Another Sunny Sanibel Friday With Temps in Mid-70’s


210.JPGIt seems that SanibelSusan’s Friday island updates often begin with weather and traffic reports. Why should this week be any different? So, I’ve had my heat on at home at night for almost a week now and we often have kicked it on at the office first thing in the morning to take the chill off. Temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s are hardly a chill, particularly when looking at the national weather forecast and the snow expected to hit New England and the Midwest this weekend. We hope that those affected stay warm and safe.

scotch bonnet shell 01-15-19Usually those winter snowstorms affect Florida weather in some way, sometimes resulting in good shelling. Those doing the Sanibel Stoop continued to find special shells this week. Here’s a jumbo Scotch Bonnet collected on January 15th.

Here, the forecast for next week shows day-time temperatures in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. With a low in the 40’s expected Sunday night (that could be our lowest of the year so far).

Island roadway traffic and business are still off compared to previous January’s. Today, traffic past the office is a little heavier with an Arts & Crafts Fair going on at The Community House. It’s going on there tomorrow too. Real estate business usually picks up in February, with the islands are at their busiest.

At the local Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday only a couple of sales were announced, but there were plenty of new listings and price reductions. A full caravan followed including our new listing at Lighthouse Point which got good feedback by both Realtors® and neighbors/island visitors. It’s great value, priced to sell quickly if you are interested in a beach-front 3-bedroom on the bay. (photos below)

The details on all of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service action since last Friday follow a few news items below.

Tonight is the Association’s annual Installation & Awards Banquet at The Sanctuary.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Year Business Meetings

header_midwinter_2.jpgNext week are the Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando where state leaders kick off the year. With that trip in mind, I’ve been watching Orlando forecasts too. Their forecast shows their daytime temperatures expected to be higher than here (80 degrees Saturday and 78 degrees Wed). But their nights are regularly into the 40’s.

Teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa will be covering on-island while I’m away. The meeting schedule is consolidated this year, so I’ll be back on island Saturday. Wednesday, I again am sitting on the Audition Panel for Florida Realtors® instructors. We have a record number of 48 auditions scheduled during our all-day session. Thursday morning the Legislative Think Tank meets, as well as the Resort & 2nd Home Forum (where water quality and short-term rentals are on the agenda). Thursday afternoon, I have a Curriculum Subcommittee meeting in preparation for Friday’s Professional Development Committee meeting. With multiple meetings and events happening simultaneously, it’s always a productive invigorating time including great networking. Hard to believe this will be my 21st year serving. Today’s technology sure makes participating and doing business from afar easier now.

Florida Brokers Use New Tax Law as a Marketing Tool

bloomberg logoFrom Monday’s Florida Realtors® on-line:

“MIAMI – Jan. 14, 2019 – Florida real estate professionals are pitching the state’s tax benefits in places like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – states where homeowners were hit the hardest by a sweeping tax law that capped deductions on state and local taxes since they have some of the highest income and property taxes. “What we’ve done is kind of double down on the Northeast because of the tax incentives,” says Daniel de la Vega, president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami.

“Under the tax law, deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes, are limited to $10,000. According to Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Florida operations, “If you’re looking at an ultra-high net worth individual or a very high-income employee, if they can make the move, there are real benefits.”

“The efforts appear to be gaining traction, with Redfin reporting an average 5% gain in sales prices for Florida luxury homes on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter. Moreover, Florida luxury home prices have outperformed the national average for four consecutive quarters. Over the same year-over-year period, luxury home sales in Florida edged up 6%, but declined 0.7% nationally.

“Cristobal Young, a Cornell University sociologist and author of “The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters to the Rich,” says that if you strip Florida out of the national data, evidence of rich people moving from high- to low-tax states essentially disappears.”

Source: Bloomberg (01/11/19) Levin, Jonathan

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

2018 Was 3rd Year For Above-Average Catastrophes

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors posted the below article on-line yesterday:

“CoreLogic’s annual Natural Hazard Report, which addresses the recent wildfires in California and severe rainfall- and hurricane-induced flooding throughout the nation, as the leading catastrophes in 2018.core logic logo

“Much like 2017, last year was an above-average year for hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and severe winds, the report concludes. It’s the 3rd year in a row for increased damage from disasters, which property insurance companies consider when requesting rate increases.

“The annual report analyzes hazard activity in the U.S. including events for Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes, flooding, wind, wildfire, earthquake and volcano, hail and tornado, as well as several international events including typhoons and cyclones in Japan, Oman, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“”In 2018, the U.S. continued to experience damaging weather and natural catastrophes in high exposure areas, and in some instances, in regions that had been impacted in less than a year prior,” says Howard Botts, chief scientist, CoreLogic. “Hazards will always pose a real threat to homes and businesses and knowing exactly what that risk entails is critical to helping ensure sufficient protection from the financial catastrophes that so often follow natural disasters.”

“Report highlights

Flooding

In 2018, there were over 1,600 significant flood events that occurred in the U.S., 59% of which were flash flood-related.

“Residential and commercial flood damage in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia from Hurricane Florence is estimated at $19 billion to $28.5 billion, of which roughly 85% of residential flood losses were uninsured.

“Multiple states, including Texas, North and South Carolina, Maryland and Wisconsin, experienced 1,000-year floods; several 2018 floods occurred less than two years after an earlier problem, even though they’re considered 1,000-year flood events.

“Six percent of properties nationwide are within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), and approximately one-third of those have flood insurance policies.

Atlantic hurricanes

“The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season saw 15 named storms, eight of which were hurricanes. Two of these, Hurricanes Florence (Category 1) and Michael (Category 4), made landfall along the U.S., making 2018 the third back-to-back season of above-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

“Approximately 700,000 residential and commercial properties experienced catastrophic flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Florence, which is estimated to have caused between $20 to $30 billion in insured and uninsured loss.

“Michael is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1900 and the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It’s estimated to have caused $2.5 to $4 billion in residential and commercial insured loss from wind and storm surge.

Wildfire

“The number of acres burned in 2018 is the eighth highest in U.S. history as reported through Nov. 30, 2018.

A total of 11 western states had at least one wildfire that exceeded 50,000 burned acres; the leading states were California and Oregon, each with seven fires that burned more than 50,000 acres.

“The November 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California destroyed nearly the entire city of Paradise and brought damage or destruction to 18,804 structures.

“The Woolsey wildfire in the coastal community of Malibu destroyed more than 1,600 structures.

CoreLogic estimates that the combined total insured and uninsured loss for these two wildfires is between $15 billion and $19 billion.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 11-18, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Donax Village #10 1/1.5 $379K, Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 $689K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $785K, Tarpon Beach #112 2/2 $1.149M, Atrium #207 2/2 $1.55M.

5 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $235K, Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 now $309K, Sundial #H108 1/1 now $459K, Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $699K, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.49M.

1 new sale: Bayview Village #2A 3/3 listed at $749K.

1 closed sale: Compass Point #232 2/2 $585K (our buyer).

compass point from beach

Compass Point from the beach

HOMES

5 new listings: 4755 Ruelle 3/3 $785K; 2441 Los Colony Rd 4/2.5 $898,997; 3351 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $1.25M; 5407 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.595M; 4143 West Gulf Dr 4/3.5 $6.795M.

14 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $499K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 now $630K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $699K, 721 Cardium St 3/2 now $745K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $748.9K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $799K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 now $829K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $895K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 now $959K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $989K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.495M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.499M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.789M.

7 new sales: 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $597K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 listed at $679K, 678 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 listed at $874.9K, 1127 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 listed at $925K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 listed at $999K, 1230 Ferry Rd 3/4 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 5847 Pine Ave now $349,555; 0 Island Inn Rd now $849,555; 4767 Tradewinds Dr now $1.595M.

1 new sale: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd listed at $189.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2112 1/1 $517.9K.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1,799,999.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 listed at $635K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $389K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $2.395M, 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $4.15M, 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4.5M.

3 price changes: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.849M, 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.395M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.6M.

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.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Sunny Friday on Sanibel Island


Susan here with another Sanibel/Captiva update following our 1st full week in the office in 2019. With holiday families and visitors gone, it has been pretty quiet. Though there have been a couple of chilly windy mornings (yesterday and today), the weather has been mostly sunny to the delight of those here enjoying nature, beaches, waterways, and bike paths. On my way back to the office this afternoon, I snapped the below cellphone photos at the Fulgur Street beach access. It was a bright 71 degrees F, so clear I could see all the way to Naples along the eastern skyline. (By the way, I am wearing a jacket with sweater (& flip flops) but viewed some bikini-clad shellers on the beach.)

img_7362img_7363img_7364img_7365img_7367

The word on the street is that vacation rental bookings are off with some usually-faithful annual visitors choosing other winter destinations this year as a result of the broad summer/fall news about our water woes.

With today’s technology and recent worries about water conditions, business, and travel, I click on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s red tide status updates as often as I click on the Sanibel travel cams to see the easiest route home. Yesterday when some Realtor® pals in Sarasota indicated a rise in the red-tide organism there, I quickly checked again. Though a new report will be issued later today, below is their mid-week (January 9, 2019) report:

“Current Conditions – The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. This past week, K. brevis was present in samples from and/or offshore of Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Monroe counties, with bloom concentrations observed only in and offshore of Sarasota County. Additional details are provided below.

“Over the past week in Southwest Florida, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County, very low to low concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, background to low concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and low concentrations offshore of Monroe County.

“Fish Kills – No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported this week (please see https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline).

“Respiratory Irritation – Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“Forecast – Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict southwestern transport of surface waters and southeastern movement of subsurface waters over the next four days.”

Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate

Sanibel realtors logoThe Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday at the local Association of Realtors® had the heaviest attendance in recent memory with the room full of Realtors® and Affiliates ready for a busy “season”. Plenty of new listings and price reductions were announced, but not many sales.

Knowing we are all worried about how the water issues will impact business this year, below is a summary of the closed sales posted in the local Multiple Listing Service last year and the year before compared to this year for the 3-month period Oct 11 through Jan 11. Current inventory numbers were added to illustrate number of units on the market.

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Total Condos Homes Lots Total
For Sale 109 228 63 400 42 39 3 126
2018/2019 18 31 2 51 2 7 0 9
2017/2018 36 34 6 76 6 3 0 9
2016/2017 29 35 10 74 7 5 0 12

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some good news articles below. Yes, there is good news.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Major Water Policy Reform

desantis logoThe good news is that though it has only been days since his inauguration, Florida’s new governor already is acting on water quality. The below news release and Executive Order were posted on-line yesterday by Governor DeSantis’s office:

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. “Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The protection of water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. That’s why today I’m taking immediate action to combat the threats which have devastated our local economies and threatened the health of our communities.”

“The order calls for:

  • $2.5 Billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources (a $1 Billion increase in spending over the previous four years and the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history).
  • The Establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.
  • Instruction to the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.
  • The Creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.
  • The Appointment of a Chief Science Officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians.”

Florida Governor Asks SWFL Water Management District Board Members to Resign

miami herald logoPosted on-line late-day yesterday by the “Miami Herald”.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, two days into office, discusses executive orders he signed to address the red tide issues impacting the state.

“After a whirlwind day visiting both coasts to announce sweeping measures to address the state’s environmental woes, Florida’s new governor demanded water managers overseeing efforts to fix the Everglades step down on Thursday.

“At an afternoon meeting in Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wanted the nine-member board at the South Florida Water Management District to resign because he believed they failed to understand the toll endured by communities by repeated algae blooms triggered by dirty lake water released into coastal rivers. “I just want good people who are willing to do the right thing,” he said.

“Board members infuriated the new governor in November when they voted to extend a lease to sugar farmers two days after the election. News of the pending vote was posted the night before a district field meeting in Miami, with less than 12-hours notice. U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, who headed up DeSantis’ environmental transition team, raced down to the meeting and urged board members to put off the vote to give the new governor time to review the matter. But they refused.

“ “Brian calls me at 8:30 at night and said there’s this meeting in the morning about this lease that might impact the reservoir,” DeSantis recalled Thursday. “I don’t know why it was handled that way. I think it really upset a lot of people.”

“At the time, chairman Federico Fernandez, a Miami attorney, said the board was obliged to extend the lease by the state law authorizing the reservoir. The law, passed under former Gov. Rick Scott, which also dramatically reduced the reservoir from 60,000 acres to 17,000 acres, said sugar farmer should be allowed to continue farming until it interfered with construction. The lease, which could be canceled after 20 months when the district expected design plans to be completed, allowed district crews on the site to begin prep work.

“On Jan. 7, the district began relocating about 800,000 cubic yards of rock to be used to construct the reservoir.

The district is also awaiting news from its partner on the project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about design plans. In June, the Corps issued an 86-page review raising questions and saying it needed more information before agreeing to split the $1.8 billion cost.

“Fernandez had said he did not believe the governor could remove board members before their terms expired. He declined to comment Thursday. He was scheduled to be part of a panel on restoration efforts at the annual Everglades Coalition conference this weekend in the Keys but will be replaced by a district staff member.

Board member Melanie Peterson along with district general counsel and chief of staff Brian Accardo sent letters to Scott earlier this month saying they were resigning. The nine-member board has staggered appointments. Terms for three, including Miami-Dade tomato farmer Sam Accursio, end in March.

“On Thursday, DeSantis sent letters asking for the board members’ resignations after Mast recommended it.

“We want to make sure we have everybody in the boat rowing the same way,” he said.

“In his letter, DeSantis thanked board members but said “voters spoke clearly in support of our bold vision for action.”

“DeSantis said he also plans on holding back many last-minute appointments to state positions made by Scott, a move viewed as an insult to the incoming governor.

““For all the midnight appointments that require Senate confirmation, I’m going to be pulling them back,” he said. “Some of the people in that batch are people I know and respect and you may see me reappoint them … but we’re going to be pulling them all back.”

“Scott said Thursday in Washington that he did not take the move personally. “Every governor has the opportunity to make their own decisions. I’m proud of what we got accomplished. I’m glad that Gov. DeSantis cares about water issues. He’s walking into a totally different situation than I was” when Florida was in the midst of recession. “Governors have the right to make appointments. That’s what they ought to do,” he said. “They ought to find who they believe are the best people.””

(Tampa Bay Times staff writer Steve Contorno contributed to this report.)

You Can Sell an Inherited Property in Probate – But Do It Right

Sun sentinelIn real estate sales, we often run into situations where a family heir wants to sell a property. Good info about this was posted on-line Monday on Florida Realtors®. The author is Gary M. Singer, the article came from the “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Mr. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Here’s the question posed and his answer.

“Question: I inherited two lots in Florida from my mother who recently died. Her estate was probated in South Carolina, and she left everything to me. The Florida tax bills still show the property is in her estate. How do I transfer the lots to my name? – Barbara

“Answer: To answer your question I need to review the concept of jurisdiction. A court’s jurisdiction refers to its power to make and enforce legal decisions and judgments. For a court’s decision to be binding, it must have jurisdiction over either the person who is being affected, known as “in personam,” or over the property being ruled on, known as “in rem.”

“The South Carolina probate court had jurisdiction over your mother’s estate because she had her primary residence there. It could probate her assets, such as bank accounts, jewelry, and even her South Carolina home to you because it had the jurisdiction to do so.

“However, only the court in the state where real estate is located has power over that property. This means that the South Carolina court could not do anything with the Florida lots because it lacked “in rem” jurisdiction.

You will need to open a secondary probate, called “ancillary probate,” in the county where the lots are located.

“This probate will deal only with the Florida lots and will be much easier and less expensive than the full probate administration you already had to do.

To ensure that you do not create the same issue for your heirs, you should look into estate planning methods such as titling the property in a life estate or by forming a living trust to avoid the need to probate any out-of-state properties.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity Jan 4-11, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

8 new listings: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $237.5K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $699K (our listing) (photo below from master bedroom), Sand Pointe #132 2/2 $724.9K, Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $749K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 $797K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.395M.

Master View.jpg

6 price changes: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 now $319K, Sundial #H209 1/1 now $535K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $668K, Pointe Santo D32 2/2 now $739K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $749K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 listed at $799K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 listed at $1.449M.

1 closed sale: Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $787K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $699.9K, 1212 Sand Caste Rd 3/2 $749K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2/2 $799K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 $895K, 955 S.Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $895K, 1230 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $1.095M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 $1.15M, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.395M.

11 price changes: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $565K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $597K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $699K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $699K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $795K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 now $799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $999K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.05M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.169M, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 now $1.299M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.432M.

4 new sales: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $550K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $789K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.394M.

3 closed sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $840K, 542 N.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $920K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd now $189.9K, 6411 Pine Ave now $358K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct now $550K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.495M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5303 3/3 $649K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.795M.

4 price changes: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $949K, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.125M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.8M, 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $4.9M.

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, enjoy your weekend.

Wishing you wonderful sunny weather, too!

From sunrises to sunsets!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

sanibel-island-sunset

 

1st Weekend of 2019… Sanibel Shelling Still Amazing


As the new year begins, island roadways and bike paths continue to be busy – a noticeable increase from before Christmas with plenty of holiday visitors here enjoying the warm temperatures and sunshine. Temperatures got up into the mid 80’s on Wednesday, but that is expected to change a little when a mini-cool front arrives tomorrow dropping nighttime temps into the 50’s. After that, sunny but low-70-degree days may be the norm for the foreseeable future.

If you follow Sanibel Shell Seekers on Facebook, you likely have seen that the number and sizes of the shells found since the storms pre-Christmas are phenomenal. Here are a couple of their pix posted there: lightening whelks by Michael Gillmore and sharks eyes by Marci Canty. Aren’t the colors amazing!

michael gillmore sanibel shell seekersmarci canty sanibel shell seekers

Those here, please remember, that “in season”, it’s smart to plan travel around the heavier traffic coming on-island in the morning and off-island late afternoon.

Also, in typical winter fashion, as soon as condo listings are occupied, we get showing requests. It’s always challenging to sell properties that are in rental programs where the property managers do not allow showings during guest stays. That’s when encouraging Realtors® to walk the complex, point out the location/view, and professional photography/colored fliers become more important. Serious buyers understand. This week, we were fortunate when a cooperative owner guest allowed several showings. At another property, where a long-term guest had just arrived, we weren’t as lucky.

Wondering if the islands have any sales action here during the short New Year’s week? The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday is after a few news items below.

Annual Meetings, Fee Changes, & More

Sanibel realtors logoMany Southwest Florida condominium and homeowner associations hold their annual meetings in the winter when more owners are in town. We work hard to keep info about our listings up-to-date. Local Realtors® and our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® are smart about sharing any new info about planned projects, changes in fees or special assessments, or even talk about upcoming maintenance events.

At yesterday morning’s Realtor® Caravan Meeting, a colleague announced that the City has approved Sandy Bend condominium putting in a swimming pool. Sharing info like this is an important part of making sure that everyone involved in a transaction knows what is happening at the property.

2019 Economic Outlook: Mostly Strong

gulfshore business logoFrom December 2018 issue of “Gulfshore Business” magazine:

“Local experts forecast how our key business sectors will fare next year.

“Southwest Florida has been bombarded with a lot of unwanted “color” in 2018 – red tide, blue-green algae, citrus greening. The question for 2019: Will our economy be in the red or in the black?

“”Gulfshore Business” gathered data from economists and industry experts who forecast the health of our local markets for real estate, tourism, agriculture, finance and health care for the new year.

“It looks to shape up like another good year for Florida,” says Jerry Parrish, chief economist and director of research at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Over the past five years, Florida produced one out of 11 new jobs in the U.S.”

“Parrish says the probability of a recession over the next nine months, barring a “black swan” unexpected event, is very low. “People are moving here, taking jobs, building homes, buying because there’s opportunity,” he says. “I see that continuing for next year. Even if the economy softens a little bit, Florida’s still going to be strong.”

“The Southwest Florida region tends to overheat during boom periods and overcorrect during busts, says Chris Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute and professor of economics at the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

“Gross domestic product data show the region’s economic activity bounced back from the 2008 recession in 2014 and remained strong until 2017 (the most recent numbers available). “Then it began to slow down considerably,” Westley says, noting overall GDP for Collier County in 2017 was 1.2%, the first time it dipped below 3% in five years. Lee County was at 1.5%.

“Westley blames the decline on the slow growth of construction. “A lot of that is explained by Hurricane Irma. A lot of construction projects were put on hold,” he says. But construction employment rebounded in September 2018, increasing year over year in Collier County by 27.5% and in Lee County by 20%.

“”As long as the expansion continues, we can expect our region to exceed the state, and the state to exceed the country,” he says. However, Westley says many economists – who weren’t prepared for 2008 – believe a correction will happen in 2020. “If the economy continues to expand through next summer, we will be in the longest expansion in U.S. history. But, it’s been a pretty weak expansion. It’s possible that weak expansions last long. It’s possible we could fall into a recession next year or in 2021. It’s going to turn on a dime.”

“Real Estate and Development

ls-logo“Randy Thibaut, CEO of Land Solutions in Fort Myers, says we are not in a depression or in a recession. “We think we’re in a market correction and expect that to continue into 2020,” he says.

“He says factors that led to the market crash in 2008 are not happening today, such as runaway speculation and financing, and overbuilding of single-family homes. Although, he says, the potential does exist for overbuilding of assisted living and apartment construction.

“Thibaut says the combination of rising interest rates, prices becoming too expensive for most homebuyers, tariffs increasing the cost of building new homes, and increasing government fees all equate to a softening of the market.

“Interest rates are expected to rise to 5.8 or 6% by 2020. “In and of itself, 6 to 8% interest rates are not a scary thing,” he says. However, for every 1% the interest rate goes up, buyers average $20,000 less in borrowing power. That makes it more difficult for 1st time homebuyers to find affordable homes, with prices already higher in response to increases in labor, materials, concrete and land over the past five years. Now, he says, tack on an expected extra $9,000 per new home because of new tariffs on imported materials.

“Westley says many homebuyers in Southwest Florida have been saving up equity for 30 years and don’t need to take out a mortgage. Parrish says most international buyers are cash buyers as well. “They’re less sensitive to the interest rate, but sensitive to the U.S. dollar,” he says. “As they raise interest rates, the U.S. dollar will get stronger, too.”

“Thibaut says over the next several years, a great deal of building materials and labor will be redirected to northern Florida to assist with rebuilding after this year’s Hurricane Michael. “We’re mostly recovered from Hurricane Irma, but there are still signs of people waiting for roofs to be replaced,” he says. “It’s definitely added greatly to our labor shortage and cost of materials.”

“Despite all of that, Thibaut sees a stable market. “We have a tone of new millennial buyers and a stable stream of baby boomers continuing to make purchases in Southwest Florida,” he says. “They’re just a little more value-conscious than they were before.”

“Parrish says a greater number of people from high-tax states in the Northeast are moving to Florida, and even more are inquiring about housing and business relocation. He says rising interest rates are spurring some buyers to speed up their purchases, not delay them. “People with the means are moving to Florida,” he says. “We are going to see a big population bump.”

Tourism and Hospitality

sancap-logo-ylw-200px-1“John Lai, president and CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, says 2018 started off with record growth, but there was no playbook to prepare the region for the impact of red tide and blue-green algae.

“He says it led to a disastrous third quarter that was expected to rebound in the fourth quarter. “We were dealt an ecological disaster we weren’t expecting,” Lai says.

“Lee County bed tax collections were down 16.4% in August 2018 over last year. “That equates to $5.66 million,” Lai says. “Collier and Pinellas were both up. (Visitors) checked out and went to one of our competing drive markets.”

Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Islands, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, says red tide exposure in Collier County was limited to the northern beaches. “Most water-related tour companies felt declines in business, but not necessarily the hotels,” he says.

“Wert says 2018’s water quality issue is causing them to take a conservative outlook for 2019, expecting a 2% increase in visits. “We need to reassure people it’s OK to come,” he says.

“Group meeting reservations for the first three months of 2019 are already on pace in Collier County. “It’s a positive outlook,” Wert says. “Meeting planners are booking business, and we’re anticipating the leisure market will still be strong.”

Lai says the first quarter of 2019 in Lee County is expected to meet or exceed early 2018’s pace as well. He is hopeful that 2019’s weather will be helpful because of El Nino, which is expected to bring much wetter and colder weather to the Northeast. “We are seeing that travelers are very forgiving, and memories of disasters both manmade and ecological are staring to shorten,” he says. “We’re optimistic that 2019 will be the year that 2018 was shaping up to be.”

“The focus on Southwest Florida tourism isn’t just on the beaches. Wert says about eight hotels are in various stages of planning for inland Collier County, with two expected to open in 2019 in East Naples near the new Collier County Sports Complex. That facility will open its first phase in December 2019 for amateur sports tournaments. “Sports tourism will continue to grow,” Wert says. “That is driving some of that hotel development.”

“Lai echoes that sentiment, noting three new inland hotels will be opening in Lee County in 2019. “The demand is so strong,” he says, expecting amateur sports tournaments to continue boasting the local economy during the off-season. “Amateur sports have taken a leading role. I expect that to continue to grow in 2019.”

“The international market is also expected to be strong in 2019, despite a strengthening U.S. dollar that makes their travel more expensive. Wert says Canadian visits likely will be down, but strong demand from the U.K. and Germany persists. “A Collier County advantage is that most of our travels are upscale,” he says. “Fluctuations in the exchange rates don’t seem to affect their travel.”

While tourism focuses on out-of-town visitors, hospitality takes into account locals who partake in the area’s shopping, dining and entertainment. “Incomes are growing at near the rate before the last recession,” Parish says. “The outlook for hospitality is stronger than for tourism in general.”…”.

How To Prepare For a Home Inspection

Florida Realtors logoFrom the November/December 2018 issue of “FloridaRealtor®”

  • “If home is empty, leave utilities on and pilot lights lit.
  • Make sure electrical sockets, light fixtures, switches, and fans work.
  • Confirm smoke and carbon monoxide detectors operate.
  • Check that faucets and toilets run properly and don’t leak.
  • Clean stove and oven so they won’t smoke and set off alarm when tested.
  • Verify doors and windows open and close and all hardware works.
  • Clear obstructions around furnace (HVAC equipment), water heaters and attic access.
  • Leave keys for outbuildings and exterior electrical boxes.
  • Remove brush and debris from exterior inspection points.
  • Gather documentation for renovations or repairs that have been made.
  • Provide sketch showing location of septic tank and week.
  • Remove or crate pets.
  • Plan to be away for three hours minimum.
  • Consider having home pre-inspected so you can fix problems before the official inspection.”

What Buyers Should Ask After a Home Inspection

realtor logoI’ve been saving this article from “Realtor®” magazine of October 9, 2018. It seems appropriate now, after the above article.

“After an inspector has finished a home report, buyers may feel overwhelmed by any flaws that might have been found. That’s why it’s important they take the opportunity to learn more so that they can move forward confidently in the transaction.

“A recent article at realtor.com® recommends home buyers ask their inspector clarifying questions like: “I don’t understand this; what does it mean?” or “Is this a major or minor problem?” and “Do I need to call in another expert for a follow-up?”

“Home inspectors are bound to uncover something in a home; no home is perfect. But the majority of the problems they uncover will likely be minor. Have the home inspector clarify which problems fall within the “minor” or “major” categories.

“Keep in mind: “The inspector can’t tell you, ‘Make sure the seller pays for this,’ so be sure you understand what needs to be done,” Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told realtor.com®.

“If the inspector identifies a potentially major problem, consumers will want to follow up whether they should call an additional expert in to investigate further. For example, consumers may need to bring in an electrician to take a closer look at potential electrical issues that were flagged or a roofer if a roofing problem is suspected. Those specialists can then give an idea of the cost to fix it, which the real estate agent can take to the seller to request a concession, if the seller doesn’t want to fix it prior to the sale.

“Also, Lesh says that the list of items a home inspector identifies are issues the new buyer may need to address as soon as they move in. He says it’s like a “to-do list” for those items that did not get repaired by the seller prior to the sale.”

Weather Changes Due to El Nino

island-water-logoInteresting forecast in the Winter 2018 issue of “IWA Pipeline”: “As noted in the fall Pipeline, Southwest Florida is likely to experience an El Nino winter in 2019. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 70-75% chance of El Nino conditions this winter. El Nino is predicted to materialize in late December or early January.

“El Nino is a warming of surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. That warming changes where the thunderstorms form in the Pacific so that the jet stream goes over Florida instead of north of Florida. An El Nino winter typically means a wetter and lightly cooler winter for Southwest Florida. NOAA is predicting above average rainfall between now and May 2019. Many Sanibel and Captiva residents remember the last El Nino winter in 2015-16 that brought record rainfall and caused our rivers to be inundated with freshwater. Ecological damage with blue-green algae blooms followed. The predictions for this El Nino are not as severe as 2015-16, but the need for landscaping irrigation should be decreased in the upcoming winter months.

“Now is the time to check your rain sensor to make sure it has been installed correctly and that it is working. If you don’t have a rain sensor tied to your irrigation system, by Florida law, you are required to have one installed if you have an automatic irrigation system. Having a properly working rain sensor should save you money during the usually dry winter months if, in fact, we experience an El Nino winter in Southwest Florida.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity Dec 28, 2018 – Jan 4, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sundial #I103 1/1 $489K, Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 $595K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 $699K.

6 price changes: Sundial #G206 1/1 now $464.9K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $499.9K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $668K, Signal Inn #3 2/1.5 now $695K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $784.9K, White Sands #13 2/2 now $919K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial #G206 1/1 listed at $464.9K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 listed at $699K.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 $430K, Sundial #T301 2/2 $700K.

HOMES

9 new listings: 724 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $645K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 $815K; 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 $994K; 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.295M; 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $1.325M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.795M; 550 Lighthouse Way 3/4.5 $2,999,999; 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.795M.

5 price changes: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $519K, 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 now $674K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $995K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.085M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 now $1.089M.

2 new sales: 849 Beach Rd 4/4 duplex listed at $595K, 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 listed at $1.35M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $377,555; 3869 West Gulf Dr $3.895M.

1 price change: 602 Boulder Dr now $439K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

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.

2018-06-13Until next Friday, enjoy your first weekend in 2019.

(Pix above of view from West Wind’s pool bar, which also serves chow from their Normandie Seaside Café. Open to the public too.)

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Seashell Kinda Christmas! Merry! Merry!


Before embarking on today’s weather report, here is a little shell art. The gingerbread man was in front of Coquina Beach condos earlier this week. Probably washed away by now. The others from past years, but fitting for the holiday season.

sanibel shell art 2 12-18-18.jpg

As The SanibelSusan Team counts down to the Christmas holiday and hopefully more real estate action, it has been interesting to have a winter storm pass through Florida. I liken it to a northern snowstorm, but without the white stuff and the cold. With westerly winds blowing on shore off the gulf beginning about noon yesterday, early flooding was reported at The Castaways cottages (the Santiva area) as I read email warnings from my local landscaper and the City, about the expected high wind, waves, erosion, and possible tornadoes in the forecast – all of this while the air conditioning still on at the office.

Santa looking for junoniaToday temperatures haven’t gotten out of the 70’s. The rain has become sporadic, but the heavy wind continues with palms down and debris reported in some beachside locations. Social media has shown videos of gulf waters crashing through some beach access paths along West Gulf Dr. I hope it is rolling in junonias.

Teammate Elise just saw it posted that electricity is out in Naples and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay is closed (following reported 78 mph winds). Yikes!

SanibelSusan Realty

With the team off on extended holiday both Monday and Tuesday, Elise today is busy printing extra fliers and checking listing occupancies so we are ready for arriving visitors looking to make a last minute Christmas real estate purchase.

santa kiting 2015Teammate Dave, on the other hand, has already scooted out and is busy networking with his kiteboarding buddies on the causeway, I expect we’ll see them on the evening news later, as wind like today hasn’t happened here in a very long time.

Teammate Lisa will be in the office tomorrow, while I am covering Sunday and Monday. As I make showing appointments for next Wednesday morning, it seems that many island offices will be closed for the long weekend. Here’s wishing them all and you a very Merry Christmas!

Below are a couple of news items before the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Real Estate in a Digital Age

Having been involved in the islands’ transition of real estate listing info from the old 3”x5” index cards, to listing books, and then to the internet, it was fun to participate in the task force that just picked a new MLS provider for our Association of Realtors®. Technology changes always take time and training, so won’t be occurring until after “season”, later in 2019. Since the details about our new provider haven’t been issued to our members yet, suffice it to say that the new features and capabilities of what is coming will blow the socks off anything you have seen or used before. Users both consumers and Realtors® will be “wowed”. With that in mind, an email today from the National Association of Realtors® with the below article, seemed timely:

“The world we live in today is a digital one and searching for a home is no different. Buyers now have apps that let them search by location and neighborhoods. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer connects with a real estate agent.

“In the Real Estate in a Digital Age report, we examine the process home buyers go through in the initial online search and how REALTORS® are connecting with customers in the digital space.

“In 2018, buyers worked with an agent 87% of the time to find their home, so trust in a REALTOR® is still king. While the initial process may start online, home buyers turn to the advice from a trusted real estate agent.

In addition to the home buying process, REALTORS® also utilize technology in their everyday business practices. Staying up to date with new technology is important, but also cited as one of the biggest challenges for firms in the next two years.

“Over 90% of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on their websites were property listings.

“Along with web use, REALTORS® are also using their mobile devices for a multitude of different activities, with the primary being to communicate with their clients.”

Condo Boards Don’t Always Understand Florida Law

This below article posted on-line Dec 17 by Florida Realtors® has a few disclosures, but also contains some interesting information. Here is the article in total:

“By Richard D. DeBoest

“Dec. 17, 2018 – Question: I am an owner in a condominium. I have made a request to see the individual unit owner assessment ledgers for owners who are delinquent in the payment of assessments. The board has denied my request and they claim I am not allowed to see this information. Is this true? – J.B., Hutchinson Island

Answer: No, it is not true. You are legally entitled to this information. The individual assessment ledgers of all owners are official records of the association. Both Statutes 718 (Condominium Associations) and 720 (Homeowner Associations) provide that most official records of the association must be made available for inspection and copying within 10 working days of a written request.

There are certain official records that are not allowed to be given to owners. These records include medical records, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and social security numbers, but there is no exception for individual owner assessment ledgers. If an association intentionally fails to provide access to the records within the time provided, the owner is entitled to $50 a day up to $500 a penalty.

“Question: I wanted to organize a “meet the candidates” night in our condominium clubhouse for local political candidates in the area. When I talked to the board about this, I was told this is illegal because the association common elements cannot be used for political purposes. Is this true? – S.F., Vero Beach

“Answer: No, it is not true. Section 718.123, Florida Statutes expressly provides that “no entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit owner’s right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in the common elements, common areas and recreational facilities.” If the board violates this law, you could sue the association to enforce your rights.

“Question: If the association sends information out to owners via e-mail, am I entitled to copies of the other owners’ e-mail addresses? Also, can I refuse to receive information via e-mail and, if I do, does the association have to send the information to me in the traditional way? – K.J., Palm City

“Answer: An association’s use of e-mail to communicate with homeowners is common, but very often the use of electronic transmission is not done in accordance with the law.

“First, and foremost, it is important to understand that while both the Florida Condominium Act (Chapter 718 Florida Statutes) and the Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720 Florida Statutes) allow associations to send official communication to the owners via electronic transmission, it may only do so if the owner chooses to receive official communications electronically.

“Second, if some owners elect electronic transmission and some do not, the association must send official communication in two different forms. Thus, it becomes cumbersome to keep track of each owner’s preference.

Most associations use e-mail for “casual” communication about the goings on of the association but still use regular mail for things with legal implications such as notice of meetings, election ballots, notice of covenant violations, warning letters and the like. This, however, presents another problem when dealing with an official records request made by an owner.

“All e-mail addresses kept by the association are official records BUT only the e-mail addresses kept for those owners who have chosen e-mail as their official form of communication are available to other owners who make an official records request. All other e-mail addresses are not to be made available to owners who make official records requests. As such, if the association keeps e-mail addresses in the official records, it must segregate the e-mail addresses between those persons who have chosen e-mail as the official form of communication and those that have not.

“Finally, if the association does use e-mail for “un-official” casual communication with the owners, I believe an owner who does not have or use e-mail could complain that he or she is being treated differently and unfairly. Although I know of no condominium arbitration cases or other rulings on this issue, I suspect that a court or an arbitrator would rule in favor of the unit owner on this issue.

“The bottom line is that for all official communication and communication that has legal significance, the association should use the traditional U.S. mail. For lesser items, e-mail and posting on the association’s website is, for now, acceptable.

“Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

“The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC., respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.

© 2018 Journal Media Group, Richard D. DeBoest”

Christmas Dining on The Islands

It’s getting pretty last minute, but visitors continue to ask what island restaurants are open on Christmas. Here’s a short list, but please call to be sure there is room for you if you don’t already have a reservation:

  • Bubble Room
  • Captiva House (in Wakefield Room) (buffet 11:30 a.m. to 8: p.m.)
  • Crow’s Nest at Tween Waters
  • Doc Ford’s Captiva (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Island Cow (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Island Pizza ( 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Keylime Bistro (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Normandie at West Wind Inn (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 to 7 p.m.)
  • R C Otters (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Sand Dollar at Sanibel Island Beach Resort (7 to 11 a.m. breakfast buffet, 5 to 9 p.m. dinner)
  • Sanibel Café (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Sanibel Grill (4 to 11 p.m.)
  • Sea Breeze Café at Sundial (7 to 11 a.m., buffet dinner seatings at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., & 7 p.m.
  • Thistle Lodge (holiday buffet 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Timbers (4 to 8 p.m.)
  • Traditions

For quick eats, the following also will be open on Christmas:

  • Dairy Queen
  • Gepetto’s (2 to 9 p.m.)
  • Huxter’s Market & Deli
  • Joey’s Custart (5 to 9 p.m.)
  • Pinocchio’s (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sanibel Sprout (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 14-21, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

10 new listings: Sundial #F206 1/1 $429K, Blind Pass #D205 2/2 $490K, Sundial #B407 1/1 $529K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $719K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 $799K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $825K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 $829K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $935K, Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $949K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.695M.

2 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $825K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.035M (our listing, view below).

Roof Deck View a

1 new sale: Sundial #H309 1/1 listed at $455K.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #C102 2/2 $455K, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

11 new listings: 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $625K, 945 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $649K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $695K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 $779K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $849.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 $945K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $1.295M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.495M, 5145 Joewood Dr 5/4.5 $2.997M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.495M (our listing, views below), 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $6.395M.

SA 12-6-18 toward Pine IslandSA 12-6-18 toward causeway

 

11 price changes: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $552K, 659 Donax St 2/2 now $585K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $647K, 721 Cardium St 3/2 now $795K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $879K, 205 Hurricane Ln 3/2 now $1.089M, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.149M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.25M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.394M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.575M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.499M.

5 new sales: 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.099M, 6412 Pine Ave listed at $1.175M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 listed at $6.995M.

4 closed sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $558K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.025M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.22M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.5M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2319 Wulfert Rd $199K, 3013 Poinciana Cir $249K, 1219 Par View Dr $374.9K.

2 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $199K, 5170 Sea Bell Rd now $324.9K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.849M, 16405 Captiva Dr 8/7/2 $6.2M.

3 price changes: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $1.028, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 now $2.695M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $3.9M.

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.

Merry Christmas from Sanibel Islands!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. I sold a house once on Christmas Day & would love it do it again, just please make it after brunch. I’ve got the family coming for that! Enjoy your holiday!

Christmas Lighthouse cropped

Sanibel lighthouse 2018

It’s Time for Island Luminary 2018


Lighthouse with christmas bowsSusanSusan here reporting another sunny week on Sanibel, though another little taste of winter arrived on Wednesday night when the temperatures dipped down into the 50’s. That gave everyone a chance to dig out their jackets Thursday morning, but it is back into the high 70’s today. Not exactly Luminary weather, but we’ll take it. The local Santa probably will be wearing shorts tonight.

A repeat of the weekend and upcoming holiday events is posted below, followed by some news items, and the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Teammates Dave and Elise are holding down the fort this afternoon at the office while SanibelSusan is involved in three singing gigs today/tonight and another on Sunday night, followed by the BIG ARTS Chorus holiday concert next week. Island Christmas events are always early since many owners and snowbirds head north to spend holidays with family.

There were no sales announced at the Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, though you will notice that a couple of sales posted in the MLS report below. The only Sanibel condo sale was by teammate Dave. He handles our off-island listings and sometimes hears from former island owners who miss Sanibel and want to come back. This was one of those and we certainly can understand folks wanting to be here, particularly this time of the year when island weather is so grand!

Weekend Holiday Events & Upcoming Concerts

  • Christmas flamingos34th Annual Sanibel Luminary, today, Dec 7, begins with “A Sanibel 70’s Christmas” at the Historical Village from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Then from 5:30 to 9 p.m. from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other, churches, shopping centers, and businesses will be open for holiday shopping, music, and good cheer.
  • 34th Annual Captiva Luminary, Saturday, Dec 8, similar to Sanibel’s event. The business and shopping areas of Captiva will be lined with lights and open for holiday fun, refreshments, and shopping.
  • Tween waters at christmas 20166th Annual Captiva Holiday Stroll, at South Seas Island Resort, on both Friday and Saturday evenings from Dec 7 through 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. where there will be holiday treats; skating; live music; arts and crafts; entertainment including face painting, stilt walking, juggling and balloon artists; holiday movies; photos with Santa; and food and beverages. Tickets are $10 (for non-resort guests), children under 12 are free. Proceeds to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • Captiva Chapel By The Sea CarolsCaptiva Christmas Carol Sing, at Chapel-By-The-Sea, Sunday, Dec 9 at 6 p.m. Seating both inside and on the sand under the holiday lights.
  • BIG ARTS Holiday Concerts, Band concert is Saturday, Dec 8. Chorus concert is Wednesday, Dec 12. (I am front row alto section, if you attend. It’s my 25th year singing with this group which began the year I moved to Sanibel.) Both are at Schein Performance Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children free) at www.bigarts.org.

Sanibel Library Earns National Star Award

sanibel-library-logoFor the 5th time, Sanibel Public Library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the U.S.A. The “star” awards by “Library Journal” are based on a library’s performance measuring such statistics as library visits, program attendance, circulation, and computer usage. This year, more than seven thousand libraries were scored with just 257 receiving stars. Sanibel Library was the first in Florida to offer laptops for use in the library. With online language learning tools, downloadable magazines and songs, streaming video services, loanable cooking kits, and advanced referencing, stop in to see the first phase of the “Your Library Reimagined” program which is almost complete. It has been in the planning since 2015, has a budget of $5.9M which is being covered by library reserves, grants, and gifts.

SCCF Earns Stars Too

sccfSanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, which is America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the 3rd time that SCCF has earned this distinction. Based on strong financial health and transparency, the foundation is one of only four conservation nonprofits in Florida to earn this rating.

Flood Insurance Extended to December 21

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrAs posted at Florida Realtors® on-line yesterday, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) no longer expires tonight at midnight, but Congress extended the program for only two weeks – until December 21, 2018, at midnight. As the article describes, “a number of high-profile issues now come to a head only a few days before the Christmas holiday.

“Congress also postponed a decision on government funding until December 21, and President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t include money in that funding to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. If lawmakers have trouble finding common ground on the higher-profile funding issue, it’s unclear what might happen to NFIP.

“However, a bipartisan group of senators from states that rely on flood insurance also filed a bill Wednesday for a 10-month NFIP extension. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill, S. 3703, to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 10 months – through Sept. 30, 2019.

“Should Congress pass the bill after flood insurance expires on Dec. 21, the S. 3703 includes a provision that would make flood coverage retroactive in the event of a program lapse. However, it’s not yet clear whether the bill will pass in favor of more shorter-term extensions.

“”While I am frustrated with the continued need for extensions, it has become clear that we need additional time to come to a consensus on bipartisan and bicameral reforms to the NFIP,” Rubio says. “Floridians who rely on this program cannot afford this uncertainty when we enter the 2019 hurricane season. I urge my colleagues to pass this important extension as soon as possible.”

“”More than five million Americans depend on the National Flood Insurance Program,” Kennedy says. “For those of us who live along the Gulf Coast, the NFIP means we don’t have to worry every time it rains.”

“”It’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable,” adds Menendez. “This (10-month) extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.””

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_The below article came from a November on-line article from REALTOR® Magazine. The SanibelSusan Team strives to have good communications. It sure can be key in keeping unforeseen obstacles away. That communication is a 2-way street. Here’s what Sam Silverstein said in the article:

“Sellers who won’t budge on the price they want for their homes. Buyers who can’t decide what they’re looking for in a property. Other real estate professionals involved in a transaction who just won’t cooperate. You can raise your chances of avoiding these common problems by setting the proper expectations before you invest any time in working with someone, Greg Glosson, ABR, CRS, managing broker at Fast Track Realty in Memphis, Tenn., said Sunday at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston.

“Broker Greg Glosson told attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo that building trust at the beginning of any business relationship is key to avoiding setbacks in a transaction. The key is to build trust with clients and colleagues at the start of a working relationship, which will give you the credibility and authority to stay on top of the deals you manage, Glosson said. By laying out how you do business in advance, you’ll be in a better position to keep things moving as a transaction proceeds. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with people and let them know how you operate. “Say, ‘I’m going to be available for you, and I’d like you to be available for me,’” Glosson said.

“When you have an initial consultation with a prospective buyer, emphasize that they need to know what they are looking for in a home, so they are prepared to decide quickly if they want to make an offer on a property you show them, Glosson said. In addition, make it clear that you won’t invest time in working with them unless they are preapproved for a mortgage or are planning to pay cash.

“Also, be sure that spouses or other co-buyers are in agreement about their goals and that no one has unrealistic expectations that could cause them to balk when time is of the essence, he said. “If you sleep on it, you won’t sleep in it.” Keep in mind that you may have to help people understand that what they’ve heard about the homebuying process may not be realistic, he added.

“It’s also important to be clear with sellers about what they need to do before you agree to list their property, and look for signs that they aren’t prepared to cooperate, Glosson said. This will help you avoid clients who won’t declutter their homes, insist on being there during showings, refuse to follow your advice on counteroffers, or otherwise impede your ability to find a buyer for their property, he said. “Some listings are not worth it. … It all goes back to the seller consultation process.”

“You should also establish ground rules when a deal goes under contract, and you have to work with the agent on the other side of the transaction, Glosson said. Make sure you agree upfront about how you will communicate, understand how the other agent interacts with their client, and ask about potential obstacles that could come up later.

“Unlike potential clients who pose red flags, however, you may not be able to avoid other real estate professionals you’d rather not work with on a transaction. For these situations, Glosson has a simple piece of advice: “Sometimes, you just have to get it done.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 30-Dec 7, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $399K; Sundial #H210 1/1 $405K; Sundial #I104 1/1 $469K; Sundial #J401 1/1 $589,985; Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 $799K; Kings Crown #311 3/2 $999K; Gulfside Place #305 2/2 $1.295M.

1 price change: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $264K.

1 new sale: Compass Point #232 2/2 listed at $659K (our buyer) (community aerial below).Compass Pointe 2

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #4 2/2 $710K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 $1.1415M, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 $1.69M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $679K, 1978 Roseate Ln 749K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $874.9K, 225 Violet Dr 3/3 $965K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 $1.05M, 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 $1.35M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.65M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.795M, 925 Whelk Dr 3/3.5 $2.375M.

8 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 now $599K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $619K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $789K, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $995K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.029M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.094M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex now $1.595M (our listing) (beachfront home location shown below).

Image 8 c.jpg

2 new sales: 4290 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $595K, 8991 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $875K.

3 closed sales: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $621K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $820K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2279 Wulfert Rd $324K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 595 Piedmont Rd listed at $209.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 $658K, Marina Villas #703 2/2 $759K, Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $995K.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $899K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed at $399K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $6.99M.

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, may your holiday fun continue too! shell christmas trees

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It You Are Looking For Sunshine Come Here!


Beach Chairs

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

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

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

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

Election Madness

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

37th Annual Taste of The Islands

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

Veterans Day Celebration & Sanibel Farmers Market

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

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

Island Neighbors Hold Annual Turkey Drop

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

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beach Access

A Happy Sanibel November Friday


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

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

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

 

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

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

bill kristie becky 10-31-18

Association CEO Bill Robinson & Director Realtor Becky Mulka with Kristie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Realtors® Signs Agreement with Panama RE Association

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

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

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Beach Cam at Casa Ybel Resort

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

CasaYbelSanibel.jpg

Casa Ybel Resort pool & beach

Island Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your week! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Things Are Looking Up on Sunny Sanibel


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

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

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

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

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

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

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

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

Island Events

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

ViewExt Back aBeach WalkBeach Walk bBeachExt Back b

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday! Enjoy your week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Goodbye, red tide.. hello, “Season”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens for 11th Year

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

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

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

Construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park

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

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

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

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

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

Happenings at Sanibel’s Historical Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts

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

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

Planning Ahead – Upcoming Island Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New-to-Florida Homebuyers Should Update Their Estate Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

Roof Deck View a

View from Pointe Santo C43

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1912 Ibis Ln $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

As our “Island Sun” ad says this week:

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

Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

See the source image

On the Islands, Fall Doesn’t Feel Like Fall


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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

CONDOS                HOMES                      LOTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water District Nixes Request for Higher Dry Season Flows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Ask When Choosing A Lender

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

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

Sanibel Re-openings

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

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

No price changes or new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

WildFlowerUntil next Friday, enjoy your fall wherever you are!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan