30 Days Post-Hurricane Ian

SanibelSusan has been back in SW FL since Sunday when I finally moved into a little furnished Fort Myers apartment which will be my temporary abode during renovation of my home and office – thanks to that ugly decorator, Hurricane Ian.
Teammate son David has been working like a dog emptying them after they filled with water – close to the ceiling – and became mold-ridden almost immediately.
Nearly all contents a total loss, though he was able to retrieve our property keys and a few hard-surface belongings. I am finally meeting my flood insurance adjuster tomorrow and have signed with Ron DeCorte with DeCorte Four Custom Homes to repair my home. Dave has removed appliances, furnishings, cabinets, countertops. Contractor wall removals and remediation are next. Exterior had little damage – a few pool screens. Fingers crossed the work gets accomplished sooner rather than later, but I’m sure that’s just a wish.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Our Sanibel Square landlord, Marcel Middendorf who owns The Bean, advises that his insurance adjuster visited the property mid-week. Dave and his brother-in-law will be emptying the rest of our office tomorrow. Respirator masks needed.
Marcel knows we want to continue renting and he has retained the same contractor the City is using to restore the public buildings which are being done quickly. Betcha the office is done before my home.
Several clients have inquired about the 50% rule and asked for appraiser recommendations. I continue to post recaps of the City progress briefings that are on Mon/Wed/Fri nights at 5 p.m. through Facebook Live. Those recaps are posted on both my personal and business Facebook pages.
I am working on tonight’s recap now & it will be posted later on FB. Good updated info on letters that were posted today by the Lee County Property Appraiser regarding home values, i.e. 50% rule. I’ll have instructions on how to find that value on the recaps.
Many of Dave’s island photos and my videos also are posted on Facebook. We haven’t been everywhere as first responders, emergency, debris removal and utility vehicles are everywhere. There is sooo much debris that it will take weeks if not months to remove it all, but little green sprouts already are coming out on vegetation, so life is coming back on the islands. (Photos below of building debris embedded in a tree in front of Sanibel Moorings. Be sure & check out our other pix and videos on FB, you won’t believe some of them. Truly unbelievable in some areas.)
Here are a couple of appraisers clients have used:
Sharon Raimondi, owner of Raimondi Appraisal Services, 239-489-3881, cell 239-691-4415
Julie Valente, Equity Appraisal Group, cell 239-878-9531
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 21-28, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Gulfside Place #205 2/2 $1.295M
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
5 withdrawn from market.
1 back on market: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 $699K
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
4 withdrawn from market.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale asking $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
Summary of Sanibel & Captiva Inventory Available Today from MLS
Location
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Avg Price
#
Avg Price
#
Avg Price
Sanibel
24
1,203,370
25
2,226,000
7
1,476,428
Captiva
8
1,252,125
8
7,177,881
1
15,500,000
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, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Three Weeks Post-Hurricane Ian

Sanibel Lighthouse post Hurricane Ian

My Friday report this week is from aboard the Celebrity Infinity heading back to Ft Lauderdale after a week in the Caribbean. This trip was planned and paid for weeks ago and when I found out that it was not refundable and the Fort Myers apartment, I rented won’t be ready until Sunday, I decided to save paying for another week in a hotel – and just take the cruise.

Have I felt guilty floating about at sea while many are struggling – and while son/teammate David has been toiling every day removing more demolished furnishings/belongings at my home and our office? You bet, but I’m ready for reality when the ship docks in the morning & look forward to settling back closer to Sanibel, and finally getting back on island myself next week.
I have continued to follow the City progress briefings on Facebook Live, now Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays at 5 p.m. – posting recaps on both my personal and business FB pages.
Also be sure to check the City website at http://www.MySanibel.com. The link at the top of the page to Hurricane Ian Info has lots of valuable info.
The progress made on island in just three short weeks is amazing. City leaders/staff continue to work 24/7 coordinating efforts locally, county, state, federal. We owe them huge thanks.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Still no word from our landlord at Sanibel Square, so I’m not sure if the future location of SanibelSusan Realty will remain the same, but since listing & selling real estate, these days can be done from anywhere through electronic media, I have been working several hours every day, keeping up with listing inquiries, helping owners, & fielding questions from prospective sellers.
Below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last week.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 14-21, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages 1 #2-1 2/2.5 $1.15M
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
1 back on market: Pointe Santo #A25 2/2 $1.4M
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
2 back on market: 1835 Farm Trail 3/2 $899K, 1242 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.145M.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new sales or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever! #SanibelStrong
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Scoop on Day 16 Post-Hurricane Ian

Sorry I missed reporting last Friday, though I expect many are following my recaps of the City’s Facebook Live Post-Ian progress report meeting every night. Those are posted on both my business and personal Facebook pages.
To watch those City briefings yourself, either go through www.MySanibel.com or on Facebook at “The City of Sanibel, Florida” page. You do not need to be on Facebook to watch them.
Also, on the City website, there is an orange banner at the top of the page with a link that goes to Hurricane Ian info. On that info page, there is a link to the nightly updates, info on when residents may return over the temporary causeway, the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment Map, structure imagery, & more.

Office Post-Ian

My pool post-Ian

At SanibelSusan Realty
I am still in an East Coast hotel (day 17), doing what I can from afar, while teammate son Realtor David has been making daily trips to the island with his boat (my dock survived). It has been difficult working with the heat, mold, and no utilities. I owe him a debt of gratitude.
Also ground transportation is not easy with the Periwinkle Bridge out. He biked around the first couple of days and then when private operating vehicles could be used, friends lent him their jeep. Now he’s dealing with a nail in one of the tires. He is resourceful though and has taken many photos, helping many clients and friends see the exterior of their property for the first time.
My home and our office both filled with water (~7+’ at home, ~6’ at office) so David slowly has been trying to air them out and lug waterlogged furnishings to the curb. It is a long tedious process.
In pix with red love seat, see the waterline and ugly mold that only took minutes to start forming. My floors are off-while tile, see the sludge. Yuck!.
Office was home to the yellow love seat. It sure took a ride in the surge from our front reception area.
Thankfully, I evacuated with one of our laptops, so between that my iPad and iPhone, I have been able to conduct business anywhere where there is internet/cell service.
I haven’t heard from our landlord at Sanibel Square, but at home, I signed a contract with a general contractor to get my home restored. It likely will take a very long time. In the meantime, I have rented a small furnished apartment in Fort Myers beginning later this month. Hopefully by then that area of SW FL will have restored internet and potable water. Like at Dave and Lisa’s home, they already have power and some cell service.
Meanwhile, on the business front, I have heard from some prospective island buyers, as well as a few owners who think they may part with their property, rather than restore. With all that has occurred over the last two weeks, there has not been much activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The MLS details for the past two weeks, since September 30, are after a couple of info items below.
I know that Sanibel will be back better than ever. It will require patience, kindness, and understanding.
City leaders and staff are doing an amazing job coordinating efforts to open the island again safely and with utilities as soon as possible. They have/are requesting help from many federal, state, and local agencies. Responses have been amazing.
We all are anxious to get back to check our properties and look forward to later this month, when we may cross the causeway again, albeit slowly and carefully. Only island residents, business owners, licensed contractors, and insurance folks may return (all with property hurricane reentry pass/documents). If you are one of those, don’t forget to bring a respirator mask, goggles, boots, and gloves, and be prepared to see what you don’t want to see. #SanibelStrong
Also, if you vote in Florida, don’t forget to do that. I did mine today by absentee ballot.
Rental Resources
Our local district Realtor® Associations has created a website, www.HurricaneHomes.org for those looking for temporary rentals. The is a platform for housing in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island. It provides listings from licensed Realtors® whose properties have been vetted as reliable, safe, and clean.
Please be careful when contacting listings from Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace as they may be fraudulent.
Operation Blue Roof & Other Resources
Operation Blue Roof, call 800-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258) or go to
Florida DEO (Department of Economic Opportunity)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Lee County
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 30 – October 14, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
2 withdrawn from market.
2 back on market: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 $1.325M.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $850K.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new sales or closed sales.
1 back on market: 4636 Rue Royale $825K.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Until next Friday, be well, stay safe, & know that Sanibel will come back better than ever! Every day there is more progress! #SanibelStrong!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Strong Post Hurricane Ian

Sorry for the delay, as you know it was not another quiet sunny week on Sanibel.
Tuesday afternoon, the team and I evacuated to the East Coast where I remain today. Dave and Lisa drove back to their home in Ft Myers yesterday. They have minor damage and a generator so doing OK.
We so appreciate the many friends, family, and colleagues who have contacted us offering support.
Today, I finally heard from some friends who did not evacuate. They were rescued today. Those search and rescue operations are tedious for first responders with some roadway impassable, few working vehicles available on the islands, and waterways, in some cases, impassable. Some islanders have had to walk to the causeway boat ramp where they were boated to safety to a County rescue staging area in Cape Coral.
A Facebook Live meeting was held last night by Sanibel City leaders at Crown Plaza Ft Myers where Sanibel government currently is coordinating many efforts. A big thanks to Mayor Smith, City Manager Souza, Chief Dalton, & Councilors Crater, Henshaw, Johnson, and Miller for that event, and Manager Souza’s Facebook Live update this morning.
They reiterated that checking the island to ensure safety is of prime concern following search/rescue operations. The County is under a 24/7 curfew so no one should be on the roadways other than first responders.
No one is allowed to return to the island. Police presence and National Guard will be on the island ensuring no pirates try to land.  Until City first responders check all roadways and property, giving an all-clear, no one may go back, whether by boat or otherwise.
Another City Facebook Live update is expected to occur tonight, at 6:30 p.m. Watch The City of Sanibel, Florida Facebook page and www.MySanibel.com for info. The videos from the earlier meetings also are posted there. This message just posted by City:
“The City of Sanibel will provide a Facebook live update at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, September 30, 2022, on the City’s response to Hurricane Ian. Click here to watch the live feed.”

