Sanibel Bunnies, Easter, & Real Estate


Though the national news this week has been filled with reports of late snow and winter storms up north, on Sanibel and Captiva Islands the weather again has been almost summerlike, including a couple of midweek showers.

marsh bunnyHere at SanibelSquare the bunny population continues to explode. I haven’t been able to get to my phone quickly enough to get a photo of the entire group at once. Usually when I am leaving in the office in the evening, I am the last car out of the parking lot. That’s when they are out chowing down on the grassy area in front of my car.

I’ve seen as many as six together (three grown-ups and three small ones). They sure are cute. I’m featuring a few photos of them in my Easter ad next week in the “Island Sun”.

SanibelSusan’s Real Estate Market Predictions

An island homeowner who lives in Gumbo Limbo dropped in at the office recently and asked about the real estate market. He often bikes his neighborhood and was surprised to see so many “for sale” signs.For sale sign

Gumbo Limbo probably offers a good market representation. Today, there are 13 homes for sale there. In a community with fewer than 200 properties, to the passer-by, that may seem alike a lot for sale at once. Looking at the community’s sales history, in 2017, 12 Gumbo Limbo homes sold. Last year, only six, plus a vacant lot. Year-to-date one home has sold and closed, while two other homes and our lot listing are under contract.

Do these numbers reflect that inventory is up and are prices down? Yes, inventory is up and prices may be trending down, but it probably is too soon to make that prediction. I prefer to view the status of the market today as a correction to the downturn caused by the water quality issues of last summer.

When I stopped on my way home midweek to view the progress at our bayfront listing that is undergoing renovation, I couldn’t help but take a couple of pictures of the water in San Carlos Bay (see below). Unlike its appearance last fall, it was as beautiful as I remember seeing it, in all my 30-some years here. You know the look, sparkling clear and bright teal in color, like often photographed in the Caribbean.

04-10-19 San Carlos 104-10-19 San Carlos 2

Inventory is up because there have been fewer sales. Fewer visitors came to the island this winter. Traffic reports about causeway traffic indicate that fewer cars came onto the island last month which usually is the busiest month here. Late 2018 traffic was off even more. I’ll never forget the times last year that I drove across the causeway and did not see a vehicle (on land or water) or a person or bird in any direction. It was eerie.

The good news is that from that catastrophe, more positive “water” things are happening, more people are involved, more water solutions are in the works, more money is being allocated to fund solutions, and construction is underway on others. Unfortunately, the results of those efforts take time to implement. Seems that the good news takes longer to disseminate than the bad news – which seems to spread fast!

Perhaps some would-be first-time island winter visitors this year decided to vacation elsewhere. Can’t blame them for that, if they don’t really know what the beaches and waterways really are like. Future rental bookings with many income-producing properties are showing less income this year too.

What will happen to the islands’ real estate market in the upcoming months? That’s tough to predict. Often there are buyers that return in the spring who are folks that vacationed here in the winter but could not view all the listings that met their requirements. This year there are plenty of choices for those returning prospects.

In the spring, do these buyers sometimes try to negotiate better terms thinking sellers may not want to hold a property over the slower summer selling season which also is hurricane-prone rainy season? I’m sure you know the answer to that.

Some folks think the economy and political unrest are affecting the market today. They may be true to some extent, but I think that island lovers will continue to see the value in owning a piece of paradise where winter weather is tropical, development is controlled, island ambience is like stepping back in time, and concerned citizens are pro-environment and taking action to protect the areas we live in, work in, and love.

Some also say that the upcoming Federal elections in 2020 will affect real estate sales here. It could be that the islands are immune to that hype. Historical data does not support that elections affect sales, other than maybe the few days around and including the actual voting day.

crystal ballMy crystal ball says that provided there are no national emergencies or hurricanes, the Sanibel and Captiva market will continue to rebound from the downturn of last year. Yes, it’s a good time to buy because there is plenty of good inventory, but it also is a good time for sellers, particularly those that have their properties priced right.

Upcoming Holiday Happenings

In response to inquiries about events over the holiday next weekend, here is a summary:

Helping Those Needing a Hand-Up

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva is assembling Easter food and bunny baskets for those in the community needing a hand-up during the holiday. To donate items, please call 239-472-4775. Distributions will be on April 17 & 18.

Family Events

  • happy easter“25th Annual Spring Festival” to benefit The Children’s Center of the Island at Sanibel Community Park, across the street form SanibelSusan Realty, Saturday, April 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. with Easter egg hunt for children of all ages followed by pony & unicorn rides, face painting, slide, games/crafts, & more. The Easter bunny will be there for photos at 10:15 a.m.
  • “Community Easter Egg Hunt” at Sanibel Community Church, Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. includes thousands of eggs, pony rides, games, bounce houses, face painting, lunch, & more.
  • “Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Dolphin Cruise” by Adventures in Paradise aboard 45’ power catamaran departing at 9 a.m. Easter Sunday from Port Sanibel Marina, reservations needed 239-472-8443.Sanibel farmers market bike

Sanibel Farmers Market – open Easter Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall.

Easter Sunday Services

  • “Annual Sunrise Celebration on the Beach” by Sanibel Community Church on Causeway Island A at dawn. More info at www.SanibelChurch.com
  • Also, services at the church (Sanibel Community Church) at 8, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Captiva’s Chapel by the Sea at 11 a.m. More info at www.CaptivaChapel.com
  • Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ services at 7:45, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Saint Isabel Catholic Church services at 7, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • St. Michaels & All Angels Episcopal Church services at 7:30, 9:30, & 11:30 a.m.

Easter Eats

  • “Easter on the Gulf” at Sundial Beach Resort with seating on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call for reservations 239-395-6017.
  • “Sunday Brunch Buffet” at The Fish House Restaurant from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • “Easter Dinner” at Traditions on the Beach from 4 p.m., reservations recommended 239-472-4559

Recession Fears “Over Blown”

Florida Realtors logoPosted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line, this article has an interesting perspective on how past recessions affect home values.

Arch-logo“GREENSBORO, N.C. – Apr 10, 2019 – Research on how past recessions affected home values shows current conditions – including a shortfall in housing construction – likely mean the next recession will have a less severe impact on housing than the recession in 2008 did, according to the spring edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HaMMR) by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company.

“Housing market trends are now nearly the complete opposite of conditions in the months prior to the Great Recession, according to Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, global chief economist for Arch Capital Services. “A recession is inevitable at some point, but it’s likely to be far less severe for the housing market than the Great Recession,” DeFranco says. “We estimate that the current market is underbuilt by 1 million or more homes, buyers are more cautious and loan quality is far higher. In 2007, conditions were completely flipped: housing was hugely overbuilt, speculative demand was off the charts and the market was awash with high-risk loan products.”

“DeFranco also notes that home prices were overvalued by 25% or more then and are closer to expected values now. “In the 11 recessions recorded over the past 80 years, major price declines for housing have been more the exception than the rule, with home values only turning negative once in the five recessions since 1975,” he says. “The ongoing housing shortage is likely to limit price declines in a recession to 0-5% for a year or two before home values start to recover.”

“The quarterly Arch MI Risk Index, a statistical model based on nine indicators of the health of local housing markets, suggests that the probability U.S. home prices will be lower in two years is 9%, an increase from 6% in the previous HaMMR.

“In Florida, an Arch index infographic suggests that Florida home values have only a 6% chance of declining in two years. However, a higher risk (25%) in Miami suggests the chances are even lower in the rest of the state.

Nationally, the overall risk of a decline in home prices remains better than the historic average of 17%. Every state is expected to have positive home price growth over the next two years, continuing recent trends.

“The states with the highest risk of lower home prices in two years are North Dakota (27%), Alaska (24%), Wyoming (23%) and Connecticut and West Virginia, both at 22%.

“Among the 100 largest metros, the areas with the highest risk of having lower home prices in two years are Miami and San Antonio, Texas (25%), because of overvalued home prices. Those areas are followed by three metros in Connecticut – Bridgeport-Stamford, Hartford and New Haven (all at 22%) – which have shrinking populations of homebuyers and a state economy that lags behind the nation.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 5-12, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Seashells #15 2/2 $439K, Captains Walk #F4 2/2 $349K (our listing) (exterior photo below – professional interior photos & streaming video coming after estate sale next week), Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 $689K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $899K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.

9 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $339K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $465.9K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 now $499.9K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $720K, Sanibel Moorings #1111 2/2 now $969K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 now $1.05M, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.299M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.595M, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.997M.

1 new sale: Gulfside Place #305 2/2 listed at $1.249M.

3 closed sales: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $565K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $740K, Pine Cove #204 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

13 new listings: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $479K; 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $495K; 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 $629K; 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K; 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 $699,999; 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $759K; 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $897K; 788 Nerita St 3/3 $949K; 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.169M; 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.329M; 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.444M; 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.699M.

17 price changes: 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $679K; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719.9K; 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $739K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $759K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $759K; 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $769K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $799K; 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $849K; 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $899K; 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $999,999; 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.15M; 430 Glory Cir 4/5.5 now $1.275M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.4695M; 6425 Pine Ave 4/3 now $1.489M; 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 now $1.539M; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.995M.

9 new sales: 6141 Henderson Rd 2/1.5 listed at $424.5K, 1870 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $575K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $699K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $729K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $850K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $1.189M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.245M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 listed at $1.399M.

4 closed sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $580K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 $849.5K, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $889K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $970K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2462 Wulfert Rd $229K, 2133 Starfish Ln $419K.

2 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $329K, 1219 Par View Dr now $349K.

2 new sales: 1204 Par View Dr listed at $329K; 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $377,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $829K.

No new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $5.75M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday… enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Wrapping Up 1st Quarter on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


BeachIt’s SanibelSusan with the week’s real estate update. As the end of “high season” approaches and with continued price reductions, it has become a great time to buy. Now that it’s almost the end of first quarter, below are sales statistics followed by some recent articles about real estate and the economy.

The number of new sales announced yesterday at the local island Realtor® Caravan Meeting was an improvement over the last couple weeks. We hope the trend continues.

A few rental organizations have reported that April reservations are off, so some have reduced their “high season” rates in hopes of getting more bookings. They say it’s working! So, it’s a great time to schedule an island spring visit. The weather here is fantastic – mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s to low 80’s.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate – First Quarter to March 29, Last Year Compared to 2019

1st quarter 2018 1st quarter 2019
Sanibel Condos
# of sales 33 30
Average sale price $749,628 $603,292
# of price reductions 68 80
Sanibel Homes
# of sales 60 35
Average sale price $1,269,355 $1,143,691
# of price reductions 194 228
Captiva Condos
# of sales 11 7
Average sale price $911,783 $1,292,571
# of price reductions 7 14
Captiva Homes
# of sales 8 1
Average sale price $2,462,500 $2,800,000
# of price reductions 16 30

Another Decrease in Closed Sales for February

royalcoast_home_top_logoShortly after posting the Friday update last week, the below press release was issued by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association. This county snapshot covers Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Leigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island, and Sanibel/Captiva.

“Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the fifth straight month in February, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®. Year-over-year, sales were down for both, but only by 4% for single family and 1% for condos.…The active listings have risen for the last six months, pushing inventory up to its highest since 2015…Broken down by cities, Single Family sales in Bonita Springs and Pine Island again saw an increase in the number of Closed Sales, year-over-year. All the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year, with Sanibel/Captiva showing the largest decrease at -45.5% compared to last year…”

Here’s Another Perspective – “Freddie Mac: Economy Dicey, But We’re Bullish on Housing”

FreddieMacLogo_3The below are article was posted on Florida Realtors® Wednesday and sourced to Freddie Mac. Today, Florida Realtors® also posted that mortgage rates just made their biggest drop in a decade.

“Lower mortgage rates are making for a rosy spring selling season, even if the economy is starting to show some sluggishness, economists note in Freddie Mac’s March forecast.

“”The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of gaining momentum.”

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to a 4.28% average last week – lower than the 4.45% average from a year ago, Freddie Mac reports. “Mortgage rates have dipped quite dramatically since the start of the year and house prices continue to moderate, which should help on the homebuyer affordability front,” Khater says. Freddie economists predict that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 4.5% in 2019 and increase to 4.8% in 2020.

“Home price growth likely will continue to slow, researchers note. Freddie is projecting annual home price growth increases of 3.5% in 2019 and then 2.5% in 2020.

““But with demand growing for housing, Freddie Mac economists are upbeat that housing construction will increase this year. Total housing starts will likely increase over the next two years, with the most growth coming from the single-family housing segment, according to the report. Total housing starts are forecasted to rise to 1.27 million units in 2019 and to 1.33 million units in 2020.

“However, while the housing market looks poised to gain steam, the economy overall is showing some signs of weakening compared with a year ago. A decline in consumer spending has lowered economists’ GDP growth rate forecasts for the first quarter of 2019 to 1.2%.”

seahorse-festivalSanibel School Seahorse Festival 2019

Tomorrow, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3840 San-Cap Road is the annual school fund raiser with food trucks, live music, silent auction, inflatable and obstacle courses and games for all ages.

Free admission with unlimited Kid Zone wristbands for $20. More info at http://TheSanibelSchoolPTA.com.

Sanibel Estates Annual Meeting

Last night was the annual meeting of my Homeowners Association, Sanibel Estates. Held at The Community House, as many of the meetings are, we were treated with City updates by both City Manager Judie Zimomra and Police Lt. Grace Towler, followed by and a community update by our Association President, Former Sanibel Mayor Jerry Muench.Sanibel estates mtg 03-18-19

A few tidbits include:

News You Can Use – Citizens were encouraged to receive City news electronically. Sign up today at www.MySanibel.com to get “news you can use”. You can specify your preferences, i.e. construction projects, travel, trash collection times, weather, traffic advisories, meeting agenda (City Council, Planning Commission), etc.

2019 Sanibel Hurricane Seminar – Scheduled for Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. at The Community House. If you can’t attend, it will be videoed and on the City website following the event. Be sure and keep your Hurricane Pass in your car glove box to ensure quick access back on the island after a storm.

When to Call the Non-Emergency Police Department # – For information on identity theft, to report an iguana or other invasive species, to put your property on the City’s dark home or vacation check.

Proposed Dredging Funding – The current City resolution adopted in 2011 estimated the need to dredge the canal entrance into the bay every two years with the City contributing 33%, property owners’ associations contributing 27%, and the marina 40%. With more summer storms and dredging underway now, the City is recommending that the homeowners’ assessment, currently $20/annually for each canal-front property, be increased to $40/annually, plus a one-time assessment of $40 in fiscal year 2020. The timeline for changing this special assessment includes working through the proper channels of City and county governments, presumably with the updated assessment reflected on property tax notices this November.

East-End Fire/Rescue Improvements – Studies are underway analyzing responses to east-end emergencies with consideration toward bettering those times and perhaps adding a facility or equipment on that end of the island. Mention was made of the kitchen fire last week at Sandalfoot condominiums and the quick response by both Sanibel and Iona/McGregor departments.

No HOA Fee in 2019 – With good resources on-hand and beach accesses and bridges in good condition, no HOA fee will be charged to owners in Sanibel Estates this year.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 22-29, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #11A 2/2 $639K, Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 $1.029M, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.429M (our listing). Bottom photo below is the view from #222.

7 price changes: Sundial #H108 1/1 now $438,999; Blind Pass #D205 2/2 now $460K; Sundial #H409 1/1 now $519K; Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 now $639K; Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $749K; Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 now $789K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.029M.

9 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D2 1/1 listed at $399K, Sundial #I401 1/1 listed at $489.9K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 listed at $525K, Sanibel Arms West #K1 2/2 listed at $569K, Island Beach Club #310B 2/2 listed at $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 listed at $859K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 listed at $929K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 listed at $1.095M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 listed at $1.25M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $225K, Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $305K, Tennisplace #E24 2/1.5 $314K, Sundial #J101 1/1 $423K, Atrium #207 2/2 $1.484M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 $699K (our listing) (photos below), 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 6/2 $799K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 $949K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 $950K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $1.199M, 5089 Joewood Dr 5/4 $3.495M.

19 price changes: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 now $599K; 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $610K; 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $619K; 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 now $649,946; 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 now $739K; 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $747K; 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 now $895K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $899K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $954K; 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 now $969K; 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now 1.035M; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.15M; 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $1.199M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.27M; 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.649M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.685M; 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 now $1.95M; 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.997M; 4431 Waters Edge Ln 3/4 now $6.49M.

5 new sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 listed at $575K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed at $1.195M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1450 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.248M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $5.995M.

3 closed sales: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $525K, 659 Donax St 2/2 $537K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 $1.55M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 898 Rabbit Rd $170K (our listing), 1303 Par View Dr $329K, 255 Hurricane Ln $395K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $236,999; 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd now $249K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.299M.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 now $975K, Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 now $1.225M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11541 Paige Ct 3/4/2 $3.9M.

2 price changes: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.75M, 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 now $3.65M.

1 new sale: 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 listed at $6.499M.

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.

Island Inventory Lists

If you would like a Sanibel & Captiva Islands Inventory list, The SanibelSusan Team has been tracking sales for more than 27 years and we update our list every weekend. Organized by island and property type (condos, homes, and lots), then community, complex or subdivision, it includes all of the property for sale in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

For comparison, it also includes recent sales – from 2017 until the present. Send me an email at Susan@SanibelSusan.com, if you’d like it emailed or mailed to you.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Bunnies, Real Estate News, & More


Reporting another sunny Friday on Sanibel following a week with mixed weather. After a cloudy Tuesday, Wednesday was mostly off-and-on showers. Rain needed by dry local vegetation, but probably not appreciated by visiting vacationers and Lee County kiddos on spring break this week.

Beach Path.jpg

When beautiful weather returned yesterday, the bike paths and roadways again were busy, with the City posting notice about heavy late afternoon/early evening traffic. I left the office at 6 p.m. after watching Periwinkle traffic at a crawl in front of the office since mid-afternoon. I took the favored “back way” and made it home on the east end in 17 minutes. Later, I read on social media that someone leaving the Shell Museum at the same time endured nearly 2 hours getting to the causeway via Periwinkle. Yikes! When in doubt, watch the traffic cams. (http://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams)

The forecast for the next seven days, says mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid- to high-70’s, so we can expect to continue to share the islands with extra visitors. We hope they are coming to buy real estate too.

March Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the monthly membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Membership meetings include a speaker in addition to the standard Thursday Caravan announcements.

Living with Island Animals – Holly Milbrandt, Sanibel’s Information Officer and an environmental biologist with the City’s Natural Resources Department, was the speaker. She is one of five biologists that work for the City. Her topic was “living with island animals including those that can be nuisance”.

Holly reminded attendees of the Sanibel Plan and its vision statement which says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the Island’s wildlife and natural habitats. The Sanibel community must be vigilant in the protection and enhancement of its sanctuary characteristics.” She talked about species that are native as well as ones that are exotic, which animals are here now and how the City deals with those that are a nuisance or safety issue.

Sanibel bunny

This is one of the many bunnies often seen munching behind SanibelSusan Realty.

The first critters discussed were the marsh rabbits that have increased in numbers in recent years. She explained why. They are able to reproduce when just two months old and can have up to seven litters a year with as many as seven young in each litter. Without a deterrent, that’s a lot of bunnies. She expects that natural evolution will take care of them, in the meantime she warned that young green shoots and grass are their favored snacks. She suggested using natural ground cover in landscaping to deter them.

Next, she spoke about coyotes. They were first noticed on wildlife cameras in the wildlife refuge in 2011. The worry with them, in addition to preying on small pets, is their interference with sea turtle nests. She said though they are noisy and sound like a huge pack when they howl, they have not documented more than four together. A University of Georgia study done here in 2015/2016 determined that there were 27 individual animals on the island. Based on that number, she said today that could be as many 29-64.

Exotic lizard control was her next subject. These are the critters that need to be trapped and removed. She showed pictures proving that Green Iguanas are not always green. She also noted that a Nile Monitor Lizard has not been documented here in many years. The non-emergency number to call for removal of exotics is to the Police Department at 239-472-3111. She said that though the City Iguana Control Office/Trapper is only on the island Wednesdays, if an iguana is in a neighborhood another day, chances are it will be nearby on Wednesday too. Please call to report them. Since 2015, the City has removed over 3,500 at a cost of nearly $100K. The way to keep the island safe is what she calls EDRR (Early Detection & Rapid Response).

She finished her talk with a fun photo quiz of what animals have been on Sanibel and which ones have not. Sanibel does not have and has not had any Burmese Pythons or Lemurs (though there are lemurs on display in Periwinkle Park). There was a black bear on Sanibel several years ago and today there are cane toads. These toads are dangerous to pets.

No venomous snakes have been confirmed on Sanibel in 40 years, though she said folks often mis-identify a Florida water snake which is native. Alligators are native too and found all over the island. They are removed when they are found to be a safety hazard. The two crocodiles on Sanibel today are thought to both be female.

Sanibel realtors logoReal Estate Announcements – It was another week of many announcements, mostly with new listings and price reductions, though a few sales were touted too. The activity posted this week in the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Flood Insurance Overhaul Starts Next Year

wall street journalThe below article posted on FloridaRealtors® on-line Monday is sourced to a “Wall Street Journal” article of the same day.

“WASHINGTON – March 19, 2019 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the rollout of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) updates that will become effective next year.

fema“While FEMA released few specific details about the new program, it appears to downplay the role of flood zones in determining a home’s cost of coverage in favor of other variables, such as the distance from a potential flooding source rather than an all-or-nothing “in a flood zone” or “not in a flood zone” test.

“As part of Monday’s announcement, FEMA noted important dates: The new program becomes effective on Oct. 1, 2020, and homeowners will find out how much their policy will go up or down on April 1, 2020.

“FEMA said the new plan would assess properties individually and consider multiple variables, such as the potential for hurricanes, the homes distance from a body of water and the risk from coastal surges. It would also consider new “loss-estimation technology” that can account for threats from climate change and a home’s replacement cost.

“Florida – home to about 35% of all NFIP policies – could see a big impact from the proposed changes. It’s likely that homeowners in current flood zones would see an increase in their flood insurance premiums, but the state already pays more into NFIP than it gets back in post-flood claims, so some homeowners should see their rates go down.

“NFIP currently expires on May 1, 2019, and Congress is working on a solution to extend it for at least a few years. Should lawmakers reach agreement, it’s unclear how a legislative fix might impact the just-announced FEMA regulatory fix. Under U.S. law, FEMA is limited in its ability to raise rates. It’s also unclear how those limitations might impact increases under NFIP’s new risk model.”

Fun Stuff

sanibel-fire-logo-e1539870118355Tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, Annual Open House at Sanibel’s Fire House Station 171 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with fire apparatus and equipment on display. Great time for children and families to interact with firefighters, get on trucks, and experience a fire smoke simulation. There will be Sanibel Police Department, County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, and LCEC vehicles there too, as well as booths with info/animals from CROW, Ding Darling, and a local animal shelter.

Poke bowlNew at Bailey’s Center – Spoondrift Bowls – Opened by same family that opened Malia Restaurant in Beachview Estates a few months ago, Spoondrift Bowls started at the Farmer’s Market and now is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bailey’s Center. The bowls are healthy and can be create-your-own with a variety of protein, base, topping, sauce, and finish options. Or you can select a predesigned combination or daily special. They also offer healthy homemade desserts and beverages. (www.SanibelSpoondrift.com)

Shell Harbor Dredging

Work began last Friday dredging the entrance channel to Shell Harbor. The channel will remain open during the project which may take a few weeks, but boaters are advised to travel slowly and cautiously.

Kick-Off for Kevin Ruane’s County Commissioner Campaign

RuaneI attended this event on Tuesday night at The Community House. It was great to see a huge turnout including mayors from Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers. Introduced by Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, followed by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, and Former Sanibel Mayor Marty Harrity, they offered insight into the experience and praised the accomplishments of Mayor Ruane, particularly in the areas of finance and water quality. The new Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, Chauncey Goss, was at the event too. (During his first meeting, the contract was signed to construct the C43 Reservoir. It will take four years to complete but will be usable after two.) All positive steps in the right direction, having these champions representing islanders is important. Please give them your support too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 15-22, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $699K.

8 price changes: Sundial #G205 1/1 now $455K; Sundial #C310 1/1 now $459,750; Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $468K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 now $714.9K; Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $929K; Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $995K (our listing); Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.359M; Wedgewood #203 3/3.5 now $2.595M.

View b

View from Pointe Santo #C43

5 new sales: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 listed at $309K, Sanibel Arms West #K5 2/2 listed at $579K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 listed at $749K, Sundial #E205 2/2 listed at $1.395M, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $590K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-4 3/3 $905K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $799,999; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $899K; 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 $3.495M.

19 price changes: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $517.5K, 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $519K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $519K, 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $575K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 now $649K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $735K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $748K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $759K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $775K, 3013 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2.5 now $799K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F 3/3 half-duplex now 799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $959K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $999K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.249M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.399M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $6.495M.

6 new sales: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $509K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $619K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 listed at $619.9K, 3832 Coquina Dr 4/4 listed at $995K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 401 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $2.75M.

5 closed sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 $395K; 4755 Ruelle 3/3 $734,630; 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 $750K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2E 3/3 $825K (our buyer); 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 $1.275M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd $449K, 976 Whelk Dr $660K, 4995 Joewood Dr $2.85M.

4 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $244K, 6411 Pine Ave now $341.7K, 1026 Fish Crow Rd now $425K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $650K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd $315K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 $425K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 $1.199M, Lands End Village #1613 2/2 $1.7M.

4 price changes: Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 now $405K, Beach Villas #2426 1/1 now $537.5K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $849K, Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.295M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M.

1 new sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.849M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

kiteboarding

Sanibel kite-boarders love a good breeze. Is that teammate Dave?

Sanibel Sharing, Singing, Shelling, Sales, & Scoop


Sanibelcityseal logoFamilies on spring break are on Sanibel – or at least those wanting an environmentally-fun outdoor vacation with fabulous weather. Traffic is challenging with the City encouraging no unnecessary travel from 3 to 7 p.m. That’s what happens in “peak” season. The City traffic app showing the cameras at the intersections helps us plan our routes which always includes turning “right”, not left.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThe team and I got our Friday work done early this week to give me time to run home and change for our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Singers were/are required to be on-stage for pre-performance warm-ups at 6 p.m. and with the traffic being iffy, extra time was anticipated. It took me 45 minutes last night at 5 p.m. to drive the 3 miles from my east-end home to get back to BIG ARTS. Hopefully, it will be easier tonight. Last night’s performance was a sell-out!

Chorus Pic spring 2018.jpgThese concerts were early this year because the buildings at the BIG ARTS campus on Dunlop Road will be coming down in just a few weeks when the construction project for the new facility begins. Next year, when the new performance hall is complete, the entire chorus will fit on the stage and the audience will enjoy more comfy seating.

With our listings, teammate Dave held three open houses again this week and we had closings yesterday and today where they are both our listing and our sale. All of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. You’ll notice that price reductions continue, but there also was good sales action.

1st Meeting of the New Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District

We heard excellent news yesterday following the first meeting of the entirely new board of the South Florida Water Management District. You may remember that just days after he took office, Florida’s Governor DeSantis called for the resignation of the former board members. Over the course of the last few weeks, Gov DeSantis appointed new board members.

Chauncey GossIn West Palm Beach yesterday, at the first meeting of this new board, they chose their new leaders to fulfill the District’s flood control, water quality projects, environmental restoration and water supply missions. The new board elected Sanibel’s-own Chauncey Goss as their Chairman. That is great for the 8.1 million residents of South Florida. Congratulations, Chauncey!

Shell Identification App

banner-shellmuseumappThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has announced that their shell identification app now is available. Many members of the local shell club including SanibelSusan helped for several months with the beta version as the shell library was compiled.

The app is available through the link below and is helpful in several ways. First it helps identify shells, provides a full-color shell guide, offers info from museum experts about shells, and provides info on the daily activities and special events at the museum, and beach walks. You can take a picture of a shell and quickly identify it using the app. That’s the part of the testing where I participated.

https://www.shellmuseum.org/shell-app

Florida Homes Are Hot

Posted on-line by FloridaRealtors® on Tuesday, this article is sourced to “Builder” magazine  (03/11/19) Sowers, Scott:builder

“Florida ranked as the No. 1 place for buyers, according to a recent Lending Tree survey. “Out of all mortgage requests made during the study, 9.1% were for homes in Florida, and moving companies that worked with out-of-state homebuyers reported that 12.4% of all requested destinations were in Florida. Builder magazine calls Florida’s growth “explosive.”

florida“The study broke Florida down into five distinct housing markets.

“”In Southwest Florida you have a lot of retirees. In central Florida you have retirees and international buyers,” says Tony Polito, Metrostudy’s regional director for the Tampa area. “In South Florida you have a lot of international buyers.”

“The largest pool of buyers in Jacksonville are first-time and entry-level buyers impacted by a lack of choices and affordability. In Central Florida, there is local demand as well as a diversified base of buyers that includes investors, seasonal residents, international and vacation homebuyers.

“High demand and low inventory have pushed prices up, according to Toby Hoff, Metrostudy regional director.

“Builders moving out of the core areas of Central Florida have been able to bring more affordable homes online. Buyers in this supply-constrained market are now willing to deal with longer commutes or less-than-desirable schools in order to find something that is both new and in their price range,” he says.

“Although Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg are all interconnected, they are very different housing markets, with Tampa booming and generating new jobs. “We have two counties that account for 90% of the housing activity. Hillsborough, which the city of Tampa sits in, and Pasco County to the north,” says Polito. “Between Pasco and Hillsborough County, today we have a 14.8-month supply of vacant lots. Market equilibrium in this market is 24 to 36 months. Anything below 24 months means land prices are still rising. You can’t even find a small orange grove to develop.””

Florida Realtors® & Dubai Land Dept. Sign Agreement to Encourage Collaboration

Florida Realtors logoHaving visited Dubai last year, it was fun to read the below Wednesday news release from Florida Realtors® – where friends President Eric Sain and President-Elect Barry Grooms represented our organization at MIPIM 2019.Dubai govt

“CANNES, France, March 13, 2019 — Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department today signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during MIPIM 2019, the international real estate and property investors conference held March 12-15, 2019, in Cannes, France.

dubai land dept“The MoU establishes the parties’ cooperation in developing a mutually beneficial relationship in the general field of real estate, building a foundation for future business opportunities.

““As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Dubai and throughout the world,” said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. “Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department share mutual goals for future success. We look forward to strengthening our cooperative efforts and building more connections to enhance business opportunities for all of our members.”

“As part of the agreement, Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department “affirm the value of international collaboration and agree to exchange information in the general field of real estate, promote professionalism in the real estate industry and engage in other activities that offer mutual benefits.”

“According to Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department, establishing this relationship with Florida Realtors enables the parties to develop a greater mutual understanding and more mutually beneficial opportunities.

“The MoU signing took place today at the Dubai Pavilion. Florida Realtors 2019 President-Elect Barry Grooms attended the signing along with President Sain; Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department; Mr. Shadi Bteddini, CEO of AQARI Global, the USA Trustee of the Dubai Land Department; and Florida Realtors Director of Global Business Maria Grulich.

“Also in attendance: Spanish International Realty Alliance CEO Francis Fernandez Ariza, representing another global partner with Florida Realtors; André Perrissel, president of FNAIM Provence International Committee, FNAIM Aix Marseille Provence; Michel Platero, president of FNAIM Grand Paris; Ingrid Damoiseau, president of World Property Business Club; and Adam Scott, an international delegate also representing the last three groups, all highly regarded real estate organizations in France that also are global partners with Florida Realtors..

“Representatives of several sponsors and partners with Florida Realtors for this year’s MIPIM were present as well, including: Enterprise Florida, Florida Power & Light, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) and the Pinellas Realtors Organization (PRO).”

Island Water Reminders For Seasonal Residents

island-water-logoThere was a nice checklist in the spring issue of the “IWA Pipeline. Here’s the abbreviated version for keeping your water secure when you are away.

  • Take advantage of IWA’s annual free turn-off and turn-on of your water at the meter. If you don’t have a pool or irrigation system, it makes sense that you have IWA do this if you are heading north and won’t be back until next “season”.
  • If you don’t want your water turned off at the meter and don’t have a backflow prevention device, turn off your house water valve. That turns off all spigots inside the house. If you do this, it is wise to also shut off the hot-water heater valves and corresponding circuit breaker.
  • As a precaution remove any outside hoses that won’t be used while you are away.
  • Have your home-watch read your water meter to see if water is going through the meter or if you have high usage. IWA reads meters only once a month.
  • Check the usage and amount of your water bill every month.
  • Put a fresh battery in your irrigation controller. Power outages and surges are common in the summer. Irrigations system controllers have battery back-up for these instances, but if the battery is dead, some systems will default to water every day. Also check your rain sensor to be sure that it’s operating correctly for your property. Speaking of sensors, Sanibel irrigation systems are required to have a working rain sensor.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 8-15, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 $515K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $525K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $1.095M.

6 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $349K, Sundial #H210 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 now $749K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $799K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.049M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.25M.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $249K, Pine Cove #204 2/2 listed at $1.45M, Atrium #207 2/2 listed at $1.55M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $214K (our listing & sale), Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $650K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $699K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 $739K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 $825K, 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $975K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $1.195M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

20 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $599,999; 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $645K; 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $689K; 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $689K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $749.9K; 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $795K; 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $799K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 now $849K (our listing); 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $875K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $949K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $969K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $999K; 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.12M; 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.195M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.295M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.485M; 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 now $1.495M; 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.499M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 now $2.59M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $2.95M.

Pool View

Pool & water view at 1050 White Ibis Dr in Gulf Shores

13 new sales: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 listed at $399K, 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $524.9K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 6143 Henderson 4/3 listed at $599K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 listed at $749K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 listed at $1.169M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 listed at $1.795M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $2.374M.

2 closed sales: 9448 Cotton Ct 3/2 $800K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $900K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 223 Robinwood Cir $329K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $399,999.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $638K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2636 2/2 listed at $759K.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2428 2/2 $625K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 listed at $929K.

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! st pats day.jpg

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

February Flowers & Sanibel/Captiva Happenings


It’s another Friday and another month almost over, as Sanibel/Captiva weather continues to be summer-like. It has been another week with temperatures in the high 70’s/low 80’s, with more of the same expected over the next few days.

February Bougainvillea

The bougainvillea & roses in my yard always get happy in February!

Now that it’s really “season”, getting from one end of Periwinkle to the other has been challenging, sometimes in both directions, but particularly on Presidents’ Day and most days as workers head off-island (from about 3 to 6 p.m.)

SSRA with flagHere in the office, SanibelSusan listings had some action this week, with a sale, a price reduction, a new listing, and a home inspection.

The complete action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days, follow a few news items below.

February Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday morning was the island Realtors® monthly membership meeting. It brought a standing-room only crowd which is typical for February which usually is when business here is best. Surprisingly during the Caravan portion of the meeting, when new sales are announced, there was only one – a condo unit at Loggerhead Cay

During the educational portion of the meeting, speakers from the Sanibel School updated members with info we can use in presenting the school to prospective buyers. Assistant Principal Jamie Reed provided a school history, explaining how the school expanded a few years ago from K through 5, to K through 8. She also said that today school enrollment is down. The school has capacity for 354 students, with enrollment today at 270.sanibel school

With school funding based on the number of students, that also is down, but strong community financial support contributes to the school’s success. The Sanibel School Fund, for example, which is a group of education-minded citizens and parents raised the money needed to hire the school’s Spanish teacher, providing that foreign language training to all grades. The school’s PTA and close relationships with local organizations like the Wildlife Refuge, BIG ARTS, and the Conservation Foundation, also provide School support.

Classroom sizes at The Sanibel School include two classes in each of the lower grades with no more than 18 students per class. Grades 6 through 8 each have one class with up to 22 students in each. This family-like network of students and teachers provide a nurturing environment contributing to the school’s academic success rate, with grades continually ranking in the top 5-6% of the state.

Donna Marks, Sanibel School Registrar and Information Specialist, is available to provide school tours and explain what is needed for school enrollment. It no longer is a requirement that their students live on Sanibel/Captiva or have parents who work on the islands. More info at https://sbl.leeschools.net/our_families/registration__enroll_my_student

2019 Lee County Market Report – January

FL gulf coast mls logoThis morning, the following report was released by the Florida Gulf Coast MLS:

For the fourth straight month Single Family Homes shows a decrease

“Lee County’s Single Family housing market saw a decrease for the fourth straight month in January, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®. Year-over-year, sales were down for both by double digits, but Townhouses and Condos are holding steady over the last four months.

“January showed a -18.7% decrease in the number of Closed Sales for Single Family Homes, and a -10.4% decrease for Townhouses and Condos, compared to the same time last year. Sale prices were up slightly for Single Family, while townhouse and Condos remain steady. Inventory is on the rise for Single Family showing 6.5% Months Supply of Inventory and 7.5 for Townhouses and Condos. The number of Active Listings jumped up again for a fifth straight month at 18.9% for Single Family Homes and 12.5% for Townhouses and Condos compared to 2018….

“Broken down by cities, Single Family sales in Bonita Springs, Pine Island and North Fort Myers saw an increase in number of Closed Sales, year over year. All remaining cities saw a decrease over last year. With Sanibel having a -60% and Fort Myers Beach having a -58.2% showing the largest decrease over 2018….”

Note: The numbers reported represent sales by all members of Florida Realtors®/SWFLA Matrix for Lee County, FL. Statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is released.

What Do Home Inspectors Usually Find?

Florida Realtors logoWith Florida being a full-disclosure state, Sellers and their representatives are required by Florida law to disclose defects that may materially affect the value of the real estate being sold. With many island properties owned by snowbirds, part-time visitors, and investors, in recent years it has been common to see Sanibel and Captiva property sold using the Florida Realtors® “As Is” contract.

Under the terms of the “As Is” contract, the Buyer accepts the property in its physical condition and the Seller is not responsible for any repairs. That contract also includes an “Inspection/Cancellation” period when the Buyer may perform due diligence, usually having the property professionally inspected.

The SanibelSusan Team always suggests a home inspection. A good one considers all the physical elements of a property and provides the age, service life, and condition of all mechanical items. Regardless of a property’s end use, it makes sense that a Buyer handle any repairs needed to ensure that they are done to their standards and satisfaction.

The below article posted on-line Wednesday by Florida Realtors® contains the same suggestion. Repair credits are not typical with the “as is” contract. That applies to the older Florida purchase agreement where a Buyer also may have a property inspected during a certain time period, but with that agreement, the Seller is advised of defects found and required to fix them by closing. With the “as is” contract, no Seller repairs or credits are required.

“LAS VEGAS – Feb. 20, 2019 – A study of 50,000 home inspections by Repair Pricer, a company that estimates repair costs for items cited in home inspection reports – found that some repair costs tend to appear more often.

“Nearly 55% of home inspections nationally cited doors that needed adjusting, for example; and 54% lacked exterior caulking and sealant, which could leave the home susceptible to extensive water damage. And about 48% of homes lacked GFCI protection to minimize the risk of electrocution in areas like the kitchen or bathroom. The most expensive home defects ranged in repair prices from slightly more than $1,000 to less than $10,000:

“Top 10 common home defects – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Doors need adjusting/servicing: 54.9% of reports – $254 to repair
  • Faucets and heads need servicing: 54.8% of reports – $273 to repair
  • Exterior caulking/sealant missing: 54.5% of reports – $310 to repair
  • Outlets or switches with deficiencies: 53.7% of reports – $248 to repair
  • No GFCI protection: 48.0% of reports – $433 to repair
  • Absence of or defective smoke alarms: 45.06% of reports – $378 to repair
  • Cosmetic sheetrock cracks or nail pops: 45.02% of reports – $545 to repair
  • Fixtures and/or bulb deficiencies: 40.5% of reports – $209 to repair
  • Caulking, grout and sealer are missing interior: 33.9% of reports – $353 to repair
  • Service panel deficiencies: 33.7% of reports – $298 to repair

“While expensive repairs are less common, one in 10 inspections cite a roof nearing the end of its useful life as the most expensive common repair generally noted. However, one in five reports find a problem with window seals, which can cost over $1,000 to repair.

“5 most expensive repairs found – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Roof nearing end of its serviceable life: 9.6% of reports – $9,948 to repair
  • Coil and condenser at end of serviceable life: 10.7% of reports – $5,818 to repair
  • Heating unit exceeded serviceable life: 10% of reports – $3,798 to repair
  • Water heater may need replaced: 10% of reports – $1,259 to repair
  • Window seals failed or fogged: 20.8% of reports – $1,026 to repair

“What should buyers do with inspection report information? Repair Pricer says buyers’ first instinct is often to ask sellers to make repairs, but “this tactic can frequently backfire. Even if the seller agrees … they’re under no obligation to implement quality repairs and frequently execute the cheapest option or fix, potentially leaving the buyer with substandard work, no transferable warranty and no recourse.” Seller repairs can also give buyers a “false sense of security, believing their agents have negotiated and built a home warranty into their contracts.”

The best tactic, according to Home Repair, is to ask the seller for a repair credit if appropriate under the contract and hire a contractor after closing to complete the repairs to the buyer’s standards – not the seller’s.”

Update on Water Issues by SCCF and Everglades Foundation

SCCF logoAn important update sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is scheduled next week. Here’s their announcement:

“Historically, nearly all the water from Lake O flowed south. Now, over 70% flows to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. Don’t miss the chance to get the latest updates on the status of water management projects impacting the Caloosahatchee and the Everglades. After the devastating impacts of the 2018 Red Tide and the recent promising actions by Governor DeSantis, real improvements are now possible.

“Join us for “New Opportunities to Advance Water Quality Improvement and Everglades Restoration!” on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The event is free and registration is not required. Doors open at 6:30 and light refreshments will be served.

SCCF Water flows

“Some key indicators of current conditions:

  • Current Lake O levels are lower than they have been in recent years. A weak El Niño may bring higher than normal rainfall in the next few months.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning work on a new water management schedule for Lake O releases.
  • And Governor DeSantis has asked the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to expedite work on the EAA Reservoir, the keystone project that will reduce harmful flows to the estuary by 40-60%.

“ALL of us will need to stay engaged to make sure that this emerging leadership vision is successful. Learn the latest from SCCF and the Everglades Foundation on recent progress, ongoing challenges and what you can do to help. For more info, call 472-2329.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 15-22, 2019

Sanibelsancap GO MLS logo

CONDOS

8 new listings: Sundial #G405 1/1 $439,555; Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 $605.9K; Villa Sanibel #2G 2/2 $685K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 $769K; Sundial #J204 2/2 $769K; Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $889K; Sanibel Moorings #111 2/2 $999.99K; High Tide #A301 2/2 $2.149M.

7 price changes: Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 now $595K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $699K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 now $725K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $824K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $920K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $944K, Pointe Santo #E35 2/2 now $1.35M.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $239K (our listing & sale), Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial #B407 1/1 listed at $529K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $305K, Sundial #F206 1/1 $420K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $595K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $949K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $999K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.089M, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.499M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $2.374M, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 $2.495M (our listing), 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.25M.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

Our new listing at 842 Limpet Dr

21 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $528K; 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $529K; 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $669K; 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $674K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $769.9K; 697 Birdie View Ct 3/2 now $774K; 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 now $799K; 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $799.9K; 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $824.9K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $849K; 686 East Gulf Dr 3/2 now $849K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $879K; 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $899K; 501 Lagoon Dr 3/2 now $949K; 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 now $950K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $989K; 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 now $995K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $999,995; 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.095M; 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.395M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C 3/3 now $1.549M (our listing).

Image 8 c.jpg

Home just reduced at 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, Moonshadows #2C

5 new sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $415K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 listed at $739K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M.

3 closed sales: 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $725K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $900K, 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $997K.

1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $194K.

1 new sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $379K.

1 closed sale: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $185K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3124 1/1 $370K, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.279M, Lands End Village #1635 2/2 $1.429M.

2 price changes: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 now $889K, Lands End Village #1602 3/3 now $2.15M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 now $2.4M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.799M, 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M, 952 S Seas Plantation Rd 6/5.5 now $4.15M.

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 warm sunny beach-like weather too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Nice beach shot

Woohoo! It’s Finally “Season” on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Kiters

Hooray! It has been a week with more real estate action for The SanibelSusan Team. “Season” really is here with showings and Open Houses more productive. (Not much time for our teammate to enjoy his favorite sport – shown above).

The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service are after some other news below.

Sanibel realtors logoAt our Association of Realtors® morning Caravan Meeting yesterday, only a couple of sales were announced. Many price reductions had attendees commiserating about how it has turned into a “buyers’ market” with plenty of well-priced properties available

It sure will be great to announce our two new sales at our Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting next week – especially nice for us since we brought the buyers too!

Presidents’ Day Weekend on The Islands

Sanibel Bike Hikepresidents day clip artWith wonderful weather expected right through the 3-day weekend (sunny with day-time temperatures in the mid-to-high 70°s F), the island should be packed.

Below are a few fun happenings. Sanibel City Hall and all City Municipal Services will be open on the Monday holiday. (SanibelSusan Realty will be open too.)

These organizations have received City Special Events Permits for this weekend.

rotary logoTomorrow, Feb 16: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Annual Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, at the Community House, across the street from our office. www.sanibelartfair.com

Sunday, Feb 17: Annual Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair (above) continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sanibel Farmers MktAlso, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Sanibel Island Farmers Market on the grounds of City Hall at 800 Dunlop Rd. There has been some confusion this winter about Farmers Market parking. With construction complete at the Sanibel Library, parking under the Library is now available, while the outside Library parking lot is designated Handicap Parking. Other lots available for general parking are at City Hall, BIG ARTS, and Herb Strauss Theater.

President’s Day Weekend Holiday Sidewalk Sales at:

  • Eileen Fisher
  • Gene’s Books
  • Huxters
  • Islander Center
  • Joey’s Custard, Bailey’s Center
  • Periwinkle Place
  • Sanibel Sea School

Campaign to Buy & Preserve More Land

ding darlingOne of the announcements at our Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday was by fellow Realtor Sarah Ashton, who is serving this year as Vice President of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).

She told us about DDWS’s annual fundraiser event “Go Wild” the night before. It was then that DDWS went public with their project to raise $3 million in private donations to complete the acquisition of the last large parcel of undeveloped land on Sanibel Island, called Wulfert Bayous. Would you believe that DDWS raised half a million dollars in just the last ½-hour of their event? Islanders are so generous!

Wulfert Bayous is 68 acres along San-Cap Road, adjacent to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It was slated for development with permitting for 29 large homes.

Ding FundraiserAs posted on DDWS’s website: “DDWS has been working for several years behind the scenes to partner with funding sources and private donors toward the acquisition. As a result, on November 6, 2018, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of exploring the acquisition and has asked county staff to pursue the possibility. DDWS also is looking into state funding and grants from the BP Horizon Spill as other alternative funding sources toward the remaining $6.5 million needed.

“From private donors, DDWS has to date raised $2 million toward the minimum $3 million it will need to raise in order to receive support from other funding sources. “There’s a possibility that the $3 million goal may change, depending upon the amount of funding received from the other sources we are investigating,” said Birgie Miller, DDWS Executive Director.

“The acreage along Wulfert and Sanibel-Captiva Roads is home to a number of species, including eagles, bobcats, gopher tortoises, and rare plants. It is also a stopover for migrating neo-tropical birds. Resident and seasonal birds alike would be seriously threatened by development, say refuge officials.

“The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will protect a 4-acre lake, 16 acres of existing mangroves, hardwood uplands, and 22 active gopher tortoise burrows. Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create a wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons. Improvements would also include limited, passive public access for wildlife viewing.

““The 68-acre parcel will complete a wildlife corridor connecting surrounding conservation lands while stemming development and water quality degradation via natural filtration,” said John McCabe, DDWS Land Acquisition Committee Chair. “As the largest parcel of unprotected undeveloped land on Sanibel, it’s the vital piece of the puzzle that will ensure Sanibel’s future as the protected, pristine natural treasure we all love.”

““We are turning to private support to meet our required $3 million campaign goal,” said Birgie. “Time is of the essence for raising the money. If we do not meet the deadline, conservation could lose the parcel to residential development. We are looking for donations and pledges large and small within the next three months.”

“To pledge funds to save the Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres from development, donors should contact Birgie at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.”

Sanibel Prescribed Burns for 2019

Sanibelcityseal logoIt also was announced this week that the first of the island’s annual prescribed burns could begin soon. Representatives from the National Park Service, Florida Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, as well as Sanibel’s Natural Resource Department, police, and fire, work cooperatively in these efforts.

The targeted lands for 2019 include Legion Curve, the Sanibel-Captiva Road parcel, Sanibel Gardens Preserve, Frannie’s/Johnston Tract and North Center Tract, now called the Erick Lindblad Preserve.

The Legion Curve site which hasn’t been burned for several years was slated to be as early as this week depending on the weather. Prescribed burns here don’t occur every year. They are used to reduce hazardous fuels, to minimize the threat of catastrophe to wildlife, and maintain public safety. They also help restore natural habitat for wildlife. The timing of these burns can be wind related with neighboring property owners advised usually 48 hours before a burn occurs. More info is available through Sanibel’s Natural Resource Conservation Officer or the Refuge’s Supervisory Ranger.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 8-15, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #D310 1/1 $395K, Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 $539K, Sanibel Arms West #K1 2/2 $569K, Compass Point #221 2/2 $725K, Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 $799K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 $1.099M.

5 price changes: Sundial #I103 1/1 now $469K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $610K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 now $619K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 now $675K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $925K.

9 new sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 listed at $237.5K, Sundial #D304 1/1 listed at $399.9K, Sundial #D204 1/1 listed at $419.9K, Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $449K, Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 listed at $624.9K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 listed at $625K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 listed at$ 699K, Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 listed at $699K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Arms #F8 2/2 listed at $969K.

Beach

Bayside beach at Lighthouse Point

1 closed sale: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $435K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $669K, 1555 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $725K, Moonshadows #1F 3/3 half-duplex $835K, 5835 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $895K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $899K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 $924K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $999K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.849M, 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 $2.8M.

25 price changes: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $509K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $615K, 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $639K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 now $639K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $650K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $669K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $729K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $739K, 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $779K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $819K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $849K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $925K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $989K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $989K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 now $1.05M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 now $1.249M, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 now $1.249M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 now $1.25M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.549M, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.275M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $1.795M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.9995M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $2.395M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 now $3.195M.

5 new sales: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 5260 Caloosa End Ct 3/2 listed at $597K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $659K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $679K, 2332 Troon Ct 4/5 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sale: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $415K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.195M.

2 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $149K, 6127 Starling Way now $1.36M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4116 1 /2.5 $380K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D 2/2 $989K

4 price changes: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 now $1.419M, Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.995M, Beach Homes #11 4/3 now $2.895M, Captiva Cove #C 5/4 now $3.695M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2428 2/2 listed at $629K.

3 closed sales: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 $595K, Beach Villas #2538 3/3 $900K, Lands End Village #1655 2/2 $989K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 $1.295M.

4 price changes: 16333 Captiva Dr 4/2/2 now $1.895M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.495M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6/1 now $2.779M, 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 now $4.9M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Vice Presidents LogoHere’s hoping you enjoy your Presidents’ Day weekend! It’s a great time to buy on the island favored by our current Vice President! Please contact SanibelSusan if The SanibelSusan Team may help you!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Still Time to Get Your Valentine a Piece of Island Paradise


Blind Pass 01-31-2019

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another nice often-sunny Sanibel Friday with temperatures in the mid-70’s. Visitors and vacationers continue to fill the roadways, bike paths, beaches and waterways, as snowbirds and locals readjust to their annual “plan ahead & share” mode – a certain necessity here every February and March.

West Wind new signWith continued good weather in the forecast, more folks are arriving all the time.

We had some 1st time island visitors come into SanibelSusan Realty this week inquiring about real estate. We like those. It’s always fun when they say they are staying at West Wind Inn, where Dick and I stayed during our first visit 30-some years ago.

I was at their Normandie Seaside Café today for lunch and noticed their new sign. It’s a great spot for a quick meal away from the hustle-bustle.

Island Real Estate Happenings

San Cap LogoThere was a big turnout yesterday at the local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Realtors® Thursday morning Caravan Meeting. The week’s activity in the Multiple Listing Service is posted after a few news items below.

Teammate Dave held several Open Houses again this week with another marked increase in the number of visitors. We are getting good showing action and inquiries with our listings too. I’ve been out showing and will be at it again this weekend. Photo below taken along the entrance to Chateau Sur Mer yesterday afternoon where lots of birds were along the bayous.

Chateau birds.jpg

The “high season” craziness here has begun. Woohoo! (That also means from now through Easter, it makes sense to make a reservation or call-ahead before you go out to dinner.)

Update of Sanibel’s Shared Use Path System

sanibelmapbikeFrom an article in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”:

“Extending more than 26 miles and spanning from Lighthouse Beach Park on the east end to the Blind Pass Bridge on the west end, the Shared Use Path system is one of the City of Sanibel’s unique gems.

“And city staff, in partnership with the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking feedback from residents and visitors – pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists – on the operation.

“The city and county recently kicked off a project to update the master plan for the Shared Use Path. The current version was adopted in 2009 and has guided the implementation of updates to the system over the past decade. A Project Advisory Committee has been established to assist with the process.

“On January 31, the eight-member group held its first public meeting with officials and staffers…” The group’s goal is to “identify gaps or needs in the system – current challenges – then determine how to go about addressing the recommendations, including exploring funding options.”

Look to wrap up by June, City Council must sign off on it. This Committee will organize Open Houses, hold pop-up events at farmers markets and festivals, and an on-line survey, plus will question path users. On February 11, the online survey will launch at www.sanibelbikeped.com. Visitors to the website have until April 30 to complete the survey and have their feedback considered. The site also features info on the plan update and project, background on the existing path system, and an interactive wiki map tool.

On February 16, the team will conduct its path intercept surveys, which will include stopping users at multiple locations along the system to ask them to participate in a questionnaire.

“Prior updates to the system have focused on areas like widening paths, making markings and crossings more consistent and uniform, and updating amenities along the path such as adding shelters, benches, and water fountains.” They also looked at “incident data, including bike versus bike, bike versus vehicle, and falls.”

“There are five common challenges when looking at paths and trails…space, speed, surfaces, signage, and social behavior.” Some additional and emerging challenges are “congestion and user conflict, bicycle parking, shared active transportation and micro-mobility and ACES (autonomous, connected, electric, & shared) vehicles. Check the website for more info and to provide your feedback.

Island Events

big arts logoNow that it’s February, the schedule of island events is staggering. BIG ARTS often has sold-out performances, while the classes, beach walks, conservation talks, current events discussions, recreation and fitness opportunities, lessons, games, arts, and crafts go on and on. Many island fund-raising and annual meetings happen this time of the year too, so be sure and check the events tab above for links to some of them.

Asian Buyers

mapfareastWhen I attend our state leadership team meetings in Orlando and talk to other colleagues around the state, they often ask if we are seeing an increase in Asian buyers on the islands. That answer has always been “no”, but recent real estate news from other areas indicates that those buyers are purchasing more and more in the U.S.

I have often explored more advertising in that overseas market, some recent news may mean the time is right. Here are a few tidbits from a recent article.

More and more Koreans are parking their money in real estate overseas as their domestic economy wallows in the doldrums. According to the Bank of Korea, individual Koreans and business spending on properties abroad last year, was up a whopping 47% or 3.8 times more than five years ago. In 2008, that government lifted restrictions on buying overseas real estate. The U.S. is their most popular destination for real estate investment, followed by Vietnam, Canada, Thailand, and Japan. Property in major cities in the U.S., Japan and most advanced countries is considered a stable source of rental revenues. For cash buyers, the estimated rate of return is four to five percent compared to interest on savings of around one percent.

In Japan, which will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, real estate prices are rising, while their economic policies have resulted in ultra-low interest rates, prompting many investors to turn to real estate.

My Transnational Referral Certification which gets our listings promoted on WorldProperties.com now has partnerships with the real estate organizations in Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, and United Kingdom. The Far East may be next.

‘Aging In Place’ Keeps 1.6M Homes Off Market

FreddieMacLogo_3I saw this article posted this morning on Florida Realtors®. Interesting study:

“Freddie Mac’s February Insight identifies a key factor contributing to today’s housing shortage: seniors choosing to age in place. It calls this shortage “an important barrier to young adults buying their first homes.” “We estimate that approximately 1.6 million more senior households are staying in place than would have been the case if they had behaved like previous generations of homeowners,” says Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “For scale, 1.6 million units is roughly the same as the number of new single-family and multifamily housing units built each year, and it represents more than half of the current shortfall of 2.5 million housing units that we estimated in our December Insight.”

“Khater says the increase in home-holding older adults will “increase the relative price of owning versus renting, making renting more attractive to younger generations.”

“Seniors born after 1931 are staying in their homes longer, resulting in higher homeownership rates for this group relative to previous cohorts.

“Estimate: 1.1 million existing homes have been held off the market through 2018 by those born between 1931 and 1941; 300,000 are held off the market by those born between 1942 and 1947; 250,000 are held off the market by those born between 1948 and 1958.

“To provide context for the 1.6 million existing homes being held off the market due to seniors aging in place, the Urban Institute recently estimated that 3.4 million millennials are missing out on homeownership.

“The trend of seniors aging in place is likely to grow as both the number of seniors increases and the barriers to aging in place are reduced. More older Americans prefer to age in place because they’re satisfied with their communities, their homes and their quality of life.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 1-8, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #D204 1/1 $419.9K, Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 $949K, Atrium #103 2/2 $1.495M, La Playa #1B 3/2 $1.55M.

8 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $379.9K, Sundial #J101 1/1 now $449K, Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 now $459K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.079M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.459M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 now $1.695M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.785M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 listed at $305K, Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 listed at $319K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 listed at $729K, Sundial #A201 2/2 listed at $899K, Tarpon Beach #112 2/2 listed at $1.149M..

2 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1641 2/2 $560K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 $639K.

HOMES

9 new listings: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 $538K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 $645K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 $769K, 3861 Coquina Dr 3/3 $819K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.235M, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 2332 Troon Ct 4/5 $1.595M, 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.795M, 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 $2.15M.

21 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $529K, 659 Donax St 2/2 now $575K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 now $619.9K, 724 Rabbit Rd 2/2 now $625K, 945 S. Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $635K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $695K, 9444 Cotten Ct 3/2.5 now $699K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $719K, 1212 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $724K, 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $739.9K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $779K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $779K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $799.9K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $819.5K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 now $825K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $845K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.365M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.3958M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 now $1.479M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.695M.

2 new sales: 747 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $559K, 4755 Ruelle 3/3 listed at $785K.

2 closed sales: 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.95M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 $6.45M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $149K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5128 1/2 $399K, Marina Villas #708 2/2 $749K.

2 price changes: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $849K, Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.7999M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Home s#13 4/4.5 $3.75M.

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, don’t forget there’s still time to get your Valentine a piece of paradise. I’m working all weekend if you need help with that!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanvalentine

valentines-day-clipart-hapy-6

Sunny 79 Degrees F = Happy Sanibel on Feb 1st


w gulf dr sanibel beach with more peopleIt sure is great to be back on the islands, especially with the deep winter freeze reported in so many areas of the country. With temperatures here this week about 10 degrees lower than normal at this time of the year, a few islanders have grumbled about needing to kick their heat on and dig out their warmer sweaters and jackets. Mostly however, we have worried about friends and family up north and wish their frigid weather soon ends.

w gulf dr sanibel beach pathThe islands’ good weather news today is that day-time temperatures here finally are back into the high 70’s, with even some low-80’s predicted for the weekend. The SanibelSusan Teams hopes that being the warmest state in the nation will bring more visitors and buyers to the sunshine state, especially the islands.

As traffic here increases, business likewise seems to be growing. Our various Open Houses this week had more visitors, while our listings had a little more activity too. Teammate Dave and I also were both out working with buyers and showing property.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the islands’ Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, there were more new sales announced – also, many new listings and price reductions. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week follows a few news items below.

First, a summary of today’s inventory (2/1/2019) compared to sales action this year, and 2018.

  Condos Homes Lots
Sanibel # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM
For sale 117 776,218 137 236 1,377,691 160 65 677,785 417
Under contract 10 804,150 78 23 1,300,213 148 1 189,900 23
Sold to-date in 2019 6 626,875 123 9 1,057,222 149 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
 
Captiva # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM # Avg $ Price DOM
For sale 41 1,153,068 223 43 3,065,012 244 3 4,296,333 418
Under contract 5 1,759,380 453 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date in 2019 1 389,000 43 1 2,800,000 181 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A

First Florida Water Policy Summit

Organized around the idea that “clean water is a basic human right”, the first Florida Water Policy Summit was held on January 21 featuring six speakers from local conservation groups speaking about actionable water policy that can improve Florida’s impaired waters. According to experts, Florida has a lot of impaired waters – currently 12 million acres under Best Management Action Plans which are 15-year restoration plans required by the federal government when a waterbody is not meeting quality standards.

clean water actThe Federal Clean Water Act requires each state to compile a list of such waterbodies. Then the Department of Environmental Protection conducts water shed assessments. Any waterbody that does not meet pollution standards is scheduled for a Total Maximum Daily Load, which is a limit for the amount of a particular pollutant that a waterbody can handle. The next step after establishing that “Load” is writing up the Action Plan to restore those waters. Current reports show that Florida has 416 waterbodies with “Loads”, with 80 others on a waitlist to receive one.

ConservancyofSWFLSpecialists with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida offered some insight into how Florida got the point where almost a third of the state is under water quality restoration plans. Those answers are complicated (quotes below from January 30, 2019 “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”:

“A combination of harmful agricultural run-off, insufficient urban stormwater treatment, and fertilizer use have mixed us a cocktail of toxic water.

“Under Florida water law, farmers can sign a notice of intent to implement best management practices – essentially promising to comply with water quality standards.

“This grants a “presumption of compliance,” regardless of whether they are actually meeting standards or not.

“…Doing away with that presumption of compliance, updating stormwater run-off standards to remove more nutrients, and strengthening local fertilizer ordinances can all help improve water quality.

“And then there is Lake Okeechobee.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule in 2008, and it was intended as an interim measure until repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dam were completed.

“Those repairs still are not done.

“The Corps expects them to be finished by 2022, but they have said they will not change the Schedule until the dam is completed.

“According to Florida’s director of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Schedule did not consider cyanobacteria and red tide, claiming it was unlikely that discharges from the lake caused harmful algal blooms, and did not analyze them any further.

“But discharges from the lake do cause problems.

“Rae Ann Wessel, natural resource policy director at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, refers to the issue of balancing the lake’s flow levels as “The Goldilocks Condition.”

“Propelled by gravity, Lake Okeechobee’s discharges travel across 75 miles of freshwater river and estuary and three lock and dam systems to reach the Gulf of Mexico.

“Too much flow from the lake washes valuable fish and oyster nurseries out into the Gulf, decimating the ecosystem.

“Too little flow chokes these habitats with salt.

“”When we don’t get enough flow into the system through the western lock, the water that is fed by tidal action from the Gulf up the river brings much more salinity than some of these habitats can tolerate,” Wessel said.

“Habitats like tapegrass, which provide a home for crab, fish, and oysters that filter feed and clean water naturally, are destroyed.

“”Not only do we lose the tapegrass, we also lose 100% of the oyster reef that is downstream, and those are filtering water for free. 50 gallons a day for a single oyster is a huge contribution to our water quality,” she said.

“In 2001, the South Florida Water Management District set a minimum flow level of 300 cubic feet per second.

“Scientists realized this forgot to account for inflows to the estuary coming downstream from Telegraph Creek and Orange River, so they adjusted the number to 450, Wessel said.

“”That’s important because it shows up in the Schedule, and every habitat analysis for every state and federal Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan project as a habitat metric. So if you’re meeting 450 cubic feet per second for the Caloosahatchee, it says you’re golden… and we know that’s just not true,” she said.

“A more ideal number is closer to 800, all the way up to 1,000 cubic feet per second, according to Wessel.

“The South Florida Water Management District recently set the flow level to 400 cubic feet per second, and the City of Sanibel gathered three other neighboring municipalities, including Cape Coral, to challenge that rule in administrative court, asking for more flows.

“That case is still awaiting a ruling.

“We’re doing oyster restoration and tapegrass restoration, but it’s not accounted for in the district’s analysis. They say the tapegrass is doing fine, but that’s because we keep going in and planting it,” Wessel said.

“With all of this in mind,… it is important for citizens to ask the Corps to address the regulations schedule as soon as possible, and to finish repairs to the dam by June 2020.

“”It can be done by then, and we need to demand it….”

“Wessel reminded everyone that it is not just Lake Okeechobee to blame for all our problems, because the watershed the discharges flow through to reach the Gulf is almost two Lake Okeechobees in size.

“”There are many times when we are getting no discharges from the lake, and we’re having harmful flows just from the estuary and river watershed. So keep in mind that when we talk about where the problems start, and where the solutions lie, it’s important to recognize that it’s all of us, we all contribute to it,” she said.

Important Addition to South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

sfwmd LOGO.jpgLocal water quality advocates were encouraged two weeks ago when Florida’s new Governor, Ron DeSantis took office and almost immediately issued a water policy order and requested that all board members of the South Florida Water Management District board resign.

This week, Gov DeSantis appointed outgoing Sanibel City Councilman Chauncey Goss to serve on the district’s 9-member panel. Chauncey has not only a keen connection to the island (yes, his Dad was Sanibel’s first Mayor), he has an impressive resume, having served in senior roles in politics both in the U.S. House and the White House. He is on the Board of Directors at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, Lee County Coastal Advisory Council, Lee County Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, among others. Last week, he announced that he would not seek re-election to the City council post he has served on since March 2015.

Following Goss’ appointment, the SFWMD released the following statement:

“The South Florida Water Management District appreciates Gov. Ron DeSantis’ leadership in making the restoration of Florida’s Everglades and the protection of its water resources such a high priority. His recommendation to allocate $625 million for state water resources projects like the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir, as well as the actions laid out in his recent executive order, show that Gov DeSantis is leading the charge to restore, and protect Florida families, businesses, and the environment.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 25 – Feb 1, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 $959K, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $889K, Sundial #P203 2/2 $929.9K, White Sands #25 2/2 $999K.

6 price changes: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $259K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $479K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 now $699K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $769K, Gulfside Place #305 2/2 now $1.49M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.595M.

2 new sales: Sand Pointe #228 2/2 listed at $749K, Kings Crown #311 3/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 $457.5K, Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $940K.

HOMES

12 new listings: 747 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $559K, 4619 Rue Bayou 3/2 $699K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $749K, 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 $824.9K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $929K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $949K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 $1.245M, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.295M, 228 Violet Dr 4/2/2 $1.949M, 572 Kinzie Island Ct 5/5 $2.15M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 $2.174M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.895M.

9 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $535K, 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $549.5K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $689K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $799K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $999K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $1.0355M, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.19M, 6425 Pine Ave 4/3 now $1.595M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.699M.

7 new sales: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $439.5K; 529 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $749,947; 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $889K; Moonshadows #2E 2/2 listed at $895K (our buyer); 3351 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 listed at $1.25M; 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 listed at $1.375M; 5407 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

Image 4.jpg

Moonshadows looking from Sanibel River to Gulf of Mexico

2 closed sales: 4290 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $510K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $730K.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 1817 Long Point Ln now $309K, 5251 Indian Ct now $689K, 6505 Pine Ave now $779K, 6519 Pine Ave now $799K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Beach Villas #5114 1/2 $412K, Beach Villas #2227 1/1 $539K.

2 price changes: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.25M, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.895M.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $1.049M, 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.595M.

2 price changes: 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $6.979M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.98M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 half-duplex $2.8M.

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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanRoseatesAnhinga

Real Estate Scoop from Florida Realtors & Sanibel


i-wear-flip-flops-in-winterFlorida Realtors logoIt is a long-distance joint effort this week as SanibelSusan finishes up today at the Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando while teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa keep things running smoothly on the island.

It is always rewarding to be part of the state leadership team. Though we only meet twice a year, much is accomplished in just a few meeting-packed days, while the networking and friendships made create invaluable resources and future referrals for years.

header_midwinter_2This business has changed so much since I got my real estate license almost 30 years ago, that just keeping up with the times can be challenging. To think that there are now over 400,000 real estate licensees in Florida, just the numbers are staggering. Last year, Florida real estate sales totaled $126.5 Billion. Also last year, Florida Realtors offered 1,158 courses with 35,235 students attending. Those are all record numbers.

Those numbers make it sound like peanuts that on Wednesday our state Audition Panel evaluated more prospective instructors to teach state-approved classes than we have ever done in a single day – a total of 48 live auditions and 12 written. Yesterday, our Curriculum Subcommittee also voted to approve, renew, update, and translate many classes.

Through the year, I occasionally am called upon to evaluate a written application to teach a class, or to perform a telephone interview with a prospective teacher. It’s satisfying, through the years, to watch some of these rookies turn into cracker-jack instructors, successful brokers, and even authors. One of them will Chair the state Professional Development Committee next year. Today, that Committee approved all of the instructors and class changes that the subcommittees recommended.

Another interesting aside from these Florida Realtors meetings are our common problems. As part of the Legislative Think Tank, the Resort and 2nd Home breakout group meeting yesterday shared the same difficulties being experienced in many areas. Those ranged from short-term and vacation rentals affected by such third party purveyors as AirB&B and VRBO, to similar changes in city/town/community regulations, to occupancy changes from water quality issues and the like.

Florida Realtors PAC continues to provide strong representation and lobbying in Tallahassee to protect your property rights and property values. (Wednesday night, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors received two state awards for their 2018 member PAC participation. Our local district pals in Bonita Springs -Estero won an award too.)government_affairs_rpac_logo_home

In the technology and legal world, changes in rules on advertising, teams, and copyrights, plus phishing, spams, wire fraud, and new contract requirements, make attendance at these meetings so important in staying ahead of the curve and out of trouble. Thanks to my team for making it possible for me to be part of these meetings. I’ll be back on Sanibel tomorrow in time to show homes on Sunday.

The action posted in the islands’ Multiple Service this week follows a news item below. On the island, and echoed in Orlando, is that last quarter 2018 and 2019 business to-date is off, but expected to improve. Here, it usually happens when the islands are busiest February and March. That’s soon. The SanibelSusan Team is ready.

What Will Increase the Value of My Property?

Money tightRealtors® often are asked what improvements will increase the value of a property when it is time to sell.

In most cases, buyers want a property that is move-in-ready. Usually, a few interior updates will help. In considering those improvements, do not over-improve beyond your community’s reasonable resale value.

Probably the most desired are remodeled kitchens and baths. They also bring the biggest return on investment. If full renovations are not possible, instead freshen with light neutral paint, new appliances, updated light fixtures, and kitchen/bath hardware.

Having consistent quality flooring throughout also is a plus with today’s buyers. Classic timeless styles rather than trendy options usually produce the best results.

Keeping the roof, windows, HVAC system, pool including cage and equipment, and hot-water heater well maintained also are important.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 18-25, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sundial #C410 1/1 $475.9K, Sundial #I401 1/1 $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $569K, Sanibel Arms West #K5 2/2 $579K, Sundial #J204 2/2 $793K.

6 price changes: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 now $305K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-1 2/2.5 now $640K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 now $729K, Sundial #A201 2/2 now $899K, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.395M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 now $1.745M.

2 new sales: Sundial #F206 1/1 listed at $429K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 listed at $795K.

1 closed sale: Sundial #J401 1/1 $561,750.

HOMES

9 new listings: 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 $529K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 $839K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $850K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 $950K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $998K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $999K, 1450 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2.5 $1.248M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.298M, 1653 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $1.495M.

9 price changes: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $547K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $627K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $689K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $699K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $699K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $849.9K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 now $999K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.295M.

2 new sales: 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $850K, 925 Whelk Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.375M.

4 closed sales: 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $850K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $1.025M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.09M, 2622 Coconut Dr 5/3.5 $2.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6217 Starling Way $1.4M.

1 price change: 3354 Barra Cir now $399K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 $384,999.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Beach Villas #2538 3/3 listed at $909.9K, Lands End Village #1655 2/2 listed at $1.055M, Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 listed at $ 2.248M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16333 Captiva Dr 4/2/2 $2M.

1 price change: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 now $874.5K.

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! Signing off from chilly Orlando where it’s been into the 40’s & 50’s all day (that’s degrees F). Good thing I brought my winter flip flops. It hasn’t been much warmer on Sanibel.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Realtors® Mid-Year Business Meetings

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

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

Florida Brokers Use New Tax Law as a Marketing Tool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Was 3rd Year For Above-Average Catastrophes

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

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

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

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

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

“Report highlights

Flooding

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

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

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

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

Atlantic hurricanes

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

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

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

Wildfire

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

compass point from beach

Compass Point from the beach

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan