It’s Time for Island Luminary 2018


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

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

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

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

Weekend Holiday Events & Upcoming Concerts

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

Sanibel Library Earns National Star Award

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

SCCF Earns Stars Too

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

Flood Insurance Extended to December 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

Image 8 c.jpg

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 2279 Wulfert Rd $324K.

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, may your holiday fun continue too! shell christmas trees

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

“Goodbye, November” on Sanibel Isle


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that “it’s official – Sanibel/Captiva weather finally flipped for a couple of days this week from summer-like to chilly.” Yesterday was our local Association of Realtors Monthly Membership meeting (followed by Caravan) at The Sanctuary Golf Community Clubhouse. Those meetings begin at 8 a.m. when it was down into the mid-50’s when I left my home (dressed in my winter flip flops and only jacket). It sure felt good.i-wear-flip-flops-in-winter

Temperatures only made it up to 68 degrees later in the day before dipping down again last night, though not as low. The forecast for the next few days has temperatures back up into the high 70’s, with nights in the low 70’s. The next cool front is expected to arrive next Wednesday. We have our fingers crossed that it will be cool that weekend as island holiday events kick-off.\

Below are some real estate news and more info about those events, followed by the action with our listings and the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. Just two Sanibel homes and one Captiva condo were sold during this time.

First, here’s the inquisitive white heron that was just checking out the recently-installed Christmas lights next to where I park my car at the office.

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Upcoming Island Events

  • 34th Annual Sanibel Luminary, Friday, Dec 7, begins with “A Sanibel 70’s Christmas” at the Historical Village from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (I’ll be singing carols with the Sanibel Community Chorus at 4 p.m. as we stroll through the Village.) Then from 5:30 to 9 p.m. from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other, churches, shopping centers, and businesses will be open for holiday shopping, music, and good cheer. (At the Olde Sanibel Shoppes, Sanibel’s Island Brass will perform holiday favorites, while the Sanibel Community Church will feature their annual dramatic “Walk Through Bethlehem”. From the unveiling of the renovated Chamber of Commerce building to the Sea School, and Jerry’s, Bailey’s, Periwinkle Place and more, there always are so many things happening at once on Luminary night that it’s impossible to visit them all – not to mention the spectacular twinkling lights and holiday décor.
  • 34th Annual Captiva Luminary, Saturday, Dec 8, similar to Sanibel’s event. The business and shopping areas of Captiva will be lined with lights and open for holiday fun, refreshments, and shopping.
  • 6th Annual Captiva Holiday Stroll, at South Seas Island Resort, on both Friday and Saturday evenings from Dec 7 through 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. where there will be holiday treats; skating; live music; arts and crafts; entertainment including face painting, stilt walking, juggling and balloon artists; holiday movies; photos with Santa; and food and beverages. Tickets are $10 (for non-resort guests), children under 12 are free. Proceeds to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • Captiva Christmas Carol Sing, at Chapel-By-The-Sea, Sunday, Dec 9 at 6 p.m. Seating both inside and on the sand under the holiday lights.
  • 2018 Holiday Chorus PosterBIG ARTS Holiday Concerts, Band concert is Saturday, Dec 8. Chorus concert is Wednesday, Dec 12. Both are at Schein Performance Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children free) at www.bigarts.org.

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoHere are some highlights from the speakers at our membership meeting yesterday:

kemp turtleKelly Sloan, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle Coordinator/Biologist reported on how water quality this year has affected the turtle population. As of Nov 9, Southwest Florida from Collier to Pinellas Counties have documented 1,205 turtle strandings, most of these animals (1,051) were found dead. The previous average was 477, making the current number 2.5 times greater than the norm. Lee County had 293 strandings, the county previous 5-year average was 94. This year was the largest number of stranded turtles attributed to a single red tide event.

Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham provided an update on what The City of Sanibel is doing regarding improving water quality. Guided by the City’s Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, Sanibel has:Sanibelcityseal logo

  • Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation Program
  • Established a fertilizer ordinance
  • Golf Course Report Card Program
  • Native plant protection and sod limitations
  • Converted most of the island from septic to central sewer
  • Reduction of impervious surfaces for single-family homes
  • Implemented of NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems) to reduce stormwater runoff
  • Beach and dune protection
  • Mangrove protection through state regulation
  • Constructing a water quality treatment park
  • Upgrading the Donax Wastewater Reclamation Facility

Sanibel’s fertilizer ordinance was the first in the state. It requires that fertilizer nitrogen content must be 20% or less and at least 50% must be a slow release form. Phosphorus content must be 2% or less and no fertilizer can be used within 25’ of a body of water. Additionally, the fertilizer blackout period is during the rainy season (July through September).

The City recently sent letters to all 460-some mayors of every city in Florida asking them to similarly do their part to help improve water quality. Sanibel efforts to-date cost $120M. A new $20M project is in the works that will remove nitrogen out of reclaimed water.

Together we can all make a difference. Please pass the word that water quality affects real estate values. As water gets cleaner, property prices rise. We all need to do our part and stay involved.

The Makings of a Buyer’s Market

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_From “REALTOR®” magazine, November-December 2018 issue:

“Buyers are pulling back. Home prices have been rising too much relative to income for many would be buyers to keep pace. Since 2011, the U.S. median home prices have risen 55% while wages are up only 18%. Now, the Federal Reserve has become more aggressive against inflation; with several short-term interest rate increases over the past year and more likely on the horizon, mortgage rates are trending up. A monthly mortgage payment on a typical home today is $1,136 up from $639 in 2011. And confidence is down. Only 38% of consumers today strongly believe it’s a good time to buy, down from 43% last year, and the numbers are lower for renters who don’t have equity to tap for a down payment.

“It’s not all bad news, though. The reason for the Fed’s rate hikes is that the economy is roaring. Jobs openings are at a record high, and the number of people applying for unemployment checks is at historic lows. As long as the economy stays strong, home sales could head up – even as rates continue to rise.

“Mortgage rate increases don’t automatically push home sales down. In 1984, 1994, and 1999, interest rates rose about 2-percentage points in each year while home sales either stayed flat or continued up. An exception was 2008, when higher rates caused a large number of subprime loans to go sour and home sales dropped. Fortunately, subprime mortgages are gone and nearly all are locked in safely at fixed rates.

“With buyers stepping back a bit, inventory is no longer falling. New home construction is increasing and more homeowners are considering listing. A recent survey NAR conducted shows 50% of consumers strongly indicate it is a good time to sell, compared to only 28% just two years ago. Most home sellers will also be buyers. With inventory expected to grow, prices will stop rising so fast. That’s a healthy adjustment. Buyers can soon resume their search for the American dream.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 23-30, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #J101 1/1 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $949K, Sanibel Arms West #F8 2/2 $969K, Sanibel Moorings #522 3/2 $1.295M, By-The-Sea #C102 3/2 $1.624.9M, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 $2.1M.

3 price changes:  Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $729K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 now $1.095M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.85M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $468K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $679K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 $697K, 9052 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 $749K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $795K, 698 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $839K, 335 Cowry Ct 3/3.5 $1.199M.

11 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $399K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $439.5K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $667.5K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $850K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $875K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $950K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 now $1.175M, 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 now $1.375M, 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.597M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 now $3.399.9M.

2 new sales: 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 listed at $1.279M, 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 listed at $1,795,555.

2 closed sales: 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $850K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 $2.2M (our buyer).

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 1820 Ardsley Way now $166.5K, 978 Main St now $194.9K, 2987 Wulfert Rd now $295K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3137 2/2 $445K, Beach Villas #2636 2/2 $759K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #13 4/4.5 listed at $3.949M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $969K, 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.495M, 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $2.595M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $10.9M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11534 Laika Ln 4/3.5 $1.61M.

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.

thankfull-for-flip-flopsUntil next Friday, when it’s December!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Thanksgiving & Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s Susan with another Friday report about Sanibel & Captiva Islands. It sure seems like these weeks are flying by quickly. The island is busier, with traffic increasing with more probably to come with the pre-holiday weekend here.

As predicted last week, a mini-cool front arrived late yesterday. Though nothing like the inches of snow we heard about from callers in the Northeast and Midwest, local temperatures got down into the high 50’s last night. Today, it is expected to reach just 70 degrees F. Convertible tops are down and windows are open again! But do not worry, island Thanksgiving visitors, predictions are that it will be back into the 80’s by Sunday, continuing right through next week.

Teammate Dave held an Open House this afternoon at our gulf-front listing at 1351 Middle Gulf Drive where the beachfront area just had its annual trim.  With the sliders open, below are a couple of his cell phone photos of the fantastic water views. With nearly 3000 sq. ft. of living space, it has a huge great room, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a large updated white bright kitchen, separate utility room, plus a family room with beachside patio.

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Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Happenings

Sanibel realtors logoThere was light turnout yesterday morning at our local Association of Realtors© weekly meeting. Announcements included a few properties that will be coming-on-the-market-soon and a couple of price reductions. One sale was announced too – an improvement over last week. Eight Sanibel east-end properties were open during the following 9 a.m. to noon Open House Caravan, including our new listing at Signal Inn.

More info about the postings since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House

Thanksgiving 4 some

First organized in 1991, the first Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration took place on Thanksgiving eve. To make attendance easier, it was moved to the Sunday before the holiday. That tradition continues with this year’s event coming up this weekend, Nov 18, at The Community House beginning at 6:45 p.m. Donations from attendees, including non-perishables, will go to the local F.I.S.H. Food Pantry.

Free and open to the public, the celebration brings the community together with music, fun, and fellowship. The program lasts about an hour and includes a proclamation from Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, prayer by City Manager Judie Zimomra, and Thanksgiving presentation by representatives from local houses of worship. Guest speaker, F.I.S.H. Board Chair Nicole McHale also will provide a report on how “water” affected their work this summer. There usually are a few pilgrims and Indians in attendance too.

Other event highlights include music and audience sing-a-long. You can be sure that I’ll be there again with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. The Seahorse Chorale from the Sanibel School too will take the stage. The program concludes with a combined piece we will perform together called “Give Thanks”, followed by cider (provided by Bailey’s General Store), cookies (from Jerry’s Foods), and ice cream samples (from Pinocchio’s).

The Launch

the launch 2018It is going to be a busy weekend, with this event tomorrow evening, also at The Community House. “The Launch” is raising funds for island conservation initiatives. In March, Coastal Keepers (formerly the Sanibel-Captiva chapter of START or Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) held its first “The Launch” (once called Cracker Fest). This weekend’s event includes a sustainable dinner, both live and silent auctions, and a reveal of the group’s new conservation initiatives in the works.

Coastal Keepers’ goal is to increase awareness of the impacts we have on beaches, water quality, and marine habitats, and to help citizens become more effective stewards of the ocean. Through business and community partnerships, Coastal Keepers recently encouraged Sanibel City Council to pass an ordinance on the sale and distribution of disposable plastic straws. With that initiative wrapping up, they now are overseeing a “Bring Your Own Bag” campaign where free reusable canvas bags are distributed to the public. Thousands of bags have already been given out in efforts to build a more environmentally-friendly island.

More info at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org.

Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

News Press logoA lengthy article in today’s Fort Myers “News-Press” on line has some interesting observations and an update by Rae Ann Wessel, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Director of Natural Resources. Read the complete article at https://www.news-press.com/. Here are some excerpts:

“Did Florida’s Environment Win or Lose in the 2018 Midterms?

“With uncertainty still clouding the elections’ outcome, that remains an open question.

“The fragility and importance of the state’s natural systems headlined the lead-up to the recent midterm vote, as red tide and toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) fouled both Gulf and freshwater throughout the region, slaughtering sea creatures, sickening residents and snuffing hospitality jobs.

“Candidates quickly organized town-hall meetings. Nonprofits marched. State agencies stayed on the sidelines to the dismay of activists.

“Yet once it was time to vote, “the algae and the red tide issues sort of dissipated,” said FGCU political science professor Peter Bergerson. “I think the appearance of the president at the very end dominated the turnout.”

It’s not that the environment didn’t matter to voters, Bergerson said; it just mattered less than other issues. “If you look at the exit polls, it wasn’t top-of-mind,” he said. “Jobs, the economy and immigration were. I think that (conservative voters’) attachment to traditional party loyalties overcame their commitment to the environment.”

“For many water champions, gloom was the order of the day after….

“Others urged advocates not to lose sight of what progress has been made.

SCCF logo“We have to remember we are living now in a time when there are whole series of Everglades ecosystem restoration projects coming to fruition and ready to be finishing up,” said Rae Ann Wessel, natural resources policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. “It seems like molasses for those of us who have been living it, but you have to celebrate that those things are coming together.”

“Another positive to come from the water crisis is “all these concerned people coming out of the woodwork, groups forming like Captains for Clean Water,” Wessel said. “I’ve said, ‘Don’t let a good disaster go to waste.’ We need to be pulling together a set of expectations for the new administration, whoever they may be.”

“And ultimately, Wessel said, as long as residents stay engaged, there will be progress.

“We can’t just hand off our democracy. You can’t just trust that once somebody is elected, they’re going to do the right thing because they got elected,” she said. “It’s up to you and me, it’s up to all of us. We will get the government that we allow … So now, we keep the pressure up, we become partners, we become educators, we praise them when they do something that serves the public interest and we call them out when they do something that is against the public interest.”….”

Fed May Raise Interest Rates at Slower Pace Than Predicted

Florida Realtors logoPosted yesterday on FloridaRealtors© online and credited to 2018 Information, Inc. (Forbes (11/13/18) and Bloomberg (11/14/18):

“The Federal Reserve is forecasting U.S. interest rate increases well into 2020, but the financial markets believe policymakers could rethink their tightening policy as soon as early next year.

“Observers point to a slowdown in economic growth from this year’s stimulus-boosted pace. TS Lombard’s Steven Blitz believes that a December rate hike will most likely occur, but he sees 2019 as more questionable.

“If employment growth starts to slow towards a neutral pace early next year and the unemployment rate creeps up as a result, does the Fed keep going just because wages are accelerating? We doubt it,” he says. “The noted slowdown in business spending will only be further negatively impacted by the strong dollar and higher real rates.”

TS Lombard’s prediction: The Fed will suspend its rate-hike campaign in March 2019.

“The Fed sees interest-rate increases as a tool to fight inflation, but the latest report for October found little evidence of inflation despite strength in the economy and wages.

“The consumer-price index (CPI) increased 0.3% in October from the prior month, the Labor Department said Wednesday; year-to-year, overall consumer prices climbed 2.5% in October, compared with 2.3% in the 12 months that ended in September.

“Excluding the volatile categories of food and energy, the core CPI rose 0.2% last month, largely in line with recent trends, and 2.1% from a year earlier.

“”These are pretty steady inflation prints,” with “nothing in here that argues inflation is going to overshoot,” says Omair Sharif, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale. Also, there’s little to concern policy makers, so they’ll “continue to stay gradual” with interest-rate hikes, he said.””

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #C310 1/1 $469,750; Signal Inn #4 1/1 $499.9K (our listing, shown below), Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $895K, Oceans Reach #3D2 2/2 $989K.

1 price change: Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 now $969K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #T301 2/2 listed at $845K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 listed at $1.749M.

2 closed sales: Seashells #43 2/2 $318K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $611K (our listing).

HOMES

9 new listings: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $687K; 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 $689K; 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $875K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $889K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $899K; 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.175M; 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.295M; 5250 Caloosa End Ln 3/2.5 $1,594,500; 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 $1.799M.

8 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $670K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $739K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $810K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $899K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $909.9K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $999K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.339M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.999M.

4 new sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 listed at $885K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.699M.

3 closed sales: 6093 Henderson Rd 3/2 $450K, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $935K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 1318 Par View Dr $425K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $529,555; 1729 Jewel Box Dr $999.9K.

1 price change: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd now $268.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9232 Dimmick Dr $170K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $399K, Beach Villas #2538 3/3 $909.9K, Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.25M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 now $1.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $950K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

turkey-pilgirm-in-autumn-leavesEnjoy your Thanksgiving!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Thanksgiving words

A Happy Sanibel November Friday


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

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

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

 

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

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

bill kristie becky 10-31-18

Association CEO Bill Robinson & Director Realtor Becky Mulka with Kristie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Realtors® Signs Agreement with Panama RE Association

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

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

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Beach Cam at Casa Ybel Resort

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

CasaYbelSanibel.jpg

Casa Ybel Resort pool & beach

Island Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Halloween Fun Begins Today


It’s another happy Sanibel Friday with islanders looking forward to a cool front arriving tonight, with morning temperatures expected to dip into the high 60’s. That should make it more comfortable for runners in tomorrow’s FISH 10K Race and the Halloween festivities beginning this weekend.fish 10K 2018

Island Events

  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – today Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins at 7:30 a.m. & ends at The Community House. I’m the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!
  • Hallo-‘Tween Party & Costume Contest – Sat Oct 27 hosted by ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa: Crow’s Nest open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. with dinner 5-10 p.m., Gatlin 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Canoe & Kayak open for dinner 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Wakefield Room DJ/Dance Party 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wristbands $10 (21 and up after 10 p.m.)
  • Trunk or Treat at Sanibel Community Church – Wed Oct 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Center 4 Life Annual Trash & Treasures Sale – Sat Nov 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Island Seniors, 2401 Library Way.
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at Bailey’s General Store & https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands to benefit CROW, Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands
  • The Launch Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe islands’ Association of Realtors® annual meeting last night included a report by President Dustyn Corace summarizing another good year for our healthy organization. Progress in the continued fight for better water quality and several fund-raising events for community charities were recognized, with contributors thanked for their help and participation. Congratulations to Realtors® George Kohlbrenner and Connie Walters, both elected to the incoming Board of Directors.

 

Our last benefit of the year called “Fall Into Christmas” for “Friends Who Care” followed the meeting with many unwrapped toys, gift cards, and cash donations collected for this wonderful organization. It’s founder, islander Tom Louwers provided a brief history. Beginning in the early 80’s when Sanibel law enforcement knew of a family in need of a hand-up, today, this charitable non-profit quietly helps island residents and employees cope with a range of small emergency needs. Through the year, it assists anonymously with such items as school supplies and gas cards, while over the holidays, particularly at Christmas it provides with holiday meals and presents from Santa delivering them directly to those in need. Funded by the generosity of islanders and organizations like the Association of Realtors®, every dollar collected goes directly to the people it serves.

2018-10-26 Fall Into Christmas

Some of the “Fall Into Christmas” elves and guests are shown above with Leslie Adams (center) who catered the yummy appetizers, while desserts shown were from Totally Baked on Sanibel). Service, libations, & decor were by the elves (chaired by Realtor Kelly Huguenin & Amanda Curran Corace) & Association staff. Tom Louwers with “Friends Who Care” is on the far right next to Association CEO, Bill Robinson.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayIt was quiet at our office this week and our open houses didn’t yield many lookers. Like our colleagues, we look forward to reverting to the weekly Thursday morning caravan schedule next week.

These Open Houses of new listings (Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon) will continue through “season” and are an island tradition.

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

“Ding” Darling Wins America’s Best Restroom

This week, the refuge’s “Learning Lavatories” were voted American’s Best Restroom in Cintas Corporation’s nationwide contest. With nine other finalists, online votes were counted to select the country’s top-rated restroom. This contest is in its 17th year and certainly is a unique way to feature a facility. To become a finalist, judging criteria includes cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. The refuge restrooms certainly led in several of those categories.

The Refuge restroom project was completed about a year ago and outside includes a mother and baby manatee sculpture (made of recycled bike tires) and floor-to-ceiling paintings depicting images of refuge wildlife. Inside, built to green standards, they feature an underwater motif with mangrove photo-tile murals and wildlife sculptures. Stall doors are wrapped in close-up professional photos of refuge birds, while educational teaser messages encourage visitors to learn more.

Ding bathroom

Positive Sea Turtle News

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogThough Southwest Florida water conditions late this summer generated plenty of negative news, it was a good season for sea turtles nesting on Sanibel/Captiva and their hatchlings. According to SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Program Coordinator and as reported today in the “Island Sun”: “This year’s nesting season was actually pretty good. We’ve had four record-breaking seasons in a row, and while we didn’t set any records this year, it was an above average season.”

Nesting season runs from mid-April until the end of October. According to 2018 statistics compiled by SCCF, a total of 721 sea turtle nests were laid in 2018, compared to a total of 871 laid during 2017. An estimated 38,579 hatchlings emerged from the nests and entered waters surrounding Sanibel and Captiva. “…hatchlings swim like crazy the first seven to 10 days of their lives before they start eating; they feed from the yolk sac, which gives them the energy to get far out into the gulf. In fact, FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) says that hatchlings may be the lone glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrible red tide season.” The agency requests that if the public witnesses sick, distressed or dead wildlife, they should call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (press 7 for the operator).

Thanks to the many island sea turtle program volunteers and SCCF staff members who in addition to their daily beach patrols, which begin at dawn, collect trash and debris left on island beaches. For more information or to adopt a sea turtle next to to www.sccf.org/our-work/sea-turtles.

Average Mortgage Rates Edge Up – 30-year at 4.86%

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® on-line posted the below article yesterday (Oct 25) by The Associated Press:associated-press-logo

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly higher this week amid continued anxiety in financial markets as interest rates rise.

“Home borrowing rates remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, with the key 30-year rate approaching 5%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86% this week from 4.85% last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94%.

“The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29% this week from 4.26% last week.

“Anxiety over rising interest rates, which stem from strength in the economy, has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks and spilled over into the housing market.

“Stocks have swooned over the last three weeks as investors worried about interest rates, as well as trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and slowing economies outside the U.S. As of Wednesday, the S&P 500 index had plunged 9.4% in just three weeks, with two separate six-day losing streaks. It hasn’t had a streak of losses that long since November 2016.

“The combination of higher borrowing costs and increasing home prices has made homeownership less affordable.

“Sales of new U.S. homes plunged 5.5% in September, the fourth straight monthly drop as the housing market cools, the government reported Wednesday. The annual rate of home sales has dropped 15.3% since May, eliminating much of the strength in sales from the first five months of 2018.

“Builders had assumed that a stronger economy would boost sales, yet a greater share of new construction is going un-purchased.

“Interest rates on Treasury bonds, which have climbed to seven-year highs in recent weeks, were steady this week. The yield on the key 10-year Treasury note, which can influence mortgage rates, was at 3.14% Wednesday, down from 3.15% last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

“The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages also held steady, at 0.4 point.

“The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.14% from 4.10% last week. The fee remained at 0.3 point.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 19-26, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $339K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $650K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $749K, Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $799K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 $1.189M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/2.5 $1.795M.

3 price changes: Sundial West #D304 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $747.5K, Compass Point #183 now 2/2 now $1.25M.

2 new sales: Seashells #43 2/2 listed at $329K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 listed at $634.9K.

2 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $450K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.099M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 $549K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699K, 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $885K, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.399M.

7 price changes: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $449.5K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $675K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $849K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.049M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.675M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $420K, 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $565K, 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed at $999K.

5 closed sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $410K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $715K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $715K, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 978 Main St listed at $179.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.12M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 listed at $1.499M.

1 closed sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 $1,698,500.

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.

Dearie Trick or Treaters-colorUntil next Friday, remember at SanibelSusan Realty, it’s all about treats – no tricks here! Happy Halloween!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Things Are Looking Up on Sunny Sanibel


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

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

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

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

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

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

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

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

Island Events

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

ViewExt Back aBeach WalkBeach Walk bBeachExt Back b

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Island October = Great Shelling, Snowbirds Returning, Calendars Filling Up


shells a bunch

It has been another interesting week on Sanibel Island.

West Wind MichaelExtra high tides and winds from Hurricane Michael passing west of the islands on Tuesday made for some big waves and minor flooding in a few locations.

(Pictures taken Tues afternoon. First a beach path at West Wind Inn.

2nd is Dixie Beach Blvd looking from Royal Poinciana to the bay.)Dixie Beach

Like with most summer showers, the water disbursed quickly and now beachgoers are enjoying good shelling.

Boating, however, is discouraged until this weekend when the winds are expected to die down.

Concerning red tide, the daily status reports posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that samples on the west coast of Florida are pretty much free of red tide. No evidence at all now on Sanibel and Captiva. That is a huge relief! We sure hope it stays that way.

An area around St Petersburg/Tampa still shows medium to high readings. On Florida’s East Coast, there are low red tide readings reported from Miami north through Boca Raton, the Palm Beaches, and Port St. Lucie. Today, there also were a few low readings just off the coast of Key West. Here’s the link, if you want to see for yourself: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund

Florida Realtors logoAs the team and I watched the news unfold of the damage from Hurricane Michael, Florida Realtors® sent reminders out about the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund which is available to Realtors®, including their real estate employees, Realtor® Boards and Associations and their staff in the event of devastation caused by a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, just a few weeks ago, after Hurricane Florence made a $25K donation to the National Realtors® Relief Foundation which similarly helps colleagues throughout the U.S. Our hearts are with disaster victims as they recover.

2018 Water Resources Development Act

Capitol Bldg DCGood news on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan, comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation-in the federal water bill-that authorizes the EAA Reservoir! The President signed it yesterday.

This 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Bill moves forward a critical and fundamental Everglades restoration and estuaries enhancement project that will enable excess water to be directed south out of Lake Okeechobee instead of west and east to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie rivers and estuaries.  The project is designed to move water from Lake Okeechobee through 6,500 acres of filter marshes to clean the water and store it in a 10,500-acre reservoir. The reservoir is estimated to cost about $1.3 billion, which will be split evenly between the federal government and the state.

US army corps logoThe bill also directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement a five-year harmful algal bloom technology development program to identify and develop improved strategies for prevention and management techniques, early detection and procedures to reduce harmful algal blooms.

This is a great step forward, but we all must stay attuned to the new Florida administration and getting the project started. You can be sure that your local Realtors® and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will stay “on it”.

Member of Realtor® Family Makes Movie Premier

Buttons the movieLike many Florida Realtors® colleagues, I have watched the progress of our state President, Christine Hanson’s granddaughter Noelle Parker as she has evolved over the last few years from a photogenic toddler to becoming a child actress. Like her grandmother, Nicolle’s Mom is a Realtor® too. Noelle was an adorable speaker at Christine’s installation in January.

This week, Noelle’s Realtor® family announced that she is making her movie debut in the release of “Buttons” which is a new Tim Janis musical fairy tale film on a journey to discover that sometimes believing can be the greatest adventure of all. During a time of robber barons, mills, and rising industry, two orphaned children meet two unexpected visitors (Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury) who turn the tide of events and change their lives forever. Narrated by Robert Redford and Kate Winslet, the film also features some other big names including Jane Seymour and Roma Downey, plus a new song by “Nova” written by Sir Paul McCartney. Advance tickets go on sale today, with the movie premiering in theaters on December 8. Noelle is the little blonde girl dressed in white under the pix of Dick Van Dyke in their trailer photo (https://www.buttonsthemovie.com )

Plus a Young Local Talent on Broadway – Liam Hutt

Liam ElfMany islanders patronize La-Te-Da Salon and Spa on Cypress Lake Dr in Fort Myers. Both Elise and I get our hair cut there. The owners’ son, Liam Hutt, who we have followed since he was born, also is an amazing young talent, often seen singing, dancing, and acting in local and state theatrical productions. Yesterday, they announced that he will be joining the Broadway cast of “Elf” on their national traveling tour, from Nov 7 to Dec 30. Performing from state-to-state from one side of the country to the other, their performance schedule is staggering. Maybe he’ll be in your area. – https://elfthemusicaltour.com

Island Events

big arts logoThe roadways are getting busier and island activities are beginning. Rehearsals start next week for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. There are just nine rehearsals this session (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tues nights in Phillips Gallery). All ages and singing abilities welcome. Performances this session include the island Thanksgiving Celebration on Sun, Nov 18; caroling for Luminary on Fri, Dec 7; and our holiday concert on Wed Dec 12 in Schein Performance Hall.

International Coastal Cleanup – tomorrow Sat Oct 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. After being postponed for a month due to red tide, the islands’ cleanup is coordinated by Keep Lee County Beautiful and hosted by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Check-in will be set up on Island B, closest to Sanibel. Participants should register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html.

30th Annual “Ding” Darling Days –today through Sun Oct 14. Today is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast– Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.

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

14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.

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

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

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

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

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

Island Real Estate News

It was another quiet week for Sanibel/Captiva real estate business. This is the off-week with Realtor® Caravan and not much activity was posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The action since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 5-12, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $299K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 $720K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $729K.

4 price changes: Seashells #43 2/2 now $329K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 now $405K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $475K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 now $649K (our listing).

Image 3.jpg

Sunset South – from river to gulf with clubhouse & pool overlooking courtyard.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $565K, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $640K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $969K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.549M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $3.195M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $420K, 849 Beach Rd 4/4 now $595K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $879K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $899K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $1.995M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $479K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $528.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $665K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K.

2 closed sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $667.5K, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1817 Longpoint Ln $348.5K.

2 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $149K, 2486 Wulfert Rd now $159K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $379,999.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 $6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Goodbye, red tide.. hello, “Season”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens for 11th Year

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

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

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

Construction of the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park

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

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

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

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

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

Happenings at Sanibel’s Historical Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts

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

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

Planning Ahead – Upcoming Island Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New-to-Florida Homebuyers Should Update Their Estate Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

Roof Deck View a

View from Pointe Santo C43

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1912 Ibis Ln $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

As our “Island Sun” ad says this week:

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

Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

See the source image

Red Tide & Blue-Green Algae Fall-Out Is Not Pretty


Beach

It’s Susan with another Friday update from sunny Sanibel Island. It has been a warm week, with highs every day in the low 90’s and little rain. Unfortunately, that seems to be the weather that makes the algae grow, as it has been a week of a few steps ahead, followed by steps back.

After a reprieve of a several days, it has been discouraging to again see and hear about more dead sea-life washing up on Sanibel’s shores, both on the beach and bayside. The terrible smell even traveled as far as Sanibel Square both yesterday and this morning. (No smell where I live on the east end.)

Thankfully, scientists say that Sanibel’s red tide count is going down. Yesterday, news indicated that it is moving further north. According to some reports, Tropical Storm Gordon pushed the bloom offshore giving us the false hope that it was gone. Once that storm moved away, the red tide came back. Where it goes and how long it will last can be dependent on tides and weather.

The worst conditions yesterday were west of Tarpon Bay Road and out onto Captiva including the area of Sunset Bay and the canals off Dinkins Bayou. It’s so sad that the marine life that washed ashore included dolphins and sea turtles. We are so sad that this is having such devastating effects, we are “so ready” for it to be over. Sanibel and Captiva are not quite ghost-towns, but the beaches have looked that way.Captains for clean water logo

There is another event to benefit “Captains for Clean Water” today (4 to 7 p.m.) at The Dunes.

The weekly activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Only one home and one lot sale on Sanibel this week. No sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Association’s September Membership Meeting and Caravan. The speaker was Cecil Pendergrass who is Chairman of Lee County’s Board of Commissioners and Commissioner from District 2. He reported that the County budget has just been approved with no increase. At least there is good news on the tax front!

He also updated attendees on what the county is doing regarding water quality. With multiple solutions in the works and none immediate, it’s important that everyone pay special attention to what they can do in their area to help solve the problem. Though much of the cause of the blue/green algae in the Caloosahatchee is from releases from Lake Okeechobee, run-off from areas south of the lake, including Lee County and its cities are contributors too. Not every citizen heeds their local ordinances on fertilizing and watering. (Sanibellians do a good job.) Along the river, for example in some of the older areas of downtown Fort Myers, many homes still pipe their sewage directly into the river. (That’s right, no septic tanks at some homes along McGregor Blvd.)

It’s time for all of us to stay involved and make water quality a top priority.

Interestingly, Cecil also said that in August the airport reported an increase in traffic, while most of the hospitality businesses in Lee County reported losses of millions of dollars. He joked that he didn’t know where all these people went.

He also reminded attendees of government loans available to small businesses who have lost revenue because of the algae problems.

Is anything new being done to combat the problem? The simple answer is “no”, but local governments are working together to get Federal reimbursement for the ongoing clean-up efforts. The City of Sanibel is doing a great clean-up job. Call them to report any dead marine life and they respond quickly.

FREE Parking

Sanibelcityseal logoTo encourage more island visitor business, parking fees at all Sanibel beaches have been suspended until Sep 30. Additionally, the county posted yesterday, that motorists who cross the Sanibel Causeway between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow Sep 22 and Sun Sep 23 will not have to pay a toll. A donation from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will cover the costs during those hours as a way of encouraging locals to support Sanibel and Captiva businesses who are feeling economic impacts from the lingering red tide.

Scoop From My Favorite Economist

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_As reported by NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in the Sep/Oct 2018 issue of Realtor® magazine:

Recession Talk Heats Up – Concerns about a housing slowdown not supported by the data

“Is a recession looming? It’s an important question because the U.S. economy has been experiencing one of its longest expansions ever. There were two recessions in the 1970’s, two in the 1980’s, one in the 1990’s, and two in the 2000’s. Since 2010, there have been none.

“Every recession has a trigger. In the 1970’s, it was energy price shocks. Could that happen today? Probably not, because the U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil producer. One potential trigger could be an unsustainable rise in borrowing. But the fact is consumer debt has risen only about 5% annually for the last five years. Although that’s fast, it’s not catastrophic. Past recessions were preceded by debt increases of 10% or more. More important, the largest part of household debt is home mortgages and those loan balances total about $10 trillion today, about the same as 10 years ago even though housing values in the aggregate have climbed from $18 trillion to $28 trillion.

“Another trigger could just be psychological. Pessimism leads consumers to spend less. That leads businesses to scale back, reduce investment, and not build that additional factory or office. But the consumer confidence this year is at an index level of 127, the highest reading in more than 20 years (with 100 considered neutral).

“Finally, it could be policy error. Turkey is an example of how a decision – lowering interest rates in the face of rampant inflation – can lead to a crisis.

“Although it’s not clear what could trigger the next recession, it’s a good bet it won’t have anything to do with our industry. The housing market still has room to grow. A total of 6.1 million existing homes plus newly constructed homes will be sold this year. That’s the same level as in 2000, when the market was considered well balanced. Homebuilders are at last responding to pent-up demand by increasing housing starts and creating jobs. For these reasons, the odds of a recession in 2019 are slight. And if we do see a drop in GDP, it will likely be mild – nowhere near the intensity of the recession a decade ago.”

Automated Valuation Models Are Tools, Not Solutions

BradfordZillowCartoonAnother article in this month’s Realtor® magazine caught my eye. Particularly, when it was announced at our Membership Meeting this morning that our Association is in the process of inking agreements with Zillow and other on-line real estate database companies, because most sellers want their listings syndicated. With the onset of the internet, I guess these companies were inevitable. Another way for entrepreneurs to make a buck.

Personally, I’ve never thought that these companies could replace knowledgeable Realtors® in unique areas, but their existence certainly has changed where and how we advertise. Here are some tidbits from the article by John S. Brenan who, since 2003, has been the director of appraisal issues for The Appraisal Foundation.

“When it comes to online home value estimates, the number one caveat for consumers is that these estimates are not a substitute for formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and the in-depth expertise of real estate professionals.”

“AVM’s are not appraisals…today, in many cases, an automated valuation is suspect if there is a lack of available data or the property isn’t a “cookie cutter.” Many of us have checked our own properties against the finding of an AVM and thought, “Yeah, right.”

“So why aren’t automated models more reliable in more transactions? Because computers don’t buy houses, people do. An AVM does a great job of analyzing tangible features such as a property’s age, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, and lot size. However, a property’s overall appeal is something that has been, at least to date, extremely difficult to quantify. It’s a uniquely human phenomenon; a property’s overall appeal reflects a combination of characteristics. While not everyone has the same preferences, some unusual features will likely face significant market reluctance…. So, unless and until AVM’s can better emulate the human factor, an ethical and competent appraiser remains indispensable.”

As SanibelSusan’s 2-cents worth, The Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® may be working toward syndicating their listings, but please know that it is not because Zillow and their like provide good property valuations. They will get our data, but it is because our sellers want their listings to get the additional advertising these on-line vendors provide. For years, many island Realtors® (included us) have joined a secondary Realtor organization so that we also could post our listings in their Multiple Listing Service to get this extra exposure.

dining clip artTemporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Sanibel Library – temporarily closed as part of its renovation project, from Fri to Tues, Sep 21 to 25.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #312 2/2 $599K (our listing), Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.295M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 $1.495M.

View No shadow.jpg

View from Mariner Pointe #312

1 price change: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 now $734.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $760K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 $832K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $849K, 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.45M.

4 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $550K, 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 now $ 699K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $899K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $1.155M.

1 new sale: 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $599.9K.

2 closed sales: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $470K, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 3/3 $840K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd listed at $299K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3236 1/1 $309.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.575M.

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,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Pelicans Diving, Dolphins Jumping, & Realtors® Learning


It’s SanibelSusan with a weekly update on Sanibel and Captiva Islands happenings. It is a gorgeous day here today, but most of us have our minds on those along the eastern seaboard who are experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Florence. Floridians, particularly islanders know too well the angst and worry associated with those events.

Here, though Southwest Florida’s water quality continues to affect visitor business, things are rebounding – even during what usually are the slower weeks of September. The gulf and beaches look sooo much better – and people and wildlife are out enjoying them again.

Only two real estate sales were reported this week on Sanibel, none on Captiva. Overall, island inventory remains low – with only 60 condos and 121 homes for sale on Sanibel, 30 condos and 33 homes on Captiva. The team and I are hopeful that when fall and winter visitors return, sales will be strong. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe local Association of Realtors® had no weekly Caravan Meeting this week but hosted their annual 14-hour continuing education classes. Florida Realtors® are required to complete 14 hours every two years. This year, the Association also offered the Ethics class that all Realtors® nation-wide must complete before the end of the year.

It’s always fun to be the oldest student in the class. Wednesday’s 7-hour class “Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living” was especially fun in the afternoon when we boarded “Play Time” out of McCarthy’s Marina for a ride up/down Roosevelt Channel and around much of Pine Island Sound – viewing the water, wildlife, and mangroves.

Though we passed one small patch where red tide probably lingered as several attendees coughed simultaneously, by the time we got to the old fish houses just north of North Captiva Island (the ones on pilings that are on the Historic Register), the water was crystal clear right to the bottom. The seagrasses looked healthy and small fish were swimming among them.

Fish houses 09-12-18

Then within about a 10-minute span, we saw a flurry of wildlife – dolphins jumping, pelicans diving, a nurse shark, and a loggerhead turtle. It wasn’t perfect, but it obviously was an area where the water quality was much better.

Red fish house 09-12-18.jpg

Nearby, in front of Demere Key on Pine Island, we saw a huge group of swans, ducks, and geese swimming. (Yes, swans. They can live in salt water too.) It was a gorgeous day – vivid blue sky, bright white clouds, balmy breeze, and flat water.

demere key 09-12-18.jpg

Those white birds are swans!

Water quality specialist Dr. Rick Bartelson on board for questions with SCCF’s Director of Education Kristie Anders said that he and others from the marine lab had been diving recently several miles off shore in the same area he earlier had viewed as a dead zone. The news really went crazy with that information. (A “dead zone” is an underwater patch with no plant or animal life.)

Dr. Bartelson had reported back in mid-August that they started noticing an area like that off the island coast. Then, they measured no oxygen in the water about 3 to 5 meters down from the surface, in some places all the way to the bottom (about 8 meters). This week, he reported that from Tropical Storm Gordon breaking things up, the oxygen levels in that same area are “up” and improving. You bet we want that to continue!

East Rocks Water Main Replacement

Island Water reports that the East Rocks water main replacement project is almost done. The new main has been installed on most of East Rocks Drive and Boulder Drive. The last section to be completed is Durion Court. For this project, Island Water used a polyethylene piping for the boring under paved roads and driveways, rather than cutting up/then repairing driveways or removing/reinstalling pavers. Bet those owners appreciate that they weren’t inconvenienced.

Temporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopened today.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – reopens Sep 17.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10 through 20.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

International Coastal Cleanup

Postponed from Sept 15 to Sat Oct 13 (9 a.m. to noon) on Causeway Island B (island closest to Sanibel). Organized by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their van will be parked onsite.

Galloway Captiva Triathlon

captiva tri logoThe Captiva Triathlon held on the grounds of South Seas Resort scheduled tomorrow (youth segment) and Sunday (adult segment) has been changed to a duathlon due to concerns over water and air quality conditions due to red tide on the northern end of Captiva. The swim leg will be replaced by a run of the same length (approximately a quarter mile), followed by the usual 10-mile bike and 5K run. The children’s events will be the same format – run/bike/run. More info at packet pickup.

Spectators are welcome with parking available at the south end, with shuttles to take them to the north end. The public is reminded that Captiva Drive will close at 6:45 a.m. More info at www.captivatri.opg.

National Public Lands Day

ding darling goose logoCelebration at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sep 22, with free admission to Wildlife Drive (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), discounts at Tarpon Bay Explorers, and multiple activities at the refuge.

First Annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt

Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School will host this island-wide family event that will end with a bonfire celebration on the beach. Save the date, Saturday, Nov 3 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds will support the Sea School’s scholarship fund.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Sep 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $240K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $619K.

Boardwalk b.jpg

Mariner Pointe bay walk & private fishing pier

1 price change: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $535K.

3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $440K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $600K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.26M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $749K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $845K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $585K, 480 Las Tiendas Ln 3/3 now $749K.

1 new sale: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $699K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $658K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,999.

1 price change: 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.695M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $340K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $4.95M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.\

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you bright skies with sunshine!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan