It’s a Colorful Time… Vivid Rosy Bougainvillea, “Pink Out”, & …


Happy Friday, everyone! Following another sunny week on Sanibel Island, rain is expected to begin here soon. The tropical storm passing in the northern Gulf of Mexico is forecast to produce scattered showers over SW Florida into tomorrow afternoon. We need the rain.

Dry late fall weather usually gets bougainvillea trees and bushes blooming. Below are some that I noticed on my ride home last night. They are at the Pointe Santo entrance.

IMG_8830

Mine at home are starting to pop out too. This photo from Nov 2018.IMG_7125.jpg

Red Tide

The news that I don’t like reporting is that locals and visitors are in a tizzy about red tide. The City’s panoramic aerials posted Tuesday afternoon (link here), show such a huge difference in how the water looks now compared to last year at this time, that was it heartbreaking to read that the Marine Lab had done local testing and found presence of the red tide organism in some areas. Below is the message posted Tuesday night on social media by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

2019-10-15 SCCF“Research scientists from SCCF’s Marine Lab took water samples on a short cruise today on the lower Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. They found Karenia brevis, the organism that blooms into red tide, present at all sites sampled. The maximum concentration they found was 880,000 cells/liter two miles offshore of Tarpon Bay Rd Beach on Sanibel. Levels higher than 100,000 can result in fish kills and respiratory irritation in humans. Next week, they will do a more expansive cruise into the Gulf from North Captiva Island to Sanibel. Stay tuned for ongoing updates.”

That posting sparked some questions, so they further clarified saying: “Our Marine Lab’s testing is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant to study harmful algal blooms (HABs). The NSF grant is intended to investigate how the intensity of red tide blooms is “related to nutrients in freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee, a large inland lake in south-central Florida that is managed for flood prevention.” The research will contribute to the lack of “strong scientific evidence to support the connection between the red tide and Lake Okeechobee water releases.” The objective of the project is to provide water quality data prior to and throughout major freshwater releases. These data will provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships between freshwater releases, and algal blooms.”

SCCF logoWith SCCF reporting the highest number of organisms around the island off the beach at the end of Tarpon Bay Road, it is not surprising that this same area produced complaints, both yesterday and today, from beachgoers experiencing respiratory irritations. Some marine life also has washed ashore. Teammate Dave reported a noticeable smell on his drive over the causeway last night.

As a reminder, there had been no releases from Lake O all summer until just over a week ago when small releases were sent this direction to dilute the salinity in the estuary. This was to help the health of seagrasses in areas that had not received rain in recent weeks.

Prior to these reports, recent red tide incidents were mostly further south in the Naples/Marco Island area. Not a good omen for things to get better soon is the forecast for winds from the south all weekend.

Annual Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the annual meeting of the islands’ Association of Realtors®. Congratulations to newly elected board members, Realtors® Greg Demaras, Mike McMurray, and Janka Varmusa. With over 250 Realtor® members and nearly 150 Affiliate members, the Sanibel & Captiva Association is vibrant healthy and ready for “season”.

Caravan meetings will continue Thursday mornings biweekly until the end of the month, when we celebrate Halloween (costume contest) and revert to the “season” weekly schedule rotating from East End to West End. All winter you can expect to see Open Houses on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon. City rules allow only two open houses a month, up to 4-hours each, while Association MLS rules allow only one Caravan Open House every six months. You can be sure that we follow the rules and also try to schedule these events when they produce the most results.

Between now and the end of the year, the Association will continue to collect non-perishable food for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Since Hurricane Irma and the water quality issues last year, local food needs have increased with supplies depleting quickly. Members and friends are encouraged to bring donations to either the Association of Realtors® Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 (over Finnimore’s Cycle) or at F.I.S.H. at 2430-B Periwinkle Way (behind Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro). The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

After work on November 14, the Association will hold its annual “Fall Into Christmas” fundraiser for local charity “Friends Who Care”.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

2017-09-12 OfficeThe Association’s new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provider offers a variety of new reports and advertising opportunities. Yesterday, Elise mailed our team’s monthly summary progress report letters which included the Islands’ 3rd Quarter Market Report. Lingering evidence of the market downturn from the water problems last year remains.

Below is an update of Sanibel’s inventory today. As the island gets busier, likewise, more listings come on the market every day. Both number of sales and average sale prices are off, even when compared to last year. That could change last quarter which is when we see the most sales to those wanting to winter in paradise or benefit from owning in 2020.  For arriving buyers, there is plenty of good well-priced inventory for them.

Sanibel Inventory
Condos Homes Lots
Status # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM
For sale 108 839,859 196 142 1,338,771 171 67 730,723 442
Under contract 9 861,322 128 23 886,254 106 3 321,333 74
Sold 2019 thru 10/18 101 667,163 151 172 972,271 173 12 392,333 816
Sold 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504

 

Event Reminders

Ding Darling Day31st Annual “Ding” Darling Day – Free Family Fun Day – Sunday, Oct 20, all day beginning at 8 a.m. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

breast cancer month8th Annual “Let’s Pink Out” – Thursday, Oct 24, Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration & Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sanibel Fire & Rescue District Station #1 on Palm Ridge Road. Saturdays, all month, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Pink Out” volunteers are bagging groceries at Bailey’s for tips. Donations collected go to F.I.S.H. to help those in the community with cancer-related needs.

Rising Financial Wealth Boosts Demand for Vacation Homes

RSPS-Resort-Second-Home-Property-Specialist-Real-Estate-DesignationAs the instructor for the local class on the Resort & 2nd Home Market, I carefully follow the statistics published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and their newsletter from the RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) group. Here are some excerpts from an article they published on Oct 10, 2019:

“Increased financial wealth and low mortgage rates boosted the demand for and price of vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report, https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/us-vacation-home-counties.

“Between 2013 to 2018, the median sales price in vacation home counties increased at a slightly higher pace of 36% compared to the pace of increase of all existing and new homes sold,1 at 31%. Median price increases occurred across both expensive and inexpensive areas. The counties with the highest price increases during this five-year span were in three states: Pennsylvania, which includes Pike and Monroe counties; Wisconsin, which contains Price and Washburn counties; and Massachusetts, which includes Nantucket.

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the present figures are telling, especially when compared to data from 10 years prior. “As of 2018, household net worth reached an all-time high of $100.3 trillion – that’s nearly double from a decade ago when wealth declined during the recession. Some of this tremendous growth in wealth, although concentrated, increased demand for vacation homes.”

“Although most homebuyers purchase their residence with an intent to use the property as a primary home, that is not the case for all buyers. In fact, a portion of homeowners purchase a second home expecting to use it as a general family vacation spot, as a tenant rental, a means to gain equity, or – upon retirement – a future primary residence….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 11 – 18, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 $455K; Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $579K; Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $609,906; Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $925K; Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.1899M; Compass Point #181 2/3 $1.195M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.425M.

4 price changes: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $695K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 now $869K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.395M (our listing, photos below).

1 new sale: Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $587K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $799K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $897K, 261 Ferry Landing 2/2 half-duplex $1.095M.

7 price changes: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $575K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $669K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $715K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $729K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.149M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $3.699M.

3 new sales: 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 listed at $799.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $398.5K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $639K, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.2M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.51M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.7225M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $220K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $415K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.899M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $957K.

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.

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!

 

 

 

Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website www.IslandWater.com under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at http://www.sccf.org/preserves. SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at http://www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at www.USTA.com using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to BuyLocalLee.com
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at www.MySanibel.com. The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map

END”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

If School Begins Monday, Is Summer Over? Noooo! Summer & Vacations Go On Forever Here!


It’s already another Friday with the islands quiet. When there is no traffic director at the Causeway Road 4-way stop at both noon and 5:30 p.m., you know Sanibel/Captiva traffic has slowed.

Though The SanibelSusan Team was short one teammate this week, we had some nice accomplishments – a great new listing, a nice price reduction on another, an offer in the works, a great turnout yesterday at our Isabel Dr listing on Realtor Caravan, and though our photographer has dealt with many rain and cloud interruptions, I think he will deliver some special marketing photos this weekend. The full team is back to work on Monday (the same day that Lee County schools are back in session). Yikes! Does that mean summer is over?

At our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday recognition was given to the donors and helpers that contributed to the 20,300 meals that were packed in record time at last Friday’s Meals of Hope benefit event. Thank-yous also went to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, his wife Doreen, and City Councilor Holly Smith for their hands-on help. It is fast fun work often with competition. Part of the giggles relate to the required hair coverings. If packers don’t bring a hat, they are blessed with a hairnet. I’m sure the Mayor loved that. (Two photos compliments of JMA Photography below: First the packers. 2nd photo has the Mayor rocking his hair net at the end of the table. That assembly-line begins with his wife Doreen (on left in baseball cap) & Councilor Holly Smith(on right).)

Only two properties, including our listing, were open for the Caravan that followed yesterday’s meeting. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System are after a couple of news items below.

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

Much of SanibelSusan’s business is with buyers who also own in another resort or 2nd home market area, usually one they visit in the summer. When owning here, if retired, they often claim Florida residency for the estate and tax benefits. Many island owners have properties in several resort & 2nd home market areas.

Holding the national RSPS (Resort & 2nd Home Specialist) designation, I follow our group newsletter for tidbits that will help not only in our business, but in the curriculum for the RSPS class that I teach each summer at our local Association of Realtors®. Here are some interesting excerpts from the July 2019 “RSPS Newsletter”. The article linked to http://www.IPX1031.com .

“Whether it’s a cabin in the woods or a beachside bungalow, vacation homes come in all shapes, sizes and locations. We took a closer look at vacation home destinations across the country to find which cities and towns have the most vacation homes. We also analyzed the overall percentage of vacation homes in every state. We researched vacation home data from more than 29,000 different census designated places across all 50 states and ranked the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state.

“Before we analyze the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state, let’s look at the overall percentage of vacation homes in each state. When you think of a popular vacation home hot spot, images of sandy beaches in Florida might come to mind. While Florida ranks high in terms of its number of vacation homes, it doesn’t beat out Maine, which is No. 1 in the country. Surprisingly, 19% of all homes in the Pine Tree State are vacation homes. Vermont and New Hampshire round out the top three states with 17% and 12%, respectively. Florida comes in at No. 6 with 10% of its homes categorized as vacation homes, according to the Census Bureau.

“Apparently, the Midwest isn’t a hot spot for vacation homes. Maybe it’s the brutally cold and long winters, but Midwest states rank low on our list. In fact, Illinois ranks dead last on our list with just 1% of its homes categorized as vacation homes. Other Midwest states like Ohio (1.1%), Iowa (1.6%), Indiana (1.7%) and Kansas (1.4%) are at the bottom of the list as well.

“However, there is one Midwest state that ranks within the top 10. With its more than 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a haven for fishing, boating and vacationing, which explains why the state ranks No. 8 among states with the most vacation homes.

“After we looked at the percentage of vacation homes in every state, we analyzed the top three places with the most vacation homes within those states. While familiar vacation locations such as Copper Mountain in Colorado and Fire Island in New York are among the top vacation home destinations, there are also smaller towns that make the list as well. For example, the top 3 destinations in California all have less than 300 vacation homes. However, every home within those three places are classified as vacation homes. Atlantic City and Boudurant, Wyoming as well as Yellow Pine, Idaho and McCarthy, Alaska are the only other locations on our list where every home is classified as a vacation home.”

After reading their article, I checked their infographic which shows by state what three towns/cities have the most vacation homes. If you are wondering what it reports for Florida. They are Captiva, Horseshoe Beach, and North Key Largo. (If you are like me, you now may be wondering, where is Horseshoe Beach? Google says, it’s on the Gulf, about 315 miles north of Sanibel and west of Gainesville. With an area of less than 2/10 of a mile, the population is only about 200.

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

As reported in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”, “The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

“Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the City of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline….The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it…The City has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District…The work is expected to take place in 2020. As the City manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The City is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.”

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

In the same “Sanibel-Captiva Islander” issue, it reports that “The City of Sanibel recently submitted applications for the design work and a request for financial assistance on the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road…” Once a Construction Control Line permit is issued by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, work there can begin, hopefully as soon as sea turtle nesting season is over at the end of October. In addition to the permit application, “the City submitted an application… for funds through the DEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests for beach projects…The City applied for just over $300,000 in state assistance as part of 50-50 cost share. It would cover the cost of the beach re-nourishment or fill placement and dune restoration…It would not include the structure itself – revetment, sheet piping, riprap – to protect the roadway…The total project may cost approximately $612,000. The City intends to request funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council to help cover the remaining costs of the project…The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the City deposits…That is why the City wants to get the project done by fall, early winter….”

“Earlier this year, the City had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on, at a City Council meeting, the firmed reported the following:

“”Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability…It is the intent of the City to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400’ section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.

“”The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400’ section of vulnerable highway….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 2-9, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $529K, Sundial West #K103 2/2 $920K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $589K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $759K.

3 new sales: Sundial West #I103 1/1 listed at $465.9K, Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 listed at $484K, By-the-Sea #C102 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $595K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $999K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $613.5K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $444K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $725K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.195M (our listing) (a few photos below, including mama & baby dolphin swimming by the 90′ dock)

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

4 new sales: 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

4 closed sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $335K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $485.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.35M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $299K (our listing) (some drone aerials below, it overlooks 9th fairway & has conservation land across the street), 3945 West Gulf Dr 3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 now $324K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,899,999.

No new sales.

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!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Packing Food, Watching the Water, Island Scoop, Plus Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate


It’s an early Friday blog today as the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 Meals of Hope food packing event is this afternoon. Our Association-sponsored events have packed over 50,000 meals the last two summers and aim to add another 20,000 to the tally today.

There is no denying that the water woes of last summer affected island real estate sales, but as we carefully watch the weather, it is great to be able to report now that the view driving across the causeway is as good as I remember it this late in the summer. Here are some aerial photos taken for the City just three days ago.

With a rainy few days ahead, that sparkling blue may get stirred up this weekend, but it sure is different from a year ago at this time.

Below are the islands’ real estate statistics as of today (August 2, 2019). Inventory is low, with many island Realtors® looking for listings. Now really is the best to list for those wanting a sale during the upcoming “season”. (There are more closed sales last quarter and first quarter which often means contracts are written beginning in August so new owners will benefit from winter ownership.)

Sanibel Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 99 $820,294 145 $1,360,835 64 $657,673
Under Contract 11 $731,709 17 $987,647 4 $233,000
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 85 $662,618 147 $956,029 10 $419,900
Sold/Closed in 2018 155 $720,617 218 $1,112,748 21 $602,095
Sold/Closed in 2017 140 $728,793 186 $1,004,237 32 $327,229

 

Captiva Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 38 $1,115,343 34 $2,884,556 3 $1,929,667
Under Contract 6 $681,317 2 $2,112,500 0 N/A
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 14 $1,201,857 12 $3,181,963 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2018 27 $797,532 25 $2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2017 34 $671,551 22 $2,457,023 2 $2,312,500

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.

There was no Realtor® Caravan yesterday, but the changes in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service this week are after a few news items below.

Island Scoop

Lee County Emergency Management – AlertLee – The county recently released AlertLee which is an emergency notification system where the public can sign-up to receive notifications. This system replaces CodeRed.  Both the City of Sanibel and county use this popular tool to send targeted emergency alerts. You can receive alerts on multiple devices in your home and/or on your cell phones.  Even if you were enrolled in the old system, to continue receiving alerts YOU MUST SIGN-UP for alertLee.  Go to the city website mysanibel.com (in the Quick Links on the right side).

Noah’s Ark Annual Bag Day – is Friday, August 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bag day marks the end of summer season for the Ark which after this event closes for cleaning and repair – reopening on October 1. Deep price reductions lead up to the sale, when on Bag Day customers may buy marked bags in the parking lot for $4 each, fill them with store goods and walk away with as many items as the bags will carry. Any items not fitting in the bag are 80% off the regular price. Operated by the Women of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal for more than 50 years, Noah’s Ark offers all kinds of merchandise from clothing to housewares, to furnishings, and books. Proceeds go to local, regional, and global charities and agencies. (Note: Noah’s Ark begins accepting donations again on September 1.)

San-Cap Road Vegetation Trimming – from Rabbit Road to Bowman’s Beach Rd on the north side, now through August 7.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing Project – will begin August 5 with paving done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. The following streets are included in this project:

  • Wulfert Rd. (from Wildlife Dr. to Sanctuary Entrance)
  • West Rocks Dr.
  • Coquina Dr.
  • East Rocks Dr.
  • Emeril Ct.
  • Durion Ct.
  • Chert Ct.
  • Agate Ct.
  • Boulder Cir.
  • Palm Lake Dr.
  • Donax St (repairs to northbound lane)

Every year the City resurfaces selected roads based upon a time schedule and existing condition.  This year’s road resurfacing contract amount is $534,000 including full-width resurfacing of the ten streets above, and repairs to Donax Street.  The project is expected to be completed within 30 days.

SCCF’s Nature Center Closed for Minor Renovations – The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s administrative offices and trails remain open to the public, but the Nature Center on San-Cap Road is closed for two months – reopening September 16. During this time, the educational displays and exhibits will be updated,  new TV screens added, and videos will be replaced. The Nature Center will be turned into a multi-use space including an update of the education for the trail system. During the closure, the on-site trails and observation tower may be accessed from the parking lot rather than through the building. The trails are free and open to the public. The Bailey Homestead Preserve on Periwinkle Way remains open. More info at www.sccf.org.

Home Inspection Myths & Misconceptions

The August 2019 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine ends with a “share this” info graphic. It says:

“The inspection is pass/fail. Home inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails. They evaluate the condition of a home and report on defects. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether to buy the house.

Home Inspectors determine if a house is up to code. Inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.

The seller will repair every defect the home inspector finds. While the inspector’s report can be used as a negotiating tool, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an as-is contract. Note: If negotiating over repairs, focus on issues that could be costly to fix.

New construction homes don’t have to be inspected. New construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cuts corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed or workers simply make mistakes.

Home Inspectors determine the value of a house. The focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home; an appraiser determines a fair market value.

“Home Inspectors check for termites. In Florida, termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 26 – August 2, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $760K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $395.9K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 now $569K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $597K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 now $634K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $649K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $750K.

2 new sales: Seashells #12 2/2 listed at $395K, Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 listed at $625K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $230K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $470K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $565.4K, 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 $839K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

4 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $597K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1305 Eagle Run 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.049M.

5 new sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.499M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.539M.

6 closed sales: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $520K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $714K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $747K, 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $785K (our listing), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $840K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.245M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2431 Shop Rd $249.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #21 3/3 now $3M.

4 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 listed at $754.9K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 listed at $800K, Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 listed at $919K.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Happy August!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop, Realtors Packing Meals, & Other Island Stuff


It’s quiet on the islands now – the usual annual lull before local schools begin again on August 12. Even after living on Sanibel for close to 30 years, I still shake my head when schools restart so much earlier here than up north. When the weather is like summer, seems only right that the kids are off enjoying it.

Below are some photos of our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours. Filmed Monday by JMA Photography, a close look will show that the new landscaping is in, with exterior almost complete. The final interior punch-list items are being finished now. Looking for a new owner for this bay-front beauty which has just undergone months of renovations! It includes a lot with dock and lift in the nearby boat basin too!

Next week at this time, island Realtors®, families, and friends will be participating in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 packing event for Meals of Hope. As one of the Super Sponsors, we helped the Association raise the $5K needed to buy the supplies, now the goal is to pack at least 20,000 meals in 3 hours. We have done it before (photo below from our event last year), so should be able to do it again.

This time of the year, the local food banks are low, yet the need is high. The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that we again can help! If you want to participate, just let us know. All helpers are welcome.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Also this week at the Association of Realtors®, our new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) went live. It will be run in parallel with the old system while final program kinks are worked out and our membership is fully trained. The final cut-over date is August 26. The new system has plenty of new bells and whistles, so the team and I are practicing with the new system and watching on-line webinars before some upcoming training sessions at the Association Office.

If you receive listing notifications through the old system’s automatic emails, those will continue, though beginning August 26 when the system cuts over, your saved listings will disappear. We are revisiting each prospect’s search criteria, so if your preferences have changed, please let me know. It’s a good time to update them.

Yesterday was the Association’s July Membership Meeting. Not a single new sale was announced and just five new listings were open during the 3-hour Caravan that followed. There were a handful of new sales though as detailed in the week’s MLS summary that follows some other news below.

The meeting speaker was Jeannine Joy, President & CEO of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee United Way. Here are some takeaways.

Each United Way organization is independent, so donations stay in the community. With this organization, 92.3% of each dollar donated is given to the 82 local agencies and 245 programs they support and provide. F.I.S.H. of SANCAP is one of these agencies. Mention was made of the additional emergency funding provided to F.I.S.H. after Hurricane Irma and again last summer after local water woes affected island business and livelihoods.

The United Way provides help from early childhood development through senior life. Below is info on a couple of their programs.

  • Dial 211 – United Way 211 is a free 24-hour non-emergency helpline for referral to health and social services that provide food, housing, child care, and veteran services in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties.
  • VITA – United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation by IRS certified volunteers for household incomes of $66,000 or less. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900 to schedule an appointment.

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

On Wednesday, the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association’s Florida Gulf Coast MLS emailed their June Market Report for the county. It reported that overall, Lee County sales slipped a bit in June. It further says: “June showed Medial Sale Prices were up slightly at 2.0% for Single Family, while Townhouses and Condos showed a decrease of -5.0%. Broken down by cities, Single Family in Pine Island (30.0%), North Fort Myers (29.2%), Fort Myers Beach (28.0%), and Estero (10.0%) had double-digit increases for June over 2018. There was a significant drop in sales for Sanibel/Captiva at -30.8% over 2018. All other cities showed slight increases or decreases for the month.”

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

I saw a blog posting this week by The Discoverer Blog. The actual posting title is “5 U.S. Beaches to Visit and 5 to Avoid”. It begins by saying:

“From the pristine sandy shores of Sanibel Island to the calm cool azure waters of Kapalua Bay, a trip to the beach is always a good idea. The United States has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. That doesn’t mean that all beaches are trip-worthy. There are some beaches around the country that are either overrated or just places you need to stay away from. So, we’ve put together a list of the five best beaches to add to your must-see list and five that you need to avoid like the plague.”

Since I prefer the positive, here are their five “best” beaches. Read their blog yourself to find the others.

  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  • Key West, Florida
  • La Jolla Beach, California
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Potential Title Insurance Pitfalls When Transferring Property into a Trust or LLC

In an email this week from the Legal Scoop Blog of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Hold, P.A. by Caleb Hinton on July 23, 2019:

“As a real estate attorney, one request I often receive from clients is to prepare a deed to transfer their real estate into either a trust (such as a revocable trust for estate planning purposes) or an LLC (for liability purposes). At first glance, this may appear to be a simple request with no adverse effects or consequences. However, depending on when the property was acquired, transferring your property may have adverse effects on your owner’s title policy that you received when you purchased the property.

“Florida Title Insurance Policy Forms – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“Florida OIR”) governs the title insurance industry in several ways, including the rates charged and the title insurance policy forms issued by attorneys and title agents to purchasers of real estate.

“In 2011, OIR approved a new title insurance policy form for both owner’s and lender’s policies that is known as the ALTA 2006 Form (“06 Form”). The 06 Form includes an expanded definition of “Insured” under the policy, including transfers by the Insured listed on Schedule A (“Named Insured”) of the policy into a trust if the grantee is a trustee or beneficiary of a trust created by a written instrument established by the Named Insured of the owner’s policy.

“The 06 Form also expands the definition of “Insured” under the 06 Form to include the grantee of the Named Insured if the Insured on Schedule A wholly owns the stock, shares, membership, or other equity interests of the grantee.

“Potential Pitfalls – Before 2011, title insurance agents were using the ALTA 1992 Form (“92 Form”) which contained a narrower definition of “Insured.” More specifically, the 92 Form defined “Insured” as the Insured on Schedule A of the owner’s policy (which is the name in which you took title) and those who succeeded to their interest by operation of law including heirs, distributees, devisees, personal representatives (of an estate), or corporate fiduciaries or successors. Simply stated, your title insurance coverage would pass to your heirs in the event of death.

“Under the 92 Form, the definition of “Insured” does not expressly include entities (such as LLCs) where the Named Insured on the policy conveys the property to an LLC of which they are the sole member. Also, the 92 Form does not expressly include transfers from the Named Insured to a trustee of trust such a revocable living trust used in traditional estate planning.

“Accordingly, if you took title to your property prior to 2011 and subsequently convey the property to your trust or a LLC, you may lose your coverage under your owner’s title policy.

“Take-Away – There are many factors to weigh when transferring real estate and it is essential to understand the consequences of any potential transfer being considered. It is important, therefore, to have an attorney review your individual situation, including whether or not any proposed transfer would potentially create coverage issues with the title insurance company that issued your owner’s policy. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact me at caleb.hinton@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1125.”

Help the Sea Turtles

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted this yesterday on Facebook:

“Early Sunday morning 7/21/19, a very familiar face visited Sanibel. Jane, a green sea turtle we first met in 2017, came ashore to nest. Our sea turtle team had already seen her six times this 2019 season, and Sunday marked our seventh encounter and her fifth nest!

“When she finished nesting, Jane attempted to return to the ocean but quickly became disoriented. Lost in the dune vegetation, Jane began to crawl in circles and away from the water, likely mistaking the light from nearby cities for her natural lighting cue of moonlight reflecting off the water. Our team stayed with Jane until she was able to safely find her way back to the beach and return to the sea.

“On Sanibel we are very fortunate to be designated a “dark beach” with ordinances focused on minimizing light pollution. Nevertheless, we are seeing an increase in sea turtle disorientation events every year.

“But how can sea turtles become disoriented if every place on the island has their lights off? Light from nearby cities that do not have lighting ordinances spills across the sky, brightening the horizon from inland, a phenomenon we call “skyglow”. Skyglow is the leading cause of disorientation for Sanibel’s nesting females and hatchlings. Sea turtles are born with the instinct to crawl towards the brightest light. Skyglow disorients turtles causing them to end up in dune vegetation, swimming pools or even roads where they are struck by vehicles.

“SCCF is reaching out to local governments to combat skyglow. Recently, a member of the Cape Coral City Council joined our nighttime survey to observe skyglow on Sanibel and learn about the effects on sea turtles.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 19-26, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $625K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Seashells #42 2/2 listed at $379.9K.

3 closed sales: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $220K, Sundial #C310 1/1 $442K, Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 $560K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $518.5K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $675K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $699K (our listing) (some aerial photos below), 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $750K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $899K, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.299M.

2 new sales: 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $3.699M.

2 closed sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $654.9K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 $835K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $439K, 5251 Indian Ct now $649K, 2510 Coconut Dr now $749.9K.

1 new sale: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd listed at $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $825K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,974,999.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2,316,055; 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $4.9M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


On normally-sunny Sanibel, this week has been one with several “off & on” showers from the storm developing north of us in the Gulf. Thankfully, most have been short-lived, though some arrived quickly.

We had a doozy yesterday, where suddenly it poured on Periwinkle in front of the office, with barely a drizzle in our back parking lot. Minutes later, it was over. Photo below from the gulf beach right after one of the passing storms.

The good news is the bunnies are happy with plenty of bright green juicy vegetation to munch, the windsurfers and kite-boarders enjoyed the storm-fueled breezes, and the shops and restaurants parking lots have been packed when the usual beach-goers are looking for other things to do.

Now we are thinking of those in the north central Gulf Coast area where Tropical Storm Barry is making landfall. May it dissipate quickly.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful to report a two-closing week and recognize that sometimes “it takes a village”. The crew at Barrier Island Title and their remote notary went above and beyond in providing the services needed for today’s closing. Kudos to them, my teammates, and Realtor Kerri Maw at Pfeifer Realty for their hard work in getting another SanibelSusan listing sold. Thanks also to Evan DuPont with John Naumann & Associates for bringing the buyer for our mid-week closing, also with Barrier Island Title. Some are easy, others challenging! We are grateful for them all.

Congratulations also to teammate, Dave, for a new off-island listing today.

The activity on the islands this week posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Just one Sanibel condo and one Sanibel home went under contract, no new sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

With some Realtors® on vacation, the Association’s Caravan meeting yesterday had a few empty seats. The Caravan that followed had just one property open for viewing.

During the off-season is when the Association makes good use of the downtime and holds some of its community service events.

  • “Love That Dress” Donations – Through the month of July, the Association is serving as a drop-off point for donations for the upcoming “Love That Dress” event which is an annual shopping spree to benefit the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. If you have any new or gently-loved dresses, shoes, handbags, or accessories, please drop them off this month at the Association Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 which is the 2nd floor over Finnimore’s Cycle Shop in the Winds Shopping Center. (Or give me a call, and I’ll pick them up.) The actual “Love That Dress” event will be held August 21 at Embassy Suites – Fort Myers/Estero. Tickets go on sale August 1.
  • “Meals of Hope” Food Packing – This year will be the Association’s third Meals-of-Hope food-packing event. This time, on Friday, August 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the supplies and then pack 20,000+meals that are later distributed to local food banks. Let me know if you want to join us or make a donation (checks made out to Meals-of-Hope). The meal packing is assembly-line-style, fast and fun. Again, thanks to The Sanibel Community Church for allowing us to hold the event in their Fellowship Hall. (It’s just impossible to get the supplies and equipment needed into our Association’s 2nd floor spaces.)
  • “Captains for Clean Water” Benefit – Then the next afternoon on Saturday, August 3, the Association is hosting its 2019 Corn-Hole Tournament to benefit Captains for Clean Water. Association members and spouses from our district (Marco Island, Bonita, Fort Myers & the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel-Captiva) will come together for a few hours of comradery and fun at Marlins Brewhouse. Here’s hoping that Sanibel-Captiva players come out ahead of our standings in the district softball and bowling tournaments.

Our local MLS Committee is working hard in preparation for the conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service in mid-August. Though we tend to get comfortable with old familiar systems, this new one has many new exciting features and will be more-user friendly for both MLS members and the public. The SanibelSusan Team is all signed up for their upcoming training, while as a member of the original task force reviewing system, I get access to the beta version next week.

Pricing a Listing?

Interesting tag line on an article in the Florida Realtors® July 2019 issue. It says: “Use the “Just Below” Pricing Strategy… you’ll get on average 2% more for your home than those who price it too high or just right. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics”.

Be Nice to Grandma

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, authored the following article in the July-August issue of “REALTOR®” magazine.

“First-time buyers have not fully returned to the market. So far in 2019, they’ve accounted for only 31% of all home sales, well below the historic market share of around 40%. That’s why home sales are still running at an annualized pace of 5 million, essentially unchanged since the year 2000 even though the U.S. population has grown by 45 million and the number of households by 20 million.

“Though affordability has been hurt in recent years by fast-rising home prices, it takes a smaller share of monthly income to own these days then it did two decades ago, when 30-year mortgage rates were in the 8% range.

“There are several reasons first-time buyers are struggling to get in the market. Student debt has tripled over the past decade, starter home listings are in short supply because home-builders have focused on expensive homes; many affordably priced condos are not FHA-certified; and credit score requirements to obtain a mortgage are tighter than historic norms.

“As the National Association of REALTORS® works to ensure access to mortgage credit for all qualified Americans, individuals can position themselves for home-ownership. For example, military veterans continue to benefit from the loan guaranty program that started 75 years ago. For some in college today, a “gap year” of military service or any full-time job can reduce their student debt.

“Then there’s family, NAR research shows that a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members, and that share is likely to grow. Many of those that lived through the Great Depression, or heard their parents’ survival stories, have benefited from decades of careful wealth accumulation. The average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800. The lesson for millennials: Be nice to grandma and grandpa. They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.”

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

Some good info in the June issue of “LCEC News” (Lee County Electric Cooperative):

“A little more than 730 LCEC cusomers have installed solar power systems at their home or business. The benefit of these systems is that panels convert solar energy into electric energy. Although users rely on the electric grid during evening and less-sunny periods, they may reduce their electric bill. And the good news is that all LCEC customers are using solar power in one way or another since LCEC delivers power from FPL, the largest generator of solar energy in Florida.

“There are safety considerations that should be examined when installing solar power systems. Prior to purchasing the system, contact a licensed qualified electrician to ensure your electrical system can support the technology. Before net metering or putting power back on the grid, LCEC must be notified and an application process must be completed. This keeps electric workers and neighbors safe and ensures property credit for shared power.

“Once installed, solar power system may present unique challenges for first responders and firefighters, so it is important to notify local officials about the type of panels that have been installed. This will help to protect firefighters and minimize damage to the building if a fire occurs.”

Call Before You Dig, 811

“Did you know that homeowners are required by law to call 811 or report online to sunshine811.com two FULL days before digging in any easement, right-of-way, or permitted-use area? The information reported is used to compare the desired digging site to the location of any underground utilities in the area. The area will either be declared clear or will be appropriately marked for any underground lines. Not only does unsafe digging pose a rich to underground lines, it is extremely dangerous causing injuries and deaths around the world annually.” (also from the June “LCEC News”)

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

  • Acquisition of Wulfert Bayous – You may have seen the sign on San-Cap Road near the entrance to The Sanctuary where the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has been trying to raise $3 million in private donations to complete the $9.5 million acquisition of Wulfert Bayous, the last large parcel of unprotected and undeveloped land on Sanibel. This week, they announced that their donations goal was reached. But as they await the Lee County Commissioners’ August decision to approve $6.5 million to complete the acquisition, they are continuing to accept donations in case the 20/20 funds don’t all come through. If they do receive the full $6.5 million, extra funding will be applied to a restoration project to remove invasive vegetation from the tract and create improved habitat for wading birds. Click HERE to watch their video about the Wulfert Bayous’ preservation campaign.
  • Tues, July 16 – World Snake Day – Join the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in celebrating World Snake Day with lots of fun events at the refuge:
  • 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. – free guided Indigo Trail Walk (meet at the flagpole at Refuge entrance)
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom
  • 12 p.m. – Movie “Invasion of the Giant Pythons in Auditorium B (60 minutes)
  • 12 to 2 p.m. – Snake crafts in the Education Classroom
  • 2:30 to 3 p.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom.

The Community House Shellcrafters

On TV this week, ABC News 7 reporter Kristen Clark on Monday covered everything you need to know about Shellcrafters and the different creations they make – flowers, animals, jewelry – all from shells found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. Shellcrafters meet at The Community House every Monday year-‘round (except major holidays). Class starts at 10 a.m. with doors open to view and purchase creations until 1 p.m. All ages are welcome, though children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No reservation required.

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

I hate to admit that I have eaten out three times this week, but since our restaurants always appreciate additional business from locals in the summer, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the three restaurants that created the following meals. Thanks also to my friend, Sheila, vacationing on Captiva.

On Wednesday night, we had dinner at Malia Island Fusion Cuisine. I saw three other tables of locals too. That night, I enjoyed this dish “Diver Scallop & Shrimp Curry”.

Not wanting to miss out on a meal with Christian and Mari at Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro before they close for their summer vacation, last night my dinner there was this yummy dish called “Filet – Frites”, the onion soup gratinee first, and the creme brulee after were equally yummy. Bleu Rendez-Vous will be back open in October. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Then today after our closing, teammate Dave and I stopped for lunch at T2, bringing back lunch for teammate Elise. I’m a huge fan of their spinach salad (which is even better with blackened shrimp), but today I tried their shrimp tacos. It is another winner.

The service at all three restaurants was outstanding. It really is hard to go wrong dining anywhere on Sanibel or Captiva, but this week Malia, Bleu Rendez-Vous, and T2 all get a special thumbs up from SanibelSusan. Now I need to walk a few thousand extra steps over the weekend.

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 5-12, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Snug Harbor #312 3/2 $658K, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 $1.3M.

1 price change: Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $591.5K.

1 new sale: Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 listed at $1.49M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $379K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $649K.

9 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $519.9K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3.2 now $569K, 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $599K,  9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $649K (our listing), 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $665K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $735K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $900K, 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $924K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.474M.

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

1 new sale: 1550 Centre St 3/2 listed at $599K.

7 closed sales: 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 $485K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $530K, 1555 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $766.4K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $940K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.177M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 half-duplex $1.35M (our listing).

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $404K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9270 Kincaid Ct $138K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 $1.439M.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D 2/2 now $900K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $3.7M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.4M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you a rain-free weekend and happy days!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Let’s Continue to Celebrate the U.S.A.


It was another wonderful July 4th on sunny Sanibel. Or at least sunny most of the day. We had a big turnout at the office at 9 a.m., ready for parade viewing.

Then 12 hours later, right at 9 p.m., as scheduled, the City fireworks show over San Carlos Bay was spectacular. How they coordinated it between downpours was amazing. Thanks to all who made it such a special island holiday!

Here’s hoping yours also was a fun festive one.

Sanibel Susan Realty Associates

A holiday week sometimes means it’s a slow one for island real estate and this was no exception. Beyond the holiday festivities, there is not much local news to report, but since it is beyond the ½-year mark, it is a good time to revisit the Sanibel and Captiva real estate market. Off-island, the local news stations and papers have been reporting what the county Tax Assessor expects for annual appreciation in each city. I shake my head every July when this occurs, because what happens in the first half of the year doesn’t always reflect what will happen in the 2nd. Last year was a good example of that.

Another twist with island sales, is that more high-end closings usually occur early in the year, just a factor in their usually being two to three times more qualified buyers here all winter than during the summer.

This year sales lagged a little in getting started, but with gulf and bay waters still glistening and many clean water initiatives underway, my crystal ball says 2019 will turn out better than 2018. With the economy strong and plenty of nice inventory available, I predict good sales all summer. At SanibelSusan Realty, our June and July closings already far exceed the first five months of the year.

Below is a snapshot of the today’s Sanibel and Captiva inventory, compared to sales during the same period last year. The statistics also are shown comparing sales year-over-year. (Info from Sanibel/Captiva MLS, disclosure below applies.)

Average Sanibel sale prices lag 2018 for condos, homes, and lots. The number of Sanibel condo and home sales also are less than last year.

On Captiva, average condo and home prices are up, but the samplings are small, with fewer Captiva condos and homes sold than during the same time last year.

 

Property Type

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 107 815,088 168 1,351,489 68 647,077 44 1,026,318 37 2,890,240 3 1,929,667
Under contract 15 654,837 28 870,916 1 149,000 1 469,000 6 3,360,832 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2019 78 683,609 125 983,314 9 451,222 14 1,201,557 8 3,002,188 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2018 96 743,571 158 1,214,614 9 478,556 17 912,933 12 2,163,442 0 N/A
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
Sold 2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095 22 873,636 27 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

50th Anniversary of RPAC

As the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), their biggest supporters were recognized with a surprise to represent their commitment to promoting and protecting real estate ownership and this milestone in NAR’s history.

In Washington, DC, in May for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, their special guest speaker Phil Hansen unveiled an incredible piece of artwork that showcases all of the nation’s 2018 RPAC Major Investors – within the iconic image of the NAR building in DC overlooking the U.S. Capitol.

You too can see the image at https://realtorparty.realtor/rpac50#art. It was an honor in 2017 to be the first island Realtor® inducted to NAR’s Hall of Fame (those plagues are atop the same NAR building in DC). To then find my name on this amazing piece of art is exciting too. Either search for my name or zoom into frame “H3” and you will find it.

Commitment to RPAC equates to caring about real estate, personal property rights, and home ownership. Congratulations RPAC on your 50th anniversary.

Sanibel Bunnies

The July/August 2019 issue of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) member update includes info about island rabbits. Since last summer, their population here has increased dramatically. At Sanibel Square, I see at least two each evening when I close up and often make a game of counting how many I see driving home at night. My record count for that short drive (less than 3 miles) is 54 bunnies. At home in the evening just before sunset, at least one is munching my grass. They sure are cute! Below are some excerpts from SCCF’s article:

“The marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) is a native species in Florida and can be found throughout the state. Throughout most of their range they are considered a species of least concern for conservation purposes, but the Florida Keys subspecies, the Lower Keys rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is both state and federally endangered. Though they are from the same family as cottontails, marsh rabbits lack the signature white fluffy tail of their relatives.

“Marsh rabbits are strong swimmers and tend to walk using all four legs rather than hop like most rabbits. Their predators include alligators, owls, hawks, bobcats, and coyotes. In addition to threats from predators, flooding and hurricanes can take a toll on rabbit populations by flooding out their nesting habitat.

“Rabbits breed year-‘round in south Florida, but the peak of breeding takes place between December and June. The marsh rabbit’s preferred home is in wetland habitat, especially freshwater marshes. Over time, the landscape of Sanibel has changed significantly, leaving much less acreage of freshwater marshes and cordgrass swales. In the absence of natural fire regimes, many of these marshes have begun to fill in with hardwoods like buttonwood. Our freshwater marshes are not only important for our rabbits, but also for our only endemic animal species: the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli). Both of these small mammals are also important prey species for our native hawks and owls, who also suffer the loss of this important habitat type.

“SCCF and other agencies on the island conduct occasional prescribed burns to maintain healthy marshes and swales for the benefit of all our native wildlife. In addition to prescribed burns, SCCF mows some of these areas during the dry season and engages in mechanical removal of buttonwood.

“As our city’s vision statement says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” Our native rabbit population is currently experiencing a natural boom, which will eventually subside. Below is a list of plants for your landscaping consideration. If you have questions about landscaping to attract or to naturally deter rabbits, please stop by our Native Landscapes and Garden Center at the Bailey Homestead Preserve….”

Plants that rabbits like to eat:

  • Firebush (Hamelia patens)
  • Gaillardia/Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Dune Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Grasses-Muhley Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), Dwarf Fakahatchee (Tripsacum floridanum)
  • Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) • Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)

“Plants that rabbits don’t like to eat:

  • Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)
  • Southern River Sage (Salvia misella)
  • Bahama Cassia (Senna mexicana var. chapmanii)
  • Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
  • Coontie (Zamia pumila)
  • Quailberry (Crossopetalum ilicifolium)
  • Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
  • Several aqautics: Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica), Canna Lily (Canna flaccida), Lizard’s Tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
  • Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 28-July 5, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #12 2/2 $395K, Sundial West #I405 1/1 $435K, Sundial West #J201 1/1 $550K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 now $511K, Pine Cove #202 3/2 now $1.4M.

1 new sale: White Caps #5 1/1 listed at $499.9K.

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #F4 1/1 $315K (our listing).

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $499K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 $800K.

3 price changes: 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $725K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $750K, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $738K, 6406 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 5313 Punta Caloosa 4/3 listed at $899K.

2 closed sales: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $875K, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.085M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2486 Wulfert Rd $139K, 933 Strangler Fig Ln $495K.

2 price changes: 0 Island Inn Rd now $750K, 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.695M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5618 Baltusrol Ct $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $510K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.25M.

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.

May your holiday fun continue right through the weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping June & Looking Forward to July On Sunny Sanibel


It’s another sunny Friday on Sanibel, with island merchants, restaurants, and Realtors® all hoping for a boost in business from soon-arriving holiday vacationers and visitors. With very little rain this week until a couple of late day thunderstorms yesterday, bay and gulf waters remain clear and bright.

The weather continues to be warmer than usual for this early in the summer, with near-record temperatures almost every day. Those temperatures dropped a little after the showers last night, with more typical high-80’s expected for the next few days with occasional scattered thunderstorms. Betcha we have another one tonight.

First another royal poinciana tree photo – a great vision of red against a blue sky. They are about gone by now, but will be back in bloom next May/June.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association or Realtors® June Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the June Monthly Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Attendance was light.

Speaker was Ashley Gibbons, Member Services Manager at the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce. She explained how visitor traffic to both islands, their facility, and their website continue to increase following a tough period after last summer’s red tide. The Chamber’s renovation is complete, several staff members are new, and their social media, including Instagram, also continue to get more followers.

The real estate announcements that followed were few, with just a handful of sales and price reductions. Caravan included six new listings open for viewing.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It was a busy week for the team, with a closing, a new sale, and action items accomplished with both active listings and upcoming closings. Our detailed report of the activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below, including the local island July 4th events.

Island Holiday Happenings

Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church, complimentary all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, juice, & coffee, with donations to benefit Boy Scout Troop 1740. 

29th Annual Independence Day Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. The theme this year is “Seas the Day” with Captains for Clean Water serving as grand marshal. The parade runs east on Periwinkle and ends at Casa Ybel Road. Parade judges will be stationed in front of Winds. Parade watchers are reminded to arrive early, Periwinkle Way from Donax Street to Tarpon Bay Road will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. (and reopen about noon).

July 4th Celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center begins after the parade, until 2:30 p.m. with complimentary hot dogs & snow cones, plus water slide, bounce house, face painting & other patriotic fun for kiddos.

40th Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Road Rally which is an automobile scavenger hunt, begins at noon at The Timbers parking lot. Proceeds fund local youth benefits and scholarships. Entry forms are available at Bailey’s, Sanibel Café, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, or online at www.sancapoptimist.org. Rally is limited to 50 vehicles. Prizes are awarded for correct time and mileage, most correct answers to the quiz, best decorated vehicle, team coming from the farthest location, and team finishing last. I’ve done this several times and it ain’t easy, but it’s fun!

An Awesome 4th of July as advertised by The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., includes a backyard BBQ dinner, DG, swimming, putting course, and fireworks. Reservations required 239-472-3355.

Fireworks at dusk from the end of Bailey Road out over the bay. Best viewing on the causeway and bay side of the island.

The Future of Southwest Florida International Airport

Southwest Florida International Airport, aka RSW, is one of the newest airports in the nation, with a terminal less than 15 years old. Even so, with 9 to 10 million travelers a year passing through the airport, lines often are backed up “in season”. With more and more people moving to SW Florida, plans are in the works to stay ahead of the growth with a $200M renovation in the works.

In the local news this week, it was reported that getting through TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will be faster as part of this airport expansion with a new plan to make checkpoints more efficient. Even with RSW’s unique design of three separate security checkpoints determined by airline, there are reports of it taking more than an hour to get through security in the throes of season. Lee County Port Authority already had announced a $1.7 million plan to cut back on these wait times.  The plan creates up to two additional security lines per concourse. These changes are expected to be completed by October/November and will allow passengers to board faster.

Plans to expand RSW are more than halfway complete, with renderings including a new gate, amenities, and consolidating concourses. The most significant change planned is an 18-line centralized security checkpoint, which will be usable by 2023. According to a Wink News article published Tuesday, airport leaders are looking even farther ahead of this project with their long-range plan including space for a second runway.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Budget With Real Estate Priorities

On Tuesday, posted by FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the 2019 state budget late last week, and while he used his line-item veto power to remove some budget items, a number of items that impact real estate made it through the process.

“$682 million for environmental projects – A massive bill to help the environment includes $400 million for Everglades restoration, $100 million for springs restoration, $50 million for beach restoration projects, $25 million to combat blue-green algae and red tide, and $25 million for a septic-to-sewer cost-share program.

“$200 million-plus for affordable housing projects – Lawmakers allocated money from the state and local government housing trust funds for affordable housing programs, with more than half the money ($115 million) destined to assist Panhandle residents whose properties were devastated by Hurricane Michael.

“$15 million to continue LIDAR mapping – The Division of Emergency Management may continue spending the

$15 million currently being used for LIDAR (light detection and ranging) mapping. LIDAR is a next-generation mapping technique and has the potential to lower flood insurance rates throughout Florida.

“$500,000 to prevent unlicensed real estate activity – The Legislature allocated money from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for its ongoing effort to combat unlicensed real estate activity.”

Gov. DeSantis Announces Plan to Crack Down on Environmental Crimes

There was more good “water” news on Tuesday when, during a visit to Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new plan to crack down on Florida’s environmental crimes. During a news conference at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, he signed a bill that creates a Division of Law Enforcement within Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which allows the DEP to conduct criminal investigations into environmental crimes. Officials said the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement will be made up of sworn officers. Since taking office in January, Gov. DeSantis has made Florida’s environment a top priority.

Construction Progress at BIG ARTS

If you have attended an event or taken a class at BIG ARTS, you will appreciate how quickly their new building is progressing. The former buildings were demolished in early April, right after their annual Spring Concerts. Click on the blue link below for a 4-minute walk through the construction site with Architect Amy Nowacki.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SrTXWQXSyA

(Amy is a busy multi-talented gal, also singing for many years in the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. She also is the architect for the renovations underway at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, scheduled to reopen mid-July.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 21-28, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings

4 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $375K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $593K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-1 2/2.5 now $773.9K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $895K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $235K; Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed at $499K; Surfside12 #A3 3/2 listed at $749,999; White Pelican #133 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 $347.5K (our buyer), Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 $987.5K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $899K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $919K.

11 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $379K, 1550 Centre Ct 3/2 now $599K, 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 now $649.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $674K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $719K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $754K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr, #1F 3/3 half-duplex now $779K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 now $785K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 now $799.9K, 0 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $969.5K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $995K.

5 new sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 listed at $684.9K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 listed at $785K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 listed at $995K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 listed at $1.495M (our listing).

6 closed sales: 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $462.5K, 1427 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $460K, 458 Cas Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $655K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $754K, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1.09M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 $1.8822M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 now $519.9K.

1 new sale: with contingencies: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 listed at $469K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $387.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 $1.65M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.095M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 listed at $6,999,990.

1 closed sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 $5.65M.

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.

Best wishes for a fun safe 4th of July holiday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Longest Day of 2019 on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It may be the longest day of the year, with plenty of sunshine on Sanibel today, but the island sure has thinned out. Looks like the last of the snowbirds have headed off to other summer locations. Too bad. The water is looking fantastic as evidenced by the below photos taken yesterday afternoon near the end of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay. The water was so pretty I couldn’t decide which photo to post.

Island weather this week has included partly cloudy days with on and off showers. It sure didn’t take long for the dry island vegetation to perk up. Before long, it will be “mow your lawn twice a week time”. But, before that happens, the forecasters say we are in for a hot dry weekend. Florida summer weather = continually changing.

Lee County Mosquito Control already is back to work, tracking when it rains, and keeping us skeeter-free, while the island is gearing up for the July 4th holiday with plenty annual celebratory events in the works. More details on the parade, scavenger hunt, and fireworks next week.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

This was an off week for the islands’ Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting. Instead teammate Dave accompanied a home inspection, while teammate Elise got her report ready with the Multiple Listing Service action since last Friday. Dave held several Open Houses again this week too. Attendance at those has slacked off, as have sales. There was just one new sale on Sanibel this week, none on Captiva.

The “Island Sun” gave me some good press with the following article on page 28 of today’s paper.

“Broker Makes Commitment to Excellence

“Susan Andrews, RSPS, SCIS, TRC, Eco-Broker, and Broker/Owner of SanibelSusan Realty Associates, Sanibel, FL, has earned the Commitment to Excellence from the National Association of Realtors®. This endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice.

  1. Client service
  2. Professional reputation
  3. Real estate law
  4. Realtor® Code of Ethics
  5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)
  6. Advocacy of real property ownership
  7. Trust and integrity
  8. Use of technology
  9. Data privacy
  10. Areas of practice

“Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

“The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables real estate professionals to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. As a broker-owner, in addition to demonstrating competency in all 10 areas, Susan Andrews was required to show a commitment to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent customer service consistent with these standards.

““Earning the Commitment to Excellence endorsement is a true accomplishment and an affirmation to consumers that you stand for ethics and professionalism in your work,” says 2019 NAR President John Smaby. “Advances in technology and online user experience are making our business more and more seamless, and that’s fantastic,” Smaby says, “But with new technology can come vulnerabilities. A C2EX endorsement offers consumers the ease of mind that they have a skilled adviser, committed to conducting business at the highest standards, helping them through what may be the largest purchase or sale in their life.”

“The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

“This is Susan’s 30th year as a Realtor®, first in Virginia and on Sanibel for 27 years. At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, she has served as their President and received recognition as their Realtor of the Year, “Top Gun”, Community Service Award, and she is a 26-year member of their Honor Society. At the state level, as a member of their leadership team since 1998, she also is a 20-year member of the Florida Realtors® Honor Society. At the national level, Susan is the first island Realtor® inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame. Now, she also is first to earn the C2EX Endorsement.”

Shell Market (Bourse) This Weekend

This weekend during the Conchologists of America 48th Annual Convention at South Seas Plantation, is an event known as the largest shell market, “The Bourse”. With free admission and parking, it will feature about 30 vendors selling marine-related items and shells from all over the world. The word “bourse” dates back to the 1500’s in France and means “an exchange”. The Bourse will be open from Saturday June 22 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday June 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Seas Island Resort Convention Center, next to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, on Captiva. Several island Shell Club pals are volunteering at the event.

Sanibel’s Five-Star Library

Did you know that in 2018, Sanibel Public Library was given the five-star designation? One of just 257 libraries in the nation, Sanibel Library is the only Five-Star in Florida, and one of only three in Florida who have earned Star designation. This is an objective ranking bases on overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance and public internet computer use. With more than 140,000 visits per year and usage rates that consistently rank it at or near the top of all libraries in the state of Florida, locals and visitors alike treasure the Library as a vital community asset.

Library Hours in the summer are:

  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays & Thursdays
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Fridays
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here are some fun summer events and programs for children and youth:

These are all on Tuesdays in June & July at 3 p.m.

  • June 25 – Showtime for Kids – All family & kid show with comedy, magic audience participation, & balloon sculpting.
  • July 2 – Tampa Bay Bats – Educational presentation & chance to see live bats.
  • July 9 – Stories & Slime – Stories & slime-making (for school-aged children)
  • July 16 – Sculpture Craft with the Kellys – Styrofoam sculpture crafting (for elementary school-aged children)
  • July 23 – World of Reptiles with John Storms – With real reptiles, big & small.

Movie Matinee Mondays at 1 p.m. – June 24, July 1, 8, 15, & 22.

Wednesday Family Storytime at 11 a.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Wednesday VIP After-Hours for Teens at 6 p.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Why Aren’t Boomers Downsizing Their Homes?

This article was posted on-line Monday at FloridaRealtors®:

“NEWARK, N.J. – June 17, 2019 – It’s always been a sort of final chapter of the American dream: Get married and have kids. Buy a house. Move to a bigger house. Downsize to a smaller one. But a growing number of aging baby boomers are saying, “No, thanks” to downsizing, choosing instead to remain in the same sprawling houses in which they raised kids and created lifelong memories. “We’re just not seeing that much downsizing,” says Alexandra Lee, a housing data analyst at Trulia, a real estate research firm.

“While many older Americans are still stepping down to smaller homes, they’re doing so later in life. The trend is contributing to a housing supply shortage across much of the country. A more modest home typically means less upkeep and a potential financial windfall as a big chunk of the proceeds from the sale of the larger property can help bolster retirement nest eggs. Boomers, however, are defying the traditional bounds of advancing age just as they rebelled against the establishment in the 1960s and work- and family-centered values in the 1970s in favor of self-fulfillment. “They have refused to follow what the traditional expectations were,” says Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“There are other forces at work. Boomers, generally those age 54 to 73, are working longer and putting off retirement. Many of their millennial children are living with them well into adulthood. And there’s a dire shortage of less expensive, entry-level houses across the country, pushing up prices in that category and making the trade-off less appealing.

“Fifty-two percent of boomers say they’ll never move from their current home, according to a Chase bank survey of 753 boomer homeowners released earlier this year. Chase doesn’t have comparable data from an earlier period. An Ipsos/USA TODAY poll of 45- to 65-year-olds in 2017 found 43% anticipated remaining in their current residence through their retirement, possibly indicating the share of non-downsizers is rising.

“Many boomers are staying in their longtime homes and communities because they’re deferring retirement. About 20% of Americans 65 and older are working or looking for jobs, up from 12.1% in 1996, Labor Department figures show. Older people are staying in the workforce because they’re healthier and will need bigger nest eggs to finance longer retirements, according to Jennifer Schramm, senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public policy Institute. Also, many older workers’ retirement savings were hammered a decade ago, she says….

“The tendency to age in place is also rooted in boomers’ better health and desire to stay active.”Baby boomers don’t want to become old in a way that has negative connotations,” Risman says. “Remaining in one’s old house is part of remaining in the prime of one’s life longer.”

“Even when they retire, boomers are staying engaged through volunteer work and other activities, says Phyllis Moen, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota. “They are in the space opening up for the first time in history between the career-and family-building years and the frailties associated with old age,” Moen says. Boomers’ penchant to stay in their long-time homes is likely playing a role in low housing supplies, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. The crunch has improved since last year, but housing stocks are still well below normal levels.

“To be sure, many aging Americans are moving to traditional retirement havens like Florida and Arizona. But even among those who plan to move, 43% want their next home to be the same size as their current one, and 22% want it to be larger, according to a January survey of 50- and 60-year-olds by Del Webb, which builds communities for age 55-plus Americans.

“Trulia analysts believe older Americans are simply deferring downsizing. Both in 2005 and 2016, 5.5% of households 65 and over moved, with that share evenly split between those moving to single-family and multifamily homes, according to a Trulia analysis of Census Bureau data. But in 2016, the youngest age at which seniors moving to multifamily homes began to outnumber those moving to single-family houses was older (late 70s) than it was in 2005 (early 70s)….

Other reasons many boomers are staying where they are:

  • Millennial kids in the house – Millennials have lived with their boomer parents longer than prior generations as those graduating college between 2008 and 2010, in particular, struggled to launch their careers. In 2016, 16.1% of senior households had younger generations living with them, up from 14.4% in 2005, according to Trulia and Census figures.
  • Starter home crunch – The housing supply shortage is especially curtailing the inventory of the kind of smaller, less expensive homes that boomers may target, Hale says. That makes it harder to find a compact house and pushes up its price, reducing the net profits of any downsizing. From 2012 to February 2019, the bottom third of homes with the lowest prices appreciated an average 8.03% a year, versus 6.39% for mid-level homes and 5.01% for the most expensive units, according to a Trulia analysis.
  • Many upgrading, not selling – Many boomers put off renovations during and after the housing crash because they couldn’t take out home equity loans as prices plunged, says Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing officer for Chase Home Lending. Now that home prices have more than recovered from a skid in prices, the Chase survey showed nearly nine in 10 boomers are looking to make improvements. As a result, many boomers are focused on upgrades rather than downsizing.
  • Many boomers have finally paid off their mortgages and don’t want to start making house payments again.”

Copyright © 2019 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

Don’t Feed Algae

Did you know Sanibel fertilizer ordinances to protect waterways, they include a blackout period from July 1 to September 30. During that time:

  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus CANNOT be applied.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied within 25’ of a body of water.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to storm-water conveyance systems.

Lenders Must Accept Private Flood Insurance Policies After July 1

Posted on-line Tuesday on FloridaRealtors®:

“WASHINGTON – June 18, 2019 – The threat to home closings during a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) shutdown may be muted or nonexistent should Congress fail to extend the program in the future. After July 1, a federal law forces mortgage lenders to accept private coverage if it satisfies criteria outlined in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“In February, five federal regulatory agencies – the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, National Credit Union Administration and Farm Credit Administration – issued a joint final rule to implement provisions of the Act, which outlines the new private flood insurance mandate and the steps insurance companies and mortgage lenders must follow.

“The rule, which takes effect July 1, 2019:

  • Implements the Biggert-Waters Act requirement that regulated lending institutions accept private flood insurance policies that satisfy criteria specified in the Act
  • Allows institutions to rely on an insurer’s written assurances in a private flood insurance policy stating the criteria are met
  • Clarifies that institutions may, under certain conditions, accept private flood insurance policies that do not meet the Biggert-Waters Act criteria
  • Allows institutions to accept certain flood coverage plans provided by mutual aid societies, subject to agency approval

“Private flood insurance could be offered as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement attached to a full property insurance policy. Lenders won’t have to verify that a flood policy or endorsement is acceptable, providing it includes the following endorsement: “This policy meets the definition of private flood insurance contained in 42 U.S.C. 4012a(b)(7) and the corresponding regulation.”

“However, the law also allows a lender to do its own due diligence if it prefers not to rely on the statement.

A full copy of the 90-page order is posted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 14-21, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $699,999.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $249K, Sundial #G405 1/1 $375K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.59M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

7 price changes: 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 now $639K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $824K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $839.5K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $875K, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M, 1730 Jewel Box Dr 4/3 now $1.499M, 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 listed at $569,555.

5 closed sales: 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 $620K, 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $630K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $845K, 434 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $850K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $980K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1048 Fish Crow Rd $414.9K.

1 price change: 0 Bunting Ln now $219,555.

No new sales closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 now $320K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.385M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M, 16596 Captiva Dr 6/8.5 now $6.499M.

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’s hoping that you enjoy your longest day of 2019 & say cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan