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

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

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Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Fathers Day 2018 on Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting just another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel Island. After a busy winter/spring, many colleagues are taking vacations – some stay-cations. Their timing couldn’t be better. It is really quiet! Probably contributing to that is all the recent press about the Lake “O” water releases which have resulted in tannin-colored water in the bay which is now wrapping around the lighthouse into the gulf.  Meanwhile, it’s still looking AOK on most of the gulf side.

I had lunch yesterday at West Wind Inn’s Normandie Seaside Cafe and ran into Kim from their Upper Pool Deck Bar. Wednesday, on Facebook, she posted her view from there (photo below). It’s a great spot for lunch or an evening pre-sunset libation. Music some nights too. Their food comes from the Normandie’s kitchen too. Both open to the public and secret gems favored by the Inn’s guests, locals, and maybe you too.

2018-06-13

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Following Sanibel Mayor Ruane’s call-to-action last Friday, demanding that these water releases stop – the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® created an easy way for concerned citizens and island lovers to respond. Using the below link and by just adding your contact info, emails on your behalf (with copy to you) will go to the powers-that-be at the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with copy to the Governor. Everyone who is concerned, please do it. If you have ever enjoyed the islands or spent a penny here, this should be important to you. It takes only seconds to complete. Thank you! http://sanibelcaptivarealtors.org/cta/

sccf 14K checkAt our Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, Association President Dustyn Corace presented a check for $14,000 to Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. The final tally is in with these monies raised last month at our end-of-season golf outing and auction. The funds are going to SCCF ear-marked for their use in improving local water quality.

What The Conservation Foundation Says

A message from SCCF received midweek has a good summary of what is happening with these water releases:

SCCF logo“It is premature to dump massive quantities of water to the estuaries at the very beginning of the rainy season when no water was being held by or discharged to agricultural areas to share the harm. Instead, agriculture on the east side of the lake and southwest of the lake have been allowed to backflow massive quantities of water into the lake instead of holding their own runoff. Quantities back flowed equal the amount that has been discharged to the estuaries that have also received too much rain. We ask water managers to identify these conditions and start requiring all landowners to manage storm water on their own land, not dump it into the lake, not usurp the entire capacity of publicly funded storm water treatment areas that harm public resources.

“Since the rain began on May 15 the Caloosahatchee estuary has been experiencing increasing levels of harmful flows. The first 2 weeks flows were watershed runoff from Hendry and Glades Counties, with no discharges from Lake Okeechobee. However, the lake discharges that started on June 1st nearly tripled the harmful high flows to the estuary… dumping dark fresh water and suddenly dropping salinities in the estuary all the way to the mouth of the river at Shell Point. The consequence of this sudden, drastic, and prolonged salinity drop has been a massive die off of estuarine clams and oysters at Iona just upstream of Shell Point and is fueling freshwater cyanobacteria, including Microcystis, that is visible beneath the water surface from Beautiful Island by I-75 to Iona Cove.

“This current event is the direct result of managing water selectively to allow agricultural landowners to dump their floodwater into Lake Okeechobee and into publicly funded storm water treatment areas, thus forcing discharges harmful to public resources.

“We need to express our strenuous objection to water managers and elected representatives because these harmful flows are the direct consequence of agricultural discharges that have resulted in harmful flows to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie, without consideration of the flood consequences on these coastal ecosystems.”

NKY Music Legends Welcomes Danny Morgan

dany morgan logoAs a long-time fan of Sanibel musician Danny Morgan, it was great to read recent news about his latest honor. Here’s some scoop from www.Cincinnati.com on May 24, 2018:

“Northern Kentucky Music Legends (NKY) is an organization that recognizes area musicians, vocalists and music industry people who have made a name for themselves locally and nationally. Jerry Gifford, a musician who is still playing after 50 years with his band Strange Brew, originated the idea of honoring talented Northern Kentucky musicians. So, in 2013 he met with Charlie Coleman, Campbell County commissioner; Jon Long, a longtime musician; and John Mendell, a concert producer. The group contacted The Cincinnati Enquirer to put out a call for Northern Kentucky musicians who would qualify. Criteria include birth in Northern Kentucky or longtime residency, played music for 20 or more years and made a mark in the community…. This year marks the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony….the Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 include…:

► Danny Morgan, who played in popular bands before taking off to Nashville and forming The Apple Butter Band with local legend Mickey Foellger (… the now-retired Campbell County juvenile court judge), Joellen Morgan and ex-Bengal Mike Reid. They toured with the Beach Boys and other major acts. These days Morgan plays five nights a week in Sanibel Island, Florida. “Danny Morgan has a keen sense of artistry and not only finding, but nurturing great talent,” said Stan Hertzman, retired music business professional.”

Danny Morgan from Cincinnati paper

Those like me who enjoy the Sanibel music experience often refer to Danny Morgan as our local Jimmy Buffet. We follow his performances, play his CDs, and know the words to many of his songs like “Sanibel Sunset”, “Captiva Moon”, and one of my favs, “Running on the Beach”. In addition to performing at many local special events, weddings, and parties, you usually can catch Danny and often his band, plus guest musicians (including sightings of Livingston Taylor & Pittsburg Mike) at the following locations:

  • Margarita Mondays at Sundial Beach Resort from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Nights at Traders Gulf Coast Grill beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday afternoons 1 to 4 p.m. at Casa Ybel Resort’s Coconuts poolside bar & grill

More about Danny and his offerings at www.DannyMorgan.com

Fun June Happenings at The Community House

If you haven’t yet been to Sanibel’s new Community House, you are missing out. Here are a couple of their events scheduled this month. Call 239-472-2155 or checkout their website at www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net for more info.

  • Adult Demonstration – Quick & Easy Meals using 5 Ingredients by Chef Jarret, June 15, at noon. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Adult Farm-to-Table Hands-On Cooking Class by Chef Jarred, June 22, Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Produce a delicious meal with ingredients sourced locally. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Community House Culinary Education CtrHoliday Hog Roast – “Smoke on the Islands” by Chef Jarret, June 30, Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. $15, ice cream sundae bar $5. Also, kids “All American Red, White, & Blue Dessert Content”. Entry forms at the Community House. Judging at 7 p.m. & awards given for best tasting, best presentation, and best theme. Bring a 2nd dessert for their auction to help raise money for the Culinary Education Center. Tickets available at The Community House or Bailey’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle Way

Summer is a good time to get caught up, reflect, plan, and project. Our weekly report of the activity of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows my musings below.

Below is some food-for-thought for would-be sellers who are thinking of listing their island real estate. Some of these tips apply to selling anywhere.

How’s The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market? The housing bubble before the recession drove prices up on the islands. Back in that heyday of 2006, the average Sanibel condo sold for close to $900K and the average Sanibel home over $1.1M. On Captiva, the average condo was more than $1.3M and average home over $2.3M. Then, prices took a dive.

housing-bubble-1872350_960_720It has been nearly ten years since the recession and often I am asked if island real estate has recovered. That answer is complicated. Sellers on the islands are faced with more challenges than those in a traditional real estate environment.

Plus, it’s a small island with a big variety of property types and a wide span in price. Depending on the property, it sometimes takes months or years for a property to sell. Other properties, if the demand is right, could sell in hours.

How do you know where a property fits in? That answer is complicated too. First, there are fewer buyers for real estate in resort or 2nd home-type locations. According to the National Association of Realtors® (remember I teach the Resort & 2nd Home Market class to our local Realtors®), these sales account for fewer than one-fifth of all the home/condo sales each year.

These buyers, if they are financing, typically have to put down way more money than those buying a primary home. The lender criteria for buying a property like that is tougher too.

In this area of Florida, the selling season also is somewhat limited because the most prospective buyers are in town from December through April which also can be when properties are occupied or rented. With Sanibel homes having a monthly rental minimum, that can mean showings only on the 1st of the month, or with condos renting weekly, it can mean showings only on Saturdays between late morning and early afternoon when a property is being cleaned and often also when the buyers are coming/going.

With more baby boomers now retired and staying longer, many rentals – including those for sale – may be booked for extended periods, making showings in season even more unlikely. It also bears mentioning that many vacationing would-be-buyers only want to earmark a short time to look at real estate, preferably a day when the sun isn’t out or the weather is less than ideal. They want to buy, they just want to enjoy their vacation too (which is exactly why we encourage buyers to come back this time of the year when it’s easier to view property and they can concentrate on that task). These buyers also may not be in a hurry. They may be willing to wait until their next vacation or even next year, particularly if they don’t find a property that’s “just right” for them.

So, if there is no getting around some of these challenges, what can a seller do to get their island property sold sooner and at a higher price? Here some tips:

house-painter-clipart-paintersBe Ready for The Best First Impression – First impressions are huge, whether the first one is the driveway, the walkway, the entry, the front door, or the foyer. Be sure it is all sparkling clean and trimmed. Pressure washing the exterior and walkways are especially important here where heat and mildew can take a toll. A fresh coat of paint on a front door is an easy fix too. Also, nix and replace any nasty door hardware.

Invest in Upgrades – Think about when you purchased. Were you ready to do your own improvements or did you prefer a property that was move-in-ready? Most island buyers want the latter, so it pays to make a property so perfect that the new owner only needs to bring their suitcase. Nobody wants old and ugly.

If you can afford to do updating before a property goes on the market, do it. That updating could be as easy as going through every drawer and closet, organizing and tossing out old furnishings, or adding fresh paint or replacing old worn carpet. The trick is to make the property look bigger, cleaner, and brighter.cleaning-cloud-vector-illustration_k7551435

If you go as far as renovating kitchen and baths or even in minor redecorating and sprucing up, remember this is an island in Florida where most end-users are here in the winter. Pick a style that’s light bright and happy. That’s what most buyers want. They may say that they don’t need move-in-ready and island décor, but they really do. They sometimes figure that out as they proceed through the viewing process, after seeing the competition.

Four-Point-Inspection-Think About Replacing Big Ticket Items That Could Become Problematic – I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as a reminder, to get insurance today on a property that is over 20 years old, most insurance providers require a 4-point inspection. Insurance companies increasingly have become reluctant to issue policies on older homes. Their concern is that there may be conditions in an older property that could become a liability to them. For example, a home with a roof near the end of its service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may file a claim for damage to the home or its contents. A 4-point inspection describes the condition and age of the following four elements:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning)
  • Electrical wiring & panels
  • Plumbing, connections, & fittings
  • Roof

These may be expensive items and systems to repair or replace before selling, but rest-assured if a property has copper pipes on Sanibel, it will be flagged by a home inspector. (Sanibel’s water, over time can cause pinhole leaks in copper piping.) Federal Pacific electrical panels (which some insurance companies will not insure) are flagged here too. Even with “as is” contracts where seller repairs are not required and most buyers expect a number of minor defects, when a big ticket item comes up, the buyer often asks for a consideration in the form of either a price reduction or a contribution toward the needed repair or replacement.

home-inspection1.jpgGet A Home Inspection & Make Repairs Before Listing – Doing this might preclude the problems mentioned above. Most buyers will overestimate updating and repair costs. So, if they come to look at a property that needs new piping or a new electrical box, they will likely do one of two things. They will come up with their own inaccurate too-high off-the-cuff estimate which they then will deduct from their offer price. Or even worse, they will decide that it is too much money or more than they want to deal with. They then will move on to another property that doesn’t have problems.

realtor logoListen to Professionals – Realtors® are in the business of looking at real estate with a critical eye. They are not emotionally invested in a property like the owner. We try to be sensitive to an owner’s feelings and their decorating style, but they know the inventory and competition, and what is selling. Be prepared to tell your Realtor® the special things you like about your property but also be ready to listen to what they say may need to be done to bring you top dollar. As the island real estate market evolves through the calendar year, understand that your property may be one that appeals most to a winter buyer, so if it doesn’t sell in one “season”, it may take until the next.

Don’t discount summer buyers though. When winter inventory is low, serious buyers return in the summer. Summer also brings more families looking for year-‘round homes, vacationers looking for income-producing short-term rental condos, and Europeans looking for privacy and a good place to invest.

In every real estate market, price and appearance matter. In a seasonal area, like here, those factors can mean the difference between selling quickly or lingering for months. Regardless of the time of the year, it is usually two things that keep properties from selling. Either they are over-priced or they have not been updated and well maintained.

Gone are the days when buyers come into a real estate office with a list of their requirements and a Realtor® tells them what is available that meets their needs. Today’s buyers (close to 95%) do their island property searches online. If a property isn’t perfectly priced and doesn’t look great, it is not going to sell, because these consumers search in only their price range and buy through the pictures they see on the internet. Not only are professional photographs needed, but the property needs to be attractive. Almost every island Realtor® will tell you that they have sold property sight-unseen. I have sold many that way and this year even sold one that I had not seen (though I did look before it closed).

7832303--illustration-of-a-man-being-dragged-under-water-by-his-house-mortgage-which-is-chained-to-his-anke-Does It Make Sense To Take A Loss – Owners who bought at the peak or during the multi-year run-up before it, most likely are dealing with properties that are not worth what they paid. Now as they go to sell, they need to pay for improvements or repairs to get top-dollar, plus they will pay a real estate commission and other closing costs. They are not happy about it. They are losing money, even if they break even on the sales price. During the real estate boom, people wanted to be part of the group that flocked to own a vacation or 2nd home. That is not necessarily the case now. Prices are going up and the market is improving, but not as fast as some want.

That can make it a tough decision for an owner who bought high. Those prospective sellers need to decide whether they want to keep the property for another few years and see if values continue to go up, or instead say they are ready to just get out and potentially take a loss.

Island properties often are bought with discretionary income, so unless a buyer is compelled to do it now, it can become a waiting game. Just as buying an island property can be a life-altering decision, so can selling one.

The SanibelSusan Team tries to make buying and selling real estate easy and stress-free, but as these paragraphs describe, it ain’t always easy.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 8-15, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 now $399K, Seawind #109 2/2.4 now $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 now $795K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.149M.

5 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 listed at $569K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 listed at $594.9K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 listed at $699K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 listed at $779K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 listed at $890K.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #G407 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $570K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $675K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $780K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

10 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $525K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $550K, 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $569K, 746 Nerita St 3/2 $749K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 $749K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $834.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $859K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.099M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.16M.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $440K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $459K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $549K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $624K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $674.9K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $924.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.099M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.5M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.595M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.448M.

4 new sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex listed at $459K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 listed at $924.9K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 listed at $1.949M.

10 closed sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex $365K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $475K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $520K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $588K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $565K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 $620K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $650K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $780K, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 $1.279M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex $1.95M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $335K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct $580K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $1.375M.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5102 ½ now $369K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $949K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 listed at $620K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $305K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 listed at $4.198M.

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.

fathers-day-clip-art-jTx95RBTE1Until next Friday, here’s hoping your summer weather is as spectacular as on the islands! Best wishes on Sunday to all the Dads, would-be Dads, & Moms covering as Dads!

If you want to buy yours a piece of paradise for Fathers Day, I can help.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate, Sea Turtles, Freebies, & Other Sanibel Scoop


It was quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but with more gorgeous weather including reports of outstanding shelling thanks to stiff winds last weekend and some super low tides. Roadway and bike path traffic continues – though less of it – from visitors on spring breaks from some northern states that keep getting wintry weather. Here we cherish the balmy breeze days in the 70’s – like this week.

Spring events are in full swing. A few are mentioned below before a report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service this week.

Island Sales Statistics Year-to-Year

SanibelSusan loves statistics, so here’s a little info confirming my recent posts about Sanibel homes being the most popular product this year. The 83 Sanibel home closings that have already occurred this year are more than all of the other sales on both islands combined.

 

Closed Sales from January 1 to April 20

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
2016 54 56 15 12 13 2
2017 44 66 15 8 12 1
2018 48 83 5 8 12 0

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.

2018 Sea Turtle Season Has Begun

kemp turtleAs reported on-line by The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation this week:

“On Monday we had our first sea turtle nest of the 2018 season!

“For only the 3rd time in the history of the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nested on Sanibel Island! The Kemp’s ridley is one of the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle in the world. We are beyond thrilled that our first nest of the season was laid by a rare Kemp’s ridley!

“Last year SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program had a total of 684 nests on Sanibel – 650 loggerhead nests and 34 green nests – and 189 nests on Captiva. Both the loggerhead and the green nest counts for Sanibel surpassed previous records. 2017 was the fourth year in a row that Sanibel has broken historic nesting records, so we are hopeful that conservation efforts from the past 20-30 years are starting to pay off and sea turtle nest counts will continue to rise. More information on SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program can be found here.

“Please keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:SCCF logo

  • Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
  • Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night.
  • Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
  • Pick up litter.

“If you have any questions or concerns about nesting or injured turtles please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at (978) 728- 3663.”

Free “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) on May 12

BYOBAs posted on-line at the “Santiva Chronicle” this week:

“Get a BYOB washable canvas bag from Coastal Keepers free of charge, while supplies last, starting at noon May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way.

“On May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, Coastal Keepers will hold an event to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags on our islands and educate locals and visitors about the harm plastic bags cause to our environment.

“More than 100 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually in the United States, making them one of the most common trash items collected on beaches worldwide. Plastic bags have a short usage time and are rarely recyclable, taking 1,000 years or more to decompose. They pose a threat to wildlife as countless animals become entangled or mistake them for food each year.

“The solution to this problem is simple – bringing your own reusable bags when you shop eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags! On May 12 starting at noon, Coastal Keepers and Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way, will partner to distribute reusable, washable canvas bags for free while supplies last. We invite everyone to come out, grab a bag, and go reusable!

coastal keepers loglCoastal Keepers, formerly the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of START, operates as an independent branch of Sanibel Sea School to create and implement conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and our coastal heritage. Additional BYOB events are being planned for 2018. For more information about Coastal Keepers, please contact coastalkeepers@sanibelseaschool.org.

Upcoming Events

  • Public Meeting on Blind Pass Inlet Management Study – April 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sea Pearl Room at South Seas Island Resort at 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd. Provided by the Lee County Division of Natural Resources. More info about the study at www.leegov.com/naturalresources/blind-pass-2016–inlet-management-plan-study.
  • Annual Seahorse Festival – May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park, 2231 Periwinkle Way, hosted by The Sanibel School PTA. With a “taste” theme this year, featuring local restaurants with food, desserts, drinks, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment by Wilder Sons, students performing skits, games, inflatables, & more.
  • Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School Summer Camp – June 4 to August 24 at three locations: Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus, Sundial Beach Resort, & Canterbury School in Fort Myers. Programs for campers ages 4 to 18. Also space available in Pea-Sized Pufferfish Week, a program for 4- to 6-yr-olds; a coral reef expedition to the Florida Keys for 11- to 12-year-olds; an expedition to Belize for teens 15 to 18, and a variety of camps for 6- to 13-year-olds, each with ocean-related themes. More details at www.sanibelseaschool.org.
  • Captiva yacht clubSummer Junior Sailing ProgramJune 11 to 22 & July 16 to 27. A U.S. Sailing Certified program hosted by the Captiva Island Yacht Club at 15903 Captiva Dr. Open to children ages 8 to 15, of all skill levels. More info at www.captivaiyc/activities/sailing.

Changes Coming to Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

Sanibel-Island-Captiva-Island-Visitor-Center-Exterior.jpgAs reported in the “Island Sun” this week, announced at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last week were plans to renovate the chamber’s Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitors Center on Causeway Road. “With work expected to begin in early fall, the visitor center “refresh” will include a redesigned interior that will increase visitor “flow”, incorporate a classic coastal design with enhanced visitor experience integrating technology.”

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises to 4.47% This Week

associated-press-logoThough most island sales continue to be “as is” and “cash”, we always watch the interest rates because we know that it “only takes one” to make a sale and that “one” may want/or need a mortgage. Here is the Associated Press article that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®.

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed upward this week, slightly worsening affordability for homebuyers.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.47% from 4.42% last week. This benchmark rate averaged 3.97% a year ago.

“With the start of the traditional spring home buying season, people shopping for homes are dealing with higher loan costs and fewer properties for sale. Rising rates could further erode inventories as existing homeowners renovate homes rather than putting them up for sale to avoid a more expensive mortgage that would come with a new house.

“If higher rates lead to fewer homes on the market, it could push prices higher and further squeeze would-be homebuyers.

“”These increasing rates will serve as an added challenge to home shoppers in what is already perhaps the toughest home buying market in recorded history,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

Home borrowing costs have risen in response to higher yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. The interest charged on this form of government debt has risen from 2.78% last week to 2.9% early Thursday.

“The interest paid by the government is up along with the federal budget deficit in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and plans by the Federal Reserve to raise short-term borrowing rates for banks.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose this week to 3.94% from 3.875.”

Apply Now If You Want Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Florida Realtors logoThe Atlantic hurricane season coincides with the Florida rainy season which is June 1 to November 30, so seeing the below article posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® was a timely reminder that it is just around the corner. If you want flood insurance or need to make a change to your policy, now is the time. See the article and some provider recommendations below:

“Nearly a million property owners filed claims for various insured losses from Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, with estimated insured losses totaling nearly $8 billion. More than 750,000 of the 900,000 claims were made by residential property owners.

“With 1.7 million National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, Florida has the largest percentage – 35% – of NFIP policies in the entire system. When Irma made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, many homeowners, renters and business owners had flood insurance policies, but many more did not.

“Flooding can occur anywhere, even in low-risk areas. Almost 25% of claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding and receive one-third of all federal flooding disaster help.

“Homeowners, renters and business insurance does not typically cover flood damage, making it important for Floridians to buy an NFIP policy now. An NFIP insurance policy becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased. Flood insurance pays policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration.

“Floods are the most common and most costly natural disasters in the United States. Without flood insurance, it may be too expensive for owners to repair or rebuild.

“NFIP policyholders have been paid more than $887 million to repair and rebuild since Irma. Many policyholders received up to 50% advance payments–nearly $121 million–to minimize waiting for money to start work.

“By mid-March this year, 97% of the more than 28,000 submitted NFIP claims had been closed, with an average payment of $49,000.

“Homeowners, renters and business owners who live in NFIP-participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in NFIP.

“To find out if a community participates in NFIP, ask an insurance agent or go online to fema.gov/cis/FL.html….

“To find an agent who sells flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661.

For more information on general flood insurance questions, contact your local floodplain administrator, NFIP at 800-427-4661, or your insurance agent….”

Here are the four local insurance providers on SanibelSusan’s Directory of Services & Utilities:

Freebies From SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoIf you’d like a copy of our directory, mentioned above, just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. This list was compiled as a courtesy and is updated as we get recommendations. Vendors and service providers are included based on past service to us or our clients.

Also, if you are wondering when SanibelSusan’s next mass mailing of our inventory tables will go out, it will be soon. (With nearly 9,000 copies mailed, it makes our phones ring.) My team is confirming sales and updating our database now, while they also continue each Saturday to update the individual (Sanibel condo, home, lot, & Captiva) tables. To be added to our mailing list to receive a copy in early May (or anytime), just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. (Easy to email these inventory lists too. ) They show the addresses and prices of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and, for comparison, sales over the last few years too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 13-20, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $379K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $489.9K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $799K.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $535K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $549.9K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $624.5K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 now $625K.

1 new sale: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $474.5K, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.765M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $549.9K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $899K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $909K, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $1.25M, 725 Donax St 6/2.5 $1.548M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3.5 $3.395M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $509.5K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $669K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $635K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $809K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $825K, 501 Lagoon Dr 2/2 now $979K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.449M.

11 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $565K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 4439 Gulf Pines Drive 3/2 listed at $695K, 3320 St. Kilda 4/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 listed at $1.349M, 1033 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.495M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex listed at $2.075M.

6 closed sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $540K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 $607.5K, 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 $640K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.497M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $2.85M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 $3.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 412 Tiree Cir now $319,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $375K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $950K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.339M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here are a couple of fun photos borrowed from Facebook.

Thriller 04-19-18.jpgA mama & baby dolphin photographed this week during a Sanibel Thriller rider (departs from The Sanibel Marina, more info at http://www.SanibelThriller.com).

Plus another Sanibel sunset!

sunset 04-18-18.jpg

TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Beach at Noon Today, Friday the 13th (April 2018)


 

Wondering how the beach looks? SanibelSusan made a quick stop, just after noon today, at the beach access at the end of Donax Street on Sanibel’s almost east end. As the above photos show, the beach is looking great and being enjoyed. My car said the outside temperature then was 83 degrees F. With a brisk breeze, it was perfect beach weather.

My team and I are continuing to enjoy the change in traffic pattern this week as the islands slow down. The trouble is once Periwinkle Way eases up, so do the real estate phone calls and inquiries. That’s too bad, as now is when it’s often easiest to gain access to the properties that have been occupied all winter.

Sanibel realtors logoAt yesterday’s local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, in addition to many new price reductions, a large number of new listings were announced. It was a full caravan, too.

That’s a bit of an oddity for this time of the year when business typically slows down a little. Hopefully this year with winter weather continuing in many areas, Florida will be more attractive to future prospective property owners.

Shown after a couple of news items below is our weekly report showing the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Florida House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – What Are The Facts?

State of FL SealThere have been rumblings the last couple of weeks over House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – Possession of Real Property (commonly known as customary use), signed by Governor Scott on March 23. Some folks believe that this bill restricts access to Florida’s beaches. That is not true.

Florida’s Constitution provides that all land seaward of the mean high-tide line belongs to the public. No government entity or private individual or property owner can deny access to it.

Florida Realtors logoPosted on-line yesterday, April 12, Florida Realtors® provided a good explanation of customary use and the beach access issue with the following questions and answers:

“Question: What is “customary use”?

Answer: “Customary use” is a common law term referring to public access to private beachfront property. Generally speaking, beachfront property owners in Florida own the “dry sand” area leading down to the mean high tide line – the line of intersection of the land with the water’s surface at the maximum height reached by a rising tide. The land seaward of that, commonly known as the “wet sand” area, is held by the state in trust for the public.

The process known as customary use allows a local government to adopt an ordinance that allows public access to the private dry sand area of beachfront property where the use has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption and free from dispute. (1974 City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama, 294 So.2d 73 (Fla. 1974)

“Question: Are customary use ordinances new?

Answer: No. The public trust doctrine is embodied in Art. 10, s. 11 of the state’s Constitution. Further, the customary use process has existed in Florida for many decades.

“Question: If customary use is not new, then what does this new law (HB 631) that was passed actually do?

Answer: The previous process for adopting a customary use ordinance was not structured in a way that encouraged active dialogue about the issue between property owners and the local government. The intent of the new law is to allow customary use practices to continue, but in a way that is more transparent, efficient and economical, while requiring active dialogue between local governments and private property owners on the front end to avoid costly legal challenges.

“Question: What was the old customary use process and how does it work now?

Answer: Simply put, prior to this law a local government would evaluate its public beach needs and previous public use, draft a customary use ordinance to address the issues they found, and then vote to adopt that ordinance. Property owners affected by the new ordinance could then pursue a legal challenge if they wished to.

Under the new law, the local government must first hold a public hearing to make the public aware of the new customary use ordinance they want to adopt. They also need to notify every affected property owner of the proposed ordinance in writing, as well as identify the use they are seeking and show evidence of the need of that use. They will then bring the proposed ordinance forward for a judicial determination and must notify affected property owners that they have 45 days from receipt of the notice to intervene in the legal proceedings….

“Question: Is public access to Florida’s beaches cut off under this new law?

Answer: No. The law only changes the process by which a local government would follow to adopt a customary use ordinance.

“Question: I live in a county that has an engineered beach/erosion control line. Does this issue affect me?

Answer: There are 35 coastal counties in Florida. A total of 26 coastal counties have an engineered beach/erosion control line – a jurisdictional boundary established in beach re-nourishment project areas. If you live in one of these counties, then customary use ordinances are highly unlikely for your area.

Nine counties don’t have an engineered beach/erosion control line. These counties are: Walton, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Volusia and Flagler.”

Reducing Your Flood Insurance Cost

femaThe cost of flood insurance often is a consideration to a prospective buyer. Some flood policies allow a new owner to assume the seller’s policy, so it is common for Realtors to ask owners about their insurance costs and the contact information for their insurance carrier. Sometimes we have info about how you may be able to reduce your insurance costs too.

Several years ago, the local Association of Realtors® brought in speakers from a local engineering firm that specializes in services related to flood zone mapping and analysis, flood protection analysis and flood proofing services. Sometimes that engineering work results in a document called LOMR (Letter of Map Revision). To fully understand what a LOMR is, it helps to know about the City’s evolution and how it relates to flood insurance.

Sanibelcityseal logoHere is some background from Sanibel’s on-line 2017 Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan. (Read the full document at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/Comprehensive-Floodplain-Management-Plan )

“The City of Sanibel is a barrier island, located on southern Florida’s Gulf coast. In 1974, the City was in a grassroots effort to gain local control over land development so that the fragile and unique environment of the Island could be preserved and enhanced…. Development within the City is regulated to coexist with nature.

“One of the City’s initial tasks following incorporation was the adoption of the Sanibel Plan (a comprehensive land use plan), which uses the ‘carrying capacity’ concept of land use management to determine the development intensity permitted on the island: the more sensitive the land is to human activity, the less development is permitted. In the City’s very fragile and vulnerable Gulf Beach, Bay Beach and Mangrove Forest Zones, little or no development is allowed. On the higher and less environmentally sensitive ridge areas of the Island, more intense development is permitted.

“Prior to incorporation, Sanibel Island was zoned for the development of over 30,000 dwelling units. After the City was established and the initial Sanibel Plan was adopted in 1976, the projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island dropped to approximately 7,800. After subsequent lawsuits and Plan amendments, the current projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island has been adjusted to approximately 9,000.

“Not only did the City significantly decrease the amount of development permitted on the Island, but the City’s new zoning regulations severely restrained and, in some cases, prohibited development in the Island’s most environmentally sensitive and flood prone areas such as the Bay and Gulf Beach Zones, the Mangrove Forest Zones and the Interior Wetlands Conservation District. By restricting or limiting development in these sensitive and vulnerable areas, the City took a giant step to protect the public health, safety and welfare from flood damage.

“When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the Community Rating System (CRS) in 1990, the City of Sanibel was one of the first to apply. Due to its historic proactive floodplain management efforts, the City is currently recognized as a Class 5 community by the CRS. Through the CRS program, the City has made a commitment to further improve and enhance its proactive floodplain management efforts through the evaluation and updating of its comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan (FMP).

“The purpose of the Sanibel FMP is to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from flood hazard and has been developed to meet CRS criteria for such planning documents and incorporates the primary goals of the CRS to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings, and promote the awareness of flood insurance. The plan includes existing and new mitigation activities, to prioritize mitigation activities and on-going activities to meet the City’s floodplain management goals. The City of Sanibel has implemented its Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan since the initial adoption of that plan in 1995. This 2005 Floodplain Management Plan assesses updates and clarifies that plan and provides direction for future actions. On May 3rd, 2016, the Sanibel City Council established a City of Sanibel Floodplain Management Planning and Mitigation Advisory Committee to the City of Sanibel to organize and prepare the Floodplain Management Plan. Under the Community Rating System (CRS), there is an incentive for communities to do more than regulate new construction. The CRS provides a reduction in flood insurance premiums to reflect activities that reduce flood damage to existing buildings, protect new buildings beyond the minimum NFIP protection level, and help residents obtain flood insurance.

“…The largest potential impact in hazard assessment of the 100-year storm is Base Flood Elevation (BFE) requirements from the FEMA maps. In November 2014, FEMA notified the City of Sanibel that it is analyzing coastal wave action in the Gulf of Mexico as part of its Risk Mapping, Assessment & Planning (Risk MAP) program. This analysis will be used to create new elevation data for Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Preliminary maps are anticipated to be distributed in 2018. Previous maps included Zone VE, where the flood elevations include wave heights equal or greater than 3 feet; and Zone AE, where the flood elevation includes wave heights less than 3 feet….

“By joining the NFIP in 1979 and requiring new construction to be built above the Program’s base flood elevation, development that has occurred on Sanibel since that time is relatively safe from flood damage in all but the very worst-case storm events….”

So how does this relate to a LOMR? In floodplain lingo, a Letter of Map Revision or LOMR is FEMA’s modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM) or both.

Why do you want your property to be included in a LOMR? Because it may mean that your property is now located in a flood zone that is less likely to flood, so less costly to insure. The property didn’t move, but the likelihood of flooding occurring may have lessened because of nearby construction, shift in the land, and changes in the weather, that could affect wind and wave action.

In recent years, many island condo complexes and communities have hired engineering firms to determine if their locations could be candidates for LOMRs. The process can be costly and lengthy, but in many cases has achieved great results – and huge savings in flood insurance. Posted at on the City’s website at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/LOMR-Letters-of-Map-Revision are recent revisions.

If your property is near one of these locations, particularly if it is landward of one of them, go to the link for that LOMR. There, you will see the letter that FEMA sent to the City identifying the area of change. The last page(s) of each document list by STRAP numbers & owners names, all of the properties affected by the that document. If yours is included, it may be worth a phone call to your insurance provider, as they may not be aware of the change. The LOMRs currently posted on the City’s site are:

  • West Wind Inn – 3345 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachcomber condo – 635 East Gulf Dr
  • 1243 Par View Dr
  • Pointe Santo condo – 2445 West Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Seaview condo – 727 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Beach Club condo – 2265 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachview Cottages – 3325 West Gulf Dr
  • Dosinia condo – 3339 West Gulf Dr
  • Sandalfoot condo – 671 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Inn – 3111 West Gulf Dr
  • Loggerhead Cay condo – 679 East Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Arms West condo – 827 East Gulf Dr
  • Casa Ybel Resort – 2255 West Gulf Dr
  • Tanglewood condo – 1101 to 1104 Seagrape Ln
  • Sunset Beach hotel – 3287 West Gulf Dr
  • Gulfside Place condo – 1605 Middle Gulf Dr
  • 5125 Joewood Dr
  • Sundial East condo – 1401 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sunset South condo – 1341 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sundial of Sanibel Bldg E & K – 1501 Middle Gulf Dr

To find your property’s FEMA map location, go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

2018 Hurricane Seminar

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiThe same day last week as the City seminar about the 2018 hurricane season, forecasters projected that the upcoming 2018 season may be busier than usual. As a fan of the City’s official weather consultant, Dave Roberts, it was interesting to read that he said hurricanes can happen during any month of the year when certain conditions are present. One of those is that water temperatures need to be about 80 degrees. (Right now, the gulf is about 77, 78 degrees.) According to Roberts, due to La Nina weather conditions, Atlantic Ocean water temperatures currently are one degree above average. “That’s something to be worried about,” he said.

Roberts also stressed the importance of heeding calls for an evacuation especially when powerful storm surges are expected. “I can tell you that a 15’ storm surge is very unlikely, but a 3’ to 5’ storm surge can happen. Believe me, you don’t want to get caught in that because one foot of standing water can move an SUV….”

Here’s hoping that if we are prepared, no storms will come.

Upcoming Events

ding darling48th Earth Day Celebration at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge, Saturday, April 21:

  • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Wildlife Drive free to bikers/hikers, $5 per motor vehicle
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free bike rentals at Tarpon Bay Explorers
  • 9:30 a.m. – Bike refuge tour (4 miles)
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Earth-friendly crafts in Refuge Visitor & Education Center
  • 1 p.m. – See free film STRAWS

Sanibel School Fund Blue Ribbon Golf Classic at The Sanctuary, Saturday, May 12. Call Christian at 917-763-6824 for more info/tickets.

Reminder About Watering

Lee County_logoAfter experiencing below-average rainfall from November through March, residents and visitors are reminded of Lee County’s year-‘round water conservation ordinance. It prohibits irrigation between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Irrigation outside of these hours is limited to Thursdays and Sundays for even-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Saturdays for odd-numbered addresses

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 6-13, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 $339.9K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $849K.

8 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $450K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 now $499K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $569K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 now $599K, Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 now $719K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 now $745K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $749.9K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.249M.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 listed at $549K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 listed at $729K, Kings Crown #312 2/2 listed at $799K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 listed at $799K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $819K, High Tide #C201 2/2 listed at $989K.

7 closed sales: Tennisplace #E33 2/1 $285K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $615K, Sundial West #J307 2/2 $738K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $795K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $845K, High Tide #C101 2/2 $885K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 3/3 $968.5K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex 3/2 $565K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $599K, 223 Daniel Dr 3/3 $898K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.149M, 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.849M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.149M.

16 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $455K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $699K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $739K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $759.5K, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $885K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $878K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $1.099M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.145M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.249M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.495M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.65M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $2.1495M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.795M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.374M.

9 new sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex listed at $399K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 listed at $525K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $575K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 listed at $689K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $829K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.22M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $515K, 1625 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $575K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $655K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 $875K, 748 Windlass Way 3/3 $1.1M, 2629 Coconut 2/3 $1.15M, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 $1.275M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 $3.675M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 976 Whelk Dr now $679K, 6000 White Heron Ln now $749K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.849M.

1 new sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct listed at $679K.

1 closed sale: 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd $215K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $545K.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 now $640K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $1.794M; 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1,999,999; 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.499M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next week, here’s hoping your Friday the 13th has been lucky & you get to the beach this weekend!

Here’s one more photo from today. TGIF!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanIMG_5541

Pre-Easter Things Hoppin’ on Sanibel


Bunny hopping clip artIt’s been another fun week with real estate on Sanibel Island. Between showings, offers, and inspections, The SanibelSusan Team is enjoying the end-of-season rush!

In typical late-March fashion, many island soon-departing snowbirds, visitors, and owners are scurrying to take care of local real estate needs before heading home.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Many new sales are reported, with fingers crossed for even more to report next week.

Congress’ Budget Extends Flood Insurance to July

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrAs posted today on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., Bryn Stole. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“WASHINGTON – March 23, 2018 – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) got a four-month reprieve as part of a massive $1.3 trillion federal spending deal unveiled late Wednesday evening and signed by President Trump on Friday – the fourth temporary extension of the program since September.

“But lawmakers on Capitol Hill now face a July deadline to either overhaul the NFIP, extend it again – or let it lapse in the midst of hurricane season. That could put added pressure on Congress to hammer out a deal on how to shore up the debt-laden federally run insurance program. A compromise on the program has so far been elusive.

“Negotiations between budget hardliners and coastal lawmakers have yielded little in the way of progress over the past few months and legislation to overhaul the program has languished in the U.S. Senate.

“Budget hawks have pushed changes to the NFIP that would dramatically raise rates on many high-risk homeowners who currently pay below-market premiums and shrink the program by booting some properties that have repeatedly flooded.

“Lawmakers from flood-prone areas – including Louisiana’s congressional delegation – have fought furiously against most of those proposals, concerned about how those kinds of abrupt reforms could wipe out homeowner equity and put flood coverage out of reach of many constituents.

“The proposed July extension for the National Flood Insurance Program left at least some Louisiana members of Congress worried that it would give critics of the program – led by retiring House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas – a chance to push through changes to the program that would hurt south Louisiana policyholders.

“But others were more hopeful that the looming deadline and Senate resistance to some of Hensarling’s proposals could result in a more favorable long-term deal on the program.

“The NFIP was initially set to expire at the end of September. But Congress has repeatedly punted on the issue with a series of short-term extensions tied to so-called “continuing resolutions” – or short-term deals to keep the federal government running.

“Tying the NFIP’s fate to government funding has given congressional leaders leverage to force through extensions of the program because derailing the broader package would result in a broader federal government shutdown.

“But the July proposed extension would split the NFIP from must-pass budget bills, leaving less power for leadership to push rank-and-file lawmakers to back an extension or potential changes.”

Upcoming Events

  • Southern comfort on Sanibell 2018Southern Comfort on Sanibel – tonight, March 23, Friday, doors open a 6 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House – to benefit CROW – register online at www.CROWClinic.org
  • Youth Fishing Derby – March 31, Saturday, on Island A of Sanibel Causeway (1st island next to high span), registration at 8:30 a.m., fishing begins at 9 a.m. Hosted by The Sanibel Island Fishing Club in cooperation with Lee County Parks & Recreation Department, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society and several other local organizations. Age groups are 9 and under, and ages 10 to 15. More info at 847-456-4650.
  • Golisano Lee Health_cSanCap Cares 18th Annual lsland Celebration – April 8, Sunday at 6 p.m. at The Sanctuary Golf Club – to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida – details at SanibelCaptivaCares@gmail.com, 239-984-0381, http://www.SanCapCares.org

Florida Governor Scott Signs Real Estate-Related Bills Into Law

Florida Realtors logoPosted today on-line on FloridaRealtors®:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 23, 2018 – Gov. Scott signed a number of bills into law within the past week including a few that could impact Fla. Homeowners:

CS/HB 935: Mortgage regulation

“The new law revises Ch. 494, Florida Statutes, governing non-depository loan originators, mortgage brokers and mortgage lender businesses subject to regulation by the Office of Financial Regulation to provide greater consumer protections. In some cases, the changes could impact the way home flippers finance repairs using a short-term loan before re-selling a property.

“The new law defines the term “business purpose loan” and says that it’s unlawful for anyone to misrepresent a residential mortgage loan as a business purpose loan. It also defines the term “hold himself or herself out to the public as being in the mortgage lending business.” It’s currently acceptable for an individual investor to make or acquire a mortgage loan with their funds, or to sell a mortgage loan, without being licensed as a mortgage lender, providing they don’t “hold himself or herself out to the public as being in the mortgage lending business.”

“The law is the Florida Legislature’s response to alleged unlicensed mortgage lending activity in South Florida. According to reports, some lending entities provided residential loans with usurious interest rates and high fees made under the guise of business purpose loans in order to avoid licensure and disclosure requirements under Ch. 494, F.S., as a mortgage lender. In some cases, they allegedly forced the borrower to form a limited liability company if they wanted the money. Effective date: July 1, 2019.

CS/CS/HB 1011: Homeowner’s insurance policy disclosures

“This law requires homeowner insurance policies to disclose in bold, 18-point font that the policy does not cover flood damage. It expands the current required notice regarding flood insurance to include notice that the purchase of homeowner’s insurance does not cover floods, even if hurricane winds and rain caused the flood to occur. The notice will appear upon initial issuance and in each policy renewal. Effective date: Jan 1, 2019.

HB 617: Covenants and restrictions

“This 28-page bill expands and modifies laws related to association covenants and restrictions. Effective date: Oct. 1, 2018”

HB 193: Mortgage brokering

“This law reduces certain mortgage business regulations on securities dealers, investment advisors, and associated persons under certain conditions. Effective date: July 1, 2018”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 16-23, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $535K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $695K, Lighthouse Point #212 2/2 $769K, Seawind II #5 2/2.5 $825K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.295M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.45M.

6 price changes: Blind Pass #B211 2/2 now $449K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 now $625K, Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $644.9K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.299M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 now $1.395M, White Pelican #133 now $1.989M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 listed at $475K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 listed at $595K, Lighthouse Point #321 3/2 listed at $679K, High Tide #C101 2/2 listed at $899K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 listed at $1.15M (our sale), High Tide #B102 2/2 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: Sand Pointe #215 2/2 $690K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $449K, 9477 Peaceful Dr now $519K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $549K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $565K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 $569K, 721 Cardium St 2/2 $849K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $1.149M, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 $2.799M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $5.495M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $519K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $595K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $625K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now 768.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $789K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $799K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $998K (our listing – photos below), 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 now $1.1M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.159M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.25M.

11 new sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $659.9K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $674.9K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $675K, 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 listed at $699K (our listing), 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 1120 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 listed at $895K, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 listed at $2.995M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $3.248M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.595M.

5 closed sales: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $410K, 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 $525K, 5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $625K, 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $730K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1305 Seaspray Ln $795K.

2 price changes: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $499K, 976 Whelk Dr now $689K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 $999K.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11534 Laika Ln 4/3.5 $1.799M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 9 Sunset Captiva 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sale: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 listed at $3.75M

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

2017-08-08 Lighthouse beach log

 

Pre-Easter Things Hoppin’ on Sanibel


Bunny hopping clip artIt’s been another fun week with real estate on Sanibel Island. Between showings, offers, and inspections, The SanibelSusan Team is enjoying the end-of-season rush!

In typical late-March fashion, many island soon-departing snowbirds, visitors, and owners are scurrying to take care of local real estate needs before heading home.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Many new sales are reported, with fingers crossed for even more to report next week.

Congress’ Budget Extends Flood Insurance to July

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrAs posted today on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., Bryn Stole. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“WASHINGTON – March 23, 2018 – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) got a four-month reprieve as part of a massive $1.3 trillion federal spending deal unveiled late Wednesday evening and signed by President Trump on Friday – the fourth temporary extension of the program since September.

“But lawmakers on Capitol Hill now face a July deadline to either overhaul the NFIP, extend it again – or let it lapse in the midst of hurricane season. That could put added pressure on Congress to hammer out a deal on how to shore up the debt-laden federally run insurance program. A compromise on the program has so far been elusive.

“Negotiations between budget hardliners and coastal lawmakers have yielded little in the way of progress over the past few months and legislation to overhaul the program has languished in the U.S. Senate.

“Budget hawks have pushed changes to the NFIP that would dramatically raise rates on many high-risk homeowners who currently pay below-market premiums and shrink the program by booting some properties that have repeatedly flooded.

“Lawmakers from flood-prone areas – including Louisiana’s congressional delegation – have fought furiously against most of those proposals, concerned about how those kinds of abrupt reforms could wipe out homeowner equity and put flood coverage out of reach of many constituents.

“The proposed July extension for the National Flood Insurance Program left at least some Louisiana members of Congress worried that it would give critics of the program – led by retiring House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas – a chance to push through changes to the program that would hurt south Louisiana policyholders.

“But others were more hopeful that the looming deadline and Senate resistance to some of Hensarling’s proposals could result in a more favorable long-term deal on the program.

“The NFIP was initially set to expire at the end of September. But Congress has repeatedly punted on the issue with a series of short-term extensions tied to so-called “continuing resolutions” – or short-term deals to keep the federal government running.

“Tying the NFIP’s fate to government funding has given congressional leaders leverage to force through extensions of the program because derailing the broader package would result in a broader federal government shutdown.

“But the July proposed extension would split the NFIP from must-pass budget bills, leaving less power for leadership to push rank-and-file lawmakers to back an extension or potential changes.”

Upcoming Events

  • Southern comfort on Sanibell 2018Southern Comfort on Sanibel – tonight, March 23, Friday, doors open a 6 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House – to benefit CROW – register online at www.CROWClinic.org
  • Youth Fishing Derby – March 31, Saturday, on Island A of Sanibel Causeway (1st island next to high span), registration at 8:30 a.m., fishing begins at 9 a.m. Hosted by The Sanibel Island Fishing Club in cooperation with Lee County Parks & Recreation Department, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society and several other local organizations. Age groups are 9 and under, and ages 10 to 15. More info at 847-456-4650.
  • Golisano Lee Health_cSanCap Cares 18th Annual lsland Celebration – April 8, Sunday at 6 p.m. at The Sanctuary Golf Club – to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida – details at SanibelCaptivaCares@gmail.com, 239-984-0381, http://www.SanCapCares.org

Florida Governor Scott Signs Real Estate-Related Bills Into Law

Florida Realtors logoPosted today on-line on FloridaRealtors®:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 23, 2018 – Gov. Scott signed a number of bills into law within the past week including a few that could impact Fla. Homeowners:

CS/HB 935: Mortgage regulation

“The new law revises Ch. 494, Florida Statutes, governing non-depository loan originators, mortgage brokers and mortgage lender businesses subject to regulation by the Office of Financial Regulation to provide greater consumer protections. In some cases, the changes could impact the way home flippers finance repairs using a short-term loan before re-selling a property.

“The new law defines the term “business purpose loan” and says that it’s unlawful for anyone to misrepresent a residential mortgage loan as a business purpose loan. It also defines the term “hold himself or herself out to the public as being in the mortgage lending business.” It’s currently acceptable for an individual investor to make or acquire a mortgage loan with their funds, or to sell a mortgage loan, without being licensed as a mortgage lender, providing they don’t “hold himself or herself out to the public as being in the mortgage lending business.”

“The law is the Florida Legislature’s response to alleged unlicensed mortgage lending activity in South Florida. According to reports, some lending entities provided residential loans with usurious interest rates and high fees made under the guise of business purpose loans in order to avoid licensure and disclosure requirements under Ch. 494, F.S., as a mortgage lender. In some cases, they allegedly forced the borrower to form a limited liability company if they wanted the money. Effective date: July 1, 2019.

CS/CS/HB 1011: Homeowner’s insurance policy disclosures

“This law requires homeowner insurance policies to disclose in bold, 18-point font that the policy does not cover flood damage. It expands the current required notice regarding flood insurance to include notice that the purchase of homeowner’s insurance does not cover floods, even if hurricane winds and rain caused the flood to occur. The notice will appear upon initial issuance and in each policy renewal. Effective date: Jan 1, 2019.

HB 617: Covenants and restrictions

“This 28-page bill expands and modifies laws related to association covenants and restrictions. Effective date: Oct. 1, 2018”

HB 193: Mortgage brokering

“This law reduces certain mortgage business regulations on securities dealers, investment advisors, and associated persons under certain conditions. Effective date: July 1, 2018”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 16-23, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $535K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $695K, Lighthouse Point #212 2/2 $769K, Seawind II #5 2/2.5 $825K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.295M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.45M.

6 price changes: Blind Pass #B211 2/2 now $449K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 now $625K, Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $644.9K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.299M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 now $1.395M, White Pelican #133 now $1.989M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 listed at $475K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 listed at $595K, Lighthouse Point #321 3/2 listed at $679K, High Tide #C101 2/2 listed at $899K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 listed at $1.15M (our sale), High Tide #B102 2/2 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: Sand Pointe #215 2/2 $690K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $449K, 9477 Peaceful Dr now $519K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $549K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $565K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 $569K, 721 Cardium St 2/2 $849K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $1.149M, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 $2.799M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $5.495M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $519K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $595K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $625K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now 768.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $789K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $799K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $998K (our listing – photos below), 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 now $1.1M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.159M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.25M.

11 new sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $659.9K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $674.9K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $675K, 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 listed at $699K (our listing), 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 1120 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 listed at $895K, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 listed at $2.995M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $3.248M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.595M.

5 closed sales: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $410K, 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 $525K, 5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $625K, 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $730K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1305 Seaspray Ln $795K.

2 price changes: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $499K, 976 Whelk Dr now $689K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 $999K.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11534 Laika Ln 4/3.5 $1.799M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 9 Sunset Captiva 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sale: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 listed at $3.75M

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

2017-08-08 Lighthouse beach log

 

Almost Time to Get Your Island Green On


2018-03-15 WW12018-03-15 WW22018-03-15 WW3

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another week of glorious Florida winter. Several mornings had temperatures down into the 50’s, followed by afternoons in the mid-70’s. Other than the occasional stiff breezes that have brought in some red tide, it has been very nice – bright and beautiful. (The pictures above were taken noon-ish yesterday on the beach in front of West Wind Inn.) Again this week, visitors and vacationers are having fun, as the bike paths continue to be busy, especially with families.

Colleagues in the accommodation business say that the upcoming rental week (Mar 17-24) is the first in several where they have vacancies, but that probably won’t slow things down on the island as Lee County Schools are off next week. Today and tomorrow, the Lions Club Arts & Crafts Fair at The Community House, across the street from our office, will keep Periwinkle busy.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, we’ve had both sales and good showing activity this week. The activity since last Friday, as posted in the islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of new items.

Lower Your Wind Insurance Premium

Rosier Insurance logo Version BNice write-up in today’s “Island Sun” by island Association of Realtors® Affiliate, Angela Larson Roehl with Rosier Insurance:

“Consider having a wind mitigation inspection done. What is a wind mitigation inspection? The wind mitigation inspection breaks down the following information for carriers to apply applicable credits:

  • Building code compliance
  • Type of roof covering
  • Roof deck attachment
  • Roof to wall attachment
  • Roof geometry
  • Secondary water resistance
  • Opening protection.

“The wind mitigation inspection has evolved over the past 10 years or so, from being a simple two-page inspection with no photos, to now being four pages that must also include color photos to substantiate the information listed on the report. Wind mitigation inspections are valid for five years.

‘So what wind mitigation credits could potentially save you money on your wind premium? If your home has any of the following:

  • Florida Building Code credit relaying the roof was completed after March 1, 2002.
  • Roof deck attachment – B or C
  • Roof to wall attachment showing either clips, single wraps, or double wraps
  • Roof style – Hip
  • Secondary water resistance
  • Class A opening protection showing all exterior openings protected for cystic pressure of a nine-pound large missile (4.5 pounds for skylights)

“Credits for each of the above mitigation features can vary depending on the carrier. It’s best to consult your insurance agent to confirm the mitigation credits your policy already is providing and to see if having a new wind mitigation inspection could assist in lowering your wind insurance premium.” You can reach Angie at info@rosierinsurance.com.

In 2006, Florida became the first state in the nation to mandate that insurance companies offer some reduction insurance costs if a wind mitigation inspection is sought and certified upon review by a qualified inspector (usually a board-certified contractor, architect or engineer). Some Florida home inspectors are certified to prepare Wind Mitigation Reports too. Ron Dehler with Horizon Inspection Service, Inc. is one, HorizonInspection.com. We often recommend that buyers save time and money by having a wind mitigation inspection done at the same time as their standard home inspection.

Upcoming Events

happysaintpatricksdayclwi4St Patrick’s Day Fun – tomorrow, Mar 17 – several local establishments have special events & meals planned:

  • American Legion Post 123 on San-Cap Rd – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with corned beef & cabbage from noon to 8 p.m.
  • George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille, 2499 Periwinkle Way, “Eat, Drink, & Be Irish”, serving corned beef & cabbage, green beer, band & more, 5 to 11:30 p.m.
  • Fish Madness at The Sanibel Grill, 703 Tarpon Bay Rd – open for lunch today through Sun, Mar 18 for March Madness, corned beef special on St. Paddy’s Day
  • Matzaluna, 1200 Periwinkle Way, featuring corned beef & cabbage pizza on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Traditions on the Beach at 3111 West Gulf Dr – St Patrick’s Day Irish menu, party favors, live music & dancing, reservations recommended, 239-472-4559

FREE Spring Concert – Tues, Mar 20 at 7:15 p.m. – Combined voices of the Shell Point Singers & the BIG ARTS Community Chorus at Shell Point’s Village Church, 7:15 p.m., tickets not required, info at 239-454-2290. (It’s also not too early to get your tickets for the BIG ARTS Chorus spring concerts Apr 4 & 5. See below.)

2018 chorus poster

What’s a Seller’s Continuing Maintenance Requirement?

Florida Realtors logoGood article posted on-line today, by Attorney Meredith Caruso who is Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors®. She works with the state Forms Content Committee where I serve.

“Often sellers choose a contract based on the repair requirements involved. Do they use a contract that requires no repairs, like the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (As Is FR/Bar)? Or do they prefer a repair obligation up to a specified limit, which they can do if they choose the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (FR/Bar) or Florida Realtors Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase (CRSP)?

“Either way, it’s important for both Realtors and the transaction parties to understand potential additional repair obligations contained within the contracts.

“If using the “As Is” FR/Bar contract, the seller has no obligation to make repairs based on the buyer’s inspection results. But what happens if, after the inspection period on this contract, the seller’s air conditioning unit (which was noted as “older” in the inspection report) simply stops working? With no repair obligation, can the seller simply say “too bad” to the buyer and expect the buyer to proceed to closing?

“In short, no. And here’s why: Based on the language in paragraph 11, the Property Maintenance section, excluding normal wear and tear and Casualty Loss, the seller is obligated to maintain the property including, but not limited to, the lawn, shrubbery and pool, in the condition existing as of the Effective Date of the contract.

“This means that the seller may not have repair obligations under the inspection section of the As Is FR/Bar contract, but the seller does have to keep the property in relatively the same condition it was when the parties went under contract.

“Some other examples could include a neighborhood kid accidentally hitting a ball through a window or the pool pump no longer functioning. Assuming there was no hole in the window and the pool pump functioned fine when the parties went under contract, the seller must fix those items.

“It’s important to note that this potential repair obligation also extends to contracts where the seller is obligated to make repairs pursuant to a buyer’s inspection. If using either the FR/Bar or the CRSP contract, the seller has to make any repairs up to the repair limit(s) as laid out in the contract. However, if the refrigerator stops working right before closing, the seller is also obligated to fix that as well. This is an additional repair beyond the inspection repair obligation already contained in the contract.

“Why? Because a refrigerator that isn’t working right before closing – when it was working at the time the parties went under contract – needs to be repaired based on the property maintenance language in the contracts. For the FR/Bar this is also paragraph 11; for the CRSP, this language is in paragraph 8.

While these particular sections of the contracts may not come into play very often, it’s important to know of the potential obligation just in case “things happen,” as they tend to do.”

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Seashells #42 2/2 $379.9K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 $484K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 $530K, Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 $569K, Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 $749K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 $810K.

7 price changes: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 now $239K (our listing), Sunset South #7C 2/2 now $569.5K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 now $595K, Compass Point #232 2/2 now $659K, Sundial East #Q404 2/2 now $949K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.045M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 now $1.789M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #E32 2/1 listed at $299K (our sale), Sandpebble #4D 2/2 listed at $439K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 listed at $499K, Sand Pointe #122 2/2 listed at $649K (our listing), Poinciana #3C 3/2 listed at $1.725M.

1 closed sale: Sundial #J207 2/2 $670K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 $774.9K, 1120 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 $895K, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 $1.95M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 $3.595M, 4431 Waters Edge Ln 3/4 $6.495M.

16 price changes: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.4 half-duplex now $379.9K, 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 now $424K, 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $499K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $579K, 744 Martha’s Lin 2/2 now $598K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 now $639K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $659.9K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $699K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr now $819K, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $859K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $889K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $949.9K, 6412 Pine Ave 4/2.5 now $1.195M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 now $1.689M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.995M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

7 new sales: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 listed at $419K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $879K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 listed at $1.198M, 2263 Starfish Ln 5/4.5 listed at $1.699M, 514 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 listed at $1.895M.

4 closed sales: 1513 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $677K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $799K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $865K, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.235M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6095 Dinkins Bayou Rd $289,555.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

5 new listings: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $325K, Tennis Villas #3136 1/1 $340K, Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $469K, Beach Villas #2426 1/1 $545K, Marina Villas #901 2/2 $785K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #22 2/2 listed at $2.095M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5202 1/2 $360K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 $1.049M, 9 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 $1.229M, 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.64M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family $5.5M.

4 price changes: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.45M, 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $5.45M, 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $7.9M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $9.25M.

1 new sale: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 listed at $1.359M.

2 closed sales: 11531 Paige Ct 4/3.5 $3.25M, 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 $5.25M.

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.

Our colorful St. Patrick’s Day ad got us the back page of the “Island Sun” this week. Here’s it is. Don’t forget to wear your green tomorrow!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanIsland Sun 3-16-18

Sanibel’s Mini-Chill Is Like Heaven!


View cMaster Bedroom ViewSanibel and Captiva had another touch of island-style winter yesterday with temperatures barely out of the 60’s, but with bright blue skies and a fairly stiff breeze. It has been more of the same is today, then expected to be back to the high 70’s tomorrow, until the next mini-chill arrives. This time of the year, temperature changes often are the residual effects from pre-spring storms in the northeast.

Yesterday at the islands’ Association of Realtors® morning caravan meeting, more sales were announced followed by comments like “the market was late in getting rolling this winter”. Often the most island sales activity is from mid-January to Easter, but for some reason, this year that action picked up late. With Easter early this year, March could quickly make up for lost time. The recent snowstorms probably will help.

With just three weeks of high season left, plenty of price reductions were announced at yesterday’s meeting too. The above photos are the views from our listing at Mariner Pointe #1061 (price just reduced to $549,900). (More info and streaming video under the “Search SanibelSusan Listings” tab above.)

Rumor has it that the first car transport recently was spotted, that’s usually a sign that the first group of snowbirds are about to take flight.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. The first was posted on line today at FloridaRealtors®. Their source is Copyright © 2018 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Pat Mertz Esswein. Though lengthy, it’s worth the read.

What Will Happen With Home Prices This Year?

Kiplinger personal finance logo“New Jersey is the poster child for the high-cost, high-tax states where housing markets – and homeowners – are supposed to suffer under the new tax law. Patrice and Kalvin Sosoo, of Teaneck, N.J., have a toddler, Kingsley, and a baby on the way, so they’re in the market for a larger place. But the Sosoos aren’t deterred by the new rules, even though housing costs for their next home are likely to be higher.

Under the new law, homeowners with existing mortgages taken out before Dec. 15, 2017, can continue to deduct interest on up to $1 million of mortgage debt. After that date, the limit for all “acquisition debt” – money used to buy, build or substantially improve a home – falls to $750,000. The deductibility of interest on home-equity loans or lines of credit, old or new, that are used for other purposes – such as paying for a vacation, a car or a college education–disappears. Plus, the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes, will be capped at $10,000.

“While living in their first home, the Sosoos itemized deductions on their federal tax return, including $11,000 in annual property taxes. The Sosoos have set a price limit of $700,000 on their next home, so they will still be able to deduct all of their mortgage interest. But they’ll take a major hit on the deductibility of their state and local taxes; they estimate that property taxes alone will run them about $15,000 annually.

“Taxes here are crazy, and the $10,000 limit kind of hurts,” says Patrice. But when they file their taxes for 2018, a tax-rate cut and the higher standard deduction could offset at least some of the loss in state and local tax deductions.

Limited damage

“The new law raises the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers, $18,000 for head-of-household filers and $24,000 for married couples who file jointly. That may make the limits on deduction of mortgage interest and state and local taxes a moot point for many homeowners, who will benefit by switching from itemizing to taking the standard deduction.

attom data solutions logo“And despite the agitation that followed passage of the tax law, the changes will affect relatively few homeowners. In 2017, about 100,000 home buyers, or just 3.9% of all buyers nationally, took out a mortgage that exceeded $750,000, and they’re mainly concentrated in the Bay Area of California and the New York metro area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, which analyzes property data.

“ATTOM also found that 4.1 million homeowners, or 4.4% of all homeowners, paid more than $10,000 in property taxes, and they’re concentrated in high-tax counties in the Bay Area, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

“But high-earners in places with lower property taxes could also hit the limit. Many high-income homeowners who are subject to the alternative minimum tax were already limited to deducting interest only on mortgage or home-equity debt used to buy, build or improve their homes, and they were prohibited from deducting state and local taxes.

What do the changes to the tax law mean for home prices?

moody's logo“Moody’s Analytics expects the housing market to continue recovering in 2018, the seventh year since the market hit bottom. But Moody’s predicts that by 2019, home prices nationally will be 3.7% lower, on average, than they would have been otherwise.

“The value of tax benefits was baked into home prices in high-cost, high-tax areas, so home prices will rise more slowly as prospective buyers try to contain the after-tax cost of homeownership. Some renters may rent longer or choose not to buy at all. Some buyers will look for less-expensive homes. Sellers of higher-end trade-up homes will feel more pressure to lower their prices.

“There buyers not only will hit the mortgage-interest and tax caps but also will be more likely to take the standard deduction and discontinue itemizing, especially if they have no other sizable deductions besides housing costs, says Andres Carbacho-Burgos, a housing economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“High-cost counties that will see home-price appreciation slow are concentrated on the West Coast, in the largest metro areas of Texas, in Chicago, and in the states from Massachusetts to Virginia. New Jersey is the worst case because it has the highest average property tax rate of the 50 states and the largest share of high-tier markets. Moody’s figures that by mid-2019, New Jersey’s home prices will fall by 2% from the year before.

“The trend of people moving from high-cost to lower-cost states will accelerate, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. Home prices will continue to rise in states such as Arizona, the Carolinas, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Texas and Utah as more people move in than out. But prices in Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and New York will decline as more people leave.

Home prices around the U.S.

clear capital logo“Prices increased nationally by 5.4% in 2017, compared with 5.8% in 2016, according to Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analysis. Jobs fueled demand from millennials and Generation Xers, who competed for a dearth of starter and trade-up homes and drove up prices.

“Home values rose in 269 of the 299 cities tracked by Clear Capital, going up by double digits in about one-seventh of them. With the exception of San Jose, Calif., epicenter of the tech boom, the places with the biggest gains were mostly smaller cities on the West Coast, in the Mountain states or in Florida that are attracting buyers priced out of larger cities nearby or have thriving economies. The cities where prices lost ground have moribund economies. They’re mostly located in Upstate New York, the Rust Belt and the South.

“CoreLogic, a financial data and analytics company, forecasts that prices will rise by about 4% in 2018, reverting to their historical pace. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, says that in late 2017, CoreLogic analyzed home prices in the largest 100 metro areas and found that about one-third of them were overvalued by 10% or more, based on the long-term relationship between income and home prices.

“Are they in bubble trouble? “No,” says Nothaft. “It’s more an amber warning light indicating erosion of affordability.”

“Nothaft says historically low mortgage rates have helped to mask declining affordability, and when rates edge up in 2018, affordability will erode, adding to the potential for a slowdown in sales and price appreciation.

An unbalanced market

us census logo“The U.S. homeownership rate reached 64.2% in 2017, and it’s on a sustainable upward track, according to the U.S. Census. (The homeownership rate peaked at 69.2% in 2004.) Throughout 2017, the number of new homeowners exceeded the number of new renters, and first-time home buyers accounted for nearly one-third of all home sales. Millennials are making their first foray into ownership, and Gen Xers are transitioning from renting back to owning, says Yun. But until the inventory of new and existing homes increases, many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting.

“Existing homeowners are staying put longer than ever, and the share of repeat home buyers fell slightly between 2016 and 2017. Many homeowners would like to sell, but they fear they won’t be able to find another home they want. Others don’t want to give up their cheap mortgages.

“New homes are the key to unlocking the inventory stalemate, and with more new homes coming to market, the acuteness of the overall housing shortage is past, says Yun. “This year won’t be as bad for buyers as 2017, but it won’t be back to normal, either,” he says.

“As the housing market approaches the spring sales season, one thing is sure: Most people buy or sell homes for reasons other than tax benefits. “They’re getting married, having kids, or they’ve changed their jobs, or they’re retiring,” says Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, an online real estate marketplace. “The tax benefits are of less importance to them.”

“Mortgage outlook: Rates will ratchet up

FreddieMacLogo_3“The 30-year fixed rate has lingered at about 4% or less since mid-2011, but this is the year mortgage rates will begin to rise from historic lows. The Federal Reserve is all but certain to continue ratcheting up short-term rates, and yields on 10-year Treasuries, which are tied to the 30-year mortgage rate, have already jumped. In early February, the national average 30-year fixed rate was 4.2%, according to Freddie Mac. By the end of 2018, Kiplinger expects the 30-year fixed rate to hit 4.5% and the 15-year fixed rate to reach 4.2%, up from 3.7% in early February.

“Borrowers who have a FICO credit score of 720 or higher and a down payment of at least 30% will get the best rates. Lenders will look at your whole credit profile, however, and consider factors that will offset risk, such as making a larger down payment or having other assets, says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. You still must be prepared to produce heaps of documentation of your income and assets and answer persnickety questions.

“With rising home prices and increasing equity, homeowners who haven’t refinanced yet could still snag a low fixed rate. As rates rise, 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which lock in a lower rate for five or seven years and then default to a one-year ARM, could gain popularity. Rates on jumbo loans (with a loan amount of $453,100 or more or, in high-cost areas, $679,650 or more) may be even lower than on conforming loans, says Cecala.

“When you shop, include an independent mortgage broker or two along with your bank or credit union and nonbank lenders such as Quicken, Caliber Home Loans or LoanDepot. Brokers may be able to find a cheaper deal through their wholesale channel than you could by approaching lenders directly.”

Congratulations to Shell Festival Winners

The island papers this week include the “Ribbon Report” from the 2018 Sanibel Shell Show. It was great to read of that some of our friends, clients, blog followers, and chorus pals won awards!

  • Dianne Reich’s sailor’s valentine received a 2nd place ribbon.

 

  • Cheri Hollis’s shell photo got a 3rd place ribbon.

Cheri hollis pix

  • Barb Walling’s professional flower arrangement made of shells won a 1st place ribbon. Barb’s professional sea-life arrangement also earned a 1st place.

Congratulations to all who participated.

Upcoming Island Events

lionslogo35th Annual Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club Fine Arts & Crafts Fair – next week, 3/16 & 3/17 at The Community House across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Launch – Sat 3/24 from 6 to 10 p.m., celebrating The Past, Present & Future of Our Coastal Heritage, sponsored by Coastal Keepers at The Sanibel Community House. To make a reservation call (239) 472-8585.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 2-9, 2018 

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #4D 2/2 $439K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 $509K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 $549.9K, Sundial East #T301 2/2 $845K, Sundial East #P204 2/2 $899K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $549.9K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #321 3/2 now $679K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 now $799,999.

4 new sales: Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 listed at $629K, Sundial West #J408 2/2 listed at $679K, Snug Harbor #211 2/2 listed at $769K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #D101 2/2 $415K, Seascape #202 3/3.5 $2.195M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $469K, 330 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.15M.

14 price changes: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $449.9K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $719K, 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $869K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $949K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 now $965K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/4 now $975K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 now $1.0995M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.169M, 580 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 now $1.195M, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.22M, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.298M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.598M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.675M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 now $6.995M.

6 new sales: 1625 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $619K, 1342 Junonia 3/3 listed at $669K, 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $675K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 listed at $1.497M, 6021 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3/2 listed at $2.499M, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 listed at $4.345M.

3 closed sales: 1943 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/3 $629.5K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 $970K, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 $5.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 9226 Kincaid Ct now $159K, 1204 Par View Dr now $329K, 4995 Joewood Dr now $2.495M.

No new sale or closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Marina Villas #803 2/2 $749K, Beach Homes #17 4/3 $3.395M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.125M

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 now $6.999M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/8 $2.25M.

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.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanSanibelsusan Logo