Perfect Weather, While Island Real Estate is Hot

It is another happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. Island weather remains “winter fantastic” with this week and the forecast for the next 10 days expected to be much the same – nighttime lows in the 60’s, days in the high 70’s/low 80’s with plenty of sunshine and blue skies.

The Island Real Estate World

The real estate market remains hot and we are down to just two listings – both getting action. That activity plus the postings since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Though no Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting this week, brisk sales continue. It certainly is unusual to report new sales of 15 condos, 14 homes, and five lots in just seven days.

Inventory is so low now that we are getting calls from colleagues asking about the likelihood of properties coming on the market, that are owned by clients who worked with us when they purchased. I wish we could say some of those were becoming available. It certainly is a great time to be a seller.

Here is the scoop with Sanibel inventory from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of this afternoon (3:30 p.m. on Feb 26, 2021):

  • Homes: 53 for sale, 74 under contract, 57 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Condos: 60 for sale, 63 under contract, 36 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Lots: 27 for sale, 27 under contract, 15 sold/closed year-to-date.

Captiva also is hot:

  • Homes: 21 for sale, 15 under contract, 7 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Condos: 13 for sale, 12 under contract, 10 sold/closed year-to-date.

 Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until March 2, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly so long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 24 is 228 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. Though the number of island cases finally seems to be decreasing, PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel& Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 19-26, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 $559K, Sand Pointe #216 2/2 $798,957, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $889K, Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.495M.

2 price changes: Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 now $524K (our listing), Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 now $849K.

View from Sandalfoot #3B3

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed at $325K, Tennisplace #C26 2/1.5 listed at $355K, Sundial #H107 1/1 listed at $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 listed at $525K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 listed at $639.9K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 listed at $662.5K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 listed at $689K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 listed at $690K, Sunset South #10 2/2 listed at $710K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 listed at $929K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 listed at $999.5K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 listed at $1.825M.

9 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1019 2/2 $550K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $675K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $800K, Cyprina Beach #7 2/2.5 $800K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $920K, Sundial #L205 3/2 $1.39M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.4M, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 $2.05M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $699K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $749.9K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 $1.178M, 249 Violet Dr 4/2 $1.2M, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 $1.2M, 1355 Eagle Run Dr 4/4.5 $1.975M, 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $2.195M, 544 Lighthouse Way 4/5.5 $4.495M.

5 price changes: 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $949K, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 now $1.649M, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $1.75M, 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 now $1.789M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.995M.

12 new sales: 976 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $515K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 listed at $689.9K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 listed at $725K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 445 Lake Murex 3/2 listed at $839K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 2/2.5 listed at $889K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $949K, 3960 W Gulf Dr 3/5 listed at $1.079M, 542 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $1.229M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 listed at $1.435M, 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $1.65M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 listed at $1.896M.

12 closed sales: 315 E Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $549K, 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $645K, 1012/1014 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex $699K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $755K, 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 $795K, 1752 Jewel Box 2/2 $815K, 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex $820K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $889K, 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 $945K, 709 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.125M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.325M (our listing).

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $259.9K, 2438 Wulfert Rd now $339K.

5 new sales: 1303 Par View Dr listed at $310K, 575 Sea Oats Dr listed at $385K, 717 Birdie View Pt listed at $399K, 539 Sea Oats Dr listed at $420K, 3324 Saint Kilda Rd listed at $449K.

7 closed sales: 2515 Wulfert Rd $220K, 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd $255.5K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $295K, 602 Boulder Dr $405K, 217 Violet Dr $545K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct $1.5M, 1246 Seagrape Ln $2.575M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 now $2.15M.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 listed at $425K, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 listed at $1.399M.

5 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 $325K, Bayside Villas #5244 1/2 $399K, Beach Villas #2112 1/1 $485K, Beach Villas #2314 2/2 $750K, Lands End Village #1615 2/2 $1.425M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $11.995M.

1 new sale: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.25M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.  Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sun shining, breeze blowing, islanders smiling

Susan here, reporting that The SanibelSusan Team is beating the bushes looking for listings. With island sales brisk, it is a first for us to only have two available properties in February. Our other listings are all under contract as we work through the sale milestones associated with those purchase contracts.

If you know anyone looking to sell, please tell them that the market is in their favor and the SanibelSusan Team would be happy to help them.

Below is an update of the island sales stats. The number of sales in 2020 was higher than in decades, but the year-to-date sales are even more remarkable. Remember, The Sanibel Susan Team updates our island-wide inventory lists every weekend. If you would like a new one, they easily are e-mailed or snail mailed, just let us know.

# of

Properties

For Sale 2/19/2021 Under Contract 2/19/2021 Sold/Closed 2021 to 2/19 Sold/Closed 2020 Sold/Closed 2019
SANIBEL
Condos 67 57 27 192 127
Homes 53 73 46 288 211
Lots 31 30 8 23 15
CAPTIVA
Condos 14 14 5 47 29
Homes 22 15 7 27 17
Lots 3 0 0 4 1

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

At SanibelSusan Realty

My favorite tree at home, which was leafless after the storm in Oct, is popping with color today (2-19-2021)!

I was out showing property again over the weekend. One showing was at a home new to the market which already had an offer and four showings lined up. Another property the prospects wanted to view was seller occupied and they would not allow a showing until after the holiday weekend. That can be tough when a buyer is flying home before they will let them in. Too bad, they would have been a good candidate for that property.

There are challenges even in a hot market. Buyers needing financing find their island competition tough, since so many buyers write “cash” offers. Some buyers will not buy sight-unseen, though they often compete with offers where buyers do not need to personally view a property. Couple that with offices often closed on weekends, it pays to have built strong relationships with colleagues. Thankfully, we work hard to keep our relationships positive.

Before showing property, it always makes sense to thoroughly discuss with the prospect how the sale process works here. It is not only the Florida sales contracts that are different. But on-island, deposits are much higher than on the mainland. The basic contract most often used also is not the norm. Add to that the extra time needed in a “hot market” to accomplish inspections, appraisals, and surveys. These also are opportunities where it pays to have strong vendor relationships. The “golden rule” goes a long way in this real estate business.

At The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the local Realtor® Association February membership meeting. Meeting via Zoom sure ain’t like in person, but the monthly meeting is when we have a speaker, so always interesting.

SCCF – This month’s speaker was Ryan Orgera, CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) with an update on what is happening there. One phrase he used that I thought was particularly apropos to Sanibel’s mission statement, The Sanibel Plan, and SCCF’s mission is “balance over unfettered development”.

A couple of changes at SCCF is their new logo which was recently launched, illustrating their evolution and based on the three elements inspired by their work to protect land, water, and wildlife. The logo features sawgrass which is an iconic wetland plant, water (representing water quality, marine life, and sea-level rise), and a royal tern representing shorebirds and the monitoring and research SCCF performs with various species of wildlife.

Another SCCF change is their new magazine called “Connecting You to Nature” which will be published three times a year. The first issue is arriving now in mailboxes. It reflects on SCCF’s progress since 1967, including projects completed, underway, and in planning.

One project just announced is SCCF’s Periwinkle Wetlands Campaign which a 12+acre parcel at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Purdy Drive. It includes 525’ along the Periwinkle Way shared-use path between Purdy and Martha’s Lane. It extends inland 1,800’ back into the wetlands toward the Sanibel Slough. With a campaign goal to raise $2.4M before October 31, 2021, the acquisition of these lands for conservation protects them from development. Pending City approval, the nearly two acres along the roadway are earmarked as community green space with native landscaping, a shell trail, and educational area sharing everyone’s role in protecting and nurturing SW Florida’s coastal ecosystems.

Some other SCCF projects that Ryan mentioned included their help in the relocation of 300 Florida box turtles discovered from a nearby poaching ring. It was a surprise to hear that 40% of China families have a pet turtle because of the animal’s religious significance in Buddhism. He asked that everyone report to the police any suspicious activity with any wildlife – not just turtles. He also mentioned that poachers often are involved in other serious crimes, like human and drug smuggling. Who knew?

At the SCCF Marine Lab and Research Lab, Ryan mentioned their work through an EPA grant. While oyster restoration of 25 acres in the sound is another project underway. These oyster bed areas were disturbed/destroyed when the causeway islands were created.

Following up on the Sanibel Sea School, it became wholly part of SCCF in January 2020. One of their new endeavors is a scholarship program called “Girls in Science” (with Florida Gulf Coast University) whereby girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education may take advantage of SCCF’s program which brings them to the island. He mentioned girls living within five miles of Sanibel that have never been here to experience the water, wildlife, environment.

Concerning Florida’s legislative session which begins March 2 (same day as our City Council election), Ryan encouraged everyone to pay particular attention to the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. He said the full weight of the community may be needed to push this project forward with full funding. Watch SCCF’s alerts for action and please support them.

He also encouraged members to attend Coastal Watch Focus 2021 which is an annual Everglades update. To tune in, go to SCCF’s website (SCCF.org) on Wednesday, February 24, from 6-8 p.m.

RPAC Awards – The Association of Realtors® RPAC Committee again thanked members for their continued contributions to RPAC. In 2020, The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association won four state awards and two national awards, including the Triple Crown. Local RPAC contributions placed our association within the top 15 in the nation.

Easter Donations for F.I.S.H. – The Association’s Communication & Public Relations Committee is spearheading efforts to provide donations to F.I.S.H. for Easter. Between now and March 19, members and the public are asked to drop of contributions at the Association Office. Items needed for children’s Easter baskets and holiday dinners include the baskets themselves and basket filler, plus children’s books, toys, candy, plastic eggs, etc. and such canned/packaged food items as corn, peas, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.

Recent Commercial Sales

Jensen’s Twin-Palm Cottages & Marina – Posted this week in the local MLS was the sale of Jensen’s on Captiva. Including both business and real estate, the sale included over an acre on the bayside of Captiva with 14 historic rental cottages, 35 marina slips, fuel dock, boat fleet, ship store, and offices. On the market off-&-on since late 2017, the sale price of $11M was significantly less than the original ask ($19,850,000). Purchaser was Roberts Development Corp.

The Green Flash – Another recent sale was this Captiva restaurant. The new owners are Captiva Hospitality Restaurant Group (owned by Tim and Julie McGowan). The sale included both the real estate and restaurant. The McGowan’s have already expanded the outdoor patio seating and initiated dinner service to the dockside tables at The Green Flash, which has 15 dock slips so diners may arrive by boat.

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 23, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 17 is 226 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first 17 days in February, 23 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner Canceled

Understandable with COVID concerns, but still disappointing, to hear that this Kiwanis event is canceled this year. Realtor® pal Mary Lou Bailey and I have attended the spaghetti dinner for many years, though not quite for the three-plus decades that this February dinner has been enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors. It is an island tradition and the longest-running community event.

As one of the club’s major fundraisers, the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner supports scholarships for local youths and grants to island non-profits for youth recreation and educational activities. We still can support the scholarships and activities by participating in their Silent Auction and Raffle which will be in a virtual format online with details coming soon.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 12-19, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #D408 1/1 $529.9K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 $819K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 $955K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.1M.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 now $714.5K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $724.5K.

11 new sales: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 listed at $299.9K, Captains Walk #B5 2/1 listed at $392K, Sanibel Arms West #C5 2/2 listed at $450K, Sundial #F307 1/1 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 listed at $657K, Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 listed at $719K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 listed at $789K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 listed at $949K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 listed at $999.5K, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 listed at $1.95M, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

6 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 $343K, Sundial #G406 1/1 $490K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $979K, Atrium #103 2/2 $1.095M, Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #D302 3/2.5 $1.63M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $569K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 $895K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $949K.

4 price changes: 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.435M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 now $1.895M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.99M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.395M.

13 new sales: 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 listed at $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1753 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $725K, 888 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $895K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 listed at $935K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.089M, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.295M, 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.329M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $1.644M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $3.399M.

8 closed sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $487K, 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $570K, 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 $649K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $675K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $700K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $980K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.049M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.7M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 255 Hurricane Ln now $368K.

6 new sales: 1820 Ardsley Way listed at $179.9K; 355 Cowry Ct listed at $295K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd listed at $469,555; 217 Violet Dr listed at $549K; 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $629K; 1028 Bayview Dr listed at $2.195M.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $310K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $350K.

2 price changes: Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $2.095M, Lands End Village #1634 3/3 now $2.32M.

1 new sale: Captiva Cove #2A 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

4 new sales: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $2.15M, 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.495M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed at $2.79M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s & President’s Day Weekend on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & Flip Flops on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Another Friday already is here, seems like the weeks are flying by. It has been one with chilly weather – night temperatures sometimes into the 40’s (degrees F) and rarely out of the 60’s during the day. As we hear of folks up north struggling with snow and frigid weather, we are thankful that even when island temperatures are low, our daytime skies remain sunny and bright. Makes me smile whenever the sky is blue! For locals, it also is a nice change to wear long sleeves, sweaters, and jackets. Bike paths, of course, still are full of riders and joggers in shorts and tee-shirts, and visitors making the most of their tropical vacations.

I took a ride out to South Seas Resort on Captiva this afternoon. Temperature had reached 70 degrees when I left Sanibel about 1 p.m. There didn’t seem to be a lot of visitors at the resort, but the ones I did see were enjoying the day. Redfish Pass was busy with boats and fishermen with clear skies and gulf/bay waters a vivid Caribbean blue. With my sunroof open, I heard birds chirping & kiddos giggling. By the time, I turned around, heading back to my Sanibel office, the temperature was up to 74 degrees F. Gotta love winter on a tropical island in SW Florida.

The weekly reports of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

It’s a Sellers’ Market

With only a month on the books, the Sanibel/Captiva real estate market started with a bang. As inventory disappears, Realtor® colleagues, like us, are worried about what we will sell once inventory is gone. We are out beating the bushes looking for listings. If someone you know is thinking of selling, please refer them to The SanibelSusan Team.

Below is a snapshot of the islands’ statistics today (2/5/2021 from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS), followed by a rundown of inventory of most popular property types. Due to the pandemic, those are mostly residential.

 

SANIBEL

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price $ DOM # Avg Price $ DOM # Avg Price $ DOM
Available 78 816,674 172 64 2,398,092 156 39 814,427 461
Under contract 45 805,193 140 58 1,091,601 165 21 751,926 443
Sold 2021 to-date 16 654,931 170 30 1,667,923 122 6 647,333 581
Sold 2020 192 733,876 174 288 951,487 162 23 606,233 393
Sold 2019 127 694,392 152 211 949,790 166 15 372,200 684

 

 

CAPTIVA

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price $ DOM # Avg Price $ DOM # Avg Price $ DOM
Available   16 1,776,906 247   28 3,508,035 252   3 5,131,666 458
Under contract 11 770,772 253 10 4,700,599 205 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 4 1,446,250 47 6 2,432,950 334 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2,537,500 248
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 315 17 2,727,503 300 1 1,375,000 0

Homes on gulf: 15 for sale, seven on Captiva, eight on Sanibel. In last six months, ten sold (five on each island), average sale price $4,340,433.

Homes on bay: 10 for sale, five on each island. In last six months, six sold (two on Captiva, four on Sanibel), average sale price $3,328,750.

Homes with docks:        35 for sale, nine on Captiva, 26 on Sanibel. In last six months, 42 sold (seven on Captiva, 35 on Sanibel), average sale price $1,540,898.

Homes near-beach:       34 sale, 14 on Captiva, 20 on Sanibel. In last six months, 80 sold (eight on Captiva, 72 on Sanibel), average sale price $913,146.

Residential condos:       17 for sale, eight on Captiva, nine on Sanibel. In last six months, 26 sold (two on Captiva, 24 on Sanibel), average sale price $1,286,874.

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 9, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 2 is 210 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. MORE THAN HALF OF THESE CASES WERE IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS. January was the highest with 69 cases. December had 50. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Flood Insurance – When to Assume

Good article in today’s “Island Sun” by Angela Larson Roehl, with Rosier Insurance on Sanibel (info@rosierinsurance.com):

“The National Flood Insurance Program currently allows its flood policies to be assumed by new property owners if the current owner grants permission. The reason for a buyer to assume a seller’s flood insurance policy is to retain the current rated flood zone and void being rated from a higher rated flood zone. However, a buyer may choose to assume a flood policy in order to avoid the mandatory 30-day wait for flood insurance if there is not a lender requirement.

“The other reason a buyer may want to assume a flood policy is to avoid having a new flood elevation certificate done on the property should a flood elevation certificate not be available for a new flood policy to be rated.

“If a seller allows their flood insurance to be assumed, then they understand that any unearned premium they would have received via a refund will be paid to them by the buyer. Usually, the title company handling the closing will arrange the collection from the buyer.

“The flood policy being assumed keeps the original effective and expiration date.”

“Ding” Darling Starts Free Seasonal Tours

This week’s ““Ding” on the Wing” by the “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Society says “The Refuge has received the greenlight on offering socially distanced tours of 10 people or less. There’s no set schedule, so monitor the Eventbrite page to see what staff and volunteers are currently offering and to sign up for tours such as Birding the Refuge car caravan tour, Bailey Tract Tour, Bike Tour, and Beach Walk. Please bring your own binoculars and scopes. The next tour is a Beach Walk at Perry Tract/Gulfside City Park on Sunday, February 7, starting at 9 a.m.

Come on Down! Florida Attracts Retirees & Many More

This article was posted on-line Wed on FloridaRealtors®: By Erica Plemmons, economist & Director of Housing Statistics

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Americans from the Northeast and Midwest continued to go south and west in 2020, excluding an exodus from California where residents moved to less expensive neighboring states. Typically, Florida advertises its warmer climate, lack of state income tax and job opportunities. But other Southern states have some, if not all, of those qualities too.

“So, what draws movers to the Sunshine State? The United Van Lines 2020 Movers Study allows us to analyze who relocated to Florida, their reason for moving, and how Florida’s appeal compares to its peers. From an income standpoint, the study finds over two-thirds of movers to Florida answered that they earn over $100,000 per year, with 41.5% earning more than $150,000. Southern states (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas) show a similar trend.

“Likewise, outbound movers tend to indicate higher incomes. This finding likely comes from selection bias. Think about it: Not all relocators can afford to use moving services, or maybe they prefer to do-it-themselves. With that in mind, we can’t reliably infer flocks of wealth are entering or leaving states based on the income breakouts provided in the study.

“Of movers to Florida, 39% indicate retirement as their reason for moving. The state is the second highest for retirement (as a percentage) following Delaware, and South Carolina attracts a similar percentage of retirees to its state. But the other southern states diverge, with the main appeal of Texas, Tennessee and Georgia being job opportunities. North Carolina and Alabama fall somewhere in between; more people indicate relocating for a job, but a share is also moving for retirement.

“In the United Van Lines moving analysis, most movement between states is tied to jobs. But since retirees account for many of the moves, just 23% of new Floridians cite “a job” as their reason for coming to the Sunshine State, though that doesn’t mean Florida lacks employment opportunities. Texas surpassed Florida in both percentage and volume of inbound shipments from jobs in 2020. The rest of its southern peers have a larger percent of movement from jobs, yet only North Carolina and Georgia have a similar volume, with Tennessee trailing slightly.

“Florida also attracts people for lifestyle (21%) and family (17%). The age range of movers reflects what we would expect based on the reasons for changing location. Nearly 70% of those relocating to Florida are older than 55; 37% are 65 or older.

“The highest proportion of retirees moving out is from the northeastern states, like New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and New York, as well as some Midwest areas.

“Allied Van Lines gives a peek at its migration trends between cities. These relocation trends aren’t limited to retirees. Coming into Florida, there’s movement from New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 29-February 5, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #J102 1/1 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $594.5K, Lighthouse Point #221 2/2 $719K, Loggerhead Cay #523 2/2 $945K.

5 price changes: Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $639.9K; Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $710K; Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 now $739K; Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 now $924,999; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 now $1,099,999.

12 new sales: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed at $325K, Casa Blanca #8 2/1 listed at $349K, Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed at $559K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $575K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 listed at $749.9K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 listed at $825K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 listed at $999K (our listing), Sundial #P402 2/2 listed at $1.189M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.335M, Island Beach Club #220D 2/2 listed at $1.34M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 listed at $1.499M.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 $970K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1657 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $805K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 $869K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $979K, 542 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $1.229M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 $1.495M.

6 price changes: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $491.5K, 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $954K, 3910 Coquina Dr 6/4 now $1.75M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 now $1.895M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 now $1.975M, 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $18.395M.

11 new sales: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 listed at $491.5K, 3040 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $679K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $719K, 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 listed at $799K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 listed at $899.5K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 listed at $1.099M, 709 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.125M, 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 listed at $1.195M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.395M, 2479 Harbour Ln 4/3 listed at $1.795M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 listed at $2.2M.

7 closed sales: 660 Oliva St 3/3 $805K; 5835 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $834.5K; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 $1.556M; 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1,700,197; 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.725M; 677 Anchor Dr 5/5.5 $1.895M; 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 $4.25M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2310 Wulfert Rd $299K.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 2515 Wulfert Rd listed at $239.5K, 1313 Par View Dr listed at $324.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 1292 Par View Dr listed at $349.9K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln listed at $499K.

2 closed sales: 2307 Wulfert Rd $160K, 2319 Wulfert Rd $160K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Bayside Villas #4116 1/2 listed at $380K, Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 listed at $410K, Lands End #1637 2/2 listed at $1.495M.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 $345K, Beach Homes #2 3/2 $1.7M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 $2.15M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.111M, 1119 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 $5.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

 

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. First another photo taken today of a peek at the marina at South Seas Resort. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Replenishing Our Acorns at SanibelSusan Realty

As we wrap up another week of nice winter island weather, I must mention the unusual fog seen here midday Wednesday. Coming onto the island late morning, the fog was so thick that one could barely see the water beyond the causeway island bridge railings, much less the shores of Sanibel. Calls from those beachside in the afternoon reported lingering fog just off the shoreline east end. Rarely do we see fog here.

The SanibelSusan Team had a couple of nice closings this week plus a super sale. Also had other listings shown and worked with buyers too. Tomorrow, after tenant checkout and unit cleaning, I will be at our new listing at Kings Crown where seven showings are scheduled during a short window. Hopefully, my nearby presence will make it easier for agents to get in and out quickly – while still adhering to COVID protocols.

Kings Crown

Yes, the real estate market here is nuts! Good nuts! Now providing an opportunity for us to replenish the acorns that were depleted during the pandemic shut-down when business was off.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Again, there was no weekly Zoom Caravan meeting this week, but the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® did win four state awards at the Florida Realtors® RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee) Awards Zoom event Tuesday Night.

Thank you to our RPAC Committee, its Chairman Dave Arter, and our members, both REALTORS® and Affiliate Business Partners for helping the Association meet and exceed its 2020 RPAC goals. The Association earned four State RPAC Awards in the Small Board Category:

  • Highest Total Cash
  • Highest Participation Rate
  • Highest Percentage of Goal
  • Highest Number of Major Investors

Since 1969, RPAC has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the U.S. The purpose of RPAC is clear: voluntary contributions made by REALTORS® are used to help elect candidates who understand and support their interests. These are not members’ dues; this is money given freely by REALTORS® in recognition of the importance of the political process. The REALTORS® Political Action Committee and other political fundraising are the keys to protecting and promoting the real estate industry.

Florida Realtors®

This week, I also attended more of Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings and events via Zoom.

Tuesday, the 3-hour Realtor®-Attorney Joint Committee covered upcoming revisions proposed to the Florida Realtors®/Florida BAR contract, and the “As Is” version of the contract and its associated comprehensive riders.

In the 29 years that I have been using this contract in Florida, it has evolved may times, with the times. The “As Is” version is the most widely used. Many of the proposed changes are technology related, some regarding personal property that conveys with the real estate. Others tighten up timeframes and requirements in mortgage contingencies. Another good change clears confusion related to properties being sold that are short-term rentals. All are good improvements. Though not yet official, these committee recommendations will be submitted to the Florida BAR for their June meeting and if approved will move on to Florida Realtors® for consideration at their annual meeting in August. All indications are that these revised contracts will be released late summer.

Thursday night was the Florida Realtors® 2021 Inaugural with after party. Pretty hard to party via Zoom, but the entire event was a lot of fun and it was so great to see colleagues from around the state, even though it was through a computer screen.

This year, Florida surpassed other states in their total Realtor® membership. It is now the largest in the U.S., 204,000 members. It is amazing but not surprising to hear that membership increased during the pandemic. The word is out that the sunshine state offers more than just nice weather! (I remember when there were just 100,00 members and that was a staggering number.) Congratulations to our new President Cheryl Lambert and her terrific team.

Condo Question & Answer: What Happens If Reserve Funds Aren’t Enough?

Posted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line. This article covers an often-asked question about condo reserve monies. Author is “Steven J. Adamczyk Esq., a shareholder of the law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column. © 2021 Journal Media Group

“A condo complex reserves funds every year to repaint buildings every seven – but it’s time to paint and the money falls short. Can they use other money for painting?

“STUART – Question: Our condominium has been reserving every year to repaint the buildings every seven years. We are now approaching seven years, and it turns out the paint reserve fund was never on track to be fully funded, and we are going to be short. Can we use money set aside for other projects or do we have other options? – W.C.S., Port St. Lucie

“Answer: This is a common situation. In Florida, the general rule applicable to condominiums is that reserves must be fully funded unless the membership votes to underfund or waive reserve funding altogether. This means that your board should have received a quote or reserve opinion seven years ago to repaint the buildings, subtract any leftover balance in the paint fund, and then divide the difference by seven so that you are equally putting money away each year. The board can also take interest, inflation and annual changes in materials and labor into consideration when setting reserve amounts.

“In Florida, the default rule is also that you have straight line reserves, meaning you separately account for each reserve component, and you can only use money in the paint fund, for example, on painting, and the membership must approve any other use.

“One option available to you is to review your corporate history to see whether the association ever voted to approve a switch to pooled reserve funding. A pooled reserve is funded differently because it is based on cash flow, but the benefit in your situation is that you can use any dollar in the reserve account for any component in the pooled reserve. For example, a pooled reserve could have repainting, resurfacing, roof replacement, pool equipment, pool furniture, clubhouse windows and pool deck paver components. With a pooled reserve system, you could use any balance set aside for the pool equipment to fund the paint shortfall.

“You obviously need to make up the difference over time so that you can replace the pool equipment when necessary, but there is a lot of flexibility. If you have not done this in the past, the threshold to switch to pooled reserve requires only a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy at a meeting of the members, and thus, you could also schedule a meeting to approve this switch and this could provide the flexibility you are seeking.

“If you have straight line reserves and you want to keep straight line reserves, another option is to seek the membership’s approval to use reserve dollars currently allocated to another component. The threshold is the same as the switch to pooled reserves, meaning you could, for example, schedule a special members’ meeting to seek approval to use dollars currently in the roof reserve account for the current paint shortfall.

“Another option would be to fund the shortfall through your annual operating budget. If you know the shortfall is $250,000, for example, then you could add a line item to your annual budget for this year only for the $250,000 and fund the shortfall through normal assessment obligations. To accomplish this, I would first seek an opinion from your legal counsel to determine whether your specific condominium documents place any restrictions on whether your operating budget can accommodate this expense. Obviously, this may increase your assessments, but at least owners would be able to pay the shortfall quarterly or monthly depending on your assessment schedule.

“The board could also levy a special assessment. This is the typical response to a shortfall in reserves because the reserve expenditure is typically a one-time expenditure and special assessments typically provide a lump sum influx of capital to meet the needs. Again, you would want to consult your legal counsel to determine whether your specific condominium documents have any self-imposed restrictions or procedural requirements that would impact the board’s ability or timing to levy a special assessment for this purpose.

“Finally, the board could borrow. Credit is generally available for condominium associations, and your board could consider drawing on a line of credit or obtain a term loan for this purpose. One of the benefits of borrowing is that it provides the association with instant liquidity to meet contractor payment schedules while allowing owners to repay over a longer period and possibly for the duration of the loan repayment.

“Once again, you would want to consult your legal counsel to determine whether your specific condominium documents have any self-imposed restrictions on borrowing or voting requirements to open a line of credit or draw on a line of credit. Depending on the amount of the loan and the lenders’ underwriting requirements, you may also need to levy a special assessment dedicated to repay the loan, so you also need to consider whether you have any special requirements to levy a special assessment as described above.”

Sanibel – COVID-19

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 27 is 201 cases. This is 13 cases in the last seven days. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant, continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

With the process of getting vaccine appointments by phone often unsuccessful and frustrating, this week Florida’s site to preregister on line was announced. If you are a health care worker or Florida resident over the age of 65, go to www.MyVaccine.FL.gov to sign up. It takes just seconds and says you will be contacted (either by phone, text, or email) when your appointment is scheduled. All 67 Florida counties will have the system available to them soon. Luckily, Lee County was one of the first in the roll-out.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 22-29, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-2 3/3 $899K; Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $920K; Sundial #Q401 2/2 $978,808; White Sands #13 2/2 $979K; Loggerhead Cay #101 2/2 $998,899; Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $998,899.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $465K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 now $559K.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #2E 1/1 listed at $385.4K, Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 listed at $349K, Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 listed at $529K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 listed at $719K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 listed at $899K, Sundial #A301 2/2 listed at $1,099,999.

6 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $430K, Sundial #I102 1/1 $442.5K, Sundial #D305 1/1 $495K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 $540K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 $550K, Junonia #103 3/2 $1.265M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 888 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $749.9K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $799K, 709 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.125M, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.249M, 994 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.395M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.675M, 2479 Harbour Ln 4/3 $1.795M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 $7.995M.

No price changes.

11 new sales: 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/1 listed at $585K, 1985 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $780K, 2620 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 640 Periwinkle Way 3/2 listed at $825K, 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $919K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $979K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 listed at $1.299M, 1366 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.4M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $1.75M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 listed at $1.795M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.495M (our listing).

5 closed sales: 721 Durion Ct 3/3 $620K, 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $640K (our listing), 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $815K, 3020 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 $839K, 4381 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 $11M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1313 Par View Dr $324.9K.

3 price changes: 575 Sea Oats Dr now $385K, 6505 Pine Ave now $759K, 6519 Pine Ave now $799K.

1 new sale: 3941 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.695M.

1 closed sale: 3945 West Gulf Dr $2.85M.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Captiva Cove #2A 3/2 $1.295M, Beach Homes #25 3/2 $1.995M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2112 1/1 listed at $492.5K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 listed at $1.265M, Lands End Village #1615 2/2 listed at $1.45M.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2028 3/3 $1.04M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 listed at $6.289M, 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $2.795M, 16394 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed at $6.599M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Spectacular Sanibel Sunsets This Week

This week has been a tad chilly, though mostly sunny, on Sanibel & Captiva. Great “open the sunroof” weather. There have been some terrific sunsets this week too, sunset last night was especially spectacular.

A weather warm-up is expected by Sunday with daytime temperatures forecast to be back in the 70’s next week.

After a short post-holiday lull, island traffic and business pick-up mid-January and boost again February 1, with February and March usually the months when the most sales occur here. After a couple of news items below is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Early Thursday morning was our Annual Installation and Awards event. No group meeting, no shared breakfast at The Sanctuary, but a fun Zoom event with a couple of videos presented that highlight 2020. It’s always fun to transfer the gavel to the incoming President in person, though not always fun to be oldest past-President (1999). The gavel-passing video used photos taken during our years as President. Passing of the Gavel Video

Congratulations to Kelly Huguenin for being selected for the “Community Service” award and Dave Arter for “Affiliate Business Partner”. They both rallied our members through 2020, even without in-person meetings. Wendy Kirschner was “Rookie of the Year” and 23 Realtors® earned Honor Society membership (my 28th year). 2020 Awards Video

Florida Realtors®

On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended more Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings via Zoom. At the Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees (under the Professional Development Committee), it was reported that 58,182 Realtors® attended state-sponsored classes this year. That is almost double the number of attendees in 2019. It is excellent news to hear that over a quarter of Florida’s members made good use of COVID downtime. The GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) series had 1,744 of those students which is a 110% jump over 2019.

Thursday, at The Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank, it was interesting to hear that though up and down, Florida’s vacation rental market survived the pandemic and has rebounded. That market is huge with over 15 million rentals a year.

A presentation by Denis Hanks, Executive Director of the Florida VRMA (Vacation Rental Managers Assoc) in an overview of 2020, said that vacation rentals had many challenges, as we all did, because of the pandemic.

When travel was suspended, hotels and timeshares open, but vacation rentals closed or limited to 30 days, vacation rental managers struggled to comply with 67 different regulations which were often vague and varied county-to-county.

Once those vacation rentals reopened, a huge increase in “drive” visitors (versus those flying) turned Florida’s panhandle into the hot market of 2020. Throughout the state, beach markets also have done well, though their business more up and down, and bookings sporadic. With lessons learned and the industry forced to become resilient, rental managers have had to adjust quickly to new cleaning protocols and adopt new guidelines including wait periods between stays, contactless check-ins, protection of staff and guests, COVID waivers, screening, cancellation policies, deposits/refunds, taxation, and chargebacks. The state VRMA also will soon be rolling out a program to train new employees and retrain those workers coming back into the industry.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 26, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 20 is 188 cases. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.

LCEC – 13 Years

For 13 years Lee County Electric Co-op has not had a rate increase. Best electric service provider, that SanibelSusan has experienced. I am always amazed, particularly during the summer rainy season, when electric outages happen, and they respond quickly.

When a property sells, The SanibelSusan Team recommends that sellers DO NOT CANCEL their electric service, but rather TRANSFER it. That way, there is no lapse in service and the buyer is not charged a connection fee. When your property is under contract and getting ready to close, please call LCEC, tell them the date of the scheduled closing, and ask them to transfer service then. They will not take a buyer’s contact info for billing until a seller calls first. With a transfer of service, LCEC takes a meter reading to document when your service responsibility completes and the buyers begins.

Sanibel Library Ranks High

According to the January 20 “Island Reporter”, the state library rankings are out, and the Sanibel Public Library ranks at or near the top in many areas, including materials borrowed, program attendance, and percentage of population with a library card. The 2020 ratings are based on FY 2018 Florida Library Statistics, which measures 82 libraries/library systems in the state. Sanibel was ranked number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed); availability of print, audio, video and other material to check out; local and state operating revenue; and square footage availability.

The library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) for five of the last 10 years. The library has been No. 1 on Trip Advisor for “Things to Do on Sanibel” many times and has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, nearing Hall of Fame status on the site.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $325K; Sundial #F307 1/1 $479K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $649,950; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $825K; Kings Crown #104 2/2 $999K (our listing).

Beach path at Kings Crown

4 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 now $895K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 now $930K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.825M.

9 new sales: Sundial #F108 1/1 listed at $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed at $489K, Mariner Pointe #1091 3/2 listed at $559K, Sandpebble #2D 2/2 listed at $568.5K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 listed at $998K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 $502.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $580K, Oceans Reach #4D1 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $919K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $979K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1.099M, 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $1.195M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.395M.

3 price changes: 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.75M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.525M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.395M.

7 new sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed at $457K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 listed at $679K, 1012/1014 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 listed at $850K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.05M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.295M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.595M.

8 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $430K, 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $585K, 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 $645K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $965K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.055M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.1M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $5.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $875K.

1 price change: 2515 Wulfert Rd now $239.5K.

3 new sales: 2372 Wulfert Rd listed at $147.5K, 5398 Osprey Ct listed at $299K, 1825 Long Point Ln listed at $389K.

1 closed sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd $148K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End #1615 2/2 now $1.45M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 16727 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed at $1,999,999; 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M; 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.395M.

1 closed sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $886.7K.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

What’s Hot in the Sanibel Island Real Estate World

It is time to wrap up a week of iffy weather on Sanibel & Captiva. Several days have been cloudy and chilly (nights in the 50’s, days in the 60’s/low 70’s), with short shower interruptions as several cold fronts passed SW FL. (Coming from Maine, it still gives me a chuckle that 50 degrees is considered a cold front.)  The forecast says, chilly days will continue until it is fully sunny again on Tuesday, followed by a warm-up next week. We are ready!

Like the weather, the red tide reports change daily. Though the news seems to report that the sky is falling, the red tide readings this week have been minimal. Here is the link again for the NOAA site that tracks those measurements in the Gulf of Mexico, https://habforecast.gcoos.org/ Most of the high readings, have been south of the islands, with Lighthouse Beach sometimes affected.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, the team has been keeping things moving with both our listings and sales. We also have a new listing, Kings Crown #104. A bit tough to get a property sold during a pandemic when there is a paying guest, meaning one cannot get in. This renter is there until the end of the month. Makes it challenging to view a property, get professional photos, and market without having access; but we like challenges. Even sight-unseen buyers like to see what the inside looks like, but the beach there is fantastic. See below!

Beach in front of Kings Crown

Our listings had more showings this week and more action was reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Our closing late last Friday also has been posted. That info follows a few news items below.

What’s Hot & What’s Not

First, it always makes sense to look at the larger complexes and communities. For example, at Sundial Beach & Golf Resort, 26 units sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. Today, five units are under contract and just three are for sale. Safe to say that community is hot!

Likewise, at The Dunes, 39 homes sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. There, four homes are under contract and just two are available.

Canal-front homes like in Sanibel Estates and Shell Harbor also sold well last year. In 2020, 37 sold, compared to 20 in 2019. There, three homes are under contract, while eight are for sale. More inventory here is somewhat indicative of what has been happening with the high-end product.

Last year on Sanibel, 503 residential properties (condos, homes, lots) sold, median price was $700,000. In 2019, 353 sold, with the same median price ($700,000). Comparing that to today’s Sanibel inventory: there are 192 properties for sale, median asking price is $859,000.

Of the 192 Sanibel properties for sale today, 26 are over $2M. Of the 503 that sold last year, only 26 were over $2M – perhaps illustrating that there is a year’s worth of high-end available.

With homes being the hottest commodity during the pandemic lockdown months, it was interesting to see lots moving once the more-affordable island homes started disappearing. Last year, 23 Sanibel vacant residential lots sold. In 2019, that number was 15. Today, 18 already have sold or are under contract.

Condo sales which were a little sluggish during the lockdown are moving well now too. First quarter, when the most condo visitors are in town, is generally when we sell the most condos. This year should be no exception, however, just 84 Sanibel condos are available, compared to 192 sales in 2020, 127 in 2019, 29 under contract.

Florida Realtors®

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings have begun. This is when the state committees meet (via Zoom, this year) and the annual installation of officers occurs. Wed morning, I attended the Forms Content Committee meeting. Next week, I’ll be Zooming in at the Realtor® Town Hall, Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees, and Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 19, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 14 is 176 cases. Locals are trying to stay calm, but that is 19 cases in seven days. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.

Plenty of Reasons for Optimism

Below are excerpts from an article in the January/February 2021 issue of “REALTOR®”, by National Association of Realtors® Economist, Lawrence Yun.

“The housing market was a spectacular surprise in 2020 – and the positive trend will continue this year. Home sales in 2021 are expected to rise by around 10%. Home prices will also climb, but I expect more moderate increases than we’ve seen, a break for staying at or near historic lows of 3% on average. The labor market will strengthen, especially as vaccines become widely available and life moves toward normal.

“Around 4 million net jobs could be added, a gradual rebound from the net loss of roughly 7 million during the pandemic year of 2020. The unemployment rate by the year’s end could be at 5.5%, a great improvement from 14.7% in April 2020 when the nation was under a strict lockdown, but still a few notches up from the generational low of 3.5% right before the pandemic.

Low mortgage rates have been the key reason for the housing market’s strong performance in the midst of the pandemic and high employment…. While mortgage rates are highly influential, they’re not the only factor affecting home sales. Given the substantial commitment and financial dollars at stake, consumer confidence and life-cycle events such as marriage, changes to family size, and retirement all play a role. During the pandemic, we learned that most people who work in offices could be just as productive at home, and this new reality will help fuel home sales in the post-pandemic economy. Already, big tech companies are allowing greater work-from-home flexibility. Other organizations will no doubt follow in some hybrid fashion. Perhaps the work-from-home trend was inevitable as internet speed and software improved. The pandemic just accelerated the timeline in a flash.

Owners who were content with their home before the pandemic are thinking about the benefits of another bedroom to use as a dedicated home office or are considering relocating to the countryside, knowing that commuting to downtown offices every day has become a thing of the past. Some consumers are turning to vacation properties as an appealing work-from-home option….

“The encouraging news on the home front contrasts drastically with the specter of newly empty office buildings. Those with leases are still mostly paying rent even though office spaces are not being used, and businesses with leases that are terminating are clearly reevaluating their space needs. In the second and third quarter of 2020, office usage dropped by a combined 74 million square feet. The situation will not improve until the middle of year; even then, the normal relationship between office job creation and net new leasing will not align as many companies will reevaluate and rejigger their office space needs. Downtown retail shops and eateries will also undergo a harsh transition from the reduced foot traffic….

“The housing market is facing an acute inventory shortage. Adding more demand without addressing the supply will push up home prices at an even faster clip. That is why it’s critical to turn raw land into developable lots so that homebuilders can increase production. But Biden’s proposal to remove 1031 like-kind exchanges from the tax code would hinder land sales and pile more negative pressure onto commercial real estate. Without serious reconsideration of this tax incentive, home prices could take off and essentially negate the benefit of federally supported down payment assistance programs.

“The Biden administration is also likely to appoint Federal Reserve governors who will be more tolerant of higher inflation in order to quickly bring down the unemployment rate. That means printing more money. Don’t be surprised if, over time, prices for a tangible asset like real estate consistently outpace overall consumer price inflation. Even bitcoin, with its limited supply, may attract investors.

“Finally, under a Biden presidency, overall government spending is likely to rise. The goal: Fix the economy before worrying about the deficit. Spending on programs such as high-speed internet access for rural communities and improved rail transportation to distant suburbs will have a positive impact, since demand will continue to increase outside of city centers. Land is plentiful and relatively cheap, making it easier for homebuilders to construct homes. Only when the supply of new homes is growing does stimulating additional demand make sense.

Looking to File for a Florida Homestead Exemption?

This Homestead Exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption removed from the assessed value of your property. It is granted to those applicants who possess title to real property and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home on January 1. Documentation that proves you were a resident at the homestead property is required.

Rental of the Homestead Property – Property owners who receive the homestead exemption on their residence need to be aware that personally renting their property or renting through home-sharing or collaborative consumption companies may constitute abandonment and, therefore, loss of the homestead tax exemption. Renting typically means exclusive use by a tenant on a temporary, seasonal, or annual basis. If you plan to rent, please contact the appropriate legal advisers to be sure that you do not jeopardize your homestead exemption. Relinquishing your homestead exemption will increase your property taxes.

Value Limitations (caps) – Properties granted homestead exemption automatically receive the “Save Our Homes” benefit. This is a constitutional benefit approved by the Florida voters in 1992. It places a limitation of 3% on annual assessment increase on homestead properties beginning with the 1995 tax year. For properties granted homestead exemption in the prior years, that assessed value will be the base value for the implementation of “Save Our Homes”. Thereafter, the assessed value will not increase more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Exceptions to that limitation include new additions or construction that escaped taxation in the past. When a homestead property sells, the assessed value returns to fair market value in the year following the sale. That value assessment then becomes the new owner/homestead applicant’s base value for “Save Our Homes” purposes.

When to File – Florida law requires that application for a new Florida Homestead Exemption be made by March 1st to be eligible for up to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption. Only new applicants or those who had a change of residence need apply. Automatic renewals are mailed in January each year. The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office offers on-line filing for Homestead Exemption is at www.LeePA.org.

There are two ways to apply, depending on certain criteria. If you meet ALL of the criteria below, application may be made online using the “Quick Apply Form”:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption ONLY
  • You are applying for yourself or you and your spouse
  • You have a valid Florid Drivers License for both you and your spouse (if applying together), and the Drivers License shows the address of the property you would like to apply for
  • You resided in the home prior to January 1, 2021.

If ANY of the criteria below apply, use their Homestead Online form:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption AND Portability
  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption for owners other than you and your spouse
  • You are married and your spouse is NOT applying
  • You have a partial interest in the property that you are applying for.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 8-15, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $299.9K, Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 $529K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $569K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $899K.

7 price changes: Sundial #F108 1/1 now $435K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 now $569K, Cottage Colony West #125 1/1 now $599K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 now $609K, Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 now $698K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $789K, Sundial #P402 2/2 now $1.189M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 listed at $490K, Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 listed at $775K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 listed at $815K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #1-5 2/2.5 listed at $999K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

3 closed sales: Beach Road Villas #105 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 $484.9K (our listing), Breakers West #B5 2/2 $560K.

View from Mariner Pointe #522

HOMES

9 new listings: 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $679K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 3/2.5 $868K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $899.5K, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 $1.595M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.595M, 3910 Coquina Dr 6/4 $1.95M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $2.895M.

1 price change: 1430 Sanderling Cir 3.5 now $799K.

10 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 listed at $879.9K, 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 listed at $1.549M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 listed at $1.795M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 listed at $1.8M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.929M, 2336 Starfish Ln 3/2.5 listed at $2.195M.

5 closed sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 $545K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $595K, 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $740K, 482 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $780K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 $815K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9042 Mockingbird Dr $395K.

2 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $249.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd now $349K.

1 new sale: 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $269,555.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $2.879M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3136 1/1 listed at $340K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 listed at $1.995M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.55M.

2 price changes: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 now $2.25M, 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.289M.

3 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.589M, 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 listed at $3.699M, 1119 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $5.975M.

1 closed sale: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.275M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, stay warm, safe, & smiling! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Ready to Set New Records in 2021

Welcome to the 2nd Friday Sanibel/Captiva real estate update in 2021. With the holidays over and a home inspection this afternoon, we are wrapping up another productive week at SanibelSusan Realty – two more sales, more listings shown, more action items accomplished for both listings and upcoming closings, and a closing late today. The last time we had seven sales on the books in just the first week of the year was back in 2004 which was our record year, so we are crossing our fingers to break that record in 2021.

Traffic lessened last weekend when many holiday visitors departed. Unfortunately, coronavirus numbers are up and expected to go higher. Below are a couple of news items, including COVID update, followed by the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Though still not meeting in person, our local Association of Realtors® held a Zoom meeting Wednesday with required attendance by our Board of Directors and members serving as 2021 Ombudsmen or on Grievance and Professional Standards Committees. That annual training updates the leadership team on recent changes regarding ethics and arbitration issues. Thanks to Marcia Tabak, Deputy General Counsel at Florida Realtors®, for hosting.

Thursday morning was a Zoom Caravan meeting for our entire membership. No new listings were open for caravan viewing, but both Jim Hall (VIP Realty Group) and I announced new sales. No price reductions were announced. My announcement of our new listing at Sandalfoot #3B3, was the only new listing mentioned.

The next Caravan meeting will follow our Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Ceremony at 8 a.m. Jan 17, also on Zoom.

With most of the year-end closings now posted on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, below is an update of the statistics. Shown are the recent sales action, compared to 2019, and inventory today. To say, more listings are needed is an understatement. Many Realtors® have buyers awaiting the perfect property that meets their requirements.

 

SANIBEL

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 86 820,012 63 2,036,258 45 816,216
Under Contract 27 709,322 53 1,346,665 17 783,177
Sold 2021 to-date 2 995,000 3 1,324,666 1 265,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 288 951,487 23 606,233
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200

 

 

CAPTIVA

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 20 1,622,849 32 3,713,937 3 5,131,666
Under Contract 8 787,375 8 787,375 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 1 2,700,000 2 2,762,500 O N/A
Sold 2020 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 12, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through 9 a.m. January 7 is 157 cases. Twenty-one were reported just last week. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Vaccination Rollout Update from Florida Department of Health & Lee County Government

FYI, as posted yesterday on http://www.MySanibel.com:

“Fort Myers, FL, Jan. 7, 2021 – Tidal Basin, the state’s call-center vendor for COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors and front-line medical workers, earlier this week captured more than 10,000 phone calls in 11 minutes when its new reservation line opened. The Florida Department of Health-Lee (FDOH) and Lee County today have announced that next Tuesday and Wednesday’s allocation of vaccinations at the current site will be used for those additional callers, most of whom now have been pre-registered by the vendor.

“The phone line for reservations is currently closed and remains closed; residents are asked to not dial the call center. The state and county will announce when additional vaccine doses are available and the line reopens. Visit  www.leegov.com/vaccine

“Tidal Basin will begin placing calls to schedule the pre-registered slots beginning this afternoon through Monday. Not every pre-registered individual will receive a scheduling call today. Shots will be administered between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 12 and 13.

“DOH-Lee anticipates administering about 4,000 doses during those two days at the current site, which is east of Interstate 75 off Daniels Parkway. It’s the site of the old airport terminal parking lot off Paul J. Doherty Parkway. The site has proved a successful solution to vaccinating thousands of people 65 and older without an unnecessary wait. Traffic to and from the site is flowing; parking is ample; people with appointments are not experiencing delays. Public transportation is available to the site.

“By close of business today, more than 11,000 individuals will have been vaccinated at Lee County sites. This total does not include medical workers vaccinated at separate sites by the Florida Department of Health-Lee or vaccinations issued by other entities such as Lee Health.

“FDOH-Lee and the county soon will announce information about the second dose of the vaccine and how scheduling will be handled.

“The state and county have requested that Tidal Basin stand up a help line or call center for pre-registered people who have questions. Details will be announced when they become available at www.leegov.com/vaccine .

“As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office advises to be aware of emerging fraud schemes, such as:

  • Calls asking to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
  • Calls asking to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.
  • Requests from someone unknown to an individual asking for a social security number, bank account information or credit card information.

“Lee County residents who believe they have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud can report it to:

  • Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line – 258-3292
  • HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or log on to hhs.gov
  • FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI
  • CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE

“Additional information: Complete information can be found at www.leegov.com/vaccine . People can visit Lee County Government Facebook and other social media channels (www.leegov.com/socialmedia ) or monitor Florida DOH’s Twitter @flhealthlee. The United Way 211 line for vaccine questions is staffed 24/7. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900. This is not a reservation or appointment phone line.”

2021 Resolution: Cut Risk – 15 Steps to Resolve Legal Issues

Posted on FloridaRealtors® this week, the below article is sourced to Gary M. Singer, “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. It has some excellent points.

“Many legal troubles start with phrases like “I didn’t realize that …” or “I didn’t read that part of the document.” To lower risk and avoid trouble, ask questions, read contracts, do research, take notes, record with cellphone photos and take an extra day to think about things.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As another year starts, it’s once again time to discuss some lessons we’ve learned in dealing with real estate law issues. Therefore, I present to you, in no particular order, some best practices you can use when dealing with any legal matter.

  • Do not sign anything you have not read and understood.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not feel you must accept the answers at face value.
  • If you have any doubt as to what you are told, do more research.
  • There are very few things that cannot wait one day while you think about it.
  • Whenever a situation seems like it might become a problem, take lots of notes and cell phone photos.
  • If you come to a meaningful agreement on a telephone call, send an email to the person you spoke with to confirm the details.
  • While confrontation can be uncomfortable, the best and least expensive way of resolving a dispute is speaking calmly to the responsible party about the issue.
  • If the branches from your neighbor’s tree hang over your property line, you can safely trim them back, at your expense, as long as you do not damage the tree’s health.
  • Consult with an estate planning professional to get your will done.
  • If you are buying a property with someone you are not married to, it is good to get a joint property ownership agreement prepared.
  • If you rent a home, you should read the landlord-tenant statute; it is relatively easy to read and acts as an instruction manual.
  • When buying a property in a condominium or homeowners association, you need to understand the rules and live by them. If this idea does not work for you, find a different property.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of insurance and the importance of shopping around for the best price.
  • Some have said that good fences make good neighbors, but I find it is more accurate to say that good people make good neighbors.
  • As hard as it can be to sift through the junk, it is essential to check your mail for important notices regularly.

“It has been a rough year. I hope these tips will help your new year be a better one.”

Wildlife Refuge Status Update

From today’s “Ding” on the Wing”: The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has announced changes to scheduling due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. Until further notice, the Visitor & Education Center will be closed every Sunday.

Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the front desk and Refuge Nature Store will be open in the Center. All exhibits remain closed. The Center’s restrooms will stay open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wildlife Drive will continue with its seasonal schedule of Saturday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

recreation concession tours and rentals will operate according to their regular schedule.  Stay up-to-date on Refuge news and events at our COVID-19 page.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 1-8, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 $424.5K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $489K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 $949K, White Pelican #111 2/2 $1.2999M.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #E101 2/2 now $485K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 now $669K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 now $775K.

7 new sales: Sundial #I102 1/1 listed at $450K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 listed at $579K, Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 listed at $685K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $849K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K, Sundial #L205 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

6 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/2 $350K, Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 $390K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $520K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 $550K, Sanibel Moorings #932 2/2 $562K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 $1.6M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2620 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $799K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $1.925M.

4 price changes: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $493K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $899K, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 now $1.995M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $2.095M.

11 new sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $514,555; 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex listed at $559K; 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $629K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K (our buyer); 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $739K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K; 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K; 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex listed at $859K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 listed at $899K; 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M; 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.

5 closed sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $413K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $550K, 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $699K, 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 $1.029M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.725M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 717 Birdie View Pt $399K.

1 price change: 1292 Par View Dr now $349.9K.

7 new sales: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & buyer), 9436 Beverly Ln listed at $235K, 3354 Barra Cir listed at $365K, 602 Boulder Dr listed at $399K, 836 Limpet Dr listed at $1.345M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct listed at $1.599M, 1246 Seagrape Ln listed at $2.789M.

1 closed sale: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $265K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 $2.7M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1,168,500.

3 closed sales: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $1.975M, 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.55M, 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $5M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, stay safe,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy New Year & Happy 1st Friday 2021

Happy New Year 2021, with best wishes to all from The SanibelSusan Team.

It is just me (Susan) in the office this afternoon – albeit briefly after showing a few homes earlier. Gorgeous day to do that as was just mid-70’s when we started out at 10 a.m., then warming up to 78 degrees F about 2 p.m. Bright blue sky, lots of sunshine, and breezy – best kind of island day.

SanibelSusan Realty has had a good week. A listing sale closed Tues, Dave had a closing Thurs, we got a new listing, several action items were completed for other listings awaiting closings, and I have been writing offers this afternoon – which is why this is emailed a little later than usual – all good indicators that “season” is here.

As another indicator, what a difference a week makes! There was a huge traffic increase this week (compared to last week (Christmas)). The City announced Tuesday that 7,000 cars had crossed the causeway that morning. Wednesday, by midday, that day count already was up at 6,000. Those additional day-trippers make the roadways slow-going when heading off-island from about 3 p.m. until dark. If you need to travel then, remember to check the City traffic cams on www.MySanibel.com.

With several daytime runs by both teammate Elise and I between the office and the East end, and on-/off-island, we also could not help but notice the number of bikers. I do not remember the bike paths ever being this busy. The pickleball courts were packed most of the time too. Likely the wonderful weather brought visitors escaping the snowy north and doldrums of the pandemic. We just pray none of them brought more viruses.

Below are a couple of news items, including COVID update, followed by the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 5, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through 9 a.m. December 31 is 138 cases. Fifty-four of those cases are just since December 1. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

How the Coronavirus Is Changing Buying & Selling Real Estate

The need to practice social distancing and restrict in-person contacts has accelerated both innovation and technology. Realtors® servicing Sanibel and Captiva, where both sellers and buyers often are in far-away places, have always provided different services than in a traditional geographical area where both parties are nearby. From the pandemic, there likely will be some long-lasting effects, like those below.

Competitive Buying – Purchasers that are out of town are more motivated to make sight-unseen offers. For those successful offerors, using the “as is” contract, the buyer may use the 15-day inspection/cancellation period to come and see the property, and/or have inspections performed. In the last few weeks, we have had two listings sell sight-unseen. Both received multiple offers with the sight-unseen buyers winning out, because they were willing to pay full price.

Streaming Videos & FaceTime Showings – Professional photography including drone aerials with streaming videos continue to get prospects interested in a property. After they become interested, virtual walk-throughs and Facetime showings by us or their Realtor® have become popular. We have had almost as many showings that way in the last few months as showings with the buyers there in-person.

Meetings – Though most now are more familiar with cleaning procedures and protocols for traditional showings in today’s more hygienic environment, more meetings are held virtually. These include listing presentations, discussions on making offers, even actual closings. Though SanibelSusan Realty has not again begun holding open houses, we are available to open our listings for showings or deliver keys and fliers to Realtors® not going to their offices. Whatever it takes to get them sold, while staying safe!

400 Rabbits Is Open

There have been many positive reports on social media this week about the soft opening and then the full opening yesterday of the all-new restaurant “400 Rabbits” which is in the shopping center on the San-Cap Rd end of Rabbit Rd. Mexican-inspired and with a tequila bar, this venture combines the culinary talents of Jeramie and Debra Campana, owners of Paper Fig Kitchen (in Tahitian Gardens) and James Beard Society award-winning chef Don Yamauchi and his wife Cleta.

What Real Estate Has to Be Grateful For in 2020

This was posted on FloridaRealtors® just before Christmas, by Melissa Dittmann Tracey:

“It’s hard to look at 2020 in a positive light, but the real estate industry was uniquely and unexpectedly a beacon of hope for a nation battered by the COVID-19 virus. Home sales boomed, mortgage rates repeatedly hit record lows and rising values bolstered homeowners’ equity.

“CHICAGO – No doubt, 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year. With unemployment still above pre-pandemic levels, the country coming to terms with longstanding racial inequities, Americans worrying about natural disasters, a contentious national election and the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, people are searching for reasons to feel gratitude as the year draws to a close.

“The housing market has emerged as an economic bright spot. While the nation continues to feel widespread effects from 2020’s turmoil, here are a few things the real estate industry can be grateful for this year.

Booming home sales

“Overall, real estate professionals have been busy – home buying activity is at its highest level since 2006. The housing market defied high unemployment and an economic recession, and it surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing-home sales in October were 27% higher than a year ago, new-home sales were 32% higher, and pending home sales or contract signings in September jumped 20.5% annually.

““This winter may be one of the best winters for sales activity,” says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist. “It won’t match summer or spring sales numbers, but on a winter-to-winter comparison, this could be one of the best breakout years just based on the fact that pending contracts are at such a higher level.”

“Mortgage applications, up 20% year over year, reflect buyers in the pipeline, ready to buy. The downside: Buyers are in a frenzy to compete for the limited housing stock, and 72% of homes that sold in October were on the market for less than a month, NAR’s data shows.

Record low mortgage rates

“Homebuyers are locking in some of the lowest mortgage rates in recorded history. Last week, for the 15th time this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a record low, averaging 2.67%, according to Freddie Mac. Yun predicts that mortgage rates will stay low into 2021, averaging 3.1% for all of next year.

““These ultra-low mortgage rates significantly lower mortgage payments, making housing more affordable than a year earlier in many areas,” even with prices rising, writes Nadia Evangelou, a research economist, on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. In the Washington, D.C., metro area, for example, home prices have jumped nearly 12% compared to a year earlier, Evangelou notes. However, the monthly payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is lower than a year ago, averaging $1,820.

Seller equity

“Home sellers got a financial boost from housing appreciation. The median existing-home price for all housing types was $313,000 in October – a 16% increase from a year ago. Sixty-five percent of 181 metro areas NAR recently tracked have reported double-digit price gains compared to a year ago.

“That means home owners who haven’t taken a financial hit from the pandemic feel richer. In the third quarter, 16.7 million residential properties in the U.S. – 28.3% overall – were considered “equity rich,” according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research data firm. A property is considered equity rich when the property owner has at least 50% equity in the home.

““Homeowner equity in the third quarter added another pebble to the pile of markers showing that the U.S. housing market continues to defy the broad downturn in the economy this year,” says Todd Teta, chief product and technology officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “Home prices keep rising, boosting the balance sheets of homeowners throughout most of the country. … The market is strong and homeowners remain in a position to benefit.”

Technology

“With people forced to keep their distance during the pandemic, technology became real estate pros’ ally in keeping transactions moving. Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX LLC, says that the average real estate transaction takes 181 steps from beginning to end, and technology has increasingly responded to those steps.

“During state shutdowns earlier this year, real estate professionals increasingly relied on virtual and 3D tours, videoconferencing, augmented reality, automation, artificial intelligence and remote online notarizations, says Jeb Griffin, NAR’s director of strategy and innovation.

““Technology is playing a more active role through the buying and selling cycle, and agents are playing an even bigger role to consumers who [have] less access to homes in person [due to the pandemic],” Griffin says.

The future now requires “taking the traditional way of doing business and augmenting it with new ways that will allow you to serve customers in a variety of ways – and on their terms,” adds Andy Ambrose, DocuSign practice lead director at DocuSign Notary.

New priorities

““The coronavirus without a doubt led homebuyers to reassess their housing situations and even reconsider home sizes and destinations,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for NAR. “Buyers sought housing with more rooms, more square footage, and more yard space, as they may have desired a home office or home gym. They also shopped for larger homes because extra space would allow households to better accommodate older adult relatives or young adults that are now living within the residence.”

Affirmation of a Realtor’s value

“As Americans reevaluated what they wanted from a home, they increasingly relied on real estate agents to guide them through purchase and sales transactions. According to NAR’s latest survey, 88% of buyers reported using an agent to purchase their home, and 89% of sellers used an agent to help with their sale.

““We are all in unknown territory with this pandemic, so it’s no surprise that more buyers than ever turned to agents to help them navigate through some of the uncertainties and one of the most complex, competitive markets any of us have ever seen,” says NAR’s immediate past president Vince Malta.

The sanctity of home

““Nothing feels more precious this year than the safety of our homes,” says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s chief advocacy officer, “and we believe all Americans should have equal opportunity to a home of their own.”” Source: National Association of Realtors®

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 25 – January 1, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $549K (our listing).

View from Sandalfoot #3B3

1 price change: Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.835M.

6 new sales: Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 listed at $699K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 listed at $1,027,007; Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Junonia #103 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

12 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $413K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $550K, Compass Point #221 2/2 $615K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $645K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $710K, Sundial #T201 2/2 $750K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 $775K (our buyer), Sundial #P203 2/2 $845K, Point Santo #D47 2/2 $920K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 $899K (our listing).

HOMES

3 new listings: 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.795M, 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 $2.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.695M.

3 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 now $457K, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 now $1.089M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.499M.

4 new sales: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 listed at $859K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $980K, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 $515K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $737K, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $885K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 $910K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $907.5K, 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $985K, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.335M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2314 2/2 listed at $779K, Marina Villas #808 2/2 listed at $779K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $378K, Beach Villas $2334 3/3 $960K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.298M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 $954K, 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

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

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Again, enjoy your 2021, while staying safe and well! Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan