris removal vendors, & private divers with buoys, marking submerged vessels/debris.

If you are looking to apply for PPDR (Private Property Debris Removal) or CPDR (Commercial Property Debris Removal) go to www.CleanUp.com or call 850-951-2002. You will be asked to complete/provide:

1) Right of private entry document

2) Upload insurance info, as Federal govt can’t duplicate charges that your own insurance might cover (no duplication of benefits)

3) ID to ensure you own the property

4) List of waivers, indemnify FEMA

This could get your private property cleared after FEMA clears what’s in the City right-of-ways

Then FEMA travel trailer could be provided up to 18 months for permanent housing.

State program is for 6 months.

Suggested City prepare expedited project worksheets for reimbursements.

Yesterday based on direction from Governor, submitted request for additional 30 days FEMA reimbursement for costs 100% related to storm. This would extend current 60-day order to 90 days, or Dec 31. Only the President may grant this. Hope to hear back quickly.

Also suggested City apply for Community Disaster Loans which in past FEMA has waived payback (every time).

When Chief Dalton asked for additional mutual aid. State agreed to pay for that support through end of year.

City Manager Souza:

Expectation is that cost for just City debris removal will be more than $80M.

Whole City budget is just over $83M.

Already working on worksheets as well as other programs for City to get maximum financial aid.

Cati Sherrard, Resident Construction Engineer – restoring causeway & bridges.

Incredible responses from all parties in cooperation.

In 5 days from being brought on the job, achieved temporary access to island.

Day 15 – open to civilian traffic.

Remainder of work to be done in 2 phases. Now at the end of Phase 1A.

Phase 1 is completion of temporary bridge

Phase 2 is permanent.

Phase 1B will be next month or so, to more stabilize the current temporary access so that it’s good for a year.

Will remain on the job 24/7

Phase 2 will have some overlap, also stabilizing design that will be accomplished in bite-sized pieces. Goal is to have the new bridge there by Oct 2023. Unlike what you may be seeing on social media, it will look much like it did pre-Ian. It’s what you won’t be able to see that will be different.

Also, FL Dept of Transportation is going to rebuild the East Periwinkle Way bridge. Materials have been ordered. Expect it will be done within 2 weeks of start. Contractor is ready to go!

Diana Wilson, Island Water General Manager:

As of this morning water service restored to over 3,000 properties. Getting about 100 requests a day. Request yours at www.IslandWater.com or call 239-472-1502. Business office is now open Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Have received many questions from those who thought their water was reestablished but when they get there, they have no water. Tip: Be sure & check the valve for water to your house & your backflow device valve. Valves should be opened in direction of the flow.

Boil water notice still applies – will communicate when that changes.

Billing – late payment fees suspended until end of year.

Tricia Dorn, LCEC Key Account Executive:

LCEC will be working ‘round the clock until the last new meter installed.

Have received 1,485 affidavits that electrical systems are OK & ready to be powered up.

So far, 970 have been energized, another 35 turned on just during course of the meeting so far.

Taking 24-72 hours from receipt of affidavit to turn-on.

So far 117 orders were unserviceable.

Power back on to all lift stations.

If you received power & then it went out again, please call LCEC. A transformer problem after a major event like this could occur up to 6 months after.

There are 200 crews working on island now, 24/7.

Kevin Barbot, Sanibel Fire & Rescue Chief:

County had many structure fires, just 6 on Sanibel were complete losses.

4 electric-vehicle fires to-date

2 small fires (lithium batteries, e bikes)

32 golf cart fires at The Dunes

Initially most work rescue/evacuations, then 209 electric-vehicle removals, responding to emergencies, mitigation, & humanitarian efforts.

Working with Amerigas & Blossmans on propane tanks. Many moved during storm.

Call Fire Dept if you find one on your property.

1300 permitted tanks have been inspected.

Dealing now with a lot of traumatic injuries & increased industrial/construction emergencies.

In partnership with Lee County EMS, provided with additional ambulance & medics to assist.

Brush fire danger & conservation land precautions.

Now increased response time from mutual-aid partners just off island as they likewise dealing with devastation.

Strike team from Destin was here providing mutual aid. Hoping now to get more from other parts of state.

Please keep hydrants clear.

Fire Station at Bowman’s may be a total loss. Working 12-hour shifts 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Palm Ridge Station in better shape, it’s about 75% remediated.

If you see a problem or have a question, please call or email.

Didn’t lose a single apparatus, just one staff vehicle.

Incredible progress in just 34 days.

Regional & Project Director from Crowder Gulf & rep from Thompson Engineering (company that is monitoring the debris removed for FEMA reimbursement). Both living in campground.

10/3 – first emergency push.

10/7 – first barge with heavy loaders brought over

LCEC vehicles also barged over

Daily reports with every removal truck have a monitor.

Just added another 18 haul units.

Island Inn debris site too small, so now have opened up new sites at Purdy Rd & Wulfert Rd.

Removal amounts now will increase.

56 haul units. Today Sanibel has more haul units than used to process major storms like that hit Hilton Head (much larger community).

Expect 60-80% of debris will be removed in 60 days.

More haul units will be added when more sites are up. There need to be places to put/process the debris.

Once double-barrels (big black debris trucks hauling a big black debris trailers) are into communities, it will go faster. Will take several passes to get rid of it all.

As of 11 a.m. yesterday, Crowder Gulf removed. 4,134 loads or a total of 193,239 cubic yards of debris (1 cubic yard about the size of a washing machine). 126,379 cubic yards of vegetation & 66,860 cubic yards of construction/demolition debris (this is the debris that will be huge – just getting started).

Please separate your debris as shown on chart on City website. That’s splitting hazardous material, vegetation, appliances, construction debris, trash, etc.

Crowder Gulf cannot pick up black plastic bags – they must be able to see the debris that is being picked up – if you have those bags – leave them open.

Crystal Mansel, Sanibel Director of Administrative Services & Risk Management:

Efforts include human resources, benefits administration, operations at Crown Plaza where City has been many times & has been using 42 rooms, 2 ballrooms, meals, food/water to boots on ground on Sanibel, now looking for alternative location as hotel has other guests arriving.

46 City employees were reassigned to Crown Plaza to man call center, information desk, re-entry passes. Thanks to Recreation Dept staff who have often been answering calls & working in stressful environment.

Also shuttling staff to marina 24 hrs/day. That has now been reduced to 6 day/work-weeks, hope to get it back to 5.

Under risk management, City has 165 assets (value $100 million) through insurance trust. Insurance boots on the ground in 5 days. Belfor has inspected all. 126 assets damaged.

Most severe damage at buildings at museum & City Hall had storm surge & lower floor destroyed.

Level 2 damage at Rec Center (roof & floor), Donax Water Treatment facility, Lighthouse (missing leg was found & broken in 3 places). Developing plan to repair/shore up all.

48 properties had minor damage.

52 no damage.

2 cruisers lost, 2 workman comp claims.

Will have another tour of assets Thurs/Fri to determine rest of mitigation & rebuilding necessary.

Andrea Miller – Sanibel Recreation Dept Director, has been reassigned to also assist with industry passes & CHR contact.

She praised her team with a “service heart” for always asking “how can I help, & what’s next.”

Rec facility had substantial damage, but staff has hand-cleared the debris from pools.

Gym floors removed; cleaning debris, & playground shared with school.

Holly Milbrandt – Sanibel Natural Resources Director

Been serving in variety of roles, on Structural Safety Inspection Team, ham radio operations, transportation, passes, EOC coordination.

Considerations to animals, vegetation, water quality. Coordinated with partners.

Vegetation recovery guidance document on City website. Use only licensed contractors.

SCCF Has good tool on their website for reporting wildlife sightings. There have been good reports.

Beaches being evaluated with coastal engineering firm, hope to post conditions report by end of week including info for property owners, particularly on East End where most damage.

FGCU water school has been performing beach survey with dive-can-sonar equipment to locate debris that is buried or hard to see.

FL Dept of Health Dept swimming advisory remains in effect. Water is full of chemicals, hazardous materials, & bacteria. Avoid contact with water.

Post-storm water quality evaluations underway.

Johnson Engineering performing Sanibel Slew evaluations.

Considering Lake “O”, Sept was 3rd wettest Sept recorded. 185% of normal accumulation.

It will be a long recovery period. Lake had 8’ of slosh at water levels, 19’ of water elevation on north side. Highest ever recorded.

Red tide already blooming in the region & not unexpected. Latest sampling reports show evidence in Sarasota, Charlotte, & 5 positive samples off-shore in Lee County.

David Schmitt & Scott Crosley – Sanibel Public Works/Sewer – Director & Deputy – Work continues with roadside trash pickup, fleet maintenance issues (2 mechanics), 165 pump stations. 135 lift station panels damaged, but many now working. Donax plant now fully operating, manned 16-hrs/day.

Sewer system now pretty sound, flushing toilets OK, just be careful how much you use.

Also OK to now begin using dishwaters & washers.

Be sure initial cleaning is done using dry methods so drains/pipes are not clogged with sand. First get rid of sediment by hand, then supplement with water.

Sanibel Police Chief Dalton – again thanked the 60 officers that were here from Dade, 50 others here now offering mutual aid. Also, Lee Sheriff Dept help.

Originally was a mandate from state to allow tow trucks on island, then notified of possible fraud, so now checking all vehicles leaving with vehicles to be sure they have property documentation.

Paula McMichael, Sanibel Planning Director – This is her 36th day on the job, hurricane came on her 2nd official day on the job. Members of Planning Dept also were part of initial Structural Safety Team. Since then, helping owners with elevation certificates, build-back restrictions.

Toured all seawalls, only one severely damaged & helping with those repairs.

Shane Kittendorf, CAP Government contractor working as interim Director of Building Dept – Again described how owners of non-conforming property may look on LeePA.org for their parcel & the county Tax Appraisers value letter which shows building structure value. Or if that amount is not enough, consider hiring a certified appraiser.

Also please consider elevating your property if you have the opportunity.

By Nov 7 when new building officials start (both Director & Deputy) you will be able to apply for permit on-line.

Tomorrow, emergency repair guidance will be issued.

Be sure when comparing 50% of your structure value that you consider all of the work required to bring the property back (alterations, demolition, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, roof).

Building Dept hopes to turn on their new permitting system quickly & issue permits quickly.

“Planning & Building” are not the bad guys.

Steve Chaipel, Sanibel Finance Director – assisting in Natural Resources, Recreation, asset control, & manning EOC.

At budget hearing on Oct 3, $84M Sanibel budget was approved. Financially we are OK, prepared for disasters & with environmental reserves.

News that the state is funding debris removal is huge.

This event likely will exceed $100M for just debris removal on Sanibel.

Finance Dept is interface with FEMA & state for assistance.

Documents have been filed & approved. Can ask for 50% of funding up front.

Have spent $8M in cash so far, mostly for pay.

After break, discussion/voting continued on other agenda items including emergency ordinances to temporarily use or park an RV or trailer on a residential property for up to 180 days or until damaged residence again becomes habitable. It must be a wheeled vehicle with quick-connects for utilities, needs temporary use permit issued by City, & may only be occupied by property residents. May be extended for 180 days.

Similarly for commercial businesses, they could get temporary use permit for up to a year max. Of course, homeowners/condo associations must approve.

Temporary moratorium on building new residences & on changes in resort housing district. See City agenda for details.

City also to bring back/apply for line of credit for up to $20M for term up to 3 years.

In summary, long-term recovery is expected, but there is already talk of moving back to City Hall.

As Mayor Smith said: “If you haven’t been to the island, you will be in awe of the magnitude of the destruction. But it’s coming back. It’s gonna get tougher, but we’ll come out better on the other side.”

Facebook Live scheduled for Wed at 5 p.m. has been cancelled.

At SanibelSusan Realty

I spoke yesterday with Marcel, our landlord, and teammate Dave met with him today. Here’s a picture of the Sanibel Square sign that I took this afternoon. Much of the complex is being used for staging of remediation equipment, but Marcel says his construction crew is ready to remove drywall soon.

Dave should have our place emptied in a few more days. The beauty shop behind my office and building next door rented by “Ding” Darling Nature Center Store are both off their foundations, so will need engineering evaluations before those may be rebuilt. Our building appears to just need remediation/new walls and utilities. I bet it’s ready before my home.

Meanwhile, I’m fielding calls, emails, and offers about our listings. Have talked to several colleagues (other heavy hitters) and they advise, they are getting offers from similar vultures. Though my crystal ball has never been used after a catastrophe like this one, I am advising clients who want to sell to keep their properties listed but expect that it may take many months for the market to stabilize.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® has a temporary office location at Midland Trust, 15671 San Carlos Blvd., #101, Fort Myers. Our annual meeting scheduled for last month also has been postponed until November 17 at this new temporary location and will be posted on Zoom. I’ll be there.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 28 – November 4, 2022

Some of these new listings had damage with those listing agents providing details in the “agent notes” on condition and viewing possibilities. The islands remain limited to access by those with re-entry permits, i.e., residents, their contractors, insurance personnel, and first responders (including debris removal and utility vehicles). The number of workers on the island is huge. The ongoing work on the causeway also is staggering. Big changes noticed daily.

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: By-the-Sea #B101 3/2 $1.2M.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #323 2/2 now $875K.

2 new sales: Sundial #C209 1/1 listed at $799K, Gulfside Place #205 2/2 listed at $1,295M

No closed sales.

6 withdrawn from market.

HOMES

5 new listings: 4427 Gulf Pines Dr 2/2.5 $595K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $675K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 $775K, 440 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.495M, Colony Beach Estates #4 (435 Bella Vista Way E) 3/3 $5.395M.

1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $1.995M.

2 new sales: 1219 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $700K, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5.5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

4 withdrawn from market.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: West Gulf Dr #1, now $4.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1994 Wild Lime Dr $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS, & LOTS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

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

1 withdrawn from market.

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

Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Scoop on Day 16 Post-Hurricane Ian

Sorry I missed reporting last Friday, though I expect many are following my recaps of the City’s Facebook Live Post-Ian progress report meeting every night. Those are posted on both my business and personal Facebook pages.
To watch those City briefings yourself, either go through www.MySanibel.com or on Facebook at “The City of Sanibel, Florida” page. You do not need to be on Facebook to watch them.
Also, on the City website, there is an orange banner at the top of the page with a link that goes to Hurricane Ian info. On that info page, there is a link to the nightly updates, info on when residents may return over the temporary causeway, the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment Map, structure imagery, & more.

Office Post-Ian

My pool post-Ian

At SanibelSusan Realty
I am still in an East Coast hotel (day 17), doing what I can from afar, while teammate son Realtor David has been making daily trips to the island with his boat (my dock survived). It has been difficult working with the heat, mold, and no utilities. I owe him a debt of gratitude.
Also ground transportation is not easy with the Periwinkle Bridge out. He biked around the first couple of days and then when private operating vehicles could be used, friends lent him their jeep. Now he’s dealing with a nail in one of the tires. He is resourceful though and has taken many photos, helping many clients and friends see the exterior of their property for the first time.
My home and our office both filled with water (~7+’ at home, ~6’ at office) so David slowly has been trying to air them out and lug waterlogged furnishings to the curb. It is a long tedious process.
In pix with red love seat, see the waterline and ugly mold that only took minutes to start forming. My floors are off-while tile, see the sludge. Yuck!.
Office was home to the yellow love seat. It sure took a ride in the surge from our front reception area.
Thankfully, I evacuated with one of our laptops, so between that my iPad and iPhone, I have been able to conduct business anywhere where there is internet/cell service.
I haven’t heard from our landlord at Sanibel Square, but at home, I signed a contract with a general contractor to get my home restored. It likely will take a very long time. In the meantime, I have rented a small furnished apartment in Fort Myers beginning later this month. Hopefully by then that area of SW FL will have restored internet and potable water. Like at Dave and Lisa’s home, they already have power and some cell service.
Meanwhile, on the business front, I have heard from some prospective island buyers, as well as a few owners who think they may part with their property, rather than restore. With all that has occurred over the last two weeks, there has not been much activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The MLS details for the past two weeks, since September 30, are after a couple of info items below.
I know that Sanibel will be back better than ever. It will require patience, kindness, and understanding.
City leaders and staff are doing an amazing job coordinating efforts to open the island again safely and with utilities as soon as possible. They have/are requesting help from many federal, state, and local agencies. Responses have been amazing.
We all are anxious to get back to check our properties and look forward to later this month, when we may cross the causeway again, albeit slowly and carefully. Only island residents, business owners, licensed contractors, and insurance folks may return (all with property hurricane reentry pass/documents). If you are one of those, don’t forget to bring a respirator mask, goggles, boots, and gloves, and be prepared to see what you don’t want to see. #SanibelStrong
Also, if you vote in Florida, don’t forget to do that. I did mine today by absentee ballot.
Rental Resources
Our local district Realtor® Associations has created a website, www.HurricaneHomes.org for those looking for temporary rentals. The is a platform for housing in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island. It provides listings from licensed Realtors® whose properties have been vetted as reliable, safe, and clean.
Please be careful when contacting listings from Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as they may be fraudulent.
Operation Blue Roof & Other Resources
Operation Blue Roof, call 800-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258) or go to
Florida DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Lee County
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 30 – October 14, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
2 back on market: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 $1.325M.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $850K.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new sales or closed sales.
1 back on market: 4636 Rue Royale $825K.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever! Every day there is more progress! #SanibelStrong!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

An Interesting Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

Another quiet week for us at SanibelSusan Realty, so much so that yesterday Dave and Lisa took another long-deserved day off together. When we are in the office, we are catching up with database updating, reaching out to fence-sitting buyers and sellers, and gearing up for “season”. Inventory still is low. For sale today on Sanibel, just 26 condos, 27 homes, and five lots.
It was five years ago today, when many left the island as Hurricane Irma was looming. It arrived September 10, 2017. Thankfully, we have not seen any serious storms this year, though the heavy rain, thunder, and lightning that passed through the islands several times yesterday, kept the alarms ringing at the community park across the street from our office.
Late-afternoon, I also received repeated City warning announcements of severe thunderstorms. As they say in Florida this time of the year, wait a few minutes for the weather to change. I say, keep an eye on the sky and a good weather app. Yesterday, it was heavy rain on Sanibel, while the night before it was inland. Both events resulted in more than 1000 lightning strikes during very short timeframes.
With water quality always in our minds, particularly after storms, I stopped at the bayside beach on Bailey Rd enroute to the office this morning. Water not sparkling blue, but still clear.
This afternoon, we have been without internet service for hours so that’s why this is a little later than usual today. In fact, It came back on for a few minutes but is off again now, so am winging this from my iPad.
SanibelSusan’s Crystal Ball
So, over the long weekend, I both met and corresponded with more prospective buyers. Since we Realtors© often hear the same objections again and again, here is my 2-cents worth on some. First a little background from my 30 years selling island real estate and maybe a little credit for spending 23 years in marine engineering, management, and contracts before that.
These may be generalities, but most buyers here are NOT looking to purchase somewhere else. They want to be on the island. Maybe it’s the weather, or the laid-back lifestyle, or the taxes, or the school, or the environment, or something else, but they want to be on Sanibel. Most of these buyers also say they do NOT need to buy – or can wait to buy. Most also recognize that the Sanibel/Captiva market has been hot, inventory is down, and prices are up.
Many also say, they are waiting for the market to change because they think it will – for reasons like the economy, war in Ukraine, high interest rates, increases in insurance costs, storms, politics, and more.
What they can’t understand is that I don’t always agree with them. They look at me like I’m a salesman when I say that every island Realtor® worth their salt has a list of buyers just like them, that the difficulty is the amount of inventory and when it is available, not that the property is not worth what sellers are asking. Property values are determined by buyers, based on what they are willing to pay.
Here it is an issue of supply and demand. Sanibel often is a retirement destination which may mean buyers purchase more than one property here before they get their final one. There are few listings motivated by job or family changes. Those that sell to leave the island are often going for health reasons or to enter a retirement community.
Many of today’s prospective sellers would like to take advantage of the “hot market”, but where would they go? For that reason alone, many are sitting tight. Those that are choosing to sell though sometimes get the luxury of doing things on their own timeline and choosing from a variety of good offers.
What does a seller consider a good offer? That varies with their motivation, but in most cases, it is a cash full-price with strong deposit(s), no seller warranty or repairs, and closing at a time of seller choice.
What else happened here with real estate, from the pandemic, is that island owners who previously spent only short times on-island, now are here much longer, or moving here permanently, or working from here, or no longer renting their property. Real estate availability has been reduced.
Unfortunately, for prospective buyers, this market boom usually means the best deals are grabbed up quickly. Despite some media claiming otherwise, existing properties for sale and priced appropriately still are moving at a remarkably fast pace in many areas. According to statistics collected by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the average house in the U.S. is selling in just 14 days. To put that into perspective, U.S. homes took an average of 96 days to sell back in 2011.
It is true that Florida home prices are up over 30% over last year. Despite escalating mortgage rates and slumping home sales in the second quarter of 2022, a greater number of U.S. markets experienced double-digit annual price gains compared to the prior quarter, according to NAR. Eighty percent of the 185 tracked metro areas posted double-digit price gains, up from 70% in the 1st quarter of the year.
Nationally, the median single-family existing-home price eclipsed $400K for the first time, rising 14.2% from one year. Year-over-year price appreciation eased slightly compared to the previous quarter. Are there homes on the islands priced this low? No. As I had to tell recent prospects wanting to spend no more than $750K, the lowest-priced home on the island today is one that is inland for $815K. I’ll watch for some priced lower, but who knows when that will be.
Many real estate gurus predict that Florida will stay hot through the year. I bet it stays hot through winter too.  Will high interest rates affect the number of sales? Sure, just not much here, where few buyers make offers with mortgage contingencies. What I see those higher interest rates may do is slow price growth. (The key word here is “growth”, prices are not trending down.)
For years, the supply of new homes in Florida has trailed behind population growth. On the island, new homes are almost impossible to find. Adding the post-pandemic migration to Florida resulted in an enormous gap in supply and demand – which continues to drive prices up.
Many who follow the market also think that through the remainder of this year and into 2023, housing demand will be all about the Gulf Coast of Florida. As the popularity of working remotely grows, people are expected to continue to move from major cities to slower-paced lifestyles. That’s here!
Those selling in Florida this year will probably make a nice profit. They may not get multiple offers, but they should have choices.
Meanwhile, those island buyers sitting on the sidelines thinking the market here is going to crash, better think again. I bet prices will continue to go up – perhaps more modestly – until the day (if ever) that the islands become less desirable. That probably would take a catastrophic event.
Buy now, tomorrow is not promised. That is one lesson learned from the pandemic.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
No caravan meeting this week at the local Association of Realtors©, but there was still a little action posted in the Multiple Listing Service. See that below, after a couple of news items.
Next week, the Association is offering the classwork required every two years for Realtor© license renewals. I will be in class Monday morning and all-day Tuesday to finish up the continuing education required for my renewal in March. (It’s true, “old dogs can learn new tricks.”) I look forward to seeing long-time instructor pals, Chuck Bonamer from Venice who is teaching Bias Override and Pat Pitocchi from Naples who will teach both Code of Ethics and Core Law. (Tough to keep those subjects interesting, but I know these two will do it.)
SanibelSusan teammates Dave and Lisa have already completed their classwork and renewed their licenses for two more years.
September Restaurant Closures
Update below on when some restaurants are closed this month. Best September advice is to give them a call before going. Some are experiencing delays in reopening.
·        400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
·        CIP’s – In Sept, closed for lunch CLOSED & CLOSED all day Tuesdays, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
·        Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30, reopens 10/1
·        Island Pizza – 9/6-19, reopens 9/20
·        Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow
·        Mad Hatter – 9/5-30, reopens 10/1
·        Over Easy Café – 9/12-22, reopens 9/23
·        Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20, reopens 9/21
·        Rosie’s Café & Grill – 9/5-12, reopens 9/13
·        Schnapper’s Hots – 9/6-15, reopens 9/16
·        Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19, reopens 9/20
·        The Fig – 9/11-13
·        Trader’s – 9/18-10/2, reopens 10/3
·        Traditions – 9/4-26, reopens 9/27
·        Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13, reopens 9/14
Bankrate’s Best State for Retirement in 2022? Florida
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Nexstar Broadcasting:
“In a study heavily weighted for affordability, Fla. “unsurprisingly took the top spot,” while Alaska, despite its affordability, came in last.
“MIAMI, Fla. – Whether it’s kicking back on the porch reading the newspaper, enjoying the outdoors or just being closer to the grandkids, post-career goals vary for people. But all states are not the same when it comes to retirement, a recent study from Bankrate found.
“Bankrate conducted a study to find the best and worst states for retirement in 2022. “For this study, Bankrate looked at five broad categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. We placed the heaviest weighting on affordability,” according to the study, whose authors acknowledged that some things, such as proximity to loved ones or personal dislike of the cold, were just too subjective to measure.
“The Southeast dominated the top two spots followed by some Midwest states and others across the U.S. Florida, well known for its warm weather, abundant golf and retirement communities such as The Villages, unsurprisingly took the top spot.
“Let’s check out the best and worst states:
“Alaska was relegated to the last spot because of its poor scores for weather, crime and affordability. If avoiding taxes is your top goal, however, you may still want to consider Alaska, which beat out all other states in that category.
“As for overall affordability, Michigan is your destination. Despite the frigid winters, The Great Lakes State broke the overall top five for 2022 thanks in large part to its cost of living.
“Also in the top five were Georgia, for its mostly pleasant weather (outside of hurricane season) and affordability; Ohio for its affordability and lack of bad scores in other metrics; and Missouri, also for affordability and weather.
“If it’s still too hard to pick, consider the advice of Laura Kovacs, former director of education at the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in Arizona who recently retired herself: “Go to a variety of different places that you seem to be attracted to – places that have a lower cost of living and lower property taxes – and test them out for a while. If you’re interested in Florida or Arizona or California, stay there for a while and see if you like the climate at the time of year you’re going to be living there.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2 – 9, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Tiqua Cay #487 3/3.5 $3.4M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 listed at $685K.
2 closed sales: Sundial #G306 1/1 $845K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 683 Emeril Ct 2/2 now $1.049M.
1 new sale: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 listed at $2.339M.
1 closed sale: 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $755K.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 now $519K.
No new or closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 $3.9M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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