Island Beaches Sooo Much Better…


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report from sunny Sanibel Island.

Beach

The beaches here are looking much better this week thanks to the wind from Tropical Storm Gordon blowing the long-lingering red tide away from shore. The islands still are not getting many beach-goers but the water and beach improvement are obvious.

Beach

Unfortunately, putting a damper on that improvement is an article published Wednesday in “The News-Press” headlined “Red tide causing dead zone conditions in Gulf of Mexico”. In this write-up is a description of what local scientists saw this week on the ocean floor miles off-shore. Here’s a link to that sad article, if you’d like to read it.

One of the local experts quoted in the article is Dr. Rick Bartleson, a water-quality scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and their lead red tide investigator. Both he and his research assistant will be sharing their knowledge with local Realtors® during our continuing education classes next week.

More positive water news is that the vehicles and boats that, for weeks, have been cleaning local beaches and waterways were spotted leaving the island.

Causeway drivers and beach visitors all report that birds and fish are returning and dolphins jumping again. You know we all hope that the improvement continues.

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

bananasThe SanibelSusan Team is lucky and thankful that we had half of Sanibel’s new condo listings and condo sales this week. We had one of the three home closings too. We have always said that activity in this business happens in bunches – like bananas. We are ready for another bunch next week!

Re-Openings & Temporary Closings

  • Bailey Tract – has reopened (following a 3-month marsh habitat restoration project).
  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold Aug 13. A new restaurant called “Malia” is expected to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopens Sep 14.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – closes Sep 10 & reopens Sep 17.
  • Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – closed for maintenance Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – closed for vacation, reopening Sep 12.
  • Tarpon Bay Boat Ramp – has reopened (following closure for nearly 2 years during construction of SSCF’s new marine lab, replacement of seawalls, and a boat dock).
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

Sandalfoot Kudos

Sandalfoot.jpgThrough the years, we have had listings and sales at Sandalfoot condominiums. One was especially memorable when Hurricane Charley seriously damaged a top-floor beach-front unit there that had just gone under contract a few weeks before the storm arrived. Their on-site staff have always been helpful, often going above-and-beyond, so it was great to see that their long-time employee Domingo Nieves was recognized recently at The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s 18th Annual Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards. It’s wonderful to see him recognized. Here’s the write-up from their website.

“Lee County’s EAwards were held August 30th to announce Outstanding Service Awards in the hospitality industry. The awards acknowledge excellence through extraordinary customer service and dedication to tourism throughout Lee County. The “Superheroes” themed Awards were presented by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Fort Myers News Press.

“The awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs and celebrated local customer service professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. More than 670 nominations were received from residents and visitors from around the world recognizing the exceptional service and caring offered to visitors who come to Lee County.

“Sandalfoot Condominium is beyond proud to announce that one of its own, Domingo Nieves, was honored with the top award, the Honor of Distinction. Winners of this award exhibit exemplary service, leadership, work ethic, job knowledge, performance skills, familiarity with the destination and assistance during an emergency.

Domingo received a number of nominations for this award. One nominator described him as “one in a million.” Another described him as “tireless, self-sacrificing, humble, compassionate and an all-around exceptional human being.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico last year, Domingo was quick to respond. As a native to the island, Domingo sent six generators, at his own expense, to help people in his uncle’s neighborhood.

“Another nominee says he visited a guest in a local hospital every other day for a month while they were on Sanibel and he frequently cuts fresh flowers for guests’ special occasions. Domingo assists elderly guests with getting around on the property and attending special events held here. He gives guests rides to the grocery store if they don’t have a car and lends his own fishing equipment for guests’ enjoyment. Domingo also helped people living on Sanibel prepare for Hurricane Irma and helped clean up after the storm.

“Anyone who knows Domingo is aware that this award is richly deserved. We at Sandalfoot are honored to share this information and honored to know Domingo. He truly is a caring, compassionate individual who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of his own. Congratulations Domingo!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 31- Sep 7, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #6D 2/2 $699K (our listing), Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 $759K.

View b

View from Sunset South #6D

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $499K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 listed at $259K (our listing), Sandy Bend #4 2/2 listed at $738K.

A bldg stairs + river

Spanish Cay Bldg A

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $470K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 $487K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 $520K, Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 $569K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $825K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $1.075M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.125M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.249M.

2 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $445K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $539.9K.

1 new sale: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, $5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $700K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $850K (our listing).

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0497.JPG

734 Anchor Drive to Sanibel Marina & San Carlos Bay & beyond

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 412 Tiree Cir $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $605K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 listed at $1.794M.

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.

Dolphin 11-6-15Until next Friday, here’s to more clear water, diving pelicans, & jumping dolphins!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Life With Algae & A Holiday!


Here it is the beginning of a 3-day holiday weekend with things on Sanibel and Captiva Islands still looking a little grim. At each spec of positive news regarding the red tide in the gulf and the blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River, there seems to be some corresponding negative.

I personally visited several Sanibel beaches again this week and found them to be hit or miss. Most were significantly better than earlier this month, but some days there was a slight odor. Clean-up crews continue too, though the need for these collections also is diminishing.

 

This morning a few videos were posted on-line. One filmed early by Rebecca, Manager of Sanibel Holiday, had her walking down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Sanibel Surfside, at the end of Donax Street on the east end. With obvious wind whipping and breaking waves, there was no debris on the waterline, but a few dead fish at the upper wrack line probably from the high tide last night. The water color was very dark. Her occasional coughs are probably evidence that red tide still is there – or at least was this morning.

Sanibel strong

Mote Marine Laboratory Reports

Mote Marine LabMote Marine Laboratory posts frequent updates about the condition of Florida’s gulf beaches at https://visitbeaches.org/#. Their last postings from yesterday afternoon showed conditions dramatically improving locally, though this week Captiva experienced red tide effects too.

Lee County Health Department\

In Florida, the health department is responsible for testing the waters at public beaches and informing the public of the water quality. (To learn more, visit the Lee County Health Department website at lee.floridahealth.gov )

Fl Dept of Health.jpgThe below info is from their website.

“The Florida Department of Health in Lee is reminding residents and visitors to use caution when on the beach or in waters with high concentrations of red tide. Protect your family and pets by staying away from affected areas until the blooms move further offshore or they go away.  Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year. Because the blooms are patchy, other local beaches may be okay to visit.

“The department encourages everyone to review these tips to stay safe while enjoying Florida’s beaches: In Florida, red tide is caused by a naturally occurring microscopic alga called Karenia brevis.

  • Red tide algal blooms can change rapidly, staying in one place for months or just a few days or weeks.
  • Symptoms from breathing red tide usually include coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. For most people, symptoms are temporary and typically go away when the person leaves the area. Wearing a particle filter mask may lessen the effects, and over-the-counter antihistamines decrease symptoms.
  • People with chronic respiratory problems, like asthma, should avoid areas with active red tides. People with symptoms that persist should seek medical attention.
  • Pet owners are advised that red tide poses a risk to animals brought to the beach. Red tide can affect animals if they drink affected water, lick their wet paws or fur, or breath marine aerosols.
  • Residents sensitive to red tide and living in beach areas affected by blooms are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the AC filter is maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications).
  • Seafood, including shellfish, in restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and markets is safe to eat. Cooked shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly to prevent exposure to Vibrio vulnificus. Shellfish should not be harvested or eaten from areas with active red tide.

“Beachgoers are encouraged to check conditions before they go to the beach as conditions can change daily.

For the latest Red Tide Status Reports: http://www.MyFWC.com/RedTide “.

The National Weather Service

NoaaMaybe a blessing in disguise, the National Weather Service is reporting that a tropical wave is approaching the Gulf of Mexico from the north-central Caribbean Sea. The disturbance is expected to bring heavy rain to South Florida later this weekend and early next week. We will stay tuned to that development. Perhaps it will be what is needed to break up the algae blooms.

Irma 2017We definitely are not looking for a hurricane. It was just last year at this time that Hurricane Irma was forming.

Temporary Closings

Local businesses, shops, and restaurants are prepared for what typically are a few slow weeks on the islands (aka September), but many did not expect the slowdown like what was experienced this month.

Some blog followers asked that I continue to post the list of places temporarily closed, until they reopen. So, below is an update of last week’s list.

NormandieWest wind inn logo.jpgAlso, a spot that is open, but sometimes overlooked is Normandie Café at West Wind Inn. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An especially good buy is their Sunset Dinner offered daily from 5 to 6 p.m. It includes your choice of house or Caesar salad; choice of Penne Pasta Primavera, Shrimp Scampi, Salmon al la Vodka, Blackened Mahi Mahi, or Fettuccini Chicken Alfredo; and choice of key lime pie or crème brulee for just $22. Consistently delish!

Here are the temporary closings:

  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – Their website says it sold August 13 and that a new restaurant called “Malia” will open there on Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – will be closed for repairs from Mon Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Over Easy Café – will be closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – is closed for vacation, reopening Wed Sep 12.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – will reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – will reopen Wednesday, Oct 3.

SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoThanks to teammates Dave and Elise, for coordinating a huge bulk mail that was delivered yesterday to the post office. It is the time of the year where new listings are needed to fill the needs of the snowbird buyers and fall visitors who will begin arriving in just another few weeks. If you know of anyone thinking of selling, please keep The SanibelSusan Team in mind.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 24-31, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $479K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 $739K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 $745K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $859K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.099M.

5 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $259K (our listing – photos below show their new parking area pavers), Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $269K, Sundial #F205 1/1 now $440K, Sundial #G206 1/1 now $479.9K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $529.9K.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I305 1/1 $340K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $840K, St.Croix 2/2.5 $941,250.

HOMES

2 new listings: 659 Donax St 2/2 $595K, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $3.1M.

3 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $528.5K; 2074 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $549,899; 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.239M.

No new sales.

5 closed sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $440K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $520K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $532.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $774K, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.03M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 9232 Dimmick Dr listed at $199,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.498M.

No or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $859K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 listed at $6.795M.

1 closed sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

labor dayEnjoy the long weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade


It’s getting harder to make lemonade out of the lemons, but here is some island news. It’s not all good, but it’s real – followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Red Tide Numbers Stay High in Southwest Florida; Bloom Extends About 130 Miles

http___m.myfwc 08-21-18The follow article is from the “Fort Myers News-Press. It was posted on-line and updated on Wednesday. The picture shown here was downloaded from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“A strong red tide that’s lingered in the region since October is still producing high levels of toxins along the coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its latest red tide report Wednesday. Counts in Southwest Florida have upwards of 1 million cells per liter and more in the past two months and are still matching or exceeding that level in many areas.

“The bloom now extends about 130 miles, from south Tampa Bay area to Marco Island and can be detected from space. The National Weather Service extended a beach hazard advisory for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties through Thursday evening. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday issued a breathing advisory for Southwest Florida that says irritation will be intense for the public in coastal Lee, Charlotte, and northern Collier counties.

“Some experts have said the red tide may last until winter when cold fronts from the mainland and windy conditions often break up the blooms. Red tide season typically runs from October to January or February, but this bloom has lasted for 10 months and has shown no sign of dissipation.

“Counts along Southwest Florida have ranged from background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher. Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to FWC. This bloom has become much stronger along the coast since the first of June. Millions of pounds of fish and marine wildlife have been collected from Lee County beaches just this month. Hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida from the bloom, so have manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

“High counts extend at least 15 miles offshore, according to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“The University of South Florida’s college of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will move to the south and toward the Naples area over the next three days.”

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

I bet some of you also are fans of local author (and Realtor®) Charlie Sobczak. He has written some terrific books including “Living Sanibel” which The SanibelSusan Team often gives as one of our closing gifts. Another of his, that I especially enjoy, is “Six Mornings on Sanibel” (published in 1999, but still available on Amazon). It takes place at the fishing pier. “Way Under Contract” is great too – particularly if you like real estate stories. If you read this one, you may think some of the characters are real islanders.

Charlie Pix 08-23-18Charlie is also a pretty serious fisherman so it was good late yesterday to see his below Facebook post. This is his pix too.

“While I seldom post fish pics I felt that since all we are seeing on Facebook these days are images of horrid, decaying fish it might be refreshing to see that the offshore waters are still untouched by this massive red tide and algae bloom. We had perfect conditions yesterday, August 22nd, 2018, when we headed out 32 miles west of Redfish pass with Captain Nate Buffam and crew. The water is crystal clear blue out there and the fishing was fantastic. The dirty water stretches from shore to about 15-18 miles then, after that, we saw “live” loggerhead turtles, dozens of bottle nose dolphins, flying fish, jellyfish, frigate birds and bait. Not everything is lost but if we continue to allow this unabated dumping of toxic water I fear the worst in the years to come. Please support the Captain’s for Clean Water Fundraiser on Saturday afternoon at the Clam Shack on Sanibel.”Clam Shack Flier

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

I know you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, but if it comes from folks you know and it includes videos, it’d pretty hard to beat it.

Last night after work, Royal Shell Vacation’s Kris Slagle posted: “Just saw two bait pods on the West side of the Sanibel Causeway C span, and birds feeding on them! NOT saying it’s all perfect, but saying it’s some positive news! And hundreds of birds feeding on the mud flats!”

Then, early this morning Sanibel Holiday’s General Manager, Rebecca Cosentino posted a video of her walk down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Loggerhead Cay condominiums. She said that they have several check-ins there scheduled tomorrow so a personal visit was the best way to report the conditions. Though she said she is sensitive to red tide, she noticed no smell and had no eye or throat irritation. The video was early 7:45 a.m., but she wasn’t alone. The video showed some folks in the water and a few joggers and shellers. Unfortunately, it also showed a few dead fish – several puffer fish, baitfish, and a couple of eels. With winds blowing onshore that isn’t surprising, particularly after reading Charlie’s posting from the day before.

Then a couple of hours later, Select Vacation Properties’ Patience Rodriguez posted a similar video of her beach walk taken today in front of Sundial Resort. The water here showing better color and looking clearer than it has recently. She said that she is asthmatic, but similarly noticed no smell and had no breathing difficulties. A couple of small pufferfish were along the waterline here too, but very few. She encouraged listeners to Text MYSANIBEL to 52886 to participate in the call-to-action to stop the Lake O discharges (which have started up again).

So, it’s probably safe to say that the beaches continue to look better, but we aren’t out of the woods. We all need to keep the pressure on and respond to each and every call to action.

After seeing these gals’ gulf-side videos, about 1 p.m. I checked the bayside beach near the lighthouse and fishing pier. It’s looking good there too – likewise no smell and I saw no dead fish or wildlife – just one lone fisherman on the fishing pier and a handful of beachgoers at Lighthouse Beach.

Yet, it’s a gorgeous day and we all hope that it only continues to get better.

Stopped at my house on the way back to the office to be sure the canal there is looking good. Taken today, this is sooo much better than just a week ago. Sure hope it continues.

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

LeePALogoLee County property owners recently were mailed their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices. In compliance with Florida Statutes, this document is required to advise of the property’s valuation as of January 1, 2018 and its proposed ad valorem taxes for the year. Ad valorem taxes are based on the value of the property with taxing authorities determining the tax rate, or millage, based on the money needed to fund their budgets.

If property owners have questions about their valuation, exemptions, classification or characteristics of their property, they are encouraged to contact the Lee County Property Appraisers Office (www.LeePA.org) at 239-533-6100. If unable to resolve a matter as to market value, classification, or an exemption, a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board may be filed. Online filing is available, but petitions must be filed on or before September 10, 2018.

Hurricane Season Peaks in Sept. – Got the Right Insurance?

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiWhile most of us are counting down to the end of hurricane season (Nov), Florida Realtors® posts reminders that the peak time is coming up.

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted in their on-line news on Tuesday.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2018 – Keeping up with property insurance coverage in hurricane-prone Florida can be tricky, to say the least.

“To help sort things out as summer and the storm season heat up, we spoke with Locke Burt of Ormond Beach-based insurer Security First and Doug Iannarelli of travel club AAA’s insurance division.

“Question: What do I need?

“After many hurricanes, including Matthew and Irma in the past two years, insurers said they saw claims filed under homeowners’ policies that could only have been covered under flood policies. Rising water that makes it into your home will only be covered if you have flood insurance, Burt said.

“But if a tree limb or other debris hit your house and creates a hole through which rainfall could enter, that likely would fall under windstorm coverage.

“Also, weigh the amount of coverage you need – and how low you need your deductible to be, given the savings or credit limit you would have available if an emergency hits.

“Although few studies have shown a strong link between hurricanes and increase in number of births nine months later, labor and delivery nurses say the phenomenon is the real thing.

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

“Alternatives to the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program are increasing. More than two dozen insurers are issuing private flood coverage – which might save you money or might simply make it easier to file claims if a storm causes wind and water damage. Security First is among a few insurers that add flood coverage as an option, called an endorsement, on homeowners’ policies rather than require it as a separate policy.

“New mapping technology that breaks down the entire country into blocks about the size of a tiny house makes flood maps obsolete, Burt said, and enables private insurers to issue a flood-coverage quote more accurately and easily. The private policies are an expansion of those that traditionally have been written on $1 million-plus homes.

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

“Whether buying down the deductible of your existing homeowner and windstorm coverage or seeking another policy to plug that potential financial gap, you can reduce the financial risk storm damage can pose.

“New policies called parametric coverage can use mapping technology to determine the storm conditions that hit your location and quickly pay a flat amount directly to you. This can spare the trouble of waiting for an adjuster before getting a check, but it also is designed to just provide enough coverage to make up for your deductible. “StormPeace and Cat4Home are two such providers mentioned in a recent Sun-Sentinel story.

“Question: What are the rules?

“Keep in mind: Your property damage will most likely be your own claim. Unless you can prove the tree limb that blew over from someone else’s yard is sitting on your living room floor because your neighbor was negligent, you’ll be filing that claim on your own policy.

“Deductibles can be set for the calendar year, much like health insurance. So even if your deductible is $7,500 and one storm causes $6,000 in damage, get it on the record in case you have another claim later in the year.

Get claims filed quickly, as you might have only a few weeks to submit damage to your insurer. Check with your agent on the amount of time your policy allows – then don’t let busy signals or Internet outages deter you.

“You can’t buy insurance at the last minute. Whether you’re comparing rates or looking for coverage you’ve never had before, insurers have the right to wait until after a storm passes (or misses the area) once it’s coming close to Florida.

“Question: Should I shop around?

“Yes. Innovative policies, such as those mentioned above – or new insurers, such as Farmers which plans an August debut for Florida homeowners, according to its website – can help you save money.

“Use ratings companies such as A.M. Best or Demotech to see how financially stable the insurer is. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation has this resource and others posted on its website.”

Copyright © 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

construction-site-clipart-7914449-under-constructionPre-Season Closings & Late Summer Projects

  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Pointe Santo – Pointe Santo’s building concrete restoration project Is underway. Buildings A and B were done last year. This year, from Aug 11 to Oct 19, Buildings D and E will be done. Building C is scheduled for 2019.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sundial West – Sundial West has had several projects underway since Jul. Completion is expected mid-Nov. Some buildings are being painted, pavers are being installed in parking areas, and electrical and elevator work are being performed. Also, their pool is scheduled to be closed Sep 24 to Oct 5, but owners/guests may use the resort pool then.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Is closing Sun, Aug 26, for their annual break. They plan to reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – Is already closed and reopening Wed, Oct 3.

Upcoming Events

crow-logoSat Aug 25 – CROW’s Walk on the Wild Side at Lakes Regional Park at 7330 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness about the organization and continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Admission & activities free, fees for city parking. In the amphitheater: Wildlife Rescue 1012 at 10:30 a.m. and again at noon; Turtles of Florida at 11 a.m.; Owls of Florida at 11:30 a.m. Three pavilions will be set up with activities and info on different kinds of wildlife. CROW’s tent will offer info on volunteering and student programs. More info at www.CROWClinic.org .

Sat Aug 25 – Fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water at The Clam Shack on Sanibel from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring entertainment by local musicians, 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Captains for Clean Water is a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality. More info about them online at www.captainsforcleanwater.org .

sundial-logoSep 28-30 – USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships will be at Sundial Beach Resort. This is their 3rd year hosting the event. The tournament includes a Saturday evening party and trophies. Players can register online at www.tennislink.usta.com , using tournament ID No. 150046618. Deadline is Sep 26.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was off and only three properties (including our new Pointe Santo listing) were open for Realtor® Caravan following yesterday’s Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting.

lee schools logoWe got good information, though, about the upcoming Lee County School Board’s Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum that is on the Nov 6 ballot. Speakers were the county’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory Adkins and School Board Member (& Florida Gulf Coast University adjunct professor) Chris Pattricca. Here are my take-aways, with some interesting tidbits:

  • Lee County is the 9th largest school district in Florida, also the 32nd largest in the U.S. It has 95,000 students
  • In 1886, there was just one school in SW Florida (with 56 students) and it burned to the ground. This area then was part of Monroe County so when students began running amok, a group of parents got together and went to Key West asking for a new school to be built. Their request was denied. Lee County was incorporated in 1887 with the need for a school being the driving force for that action.
  • Today, Lee County has 96 schools, 121 counting Charter Schools. There are 12,000 school employees (closer to 14K when counting substitutes).
  • School population is growing at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 students per year.
  • Florida is 50th in the nation in dollars spent on education.
  • Today 40% of Lee County’s students have English as their 2nd language.
  • When school money comes from real estate taxes, often a disproportionate amount is received from high-end communities, so their schools are better. Here, the county spends $7,700 per year per child which ranks us 47th in the nation.
  • Though enrollment has increased since 2006/2007 from 70K students to 95K, capital funding has gone down from over $300M to just over $100M.
  • This proposed amendment is to increase the sales tax in Lee County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% per dollar, to fund school capital projects. The proposal calls for a limit of 10 years with the tax expiring December 31, 2028. Approximately $59 million annually would be raised, paid for by everyone who purchases taxable goods. Exempt items like groceries and medications would not be taxed, and the additional half-percentage tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 for large purchases.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of the revenue generated would come from tourists.
  • The money from this sales tax will be used strictly for capital expenditures to build two new elementary and middle schools, one new high school, rebuild an elementary and middle school, to install school camera systems, hearing-impaired lock-down lights, fire alarm systems, and HVAC systems. It cannot be used to fund salaries, benefits, and training for faculty/staff/administrators, classroom materials, district and school services, administrative technology, or charter school buildings, repairs or improvements.

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 17-24, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial West #H209 1/1 $545K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $869K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Atrium #201 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $440K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $449K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $455.5K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $725K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $979K, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.442M.

2 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $759.5K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.598M.

2 closed sales: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $399.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $284K, Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $535K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.499M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping for more good news next week!sanibel-island-sunset.jpg

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Water Quality – The Fight Continues


It’s been quite a week on Sanibel. Before I get into the leading island news, be sure and check out the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday. It follows the “water” scoop and other news below.

Early this afternoon, teammate Elise and I took a ride to check on the progress of the summer paver project at Spanish Cay (it’s coming along, with only a small area yet to be completed) and to take a couple of beach photos to post here. There were several cars parked at the Fulgur Street beach access when we pulled in, but the riders walked down the boardwalk, barely making it to the beach before they all turned, to return to their cars and leave.

08-03-18 1

08-03-18 Fulgur west

08-03-18-3

08-03-18 Fulgur south

08-03-18 2

08-03-18 Fulgur east

I also made it to the beach. But didn’t stay but a minute. The strong smell and throat irritation from the red tide deters even the hearty. There were hardly any people on the beach in either direction. The above are three shots are looking west up the beach toward Sundial, south, and east toward the mainland and Ft Myers Beach.

Southwest Florida Water Update

You likely have heard or read about the waters in Southwest Florida and the Gulf coast being in crisis from harmful blooms causing mass mortality of aquatic life. Waterways and beaches are littered with fish, dolphins, manatees, birds, shellfish, etc. The cause? Pollution from harmful high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that are feeding two different harmful blooms.”

SCCF logoThese two blooms are described in The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF’s) “Call to Action” that was emailed yesterday to their members:

  1. “Freshwater cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) that looks like neon green paint in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River reaching coastal back bays and beaches. This algae is an indicator of polluted water than can turn very potent toxins on and off. Toxins can persist in the water and sand even after the visible signs of a bloom are gone. The current bloom began in Lake Okeechobee on June 7, 2018.
  2. “Red tide is cause by a marine (saltwater) microscopic dinoflagellate that turns water a red color. It blooms offshore and moves onshore feeding off nutrients. The Gulf Coast has been experiencing an extraordinary event since October 2017 along the southwest gulf coast. Toxins released by this organism kill marine life, makes shellfish poisonous to eat, and causes eye and throat irritation when present.

“The two blooms are independent and not related, however, both are responding to excess nutrients from watershed AND Lake Okeechobee “runoff”.

“We all contribute to the excess nutrient problem so we all have to work toward solutions. We must ask elected officials to stop eroding environmental protections. Stop permitting wetland development. Establish water quality standards, and upgrade stormwater regulations for both urban and agriculture.”

The Lake O water release solution is not going to be quick a fix and there are many parts to the problem solving. Much has been done, but most of the solutions still are being constructed, funded, or planned. The Feds have partially funded some of the Lake O work, but this project will take years. The Florida legislature also has put millions toward a solution. Florida Senate Bill 10 recently passed and was signed into law so none of its initiatives have been implemented. It is touted as the strongest ever legislation for Everglades restoration.

A few weeks ago, the White House backed the EAA reservoir. (EAA stands for Everglades Agricultural Reservoir.) It is one of the central components of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The reservoir would hold water from Lake O and farm run-off in the wet season and release water south in the dry season. While funding is expected to be included as part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, the request for funding still needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

The Feds also just sent the state $3+million, specifically to assist with local municipalities dealing with the algae blooms. Here islanders are thankful that the City of Sanibel is cleaning the beaches and has brought in contractor help because the volume is so high. Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra is posting daily updates on www.MySanibel.com with descriptions of the status at various beaches.

Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would slow the discharges from Lake O, but we cannot let up in our push with local, state, and federal governments officials.

As island lovers and property owners, understanding and being informed on the “water” issue will help get us through this crisis. The red tide algae eventually will disappear just as it has almost every year going back as far as when it was first documented in the 1840’s. It is unfortunate that those here on their annual vacations are seeing the beaches at their worst.

I know I have posted before asking you to reply to a Call-For-Action. But today, I ask again. Please use the following blue link to go to SCCF’s easy form for sending emails. https://p2a.co/Yl1Gebl

Facts From FWC About Red Tide and Ongoing Bloom

Floria Fish & Wildlife LogoSourced to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and posted locally after the young whale shark beached here on July 22.

  • “FWC has been monitoring the bloom since it started in November.
  • “The bloom has moved north and south along the coast several times as a result of wind and currents.
  • “FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline has received more than 300 fish kill reports and requests for info associated with the bloom.
  • “Fish kills have been reported in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties; some of the affected species include grouper, trout, eel, snook, tarpon, hardhead catfish, baitfish.
  • “Red tides are a common occurrence along Florida’s Gulf coast and fish populations have evolved to be resilient to the impact.
  • “There have been several red tide events over the last 20 years and fish and fisheries are able to rebound even after severe and prolonged red tide events.
  • “In addition to fish kills, red tides can cause illness and death to aquatic wildlife including marine mammals, sea turtles, and birds.
  • “FWC staff have been out in the field to confirm species identification and location, estimate of number of dead fish and obtain samples from fish carcasses.”

Next Week at Florida Realtors®

Florida Realtors logoNext week is Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention and Trade Show followed by their annual business meetings. This lucky girl is serving on five committees this year and though we manage to get most committee work done through the year by emails and phone calls, we expect to finalize many projects over the few days when we are all together in Orlando.

While I am away, SanibelSusan teammates, Dave, Elise, and Lisa will be here keeping our business humming, while I’ll be in touch with them, mostly through email. One of the topics that will be discussed at the meetings is water quality. Our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been fighting for improved water quality for years. In Orlando at FloridaRealtors®, it is on the agenda at the Legislative Think Tank Land Use Group and probably also will be discussed in the Resort & 2nd Homes Specialist Breakout Group. There, I will hear about how similar “water” problems are affecting our business on both west and east coasts.

Island Summer Openings/Closings

  • sanibel-library-logoSanibel Public Library Reopens – The Library reopened on Wednesday for normal hours of operation after being closed for its updating/modernization project. While renovations continue, their temporary main entrance is on the west side of the building. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays. For more info, call them at 239-472-2483. More info at www.sanlib.org.
  • sanibel schoolLocal Schools Opening Soon – How can summer be almost over? Open houses for the Sanibel School are Wed, August 8, with the 2018-2019 school year beginning on Fri, August 10. More info at www.sbl.leeschools.net.

Why Won’t My HOA Board Listen To Me?

Here is some good advice that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®. It was published in the Fort Lauderdale “Sun Sentinel” and written by Gary M. Singer.Sun sentinel

“Question: I live in a beautiful community that is well maintained by the board and its various committees. All is great, except for the roads – they are ugly with oil marks and patched areas. I have asked about this, but it does not seem to be a priority of the board of directors. How do I get the board to address this issue? – Philip

“Answer: Most people who want to get their board’s attention try to bring up a new issue at the public board meeting. This is not a good idea and will most likely not work.

“A board meeting is a business meeting and should be run from an agenda of items known to all in advance so that the members and directors have ample time to research and consider the issues to be dealt with during that meeting. The common tactic of trying to embarrass or ambush the board at the meeting almost always backfires. Simply, the board meeting is not the time to introduce a new issue.

“The better method is to send your board a letter outlining your concern. Try to be detailed and propose solutions. Explain why you think it is an essential use of the community’s resources, bearing in mind that other residents may have differing priorities. Send the letter by certified mail to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

“If it still does not make the agenda, try again, or even better, get some neighbors to write in, too. Many voices will hold more sway than just one.

“Finally, if, after all of these efforts, the existing board does not share your priorities for the community, you should consider running for the board at the next election. When you are a board member, you are able to help set the agenda and get your ideas pushed through. At least, that is, if enough of your neighbors agree with you.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity July 27-August 3, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $757.5K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 listed at $499K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 listed at $789K.

6 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $463.5K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $517.5K, Loggerhead Cay #342 2/2 $550K, Kimball Lodge #303 1/2 $595K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 $725K, Seawind II #5 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $469K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $479K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $499K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.444M.

3 new sales: 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K, 413 Bell Vista Way E 4/4 listed at $2.495M.

3 closed sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $380K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $445K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $2.085M.

LOTS

No new listings, new or closed sales.

1 closed sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct $1.33M. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 listed at $352.5K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 $2.8M, 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 $2.995M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 16181 Captiva Dr 4/4 multi-family listed at $1.895M, 16177 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $3.395M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family listed at $5.095M.

1 closed sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.1M.

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.

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, wishing you sunshine, clean beaches, and summertime fun!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Real Estate Scoop from Sunny Sanibel!


It has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. The local and national news about the green algae in the river and canals in Cape Coral is making rental phones ring with questions and some cancellations, but if you are here, like The SanibelSusan Team, you have noticed that the gulf waters still are sparkling and usually clear.

Here’s a cool picture shared with me this week by Jimmy and Jim Anderson who handle our professional photography. I told them I’d give them a plug when I posted this. Jim’s been taking care of our listing pictures for 25+years! Jimmy’s the drone expert! Nice job, guys! Check out more of their work at ImagesForSuccess.com.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0290.JPG

Below are a couple of news items followed by the postings in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis is the off-week for the islands’ Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, but next week is our July membership meeting, which always brings more members out.

Our new listing at Moonshadows #2C already is signed up to be on the caravan – open July 26 from 9 a.m. until noon at 1351 Middle Gulf Drive.  (Here’s a link to the streaming video for Moonshadows, by Jim and Jimmy Anderson).

meals of hope logoFirst, on Tuesday is the Association of Realtors® hosted meal packing event for “Meals of Hope”. We have raised the $5,000 needed to pay for the food for 20,000+meals and have more than 50 volunteers ready to get to work, but there is always room for more, so let us know if you want to participate. Teammate Elise and I will be packing then from 3 to 5 p.m., while Teammate Dave keeps the office running.

New Eats

paperfig kitchen logoThe word is out that Sanibel’s Paper Fig Kitchen is having their soft opening today, July 20. Located in Tahitian Gardens here is what their website says about their offerings: “PAPER FIG KITCHEN in Sanibel believes that even a quick breakfast bite, lunch on the go (or on our Shop porch), afternoon nosh, or “I don’t have time to shop, chop, and prep” take along dinner should be creatively crafted, absolutely fresh, and without a doubt, delicious!

“Every item at PAPER FIG KITCHEN is made in House from scratch…. which includes our fresh to freezer hors d’oeuvres, soups, prepared/green salads, entrees/sides, trays & platters, dressings, sauces, garnishes, etc.  Client favorites, seasonal fare, daily specials, and sweet treats will be available at our storefront…. Our Kitchen to yours! “ They offer catering and private chef services too. More info and menu at https://paperfigkitchen.com/

National Flood Insurance Program Expiring

NFIPThe SanibelSusan Team has heeded the call-to-action to encourage Congress to reform and extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which expires July 31 denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. We don’t want to know what will happen if this doesn’t occur. The National Association of Realtors® supports:

  • Reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run;
  • Encouraging the development of private market options to offer comparable flood insurance coverage at lower cost than NFIP;
  • Providing federal assistance to high-risk property owners, including guaranteed loans, grants and buyouts in order to build to higher standards and keep insurance rates affordable;
  • Provide fair flood insurance rates that better reflect the property’s flood risk;
  • Improving flood map accuracy, so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals.

You don’t need to be a Realtor® to also encourage Congress.  CLICK BELOW TO:
Tell Congress to EXTEND NFIP and PASS Flood Insurance Reform Thank you.

Florida’s Gross Domestic Product Hits $1-Trillion Mark

Florida Realtors logoOn Monday, FloridaRealtors® on line posted the following article from “The Orlando Sentinel”.

“Florida’s gross domestic product topped $1 trillion Friday, an economic output that would make the Sunshine State the world’s 17th largest economy if it were an independent country, the state chamber said.

“The milestone has been expected. University of Central Florida economic analyst Sean Snaith said the state has been strong in all areas of employment. “This is really being driven by fundamentals,” he said. “This is not just a fluke of an overheated economy.”

“Florida’s economy has grown larger than Saudi Arabia’s, Switzerland’s and Argentina’s, the chamber said.

“The economist who authored the study pointed to growth in manufacturing. “Those [jobs] are growing faster here than the U.S. the last few years, ” said Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation chief economist.

“The $1 trillion figure was calculated based on the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ most recent GDP number of $984 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and a formula that projects current statistics that have yet to be factored in by the bureau, including job growth, goods, services and other factors.

“Key factors driving the state’s growth that can be seen in Metro Orlando’s economy include low unemployment, population growth and tourism. The broad successes in those areas make the $1 trillion figure sustainable, Snaith said. “The near-term risk of recession is still fairly low,” Snaith said. “… Momentum in the labor market, the tax cuts and jobs act, all that has been a force of adrenalin, if you will, for economic growth. Could we drop below that? It’s possible, but that would be temporary. This is a mile marker on a longer-run trend as opposed to being fleeting or cyclical.”

“Florida has been adding $2.7 billion to its GDP each day on average, the Chamber said in its release.

At the start of 2008, the state’s GDP stood at $757 billion adjusted for inflation, according to BEA. It dropped to $715 billion by the third quarter of 2009 but has since risen steadily. The $1 trillion projection would represent a 39.86 percent increase.

“The Chamber cited unemployment lower than the national average and other factors driving the growth.… Florida continues to break visitation records, and our state is continuing to diversify its economy,” its release said.”

Where Are The Buyers?

realtor logoThe July-August issue of REALTOR® Magazine has a good article by NAR Chief Economist (and my favorite crystal-ball reader), Lawrence Yun. His answer to the above question is “They’re waiting until their earnings and home prices are better aligned.

“The economy is solidly advancing. The anticipated growth rate of 4 to 5% in the 2nd quarter is remarkable. For the year, the GDP will exceed 3% for the 1st time since 2005. Employment, likewise, is strong: 5 million net new jobs over the past two years, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.8%, the lowest rate in 50 years. Wages are up too, by 2.8% over the last 12 months.

“There is more good news. Despite recent volatility, the stock market has been close to an all-time high, helping push combined wealth in the U.S. across the $100 trillion mark for the 1st time. The median home price has risen 40% over the last fives years and continues to climb.

“And yet home sales are down 1% from this time last year, and homebuyer sentiment is tepid. The number of consumers strongly expressing “it is a good time to buy” fell to 38.5% in the 1st half of the year compared to 45% at a similar period last period.

“What’s behind the mismatch? For many potential buyers, homes are just too expensive. That’s why more building is critical. Consider advocating for accelerated new construction in your community. Some goals to consider pursuing with local authorities: streamlining the housing permit process; reducing impact feees on new homes; reducing minimum lot sizes; expediting local environmental reviews; promoting the repurposing of outdated commercial buildings into residential units; amending rehabilitation codes, and encouraging use of prefabricated, modular housing, and accessory dwelling units.

“At the federal level, the National Association of REALTORS® is pushing for expanded vocational training in construction fields, revised condominium defect laws, and increased community bank lending for lot development. The combined impact of these efforts would be tremendous. Not only would these steps relieve the housing shortage, they’d help keep economic growth humming at 4% or more. And that would be a win for everyone.”

Summer Happenings

Burn 07-17-18

  • J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge Prescribed Burn – In a press release, the Refuge thanked all residents, visitors and partners for “a successful prescribed burn of the Botanical Site on Sanibel on Tuesday, July 17. It was conducted to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires and to help preserve the natural ecology of the area, officials reported. It was successful because of help from multiple partners. The Southern Florida and Caribbean Fire District of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted the prescribed burn with the assistance of: six national wildlife refuges, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, two federal units, Big Cypress National Preserve and Avon Park Air Force Range; and local partners, Florida Forest Service, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, City of Sanibel, Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Recreation Center, Sanibel Fire and Rescue District, Lee County Mosquito Control District, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Island Water Association, Audubon Society and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.”
  • Causeway Bridge Inspection. – Notice was in the “Island Sun” today that Lee County Department of Transportation will be performing a bridge inspection on Sanibel Causeway Span A next week. The job is scheduled to start on Tuesday (July 24) and finish on Thursday (July 26), weather permitting. Lane closures will be controlled by flagging operation. Affected times will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 13-20, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

5 price changes: Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $624.9K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 now $634.9K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $758.5K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $850K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.649M.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 listed at $435K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 listed at $535K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 listed at $629K, Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 listed at $719K.

5 closed sales: Blind Pass #A205 2/2 $400K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 $510K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 $575K, Lighthouse Point #212 3/2 $746K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 4436 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $729K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.199M, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $1.225M.

9 price changes: 2074 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $55K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $649K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $739.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $819K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.548M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.75M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.446M.

4 new sales: 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $539.9K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $549,999; 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $695K; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sales: 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $715K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6089 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $4.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct $287K, 6000 White Heron Ln $705K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Lands End Village #1655 2/2 now $1.055M, Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 now $3.375M, Beach Homes #13 4/4.5 now $3.949M.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 listed at $325K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

TGIFUntil next Friday!

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 1st Friday in July 2018!


It’s SanibelSusan with the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It follows a couple of news items below.

Lots of folks have been asking about the water, so there is more about that below too. Here’s a photo taken just before the holiday, the further west you go, the better it looks!

Beach 06-28

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Parade 2018 beginningThe 28th annual island Independence Day parade Wednesday morning was terrific.

2018 parade judgesWith the judges set up right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, we got to see the 50+ entries at their best.

The parade photo album posted on my personal Facebook page is available for public viewing (at Susan Andrews).

Later, following a huge early evening thunderstorm with heavy rain, the City was forced to cancel the fireworks.2018 Ding parade

Many boaters and causeway hold-outs were disappointed, as it is advertised as “rain or shine”.

The below follow-up notice was posted the next day on www.MySanibel.com.

“Please read this important news release regarding the status of the City’s 2018 Fireworks Display.

“Unfortunately, an early evening storm last night inundated the electrical components that are an essential element of the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks display, which is typically launched rain or shine.

“This morning, all unexploded fireworks were safely removed from the Island by 4 a.m.  Prior to last evening, the City had paid the vendor 50% of the cost of the $20,000 contract.  This afternoon, the City worked with the vendor who has agreed to credit the entire $10,000 down payment towards the City’s 2019 fireworks display.

This scenario eliminates the risk of a second cancellation due to weather during the rainy season as well as the additional labor expenses of a re-scheduled fireworks display.  The City of Sanibel again apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from last evening’s failure to launch.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoNo caravan of new listings this week, but next Thursday morning will be “open” Caravan.

Also next week, I will be working with the Association’s Communications & Public Relations Committee as they finalize plans for our upcoming “Meals of Hope” food packaging event on July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.

meals_of_hope(1)Last year, we hosted our 1st event like this and packed 28,000 meals in less than two hours. It’s fun, fast, furious, and for such a good cause. The meals are distributed by Meals of Hope to local food banks, including F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva food pantry. Our goal this year is again to pack at least 20,000 meals. That requires 50 volunteers and $5,000 to defray the food cost. Teammate Elise and I have already contributed and signed up to help. If you’d like to participate too, contact Megan at the Association Office, 239-472-9353, megan@SanibelRealtors.com.

Island Summer Projects Underway

  • Bailey Tract still is closed with the restoration project which began in early June. Work was scheduled to be completed in four to six weeks, so should be done soon.
  • New Pavers at Spanish Cay – The west half of the parking lot is done, looks terrific. A nice improvement over the black hard-top.
  • Roadway Trimming continues along Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.
  • Temporary Library Closure The Sanibel Public Library will be closed for a few weeks beginning Monday, July 9. As part of the next phase of “Your Library Reimagined” project, this interruption is to complete utility work and relocate library materials. The Library’s eShelf for eBooks and downloadable movies, music, and magazine, will be available during this time, however the children’s special events on July 10 and 24 have been moved to the Community House. More info on the Library’s calendar at www.sanlib.org. No definite reopening date yet.

2018 Hurricane Season May Not Be So Busy After All

USATodayLOGOThis morning, FloridaRealtors® posted on-line the below article from USATODAY.com. Good news!

“Some good news from top hurricane forecasters: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season should be quieter than normal, according to a new prediction this week.

“Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University – regarded as the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters – predict 10 named tropical storms will form, of which four will become hurricanes.

“That is a sharp decrease from their forecast in April, when they said seven hurricanes would form. One system, Subtropical Storm Alberto, already formed in May.

“If the forecast comes to fruition, 2018 will be a welcome relief after the 2017 season, which saw monsters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear paths of death and destruction across the Caribbean and the U.S.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to develop and strengthen.

“El Nino is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, which tends to suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes. During an El Nino, strong upper-level winds roar across the Caribbean and Atlantic, tearing apart developing tropical storms.

“In its most recent forecast, the Climate Prediction Center gave a 50% chance of an El Nino forming in late summer or early fall.

“”With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well,” Colorado State said. The probability of direct hit on the U.S. coast from a major hurricane – classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale – is down to 39% from 63%.

Sanibel’s “Sweet Melissa” Going to New Orleans

sweet-melissa-sHere is a notice for island foodies. Sanibel’s Melissa Donahue-Talmage, owner/chef of Sweet Melissa’s Café was just announced as one of the eight chefs participating in the 2018 Chef’s Taste Challenge on September 7 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Tickets go on sale next week for this one-night culinary clash called the “Battle-of-the-Gulf Edition” which is a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and culinary experience. Participating chefs include:

Wondering About the Water?

Sanibelcityseal logoBelow are links to the panoramic aerials taken on July 4th, posted on the City’s website. The reduced water releases from Lake “O” are helping in clarity of the water, but the news of algae up in the Caloosahatchee River is disheartening, so we must continue to keep the pressure on.

Thanks to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and others for leading the charge. More details on www.mySanibel.com.

Lighthouse Beach Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Lighthouse Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Gulfside City Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Gulfside City Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Bowman’s Beach Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Bowman’s Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 29-July 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #H108 1/1 $475K

No price changes.

2 new sales: St Croix #4 2/2.5 listed at $995K, By-the-Sea #C102 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $215K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $538K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $815K, Sundial #Q404 2/2 $897K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $775K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 $879K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $989K.

6 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $569K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 now $629K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $797K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.369M.

2 new sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $569K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $899K (our listing).

7 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $400K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 $400K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $465K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $815K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $845K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $900K, 1316 Eagle Run Blvd 4/3 $1.23M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $299K, 5170 Sea Belle Rd $334.9K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5.5.5 now $3.5M.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

No closed sales:

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


BonneParade

From a parade many years ago!

It’s Sanibel Susan, reporting that Dave, Elise, Lisa and I are counting down to the Independence Day holiday next week. Fingers crossed that some of the many vacationers arriving tomorrow want to view and buy real estate. The SanibelSusan Team is ready to help them, if they are.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

Pre-Parade All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast – 7 to 9 a.m. at Sanibel Community Church. Event is free with donations accepted to benefit the church’s Summit Christian Preschool Scholarship fund.

crow 2015 parade

CROW’s 2015 parade entry. With this year’s theme, their entry should be another winner!

office pix 09-12-1728th Annual Independence Day Parade – starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tarpon Bay Road in front of Bailey’s Center and travels down Periwinkle Way, ending at Casa Ybel Rd. Theme is “Wild About America”. Periwinkle Way closes at 9 a.m., so be sure and get to your favored parade-watching spot early. Good vantage points are in front of SanibelSusan Realty, both in the shade under the trees at City Park across the street or under the overhang in front of our office building. The office will be open.

Post-Parade Celebration – at Jerry’s Shopping Center, begins at 10:30 a.m.

39th Annual Road Rally – begins at noon from The Timbers parking lot. This automobile scavenger hunt has vehicles deployed every two minutes. Hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, more info at their website www.sancapoptimist.org.

fireworks clip artFireworks Cruise – by Adventures in Paradise departs Sanibel Marina “G” dock at 7:30 p.m. Call 239-472-8443 for reservations.

Fireworks – at 9 p.m. rain or shine, from the end of Bailey Road out into the bay, above the causeway. Sponsored by the City of Sanibel.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

Yesterday at our local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting, staff from BIG ARTS gave members a quick preview of some artists scheduled to perform in the upcoming season. BIG ARTS is celebrating its 40th year with their calendar filling up. Tickets often are sold out to see big name bands, singers, and musicians, so it’s never too early to plan to attend those events. Check out their full schedule at www.BIGARTS.org. Many tickets go on sale this summer and can be purchased on-line. Beginning in January 2019, here are a few mentioned that caught my eye.

Bumper-Jacksons1/5 – Beginnings (Chicago tribute band)

1/12 – DePue Brothers Band (named Musical Family of America in 1989)

1/17 – Bumper Jacksons (7-piece band known for their roots jazz, country swing, & street blues)

iLuminate1/30 – iLuminate (dance & acrobatic performance team featured on America’s Got Talent)’

2/2 – m-Pact “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (often called one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world)

LMLMP_Simon_Gar_CP

2/22 – Judy Collins

3/16 – Live in Central Park Revisited (recreation of Simon & Garfunkel’s performances on 9/19/1981)

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

The below article by Attorney Richard D. DeBoest was posted on-line this week at FloridaRealtors®:

Florida Realtors logo“July 2, 2018 – Question: We heard there were some new laws impacting condominium associations. Would you please give us a summary of the changes we need to know about? – B.T., Port St. Lucie

“Answer: Below is a summary of new laws as of July 1, 2018, applicable to condominiums:

  1. Official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Plans, permits, warranties, declaration, articles, bylaws, rules, meeting minutes and accounting records from the inception of the association must now be kept forever. Chapter 718 previously required these documents to be kept for only 7 years. All other records must still be kept for 7 years with exception of ballots, proxies and related voting material that only needs to be kept for 1 year.
  2. Access to official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Access to official records must be made available within 10 “working” days. Formerly it was 5 working days but since the penalty did not arise until after 10 working days effectively nothing has changed. Records must still be made available within 10 “working” days.
  3. Website creation – 718.111(12)(g)1/HB841. The requirement imposed in 2017 that condominiums (excluding timeshares) must create a website and post digital copies of most of its official records on its website by July 1, 2018, has been extended to January 1, 2019. The term “association” has been replaced by the term “condominium” thereby making it clear that multi-condominium associations that manage several condominiums each with less than 150 units but cumulatively 150 or more units are now exempt from the website requirement.
  4. Website records – 718.111(12)(g)2.e and g/HB841. A list of all bids in excess of $500 received by the association for materials, equipment or services within the past year must now be posted on the website if a website is required. Additionally, the “monthly income or expense statement” must be posted.
  5. Website records failure to post – 718.111(12)(g)4/HB841. The failure to post required records on the website is not sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or any committee.
  6. Board and members meeting notices on website – 718.112(2)(c)1 and (d)/HB841. In addition to sending and posting notices for board and members meetings by regular mail, the board may now adopt a rule to allow the posting of such notices on the website if a website is required. The rule must also require that an e-mail be sent to all owners who have requested electronic notice with a link to the posted notice.
  7. Term limits – 718.112(2)(d)2/HB841. The 2017 law limiting a director from serving no more than four consecutive two-year terms has been changed. The law now provides that regardless of the length of the term (one year or two years) a director cannot serve more than eight consecutive years unless no other eligible candidates run or at least 2/3 of those who vote approve the person to continue serving beyond eight consecutive years. The revised language also clarifies that if the governing documents so provide, directors may be elected to serve terms of more than two years each.
  8. Electronic notice – 718.112(2)(d)6/HB841. An owner who consents to electronic notice is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of e-mails. This will prevent an owner from objecting to a lack of notice if the notice is stopped by the owner’s spam filter.
  9. Recalls – 718.112(2)(j)1/HB841. A director is recalled immediately at the conclusion of the board meeting held to consider the recall if the recall is deemed “facially valid.” Under the prior 2017 change in the law which created a number of procedural ambiguities, the director was apparently recalled even if the recall agreements were clearly insufficient in number to effectuate a recall. Note that a definition of “facially valid” is not provided.
  10. Recalls attorney fees – 718.112(2)(j)6/HB841. If a recalled board member files a petition for arbitration to challenge the recall and is successful, then the arbitrator may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. If the board member is unsuccessful, the arbitrator may award the other party its attorneys’ fees and costs but only if the challenge is found to have been “frivolous.”
  11. Material alterations – 718.113(2)(a)/HB841. Clarifies that any material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements that requires owner approval must be approved before the work is commenced.
  12. Electronic vehicle charging – 718.112(8) and 718.121(2)/HB841. Allows unit owners to install electronic vehicle charging stations in their limited common element parking spaces under certain conditions and subject to certain requirements. Among other things, the owner must pay to install a separate meter and pay for the electricity. Further, the owner’s insurance must also name the association as an additional insured, and if the association’s insurance premium goes up as a result of the charging station, the owner must pay the increase. Moreover, if the owner fails to pay the contractor that installs the charging equipment, the contractor cannot file a construction lien against the association.
  13. Contracts with directors – 718.3026(3) and 718.3027(2)/HB841. The 2017 change in the law allowing an association to contract with a director under certain circumstances but allowing owners to void any such contract with a vote at the next members meeting was removed from 718.3026 and relocated to 718.3027.
  14. Fines and suspension committees/Payment of fine – 718.303(3)(b)/HB841. Provides that the fining committee has three members and that the members cannot be the “spouse, parent, child, brother, sister or employee” of any director. Formerly, the condominium law did not set the number of members and only prohibited board members and persons residing with a board member from being on the committee. Oddly, the new law removes the prohibition that a member of the committee cannot be residing with a director. If the committee approves the fine it must be paid within five days of the committee meeting. The association must give written notice of the fine or suspension after the committee approves it by mail or hand delivery.

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

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

© 2018 Journal Media Group. Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 22-29, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #36 2/2 $380K, Sanibel Inn #3 2/1 $779K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.398M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 listed at $489K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 listed at $545K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 listed at $549K.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #4D 2/2 $420K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 $455K, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.17M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $819K.

15 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $429K; 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $549,999; 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $570K; 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $575K; 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $599K; 836 Donax St 3/2 now $599K; 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K; 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K; 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $795K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $929K; 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $945K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.145M; 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.574M.

3 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $440K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $779K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $945K.

3 closed sales: 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $432K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $590K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.1001M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1292 Par View Dr $369K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $239,999; 3354 Barra Cir now $379K.

2 new sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct listed at $349K, 1036 Bayview Dr listed at $3.695M.

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 listed at $1.16M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 $635K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 now $6.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 $1.465M.

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.

The SanibelSusan Team wishes you a wonderful holiday. Happy Birthday, America!more fireworks slip art.jpgT4thOfJulyWording

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Fathers Day 2018 on Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting just another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel Island. After a busy winter/spring, many colleagues are taking vacations – some stay-cations. Their timing couldn’t be better. It is really quiet! Probably contributing to that is all the recent press about the Lake “O” water releases which have resulted in tannin-colored water in the bay which is now wrapping around the lighthouse into the gulf.  Meanwhile, it’s still looking AOK on most of the gulf side.

I had lunch yesterday at West Wind Inn’s Normandie Seaside Cafe and ran into Kim from their Upper Pool Deck Bar. Wednesday, on Facebook, she posted her view from there (photo below). It’s a great spot for lunch or an evening pre-sunset libation. Music some nights too. Their food comes from the Normandie’s kitchen too. Both open to the public and secret gems favored by the Inn’s guests, locals, and maybe you too.

2018-06-13

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Following Sanibel Mayor Ruane’s call-to-action last Friday, demanding that these water releases stop – the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® created an easy way for concerned citizens and island lovers to respond. Using the below link and by just adding your contact info, emails on your behalf (with copy to you) will go to the powers-that-be at the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with copy to the Governor. Everyone who is concerned, please do it. If you have ever enjoyed the islands or spent a penny here, this should be important to you. It takes only seconds to complete. Thank you! http://sanibelcaptivarealtors.org/cta/

sccf 14K checkAt our Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, Association President Dustyn Corace presented a check for $14,000 to Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. The final tally is in with these monies raised last month at our end-of-season golf outing and auction. The funds are going to SCCF ear-marked for their use in improving local water quality.

What The Conservation Foundation Says

A message from SCCF received midweek has a good summary of what is happening with these water releases:

SCCF logo“It is premature to dump massive quantities of water to the estuaries at the very beginning of the rainy season when no water was being held by or discharged to agricultural areas to share the harm. Instead, agriculture on the east side of the lake and southwest of the lake have been allowed to backflow massive quantities of water into the lake instead of holding their own runoff. Quantities back flowed equal the amount that has been discharged to the estuaries that have also received too much rain. We ask water managers to identify these conditions and start requiring all landowners to manage storm water on their own land, not dump it into the lake, not usurp the entire capacity of publicly funded storm water treatment areas that harm public resources.

“Since the rain began on May 15 the Caloosahatchee estuary has been experiencing increasing levels of harmful flows. The first 2 weeks flows were watershed runoff from Hendry and Glades Counties, with no discharges from Lake Okeechobee. However, the lake discharges that started on June 1st nearly tripled the harmful high flows to the estuary… dumping dark fresh water and suddenly dropping salinities in the estuary all the way to the mouth of the river at Shell Point. The consequence of this sudden, drastic, and prolonged salinity drop has been a massive die off of estuarine clams and oysters at Iona just upstream of Shell Point and is fueling freshwater cyanobacteria, including Microcystis, that is visible beneath the water surface from Beautiful Island by I-75 to Iona Cove.

“This current event is the direct result of managing water selectively to allow agricultural landowners to dump their floodwater into Lake Okeechobee and into publicly funded storm water treatment areas, thus forcing discharges harmful to public resources.

“We need to express our strenuous objection to water managers and elected representatives because these harmful flows are the direct consequence of agricultural discharges that have resulted in harmful flows to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie, without consideration of the flood consequences on these coastal ecosystems.”

NKY Music Legends Welcomes Danny Morgan

dany morgan logoAs a long-time fan of Sanibel musician Danny Morgan, it was great to read recent news about his latest honor. Here’s some scoop from www.Cincinnati.com on May 24, 2018:

“Northern Kentucky Music Legends (NKY) is an organization that recognizes area musicians, vocalists and music industry people who have made a name for themselves locally and nationally. Jerry Gifford, a musician who is still playing after 50 years with his band Strange Brew, originated the idea of honoring talented Northern Kentucky musicians. So, in 2013 he met with Charlie Coleman, Campbell County commissioner; Jon Long, a longtime musician; and John Mendell, a concert producer. The group contacted The Cincinnati Enquirer to put out a call for Northern Kentucky musicians who would qualify. Criteria include birth in Northern Kentucky or longtime residency, played music for 20 or more years and made a mark in the community…. This year marks the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony….the Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 include…:

► Danny Morgan, who played in popular bands before taking off to Nashville and forming The Apple Butter Band with local legend Mickey Foellger (… the now-retired Campbell County juvenile court judge), Joellen Morgan and ex-Bengal Mike Reid. They toured with the Beach Boys and other major acts. These days Morgan plays five nights a week in Sanibel Island, Florida. “Danny Morgan has a keen sense of artistry and not only finding, but nurturing great talent,” said Stan Hertzman, retired music business professional.”

Danny Morgan from Cincinnati paper

Those like me who enjoy the Sanibel music experience often refer to Danny Morgan as our local Jimmy Buffet. We follow his performances, play his CDs, and know the words to many of his songs like “Sanibel Sunset”, “Captiva Moon”, and one of my favs, “Running on the Beach”. In addition to performing at many local special events, weddings, and parties, you usually can catch Danny and often his band, plus guest musicians (including sightings of Livingston Taylor & Pittsburg Mike) at the following locations:

  • Margarita Mondays at Sundial Beach Resort from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Nights at Traders Gulf Coast Grill beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday afternoons 1 to 4 p.m. at Casa Ybel Resort’s Coconuts poolside bar & grill

More about Danny and his offerings at www.DannyMorgan.com

Fun June Happenings at The Community House

If you haven’t yet been to Sanibel’s new Community House, you are missing out. Here are a couple of their events scheduled this month. Call 239-472-2155 or checkout their website at www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net for more info.

  • Adult Demonstration – Quick & Easy Meals using 5 Ingredients by Chef Jarret, June 15, at noon. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Adult Farm-to-Table Hands-On Cooking Class by Chef Jarred, June 22, Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Produce a delicious meal with ingredients sourced locally. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Community House Culinary Education CtrHoliday Hog Roast – “Smoke on the Islands” by Chef Jarret, June 30, Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. $15, ice cream sundae bar $5. Also, kids “All American Red, White, & Blue Dessert Content”. Entry forms at the Community House. Judging at 7 p.m. & awards given for best tasting, best presentation, and best theme. Bring a 2nd dessert for their auction to help raise money for the Culinary Education Center. Tickets available at The Community House or Bailey’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle Way

Summer is a good time to get caught up, reflect, plan, and project. Our weekly report of the activity of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows my musings below.

Below is some food-for-thought for would-be sellers who are thinking of listing their island real estate. Some of these tips apply to selling anywhere.

How’s The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market? The housing bubble before the recession drove prices up on the islands. Back in that heyday of 2006, the average Sanibel condo sold for close to $900K and the average Sanibel home over $1.1M. On Captiva, the average condo was more than $1.3M and average home over $2.3M. Then, prices took a dive.

housing-bubble-1872350_960_720It has been nearly ten years since the recession and often I am asked if island real estate has recovered. That answer is complicated. Sellers on the islands are faced with more challenges than those in a traditional real estate environment.

Plus, it’s a small island with a big variety of property types and a wide span in price. Depending on the property, it sometimes takes months or years for a property to sell. Other properties, if the demand is right, could sell in hours.

How do you know where a property fits in? That answer is complicated too. First, there are fewer buyers for real estate in resort or 2nd home-type locations. According to the National Association of Realtors® (remember I teach the Resort & 2nd Home Market class to our local Realtors®), these sales account for fewer than one-fifth of all the home/condo sales each year.

These buyers, if they are financing, typically have to put down way more money than those buying a primary home. The lender criteria for buying a property like that is tougher too.

In this area of Florida, the selling season also is somewhat limited because the most prospective buyers are in town from December through April which also can be when properties are occupied or rented. With Sanibel homes having a monthly rental minimum, that can mean showings only on the 1st of the month, or with condos renting weekly, it can mean showings only on Saturdays between late morning and early afternoon when a property is being cleaned and often also when the buyers are coming/going.

With more baby boomers now retired and staying longer, many rentals – including those for sale – may be booked for extended periods, making showings in season even more unlikely. It also bears mentioning that many vacationing would-be-buyers only want to earmark a short time to look at real estate, preferably a day when the sun isn’t out or the weather is less than ideal. They want to buy, they just want to enjoy their vacation too (which is exactly why we encourage buyers to come back this time of the year when it’s easier to view property and they can concentrate on that task). These buyers also may not be in a hurry. They may be willing to wait until their next vacation or even next year, particularly if they don’t find a property that’s “just right” for them.

So, if there is no getting around some of these challenges, what can a seller do to get their island property sold sooner and at a higher price? Here some tips:

house-painter-clipart-paintersBe Ready for The Best First Impression – First impressions are huge, whether the first one is the driveway, the walkway, the entry, the front door, or the foyer. Be sure it is all sparkling clean and trimmed. Pressure washing the exterior and walkways are especially important here where heat and mildew can take a toll. A fresh coat of paint on a front door is an easy fix too. Also, nix and replace any nasty door hardware.

Invest in Upgrades – Think about when you purchased. Were you ready to do your own improvements or did you prefer a property that was move-in-ready? Most island buyers want the latter, so it pays to make a property so perfect that the new owner only needs to bring their suitcase. Nobody wants old and ugly.

If you can afford to do updating before a property goes on the market, do it. That updating could be as easy as going through every drawer and closet, organizing and tossing out old furnishings, or adding fresh paint or replacing old worn carpet. The trick is to make the property look bigger, cleaner, and brighter.cleaning-cloud-vector-illustration_k7551435

If you go as far as renovating kitchen and baths or even in minor redecorating and sprucing up, remember this is an island in Florida where most end-users are here in the winter. Pick a style that’s light bright and happy. That’s what most buyers want. They may say that they don’t need move-in-ready and island décor, but they really do. They sometimes figure that out as they proceed through the viewing process, after seeing the competition.

Four-Point-Inspection-Think About Replacing Big Ticket Items That Could Become Problematic – I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as a reminder, to get insurance today on a property that is over 20 years old, most insurance providers require a 4-point inspection. Insurance companies increasingly have become reluctant to issue policies on older homes. Their concern is that there may be conditions in an older property that could become a liability to them. For example, a home with a roof near the end of its service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may file a claim for damage to the home or its contents. A 4-point inspection describes the condition and age of the following four elements:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning)
  • Electrical wiring & panels
  • Plumbing, connections, & fittings
  • Roof

These may be expensive items and systems to repair or replace before selling, but rest-assured if a property has copper pipes on Sanibel, it will be flagged by a home inspector. (Sanibel’s water, over time can cause pinhole leaks in copper piping.) Federal Pacific electrical panels (which some insurance companies will not insure) are flagged here too. Even with “as is” contracts where seller repairs are not required and most buyers expect a number of minor defects, when a big ticket item comes up, the buyer often asks for a consideration in the form of either a price reduction or a contribution toward the needed repair or replacement.

home-inspection1.jpgGet A Home Inspection & Make Repairs Before Listing – Doing this might preclude the problems mentioned above. Most buyers will overestimate updating and repair costs. So, if they come to look at a property that needs new piping or a new electrical box, they will likely do one of two things. They will come up with their own inaccurate too-high off-the-cuff estimate which they then will deduct from their offer price. Or even worse, they will decide that it is too much money or more than they want to deal with. They then will move on to another property that doesn’t have problems.

realtor logoListen to Professionals – Realtors® are in the business of looking at real estate with a critical eye. They are not emotionally invested in a property like the owner. We try to be sensitive to an owner’s feelings and their decorating style, but they know the inventory and competition, and what is selling. Be prepared to tell your Realtor® the special things you like about your property but also be ready to listen to what they say may need to be done to bring you top dollar. As the island real estate market evolves through the calendar year, understand that your property may be one that appeals most to a winter buyer, so if it doesn’t sell in one “season”, it may take until the next.

Don’t discount summer buyers though. When winter inventory is low, serious buyers return in the summer. Summer also brings more families looking for year-‘round homes, vacationers looking for income-producing short-term rental condos, and Europeans looking for privacy and a good place to invest.

In every real estate market, price and appearance matter. In a seasonal area, like here, those factors can mean the difference between selling quickly or lingering for months. Regardless of the time of the year, it is usually two things that keep properties from selling. Either they are over-priced or they have not been updated and well maintained.

Gone are the days when buyers come into a real estate office with a list of their requirements and a Realtor® tells them what is available that meets their needs. Today’s buyers (close to 95%) do their island property searches online. If a property isn’t perfectly priced and doesn’t look great, it is not going to sell, because these consumers search in only their price range and buy through the pictures they see on the internet. Not only are professional photographs needed, but the property needs to be attractive. Almost every island Realtor® will tell you that they have sold property sight-unseen. I have sold many that way and this year even sold one that I had not seen (though I did look before it closed).

7832303--illustration-of-a-man-being-dragged-under-water-by-his-house-mortgage-which-is-chained-to-his-anke-Does It Make Sense To Take A Loss – Owners who bought at the peak or during the multi-year run-up before it, most likely are dealing with properties that are not worth what they paid. Now as they go to sell, they need to pay for improvements or repairs to get top-dollar, plus they will pay a real estate commission and other closing costs. They are not happy about it. They are losing money, even if they break even on the sales price. During the real estate boom, people wanted to be part of the group that flocked to own a vacation or 2nd home. That is not necessarily the case now. Prices are going up and the market is improving, but not as fast as some want.

That can make it a tough decision for an owner who bought high. Those prospective sellers need to decide whether they want to keep the property for another few years and see if values continue to go up, or instead say they are ready to just get out and potentially take a loss.

Island properties often are bought with discretionary income, so unless a buyer is compelled to do it now, it can become a waiting game. Just as buying an island property can be a life-altering decision, so can selling one.

The SanibelSusan Team tries to make buying and selling real estate easy and stress-free, but as these paragraphs describe, it ain’t always easy.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 8-15, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 now $399K, Seawind #109 2/2.4 now $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 now $795K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.149M.

5 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 listed at $569K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 listed at $594.9K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 listed at $699K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 listed at $779K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 listed at $890K.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #G407 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $570K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $675K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $780K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

10 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $525K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $550K, 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $569K, 746 Nerita St 3/2 $749K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 $749K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $834.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $859K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.099M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.16M.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $440K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $459K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $549K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $624K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $674.9K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $924.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.099M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.5M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.595M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.448M.

4 new sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex listed at $459K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 listed at $924.9K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 listed at $1.949M.

10 closed sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex $365K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $475K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $520K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $588K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $565K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 $620K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $650K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $780K, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 $1.279M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex $1.95M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $335K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct $580K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $1.375M.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5102 ½ now $369K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $949K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 listed at $620K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $305K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 listed at $4.198M.

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.

fathers-day-clip-art-jTx95RBTE1Until next Friday, here’s hoping your summer weather is as spectacular as on the islands! Best wishes on Sunday to all the Dads, would-be Dads, & Moms covering as Dads!

If you want to buy yours a piece of paradise for Fathers Day, I can help.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Quiet Friday & Island Real Estate Scoop


It definitely is quiet now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Below are my signs-of-summer observations, followed by a couple of news items, then what has been posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

SanibelSusan’s Signs of Summer

It has been both a good and a bad week on beautiful Sanibel Island. Here is my list of the pros and one con from the last seven days:

PROS:

  • With snowbirds and seasonal visitors gone, traffic is nil, traveling the island is easy-going, and there are no waits at restaurants – a great time to get reacquainted with your favorite local spots. I took a drive out to Captiva midweek with a stop for lunch at Sunset Grill. Below is a photo taken that day. I sure hope the gulf waters stay this beautiful color.Captiva beach 06-06-18
  • Since the winter drought is over, most vegetation is lush, flowering, and green again. Some beautiful sights include some royal poinciana roadway canopies which have been especially vivid the last couple of weeks. RoyalPoincianaTrees
  • Big white popcorn clouds coming from the mainland now are cropping up in the afternoon forming spectacular sights against the bright blue sky – and resulting in picture-perfect sunsets.

CONS:

Sanibel/Captiva Preliminary Property Tax Valuations

LeePALogoOn May 31, the Lee County Property Appraisers office released its estimated tax roll values. According to the June 6, “Islander/Island Reporter”, they “Indicate a 2.51% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 5.33% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The preliminary valuations for the fire districts on the islands also rose.

“The official numbers will come out by July 1, then be sent to Tallahassee for state approval. According to the estimates, Sanibel’s taxable value rose approximately $1.269 million – the 2.51% – to about $5.18 billion. The assessed value jumped 2.48% to $5.46 billion, up $131.99 million from 2017, while the just value improved by 0.04% to $6.08 billion, up $2.56 million.

“Obviously the estimates are lower than we anticipated,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. He noted, however, that the final number released in July typically comes in higher for the city than indicated by the preliminary one. For example, last year it went from 4.5% to 6.2%….”

Foodie Info

  • Jac 06-08-18The Jac – Sanibel Island Grille & Rum Bar is open. At the site of the former Jacaranda Restaurant, The Jac is officially open for business with plans to kick off weekend brunch for the first time tomorrow. The restaurant has been open for two weeks for lunch and dinner every day. This weekend it will open early, for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I had dinner there last week and can recommend the Citrus Fettuccine and Shrimp. Ads for the weekend brunches, say they will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include homemade bloody Mary mixes and an omelet bar.
  • Mud Bugs 06-08-18Mud Bugs Cajun Kitchen coming at the former site of the Sanibel Steakhouse remains under construction, but roadside landscaping went in yesterday and is beautiful. Appears that future parking will all be in the back as the new trees and plantings are big and plentiful. From the road, you can hardly see the new building.

Give Back Wednesdays for Community Housing & Resources

CHR-Logo-Hor-1Every other Wednesday, from May through July, Sanibel’s Community Housing & Resources (CHR) is hosting a Give Back Wednesday at one of its supporter’s locations where that restaurant will donate a percentage of its profits to CHR, the island’s affordable workforce housing program. In addition, Bailey’s General Store is donating a portion of its wine sale proceeds from every Wednesday.

So, if you are here in July, please join local Realtors® and others who will be dining at Sundial Resort’s Seabreeze Café on July 11 and at ‘Tween Waters Resort’s Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grill on July 25.

CHR’s Executive Director, Melissa Rice, also is a Realtor®. Kudos to her, her CHR team, and these wonderful businesses for coming up with such a fun way for us to support the community.

Successful Give-Back-Wednesday events have already occurred at Sanibel Café, Joey’s Custard, and Dante’s Coal-Fired Pizza. There also is one next Wednesday, June 20, at Sanibel Deli.

CHR’s, below-market-rate housing program began on Sanibel about 40 years ago when community leaders saw the need to subsidize housing costs to make it affordable for people who work on the island but couldn’t afford rent. According to an article in this week’s “Santiva-Chronicle”, “CHR currently has 74 properties in its rental program and another 14 properties in its limited-equity ownership program. The non-profit partners with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel or are retired or disabled longtime residents of Sanibel.”

Homeowners’ Association Documents Versus Condo Association Documents

Florida Realtors logoIt has always irked me, that in Florida, condo buyers must be provided with a copy of the condo association’s documents, but that the same does not apply when buying a home in a community with a Homeowners Association. Here’s a question and answer as they appeared in the June 2018 issue of Florida Realtor® magazine.

“I heard that, pursuant to the Homeowners’ Association Disclosure law, the seller must provide the buyer a current copy of the HOA documents. I’m aware of the document delivery for condominium associations, but thought HOAs are different.

“Yes. Section 720.401 does not require the seller to provide a copy of the HOA documents to the buyer; it merely requires a disclosure summary that should be attached to and made a part of the contract.

Wondering what the SanibelSusan Team does when a buyer is purchasing in a home community with a HOA, and we are not required to provide those documents?

We – like anyone in the public – have access to the recorded documents through the website of the Lee County Clerk of Court at www.LeeClerk.org. There, under “Records”, then “Official Records Search”, is a link to “Official Records Public Search”. Searching by a community or subdivision name, one will find every document recorded about it, including the original community documents and plats, plus each subsequent amendment, restatement, or new documents. It also has easements, liens, judgements, deeds, etc. A similar search by an individual’s name will provide every recording about them.

Sometimes home buyers (like condo buyers) want a hard, printed copy of those documents (which can be voluminous). Others prefer just links to the documents, so they can refer to them electronically. Either way, we are happy to provide them.

It is important to note that just the recorded documents are at the courthouse. HOA financials, budgets, reserve schedules, and rules/regulations must be requested from an Association Manager, management company, or board member, similar to those for a condo association.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 1-8, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #D304 1/1 $460K, Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $589K, Sundial West #H203 2/2 $695K, Compass Point #161 3/3 $1.279M.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 now $329.9K, Blind Pass #E205 now $425K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $529K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $544.9K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $229K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed at $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 listed at $625K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 listed at $745K.

4 closed sales: Kings Crown #312 2/2 $765K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $925K, Compass Point #192 2/2 $1.05M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $535K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $879K.

6 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $529K, 744 Marthas Ln 2/2 now $579K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $699.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $765K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $999K.

5 new sales: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 listed at $429K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $749K, Moonshadows #2F 3/3 half-duplex listed at $885K, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 listed at $1.299M.

7 closed sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $568K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $630K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $630K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $695K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $805K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.16M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.95M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $895K.

1 new sale: 6000 White Heron Ln listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas 2/2 $658K.

1 price change: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 now $1.16M.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 listed at $685K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 $939.25K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 now $1.575M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan (watching the water…sanibel-island-beach-white-sand