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

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

Island Sales This Week, 2018 Forecasts, & More


 

great-white-pelican-namibiaIt’s SanibelSusan with another weekly report of real estate happenings. You are probably sick of me blogging about Sanibel’s summer-like weather and the traffic, so just a quick update, that it’s more of the same. A mini-cool front arrived today, bringing temperatures that will be only mid-70’s for the next few days.

Sanibel-shells-from-storm-windsMeanwhile, the 81st Sanibel Shell Festival across the street from SanibelSusan Realty at The Community House appears to be a huge success. It wraps up tomorrow afternoon.

An interesting mix of articles is below, followed by the activity posting in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

  • 2018 national trends include big shifts in housing
  • good news from Sanibel police department
  • Sanibel Planning Commission ordinance action relating to pools and flood insurance
  • annual Market Watch with real estate outlook.

2018’s Top Trends

From the March 2018 “Florida Realtor®” magazine:Realtor.com logos

“Big Shifts in Housing… Realtor.com® predicts four developments this year.

  1. Inventory Will Increase. Starting in August 2017, the U.S. housing market started to see a higher-than-normal month-over-month increase in the number of homes on the market. Based on this trend, Realtor.com® projects that U.S. year-over-year inventory growth will tick up into positive territory by fall 2018, for the first time since 2015.
  2. Price Appreciation Will Slow. Home prices are forecasted to slow to 3.2% growth year-over-year nationally, from an estimated increase of 5.5% in 2017. Most of the slowing will be felt in the higher-priced segment as more available inventory in this price range and a smaller pool of buyers forces sellers to price competitively. Entry-level homes will continue to see price gains due to the larger number of buyers that can afford them and more limited homes available in this price range.
  3. Millennials Will Gain Market Share. Although millennials will continue to face challenges with rising interest rates and home prices, they are on track to gain mortgage market share in all price points, due to the sheer size of the generation. Millennials could reach 43% of home buyers with a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40% in 2017.
  4. Southern Markets Will Lead Sales Growth. Southern cities should beat the national average in home sales growth in 2018, with Lakeland – Winter Haven leading Florida. Sales are expected to grow by 6% or more in these markets, compared with 2.5% nationally. The majority of this growth can be attributed to healthy building levels combating the housing shortage.” 

Report from Sanibel’s Finest

santiva chronicleAn article in this week’s “Santiva Chronicle”, shows a big drop in island crime. Some of the statistics in the associated article include:

“Crime on Sanibel was down in 2017, including a huge drop in burglaries, according to statistics released Monday, Feb. 26, by Police Chief William Dalton. The police department tracked 72 federal reportable crimes in 2017, the only time in the past 11 years that that number has been below 100…

“Sanibel continues to be murder-free and no armed robberies have occurred since 2013. No vehicle thefts were reported in 2017, the only time in the past decade that has happened….

“Sanibel residents accounted for just 15% of the department’s arrests in 2017 with nearly half – 46% – coming from elsewhere in Lee County….

“Although crime numbers were down in 2017, the phone was still ringing at police headquarters. The department took in 26,140 calls. That’s an average of 72 per day or one every 20 minutes.”

Planning Commission Acts on Ordinances Re: Pools & Flood Insurance

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported this week in the “Santiva-Chronicle:

“An ordinance amending the height of a swimming pool and decks in relation to the adjoining structure was unanimously approved by the Sanibel Planning Commission at MacKenzie Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“It is a move the commission said is grounded in common sense and will help streamline approval of pools and decks. Because of the current wording, the commission was forced to hold hearings about them when their approval was a matter of common sense. It was also costly to applicants.

“Wording of the ordinance to go to the City Council for approval is: “Any swimming pool elevated higher than three feet, six inches above the ground cannot be higher than the lowest floor of the associated structure. For the purpose of this height limit, a mid-level entry or other area devoted only to building access shall not be considered the lowest floor, even if constructed above the base flood elevation.”

“The current elevation is seven feet, but that is not based on the lowest floor. The change will allow the Planning Department to grant approval without it coming to the Planning Commission, Benjamin Pople, city planner, said in his presentation of the ordinance….

“Also Tuesday, the commission unanimously approved an ordinance to go to City Council that would bring the city in line with the Florida Department of Emergency Management pertaining to flood insurance.

“The ordinance about flood insurance is mandatory to preserve the city’s status and rating as a continuing participant in the National Flood Insurance Program’s continuing rating system which benefits Sanibel residents with a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums.

“Commission members cautioned residents that flood insurance rates still apply and that 25% savings aren’t always realized if insurance companies raise rates….”

Annual Market Watch – Lee & Collier Counties

News Press logoEach year, the Fort Myers “New-Press” hosts an event, where local real estate experts share their outlook on the real estate market. Here are excerpts from their on-line article posted this week.

“A recession may be on the way, but first-time home-buyer millennials and retiring Baby Boomers looking for a deal may be coming to the rescue in Southwest Florida’s residential market.

“That was among the big takeaways Tuesday at The News-Press Market Watch Real Estate 2018 at Germain Arena, where more than 1,000 people were on hand to gauge the market pulse from industry experts.

“Presenters included Randy Thibaut, land sales and development expert and owner and founder of Land Solutions Inc.; Denny Grimes, residential real estate expert and president of Denny Grimes & Co.; and Stan Stouder, CCIM, commercial real estate expert and founding partner with CRE Consultants.

“As Thibaut entered the stage, a screen showed a roller coaster on its way up a track. “We’ve been climbing this roller coaster that’s behind me for almost nine years since the downturn,” he said. “Are we going to go up and over and are we going to lose our lunch, or are we just going to have a little hiccup? One thing is for sure: we’re going to have change.”

“Total single-family and multifamily permits increased 28% in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties year-over-year, with Lee leading the way.

“Why? “Apartments and assisted living were again on fire,” he said. “That changed the dynamics of the market.” On the home front, more buyers are looking for “value” properties, those under $300,000, and builders who cater to that demand are benefiting. “The millennials are coming and they are buying homes because they’re having families,” he said. “There’s a different type of baby boomer – they’re coming here with less money in their pockets. They’re coming. The difference is they’re not looking for $500,000 homes.”

“On the other end of the market, there’s strong demand for luxury high-rise condos in Naples and Bonita Springs, in developments such as Aqua and Seaglass at Bonita Bay. “The product came out and they gobbled it up,” Thibaut said.

“Downtown Fort Myers is a bit of a different story, where developments such as ONE, The Place on First and Prima Luce are in the works. “These projects are still trying to get started, and I think some of them will,” Thibaut said. “It hasn’t been for the lack of trying.” Market watchers should also keep a close eye on the Corkscrew Road corridor, where there are a lot of development plans.

“But ultimately, how are things? “We’re not going down into the abyss,” he said. “Are we going to have a little hiccup? I think so.”

“Prior to the event, Thibaut was asked about impact fees, which are a hot topic in Lee County. “The impact fees that are scheduled to be looked at in March will be the deciding factor over whether we’ll be able to serve our workforce and Middle America employees,” he said. “If they raise the impact fees a lot, they will hurt the biggest percentage of the buying sector. Now is not the right time for a full increase.” Thibaut said people looking to buy a home under $300,000 are the sector that “can’t afford the increase or they won’t be able to own and live the American Dream.”

“Grimes was next on stage, touching on seemingly controversial topics — fake news, the wall and DACA — in a nonconfrontational way because his points weren’t really about those topics at all.

“National headlines about the hot real estate market are giving some buyers and sellers a false perspective on the local market, which isn’t so hot. “There’s a party going on and we’re not part of it,” he said. “But that’s OK. We’ll win in the end.” The number of home sales was down 3% in Lee and up 3% in Collier year-to-year. Grimes used the words “steady” and “stable” in describing the market, with an exception here and there.

““Cape Coral was the star performer in Lee County,” he said. “Collier South is the star performer there.”

In the Cape, dry lot prices have been rising, commanding $20,000 and up, while Lehigh lot prices start at $5,000. “Cape Coral is in for another growth spurt,” Grimes said.

“Home prices, however, have hit a wall. The median sales price for an existing home was $238,500 in December, compared to $250,000 a year earlier. That median price is close to $450,000 in Collier County and $217,500 in Charlotte.

“On DACA — homes where you can dock a boat — Grimes said the cost to live on the waterfront in Cape Coral averages $479,000, not far below the cost in Fort Myers. “It’s the best waterfront value and it’s gaining on Fort Myers,” he said.

“Stouder started out by saying self-storage is going gangbusters. Eight self-storage businesses went up between 2010-14, with 12 built between 2015 and now, with another 12 under construction. “There’s a correlation between those and the robust number of apartment units being built,” he said.

“Senior housing, too, has also continued to surge. Ten senior housing projects were completed between 2000 and 2014. In the past three years, 21 senior housing projects have come to market.

A few notable projects for market-watchers to keep an eye on: Meridian Place industrial property near Southwest Florida International Airport, where a 201,000-square-feet of space is expected to be built.

“That’s a big industrial project and that’s because the vacancy rate is so low,” he said.

“Stouder also talked about the likelihood of a recession. “The stock market is having heartburn, but not a heart attack,” he said. Stouder pointed to the fact that it’s been “about eight and a half years since the last recession was declared over in June 2009,” so a recession is inevitable due to market cycles, it’s just a matter of when.

“Stouder also offered a “what’s that?” segment. In the “what’s that?” segment, market-watchers should look for the Grand Central project to come out of the ground across from Page Field Commons. That project will have the area’s first Krispy Kreme location.

“For people who might be wondering what to do with their money, whether after a property sale or because they simply want to make a smart investment, “it’s time to sell.” “How many of you wished in 2009 that you’d have sold in 2006,” he said. “If you get greedy, you will get burnt.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 23-March 2, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $629K; St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $995K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $1.099M; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1,184,415; By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.349M; Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.824M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $529.9K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $779K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $949K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 now $1.324M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 listed at $425K, Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 listed at $455K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 listed at $598.3K (our listing), Blue Gulf #101 3/2 listed at $1.42M.

10 closed sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $235K, Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $339K, Seashells #40 2/2 $320K, Sundial West #F308 1/1 $415K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $745K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 $965K, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 $1.675M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $574K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $735K, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.248M.

24 price changes: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex now $399K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $470K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $499K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $525K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $629K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $669K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749.9K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $764K, 5690 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3 now $979K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.165M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.22M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.275M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.65M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.679M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 now $1.749M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.799M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $2.195M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.425M

11 new sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 listed at $615K, 678 East Rocks 3/2 listed at $829K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $849K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $899K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 6412 Pine Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.245M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.895M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $5.795M.

8 closed sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $530K; 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $820K; 765 Conch Ct 5/4 $810K; 701 Anchor Dr 3/3.5 $1,186,810; 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 899 Almas Ct 3/2 $1.2M; 960 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.4595M; 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9232 Dimmick Dr $199,555.

3 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $219.9K, 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $689,999.

1 new sale:1312 Eagle Run Dr listed at $319K.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $375K.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.4 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $385K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $297K, Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $645K.

HOMES

1 new listings: 11540 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.625M.

3 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $995K, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.359M, 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,999.999.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 $1.475M.

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’s hoping you have good weather too! If not, come to the islands, the bougainvillea and hibiscus are blooming everywhere. It really is a paradise here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan (& please call me to help you with island real estate)

 

It’s a Summer-Like Sanibel February


12-28-15 Scott 7 White pelicanIt’s SanibelSusan reporting that all’s well on another sunny Sanibel Friday. I won’t mention the traffic which is worse than I ever remember it pre-weekend. It’s been a constant stream of cars tying up Periwinkle, coming onto the island until midday, when it changes to heavy traffic in both directions. From mid-afternoon on, as usual there is extra traffic heading off-island. Last night it cleared up by 6:30 p.m.

So, we grit our teeth, plan our days differently, don’t turn right, and remember that we are sharing fabulous weather with extra snowbirds and vacationers. It makes it a challenge when we are driving with prospective buyers. Those new to the island have a hard time believing that it’s like this for just a few weeks each year.

They sure love the weather though. It really has been amazing for February – bright blue skies with a few occasional clouds, daytime temperatures ranging from the low 80’s into the 90’s (record setting numbers), and sparkling water surrounding the island.

Beach

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayWe had good action with our listing this week, with several more showings scheduled tomorrow during turn-over in some of the vacation rentals. With the big annual Arts and Crafts Fair across the street from the office both tomorrow and Sunday, we hope for some walk-in business.

If you have a three-day weekend, we hope you enjoy it. If you are here, we hope you drop in.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoMonthly Membership Meeting – Yesterday was the February monthly Membership Breakfast Meeting and Caravan for the local Association of Realtors®. Guest speaker was Julie LePore with FIRPTA Solutions, Inc. FIRPTA is the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 and it covers the disposition of U.S. real property interest by a foreign person. I’ve covered it in my updates before, but she mentioned a couple of points many Sellers don’t realize.

firpta_solutions_logo_full-color_horizontalFIRPTA – If you are selling real estate in the U.S. and are NOT a foreign Seller, there still is a form required by FIRPTA. These Sellers must sign a Certificate of Non-Foreign Status which indicates that FIRPTA withholding is not required. So, don’t be surprised if the title company handling your closing asks you to sign a form that includes your social security number or tax identification number.

Alternatively, in the case where the Seller is foreign, more questions apply. If the Buyer does not have definite plans to reside at the property at least 50% of the time that the property is in use, the Buyer is required to withhold 15% of the sale proceeds. Yes, that is a requirement of the Buyer. Usually Buyers don’t know this. Here, the title company handles this withholding. If the Buyer will reside the property being purchased, depending on the price, there could be change in the amount needing to be withheld. Best to consult with an expert if you are a Buyer and the Seller is foreign. FIRPTA Solution is a good resource at www.firptasolutions.com.

Caravan Announcements – We weren’t lucky enough to get another sale this week, but plenty were announced at the Caravan meeting. One colleague who just listed a $2+M property announced that it went under contract in hours for full-price, cash, quick close. Just an example of what can happen in a situation where a buyer is waiting for an property in a specific location or of a certain size or condition.

What’s Happening With the Sanibel Real Estate Market?

sancap GO MLS logoUsing info from the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as described in the disclosure below, here are some summaries.

Number of Sanibel Price Reductions in last 30 days:  105 (71 homes, 7 lots, 28 condos)

Considering that there are just 362 Sanibel properties for sale, that’s a lot of price reductions.

How Many Properties Are Selling Compared to the Competition?

  # Available # Sold/Closed 2018 # Under Contract
SANIBEL CONDOS
Income-Producing 75 4 8
With 3 Bedrooms 12 4 5
Under $500K 23 3 13
Over $1M 21 5 4
SANIBEL HOMES
Canal-front 39 4 8
Near-beach 87 16 15
Gulf-front 12 5 3
Under $500K 9 5 2
Over $1M 91 18 19

No Rate Increase for 8th Year in a Row

Lcec logoLCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) posted this info in their February “LCEC News”. With most prices increasing, it’s great to hear that LCEC’s electric rates have remained the same. “Rates actually have decreased over the past four years…Even after spending more than $30 million on Hurricane Irma restoration, rates will remain the same for 2018. As a cooperative, LCEC is eligible for partial FEMA reimbursement for disaster recovery….”

Upcoming Events

  • rotary logoSanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 35th Art & Craft Fair – with over 100 artists & food court – tomorrow & Sunday, Feb 17 & 18 at The Community House and Sanibel City Park across the street from SanibelSusan Realty Associations. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • kiwanis logoAnnual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner – an island favorite for nearly 40 years, Saturday Feb 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Community House. Funds raised go to island youth education and recreation activities including scholarships. (If you are on-island and need a ticket, give me a call, I know who delivers… just got my ticket today.)
  • zonta logoAnnual Peek at the Unique – annual fundraiser tours of four unique island residences, hosted by The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva on Saturday Mar 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation by air-conditioned buses. Tickets required. More info at zontasancap.com, tickets at Eventbrite or www.zontasancap.com/events/peek
  • SCCF’s 7th Annual Beer in the Bushes – Saturday Mar 31 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the grounds of SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Nature Center. Attendees are encouraged to dress in “soul train” attire of the 70’s. Purchase tickets at http://www.sccfbeer.eventbrite.com

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 $425K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $475K, Kings Crown #312 2/2 $799K, White Sands #13 2/2 $949K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 $995K, Blue Gulf #101 3/2 $1.42M, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.795M.

2 price changes: Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 now $455K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 now $799K.

8 new sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $239.8K, Captains Walk #D5 2/1 listed at $299.5K, Seashells #40 2/2 listed at $349.9K, Sundial West #J307 2/2 listed at $759K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 listed at $799K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 listed at $999K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 listed at $1.25M, Seascape #202 3/3.5 listed at $2.195M.

3 closed sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 $225K; Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 $435K; White Sands #32 2/2.5 $978,625.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $599K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $679K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $699K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $839K, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $869K, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 $1.198M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.339M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 2/2.5 $1.35M.

21 price changes: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 now $444.9K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $679.9K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $749K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $774K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 now $799K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $819K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 now $895K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $899K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $899K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $899K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $979K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $995K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 now $1.295M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 now $1.349M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.465M, 1525 Sand Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.575M, 514 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $1.895M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 now $2.599M.

8 new sales: 667 Spartina Ct 3/2 listed at $619,555; 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K, 3980 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $799K; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $895K, 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $995K; 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.379M; 1271 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.299M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 listed at $5.995M.

6 closed sales: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $480K, 1613 Sand Castle 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $610K, 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.015M, 1313 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.35M, 3945 West Gulf Dr 3/3 $3M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 412 Tiree Cir now $329,555; 2401 Blue Crab Ct now $679K.

No new sales:

1 closed sale: 2626 Coconut Dr $329K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5144 1 /2 $385K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $2.095M.

No new sales or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11531 Paige Ct 4/3.5 listed at $3.45M.

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.

Enjoy your weekend & Presidents Day!presidents day clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Brrrr…It’s Cold Outside


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

Insurers Try New Tactic To Limit Damage Claims

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Have A Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year From Sanibel


We have enjoyed another week of nice weather here on Sanibel. Today and into the New Year we are expecting a “cool front” with morning lows in the 50’s (later next week to be in the 40’s) & the afternoons warming to the mid 60’s, low 70’s. Lots of people this week, walking, biking, & filling up the roads. Here at the office we know when it is 3:30, as the cars are stopped on the road out front.

polar bear plungeNew Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

On Monday, January 1, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will hold its 18th annual meeting at “the crack of noon” at Tarpon Bay Beach (the south/gulf end of Tarpon Bay Road). The meeting will begin with the singing of the traditional Polar Bear anthem by the Cubbies (first-timers), Juveniles (one-time previous dippers) and seasoned Adult bears (those who took the plunge in previous years). Following the anthem, the Polar Bears will enter the “icy” gulf waters. Everyone is welcome. Chairs and coolers are optional.

Sanibel Library Earns Award

sanibel libraryThis year marks the fourth time the Sanibel public library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country by Library Journal. The rating is based on the number of people walking through the library’s doors, number of program attendees and the number of books checked out. The rating is also based on electronic material.

“Ding” Darling Announces 2018 Film Series

ding darlingThe sixth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series kicks off its bi-weekly showings this winter with a schedule of seven films that explore natural facets from pollinators and coral to wild Florida and the war on coal. It runs Jan. 10 through April 4.“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the free film showings in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center with sponsorship from Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.

Below are the season’s scheduled films. All films begin at 1 p.m. except the Jan. 24 film, which airs at 10a.m. A short discussion will follow each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched. For full descriptions of the films, please visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org

Jan. 10 – Wings of Life

Jan. 24 – Tapped

Feb. 7 – From the Ashes

Feb. 21 – Chasing Coral

March 7 – The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida

Mach 21 – Mission Blue

April 4 – STRAWS

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 22-29, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #F308 1/1 $439K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, White Sands #32 2/2.5 listed at $1.095M, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 listed at $1.299M (our Buyer).

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #A8 2/2 $347K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $539K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $699K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $898K.

3 new sales: 1394 Middle Gulf Dr half-duplex listed at $524.9K, 1943 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $649.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $430K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $635K, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $605K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.25M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 $1.49M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $258K, 1817 Long Point Ln $399,555.

2 price changes: 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K, 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K.

No new or closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.085M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.795M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $4.3M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $4.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex listed at $1.749M.

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.

happy new year

Happy New Year!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

Merry Christmas from Sanibel


It’s been a beautiful weather week, some fog in the early mornings, but with sunny skies every day. The Christmas Eve & Christmas Day forecasts look just as nice & sunny.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoAs a reminder, there was no Realtor® Caravan this week, but the every-Thursday-morning schedule begins again on Dec 28 with a West Caravan.

ding darling goose logoFree Refuge Programs and Tours Begin In January 

This year, JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge adds a new Horseshoe Crab program to its calendar of daily free tours and activities. The seasonal calendar of free programs and tours begins on Tuesday, January 2 and runs through April 8. Daily programs begin at 8:30 a.m. and include programs such as Nature Photography, Beach Walk, Birds of Prey, and Indigo Trail Walk. They have something for visitors of all ages and the programs/tours last anywhere from a half hour to two hours. For a full calendar of programs/tours and descriptions, visit http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org

henderson-franklinRent Tax Reduced Beginning January 1, 2018

Here is an article written by Henderson Franklin, Attorneys at Law:

The Florida Legislature recently delivered a small win for the business community with Florida House Bill 7109. Effective January 1, 2018, Florida Statute 212.031(1)(c) is amended by lowering the sales tax levied against commercial tenants from 6% to 5.8%. A more significant decrease would have been better, but commercial tenants will take what they can get, we suspect. The tax – known as the Business Rent Tax or “the BRT” – affects commercial tenants including retail, office space, and industrial tenants.

What is the BRT?

The Florida Legislature enacted the BRT in 1969, declaring that the business of renting, leasing, letting or granting a license for the use of commercial real property is a “taxable privilege.” In part because Florida has no personal income tax, the state government relies on sales taxes, including the BRT, as a significant source of revenue. Many local governments also impose a local option sales tax on top of the state BRT.

Florida is the only state to levy a statewide tax against commercial tenants, and thereby creates a competitive disadvantage for Florida businesses that lease rather than own their commercial space.

House Bill 7109

Florida’s BRT is unique from a national perspective in two respects: not only is it the only standard, statewide sales tax on commercial real estate rents, but unlike other corporate taxes, it is not pegged to profitability. As a result, the BRT significantly raises occupancy costs on all commercial tenants, regardless of their financial condition. New and/or struggling businesses in Florida may have the greatest difficulty with the burden this tax creates, and these businesses are likely to benefit the most from the tax relief in House Bill 7109.

Takeaway

Many voices within Florida’s business community have pushed for years for steep cuts to the BRT and, beginning in 2018, start to see their lobbying efforts bear fruit. Considering the significant impact the tax has on occupancy costs, the BRT should continue to be the subject of considerable debate in Tallahassee. As with all tax matters, please consult with your tax professional.

homesteadYou Can Inherit A Home, But You Can’t Inherit Taxes

Here is a helpful article posted at FloridaRealtors®. This one on Dec 18, 2017 is credited to Marty Kiar, Broward County property appraiser.

“The family home often passes from generation to generation as parents pass on, but Broward County’s property appraiser says he often gets a similar question the following year: Why did my property taxes go up so much?

“This happens when the decedent’s Homestead Exemption is removed the year following their passing and the Save Our Homes value is reset,” says Broward’s Marty Kiar. While alive, the parents had a cap on the amount their property taxes could go up each year thanks to Florida’s homestead exemption.

However, that protection ends and the house’s taxable value resets when it gets a new owner, even if that new owner inherited the house from his or her parents. In some cases, that higher taxable value can be dramatic.

Kiar notes only a few exceptions: A surviving spouse can inherit a house as well as the existing tax savings via Save Our Homes, as can a “legal dependent who was permanently residing on the property at the time of the decedent’s death.”

In all other cases, the new owner – even if he or she grew up in that house – must file for a new Homestead Exemption when they become the legal owner. Once filed, they also then have protection from yearly increases through Save Our Homes, though going forward it’s based on the first year they applied for the Homestead Exemption.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 15-22, 2017 

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Spanish Cay #4 2/2 $374K, Sundial West #G105 1/1 $425K, Blind Pass #B211 2/2 $469K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 $775K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $995K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 $1.149M, Atrium #201 3/3 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Sundial West #G204 2/2 now $649,999; Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $979K; Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $995K.

2 new sales: Sundial West #G105 1/1 listed at $425K, Sundial West #J207 2/2 listed at $695K.

6 closed sales: Seashells #44 2/2 $320K, Captians Walk #B5 2/1 $340K, Sundial West #C306 1/1 $404.5K, Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 $469K, Sanibel Arms West #G8 2/2 $475K, Bougainvillea #A3 4/4 $3.55M.

HOMES

12 new listings: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $575K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $579K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $599K, 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex $650K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $784.5K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $875K, 1106 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.2M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.9M, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.395M, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.7495M, 1191 Bird Ln 5/4.5 $7.9M.

5 price changes: 667 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $619,555; 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 now $648K; 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $990K; 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $1.195M; 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.349M.

9 new sales: 915 Palm St 3/2 listed at $475K, 3273 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $825K, 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 listed at $979K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed at $1.224M, 899 Almas Ct 3/2 listed at $1.249M, 2441 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.295M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 listed at $1.675M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed at $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $737.5K.

LOTS

1 new listings: 2987 Wulfert Rd $450K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1311 Par View Dr listed at $274K.

1 closed sale: 461 Lake Murex Cir $325K. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 now $2.895M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 listed at $300K, Lands End Village #1657 2/2 listed at $1.095M

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.5375M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.749M, 16814 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $8.2M.

2 price changes: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.795M, 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5/2 now $3.599M.

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.

Santa on Beach

Wishing You & Your Family A Happy Holiday Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

 

November Sanibel-Captiva Scoop


It’s Susan reporting another beautiful Friday on the island – sunny 80 degrees. Our fall weather was short lived, but we don’t mind a bit. We had nice visits from several returning clients this week and the roadways/bike paths are indicating “they’re back!”.

More and more new events are being posted, so if you want to check the “Island Events” tab on our website (www.SanibelSusan.com), I updated it this week to include many of the upcoming fun things to do.

This week was the 2nd rehearsal of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus with the group already tuning up for the Thanksgiving Celebration (Nov 19), Sanibel Luminary (Dec 1), and our Holiday Concert (Dec 14).

At the Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the start of the again-weekly Thursday 8:30 a.m. Realtor® Caravan meetings. During this fall/winter/spring schedule, the Caravans are limited to 15 properties and, because of the traffic, rotate property locations, with east-end properties one week, and west-end, the next. West end is from Rabbit Road to the tip of Captiva. East-end is Rabbit Road to the lighthouse.

Surprisingly, yesterday’s meeting was lightly attended, but those on-hand were receptive to our last Association benefit of the year, “Fall Into Christmas”, planned for next Wed (Nov 8) after-hours, when we kick-off the holiday season and collect unwrapped toys, gift cards, and donations for “Friends Who Care”.

Caloosahatchee and Everglades Update Post Hurricane Irma

SCCF logothe Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and the Everglades Foundation on Tuesday, Nov 14 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House for The Caloosahatchee and Everglades: In the Eye of the Storm. This program and community conversation will focus on water quality issues and restoration following Hurricane Irma.

Progress is being made on Everglades restoration projects critical to opening up the southern end of the Everglades to move water south. The passage of the bill to establish the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir will work in tandem with these projects to add water storage capacity south of Lake Okeechobee to feed needed water to the Everglades and Florida Bay currently dumped to the estuaries. The dark, excess freshwater resulting from Hurricane Irma illustrates how badly alternative outlets and additional storage are needed. On November 14, SCCF and the Everglades Foundation will highlight issues ranging from water conditions to restoration progress and how you can participate in the coming state legislative process and a Federal Action Day in Washington, DC. in May 2018.

While the EAA Reservoir does not solve all of the problems, it’s a major step forward and initial planning for the project has begun. There will be time for audience questions and you can find out how you can help. Community support and action will be vital in advancing the projects and funding needed — as Hurricane Irma’s statewide impacts will also require funding from the state. Committee work for the next Florida legislative session has already begun and the session will open on January 9 (two months earlier than normal).

The program is free and open to the public. No reservations required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 14 at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Refreshments will be available. Program starts at 7 p.m. Call SCCF at 472-2329 with questions.

Weekend Events

esperanza-castingTomorrow, Nov 4

  • Esperanza Woodring Memorial Cast Net Rodeo, annual Bait Box tradition beginning at 8:30 a.m., 1410 Periwinkle Way
  • Island Seniors Annual Trash & Treasures Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Center 4 Life building (corner of Palm Ridge Rd and Library Way).
  • Songwriter Saturday at ‘Tween Waters Resort & Spa pool from 1 to 5 p.m. (featuring Nashville singer-songwriters). Make a reservation at 239-472-5161.

Sunday, Nov 5

2nd Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest, at Bailey’s backyard (behind the store). Performances from noon to 7 p.m. Tickets available at Bailey’s General Store, at the festival, and on-line at sanibelbluesandjazzfest.org.2017_SanibelBluesJazzFest

Tax Reform Hits Homeowners

realtor logoOne of my favorite economists, Lawrence Yun, posted a good article in the November/December 2017 Realtor® magazine. Though following this topic is like following a moving train, his advice applies regardless of the political outcome.

“Renters will come out ahead, albeit temporarily, if the “Big 6” tax reform framework is passed in its current form. They stand to get about $500 in tax cuts each year. The plan was released at the end of September by the Trump administration and Republican leadership in Congress.

“Because there is no free lunch, who then will foot the bill? Homeowners. Particularly families with children. While it’s unlikely lawmakers intended to hurt them, that will be the result.

“Tax reform is a laudable goal. Lower tax rates are what people want. And Americans are fed up with the many hours it takes to comply with today’s complex code.

“But a reform at the expense of homeowners is misdirected. Homeowners already pay 80 to 90% of all federal income tax in any given year.

“The plan to double the standard deduction (from about $12,000 to $24,000 for a family) means far fewer homeowners will use the mortgage interest deduction. Some homeowners may come out ahead while others will lose out. But larger families will be faced with a particularly difficult challenge, because the personal exemption and the exemptions for dependents which are both $4,050 per individual, would go away.

“For renters, who don’t take the mortgage deduction, the higher standard deduction will likely make most of them better off. Historical data has shown that renters do not accumulate wealth over the long haul. The latest Federal Reserve data show the typical wealth of a renting household has fallen from $5,900 to $5,100 since 2010, while homeowning households have seen their wealth jump from $192,800 to $231,400.

“Congress needs to thoroughly review the tax code with an eye toward simplifying it and reducing the tax burden on Americans, particularly middle-income households who today pay a disproportionate share of our nation’s taxes. Reduced payments in a simplified system could even boost long-term GDP growth. But Congress must never forget, sustainable and successful homeownership should be encouraged.” 

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 27- November 3, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $399K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 $620K, Nutmeg Village #1092/2 $689K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $709K, Poinciana #3C 3/2 $1.75M, White Pelican #133 3/3 $2.195M.

4 price changes: Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 now $349K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 now $469.5K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 now $485K, Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 now $1.095M.

3 new sales: Seashells #11 2/2 listed at $350K, Sundial West #C306 1/1 listed at $435K, Sanibel Moorings #612 2/2 listed at $565K.

4 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 2/2 $460K, Tarpon Beach #103 2/2 $725K, Sundial East #O405 2/2 $1.01325M, Sanddollar #A303 3/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $585K; 667 Spartina Ct 3/2 $629,555; 2030 Sunrise Cir

3/3 $649K; 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.1M; 701 Anchor Dr 3/3.5 $1.295M; 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct

3/2 $1.295M; 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.497M; 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 $2.75M.

4 price changes: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $490K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $639K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.274M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 now $3.295M.

2 new sales: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.2M.

5 closed sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex 3/3 $470K, 5305 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $559K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 $605K, 485 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $970K, 984 Oyster Ct 3/3.5 $1.625M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2515 Wulfert Rd $259K.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5202 1/2 $375K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 $1.495M, 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4 $3.995M, 15138 Wiles Dr

6/5.5 $7.599M.

1 price change: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $929K.

No 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 is a cute sign from the Sanibel Café.SanibelCafeSign

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate on Cinco de Mayo


cinco de mayoSanibel & Captiva Islands had another week of good weather and little traffic – or at least until late yesterday when a boat slid off a trailer coming out of Sanibel Harbour onto Summerlin Road just after the toll booth going off island.

That little roadway snafu kept vehicles leaving the islands at a slow crawl until close to 7 p.m. Silly me then, doing some off-island chores after work.

The weather this week included the first major shower of the rainy season. Boy, was the rain needed when it arrived late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Though off-island teammates Dave and Elise saw only a few drops and heard some thunder rumbles where they live, they noticed causeway flooding as they came onto the island. There were huge puddles from the east-end to Captiva. Most now have disappeared, with “greening” up already noticeable. I heard a Lee County Mosquito Control plane buzzing the east-end early morning yesterday, yet another sign that we got rain and it’s May.

The change in island occupancy is evident even to the lunch crowd. No waiting at Doc Ford’s on Tuesday when my lunch friends and I snagged a nice breezy outside table. They later sent me the below photo and said I could share it. Thank you, Susanna and Yves-Pascal, for a great visit and terrific picture too!

Version 3

First Off-Season Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was light at yesterday’s Thursday morning local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting which had just two homes (one bank-owned) and a single condo on tour. That’s another indication that “high season” is over. Here forward, until late fall when business picks up, Caravan’s will be held every other week and open to any new listings in any location on either island.

  • Water Quality Update – During the Committee Reports, Realtor® David Schuldrenfrei for the Government & Environmental Committee reported that SB #10, regarding Everglades restoration and water storage, passed in the Florida Legislature with the House of Representatives following the lead of the Senate. This bill has been decades in the making and provides $800 million in funding to create a dynamic reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in the Everglades Agricultural Area. The reservoir is needed to provide freshwater to Florida Bay and to alleviate discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie Rivers. The bill now is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature. Local Realtors®, City officials, and others have spent nearly 20 years working toward this milestone. David offered a big thank you to all involved for their continued persistence. A further update is below, on other issues in the forefront of Florida’s legislative session which wraps up today.
  • Working Together to Make a Difference – For the Communications and Public Relations Committee, I announced that Realtors® Bob and Diane Stocks joined me Monday morning in transporting to Catholic Charities of SW Florida, the gently-used clothing collected over the last two months by Association Members. That delivery was a humbling experience. Charity workers were very thankful for the carloads of goods delivered saying they are particularly in need of donations for Clewiston farm worker families, those who lost belongings in Florida’s fires, recent rescues human trafficking, as well as those down on their luck hoping and looking for jobs, to become more self-sufficient. This month, the Committee is spearheading a new campaign, collecting pillows, bed linens, and diapers which will be donated on June 1 to ACT (Abuse Counseling Treatment Center) in Fort Myers. Their needs increase in the “off season” too.
  • Real Estate Announcements – Under new and old business, a couple of old sales were announced. Listing agents are careful these days to wait until after inspection/cancellation periods are over – or contingencies are removed – to make an announcement.

Also, a “back-on-the-market” was reported where a property did not close because the buyer couldn’t get financing. That doesn’t happen here too often, but it could be because the home was found to have aluminum wiring, which can make a property difficult to insure. The listing agent announced that the wiring is being replaced and it again is available for sale.

I announced the price reduction at our Seagull Estates listing. A couple of upcoming new listings were announced too. There usually are not many new offerings this time of the year. These were the result of winter residents heading home and moving elsewhere. The details of the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows some other news items below.

While I was at the Thursday caravan meeting, Dave was at a property inspection. I hope he wasn’t on the roof when this picture was taken, but here is his photo showing how few were on Beachcomber’s east-end stretch of beach then.  The gulf waters are beautiful!

Roof 05-04-17 Cropped.jpg

Update on Florida Legislative Session

Florida Realtors logoAs Florida’s legislative session comes to a close, Florida Realtors® Vice President of Public Policy, Carrie O’Rourke, emailed the members of FloridaRealtors® Think Tank (yes, I am one of those) a summary of what she said is “is shaping up to be one of our most successful sessions in recent memory.” Here are some excerpts:

  • Business Rent Tax Reduction – We are closer to success than ever before! After years of fighting for a reduction to the business rent tax we were finally able to overcome the obstacles and there is a strong chance we will come out with a win for business owners, commercial Realtors®, and ultimately, Florida’s economy. Under the current proposal, which was just passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the business rent tax would be reduced 0.2%, moving from 6% to a permanent 5.8%. While this may at first seem like a very modest cut, there are two things to consider
  • First, this cut represents more than $60 million fiscal impact to the state, and comprises the vast majority of the small amount of funding that was available for tax cut purposes.
  • Second, this cut represents a big step for a legislative body that has been reluctant to even open the door on a cut to this revenue source.
  • The bill now travels to the full Florida Senate for a vote, and will also need to pass the House before the legislature adjourns on Friday, the scheduled conclusion of the Legislature’s 60-day session.
  • “10% Non-Homestead Property Tax Cap – Success! The joint resolution has passed both legislative chambers and will not be heading to voters during the 2018 general election. This is a significant victory for Florida Realtors® as it gives us the time we need to conduct a comprehensive, direct-to-voter campaign that will help voters understand why they need to make this important tax break permanent.
  • “Estoppel Certificate Fee Reform – …For three years, we have been advocating for caps on unreasonable estoppel certificate fees and all that hard work has paid off with the passage of SB 398. This legislature caps the fees that community association management companies can charge for estoppel certificates at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. An additional $100 can be charged for “expedited” estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days), and another $150 can be charged for owners who are delinquent in their assessments. This is a maximum of $500 for an expedited, delinquent estoppel certificate. Gone are the days of certificate fees that cost $1,000 or more….
  • “Vacation Rentals – It took about 4 hours of debate and a close vote for HB 425… to make it out of the House. This is the bill that essentially stops local governments from targeting vacation rental homes with restrictive ordinances. In other words, if a local government passes an ordinance targeted at vacation rental homes, it has to apply to all residential homes in the area; vacation rentals cannot be singled out. The original bill has been amended several times and has a tough road ahead of it in the Senate.
  • “Increase to the Non-School Homestead Exemption – The Senate passed a priority issue of the House concerning a proposed increase to the non-school homestead exemption by $25,000. Currently homeowners receive a tax exemption on the first $25,000 in the value of their properties. They pay taxes on the value between $25,000 and $50,000 and then receive an exemption on the portion from $50,000 to $75,000. The House ended up adopting the Senate’s version of the joint resolution which would apply the exemption to the portion of values between $100,000 and $125,000. This passage will place a constitutional amendment on the 2017 general election ballot.”

First Sea Turtle Nest

Turtle hatching 07-01-16As follow-up to last week’s posting about sea turtle nesting season beginning, the first nest of the season was found Saturday, April 29, near Gulfside Place condos. The nest has been staked off by volunteers from SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Monitoring Program. Reports say that this year’s first nest is early, but not as early as last year when the first one was found on April 20 on Captiva.

Sea turtles on Sanibel/Captiva are coming off back-to-back record years. A new record was set in 2015 with more than 600 nests. Last season that record was beat by a mile when the two islands had a combined total of 826 nests.

SCCF volunteers patrol the beaches early every morning during nesting season, recording new nests and false crawls (when a female comes ashore but doesn’t lay eggs). The volunteers take measurements and stake the nests. In recent years, they also have covered nests with mesh to prevent coyotes from getting to them.

Southwest Florida By The Numbers

As a numbers kinda gal, I enjoyed reading the statistics in the “Gulfshore Business Source Book 2017” that arrived in the mail this week. Below is a sampling, showing Lee County compared to neighboring Collier and Charlotte, the state, and the nation.

“Demographics              Lee             Collier          Charlotte     Florida               United States

2016 population             680,539      350,202        170,450        20.612 million   323.127 million

Projected by 2025          839,497       409,899       187,862        22.799 million   357.452 million

Median age (2016)         46.9              46.5             54.5                 39.4                     35.9

Percentage over 65        25                27.8             36.2                 18.8                     12.4

Cost of Living

Median home price      $246,900      $450,000     $195,000        $226,000          $233,500

Labor

Unemployment rate     4.4%              4.5%              5.2%              5.0%                 4.7%

(Feb 2017)

Median annual wage   $31,548         $32,946         $29,526         $32,789           $36,764

(2016)”

Further along in the article, it provided details on the major communities within the counties.

Here is their info for Sanibel:

“Population (2016) – 6,591

Per capita income (2015) – $79,354

Median household income (2015) – $98,818

Median home value – $664,500”

Wondering the largest employers in Southwest Florida? Here are the top ten with their number of employees:

  1. “Lee Health (12,600)
  2. Lee County School District (11,098)
  3. Publix Super Markets (8,533)
  4. Collier County Public Schools (7,000)
  5. NCH Healthcare System – Naples Community Hospital (4,200)
  6. Wal-Mart (3,792)
  7. Chico’s FAS Inc. (2,900)
  8. Arthrex Inc. (2,510)
  9. Lee County Government (2,362)
  10. Lipman Produce (2,300)…”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 28-May 5, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sundial West #D403 1/1 $435K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $659K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $659K, Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 $749K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 $1.489M.

5 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $349K, Seashells #11 2/2 now $365K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $438.5K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 now $485K, By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 now $1.495M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 listed at $463.5K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 listed at $475K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 listed at $699K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 listed at $749K, Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 listed at $774.9K.

5 closed sales: Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $705K, Sundial West #E304 2/2 $790K, Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $865K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 $910K, Wedgewood #202 3/3.5 $2.38M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $575K, 315 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $649K.

15 price changes: 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $578K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $584.9K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599.9K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $614K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $629K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $675K, 1717 Sand Peble Way 3/2 now $679K, 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $798.8K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $1.069M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.595M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 now $ 1.85M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 now $1.995M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 now $2.499M.

4 new sales: 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $495K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 listed at $5.799M.

3 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $850K (our seller), 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.475M.

LOTS

4 new listings: 644 Sea Oats Dr $295K, 223 Robinwood Cir $295K, 540 Birdsong Pl $390K, 3354 Barra Cir $425K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 434 Lake Murex Cir listed at $275K.

2 closed sales: 255 Hurricane Ln $310K, 1301 Sand Castle Rd $360K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $785K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #29 4/4 listed at $2.3M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1.198M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

I’m in the office tomorrow, if you want to list or sell on seis de mayo! Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Good Friday 2017 on Sunny Sanibel Island


It’s Susan and The SanibelSusan Team reporting a fun week on the island with continuing reports of “where is the Vice President now” and beaches, bike paths, and roadways often busy with vacationing visitors and families.

Sanibel Captiva Association of Realtors®

sancap GO MLS logoThe local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday was well attended. Not many sales were announced, but a few more price reductions, and new listings. With high season wrapping up, more sales closed this week, so below is another update based on today’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service data.  A report on the activity posted this week follows a few news items.

Sanibel Year-to-Date (1/1-4/14/17):

Condos – 41 sold/closed, 23 under contract, 108 for sale (average days-on-market = 209)

Homes – 64 sold/closed, 48 under contract, 186 for sale (average days-on-market = 180)

Lots – 12 sold/closed, 8 under contract, 64 for sale (average days-on-market = 390)

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayWith the island busy, I put a condo under contract, accompanied a showing, was out showing homes two days, and have fielded many requests for listing info. Also, spent time negotiating a couple of offers – no official news yet to report – just that things are in the works.

Teammate Dave held Open Houses for three days at vacant condos. Attendance was sporadic, probably related to the wonderful weather here all week.VP

Where is Vice President Pence?

Spottings of Vice President Pence and his family vacationing this week were frequent and sometimes humorous. Our travel wasn’t affected much by their visit and we hope they had a terrific vacation.  Here is SanibelSusan’s version of the week’s events.

Saturday, when I left the island late afternoon to do a little shopping just off island, I noticed multiple sheriff vehicles at every intersection from Harbour Cottages to Kelly Greens. All were quietly waiting, except the unmarked vehicle with lights flashing at the McGregor Blvd/Summerlin Rd intersection. I also saw a few spectators in lawn chairs near the entrance to Mariner Pointe, so it appeared the Vice President was arriving soon.

He arrived by motorcade – about 20 vehicles – just after 5 p.m. The quiet motorcade turned up Dixie Beach Blvd which had the island abuzz about “where is he staying?”. Turns out, we later heard that he has been vacationing here for many years. This trip he stayed in a bayside home on San Carlos Bay Dr. Those living in the neighborhood confirmed Secret Service sightings and some of their boats and vehicles being searched – all very quietly and professionally.

Sunday, he and his wife attended the 8 a.m. service at Sanibel Community Church. Another parishioner who usually also attends that early service, said they must have known they were coming, as the choir performed and usually they are at the later services. Later Sunday, the Vice President and Mrs. Pence were spotted walking on the beach. That night, there were more sightings when they dined at The Timbers. You-know-who got his picture taken with him and word is that the photo was framed and on the wall that evening. A client, there at the same time, dining with family said the Secret Service agents were very nice.

Monday, Vice President Pence left the island early for a quick trip to DC for the swearing in of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. When I came back on island early Monday evening after another quick run overseas, I passed a large group of 15-20 Lee County sheriff motorcycles and cars leaving the island. I found out later that they had just been part of the VP’s escort back on island.

Tuesday dinner, photos were posted of them at Matzaluna Restaurant. (I wonder if Matt got another photo?)

Wednesday, while teammate Dave was holding an Open House at Lighthouse Point, he reported in that he spotted a group of what looked like Secret Service vehicles and bikers. Also on Wednesday, the Vice President was spotted walking on the beach and had his picture taken with a fisherman who had just spent 10+hours reeling in what he thought was a small shark, but turned out to be a rare huge saw-tooth fish, which was tagged and released. The below photos were taken by Dr. Paul & Lynn Collins. They didn’t get the Vice President, but they sure got some good shots of the action during the catch.

Sawtooth fish 04-13-17sawtooth 04-13-17

Thursday, the motorcade was on the move again with reports of Mrs. Pence getting a manicure at Sanibel Beauty Salon and the Vice President getting a haircut. They were photographed later at dinner at The Mucky Duck. Rumor has it that the VP played golf and did a little fishing while here too.

They were to leave the island today and as Dave headed to the office this morning, he saw a group of bikers, then marked cars and sheriff vehicles at the intersections of Donax and Dixie Beach. The “Santiva Chronicle” just posted that they left the island just after 3 p.m.  Good that it was today, as tomorrow, the day before Easter, is traditionally the busiest day of the year on the island.

With more families and visitors arriving tomorrow and children’s Easter events from Sanibel City Park to the Sanibel Community Church and then Island Inn, traffic may be challenging. A good day to watch the Sanibel traffic cameras at http://www.mysanibel.us/traffic/ or go to the App Store and get the free app.

Good News About Florida Senate Bill 10

florida senateIt was great to hear on Wednesday that the Florida Senate took action to protect Florida’s unique waterways by passing SB 10. This legislation will accelerate the process of building a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. Scientists have determined that increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake O are essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries.

The passage of this bill is a huge step, but the fight is far from over. Next stop is the Florida House of Representatives. If you want to stay attuned to what is happening in Tallahassee follow the news at www.NowOrNeverglades.com or at the 2017 Legislative Session Tracker at www.sccf.org

Happy Easter

Since I posted details of the holiday happenings in last week’s blog, I won’t include them again, but send best wishes to you from all of us on The SanibelSusan Team for a great weekend.

More summer-like weather is expected here (mid-80’s in temperatures), with sparkling Gulf water too.

sanibel beach

Here is another photo taken this week by the Collins, this time at “Ding” Darling. The brilliant pink makes me think of spring and Easter! Thanks again for sharing, Paul and Lynn!

Paul collins roseate 04-13-14

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Seashells #6 2/2 $395K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $759.9K.

8 price changes: Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 now $339,555; Seashells #3 2/2 now $399.4K; Blind Pass #F106 2/2 now $409K; Donax Village #3 2/2 now $448K; Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 now $510K; Sunset South #2A 2/2 now $699K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5 2/2.5 now $699K; Royale Tern #103 3/3.5 now $1.75M.

3 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 2/2 listed at $498.5K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $939K, Tamarind #A102 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

6 closed sales: Sundial West #C406 1/1 $416K, Villa Sanibel #3D 2/2 $599K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 $610K, Compass Point #222 2/2 $650K, Bayview Village #1A 3/3 $782.8K, Sanddollar #B204 2/2 $859K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $549K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $775K, Moonshadows #F2 3/3 $919K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 $950K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.095M, 1340 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.1M, 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 $1.299M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $1.9M.

11 price changes: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $494K, 5305 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $579K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 now $624.9K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $664.9K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 now $849K, 698 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $849.9K, 2628 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.839M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.399M, 3547 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $4.495M.

7 new sales: 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $675K, 3152 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 listed at $697K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $735K, 408 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $1.595M, 1757 Venus Dr 4/2.5 listed at $1.899M, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 listed at $5.799M, 3577 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $7.595M.

5 closed sales: 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 $685K, 743 Elinor Way 3/2 $685K, 2459 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 $777K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $969K, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.225M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2307 Wulfert Rd $259K.

3 price changes: 540 East Lake Rd now $179K, 6519 Pine Ave now $829K, 6505 Pine Ave now $829K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1329 Par View Dr $307.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 listed at $519K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2333 3/2 $755K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.4995M.

LOTS

Nothing to report

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

happy-easter4Happy Easter! from Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)