No Snow Here, But This Egret Sure is White!


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island roadways are getting busier. With 2018 off, it sure is great to again see activity pick up in October. In the summer, I often make a quick trip home during the noon lunch hour. That 2.9-mile trip up Periwinkle, in the off-season, usually takes about seven minutes. By yesterday, that time had expanded to 15 minutes. But, that’s OK, businesses need those returning owners and visitors.

Island friends, Ed and Ellie stopped in this week to say “hello” and Ellie shared the below photo she took at the Sanibel fishing pier. I told her this beauty will be the star of this week’s blog! It’s a beautiful great white egret (I think), not a snowy egret. Those are smaller and have the opposite coloring – still bright white, but black beak and yellow feet. Great white herons are similar too. Also large and their coloring is like the great white egret, but they have large heavy bills. If I guessed wrong, I bet a birder will set me straight!

2019-10 Ellie's bird

It still feels like summer! Weather this week cooled down to the high 80’s (degrees F) during the days, low 70’s at night – mostly sunny with occasional showers inland off-island. We need rain, so on Saturday the Army Corps of Engineers initiated minimum water flows from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee estuary. During certain times of the year, scientists say water releases like this are necessary to maintain a health estuary. The releases were expected to continue until tomorrow.

With the news reporting big weather changes elsewhere – huge temperature drops, plus snow and ice storms. That should make Sanibel & Captiva even more appealing.

Teammate Elise advises that the Lee County Schools first quarter ends today – that was fast. Local kiddos also get a full week off for Thanksgiving vacation this year, usually they just get a few days.

We did not have a local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week. Next Thursday is our annual meeting. After a few news items below, check out the action since last Friday reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that in comparison to last week, there was not much. We hope that changes with the holiday weekend and that you enjoy your weekend too!

Vice President Pence to Visit Sanibel Again This WeekendVice Presidents Logo

Once again, the island is a twitter with the news that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to make another trip to Southwest Florida this weekend. A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) has been issued for VIP movement at Southwest Florida Regional Airport and southern Sanibel Island from Thursday at 11:45 p.m. through Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

During that time, the airspace around Sanibel has been designated as “national defense airspace,” which is common when the president or vice-president visits an area. The Sanibel Causeway and other roads are expected to close at times during the high-profile visit, but please know that it is not much of a disruption. He stays at a client’s home here that is off the beaten path so unless you happen to be on Periwinkle or the Causeway when he is on the move, you probably won’t even know that he is in town.

Process for Registering Sanibel Short-Term Rentals

Sanibelcityseal logoRecently, Sanibel City Council approved establishing a registration process for island short-term rentals. Council supports an ordinance to create registration of dwelling rentals and rental licenses. The purpose of the process is to regulate and ensure compliance of non-resort housing and platform vacation rentals like Airbnb and to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods. (It is basically a record and licensure process to ensure that rules already in place are followed. Sanibel Code says that compliant resort dwellings have no rental time or frequency limit, while non-resort dwellings must be rented for four consecutive weeks or more.) More on this in the weeks to come.

Events & ReOpenings

“Season” begins with lots of annual happenings:

Sanibel shellsSanibel-Captiva Shell Club – Though the Shell Museum remains closed while the new Aquarium construction completes, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club’s first meeting of the season is this Sunday, October 13 at the Sanibel Community House beginning at 2 p.m.

historical village logoSanibel Historical Village – reopens Tues, October 15 and will be open Tues-Sat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Season highlights include several Twilight Talks and their annual gala fundraiser February 18 at The Community House. The talks are at noon on the 1st Mondays, December through March. New museum volunteers are always needed. Training begins November 4. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Tower gallery13th Annual Tower Gallery Attic Sale– Fri & Sat, October 18 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.towergallery.net

 

4th Annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Fest – Sun, November 3 from noon to 7 p.m. in the backyard of Bailey’s Center sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Annual fundraiser for the club’s charities, including scholarships and summer youth programs at the Sanibel Rec Center. sanibel Jazz festival pixPerformances by islander Johnny Jensen at 1 p.m., the local Marty Stokes Band at 2 p.m., Sean Chambers featured on the U.S. Billboard Blues Album Chart at 3:30 p.m., & British Blues Hall of Famer Matt Schofield at 5 p.m. A jam session featuring all of the performers ends the event. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, & George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille.

Hobie cat race 2019.pngSouth Seas Hosting World Championship Hobie Class Races – from Nov 1-16. This is the 1st time since 1984, that these races are being held in the U.S. and the 1st time in SW Florida. According to race organizers, the Hobie 16 World Championships is the only sailboat class in the world to supply brand new identical boats for all competitors to race. The course will be just off Sunset Beach, at the north end of Captiva. Sailboat racing fans may enter the resort entry gate and proceed to hotel registration where $5 per vehicle will be collected, parking pass issued, and wristbands provided for each spectator. Tickets also are available for special events (www.hobieclass.com).

crow-logo2019 Taste of The Islands – Sun, November 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park with CROW’s animal ambassadors and silent auction in The Community House. The participating restaurants were announced this week including The Bubble Room, The clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, The Jac Island Bar & Grille, Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen, MudBugs Cajun Kitchen, Rosie’s Café & Grill, Sanddollar Restaurant, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse, T2 (Traders 2), Thistle Lodge, and The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.

coastal keepers loglCoastal Watch 3rd Annual Fundraiser, The Launch – Sat, November 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Community House, in support of local conservation initiatives.

UCF Economist: Recession No Threat to Florida

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted on-line this week at Florida Realtors®.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, expects Florida’s economy to grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next three years.

His third-quarter economic forecast indicates that the state’s “powerful” economy will produce a higher percentage of jobs than the nation and attract more job seekers from other states through 2022. Snaith predicts that much of the job growth will come from the professional/business services, education/health care services, and construction sectors.

““Florida’s economy continues to hit on all cylinders, and there are no economic storm clouds on the horizon,” he says. “Our biggest challenge over the upcoming years will revolve around how best to manage and facilitate economic growth.” In addition, Snaith says the fundamentals of the state’s housing market remain “solid,” and economic and job growth and the influx of retiring baby boomers should continue to support the upward trend on sales.

““Low inventories of existing homes for sale and lagging housing starts growth contribute to an environment where home prices continue to rise,” Snaith adds. “The shortage in the single-family market will be rectified as the pace of single-family housing starts to ramp up over the next several years. Single-family housing starts in 2022 are expected to increase by 79.7% from 2014 levels.””

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (10/03/19) Hielscher, John

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 4 – 11, 2019

Sanibel realtors logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #2C 2/2 $609K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $727.5K, Sundial #J208 2/2 $769K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $629K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.35M.

5 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $504.9K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now 645K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $825K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $889K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M.

3 new sales: 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed at $695,555; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1837 Buckthorn now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.549M.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $419K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $429K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 $2.9M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $1.699M.

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.

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a fun holiday!

SanibelSusan Realty will be open so you won’t need Columbus. We can help you find what you want!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


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

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

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

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

September Island Updates

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

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

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

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

Upcoming Event Reminders

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

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

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

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

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

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

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

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

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

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

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

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

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

END”

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Wondering About Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate?


Happy Friday the 13th from SanibelSusan. It has been a very quiet week on the islands. Last weekend, when I manned the office, it was fun to write and negotiate an offer. Those are the best kind of surprises, particularly when it’s a sight-unseen purchase. That sale was one of the few posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) this week, actually the only Sanibel condo sale. Details of all the action posted since last Friday are after a few news items below.

Gulf & Bay Waters Around Sanibel & Captiva

Last weekend, the aftermath of Dorian created a little havoc with red drift algae washing up on some Sanibel beaches (mostly east-end) and creating a bit of a stink. Or the thought was that rotting algae was the cause of the smell.

After complaints, the City brought in equipment and started cleaning up the algae at Lighthouse Beach. Click on the link below to see the drone aerials taken for the City on Tuesday morning. If you pan onto the beach near the “green roof” on the south side at Lighthouse beach, you will see the equipment and workers then, removing the algae. https://cityofsanibel.s3.amazonaws.com/LH9-10-19/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3DSv2s_4RWlDscmsk_zRVIhkolOVaUaKd-wfI9avKwWn4WVxL5FxdQTyQ

As follow-up, the City posted condition reports for several days on www.mySanibel.com about each of the island beaches. But, by Wednesday the beaches were all clear with the nasty odors gone. Some say that it could have been the offshore water itself that was creating the smell, from decayed material on the gulf floor that was stirred up during the hurricane. Mid-week, the wind had changed direction. That is when it all changed – a good example of how the beaches, like the shelling, can be different every day.

The picture below was posted today on the “Sanibel Island” Facebook page and described as in front of the Sanibel Inn at 10:15 a.m. this morning. The Sanibel Inn is at the end of Lindgren Blvd which is a continuation of Causeway Rd, so the photo is a good representation of what the east-end beach looks like. Thank you to Gina Frasca for sharing her photo.

2019-09-13 Sanibel Inn

Comparing water quality this summer to last year, this year there has been no evidence of red tide. Though the water level is high at Lake O, there have been no water releases this direction for many months. Fingers crossed that no more tropical storms come this way or that rains linger over the lake.

Peak hurricane time passed this week, as we remembered Hurricane Irma from two years ago. Now we look forward to November 30, when the 2019 hurricane season officially is over.

It has been bright sunny and warm here pretty much all week, but a few showers just began and are expected to occur off-&-on over the next few days as the tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic travels up the eastern seaboard.

76% of All Home Buyers Use Their Phones to Find Properties

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Wondering how real estate is done in today’s digital age? The below article by Information, Inc. was published last month by the National Association of Realtors®.

“CHICAGO – Buyers turn to mobile devices to find properties and connect with real estate agents. This puts increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure websites are mobile friendly and connecting to clients in the ways that they desire.

“The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) that looks at technology use within transactions.

“Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device – and 17% said they found their agent on a mobile device. The younger the buyer, the more likely they are to use mobile searches. Eighty-one percent of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of younger baby boomers, the NAR report finds.

“Type of communication – Ninety-three percent of real estate pros surveyed said they prefer to communicate with clients through text messaging, phone calls (93%) and email (92%). The mediums were more popular than instant messaging (38%) and postal mail (27%).

“Websites – The website features respondents find most helpful are photos (87%), detailed information about properties (85%), floor plans (52%), virtual tours (46%) and real estate agent contact information (42%). Half or more of respondents also valued property listings, agent/staff profiles, customer reviews/testimonials, mortgage/financial calculators and information on the home buying and selling process.

“Additional report findings:

“Social media: Real estate pros cited social media as the top tool for generating high-quality leads (47%), followed by Multiple Listing Service websites (32%).The main reasons cited for using social media was to promote listings, help build and maintain relationships with existing clients, and a belief that they’re “expected” to have a presence on social media sites nowadays. The top social networks used by Realtors: Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), Instagram (39%) and Twitter (33%).

“Drones: Twenty-nine percent of real estate pros have hired a professional to operate a drone for their business, and 5% personally use one. An additional 14% say they plan to use drones in the future to capture aerial pictures or videos of their listings.”

iBuyer Perspective: Not New and Not Much to Worry About

Florida Realtors logoHave you heard about iBuyers? We have not seen them on the islands, though I have had inquiries from them. Here is an article about them, posted this week on Florida Realtors®: Realtor Bill Lublin, lead author of e-Pro and Florida Realtors® convention speaker, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. They’re “instant buyers,” and “we’ve had them for years.”

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Bill Lublin, a Realtor® from Pennsylvania, lead author of e-Pro and a speaker at last month’s Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. “It’s an ‘instant buyer’ and we’ve had them for years,” Lublin said. “That’s not new.”

“The big difference between flippers and iBuyers is the type of homes they want to buy. Flippers often want a fixer-upper they can improve and sell for a profit. iBuyers, however, look for value-added flips, said Lublin. “They want livable houses. Polish-and-buff kinds of buyers – minimal repair amounts.”

“New iBuyers continue to come onto the market, but the biggest – Opendoor, Knock, Offerpad, Zillow Instant Offers and Redfin Now – are “fueled by cash,” Lublin said. “Opendoor, the first one, has $1.3 billion in equity raised; Zillow has a $7.1-billion market cap; Offerpad has $150M in equity; Knock has $60.5 million equity raised (Knock is slightly different – buying and selling you another one.) Redfin has an $18 billion market cap.”

“As corporations, the iBuying concept is new, and investors want to get in on the ground floor. That makes them less concerned about profitability for now – and more concerned about becoming one of the dominant iBuyers in the U.S.

“Other iBuyer differences, according to Lublin: People go to the iBuyers websites, fill out a form about their house, and request an offer. An inspection might be requested, but “It all starts with someone raising their hand and saying they want an offer on their house,” Lublin said.

“iBuyers use algorithms. They calculate upfront what they can pay, what they need to sell the home for, and what the cost of holding is. Like Zillow home price Zestimates, iBuyers use an AVM (Automated Valuation Models) to calculate a home’s value. “It’s an educated guess,” said Lublin. “AVMs don’t include the things that make sales, such as views, neighbor’s flowers, etc.”

“Each iBuyer company has targets. Offerpad, for example, targets homes valued from $200,000 to $400,000. “They don’t want to buy everything. They identify a sweet spot in their business model, and that’s the only thing they buy,” said Lublin. “Just like Realtors have a market niche, they’ll stray from it if a potential sale comes up – but when iBuyers stray, it hurts their bottom line.

“Observers who wonder how the iBuyers make money may find out that they don’t – or not much money. “They’re only marginally concerned with profitability,” said Lublin. “They have tons of money to go out and experiment with a new business model. Redfin says they weren’t profitable in their first 10 years, and they made the most amount of money from their IPO. Speed of growth fuels profit in the beginning. None of these companies is profitable so far, and that’s a competitive advantage.”

“iBuying may not debut in all markets. Cities like Philadelphia have an older housing stock, for example. iBuyers are more attracted to metros, such as many in Florida, with a newer housing stock that’s easier to value. iBuyers with secondary companies – Zillow’s mortgage company, for example – could also benefit via their related industries.

“While the iBuyer share of the market isn’t expected to get large – Morgan Stanley projects a 3% market share by 2030 – it still could potentially pick up a large numerical number of sales.”

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Below is an update on the year-to-date sales posted in the islands MLS – first on Sanibel, then Captiva. It compares inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales over the last three years, and the sales during the market peak, 13 years ago, in 2006. Though averages, these statistics shows the market downturn from the water woes last summer. Even so, things are looking up!

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Sanibel
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 93 851,024 217 113 1,377,721 210 66 688,492 424
Under contract 6 652,816 204 20 1,097,970 146 3 311,166 782
Closed year-to-date 97 674,067 144 160 958,364 170 11 406,181 687
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold in 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504
Sold in 2016 143 717,768 217 181 979,576 176 25 487,095 571
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Captiva
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 35 1,269,990 219 35 2,808,568 262 3 1,929,666 496
Under contract 4 806,725 443 1 2,400,000 637 0 N/A N/A
Closed year-to-date 19 1,047,894 337 14 2,984,325 288 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2017 34 671,551 261 22 2,457,023 394 2 2,312,500 1,005
Sold in 2016 22 873,636 314 27 3,195,000 284 2 3,150,000 365
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307375 334 4 2,218,750 432

(Note: Average $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” and “Under contract”.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 6 – 13, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $885K, Golden Beach #3 3/2.5 $1.499M.

1 price change: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $395K.

1 new sale: Sundial #I104 1/1 listed at $469K (our buyer).

Sundial West from I104

From Sundial I104 listing, showing central pool at Sundial Resort & looking toward the buildings of Sundial West.

1 closed sale: Seashells #12 2/2 $360K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

8 price changes: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $475K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $498K, 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $509.9K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $549K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $648K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $699.9K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.095M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.199M.

2 new sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 listed at $539K, 725 Donax St 6/6 listed at $1.295M.

3 closed sales: 1520 Centre St 3/2 $409K, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.42M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.595M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $660K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.949M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $519.9K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 listed at $639K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $812.5K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 listed at $2.4M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you clear skies & sunny days!

36.

One of my favorite photos by our photographer Jim Anderson of JMA Photography. They are blue crested night herons. It reminds me of the ugly duckling story. Thanks for sharing, Jim!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Warm Grateful Friday on Sanibel Island


It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on Sanibel after a fearful few days of Dorian-watching. It certainly was heart-breaking to see the devastation in the Bahamas. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has teamed with the Over Easy Café and is a drop-off point for Bahamas donations. The first two days of contributions at Over Easy have already been delivered to their next destination, with collections continuing for at least another week.

As probably expected, the holiday weekend here turned into a bust with many visitors/vacationers opting to cancel their plans. There has been very little traffic on Periwinkle all week. Some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, though.

Sanibel sunset 2011

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Though a quiet week, the team and I were happy to get a new listing in Sanibel Bayous over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, teammate Dave got all of our listing “for sale” signs back in place.

paragon black knight logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® transition to their new Multiple Listing Service continues for the second week with kinks continuing to be worked out as the system and its reports are fine-tuned to our geographic areas. If you previously received automatic email updates about a particular property type, those databases did not convert with the transition, but I am s-l-o-w-l-y setting up new searches so that you will begin receiving listings again.

The new system offers a Collaboration Center where both prospective buyers and sellers may access the system, make changes to their search criteria, save favorite listings, delete others, and request additional information. If you would like your email address to be set up for a search followed by automatic notifications, just let us know.

sundial-logoMid-week, Dave and I visited a couple of condos at Sundial Resort. It was surprising to see so few vehicles there, but like at other complexes in September, associations are making good use of the downtime. At Sundial West, the building walkways and stairs were being pressure washed.

At our listing at Sanibel Arms West, the building is being painted this month, with no rental bookings allowed until Oct 5. Showings still will be permitted, however, so we are trying to drum some up. It gets tough with income-producing properties to get access “in season”, so now is a good time for those investors to be looking.

View c

View from Sanibel Arms West #E2

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the islands’ Association of Realtors®, there were few announcements, and no new listings were open for viewings. That break in the usual program provided a nice opportunity for me to pass along a couple of the “giving keys” that I purchased recently at the Florida Realtors® RPAC Jamboree. “Giving keys” are typical-looking house keys, but each is stamped with an inspirational word. Worn on a chain around your neck. “Giving keys” are to be enjoyed, then shared, by passing them along to someone else who also may be inspired by their message. I passed along three keys, “hope”, “trust”, and “strong” to Association members Kasey Albright, Megan Rose, and Mary Lou Bailey, encouraging them to also “pay them forward”.

After a couple of news items below, you will find an update of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Temporary Closings

dining clip artThe Chamber of Commerce has posted the below list of island temporary restaurant closures. As in past years, many take staff vacations now, do annual deep cleans, and fix-ups before “season”.

Restaurants Closed
Blue Rendezvous French Bistro Now through Oct
Blue Giraffe Sep 2-16
Gramma Dot’s Sep 3-26
Il Cielo Now through Oct
Joey’s Custard Sep 20-Oct 3
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant Month of Sep
Over Easy Café Sep 9-19
Pecking Order Closed Sundays thru Sep
Sand Dollar (Sanibel Island Beach Resort) Breakfast only

Dinner only Fri & Sat

Schnapper’s Sep 3-16
Sweet Melissa’s Sep 8-30
Traders Sep 16-30
T2 Sep 16-30
Traditions Closed Sundays thru Oct 20

Closed Sep 1-22, & Nov 16

Island Cinema – Also closed temporarily for annual maintenance is Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center. It is closed all month and expects to reopen in early Oct.

rosieRosie’s Café & Grill is back. After a year-long absence Rosie’s reopened recently in its former location in Palm Ridge Place. The restaurant dates back a few decades when it went by the name Rosie’s Deli & Market and was on Sanibel’s east end. The 4th generation of owners, Joanne Fitzgerald and Irving Gavin, bought the restaurant in 2009 when it was still on the east end. (Gavin is the son of Eugene, of the well-known Gavin family that settled on Sanibel in 1914.)  The restaurant relocated to its current location, reopening in 2012 under the name Rosie’s Café & Grill. Currently serving breakfast and lunch; dinner will be available in-season starting in Nov. In addition to their former menu and Royal Scoop ice cream, Rosie’s now serves barbeque and soon will expand with a new bakery. Hours now are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues through Sat.

Upcoming Events

PrintCaptiva Triathlon – is this weekend, Sat and Sun Sep 7 and 8. As a reminder, Captiva Drive will be closed tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. and remain closed until the bike segment of the race is complete. The USAT-sanctioned adult sprint triathlon is a ¼-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile (5K) run on Captiva. The swim will be in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the bike will cover the length of Captiva on closed roads, and the run will be on the golf course path along the Gulf and Redfish Pass at South Seas Island Resort. On Sunday, there will be three age groups for the USAT National Splash n’ Dash race:

  • Ages 6-8: 100-yard swim, 0.5-mile run
  • Ages 9 & 10: 100-yard swim, 1-mile run
  • Ages 11-15: 200-yard swim, 1-mile run

The race is to benefit Community Cooperative’s Growing Healthy Kids and Mobile Food Pantry programs. More info at https://www.gearedup.biz/.

Sanibel Sea School2nd Annual Flip-Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – This Sanibel Sea School fundraiser will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church at 2304 Periwinkle Way. At check-in, each scavenger team (up to eight individuals) will be given a book of clues and challenges, each worth a set number of points. Included are clues that could be easily solved by younger children. Through the hunt, participants will use their knowledge of the island, marine biology, and local folklore to earn points. Along the way, teams will visit several Sanibel locations, where they may be asked to take a photo or bring back a specific shell or artifact to prove the visit. The Sea School says, “The key to hosting a successful scavenger hunt is creating clues that can be solved by anyone in the family, no matter their age.” The event is expected to be completed by 3 p.m. At the finish line check-in station, staff will tally all points collected by each team. Those teams will be able to “buy” letters with their points earned in order to solve the final puzzle. The team that solves the final puzzle correctly first will determine the winner, but that might not necessarily be the team that tallies the most points. Cost to participate is $25 per person. Participants must provide their own transportation. All proceeds will support the nonprofit’s scholarship fund which provides ocean experiences to thousands of area children each year. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.sanibelseaschool.org/flipflopfundraiser or by calling 239-472-8585.

Crow classic 2019Annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament – Also on Saturday, Oct 5 at The Sanctuary is the annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament. Shotgun starts at 12:30 p.m. with check-in at 11 a.m. and lunch at 11:30. Player registration is open to 100 golfers. It features 18 holes, a helicopter ball drop, and chances to score prizes. Players may sign up as a foursome, or as individuals and will be matched up as a team. All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the animals at CROW, their care, public education, training, etc. The community is encouraged to sign up to play or purchase some helicopter balls. Players can register to play (through Sep 16) and players/non-players can purchase balls (through Oct 3) at www.CROWClinic.org.

Positive Trends for Florida Real Estate

Posted yesterday on LinkedIn by local Realtor® colleague Wendy Humphrey with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty:

“SALT, the cap on state and local tax deductions, is likely to lead to a Florida population boom according to estimates from Demographic Estimating Conference.

“The controversial $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions encourages moving cash from high tax northern states to lower-tax states like Florida while it remains in effect. It is due to expire in 2025.

“Then there’s actually some relatively good news for Florida and other southern states regarding global warming.

“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which examines annual temperatures for the U.S. indicates warming is very uneven with some states barely warming at all.

The Washington Post“Northeastern states and Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have experienced extreme warming while many southern states have experience little change. Some have even cooled slightly. Florida has seen slight to moderate change. For the full report go to The Washington Post of August 13, 2019.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 30 – September 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $489K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.25M, Sundial #E108 3/2 $1.3M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Seashells #42 2/2 $375K, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 $1.185M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $539K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

3 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $424K, 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 743 Windlass way 3/2 now $669K.

2 new sales: 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $998.5K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/.5 listed at $2.875M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0180.JPG

Lot at 4566 Buck Key Rd in Sanibel Bayous

1 new listing: 4566 Buck Key Rd $149K (our listing).

2 price changes: 1219 Par View Dr now $299K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $599K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.797M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

happy fridayUntil next Friday, wishing everyone a great weekend & week,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

All Eyes on Dorian


What usually is a quiet week on the islands has turned into a bit of a worry with Hurricane Dorian expected to come ashore along Florida’s eastern seaboard early next week. Dave took a spin by all of our listings yesterday, removing and tucking away signs and items that could become airborne with strong winds. If all goes well he will be putting things back in place soon.

Sanibelcityseal logoAs I post this, a meeting is now occurring at Sanibel City Hall with a departmental operations update. Island partners in attendance include CHR, SCCF, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, Island Water, police, Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Disposal, Sanibel School, post office, FISH, CROW, LCEC, Ding Darling, plus both Sanibel & Captiva Fire & Rescue.

There is a separate meeting City Council meeting at 2 p.m. Listen live through the link on http://www.mysanibel.com Dorian Update #3 and follow the City website for more updates.

Island Real Estate

2017-09-12 OfficeUsually the Labor Day weekend brings a spurt of real estate business, but that is looking doubtful now with many 3-day visitors cancelling their plans.

But, if you are wondering, unless forecasts change, we will be open tomorrow and I will be there Sunday too. If we may help you with anything on island, please let us know.

For island Realtors®, this past Monday was the cut-over date for service with our new Multiple Listing provider, Paragon. It has lots of new state-of-the-art features and capabilities that we are learning.

A summary of the action this week in the islands’ MLS follows just a couple of news items below. Stay safe islanders!

At Florida Realtors®

CBAEEA3C-B9F0-4879-912A-44CB0A33B161Last week, at the Florida Realtors® 103rd Annual Convention & Trade Expo, first I served on the state instructor audition panel and then as an Education Ambassador where members had a choice of more than 40 educational sessions.

Following the convention, on Friday and Saturday, the Florida Realtors® leadership team held their governance meetings. This was my 22nd year participating, this year in the Resort & 2nd Home Specialist breakout group (which is part of the Legislative Think Tank), the Curriculum Subcommittee, and the Professional Development Committee.

Networking at these events is the “best” – especially after all these years. It was interesting to hear that water quality and short-term vacation rentals are two hot topics in every area – even those inland. These meetings were the first for our Association’s new Education Director. It was so much fun introducing her to some terrific instructors and her peers throughout the state.

At the Capital Club luncheon on Friday, we had a surprise visit from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. What a smart, energetic, thoughtful man he is. His priorities coincide with ours on the islands, “Florida 1st”.

Coastal Cleanup on Sept 21

Join the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Keep Lee County Beautiful as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s international Coastal Cleanup on Saturday morning, Sep 21. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 10.5 million volunteers have cleaned 350,000 miles of shoreline collecting 192 million pounds of trash in the more than three decades of this international effort.

If you would like to work at Gulfside City Park or Bowman’s Beach, sign up at http://klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.hmtl. For other Sanibel-Captivalocations or for more info, contact Alex Horn at ahorn@sccf.org or call SCCF at 239-472-2329.

SCCF will provide trash bags, data cards, gloves, water, and a tee-shirt to all participants before they head out for their beach assignments from 9-11 a.m. After collecting, documenting, and disposing of their trash back at the SCCF Nature Center (3333 San-Cap Road), volunteers will be offered complimentary lunch items starting at 11 a.m. (Thanks to Doc Ford’s Rum Barr & Grille as the 1st Lunch Partner for the 2019 Coastal Cleanup.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 23-30, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: White Caps South #8 1/1 $849K.

7 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $380K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $575K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $850K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 now $899K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 now $1.075M, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 now $1.229M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.44M.

1 new sale: Sundial #J201 1/1 listed at $550K.

3 closed sales: Seashells #31 2/2 $405K, Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $539K, White Pelican #133 3/3 $1.489M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 701 Nerita St 3/2 $749K.

8 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $429.9K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $492.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $592.5K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $650K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $759K, 1560 Royal  Poinciana Cir now $1.295M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.899M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $2.875M.

2 new sales: 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $585K, 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.045M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1044 Fish Crow Rd $399K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.799M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.275M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1.1 $316.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $745K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, may Dorian be kind!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

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

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

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Island Scoop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Inspection Myths & Misconceptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 2431 Shop Rd $249.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Happy August!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

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

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help the Sea Turtles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


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

 

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

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

Island Real Estate Happenings

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

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

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

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

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

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

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

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

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 highest-rated features on community websites

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

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

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

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

Off-Season Closing

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

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

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

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

More info at www.leeparks.org .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


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

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

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

Pricing a Listing?

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

Be Nice to Grandma

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

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

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

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

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

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

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

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

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

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

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

Call Before You Dig, 811

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

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

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

The Community House Shellcrafters

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

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

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

No new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan