Susan here with another Sanibel/Captiva update following our 1st full week in the office in 2019. With holiday families and visitors gone, it has been pretty quiet. Though there have been a couple of chilly windy mornings (yesterday and today), the weather has been mostly sunny to the delight of those here enjoying nature, beaches, waterways, and bike paths. On my way back to the office this afternoon, I snapped the below cellphone photos at the Fulgur Street beach access. It was a bright 71 degrees F, so clear I could see all the way to Naples along the eastern skyline. (By the way, I am wearing a jacket with sweater (& flip flops) but viewed some bikini-clad shellers on the beach.)
The word on the street is that vacation rental bookings are off with some usually-faithful annual visitors choosing other winter destinations this year as a result of the broad summer/fall news about our water woes.
With today’s technology and recent worries about water conditions, business, and travel, I click on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s red tide status updates as often as I click on the Sanibel travel cams to see the easiest route home. Yesterday when some Realtor® pals in Sarasota indicated a rise in the red-tide organism there, I quickly checked again. Though a new report will be issued later today, below is their mid-week (January 9, 2019) report:
“Current Conditions – The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. This past week, K. brevis was present in samples from and/or offshore of Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Monroe counties, with bloom concentrations observed only in and offshore of Sarasota County. Additional details are provided below.
“Over the past week in Southwest Florida, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County, very low to low concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in or offshore of Sarasota County, background to low concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and low concentrations offshore of Monroe County.
“Fish Kills – No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported this week (please see https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline).
“Respiratory Irritation – Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“Forecast – Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict southwestern transport of surface waters and southeastern movement of subsurface waters over the next four days.”
Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate
The Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday at the local Association of Realtors® had the heaviest attendance in recent memory with the room full of Realtors® and Affiliates ready for a busy “season”. Plenty of new listings and price reductions were announced, but not many sales.
Knowing we are all worried about how the water issues will impact business this year, below is a summary of the closed sales posted in the local Multiple Listing Service last year and the year before compared to this year for the 3-month period Oct 11 through Jan 11. Current inventory numbers were added to illustrate number of units on the market.
The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some good news articles below. Yes, there is good news.
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Major Water Policy Reform
The good news is that though it has only been days since his inauguration, Florida’s new governor already is acting on water quality. The below news release and Executive Order were posted on-line yesterday by Governor DeSantis’s office:
“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), implementing major reforms to ensure the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. “Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The protection of water resources is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. That’s why today I’m taking immediate action to combat the threats which have devastated our local economies and threatened the health of our communities.”
“The order calls for:
- $2.5 Billion over the next four years for Everglades restoration and protection of water resources (a $1 Billion increase in spending over the previous four years and the highest level of funding for restoration in Florida’s history).
- The Establishment of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force charged with focusing on expediting progress toward reducing the adverse impacts of blue-green algae blooms now and over the next five years.
- Instruction to the South Florida Water Management District to immediately start the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project design and ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project according to schedule.
- The Creation of the Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency charged with organizing and directing integrated scientific research and analysis to ensure that all agency actions are aligned with key environmental priorities.
- The Appointment of a Chief Science Officer to coordinate and prioritize scientific data, research, monitoring and analysis needs to ensure alignment with current and emerging environmental concerns most pressing to Floridians.”
Florida Governor Asks SWFL Water Management District Board Members to Resign
Posted on-line late-day yesterday by the “Miami Herald”.
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, two days into office, discusses executive orders he signed to address the red tide issues impacting the state.
“After a whirlwind day visiting both coasts to announce sweeping measures to address the state’s environmental woes, Florida’s new governor demanded water managers overseeing efforts to fix the Everglades step down on Thursday.
“At an afternoon meeting in Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wanted the nine-member board at the South Florida Water Management District to resign because he believed they failed to understand the toll endured by communities by repeated algae blooms triggered by dirty lake water released into coastal rivers. “I just want good people who are willing to do the right thing,” he said.
“Board members infuriated the new governor in November when they voted to extend a lease to sugar farmers two days after the election. News of the pending vote was posted the night before a district field meeting in Miami, with less than 12-hours notice. U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, who headed up DeSantis’ environmental transition team, raced down to the meeting and urged board members to put off the vote to give the new governor time to review the matter. But they refused.
“ “Brian calls me at 8:30 at night and said there’s this meeting in the morning about this lease that might impact the reservoir,” DeSantis recalled Thursday. “I don’t know why it was handled that way. I think it really upset a lot of people.”
“At the time, chairman Federico Fernandez, a Miami attorney, said the board was obliged to extend the lease by the state law authorizing the reservoir. The law, passed under former Gov. Rick Scott, which also dramatically reduced the reservoir from 60,000 acres to 17,000 acres, said sugar farmer should be allowed to continue farming until it interfered with construction. The lease, which could be canceled after 20 months when the district expected design plans to be completed, allowed district crews on the site to begin prep work.
“On Jan. 7, the district began relocating about 800,000 cubic yards of rock to be used to construct the reservoir.
The district is also awaiting news from its partner on the project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about design plans. In June, the Corps issued an 86-page review raising questions and saying it needed more information before agreeing to split the $1.8 billion cost.
“Fernandez had said he did not believe the governor could remove board members before their terms expired. He declined to comment Thursday. He was scheduled to be part of a panel on restoration efforts at the annual Everglades Coalition conference this weekend in the Keys but will be replaced by a district staff member.
Board member Melanie Peterson along with district general counsel and chief of staff Brian Accardo sent letters to Scott earlier this month saying they were resigning. The nine-member board has staggered appointments. Terms for three, including Miami-Dade tomato farmer Sam Accursio, end in March.
“On Thursday, DeSantis sent letters asking for the board members’ resignations after Mast recommended it.
“We want to make sure we have everybody in the boat rowing the same way,” he said.
“In his letter, DeSantis thanked board members but said “voters spoke clearly in support of our bold vision for action.”
“DeSantis said he also plans on holding back many last-minute appointments to state positions made by Scott, a move viewed as an insult to the incoming governor.
““For all the midnight appointments that require Senate confirmation, I’m going to be pulling them back,” he said. “Some of the people in that batch are people I know and respect and you may see me reappoint them … but we’re going to be pulling them all back.”
“Scott said Thursday in Washington that he did not take the move personally. “Every governor has the opportunity to make their own decisions. I’m proud of what we got accomplished. I’m glad that Gov. DeSantis cares about water issues. He’s walking into a totally different situation than I was” when Florida was in the midst of recession. “Governors have the right to make appointments. That’s what they ought to do,” he said. “They ought to find who they believe are the best people.””
(Tampa Bay Times staff writer Steve Contorno contributed to this report.)
You Can Sell an Inherited Property in Probate – But Do It Right
In real estate sales, we often run into situations where a family heir wants to sell a property. Good info about this was posted on-line Monday on Florida Realtors®. The author is Gary M. Singer, the article came from the “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Mr. 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. Here’s the question posed and his answer.
“Question: I inherited two lots in Florida from my mother who recently died. Her estate was probated in South Carolina, and she left everything to me. The Florida tax bills still show the property is in her estate. How do I transfer the lots to my name? – Barbara
“Answer: To answer your question I need to review the concept of jurisdiction. A court’s jurisdiction refers to its power to make and enforce legal decisions and judgments. For a court’s decision to be binding, it must have jurisdiction over either the person who is being affected, known as “in personam,” or over the property being ruled on, known as “in rem.”
“The South Carolina probate court had jurisdiction over your mother’s estate because she had her primary residence there. It could probate her assets, such as bank accounts, jewelry, and even her South Carolina home to you because it had the jurisdiction to do so.
“However, only the court in the state where real estate is located has power over that property. This means that the South Carolina court could not do anything with the Florida lots because it lacked “in rem” jurisdiction.
You will need to open a secondary probate, called “ancillary probate,” in the county where the lots are located.
“This probate will deal only with the Florida lots and will be much easier and less expensive than the full probate administration you already had to do.
“To ensure that you do not create the same issue for your heirs, you should look into estate planning methods such as titling the property in a life estate or by forming a living trust to avoid the need to probate any out-of-state properties.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 4-11, 2019
8 new listings: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $237.5K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $699K (our listing) (photo below from master bedroom), Sand Pointe #132 2/2 $724.9K, Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $749K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 $797K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.395M.
6 price changes: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 now $319K, Sundial #H209 1/1 now $535K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $668K, Pointe Santo D32 2/2 now $739K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $749K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $775K.
2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 listed at $799K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 listed at $1.449M.
1 closed sale: Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $787K.
8 new listings: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $699.9K, 1212 Sand Caste Rd 3/2 $749K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2/2 $799K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 $895K, 955 S.Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $895K, 1230 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $1.095M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 $1.15M, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.395M.
11 price changes: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $565K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $597K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $699K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $699K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $795K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 now $799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $999K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.05M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.169M, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 now $1.299M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.432M.
4 new sales: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $550K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $789K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.394M.
3 closed sales: 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $840K, 542 N.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $920K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $1M.
No new listings.
4 price changes: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd now $189.9K, 6411 Pine Ave now $358K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct now $550K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.495M.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5303 3/3 $649K.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
1 new listing: 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.795M.
4 price changes: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $949K, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.125M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.8M, 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $4.9M.
No new or closed sales.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend.
Wishing you wonderful sunny weather, too!
From sunrises to sunsets!
Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan