Trying to Make Lemonade


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

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

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

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

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Question: What do I need?

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

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

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

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

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

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

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

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

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

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

“Question: What are the rules?

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

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

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

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

“Question: Should I shop around?

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

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

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

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

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Brrrr…It’s Cold Outside


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

Insurers Try New Tactic To Limit Damage Claims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Have A Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out These Sanibel Beach Pictures


It’s Susan reporting another week of nice Sanibel summer weather. The island has been a little quieter following the departure of holiday visitors, but there are still plenty of vacationers enjoying the islands.

Sunday night, I had dinner with friends at the new Doc Ford’s and was surprised to find a wait from as early as 6 p.m. right through closing time. It’s a popular place and worth the wait. These friends also shared some of their vacation photos – fine examples of the great weather, sparkling gulf, and how empty the beach was this week at Chateau Sur Mer. Thanks, Pia.

Chateau 1 07-17Chateau 2 07-17Chateau 3 07-17Chateau 4 07-17Chateau 5 07-17Chateau 6-07-17Chateau 7 07-17chateau 8 07-17

Yesterday was the July Membership Breakfast Meeting at the islands Association of Realtors®. Very little real estate activity was announced, but the speakers were excellent. Affiliate members, David Arter (Private Client Insurance Services), Chris Heidrick (Heidrick & Co. Insurance), and Mike Gadaleta (BB&T Oswald Trippe & Co.) updated members on insurance issues. Below is some info from David Arter’s handout on Wind Insurance.

Following some other news items is a summary of the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Wind Insurance & More

There are three types of providers for wind insurance here:

  1. Admitted Markets – these are the insurance providers licensed & approved by the State of Florida. Several carriers write wind insurance on Sanibel & Captiva.
  2. Citizens – this is the admitted carrier that is operated by the State of Florida.
  3. Surplus Lines (or Non-Admitted Carriers) – these must be access through a broker, no standardized forms are required (meaning they do not need to comply with state requirements), and there is no minimum earned premium.

What is Citizens? – Citizens Property Insurance can insure residential dwellings to a maximum value of $699,999 (per Florida Senate bill 1770). Policies could be subject to a “surcharge” (of up to 45%) if Citizens sustains a deficit as a result of a hurricane or other reason. They have strict underwriting and administrative guidelines, limited endorsement availability, and a depopulation program. Originally designed as the “Carrier of Last Resort’, Citizens was the largest property insurance carrier in Florida. Recently, it has gone from 1.1 million policies to under 450,000 personal residential policies.

Wind Mitigation Inspections – The Wind Mitigation Inspection form used today was revised in 2012. It contains such information as the age of the roof, the roof deck attachment, wall attachment, geometry or shape, secondary water resistance, and opening protection (shutters, hurricane glass, etc.). A wind mitigation inspection is recommended even on an older property, if was permitted before 2001, but the roof meets 2001 Florida Building Code (meaning a new roof was permitted after 3/2/2002) – or if a roof permitted before 2001 Code has hurricane wraps or clips (3 nails required), has Level B or C Roof Deck Attachment, and/or Level A Opening Protection.

Helpful Tips When Looking for Insurance Coverage

  • To get insurance credits or a better price, get a Wind Mitigation Inspection done, even on homes built before 2002.
  • For homes 30 or more years old also get a 4-Point Inspection. This inspection covers the roof, plumbing, electrical, and air conditioning systems. From this inspection, insurance agents can determine if the property is eligible for coverage by different providers. Many require that a roof have a remaining useful life of at least five years. Polybutylene plumbing also is a problem for virtually all carriers. Electrical Fuse panels and Federal Pacific Panels are generally unacceptable by most carriers. (Some also restrict Zinsco and Challenger panels.)
  • For flood insurance, a copy of the current policy helps as does an Elevation Certificate (prepared by surveyor).
  • When buying a property, providing the insurance agent with a copy of the MLS information helps too. They use that and county public records to provide estimates.
  • Establish the closing date and bind polices early. Insurance agents are often balancing between available markets, zip code openings/closings, and storms. During Hurricane Season, carriers can stop writing policies at a moment’s notice. A storm threat usually means companies will stop writing policies until the storm passes. A signed application and payment are needed to bind a policy.

Sanibel Planning Commission Reaffirms Position on Retail Stores

Good summary about this week’s Planning Commission meeting at the “Santiva-Chronicle” on-line.

“The Sanibel Planning Commission reaffirmed its stance on formula retail, or chain, stories in a unanimous 6-0 vote at City Hall Tuesday, July 11, and also was in agreement that the city needs to keep a close eye on the changing face of retail business. With no public hearings on its agenda, the Planning Commission spent just over 90 minutes discussing formula retail, after which it voted to stick with the recommendations it unanimously passed at its June 13 session. The commission will vote on approving a resolution at its Aug. 4 meeting that will forward four recommendations to the City Council for its consideration as either amendments to the Land Development Code or action items. They are:

“1. Adjust the current review trigger that requires additional review and approval by City Council from 50,000 square feet to 60,000 whenever a new formula retail stores is permitted in excess of this total amount of commercial floor area representing all formula retail stores within the City Commercial District;

“2. Amend the current definition of Formula Retail Stores so that it does not apply to retail businesses with fewer than three existing stores;

“3. Develop and post on the city’s website mysanibel.com an instructional guide with the necessary steps for starting any permitted business on Sanibel;

“4. Request that the city examine the future economic development of its Commercial District to ensure that it maintains an appropriate mix and variety of uses.

“The commission discussed all the points Tuesday with several commissioners stressing that the nature of the retail business is going through changes. ““The idea that a mom-and-pop business is going to succeed is changing,” Commissioner Chuck Ketteman said, referring to consolidation into large chains and the effect of the Internet. “Our focus might become what kind of formula retail business it will be rather than just on how much of it we have,” he said.

“Chairman Dr. Phillip Marks agreed, noting the effect of an Internet service like Amazon Prime that delivers quickly with free shipping. “We may have to change our focus when it comes to new businesses,” Marks said.

“The commission also looked at ways to help new businesses, whether formula retail or not, to follow the proper procedure for opening. That, the commission agreed, should include brief questions on the business tax receipt that would identify potential formula retail conflicts both for new businesses and existing ones who may have become formula retail after opening here.

“Presently City Council and Planning Commission must approve a formula retail application because the 50,000-square feet trigger plateau has been surpassed. Both boards approved applications for a pair of Periwinkle Place businesses, Fanta Sea and Everything But Water, in the past 15 months. It was those two applications that prompted City Council to ask for a potential overhaul of its formula retail procedures.

“Commissioner Karen Storjohann noted that Fanta Sea was open for two years before it came before the Planning Commission. She and Vice Chairman Holly Smith have been vocal about updating forms to both help businesses comply and to track violators like Fanta Sea was.“We need to assure that people are getting the right information on the front end,” Smith said. Ric Base, president of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is often a first contact point for prospective new businesses. “We would like to have something to hand to people. It shows that we are all on the same page,” Base said. He agreed with Ketteman and Marks that the landscape is changing for the retail industry. “We will see huge changes in the how retail operates in the next five years,” Base said.

“The Land Development Code Subcommittee, which consists of the entire Planning Commission, will meet in September. Ketteman said two points that might be addressed at that time are the guidelines for swimming pools and decks and the guidelines for vegetation buffers. The commission has approved several decks and pools in recent years upon reasonable requests from property owners. If the code were rewritten, approval could come from the Planning Department without commission involvement.

“The design of the vegetation buffer was the main sticking point at the recent hearing at which Mud Bugs Cajun Restaurant was approved on a narrow 4-3 vote. More flexibility in the Land Development Code regarding vegetation buffers deserves consideration, Ketteman said.”

Sanibel Surveys News

Bean, Whitaker, Lutz & Kareh, Inc., a local Surveying and Civil Engineering firm based in Fort Myers since 1987, has announced that they have acquired Sanibel Surveys. Andy Johnson, owner of Sanibel Surveys since 2005, will be appointed senior project manager and will continue providing professional surveying services on Sanibel Island as well as Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and throughout Lee County. Mr. Johnson is a survey graduate of New Mexico State University and has been involved in the survey profession for over 20 years. 

Air in Green Homes May Be A Health Risk

This article caught my eye on REALTOR®Mag on-line on June 27, 2017:

“Energy-efficient homes built too tightly have building experts warning about the potential health impact on owners. A home sealed efficiently can be great for reducing heating and cooling costs and managing its environmental impact. But the home itself still needs to breathe, some experts warn.

““Many homeowners are now having trouble with their more tightly built houses because the homes lack the ventilation necessary to get the stale inside air to the outside of the house and bring fresh air inside,” Remodeling writes.

“Bryan Henson, president of Allen Construction in Santa Barbara, Calif., says a house that’s sealed up completely would become a toxic environment to humans.The World Health Organization estimates that 4.3 million people worldwide die each year from indoor air pollution. Cases of asthma are on the rise, and asthma can be triggered by indoor contaminants such as mold, dust, and dander.

“More homeowners are questioning their indoor air quality and its impact on their health, sparking a growing interest in the “healthy home” concept. Healthy home systems tend to focus greatly on indoor air quality by providing filtered fresh air into the home.

“For healthier air, homeowners need to consider their home’s air flow. In some homes, the air may be pushed down through the attic into the home or come out from a crawlspace through the living area and out the attic. The problem with crawlspaces, building experts note, is that they often contain moisture, soil gases, and even rodents and their droppings. Indoor air space needs to be properly sealed off from the crawlspace and attic, and older homes may need more sealing off because of their older toxicity, such as lead paint, says Henson.

“To help gauge how healthy a home is and find areas worth improvement, homeowners can take a quiz made by Hayward Healthy HomeThe Pharos Project lists different products and includes their chemical ingredients and potential hazards to homeowners’ health. More resources for improving a home’s health and indoor quality include The Healthy Building Network, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Indoor Air Quality Association.”

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Moonshadows #2C 3/3 $1.775M.

1 price change: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 now $419K.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 listed at $529K, Sanibel Surfside #223 2/2 listed at $778K, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $999K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $602K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $629K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $689K, 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 $699.9K.

4 price changes: 9113 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 now $639,999; 732 Windlass Way 4/3.5 now $1.195M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.699M; 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 now $4.395M.

6 new sales: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $524.9K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $546K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 listed at $569K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 listed at $689K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed at $789K, 390 Old Trail Rd 4/4.5 listed at $2.195M.

5 closed sales: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $515K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $590K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.075M, 408 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.35M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $7.2M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 9441 Peaceful Dr now $249K (our listing), 1311 Par View Dr now $274K.

Image 3 c.jpg

Aerial of 9441 Peaceful Drive in Gumbo Limbo, backing to conservation land.

 

1 new sale: 6159 Starling Way listed at $639K.

1 closed sale: 2529 Wulfert Rd $230K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 now $495K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 listed at $375K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $320K, Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 $590K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s one more fun picture from Pia. Pelicans love special perches.

Chateau pelicans 07-17

Happy weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan