Another Sunny Sanibel Friday With Beautiful Beaches


Wrapping up another week at SanibelSusan Realty – the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and gulf waters remain bright.  Below is a photo taken this afternoon while showing at condo at Pointe Santo.

Though rain was forecast for Memorial Day, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day then too. Since then, the weather has settled into the typical summer routine – sunny partly-cloudy days in the mid-80’s, with chance of afternoon or evening showers. Evenings in the 70’s.

With things slowly reopening, a few holiday visitors have been here this week, while some of the lagging snowbirds have packed up to head north for the summer. The pay parking lots at Sanibel’s beaches (except the county beach at Bowman’s) remain closed until June 1.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week are after a couple of news items below.

Other Sanibel Re-openings & Other Corona-Related News

The Sanibel Library re-opens June 1, with COVID-19 Phase One precautions.

At Sanibel Sea School there will be no in-person camps in June, but four virtual “Island Skillz” week-long classes through ZOOM are offered for children (ages 6 through 13).

The Children’s Center of the Islands will be open with summer camps for little ones (ages 1 through 5) beginning June 8 through July 31.

The Sanibel Recreation Center has not reopened yet but will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Tues.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum reopened over the weekend with occupancy limited to 50%, masks mandatory, and other safety measures in place. Many of their programs are moving outside to allow for property social distancing. Those programs will be held Mon-Sat at 2 p.m. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sanibel’s July 4th Parade has been canceled

The Turtles Are Back

Good info this week in SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) e-news. One item mentioned is that Juniper, a rare leatherback sea turtle that nested here can now be tracked in real-time as she travels Florida’s gulf coast. Named by the SCCF sea turtle team she is an average-sized leatherback which is the largest sea turtle species. These turtles rarely nest on the islands, as they prefer southeast Florida beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. FLI (Florida Leatherbacks Inc.) was contacted by SCCF when Juniper was here earlier this month which resulted in them placing a tracking device on her on May 19. As of May 22, she was north of Sarasota.

The first green sea turtle nest of the year was laid on Memorial Day on the bayside of Sanibel’s east end. Since it was on a narrow stretch of beach that is threatened by daily tidal inundation, the nest was relocated to a more suitable habitat on the gulf side. That bay area is not part of the daily monitoring by Sea Turtle patrol, so SCCF is thankful for the alert call to their Sea Turtle Hotline (978-728-3663).

Aside from the green turtle nest and three leatherback nests, as of Wed (May 26) there are 234 loggerhead turtle nests on the islands, compared to 140 last year. To keep up with the nesting on a daily basis, click here. To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 22-29, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $429K; Compass Point #221 2/2 $639,999; Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 $890K; Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 $899K; Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.53M.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $589K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Blind Pass #B209 2/2 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 listed at $799K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 $500K, Sand Pointe #111 2/2 $600K.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $668.5K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $719K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $775K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $975K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.139M.

4 new sales: 499 Peachtree Rd 2/2 listed at $474K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $559K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $689K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.027M.

1 closed sale: 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $868.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.495M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $725K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 15155 Wiles Dr 2/2 $1.975M, 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $4.889M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.689M.

1 new sale: 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Is Opening Slowly… Just in Time for Memorial Day


This week brought the first of the islands’ good summer showers which already have greened things up and affected some of the bright orange blooms on the big Royal Poinciana trees that are so spectacular here in May.

Also spectacular is the color of the gulf and bay waters. Though that changes when the rainy season begins and things get stirred up, this week many islanders remarked that driving across the causeway looks like a Caribbean postcard. (This photo was gulf side yesterday.)

Today is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty, but the island could get busier soon. Check out the scoop below about the City Council Meeting yesterday. After that is info about the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel Emergency Proclamation Extended

As background on City openings, on Tuesday, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the City’s Emergency Proclamation another seven days – or until May 26. The following three changes were part of the updated Proclamation which may be read on http://www.MySanibel.com.

  • The temporary parking restrictions at Pond Apple Park (1380 Periwinkle Way) and at The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (1159 Causeway Rd) are lifted.
  • Earlier restrictions on beach/pool chairs/equipment were modified to allow chair/equipment in the same percentage as the occupancy allowed (for example, hotels/resorts/timeshares approved for 50% occupancy may provide for guest use the same amount of chairs/equipment).
  • Additionally, the 227 units in the on-site resort rental program at Sundial were added to the hotel/resort/timeshare list based on their recent receipt of a motel license from Florida Division of Business & Professional Regulation.

So, Sanibel’s pay-parking lots remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday (will reopen June 1, unless there is another change). At that time, vacation rentals remained limited to 30 days or longer, except those properties with licenses as hotels/resorts/timeshares which may rent up to 50% occupancy (with safety precautions and with guests from COVID hotspots not allowed).

I ventured into a couple of off-island Publix this week and was surprised to find few patrons wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing precautions. At Bailey’s, they continue to provide a mask if you do not have one.

Sanibel Opens Vacation Rentals, With Restrictions & Exceptions

Last Friday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that beginning this past Monday, Florida was in full Phase One of reopening. Full Phase One includes a stipulation that vacation rentals can reopen on a county-by-county basis as long as the county submits a plan to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and it is approved by the secretary of DBPR. As of today, in just a week’s time, 26 Florida countries have received state approval for vacation rentals.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Lee County Commission on Tuesday and later in the week Lee County’s Safety Plan received state approval. Those plan details say:

  • Vacation rentals should open and operate for in-state reservations only (i.e. only Florida residents).
  • Short-term rental properties should prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally or from a state or locality with a substantial community spread of COVID-19.
  • Short-term rental properties should maintain 72 hours between guest check-ins to allow for effective cleaning and disinfecting of the rental unit.
  • Short-term rental properties shall thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals following CDC guidelines. cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-fac…
  • Short-term rentals shall post signage in all units detailing cleaning and sanitation procedure.

The county plan was revised and approved by the state to restrict vacation rentals to residents of states that have less than 700 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. That currently means residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are prohibited.

Those changes resulted in a Sanibel City Council Meeting yesterday afternoon which unanimously adopted the county plan.

During further Council discussion yesterday, regarding face masks, a motion to make them mandatory in public places (where social distancing cannot be done) was defeated 3-2, but a motion passed that recommends them, following the CDC requirements regarding face coverings. Those details were posted on www.MySanibel last night.

Things in Florida seem to be moving at a steady pace in the Full Phase One Reopening with places like gyms and fitness centers opening back up, and more people going into restaurants and stores. The latest breaking news was the Governor’s announcement that he will be lifting all restrictions on youth activities such as summer camps and youth sports. Hopefully, this will begin to provide some relief to both parents and kids as everyone settles into a new normal. The last day for Lee County Schools is right around the corner, June 3.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $789K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $895K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $353K, Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 listed at $469K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $729K.

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $790K, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.36M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $899K.

6 price changes: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $670K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 now $698K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $699K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $719K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $789K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.095M.

10 new sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $439K, 954 Donax St 3/3 listed at $525K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex listed at $525K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 listed at $625K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $694.5K, 1828 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $695K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 listed at $1.75M, 5044 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.15M.

2 closed sales: 730 Cardium St 2/2 $491.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 6411 Pine Ave listed at $329K, 6419 Pine Ave listed at $889K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.545M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2227 1/1 listed at $539K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.125M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 11542 Wightman Ln 5/5 $3.08M.

LOTS

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

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

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

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Rain is expected here on Monday, but we need it & afternoon showers will soon be our norm.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Yes, You Can Buy Now… We Are Working & Ready to Help


It is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. The islands continue to reopen slowly with the toll booths still unmanned and the causeway islands sometimes packed, particularly on the weekend. (A sure sign that the gulf waters are clear and sparkling, and they are!)
SanibelSusan Realty is one of the few real estate offices physically open, but not much is happening. Yesterday, we got a couple of showing requests for the upcoming weekend/week and there has been some action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System. It is still an excellent time to buy!
The Association of Realtors® office remains closed, but many Realtors® have accepted the FISH Food Challenge and have donated groceries to their food pantry. Nearly 20 have donated just in the last week and the pantry continues to go through the food like crazy. Astounding but not surprising that there are so many hungry folks on the islands, with so many businesses closed, particularly those that cater to vacationers.
Below is an update on re-opening progress, after which is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System.

Latest City Proclamation Due to the Threat of COVID-19

Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, scheduled to discuss beach parking and short-term rentals/hotels, turned into a 6+hour event with plenty of public comment and differences of opinions on many items discussed. That meeting resulted in a new City proclamation dated Wednesday. There has been a lot of confusion about the changes, particularly as they apply to vacation rentals, so below, for clarification, are some excerpts from the actual Proclamation No. 20-028  (which may be read in its entirety on www.MySanibel.com).
“…on May 12,2020, the City Council met for a special set public meeting to discuss COVID-19, including consideration of temporary restrictions and prohibitions related to the declared State of Local Emergency; and … City Council voted in support of taking certain actions to reopen the local economy on a gradual basis and consistent with the Governor’s phased approach, including the following:
A. Allowing the current restrictions on accommodations rentals to expire, subject to emplacing a lessened restriction on vacation rentals which closely follows the Governor’s restriction… and allowing new rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares under restricted occupancy and conditions intended to mitigate any community spread of COVID-19; and
B. Extending certain public beach parking restrictions for an additional duration; and
C. Strongly encouraging the wearing of face masks by employees of places of public accommodations and by all members of the public who cannot properly socially distance; and
D. Raising parking fines to $200, is a result of the significant volume of parking violations particularly in and around beach access points.”
As further clarification, the proclamation says:
SECTION 2. Temporary restrictions on accommodation rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” identified in Attachment A…, which include all 37 “hotels”, “motels”, and “timeshare projects” on Sanibel … are subject to the following temporary restrictions, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council:
A. Occupancy is limited to 50% of the units within the public lodging establishment; and
B. No reservations or check-ins are permitted from anyone that resides in or is travelling from an area identified by the Governor of Florida to be a “hot spot” of substantial community spread of COVID-19, including Louisiana, the New York Tri-State rea (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida; and
C. All places of public accommodation are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, which can be found under SANCAP SAFE RESOURCES at https://members.canibel-captiva.org/; and
D. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restrictions nothing in this section restricts or otherwise affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 3. Temporary restrictions on accommodations rentals at vacation rentals. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” on Sanibel which are “vacation rentals”,… but not including the hotels, motels, and timeshare projects…, are subject to a temporary rental restriction of a minimum duration of 30 days, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council. For the purposes of this section, the rental restriction is application to anyone who is not an owner of the unit. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restriction, nothing in this section affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 4. Paid public beach parking restrictions. The paid public beach parking restrictions currently in place as extended by … which … are due to expire on May 15, 2020 are hereby extended to May 31, 2020 after which such restrictions will expire and public beach parking will reopen.
“SECTION 5. Wearing of face masks. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the wearing of face masks by all employees of retail shops, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation who interact with members of the public, as well as by all people in any public area where social distancing is not feasible or otherwise occurring is strongly encouraged.
SECTION 6. Parking fines. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020 fines for all parking violations are temporarily raised to $200.00…..”
So, in a nutshell, short-term vacation rentals including those in residential communities, condo complexes or resorts, not included on the 37-property list (of hotels, motels, and timeshares) cannot rent for a period of less than 30 days. This is in accordance with the Governor’s phased reopening and more related to how properties are defined by Florida Statute/Florida Department of Revenue classification, than by any desire to penalize rentals which typically are nightly, weekly, or biweekly.
The Proclamation may change as more state and county guidance is provided and new COVID-19 data evolves. The changes/restrictions are emergency measures taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
The number of Sanibel’s reported cases remains low at 11, but testing remains limited and the antibody test is not expected here until next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Readying Most of State to Enter Phase Two Reopening

An internet posting yesterday said that Jacksonville could host Friday’s official announcement by the Governor. When he addressed reporters in Doral yesterday, he said that a “good announcement” was coming Friday that would apply to most of the state. This announcement came just hours after Tampa Bay Times reporter Lawrence Mower tweeted a Florida Chamber email saying to expect a May 18 entrance into Phase Two. The Governor disclaimed any advance announcement in response to reporters’ questions, claiming to “march to the beat of [his] own drummer.”
In Phase Two, people from vulnerable populations would still be asked to self-isolate, groups of up to 50 would be permitted, albeit with social distancing still in play. Phase Two would also allow increased restaurant capacity, as well as the reopening of gyms, schools, and bars with social distancing and diminished occupancy. The Governor stressed these are modest changes.
Though South Florida may still be on a slower path, the Governor noted that Florida is a “diverse state,” and he won’t “sit here rolling back the entire state if there’s an outbreak in Hialeah.”

Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

This week was the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Legislative Meetings in Washington DC. This annual event usually brings Realtor® leaders from around the nation to the capitol. With COVID-19 interrupting those plans this year, committee meetings and conference sessions were held virtually.
This event also is when Realtors® who have achieved National Hall of Fame status are recognized. That also were done virtually. Congratulations to Florida’s 17 new Hall of Fame members. That boosts our state members in 2019 to 106. I am proud to be one of them. (I know my picture is old… I made the club for the first time in 2016.)
Below is an article written by Shannon McGahn. She is senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®.
“It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news.
“For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough.
“The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was up 8% from March 2019 as prices increased in every region.
“And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
“The pandemic also hasn’t stopped real estate transactions outright like in many other sectors. A recent survey of NAR members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new technology like remote notarization.
“Even those pausing their real estate transactions still plan to buy and sell once again within a few months.
“What’s more, NAR research unveiled earlier this year found that, since 2013, the median family net worth for all homeowners has increased by nearly 15%.
“Data from the study strongly suggests that “sustainable and affordable homeownership” remains the best opportunity “most households will ever have to improve their long-term net worth and financial security.”
“Property ownership is turning into a financial rock for many Americans during this crisis, and Congress has gone to great strides to help protect that investment.
“For those who can no longer pay their mortgage, new forbearance rules allow them to put off payments for up to a year without impacting their credit.
“Helping people struggling with rent and mortgage payments is a good thing, but we also do not want to spur another crisis down the line for property managers and owners who do not have relief from their obligations. Policymakers should take a comprehensive look and beware of unintended consequences.
“For REALTORS® who have seen a dramatic drop in their business (right as the crucial spring buying season arrived), new benefits like forgivable small business loans and unemployment assistance not normally available to the self-employed or independent contractors are helping them weather the storm.
“The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund were created so quickly that banks had a hard time keeping up with demand. Money ran out for the PPP in two weeks, and another round of replenishment sped through the legislative process. PPP and EIDL grants got billions more in funding and will help keep millions more employed. Congress deserves credit for responding in a bipartisan and lightning-fast way even if the rollout of those programs was less than perfect.
“We’ve heard from many REALTORS® around the country who have secured PPP loans and saved scores of jobs. People like Anthony Lamacchia of Waltham, Mass., who reports he can now keep all 47 of his employees on the payroll.
“The strength of the housing sector will be critical to our national recovery. After all, the real estate industry makes up nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and every two houses sold creates one American job.
“America has been experiencing a housing shortage for years as demand for homes has consistently outpaced supply in most major U.S. markets. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has stated his expectation that, once we get through the worst of this crisis, housing demand will reemerge quickly. Our economic recovery won’t be a slow-build like what followed the 2008 financial crisis.
“America’s financial and lending systems look vastly different today than they did before the Great Recession shook America’s economic core. Changes to strengthen lending standards and eliminate loose credit have pushed default and foreclosure rates toward record lows.
“It has never been more clear that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make.
“Economic downturns and public health crises—no matter how severe—will never change this fundamental fact.
“But what has become even more apparent is that during this crisis, home has become more important than ever.
If Congress continues to be a champion of the American people and protect homeownership, by all indicators, real estate can and will help get our economy going again.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 8-15, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS
3 new listings: Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $685K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $868.5K.
5 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $265K, Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $357.9K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $479K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $539K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.095M.
1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 listed at $914.5K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #D310 1/1 $372K, Sundial #B308 1/1 $505K, High Tide #A101 2/2 $1.075M.
HOMES
1 new listing: 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
3 price changes: 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $689.9K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $694.5K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $839K.
4 new sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $399.9K, 857 Rabbit Rd 1/1 listed at $489K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $659K.
1 closed sale: 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.7M.
LOTS
1 new listing: 690 Birdie View Pt $369K.
1 price change: 1313 Par View Dr now $300K.
1 new sale: 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 now $1.425M.
1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 listed at $889K.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 $6.495M.
1 price change: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $988K.
2 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 16221/16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.389M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper.
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Mothers’ Day Weekend on Sunny Sanibel


IMG_6492
It has been another quiet week on Sanibel and at SanibelSusan Realty. Island traffic last weekend was heavy, mostly from stir-crazy day-trippers wanting changes of scenery. With only Bowman’s Beach and the causeway islands open for parking, they were jammed both Saturday and Sunday with many vehicles and many people. Island locals also reported that Sanibel’s resident lots often were full of out-of-state vehicles without parking stickers. Those ticketing stayed busy.
Sanibelcityseal logoOn Tuesday, City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting, but delayed further discussion on beach parking and short-term vacation rentals/accommodations restrictions until a special meeting coming up on Tues, May 12 at 2 p.m. That is the day that Sanibel’s current State of Emergency Proclamation ends. City Council hopes that more data will be available by then, and more direction from Florida’s governor and the county.
(If you want to listen during the upcoming meeting or hear the audio from a past one, go to MySanibel.com & look under Agendas & Minutes.) 
A few island restaurants and retail shops have reopened following recommended guidelines. During the week, I have not seen many vehicles at these locations though, so it may be that the public remains wary. Probably rightfullysince testing here has been limited.
On Monday, free Covid-19 testing began on a first-come first-served basis at the Minnesota Twins Stadium. The site is performing 400 tests a day until they run out. The news reports that the wait is hours long. As of this morning, Sanibel’s confirmed cases are 11.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoI got a call this week from our local Association of Realtors® President. He was querying our brokers to see how we are handling business through the pandemic. The Association office has been closed for weeks, but staff is working from home and meetings are happening through Zoom technology. He said the office likely will remain closed until the end of the month unless state guidelines are lessened. 
FISH logoThis week, the Communications and Public Relations Committee issued a challenge for members to donate food goods to F.I.S.H. of San-Cap. It kicked off with a committee member challenging three other Association members via Facebook with those challenged to challenge three others. Photos are posted as contributions are delivered.
Yesterday, I was challenged by Affiliate Member Angie Roehl with Rosier Insurance. So, though Bailey’s home delivery has been bringing my groceries for weeks, my mask and I ventured out last night for “real” shopping. Teammate Elise and I delivered the resulting four bags of staples to the food pantry this morning, then I challenged three other Realtors®.
Regarding open houses and showings, safety is key. So many, like us, are using alternative marketing approaches like our streaming videos. Last Sunday I was contacted by an agent who Skyped our bayfront listing from the water (in her boat). clean hands save livesHer prospect liked seeing the exterior, so asked to also see inside. So, I met her there later so she could Skype the interior. It was more time-consuming than an actual showing since the property is empty, so she had verbalize details – but it worked. Her prospects are coming to view in person in a couple of weeks.

Florida’s Remote Notary Law

Florida Realtors logoFrom FloridaRealtor® magazine, May 2020:
“Social-distance closings.
“Remote notarizations became legal in Florida on January 1. That means buyers and sellers can close on a home without being in the same room. It’s also a powerful tool during the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain the real estate market while also honoring orders for social distancing that keep people at least 6-feet apart.
“However, the details of a remote-notarization closing should be worked out beforehand, since not all notaries are authorized to conduct remote notarizations. In addition, lenders might refuse to accept remote notarizations, and buyers who secured a loan through one of those companies must still be present at closing.
“Under the remote-notarization law, Florida notaries must register with the state as an online notary before they’re authorized to do so. In addition to posting a $25,000 bond, they must also have $25,000 of errors and omissions (E&O) insurance and complete a two-hour course.
“Once authorized by the state, they must also have the designation of a remote online notary provider, who acts as a digital liaison between remote buyers and sellers in the transaction. Not all notaries have done so and some may decide not to take these additional steps.
“How It Works: E-notaries electronically affix signatures and notary sales in an electronic document such as a PDF or Word document. The document is then instantly and securely transmittable. Remote notaries are authorized to provide a similar service to parties in separate locations via the internet, using digital tools and a live audio/video connection versus electronic notary, where physical presence is required by law.”

At SanibelSusan Realty

OfficeBikePathTeammates Dave and Lisa are at home, while I have been manning the office with Teammate Elise covering three mornings again this week. Our team communication continues by email and text, which is not unlike our normal work routine.
Several SanibelSusan blog followers – some near and far – contributed recipes to my “SanibelSusan and Facebook Friends Social-Distancing Together Cookbook – April 2020”. It went to the printer on Wed and should be ready in about two weeks. It was a fun project amid the month’s uncertainty.
The action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva MLS since last Friday is below. There were a few sales! 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service realtor-mlsActivity May 1-8, 2020

Sanibel
CONDOS 
2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $565.9K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $868.5K. 
3 price changes: Colonnades #13 1/1 now $305K, Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $353K; Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $388,990.  
2 new sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 listed at $529K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 listed at $679K.
4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B4 2/2 $535K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 $539K, By-The-Sea #C101 2/2 $1.1M, Gulfside Place #326 2/2 $1.2M.   
HOMES
5 new listings: 2100 Sunset Cir 3/2 $729,555; 9484 Peaceful Dr 3/3 $835K; 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $899K; 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 $1.05M; 4629 Rue Bayou 5/3 $1.295M.
1 price change: 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $649,999.
3 new sales: 550 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed at $629K, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.095M, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M. 
6 closed sales: 743 Windlass Way 3/2 $505K, 678 Durion Ct 3/2 $580K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $600K, 9057 Mockingbird Dr 4/2 $650K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $686K, 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 $2M. 
LOTS
No new listings.
4 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $147.5K, 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $327.5K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct now 328.5K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $375K.
No new or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 listed at $1.199M.
No closed sales
HOMES
No new listings or price changes
2 new sales: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed at $2.389M, 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed at $7.489M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”, hoping to attract some Mothers’ Day buyers.
ISN 050820
Mothers Day tulipSanibel is expecting some much-needed rain on Sunday!
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel’s Social Distancing Continues… Carefully… Safely


It is another happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. Happier than last week because the sun is shining, the humidity is down, more showers have vegetation greening up, and best-of-all, a phased reopening of the island is underway. Periwinkle Way even had more vehicles this morning. Hooray!

Gulf waters are beautiful too and the local wildlife seem to be enjoying less human interaction. On the east-end, I have noticed more bunnies, while snowy plover hatchings in the area of Olde Sanibel, also are ahead of schedule. A large area of nests is roped off with itty bitty babies already running around.

Trasi from Over Easy Café recently posted a cool Facebook photo of a large bobcat crossing West Gulf Drive while Bridgit from The Pecking Order is forever capturing amazing animal close-ups during her dog-walking adventures. As mentioned last week, island sea turtle nests also are ahead of schedule with 13 nests now documented, including two rare leatherback nests (one on each island).

Sanibel City Proclamation Re: Covid-19

I listened live to both the Monday and Wednesday City Council meetings. Wednesday’s was a long one from 4 to 9 p.m. including almost two hours of public comments. The City’s earlier “State of Local Emergency” order was expiring. It closed public beach parking areas and most businesses (other than those deemed essential) and stopped occupancy by incoming vacation rental and hotel guests.

The Wednesday meeting resulted in the following proclamation changes.

  • City-owned beach parking areas will remain closed until May 15.
  • Restrictions on residential accommodations/lodging remains in effect until May 15.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order for Phase 1 for Re-Opening Florida was adopted.

To clarify reopening of restaurants and outdoor seating, today the City issued guidance and is temporarily permitting Sanibel restaurants and food establishments up to 1,800 sq. ft. for outdoor dining, with social distancing and other required criteria. Go to www.MySanibel.com for all the details.

City Council has a regularly-scheduled meeting coming up on Tuesday at 9 a.m.  Their agenda and link to the audio also are posted on the City website. Listen in, if you have time. Our councilors and City staff really are working many extra hours for all of us.

In other Covid-19 news, this afternoon, Mayor Ruane posted the following message on his Facebook page: “Today Lee County Commission in coordination with the state of Florida announced the new Covid 19 testing site at the Twins Stadium starting on Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm drive thru testing, no prescription is requested and free to all people. Another location will also be at the Walmart in Lehigh through private labs with a cost to the patient. Lee County is looking out for our residents!”

Real Estate Happenings

I have been in the office most afternoons with teammate Elise and I crossed paths today for the first time in six weeks. Where have the weeks gone?

The details of all the action posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. The good news is, there were five new island sales, four on Sanibel and one on Captiva.

Since some island listings expired the end of April and a few others were withdrawn, below are inventory summaries with sales to-date as of today, May 1.

  Condos Homes Lots
  # Price $* # Price $* # Price $*
Sanibel
For sale 115 775,591 164 1,400,585 70 794,631
Under contract 12 821,416 17 980,058 0 N/A
Sold/closed thru 5/1/2020 59 731,060 81 1,113,106 4 849,666
Sold/closed in 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold/closed in 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095
Captiva
For sale 44 1,067,769 42 3,231,880 3 3,563,000
Under contract 1 1,795,000 2 2,847,500 0 N/A
Sold/closed thru 5/1/2020 9 803,111 7 3,331,142 2 1,925,000
Sold/closed in 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000
Sold closed in 2018 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A

Note: “For sale” & “Under contract” prices are asking prices.

Though the last few weeks saw few sales, I remain optimistic. The islands will bounce back, better than ever. Many stranded in less desirable locations, certainly will view it as more of an island paradise. If one must be stranded at home, it really is a wonderful place to be.

Social-Distancing Together in April 2020

If you are on social media where I advertise to attract those followers, you may have noticed my Facebook postings about a cookbook called “Social-Distancing Together in April 2020”. With recipes from SanibelSusan and Facebook friends, everyone that contributes recipe(s) gets a freebie cookbook which I hope will be a positive remembrance of the last month.

If you want to be included, please become a Facebook friend (I have both personal and business pages) and email me your recipe(s) this weekend, as it will go to the printer soon. It already has nearly 250 recipes!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 24-May 1, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #B406 2/2 $799K.

3 price changes: Sundial #F205 1/1 now $419K, White Caps #8 1/1 now $799K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $925K.

2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 listed at $539K, Sand Pointe #111 2/2 listed at $679K.

3 closed sale: Casa Blanca #5 2/1 $425K, Sand Pointe #132 2/2 $690K, Tigua Cay #485 3/3.5 $1.95M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 now $899K.

2 new sales: 836 Donax St 3/2 listed at $549K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr listed at $1.049M.

7 closed sales: 1856 Ardsley Way 3/2 $470K, 1573 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $503K; 500 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $680K; 261 Ferry Landing 2/2 half-duplex $900K; 457 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $900,050; 4739 Ruelle 4/3 $985K; 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 $2M.

LOTS

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 $309K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11542 Wightman Ln 5/5 listed at $3.2M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The Social Distancing Continues…


Happy Friday, from SanibelSusan.

The good news is that the islands just got their first heavy dousing of rain in months. It was part of a band of cooler air passing through Florida, with another band expected to arrive soon. The parking lot behind the office was briefly a humongous puddle, but it was absorbed quickly. Water is badly needed here with many areas parched from the extended dry season this winter.

The bad news is that two more Sanibel corona virus cases were posted yesterday by the Florida Department of Health. After several weeks of having just six cases, the number jumped to eight. The “stay at home” order remains in effect and social distancing continues with Sanibel’s Emergency Proclamation running through April 28 and rental restrictions until April 30, unless further extended.

It has been another lonely week with just me in the office for at least a few hours most days. With today’s technology, it is certainly easy to stay connected from home, but the office routine sure helps to keep one productive.

Thankfully, this week there were a few more inquiries about our listings, including a couple of showings. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Unfortunately, there were no sales on either island.

I was encouraged again this week by conversations with colleagues who think, as I do, that when this is over, the island again will boom. There already was pent-up demand and that will increase when vacation travel reopens. One even predicts our future will have what he calls the “boomerang” affect. I hope he’s right.

Florida Realtors® COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form

Though not mandatory, Florida Realtors® Legal Department has released a form on their database, Forms Simplicity which is free to state Realtors®. Called the COVID-19/Coronavirus In-Person Access Acknowledgement Form, it addresses the risk of entering real estate properties. Safety is the main consideration.

The form was designed to be given once to a seller by the listing agent, to cover future showings during the term of the listing, where the seller directs the listing agent/brokerage to continue to bring potential buyers to the seller’s property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

It also can be given to a buyer by a selling agent, when a buyer requests a selling agent to show buyer property, despite the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic.

There is no language that can prevent a lawsuit, but this form provides an opportunity for Realtors® to confirm with owners and prospects that they understand there are risks involved with in-person showings, will minimize these risks as outlined in the form and are willing to assume these risks.

Buy & Build Renovation Program

With interest rates low, more folks are refinancing, and more buyers – some who usually would be paying cash – are financing to take advantage of today’s programs. Realtors® often receive email from local lenders about their rates and program offerings. Here is info from an interesting one received yesterday from Dan Royal with American Momentum Bank.

“We offer the “Buy & Build Renovation Program” for purchase transactions on single family homes and condominiums!

“Example:                 $1,000,000 sales price

+ $500,000 renovation cost

=          $1,500,000 total cost

x          80%

=          $1,200,000 loan

=             $300,000 down payment

“This allows the buyer to finance their renovation cost at the same time they are closing on the home or condo, with interest only payments during the renovation period. When the renovation has been completed the loan is modified to a traditional mortgage with monthly principal and interest payments. This is available to primary and second-home borrowers for single-family homes and condominiums.”

That day’s rates with no points were 2.875% for a 15-year fixed loan and 3.125% for 30-year fixed. Contact Dan for more details at droyal@americanmomentum.bank

Making Good Use of the Down Time from Effects of COVID-19

Many are making good use of their time from “stay at home” orders. They are cleaning out closets, purging of unneeded items, donating to those less fortunate, sorting photos and files, deep cleaning, and making household repairs.

Tarpon Beach – This week I also heard that the condo association at one of our listings, Tarpon Beach, has decided to begin their fall Concrete Restoration Project sooner. With their contractor considered an essential business and working within Covid-19 guidelines, it could be that the lanai work at this complex will start soon.

Kings Crown – At Kings Crown, they have a similar construction project scheduled to begin this summer when occupancy restrictions are required as units and buildings get new balcony screens and other repairs. Due to these access changes and any hardship resulting from COVID-19, that Association is easing their two-week rental restriction for this summer and next. Through Oct 3 this year and from May 1 through Oct 2, 2021, the Association has advised owners that they will conditionally waive their normal 2-week rental requirement with the understanding that the Association fully intends to respect, adhere to, and enforce any City of Sanibel accommodation rental requirements, social distancing, or travel restrictions that may exist at any given time.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

April 15 officially marked the first day of sea turtle nesting season which goes through October. Monitoring of sea turtle nests on islands began in the 50’s and was taken over by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in 1992.

SSCF’s Sea Turtle Program staff monitor the 18 miles of beaches from the Sanibel Lighthouse to Redfish Pass, looking for signs of new turtle activity. When a nest is found, it is roped off, documented, and watched. (When the virus “stay at home” orders are lifted, over 100 volunteers also will assist.)

The first two nests of the year were recorded on Sanibel, none yet on Captiva. On the very first day, on the east end, a loggerhead turtle nest was recorded. This is the earliest one documented on Sanibel. Two days later, a rare leatherback turtle nest was spotted further west.

Before the official start of season, SCCF documented a couple of false crawls. On April 1, a leatherback was reported on Sanibel and on April 14 a loggerhead was reported on Captiva.

Loggerhead sea turtle

Loggerheads are the most common marine turtle species to nest on the islands, followed by green sea turtles, which are unusual. Leatherbacks and Kemp’s Ridley’s are rare but have nested here before. Here are their differences:

  • Loggerhead turtles grow to 3’ to 3-1/2’ long, weighing 150 to 300 pounds. Females lay three to six nests per year on average, but only nest every couple of years. These turtles produce the most common sea turtle nests found in Florida.

    Green sea turtle

  • Green sea turtles are bigger, about 4’ long and weighing up to 400 pounds. They lay three to six nests every other year. Green turtles are more common on Florida’s east coast.
  • Leatherbacks are the largest, growing to 7’ and weighing to 1,500 pounds. Nesting every couple of years, leatherback turtles typically lay five to eight nests. They also are more common on the East Coast.

    Leatherback sea turtle

  • Kemp Ridley’s are the smallest. They also are endangered, with sightings rare. They average 1-1/2’ to 2’ and can weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Nesting every other year, or more, though not at night, they normally lay two to four nests. These nests are found mostly in Texas and Mexico.

Kemp Ridley sea turtle

Important reminders to keep the islands sea-turtle friendly:

  • Turn off or shield all lights visible from the beach.
  • Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Before dark, remove all beach furniture and equipment from beach.
  • Properly dispose of fishing line to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that may trap hatchlings and nesting turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles.
  • Pick up litter.
  • Recreational boaters, reproductive-age turtles are close to shore, please slow down and watch for them.

To report a nest or false crawl, contact SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-728-3663 (978-SAVE-ONE). More info about the program at www.SCCF.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 17‑24, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes:  Sunset South #11A 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 now $799K.

Colonnades #3 1/1 now $269K.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 990 & 992 Greenwood Ct N (duplex, both sides) 3/2.5 (each side) $724K.

3 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 now $485K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 now $999K, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.695M,

No new sales.

6 closed sales: 766 Donax St (duplex, both sides) 2/1 (each side) $599K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $655K, 1014 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $675K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $825K, 637 Lighthouse Way 3/4 $1.2M. 1490 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $1.5M.

LOTS

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 $495K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6.5.5 now $6.899M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Still Smelling the Gardenia at SanibelSusan Realty


Hi, everyone. It’s been another lonely week at SanibelSusan Realty. The team remains mostly at their homes while I’ve been in the office for a few hours most days trying to stay productive and get more interest in our listings.

To illustrate how quiet it is, I also came in late Sunday to send the Monday morning payroll. When I drove home about 7 p.m. the only other moving vehicles on Periwinkle between the office and my east-end home were two cars and a one lone biker. Granted it was Easter, but that sure was eerie – particularly when Easter usually is one of the busiest weeks of the year here.

As far as the number of virus cases on the islands, the Florida Department of Health report, as if 10 a.m. this morning, shows no change since last week, with Sanibel still 6 and Captiva 1. Here’s hoping that means businesses can reopen and folks can get back to work soon.

While at my desk, I have chatted with a few colleagues, commiserated with other brokers, and responded to a couple of listing inquiries. Also, we thankfully had a nice closing yesterday!

This afternoon, I posted a new listing at Mariner Pointe. It is in excellent condition and with wonderful view of bay (and canal from private open front deck). Great value too – is the lowest-priced 2-bedroom unit available there. It’s nicely updated and fully equipped as a vacation rental, with or without future bookings (buyer’s choice).

View from Mariner Pointe #522

The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. There was just one new sale on both islands, a Sand Pointe condo went under contract.

Island Chamber Launches Campaign “#ParadiseCanWait”

The islands’ Chamber of Commerce has launched a social media campaign aimed at promoting social responsibility, while supporting island businesses during COVID-19. As part of #ParadiseCanWait, visitors are asked not to outright cancel their plans, but to postpone or reschedule them for a later date when it’s again safe to travel. Below is the message posted on to their website at www.sanibel-captiva.org.

While our beaches aren’t going anywhere at this time, neither should you. We understand that this is a difficult and uncertain time. We encourage everyone to stay at home in order to keep yourself, and others, healthy. At this time all Sanibel hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals are closed through April 24, 2020. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to sunshine and seashells soon.”

The next component of the campaign will roll out when the islands are ready to relaunch and reopen – when it’s safe. We all look forward to the Chamber’s “Paradise Is Ready” announcements and videos.

Sanibel, Best Small Town in Florida

Or so said the website “Far and Wide” in their on-line posting on April 10:

We know travel plans are impacted right now. But to fulfill your wanderlust, we’ll continue to share stories that can inspire your next adventure.

“Big cities like New York and Los Angeles may get most of the attention, but America is filled with small towns and communities that have long formed the backbone of the nation. These towns are filled with their own history, museums and cultural attractions, but also come with the added appeal of home-spun charm and hometown heroes.

“While millions spend big dollars to pack themselves like lemmings into big-city attractions, America’s wonderful small towns offer a carefree getaway at a fraction of the cost.

“Turning to the likes of U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, Architectural Digest, The Travel Channel and House Beautiful magazine, here is a look at the best small town in every U.S. state.”

The states are listed alphabetically with a photo and write-up about each town represented. (Check the total article yourself at

https://www.farandwide.com/s/best-small-town-by-state-81e39983579047d3

Here’s what it posted about Florida: “Sanibel Island

photo from “Far and Wide” article

“Population: 7,402

“A Favorite Of: U.S. News & World Report

“Florida is so much more than an amusement-park destination or the home of a certain Latin-inspired Art Deco mega-city. You’ll also find amiable small towns up and down the peninsula state’s coastline, including one of the top 20 small towns according to U.S. News: Sanibel Island.

“Just 12 miles long and 3 miles wide, Sanibel features shell-covered beaches and wildlife refuges for a truly off-the-beaten-path Floridian getaway.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listingsMariner Pointe #522 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sundial T301 2/2 $845K.

1 price change:  Colonnades #3 1/1 now $269K.

1 new sale: Sand Pointe #132 2/2 asking $709K.

4 closed sales: Seashells #3 2/2 $451,400; Sundial #C210 1/1 $460K; Sanibel Arms West #I-7 $560K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.175M (our listing/sale).

HOMES

1 new listing: 528 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4 $1,995M.

2 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 now $485K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 now $875K,

No new sales.

8 closed sales: 760 Cardium St 3/2 $575K, 5303 Ladyfinger Rd 3/2 $660K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $760K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $825K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.180M, 3851 Coquina Dr 3/2.5 $1.2M, 637 Lighthouse Way 3/4 $1.2799M, 1018 Dixie Beach Blvd 4/5 $2M.

LOTS

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

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS

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

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

Here is our ad from today’s issue of the “Island Sun”. (The Editor called after receiving it and said she likes my forecast. I hope you like it too.)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend – or as good as it can be given today’s circumstances. (I’m still taking time to smell the “gardenia” and they sure smell great.)

Stay well.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s The Little Things… Staying Positive on Sanibel Island


It’s lonely in the office again this afternoon. Yesterday, teammate Dave stopped by the back door briefly when he was on the island doing a couple of real estate errands. First time I’d seen him in almost a month and hardly recognized the scruffy bearded guy. (Smart boy didn’t mention my ugly hair.)

Real estate is considered an essential business, so I’m in the office a few hours here and there, though our office remains physically closed. Mostly, the team is working at home as we can, using social distancing.

Yesterday also brought my first home delivery grocery order from Bailey’s. It was like a kid at Christmas, amazing what becomes exciting when we are stuck at home.

I’ve even enjoyed admiring the gardenia bush by my front door which I’m sure has bloomed year-after-year, but this time of the year, life usually is too busy to notice. So, as inconvenient as this is, it’s been wonderful to “stop and smell the gardenias.”

Also, yesterday, a friend dropped a homemade gift in my mailbox. See photo – how special is this? The sweet message that accompanied the gift: “And then the whole world walked inside. Shut their doors & said “We will stop it all – EVERYTHING – to protect our weaker ones, our sicker ones, our older ones.” And nothing – NOTHING – in the history of mankind ever felt more like LOVE than this.”

So, as we all work our way through a special, but unusual week of Passover, Easter, and spring – I hope you all are safe, well, and part of the crowd that individually is flattening the curve.

As far as number of virus cases here – as of 10 a.m. today, April 10, the Florida Department of Health reports that Sanibel has 6 and Captiva 1.

Who knows what one can really believe from the news these days, but it seems to be a consensus that the peak here will be in about two weeks. Local schools remain closed until May 1 and last night the news included information on how a virtual graduation will happen at Florida Gulf Coast University on May 3.

Through the week, I have been in touch with our local banks and title company where loans and closings continue to occur. Some are working from home, thank goodness today’s technology makes things easier.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 3-10, 2020

Since a few listings have been withdrawn or terminated early, below from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is a summary of the islands’ condo, home, and lot inventory today, compared to units under contract, sales year-to-date, compared to the same period last year, and total sales in 2019.

As the table shows, our market was improving nicely before this happened.

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
Sanibel
For sale 120 790,000 185 1,320,474 76 724,707
Under contract 17 890,617 34 1,029,244 1 2,600,000
Sold 1/1-4/10/20 52 718,195 67 1,119,889 4 849,666
Sold 1/1-4/10/19 39 638,608 46 1,086,050 2 250,000
Total Sold in 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Captiva
For sale 46 1,059,692 46 3,309,217 3 3,563,000
Under contract 2 1,150,000 1 2,495,000 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-4/10/20 7 917,714 7 3,331,142 2 1,925,000
Sold 1/1-4/10-19 7 1,292,571 1 2,800,000 0 N/A
Total Sold in 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Note: For sale & Under contract = asking prices.

Below, also from the MLS, is the action posted since last Friday. The most activity this week was Sanibel closings, likely from contracts written before the shutdown. There was no activity at all (new listings, price changes, new or closed sales) on Captiva.

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $219.9K.

2 new sales: Kings Crown #110 2/2 asking $795K, High Tide #A101 2/2 asking $1.295M.

5 closed sales: Sandpebble #2F 2/2 $425K, Sundial #D205 1/1 $435K, Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $450K; Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 $550K, Sundial #L404 2/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 $999K

4 price changes: 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 now $599K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $725K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 now $899K,

No new sales.

7 closed sales: 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 1/2 duplex $530K; 5297 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $610K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 $745K; 822 Beach Rd 4/4 duplex $775K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $794,208; 599 Lake Murex Cir 4/3.5 $1.225M; 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.952M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1331 Par View Dr $340K.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, & LOTS

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

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

Looking forward, SanibelSusan’s crystal ball says “everything’s gonna be alright”. I bet when this is over, many will want a peaceful vacation, with Sanibel/Captiva preferred over international or cruise travel.

Here’s our ad from today’s issue of the “Island Sun”.

Happy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. The Easter bunny may be lost, but look at this little guy munching what’s left of my side lawn last night. The Sanibel bunnies have returned & I love them even if they do a number on any new green shoots.

Washing Hands & Taking Time to Smell the Gardenia


SanibelSusan is operating solo again today. The team and I are following recommendations about staying at home with only occasional exceptions. I haven’t seen their smiling faces in what seems like forever, but thanks to texting and social media, we stay in touch.

Saturday, I made my weekly trip to Bailey’s for groceries. It was heartwarming to see their workers smiling and shelves stocked. Richard Johnson himself was filling the paper goods aisle and handed me a container of Tropical Seas Hand Sanitizer. Said he’d just gotten it in from the other coast. (It’s from Ormond Beach – antibacterial, biodegradable, non-toxic to sea life, and smells wonderful. www.tropicalseas.com.)

Tuesday, right on time, teammate Dave had a closing at Knight Barry Title for a Gulf Harbour condo listing. Heidi at Knight Barry said their office had some busy days with end-of-the-month closings. They also have received a couple of orders for new contracts (encouraging news). I got a chuckle when she said that Jackie did one closing on the hood of a car in their parking lot – keeping socially distanced.

I just made a quick trip to West Gulf Dr to check our listing at Tarpon Beach #207. It really is a shame that the island is closed. Look at how beautiful the gulf is!

A couple of news items below cover how the island is responding to the coronavirus and how FloridaRealtors® has advised its members. After that is the weekly action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Protecting Islanders

Below is the WinkNews.com posting last night from their interview with Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane:

Sanibel mayor talks about how they are protecting island residents

“It’s already quieter on Sanibel. The beaches are closed and you can no longer rent a room at a hotel.

“We asked Mayor Kevin Ruane how else they could be protecting full-time residents and if they would go as far as closing the only way on and off the island. “We’re not opposed to going to a hurricane pass situation like we had during the hurricane,” he said. “Without the pass, you can’t come out on the island.”

“When it came to police being used to stop non-residents from entering the island, Ruane said they’re not looking at that as an option right now. “But certainly, that’s not necessarily something that’s not going to be on the table or under consideration in the future,” he added.

“Ruane says since the average age of full-time residents is 67, he’s trying to educate everyone on how to stay safe. “We’re trying to embrace social distancing or educating our community, working with our local grocery stores, making sure they have the necessary tools, putting x’s on the bottom of their floors when you keep six feet apart. Again, we’re trying to be as proactive as we can. I’ve said to my senior citizens, stay home,” he said.

“So far, he says the three people diagnosed with COVID-19 on the island are doing okay and want to make sure the message of “stay home if you can” really sticks.

“The mayor says they also had to furlough 47 part-time employees and hope to eventually bring them all back.

“For Sanibel’s COVID-19 updates, click here.

Latest Info on Coronavirus for Realtors® in Florida

Below are some excerpts from an article posted today (Apr 3, 2020) at FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“Florida Realtors is monitoring everything regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the real estate industry and Realtors and sharing it here.

Florida stay-at-home order:  Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order calling for all Floridians to stay home except to obtain essential services. This order is effective at midnight April 2 and lasts 30 days. Per the order, residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, are considered essential. Although members may continue to operate, they are not required to do so. A second executive order clarified that the stay-at-home order “shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.”

Suspension of vacation rentals: In an effort to discourage visitors to the state who may be carrying the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a two-week suspension of new vacation rentals (30 days or 1 calendar month, whichever is less). The order does not apply to current occupants of vacation rentals. The Executive Order can be found here.

COVID-19 extension addendum to contract: Florida Realtors released a new contract extension addendum that allows for time periods and dates to be extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 and contract performance: The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, but is it considered, legally speaking, an “act of God”? Here’s a look at how a court may rule on real estate disputes that arise from transactions during this time. The white paper can also be downloaded as a PDF here.

Remote notaries: On Jan. 1, authorization for remote notarizations became law, meaning buyers and sellers no longer have to be in the same room. Here’s what you need to know.

Open houses: All Realtors are encouraged to follow NAR’s guidance regarding Open Houses found here.

CDC business safety strategies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidance for businesses and employers here.

“NAR guides for Realtors and Realtor Associations: The National Association of Realtors has posted a guide for Realtors in relation to COVID-19 and a guide for Realtor Associations in relation to COVID-19.

Travel guidance: Here is specific information from the CDC regarding travel.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 27 – April 3, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $449K, Sundial #D403 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: High Tide #A101 2/2 asking $1.295M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $475K, Pointe Santo #C2 2/2 $757.5K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $823K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $535K.

3 price changes: 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 1285 Par View 4/2.5 now $799K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $889K.

No new sales.

7 closed sales: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 $447K; 1458 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $465K; 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $530K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 $794,208; 1333 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $975K; 3358 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $995K; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $4.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd now $219K; 1219 Par View Dr now $284,999.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

HOMES

1 new listing: 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 $2.389M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16151 & 16155 Captiva Dr $3M.

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 Associations.

Until next Friday, stay well, wash those hands, & continue to take the time to smell the roses (at my house now, it’s the gardenias – they are just starting to bloom & smell so good),

If you get too bored give me a call, taking about real estate is way more fun than commiserating about the virus.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Practicing Social Distancing at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that though our physical office has been closed since last Friday, I could stand it at home no longer and am in the office today (locked in alone) playing catch-up and preparing this update on my comfy office computer.

As you may have already heard, most island businesses are closed. Sanibel’s two grocery stores and two pharmacies remain open, some with reduced hours. County-regulated beaches like the causeway and Bowman’s have been closed for some time, with Sanibel’s “pay” parking lots also closed, as well as the fishing pier.

Yesterday, Sanibel City Council posted that island events and City meetings have been canceled through the end of April. Businesses providing accommodations and short-term rentals (for periods of less than 7 days) have been directed to cancel those short reservations through April. Restaurants also are closed, with some still open limited hours for take-out. However, selling alcohol for on-site consumption is prohibited.

So, though I always try to make the best of any situation and always be “kind”, it made me angry to drive down Periwinkle this morning and see the bike path packed and several businesses still open with lots of cars in their parking lots. I could see people congregating in groups.

As a small business owner, I certainly can understand that any income may be better than none, but we all need to be practicing social distancing and staying home (or locked in a closed office).

As of the latest report (5 p.m. last night) from the Florida Department of Health, there are 61 cases of the virus in Lee County, including two on Sanibel.

The SanibelSusan Team can work from home. Dave and Elise also have plenty of sick leave which they may take as they want. Dave has an off-island closing scheduled next week that is expected to close on time, while on Monday Elise will become the principal at her home school with her kiddos. In the meantime, we all will do our best to get our listings sold and keep our contracted sales on track.

The activity since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is below. No new sales in the last seven days on either island.

I have received a few emails about what I think with happen with our market and regarding listing property now. Then, this afternoon I got a call from some folks who have been here all month and are heading home on Monday. Sure, I can show them a condo today at 5 p.m. It is a unit that hasn’t be occupied for more than two weeks (so should be safe), and we will stay at least six feet apart and with sanitizing wipes in hand. Wish me luck! (It’s not one of our listings, but proves our open houses followed up by post card mailings work.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 20-27, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #13 1/1 $315K, Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $815K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $432K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.179M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $360K; Blind Pass C204 2/2 $469K; Sand Pointe #137 2/2 $1,062,500; Seascape #304 3/3 $1.2M.

HOMES

4 new listings:  1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5,1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.375M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.395M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $2.149M.

6 price changes: 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $534K; 1573 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549.5K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $670K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $695K; 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 now $739,555; 4014 W Gulf Dr 4/3 now $3.699M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $585K, 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 $655K, 975 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $781K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 $1,167,500.

LOTS

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

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas A209 1/1 $309K, Seabreeze #1251 3/3 $2.25M.

No price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.48M, Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

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

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15295 Captiva Dr $850K.

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.

I also was interviewed last weekend about our office precautions with the virus. Here’s a link to the paper if you want to read the whole article. It begins on the front page.

https://islandsun.suncoastpress.com/scp/isn-032720/flipbook/0/

Stay well,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan