Thanksgiving & Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s Susan with another Friday report about Sanibel & Captiva Islands. It sure seems like these weeks are flying by quickly. The island is busier, with traffic increasing with more probably to come with the pre-holiday weekend here.

As predicted last week, a mini-cool front arrived late yesterday. Though nothing like the inches of snow we heard about from callers in the Northeast and Midwest, local temperatures got down into the high 50’s last night. Today, it is expected to reach just 70 degrees F. Convertible tops are down and windows are open again! But do not worry, island Thanksgiving visitors, predictions are that it will be back into the 80’s by Sunday, continuing right through next week.

Teammate Dave held an Open House this afternoon at our gulf-front listing at 1351 Middle Gulf Drive where the beachfront area just had its annual trim.  With the sliders open, below are a couple of his cell phone photos of the fantastic water views. With nearly 3000 sq. ft. of living space, it has a huge great room, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a large updated white bright kitchen, separate utility room, plus a family room with beachside patio.

Tweek 5Tweek 4Tweek 6

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Happenings

Sanibel realtors logoThere was light turnout yesterday morning at our local Association of Realtors© weekly meeting. Announcements included a few properties that will be coming-on-the-market-soon and a couple of price reductions. One sale was announced too – an improvement over last week. Eight Sanibel east-end properties were open during the following 9 a.m. to noon Open House Caravan, including our new listing at Signal Inn.

More info about the postings since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House

Thanksgiving 4 some

First organized in 1991, the first Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration took place on Thanksgiving eve. To make attendance easier, it was moved to the Sunday before the holiday. That tradition continues with this year’s event coming up this weekend, Nov 18, at The Community House beginning at 6:45 p.m. Donations from attendees, including non-perishables, will go to the local F.I.S.H. Food Pantry.

Free and open to the public, the celebration brings the community together with music, fun, and fellowship. The program lasts about an hour and includes a proclamation from Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, prayer by City Manager Judie Zimomra, and Thanksgiving presentation by representatives from local houses of worship. Guest speaker, F.I.S.H. Board Chair Nicole McHale also will provide a report on how “water” affected their work this summer. There usually are a few pilgrims and Indians in attendance too.

Other event highlights include music and audience sing-a-long. You can be sure that I’ll be there again with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. The Seahorse Chorale from the Sanibel School too will take the stage. The program concludes with a combined piece we will perform together called “Give Thanks”, followed by cider (provided by Bailey’s General Store), cookies (from Jerry’s Foods), and ice cream samples (from Pinocchio’s).

The Launch

the launch 2018It is going to be a busy weekend, with this event tomorrow evening, also at The Community House. “The Launch” is raising funds for island conservation initiatives. In March, Coastal Keepers (formerly the Sanibel-Captiva chapter of START or Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) held its first “The Launch” (once called Cracker Fest). This weekend’s event includes a sustainable dinner, both live and silent auctions, and a reveal of the group’s new conservation initiatives in the works.

Coastal Keepers’ goal is to increase awareness of the impacts we have on beaches, water quality, and marine habitats, and to help citizens become more effective stewards of the ocean. Through business and community partnerships, Coastal Keepers recently encouraged Sanibel City Council to pass an ordinance on the sale and distribution of disposable plastic straws. With that initiative wrapping up, they now are overseeing a “Bring Your Own Bag” campaign where free reusable canvas bags are distributed to the public. Thousands of bags have already been given out in efforts to build a more environmentally-friendly island.

More info at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org.

Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

News Press logoA lengthy article in today’s Fort Myers “News-Press” on line has some interesting observations and an update by Rae Ann Wessel, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Director of Natural Resources. Read the complete article at https://www.news-press.com/. Here are some excerpts:

“Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

“With uncertainty still clouding the elections’ outcome, that remains an open question.

“The fragility and importance of the state’s natural systems headlined the lead-up to the recent midterm vote, as red tide and toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) fouled both Gulf and freshwater throughout the region, slaughtering sea creatures, sickening residents and snuffing hospitality jobs.

“Candidates quickly organized town-hall meetings. Nonprofits marched. State agencies stayed on the sidelines to the dismay of activists.

“Yet once it was time to vote, “the algae and the red tide issues sort of dissipated,” said FGCU political science professor Peter Bergerson. “I think the appearance of the president at the very end dominated the turnout.”

It’s not that the environment didn’t matter to voters, Bergerson said; it just mattered less than other issues. “If you look at the exit polls, it wasn’t top-of-mind,” he said. “Jobs, the economy and immigration were. I think that (conservative voters’) attachment to traditional party loyalties overcame their commitment to the environment.”

“For many water champions, gloom was the order of the day after….

“Others urged advocates not to lose sight of what progress has been made.

SCCF logo“We have to remember we are living now in a time when there are whole series of Everglades ecosystem restoration projects coming to fruition and ready to be finishing up,” said Rae Ann Wessel, natural resources policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. “It seems like molasses for those of us who have been living it, but you have to celebrate that those things are coming together.”

“Another positive to come from the water crisis is “all these concerned people coming out of the woodwork, groups forming like Captains for Clean Water,” Wessel said. “I’ve said, ‘Don’t let a good disaster go to waste.’ We need to be pulling together a set of expectations for the new administration, whoever they may be.”

“And ultimately, Wessel said, as long as residents stay engaged, there will be progress.

“We can’t just hand off our democracy. You can’t just trust that once somebody is elected, they’re going to do the right thing because they got elected,” she said. “It’s up to you and me, it’s up to all of us. We will get the government that we allow … So now, we keep the pressure up, we become partners, we become educators, we praise them when they do something that serves the public interest and we call them out when they do something that is against the public interest.”….”

Fed May Raise Interest Rates at Slower Pace Than Predicted

Florida Realtors logoPosted yesterday on FloridaRealtors© online and credited to 2018 Information, Inc. (Forbes (11/13/18) and Bloomberg (11/14/18):

“The Federal Reserve is forecasting U.S. interest rate increases well into 2020, but the financial markets believe policymakers could rethink their tightening policy as soon as early next year.

“Observers point to a slowdown in economic growth from this year’s stimulus-boosted pace. TS Lombard’s Steven Blitz believes that a December rate hike will most likely occur, but he sees 2019 as more questionable.

“If employment growth starts to slow towards a neutral pace early next year and the unemployment rate creeps up as a result, does the Fed keep going just because wages are accelerating? We doubt it,” he says. “The noted slowdown in business spending will only be further negatively impacted by the strong dollar and higher real rates.”

TS Lombard’s prediction: The Fed will suspend its rate-hike campaign in March 2019.

“The Fed sees interest-rate increases as a tool to fight inflation, but the latest report for October found little evidence of inflation despite strength in the economy and wages.

“The consumer-price index (CPI) increased 0.3% in October from the prior month, the Labor Department said Wednesday; year-to-year, overall consumer prices climbed 2.5% in October, compared with 2.3% in the 12 months that ended in September.

“Excluding the volatile categories of food and energy, the core CPI rose 0.2% last month, largely in line with recent trends, and 2.1% from a year earlier.

“”These are pretty steady inflation prints,” with “nothing in here that argues inflation is going to overshoot,” says Omair Sharif, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale. Also, there’s little to concern policy makers, so they’ll “continue to stay gradual” with interest-rate hikes, he said.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 9-16, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #C310 1/1 $469,750; Signal Inn #4 1/1 $499.9K (our listing, shown below), Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $895K, Oceans Reach #3D2 2/2 $989K.

1 price change: Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 now $969K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #T301 2/2 listed at $845K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 listed at $1.749M.

2 closed sales: Seashells #43 2/2 $318K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $611K (our listing).

HOMES

9 new listings: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $687K; 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 $689K; 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $875K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $889K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $899K; 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.175M; 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.295M; 5250 Caloosa End Ln 3/2.5 $1,594,500; 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 $1.799M.

8 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $670K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $739K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $810K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $899K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $909.9K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $999K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.339M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.999M.

4 new sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 listed at $885K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.699M.

3 closed sales: 6093 Henderson Rd 3/2 $450K, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $935K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 1318 Par View Dr $425K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $529,555; 1729 Jewel Box Dr $999.9K.

1 price change: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd now $268.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9232 Dimmick Dr $170K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $399K, Beach Villas #2538 3/3 $909.9K, Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.25M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 now $1.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $950K.

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.

turkey-pilgirm-in-autumn-leavesEnjoy your Thanksgiving!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Thanksgiving words

It You Are Looking For Sunshine Come Here!


Beach Chairs

Photo in front of Sanibel Arms West by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Woohoo! It’s another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel. You must get sick hearing that. The weather gurus keep promising cool fronts. Maybe next week, as they now are suggesting that temps may go down into the 50’s Tues night with our first day with a high in just the low 70’s on Wed. Temperatures are expected to slowly creep back to 80 by next weekend though. We will have to wait and see what next Friday brings.

Thanksgiving 2017It sure would be nice to be able to wear long sleeves for the Thanksgiving celebration which is Sunday evening, Nov 18 at The Community House. It’s always a fun spirited community event. BIG ARTS Sanibel Community Chorus will be joining the Seahorse Choral from the Sanibel School and you can be sure that a few pilgrims and Indians will be there too.

I have been out showing property this afternoon. No new sales yet but you can be sure I am working on it. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday are after a couple of news items below.

Election Madness

floridaMany colleagues – me too – thought that with the mid-term elections over, sales would improve. Now it seems that Florida’s outcome maybe be closer than first reported.

The good news is that the amendments supported by Florida Realtors® did pass. The candidates supported by them also are the ones that do look to be the ones elected. Let’s hope that the final results are verified quickly.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday, at Realtor® Caravan, there were a lot of surprised faces when not a single new sale was announced. There were plenty of new listings and price reductions reported though, so it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks shake out. Sales are in-the-works, so hopefully more will be reported soon.

Inventory is increasing as it usually does this time of the year. Below is a summary of the number of properties for sale, compared to those under contract, and year-to-date sales this year and total sales in 2017 and 2016.

 

Condos Homes Lots
Sanibel # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avt Price $
For sale 74 746,125 168 1,366,382 58 617,976
Sale pending 9 693,500 13 771,923 2 189,728
Sold & closed:
2018 thru 11/9 143 722,415 197 1,136,655 19 646,526
2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229
2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095

 

Condos Homes Lots
Captiva # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avt Price $
For sale 33 1,387,997 36 3,442,556 3 4,264,667
Sale pending 1 1,160,000 3 1,847,667 0 N/A
Sold & closed:
2018 thru 11/9 26 783,591 22 2,237,446 0 N/A
2017 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
2016 22 873,636 271 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

 

37th Annual Taste of The Islands

taste of the islands 2018CROW’s annual benefit is this weekend on Sunday, Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty) from 12:30 to 5 p.m. You-know-who will be in the office with the door open, enjoying the music and hoping for some walk-ins. This year 13 eateries are participating including: Blue Giraffe, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Il Cielo, Matzaluna, Sanddollar Restaurant (new at Sanibel Island Beach Resort (formerly the Holiday Inn)), Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Thistle Lodge, The Bubble Room, The Clam Shack, The Jac Sanibel Island Bar & Grille, & The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

Veterans Day Celebration & Sanibel Farmers Market

VeteransSunday also is the annual Veterans Day Celebration at City Hall. With the public invited and hosted by the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of American and the City of Sanibel, it will take place around the flag pole at City Hall (from 10:30 a.m. until noon). The program will feature patriotic music (the BIG ARTS Concert Band), local boy scouts and cub scouts presenting the colors, and guest speakers and veterans sharing their history.

Because of this event, Sanibel Farmer Market also on the grounds of City Hall is delayed until Monday, rather than Sunday, (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). That change is for this week only.

Island Neighbors Hold Annual Turkey Drop

TurkeyThis is the 3rd year of the Sanibel East-End Turkey Drop & Roll, where donations are collected to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. At the home of the Petersons at 444 Lagoon Drive on this coming Wed Nov 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. donations of frozen turkeys and non-perishable food items are collected. Last year, they brought more than 450 pounds of turkeys to the food bank plus other items that would complete a Thanksgiving dinner (cranberry sauce, gravy, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, and canned vegetables. Call the Petersons with questions at 239-395-2476.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 2 – 9, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $585K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 $950K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 $1.749M.

1 price change: Sundial #G206 1/1 now $469.9K.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 $610K, Sundial #T402 2/2 $800K, Atrium #201 3/3 $1,209,711.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $415K, 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 695K, 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $889K, 1127 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $925K, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $949K, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $1.295M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2.5 $1.395M.

10 price changes: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $565K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $729.9K, 434 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $920K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.049M, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $1.09M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.1M, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.395M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 now $2.395M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.436M.

3 new sales: 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 listed at $649K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $797K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3.5.5 listed at $2.59M.

2 closed sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $395K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $490K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2297 Wulfert Rd $229K, 2933 Wulfert Rd $379K.

1 price change: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $159.9K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 now $635K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $995K.

2 price changes: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.18M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $9.6M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 $1.025M.

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

Beach Access

A Happy Sanibel November Friday


As I was composing this today and had written “it’s another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel”, my teammate son reminded me that this afternoon is forecast to be the worst weather of the week. He’s funny. We really don’t have much bad weather. Sure, clouds are expected to roll in and breezes to pick up, with possibly a few showers expected by sunset, but isn’t that what keeps Southwest Florida tropical and green? It looks to be just another mini-cool front with temperatures not expected to get out of the 70’s here tomorrow. That’s not going to be hard to take and it sure beats the freezing temperatures expected in the mid-west and northeast. Here’s hoping you have good weather too!

Below are some photos taken yesterday at Sanibel Arms West by Jim Anderson with JMA Photography. Our new listing, gulfside #E2, has the lanai view shown bottom right.

On Halloween, I had a surprise office visit from a client’s twins who also stopped in five years ago – in costumes then too. How much they have changed! Time flies as they are grown-up young ladies now – and beautiful in their costumes. A good reminder to always enjoy smelling the roses along life’s journey.

 

Speaking of that, I had a quick working lunch today at Normandie Seaside Café at West Wind Inn. Still a favorite spot discovered during my first visit to the island 30-some years ago. The beach there was beautiful with waves rolling in and plenty of shellers searching for treasurers. The gals working the café and the nearby Upper Deck pool bar are a hardworking bunch and the food and service terrific. If you are ever looking for an out-of-the-way spot favored by locals, try them out. You’ll see plenty of islanders there for not just breakfast and lunch, but dinner too. I have seen Willard Scott there more than once. Normandie has an outstanding $22 Sunset Menu from 5-6 p.m. (Be sure to save room for the crème brulee or key lime pie. It’s included.)

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThough business has improved a little, the real estate world here still hasn’t rebounded from the summer water woes. Snowbirds continue to arrive, but phones aren’t ringing much. I was out showing a couple of times and again met with owners thinking of selling. Teammate Dave has been out showing too and three of us will be out showing this weekend. Sure hope some of these lookers are real buyers.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

bill kristie becky 10-31-18

Association CEO Bill Robinson & Director Realtor Becky Mulka with Kristie

Representing the islands’ Association of Realtors®, I was honored to speak at Wednesday’s Farewell Luncheon at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation for their retiring Education Director, Kristie Anders. When she saw it was me, Kristie jumped right in and mentioned that I donated the money for her to buy her first SCCF laptop for education. That was a very long time ago. Today with technology changes, she carries more than 40 huge presentations on a tiny flash drive that fits in her pocket.

If you have ever listened to Kristie, I am sure you also know what an amazing gal and teacher she is. If you are wondering how she has helped island Realtors®, below is what I said.

I am here to give a big thank you to Kristie for all she has done for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors. We all know that Kristie is a terrific island steward & wonderful educator. What you may not know are the many times she has cooperated with our local Realtor organization, spreading her knowledge, & making us better stewards too.

For years, Kristie has taught a segment about SCCF at Sanibel & Captiva’s quarterly Orientation training for new Realtors.

Like most licensed professions, Continuing Education Classes are required of Realtors to keep their real estate licenses current. That curriculum & those approved to teach these classes must be approved by our state Realtor organization, Florida Realtors.

Back in the 90’s, Kristie worked with our Association in developing a 7-hour continuing class called Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living. The class was state-approved, as was Kristie, as a Florida Realtors instructor. Every summer since then, for 20-some years, she has updated the class & taught it. Her up-to-date info & passionate delivery so fire up attendees that many take her class every year, even if they don’t need educational credits.

With her help, the year after the class was developed, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors won an annual state Education Award.

In 2006, our Association developed another educational program for Realtors wanting to specialize in Sanibel & Captiva real estate. Today, it’s a 12-part series that is offered every summer & takes several days to complete with those completing the program earning an island specialist designation. Kristie has been an integral part of that program too – again, each year updating & teaching a multi-hour module on conservation.

She also often has been a speaker at our Monthly Membership Meetings, offering introductory memberships to new island owners. She authored & currently is rewriting the “Story of the Islands” booklets that Realtors provide to prospective new islanders.

To say that Kristie has made us all smarter is an understatement. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors will miss her but want to relay their heartfelt thanks & appreciation for all she has done & continues to do for us.

We have a little thank you for her including an association shirt. We hope with that she’ll agree to be an honorary member of our association & come back whenever she likes! Best wishes, Kristie!”

Florida Realtors® Signs Agreement with Panama RE Association

Florida Realtors logoToday in Boston at the National Association of Realtors® 2018 Conference and Trade Expo, “Florida Realtors® and the Panamanian Association of Real Estate Brokers and Promoters (ACOBIR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the cooperation of the two Realtor organizations in developing a mutually beneficial relationship for their respective association members. As posted on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“”As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Panama and throughout the world,” says 2018 Florida Realtors® President Christine Hansen. “Florida Realtors and the Panamanian Association of Real Estate Brokers and Promoters share common goals. We look forward to continuing our partnership and building more connections that increase trans-national business opportunities for all of our members.”

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

EAA Project SCCF 2018From the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF’s) email blast this week:

“With the President’s signature on the federal water bill – The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) – the EAA reservoir is one step closer to providing relief to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie estuaries and supplying needed water to Everglades National Park.

The bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on the critical water infrastructure project south of Lake Okeechobee referred to as the EAA reservoir. The project will create a new outlet from Lake Okeechobee that will direct a significant amount of water south reducing the harmful, excess discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.

In the days ahead we will begin our work to press for project funding in the federal budget to keep the project moving forward.

Congratulations to everyone who stood up and spoke out in support of this critical step forward. Stay tuned!

The 324 page bill for water projects all across the nation is available online here.”

New Beach Cam at Casa Ybel Resort

Thanks to Froilan Ramirez (aka JR), the General Manager of Casa Ybel Resort for posting the link to their new beach cam. Check out how great the water looks. www.casaybelresort.com/web-cam

CasaYbelSanibel.jpg

Casa Ybel Resort pool & beach

Island Events

Center 4 Life Annual Trash & Treasures Sale –tomorrow, Sat Nov 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Island Seniors, 2401 Library Way. 

Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – tomorrow, Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church

Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at Bailey’s General Store & https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The Islandsto benefit CROW, Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The LaunchSat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 26 – Nov 2, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $729K.

2 price changes: Signal Inn #3 2/1 now $759K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 now $1.298M.

4 new sales: Blind Pass #G201 2/2 listed at $479K, Sand Pointe #117 2/2 listed at $799K, Sundial #T402 2/2 listed at $855K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 listed at $1.189M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 $649K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $695K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $729K, 9447 Coventry Ct 3/2.5 $749K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $875K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $1.189M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $1.295M, 6425 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.779M.

9 price changes: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $479K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $672.5K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $739K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $789K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $869K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $940K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.149M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 now $1.499M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $2.595M.

1 new sale: 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $969K.

1 closed sale: 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $395K, Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $525K.

3 price changes: Beach Villas #2426 1/1 now $540K; Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1,899,999; Beach Homes 25 3/2 now $1.949M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $4.2M.

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 week! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Halloween Fun Begins Today


It’s another happy Sanibel Friday with islanders looking forward to a cool front arriving tonight, with morning temperatures expected to dip into the high 60’s. That should make it more comfortable for runners in tomorrow’s FISH 10K Race and the Halloween festivities beginning this weekend.fish 10K 2018

Island Events

  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – today Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins at 7:30 a.m. & ends at The Community House. I’m the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!
  • Hallo-‘Tween Party & Costume Contest – Sat Oct 27 hosted by ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa: Crow’s Nest open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. with dinner 5-10 p.m., Gatlin 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Canoe & Kayak open for dinner 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Wakefield Room DJ/Dance Party 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wristbands $10 (21 and up after 10 p.m.)
  • Trunk or Treat at Sanibel Community Church – Wed Oct 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Center 4 Life Annual Trash & Treasures Sale – Sat Nov 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Island Seniors, 2401 Library Way.
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at Bailey’s General Store & https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands to benefit CROW, Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands
  • The Launch Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe islands’ Association of Realtors® annual meeting last night included a report by President Dustyn Corace summarizing another good year for our healthy organization. Progress in the continued fight for better water quality and several fund-raising events for community charities were recognized, with contributors thanked for their help and participation. Congratulations to Realtors® George Kohlbrenner and Connie Walters, both elected to the incoming Board of Directors.

 

Our last benefit of the year called “Fall Into Christmas” for “Friends Who Care” followed the meeting with many unwrapped toys, gift cards, and cash donations collected for this wonderful organization. It’s founder, islander Tom Louwers provided a brief history. Beginning in the early 80’s when Sanibel law enforcement knew of a family in need of a hand-up, today, this charitable non-profit quietly helps island residents and employees cope with a range of small emergency needs. Through the year, it assists anonymously with such items as school supplies and gas cards, while over the holidays, particularly at Christmas it provides with holiday meals and presents from Santa delivering them directly to those in need. Funded by the generosity of islanders and organizations like the Association of Realtors®, every dollar collected goes directly to the people it serves.

2018-10-26 Fall Into Christmas

Some of the “Fall Into Christmas” elves and guests are shown above with Leslie Adams (center) who catered the yummy appetizers, while desserts shown were from Totally Baked on Sanibel). Service, libations, & decor were by the elves (chaired by Realtor Kelly Huguenin & Amanda Curran Corace) & Association staff. Tom Louwers with “Friends Who Care” is on the far right next to Association CEO, Bill Robinson.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayIt was quiet at our office this week and our open houses didn’t yield many lookers. Like our colleagues, we look forward to reverting to the weekly Thursday morning caravan schedule next week.

These Open Houses of new listings (Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon) will continue through “season” and are an island tradition.

The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

“Ding” Darling Wins America’s Best Restroom

This week, the refuge’s “Learning Lavatories” were voted American’s Best Restroom in Cintas Corporation’s nationwide contest. With nine other finalists, online votes were counted to select the country’s top-rated restroom. This contest is in its 17th year and certainly is a unique way to feature a facility. To become a finalist, judging criteria includes cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. The refuge restrooms certainly led in several of those categories.

The Refuge restroom project was completed about a year ago and outside includes a mother and baby manatee sculpture (made of recycled bike tires) and floor-to-ceiling paintings depicting images of refuge wildlife. Inside, built to green standards, they feature an underwater motif with mangrove photo-tile murals and wildlife sculptures. Stall doors are wrapped in close-up professional photos of refuge birds, while educational teaser messages encourage visitors to learn more.

Ding bathroom

Positive Sea Turtle News

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogThough Southwest Florida water conditions late this summer generated plenty of negative news, it was a good season for sea turtles nesting on Sanibel/Captiva and their hatchlings. According to SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Program Coordinator and as reported today in the “Island Sun”: “This year’s nesting season was actually pretty good. We’ve had four record-breaking seasons in a row, and while we didn’t set any records this year, it was an above average season.”

Nesting season runs from mid-April until the end of October. According to 2018 statistics compiled by SCCF, a total of 721 sea turtle nests were laid in 2018, compared to a total of 871 laid during 2017. An estimated 38,579 hatchlings emerged from the nests and entered waters surrounding Sanibel and Captiva. “…hatchlings swim like crazy the first seven to 10 days of their lives before they start eating; they feed from the yolk sac, which gives them the energy to get far out into the gulf. In fact, FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) says that hatchlings may be the lone glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrible red tide season.” The agency requests that if the public witnesses sick, distressed or dead wildlife, they should call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (press 7 for the operator).

Thanks to the many island sea turtle program volunteers and SCCF staff members who in addition to their daily beach patrols, which begin at dawn, collect trash and debris left on island beaches. For more information or to adopt a sea turtle next to to www.sccf.org/our-work/sea-turtles.

Average Mortgage Rates Edge Up – 30-year at 4.86%

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® on-line posted the below article yesterday (Oct 25) by The Associated Press:associated-press-logo

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly higher this week amid continued anxiety in financial markets as interest rates rise.

“Home borrowing rates remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, with the key 30-year rate approaching 5%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86% this week from 4.85% last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94%.

“The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29% this week from 4.26% last week.

“Anxiety over rising interest rates, which stem from strength in the economy, has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks and spilled over into the housing market.

“Stocks have swooned over the last three weeks as investors worried about interest rates, as well as trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and slowing economies outside the U.S. As of Wednesday, the S&P 500 index had plunged 9.4% in just three weeks, with two separate six-day losing streaks. It hasn’t had a streak of losses that long since November 2016.

“The combination of higher borrowing costs and increasing home prices has made homeownership less affordable.

“Sales of new U.S. homes plunged 5.5% in September, the fourth straight monthly drop as the housing market cools, the government reported Wednesday. The annual rate of home sales has dropped 15.3% since May, eliminating much of the strength in sales from the first five months of 2018.

“Builders had assumed that a stronger economy would boost sales, yet a greater share of new construction is going un-purchased.

“Interest rates on Treasury bonds, which have climbed to seven-year highs in recent weeks, were steady this week. The yield on the key 10-year Treasury note, which can influence mortgage rates, was at 3.14% Wednesday, down from 3.15% last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

“The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages also held steady, at 0.4 point.

“The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.14% from 4.10% last week. The fee remained at 0.3 point.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 19-26, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $339K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $650K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $749K, Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $799K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 $1.189M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/2.5 $1.795M.

3 price changes: Sundial West #D304 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $747.5K, Compass Point #183 now 2/2 now $1.25M.

2 new sales: Seashells #43 2/2 listed at $329K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 listed at $634.9K.

2 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $450K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.099M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 $549K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699K, 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $885K, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.399M.

7 price changes: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $449.5K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $675K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $849K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.049M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.675M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $420K, 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $565K, 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed at $999K.

5 closed sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $410K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $715K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $715K, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 978 Main St listed at $179.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.12M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 listed at $1.499M.

1 closed sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 $1,698,500.

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.

Dearie Trick or Treaters-colorUntil next Friday, remember at SanibelSusan Realty, it’s all about treats – no tricks here! Happy Halloween!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Things Are Looking Up on Sunny Sanibel


It is Friday again and the islands are getting busier as more winter residents return. Beaches and local waterways continue to recover. During off-island jaunts, it is great to again see cars on the causeway with folks picnicking and enjoying sunsets, while boaters head up and down the intra-coastal and out into the gulf, and fish-hunting pelicans skim the bay alongside the bridges. Love it when those birds abruptly dive down to grab dinner.

junonia 05-25-17Visitors report that Sanibel’s shelling has been excellent too – probably the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew stirring things up in the gulf. There have even been a few photos in the local paper of finders with cherished junonia shells. After 30+years searching, I’m still looking for a whole one.

10-19-2018Fishermen are back too, with plenty of videos posted on social media including tarpon jumping, following baitfish pools.

Now if the summer temperatures and humidity would subside, it would really feel like fall here. That’s expected to happen on Monday when a mini-cool front is expected to arrive. (Mini means staying in the 80’s during the day!)

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoOn the real estate front, it again was a week with just a handful of new island sales: on Sanibel – two condos and two homes, and just one home on Captiva. Those details follow a couple of news items below.

Sometimes when taking to property owners thinking of selling, we must tell them that their property may not be worth what they think. That’s not fun.

Here is some info that can help convince them. Lee County property taxes are paid in arrears each year with the taxable value based on a percentage of comparable property sales the preceding year. A property’s taxable value is not the same as the sale value, but it does provide a way to correlate it.LeePALogo

This is probably a generalization, but most Sanibel properties are worth less now than they were if they were if purchased between 2002 and 2009, or even last year. To check the assessed value of any Lee County property, go to the appraiser’s website at www.LeePa.org. Click the “database search” button in the left-hand menu. Then click “property data search”, then enter the address or the owner’s name. When the record pops up, click on the blue “parcel details” link on the right. When the property data page comes up, on the left-hand side under the legal information is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Under that heading is what the county appraiser determined as the property value for 2018 taxes.

Just to the right of the heading is a little icon that looks like a stack of papers (it has a red/blue/yellow graph on it). Click on that icon and up comes the property value history, all the way back to 1992. If it was purchased after that, you can pinpoint what the taxable value was in the year that it was purchased. Comparing that to its taxable value today, offers a way to calculate what the 2018 sale value may be.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was our last off-season Thursday morning Caravan Meeting. Beginning Nov 1, those will be every week until spring. These events are an opportunity for our members to announce new listings and price reductions, congratulate colleagues on sales, and then visit as many as 20 new listings held open by the listing agents so that Realtors® can learn about the special features of each specific property in advance of showing it.

As homeowners and condominium associations have their annual meetings and their fees/special assessments and/or amenities change, Caravan also is when listing agents advise of that info. It then is posted by the Realtor® Association in our resource material which is available to all agents.

So, if you are out-and-about on a Thursday morning from 9 a.m. until noon on any given week, there are Open House signs and listings to preview – often they are new to the market.

Island Events

  • 4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roastceci logoTomorrow, Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.
  • 33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.Bailey fest 2018.jpg
  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.howl-o-ween 2018
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House. SanibelSusan is the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!fish 10K 2018.jpg
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Churchflip flop scavenger hunt 2018
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-506081633792018 sanibel jazz festival.jpg
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islandstaste of the islands 2018
  • The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at http://www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launchthe launch 2018

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 12-19, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 $440K, Seashells #3 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 $849K, Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 $874K (our listing, pictured below).

ViewExt Back aBeach WalkBeach Walk bBeachExt Back b

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2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $389.9K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.69M.

2 new sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 listed at $475K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

8 new listings: 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $649K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $650K, 256 Daniel Dr 2/2 $799K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $1.189M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.279M, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.299M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.335M.

10 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $525K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 749 Cardium St 2/2 now $729K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $848K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.749M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $2.59M (foreclosure), 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.875M.

2 new sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $585K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr (Moonshadows #2F) 3/3 half-duplex listed at $849K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2994 Island Inn Rd $209.9K, 539 Sea Oats Dr $495K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $350K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1B 2/2 $895K.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 now $639K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.995M.

1 new sale: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 listed at $1.095M.

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! Enjoy your week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Island October = Great Shelling, Snowbirds Returning, Calendars Filling Up


shells a bunch

It has been another interesting week on Sanibel Island.

West Wind MichaelExtra high tides and winds from Hurricane Michael passing west of the islands on Tuesday made for some big waves and minor flooding in a few locations.

(Pictures taken Tues afternoon. First a beach path at West Wind Inn.

2nd is Dixie Beach Blvd looking from Royal Poinciana to the bay.)Dixie Beach

Like with most summer showers, the water disbursed quickly and now beachgoers are enjoying good shelling.

Boating, however, is discouraged until this weekend when the winds are expected to die down.

Concerning red tide, the daily status reports posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that samples on the west coast of Florida are pretty much free of red tide. No evidence at all now on Sanibel and Captiva. That is a huge relief! We sure hope it stays that way.

An area around St Petersburg/Tampa still shows medium to high readings. On Florida’s East Coast, there are low red tide readings reported from Miami north through Boca Raton, the Palm Beaches, and Port St. Lucie. Today, there also were a few low readings just off the coast of Key West. Here’s the link, if you want to see for yourself: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund

Florida Realtors logoAs the team and I watched the news unfold of the damage from Hurricane Michael, Florida Realtors® sent reminders out about the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund which is available to Realtors®, including their real estate employees, Realtor® Boards and Associations and their staff in the event of devastation caused by a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, just a few weeks ago, after Hurricane Florence made a $25K donation to the National Realtors® Relief Foundation which similarly helps colleagues throughout the U.S. Our hearts are with disaster victims as they recover.

2018 Water Resources Development Act

Capitol Bldg DCGood news on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan, comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation-in the federal water bill-that authorizes the EAA Reservoir! The President signed it yesterday.

This 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Bill moves forward a critical and fundamental Everglades restoration and estuaries enhancement project that will enable excess water to be directed south out of Lake Okeechobee instead of west and east to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie rivers and estuaries.  The project is designed to move water from Lake Okeechobee through 6,500 acres of filter marshes to clean the water and store it in a 10,500-acre reservoir. The reservoir is estimated to cost about $1.3 billion, which will be split evenly between the federal government and the state.

US army corps logoThe bill also directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement a five-year harmful algal bloom technology development program to identify and develop improved strategies for prevention and management techniques, early detection and procedures to reduce harmful algal blooms.

This is a great step forward, but we all must stay attuned to the new Florida administration and getting the project started. You can be sure that your local Realtors® and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will stay “on it”.

Member of Realtor® Family Makes Movie Premier

Buttons the movieLike many Florida Realtors® colleagues, I have watched the progress of our state President, Christine Hanson’s granddaughter Noelle Parker as she has evolved over the last few years from a photogenic toddler to becoming a child actress. Like her grandmother, Nicolle’s Mom is a Realtor® too. Noelle was an adorable speaker at Christine’s installation in January.

This week, Noelle’s Realtor® family announced that she is making her movie debut in the release of “Buttons” which is a new Tim Janis musical fairy tale film on a journey to discover that sometimes believing can be the greatest adventure of all. During a time of robber barons, mills, and rising industry, two orphaned children meet two unexpected visitors (Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury) who turn the tide of events and change their lives forever. Narrated by Robert Redford and Kate Winslet, the film also features some other big names including Jane Seymour and Roma Downey, plus a new song by “Nova” written by Sir Paul McCartney. Advance tickets go on sale today, with the movie premiering in theaters on December 8. Noelle is the little blonde girl dressed in white under the pix of Dick Van Dyke in their trailer photo (https://www.buttonsthemovie.com )

Plus a Young Local Talent on Broadway – Liam Hutt

Liam ElfMany islanders patronize La-Te-Da Salon and Spa on Cypress Lake Dr in Fort Myers. Both Elise and I get our hair cut there. The owners’ son, Liam Hutt, who we have followed since he was born, also is an amazing young talent, often seen singing, dancing, and acting in local and state theatrical productions. Yesterday, they announced that he will be joining the Broadway cast of “Elf” on their national traveling tour, from Nov 7 to Dec 30. Performing from state-to-state from one side of the country to the other, their performance schedule is staggering. Maybe he’ll be in your area. – https://elfthemusicaltour.com

Island Events

big arts logoThe roadways are getting busier and island activities are beginning. Rehearsals start next week for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. There are just nine rehearsals this session (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tues nights in Phillips Gallery). All ages and singing abilities welcome. Performances this session include the island Thanksgiving Celebration on Sun, Nov 18; caroling for Luminary on Fri, Dec 7; and our holiday concert on Wed Dec 12 in Schein Performance Hall.

International Coastal Cleanup – tomorrow Sat Oct 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. After being postponed for a month due to red tide, the islands’ cleanup is coordinated by Keep Lee County Beautiful and hosted by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Check-in will be set up on Island B, closest to Sanibel. Participants should register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html.

30th Annual “Ding” Darling Days –today through Sun Oct 14. Today is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast– Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.

33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.

14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.

10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House.

Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church

Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival– Sun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The IslandsSun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

Island Real Estate News

It was another quiet week for Sanibel/Captiva real estate business. This is the off-week with Realtor® Caravan and not much activity was posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The action since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 5-12, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $299K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 $720K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $729K.

4 price changes: Seashells #43 2/2 now $329K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 now $405K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $475K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 now $649K (our listing).

Image 3.jpg

Sunset South – from river to gulf with clubhouse & pool overlooking courtyard.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $565K, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $640K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $969K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.549M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $3.195M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $420K, 849 Beach Rd 4/4 now $595K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $879K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $899K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $1.995M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $479K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $528.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $665K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K.

2 closed sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $667.5K, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1817 Longpoint Ln $348.5K.

2 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $149K, 2486 Wulfert Rd now $159K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $379,999.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 $6M.

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

Goodbye, red tide.. hello, “Season”


It has been another quiet real estate week on Sanibel – but things are looking up. Red tide and blue/green algae continue to be the hot topic of conversation and in the news. Summer projects at several local communities and condos are finishing up, snowbirds are starting to return, and many of the restaurants and businesses that were temporarily closed for annual maintenance, vacations and renovations are reopening. Below is yesterday’s scoop.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the early morning Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, our Communications and Public Relations Committee presented donations to Meg Dalabes, Community and Education Development Coordinator at ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment, Inc.). More info at www.actabuse.com.

2018-10-04 ACTThe Association’s “off season” collection drives continue this month with our 2nd “Fall Into Christmas” event on the 25th, to benefit “Friends Who Care”.

The caravan announcements included just a handful of new sales (most off island) and a couple of price reductions (ours at Pointe Santo included). The activity posted in the entire MLS since last Friday is posted after a few news items below. These Caravan meetings will revert to the weekly Thursday morning schedule in November.

After Caravan, the Association’s MLS Task Force met for a presentation by the fourth and final Multiple Listing Service provider candidate. Next, we will be comparing candidate offerings to our member preferences (from a recent survey).

Early afternoon, I stopped to check-out the beach in a couple of spots. At West Wind Inn, the water looked good. I saw evidence of marine life returning; but even so, few people were there.

west-wind-innThen early evening, I saw the below post by the West Wind Inn, confirming my observations. It is some of the best news in weeks. See below:

“Goodbye Red Tide! To ensure the safety and satisfaction of our guests, Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has been working closely with Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and testing the water at our four resort properties for Red Tide for the past couple of months.

“We have seen a steady decline in levels of Red Tide (Karenia) concentration over the last week. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were still seeing an ebb and flow of cell counts in the millions at some locations. In the recent days, the change in winds has helped shift the surface currents to blow offshore. That, combined with the hydrogen sulfide bubbling up and iron being complexed into Iron Sulfide precipitate, has killed the Red Tide cells. We’re excited to report that today we tested with ZERO cell counts of Red Tide at all four of our locations.

“Dr. Rick Bartleson, researcher at SCCF, believes that this was a large-scale event, enough that the Red Tide bloom that has been affecting us since October 2017 may officially be dead in our area, and hopefully will not be returning any time soon.

“While the oxygen level of the water and Red Tide does not affect the safety of the water to swim, the water itself has become more pleasant in color and odor. Some areas of the coast do have dark or brown water, which may be caused by remnants of the Red Tide dying or the dissolving of organic matter and should quickly settle or sediment out and we’ll begin seeing clearer water everywhere.

“It’s a great day for all of us, or as Dr Bartleson says, “unless you’re red tide.”

“As always, we encourage you to keep checking in with us at https://www.clear-purpose.org/ for updates and more information on the water, beaches, weather and other news of value.”

https://www.sanibelcaptivabeachresorts.com/goodbye-red-tid…/

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens for 11th Year

Farmer MarketReopens on Sunday on the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year, it will be there every Sunday until May 26. including Easter but will be closed on Veteran’s Day (but open the following Monday). Thanks to the vision of islander Moms and co-managers of Local Roots, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, the market has grown since it began in 2008 to the wonderful fun-for-all outdoor activity that it is today. In addition to local produce, vendors sell breads, honey, seafood, meats, flowers, cheeses, and many other products. It’s a wonderful gathering place too! (A couple of changes this year are 1) no dogs are allowed in the vendor area and 2) a handful of crafters also will be selling their wares. More info at www.BuyLocalLee.com

FishAt Jean and Betsy’s suggestion, as the market closes up each Sunday, vendors pack boxes of their unsold produce and food for donation to the local FISH Food Pantry. The Sanibel Farmers Market also is a drop-off point for canned and packaged food donations – a great reason to bring your shopping bag with a donation and then fill it with fresh goodies to take home.

In January, the Captiva Farmers Market will return for its second season.

Construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park

Sanibelcityseal logoMany folks just returning have asked “what is the excavation work underway on Casa Ybel Road?” They are referring to the large City-owned and preserved land parcel next to the Woodhaven which is just beyond The Bank of the Islands building. Here are some highlights from a late-August MySanibel.com post about it.

“The City’s contractor, Wright Construction Group, will begin construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park on September 4, 2018.  The water quality treatment park will be located in the vicinity of Periwinkle Way and Casa Ybel Road, on 6 acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve and 1.3 acres of land within SCCF’s Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Tract.

“The primary goal of this project is to improve water quality in the Sanibel Slough to help meet Florida water quality standards. Secondary goals of the project are to enhance existing wildlife habitat on the site, provide recreational opportunities, and educate park visitors on the various Best Management Practices (BMPs) used to improve water quality.  The project is being funded in part by the South Florida Water Management District Cooperative Funding Program, Lee County Community Park Impact Fees, and City budgeted funds.

“The project is anticipated to be complete by January 2, 2019.  A temporary stop sign and stop bar will be placed on the Shared-Use-Path along Casa Ybel Road at the construction entrance.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through the construction zone and to adhere to all posted signage until construction is complete.

“Please contact the Natural Resources Department at 239-472-3700 if you have any questions regarding this project.”

Happenings at Sanibel’s Historical Village

The below article from the Fort Myer’s Florida Weekly dated Oct 3, 2018.

historical village logo“The Sanibel Historical Village, after being closed for a few months for renovations, reopens Oct. 16. “We’re planning exciting programs this season, including three of our popular Twilight Talks,” said executive director Emilie Alfino. “Our annual gala fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 19. We look forward to seeing old friends as well as welcoming return guests.”

“The Twilight Talks, which cost $10 per person, include:

  • “Be Our Guest: The History of Lodging on Sanibel and Captiva.” This talk is a partnership between the historical village and the Captiva Island Historical Society. Jan. 30 at the Sanibel Community House.
  • “Sanibel History Quiz,” a Jeopardy like game about the history of the island. March 13 at the Sanibel Community House.
  • “The History of Periwinkle Park.” April 10 at the Sanibel Community House.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Ms. Alfino at 472-4648. Twilight Talks tend to sell out quickly, she said. A fourth event is sold out already — a Nov. 7 dinner cruise on the Lady Chadwick to Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key.

“There will be a Luminary celebration Dec. 7, and a Free Admission Day on June 15.

“For the first time this year, we are offering a reciprocal museum membership,” Ms. Alfino said. “We have joined the North American Reciprocal Museum family, and a membership at the $150 level or above offers members free admission to more than 900 participating arts, cultural, and historical institutions along with botanical gardens, children’s museums, science and technology centers, and more.” Many institutions include a discount at their gift shops. See www.narmassociation.org for a list.

“New volunteers are always needed at the village. Training begins Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. Interested people are encouraged to call Ms. Alfino at 472-4648. “There are many different things for volunteers to do, so anyone can find a comfortable spot among our village family, doing what they enjoy most,” Ms. Alfino said.

“The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Full guided tours take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at no additional charge, depending on docent availability.

The Sanibel Historical Village is located at 950 Dunlop Road, next to BIG ARTS, and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18. Members and children are free. For more information, call 472-4648 during museum hours or visit www.sanibelmuseum.org.

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts

traders signThough they reopened this week, they have new hours for Oct: Open at 3 p.m. for happy hour & lite fare, serving dinner from 5 p.m. Closed Sundays & Mondays.

Their new restaurant T2 at the Village Shops is open for lunch and was busy today at noon. Their spinach salad with blacked shrimp = terrific!

Planning Ahead – Upcoming Island Events

“Ding” Darling Days – Fri Oct 12 to Sun Oct 14. Fri is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast – Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m.

33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.

10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House.

Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival – Sun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The Islands – Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

New-to-Florida Homebuyers Should Update Their Estate Plan

Florida Realtors logoFloridaRealtors® on-line posted an article this week sourced to the Fort Myers “News-Press”, Hersch, Craig R. (9/28/18):

“There are good tax reasons to move to Florida: State residents don’t have to pay state income tax, they enjoy property tax caps through the state’s Save Our Homes Amendment, and Florida also doesn’t have a death tax.

However, it’s essential for new Florida residents to update their Revocable Trust documents because of the state’s descent and devise laws surrounding Florida homesteads.

“Under that law, if a homeowner is survived by a spouse, absent any nuptial agreement waiving certain rights, it becomes necessary to devise the home outright in fee simple to the spouse. Otherwise, the will or trust contains what is known as an “invalid devise,” in which event the spouse receives a “life estate” interest in the home, and the children of the deceased receive a present “remainder” interest.

“Also, if the homeowner wants to sell the home, the children must agree and sign any listing agreements, contracts to sell or deeds. Further, the children are entitled to part of the proceeds of the sale of the home.”

NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Urges Deduction for Rental Income

realtor logoGood info here about what Realtors® are doing behind the scenes as posted last week in the “Washington Report” on line at NAR.Realtor:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a 20% deduction from the net business income of sole proprietors and owners of S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.  The new deduction is intended to provide roughly the same tax rate cut the Act provided to regular corporations.  However, it is unclear whether owners of rental real estate will be able to claim the deduction.

“NAR has asked the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, in a letter, to treat all real property rental activity as eligible for the 20% deduction.  The letter asserts that without this change, the 10 million American owners of rental real estate will be forced to wade through voluminous and confusing tax cases and conflicting IRS positions to determine for themselves whether their rental activity constitutes a “trade or business,” which is a requirement for the deduction.  The letter also lists factors that indicate Congress intended the deduction to be available to the great majority of owners of rental property without the burden of excess complexity.

“The IRS will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations on October 16.  NAR has requested that a representative of the association be allowed to testify on this issue.

“NAR sent an earlier comment letter to Treasury and IRS on another issue related to the 20% deduction, on the question of whether real estate brokerage activities qualify for it.  In a huge win for REALTORS, the proposed regulations reflected the position suggested by the letter.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 28-Oct 5, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $528.5K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $569K, Sundial #T402 2/2 $855K.

2 price changes: Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.125M (our listing).

Roof Deck View a

View from Pointe Santo C43

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-4 3/3 listed at $924.5K.

3 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 $245K (our listing), Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 $440K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 $529K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $629K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $749K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $2.448M.

4 price changes: 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $959K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.09M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.438M.

3 new sales: 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.25M, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 now $1.85M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 247/255 Robinwood Cir $279K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1912 Ibis Ln $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 listed at $1.195M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $345K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 $3.995M.

1 price change: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 now $2.75M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $814K.

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.

As our “Island Sun” ad says this week:

You don’t need Christopher Columbus. The SanibelSusan Team can help you find your piece of paradise.

Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

See the source image

On the Islands, Fall Doesn’t Feel Like Fall


fall leaves pumpkinsAs the rest of the country is transitioning into fall weather, the summer pattern in Southwest Florida continues. Days have been warm, humid, and sunny with daytime temperatures mostly in the low 90’s. Late afternoons and evenings have included heavy rain and lightning storms. That has meant more runoff and more Lake O releases into local waterways, so red tide numbers remain high. Conditions change daily, dependent on direction of wind and tide. Here is a link to the latest midweek test readings from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Beach with seagrapesTuesday night, I met up with a group of friends at Tarpon Beach where we attempted to celebrate sunset on the beach. We were not outside long because of the thunder, but the water at that time was clear and sparkling. I saw no dead sea life, other than a few small sand dollars. The no-see-ums, however, were ferocious!Sanibel in shells

Obviously, we all hope that water conditions improve soon. Snowbirds are starting to arrive. Restaurants and businesses are reopening for “season”. The SanibelSusan Team is ready for more real estate action!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis was an off-week with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, so no caravan meeting yesterday. Caravans continue every other week until November, when they revert to weekly. Next one is Oct 4.

Tuesday, our Association’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Task Force listened to a presentation from the 3rd of four possible future system providers. It is amazing how much the internet has affected the industry in the last few years. The features offered today are bound to make all parties happy – our customers (both buyers and sellers) and our Realtors® and affiliates. The last interview is next week.

Below are some news items, followed by the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva MLS.

First a summary of SANIBEL inventory today and sales-to-date this year, compared to last year and 2016. (For those for sale & closings pending, the average prices shown are the asking prices. For those sold & closed, they are average sale prices.)

CONDOS                HOMES                      LOTS

#     Avg $ Price     #     Avg $ Price      #      Avg $ Price

62   720,019          121  1,396,191         54    635,946        For sale

8     717,250              9  1,179,389          2     249,278        Closing pending

134  725,803         188  1,146,082        17    694,657        Sold & closed 2018 thru 9/28

149  728,793         186  1,004,237        32    327,229        Sold & closed in 2017

143  717,768         181    979,576          25   487,095        Sold & closed in 2016

Water District Nixes Request for Higher Dry Season Flows

Sanibelcityseal logoWhile Southwest Florida is in the throes of getting too much water released from Lake O, the local papers this week also report the results of Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane’s attendance Sep 13 at the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board’s monthly meeting in West Palm Beach. City councilors Chauncey Goss and Holly Smith attended too, as well as neighboring mayors from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita, and Estero.

The board was considering a proposed amendment to raise the minimum flow levels for the Caloosahatchee River and Franklin Lock while maintaining salinity at the Fort Myers salinity monitoring station. As Mayor Ruane and others (including SCCF scientists) explained, more releases are needed in the dry season to maintain the ecosystems of the estuary. They also noted that drawing more water out in the dry season, leaves room for the lake to hold more water during the wet season.

Unfortunately, they were not successful in convincing the board to change their proposed amendments to the South Florida Water Management District rules, as since that meeting, the City of Sanibel, along with the City of Cape Coral and Town of Fort Myers Beach, have jointly signed a petition challenging these documents. The state has 10 days to respond to the petition.

Hurricanes Make Us Poorer, But Don’t Slow The Economy

herald media logoPosted yesterday online at FloridaRealtor®s and sourced to Hagerstown, MD, The Herald–Mail, Peter Morici, Deseret News.

“Hurricanes impose huge losses of wealth and initially slow regional economies, but over time they can be a tonic that creates more prosperous communities. After Florence, resort areas along the coast and thriving commercial areas inland are likely to rebuild quickly, but poorer, rural inland communities may be left to languish.

“Initial estimates of the destruction from the storm range from $17 billion to $22 billion but may go much higher. The sums paid out to homeowners will only be a fraction of losses because many homeowners’ policies do not include flood coverage and often contain high deductibles for hurricane damage.

“As hurricanes go, Florence could be among the 10 most costly to hit the United States, but it won’t be near the top of the list. When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the figure was $161 billion, and last year, Maria hit Puerto Rico and Harvey trounced Texas with losses of $90 billion and $125 billion.

“Florence’s path includes valuable beach homes, hotels and attractions and inland activities vital to the national economy – Boeing, Daimler and Volvo factories halted production ahead of the storm.

“Hurricanes hitting those areas provide opportunities to start over and replace with larger and more modern facilities. After Hugo (1989) and more recent storms hit the Outer Banks, smaller beach homes on large plots were replaced by structures with more bedrooms and baths and attractive kitchens that could more comfortably accommodate large families and command higher rents. Insurance settlements permitted owners of aging restaurants and amusements to reinvest in more attractive businesses.

“This increased the value of the shoreline and nearby shopping malls and other businesses. It permitted owners who were inadequately insured to more easily borrow to rebuild or recoup some of their losses by selling land at better prices.

“Seventy percent of the flood damage imposed by Harvey, which hit Texas last year, was not insured. Many homeowners took their chances with the weather and got burned or were not aware that ordinary homeowners’ policies often don’t cover flooding. Many moderate–income families and smaller businesses are struggling and may never find the money to rebuild.

“In some rural areas, far from coveted beachfront and big employers, the values of property and homes were well below the regional and national averages before the storm. Those communities may never adequately recover – land values, if anything, will lag further and permanently.

“It seems homeowners and businesses buy insurance immediately after a hurricane, become complacent as storm memories fade and then get caught when disaster strikes again. Communities hit by Florence are ripe for a repeat for such tragic situations.

“The National Flood Insurance Program has about 134,000 policies in place in North Carolina – covering fewer than 15% of residences and down 3.6% from 2013.

“Storms temporarily depress regional economies, but not as much as folks think – a lot of activity gets shifted around. Folks evacuated, factories closed, and movie theaters lost a lot of patronage ahead of Florence, but inland shelters hired staff; fleeing evacuees purchased gas and groceries; hardware stores did a robust business in sandbags, emergency pumps and the like, and livestock producers piled up on feed and fuel to keep their animals safe in barns.

“When the storm passes, lost production at aircraft and auto factories will be made up and the rebuilding of homes and commercial establishments will have profound multiplier effects for the local economy.

“On net, storms tend to subtract from gross domestic product in the early months and add to it in later months – leaving the economy, on balance, with few overall effects after a yea

“We are poorer – property and wealth are destroyed. Payouts from insurance companies reduce shareholder value. Uninsured property owners in more attractive locations may get a lift in land values, but those gains do not fully compensate for ruined residential and commercial structures.

“Those who plan ahead – buy enough of the right insurance and don’t build on the shore or flood plains unless their business interests absolutely require – generally recover. Investors from outside the region get opportunities to bring in new capital to improve local economies.

“Those who take their chances with the weather lose. They get saddled with bigger mortgages or too little money to rebuild and broken lives.”

What to Ask When Choosing A Lender

Florida Realtors logoThis simple list of 15 questions is thanks to “Florida Realtor®” magazine September 2018:

  1. “What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
  2. What fees are included in a loan; & what fees will be due at closing?
  3. Are your rates, terms, fees, & closing costs negotiable?
  4. Do you offer discounts for inspections, home-ownership classes or setting up automatic payments?
  5. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost & how long will it be required?
  6. What are your escrow requirements?
  7. What bill-pay options do you offer?
  8. What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
  9. Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
  10. Who will service this loan – your bank or another company?
  11. How long will the rate on this loan be locked-in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?
  12. How long will the loan approval process take?
  13. How long will it take to close the loan?
  14. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
  15. How much in total will I be paying over the life of this loan?”

Sanibel Re-openings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Thurs Oct 4.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs until Mon Oct 1.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance, reopens Fri Oct 5.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – reopens Tues Oct 2 and will be open Tues and Fri from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – reopens Tues Oct 2 (Shell Museum Celebrity Dinner Mon night is sold out).
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – reopens Wed Oct 3.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 21-28, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #D304 1/1 now $435K, Compass Point #161 3/3 now $1.175M.

2 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Snug Harbor 3/2 listed at $1.099M.

1 closed sale: Sundial West #K105 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 718 Oliva St 3/2 $789K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $799K.

2 price changes: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $837K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.349.9M

2 new sales: 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $725K, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 listed at $2.799M.

1 closed sale: 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $553K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 978 Main St now $179K, 6411 Pine Ave now $363K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $649K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 $1.095M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16177/16179/16181 Captiva Dr $3.25M.

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.

WildFlowerUntil next Friday, enjoy your fall wherever you are!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Pelicans Diving, Dolphins Jumping, & Realtors® Learning


It’s SanibelSusan with a weekly update on Sanibel and Captiva Islands happenings. It is a gorgeous day here today, but most of us have our minds on those along the eastern seaboard who are experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Florence. Floridians, particularly islanders know too well the angst and worry associated with those events.

Here, though Southwest Florida’s water quality continues to affect visitor business, things are rebounding – even during what usually are the slower weeks of September. The gulf and beaches look sooo much better – and people and wildlife are out enjoying them again.

Only two real estate sales were reported this week on Sanibel, none on Captiva. Overall, island inventory remains low – with only 60 condos and 121 homes for sale on Sanibel, 30 condos and 33 homes on Captiva. The team and I are hopeful that when fall and winter visitors return, sales will be strong. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe local Association of Realtors® had no weekly Caravan Meeting this week but hosted their annual 14-hour continuing education classes. Florida Realtors® are required to complete 14 hours every two years. This year, the Association also offered the Ethics class that all Realtors® nation-wide must complete before the end of the year.

It’s always fun to be the oldest student in the class. Wednesday’s 7-hour class “Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living” was especially fun in the afternoon when we boarded “Play Time” out of McCarthy’s Marina for a ride up/down Roosevelt Channel and around much of Pine Island Sound – viewing the water, wildlife, and mangroves.

Though we passed one small patch where red tide probably lingered as several attendees coughed simultaneously, by the time we got to the old fish houses just north of North Captiva Island (the ones on pilings that are on the Historic Register), the water was crystal clear right to the bottom. The seagrasses looked healthy and small fish were swimming among them.

Fish houses 09-12-18

Then within about a 10-minute span, we saw a flurry of wildlife – dolphins jumping, pelicans diving, a nurse shark, and a loggerhead turtle. It wasn’t perfect, but it obviously was an area where the water quality was much better.

Red fish house 09-12-18.jpg

Nearby, in front of Demere Key on Pine Island, we saw a huge group of swans, ducks, and geese swimming. (Yes, swans. They can live in salt water too.) It was a gorgeous day – vivid blue sky, bright white clouds, balmy breeze, and flat water.

demere key 09-12-18.jpg

Those white birds are swans!

Water quality specialist Dr. Rick Bartelson on board for questions with SCCF’s Director of Education Kristie Anders said that he and others from the marine lab had been diving recently several miles off shore in the same area he earlier had viewed as a dead zone. The news really went crazy with that information. (A “dead zone” is an underwater patch with no plant or animal life.)

Dr. Bartelson had reported back in mid-August that they started noticing an area like that off the island coast. Then, they measured no oxygen in the water about 3 to 5 meters down from the surface, in some places all the way to the bottom (about 8 meters). This week, he reported that from Tropical Storm Gordon breaking things up, the oxygen levels in that same area are “up” and improving. You bet we want that to continue!

East Rocks Water Main Replacement

Island Water reports that the East Rocks water main replacement project is almost done. The new main has been installed on most of East Rocks Drive and Boulder Drive. The last section to be completed is Durion Court. For this project, Island Water used a polyethylene piping for the boring under paved roads and driveways, rather than cutting up/then repairing driveways or removing/reinstalling pavers. Bet those owners appreciate that they weren’t inconvenienced.

Temporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopened today.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – reopens Sep 17.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10 through 20.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

International Coastal Cleanup

Postponed from Sept 15 to Sat Oct 13 (9 a.m. to noon) on Causeway Island B (island closest to Sanibel). Organized by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their van will be parked onsite.

Galloway Captiva Triathlon

captiva tri logoThe Captiva Triathlon held on the grounds of South Seas Resort scheduled tomorrow (youth segment) and Sunday (adult segment) has been changed to a duathlon due to concerns over water and air quality conditions due to red tide on the northern end of Captiva. The swim leg will be replaced by a run of the same length (approximately a quarter mile), followed by the usual 10-mile bike and 5K run. The children’s events will be the same format – run/bike/run. More info at packet pickup.

Spectators are welcome with parking available at the south end, with shuttles to take them to the north end. The public is reminded that Captiva Drive will close at 6:45 a.m. More info at www.captivatri.opg.

National Public Lands Day

ding darling goose logoCelebration at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sep 22, with free admission to Wildlife Drive (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), discounts at Tarpon Bay Explorers, and multiple activities at the refuge.

First Annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt

Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School will host this island-wide family event that will end with a bonfire celebration on the beach. Save the date, Saturday, Nov 3 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds will support the Sea School’s scholarship fund.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $240K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $619K.

Boardwalk b.jpg

Mariner Pointe bay walk & private fishing pier

1 price change: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $535K.

3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $440K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $600K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.26M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $749K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $845K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $585K, 480 Las Tiendas Ln 3/3 now $749K.

1 new sale: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $699K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $658K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,999.

1 price change: 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.695M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $340K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $4.95M.

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.

Until next Friday, wishing you bright skies with sunshine!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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