At SanibelSusan Realty This Week

I was at the office until noon Tuesday entering Multiple Listing info on a new listing at Sanibel Moorings. We also had a home inspection Monday afternoon, obviously not expecting the storm devastation to be so extensive. On my way home, I also removed all yard signs so we didn’t contribute to future flying/floating debris.
From the NOAA images posted online by the City, we can see our office building still stands though surrounded by water. My home on Anchor Dr looks to also be intact, as do our listings. Sure am thankful I put on a new roof last summer. What the insides of buildings look like remains to be seen. We will be patient.
All Association of Realtors meetings are canceled until further notice. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is posted  below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 23-30, 2022

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1522 2/2 $899.9K (our listing).
No price changes.
1 new sale: Pointe Santo #A25 2/2 listed at $1,4M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 994 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.55M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 9476 Balsa Ct 3/2 listed at $1.135M
No closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
Captiva
CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions
Here’s hoping I have better news to report next week. In the meantime, if you see me quoted by either the New York Times or CNN, the reporters have found SanibelSusan.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Sanibel Fall – or Like Summer With Pumpkins

If you are tired of hearing that it has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel, I won’t say it, though it’s still mostly true. One diversion has been watching the increasing storm activity coming across the Atlantic. My favorite on-line forecaster Mike’s Weather Page at www.SpaghettiModels.com does not have things looking good for Florida next week. Fingers crossed that projections change in the upcoming days.

The City of Sanibel has been sending out warning messages, encouraging checking of disaster supply kits and reconfirming hurricane plans. I have already stocked up both at home and office. Teammate Dave has moved things off the floor in the office and I will pick up our “for sale” signs if it continues to look like the islands will get hit.

At SanibelSusan Realty This Week

We were contacted by another returning owner thinking of selling, will meet with them once they have settled in. Also worked with buyers writing a successful offer on a property they viewed nearly a month ago.

There was no island Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but our listings have had showings.

The sales action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is below..

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Reatlors®

Next Thursday is the Association’s monthly membership breakfast meeting where speakers from the Captiva Erosion Protection Control District will update attendees.

At the Professional Development Meeting this week, we finalized the speaker schedule for the rest of this year. November speaker will be Amira Fox, State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida (covering Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties). December speaker is Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza.

There is no speaker in October since our annual meeting is then (on October 27).

Before that, the Association annual RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) Golf Tournament and Auction are scheduled for October 12 at The Dunes.

SanibelSusan’s donation (lobsters from Maine) usually sells for top dollar. Always happy to support fundraising efforts that protect and promote the real estate.

What Does the Fed Rate Increase Mean?

Below write-up received by email yesterday from Dan Krispinsky, Senior Loan Officer, at Lake Michigan Credit Union, Fort Myers Office. Bet you also enjoy it.

“The Fed increased policy rates by 0.75% at their September meeting and indicated they will continue raising rates until inflation is tamed. But that doesn’t mean mortgage rates will rise at the same pace. Why?

  • Market forces also influence mortgage rates. If inventors shy away from stocks and invest in safer mortgage bonds, for example, rates may come down.
  • If the Fed moves policy rates too far or too quickly, we could see a recession. Historically, that means lower mortgage rates.
  • Mortgage rates had already risen in anticipation of a Fed move. They may settle down now that the Fed has spoken.

“Does this mean you should wait for the possibility of lower rates? Not necessarily. I encourage my clients to consider all the moving pieces – not only in the markets, but also in their lives. If this is the right time for you to buy a home or access cash from equity, then let’s find a way to work withing the framework of the current interest rate environment. After all, rates are still lower than long-term averages, and there are options like hybrid ARMs, buydowns, and HELOCs that can help in this environment.

“Background on the Fed:

  • The Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) controls the federal funds rate and discount rate, which are charges for overnight loans from bank to bank or from the Fed to member banks,
  • The rate was lowered to near zero in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. These historic measures are now being reversed.
  • This is the fifth increase this year.

“Don’t let interest rates hold you back from making a move or accessing cash. I’m happy to help you navigate this market. After all, we’re still closing loans every day!”

Reach Dan at (239) 908-5936 dan.krispinsky@lmcu.org, 7920 Summerlin Lakes Dr, Fort Myers FL 33907

National Public Lands Day at The Refuge

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, across the U.S. is National Public Lands Day, a time to especially enjoy parks, refuges, and other green spaces protected by the federal government. At The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of FREE activities:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wildlife Dr free admission
  • 8:30 a.m. Morning Mindfulness at the Observation Tower on Wildlife Dr (pre-register on Eventbrite)
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided Scavenger Hunt with prizes. Check-in at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. Educational programs at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 12:30 p.m. International Color Blindness Awareness Month colorblind glasses giveaway. (Year-‘round the Refuge serves the color-challenged population with a colorblind scope at the Observation Tower and loaner pairs of colorblind sunglasses at the reception desk.)
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Artist Reception featuring Jacqui Roch at Visitor & Education Center.

Seasonal Events Beginning Again

SanCap Motor Club – will host its first “Coffee & Cars” cruise-in of the new season on Saturday, October 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place Shops (2075 Periwinkle Way). Shop owners and the Club will provide a continental breakfast, donuts, coffee, and other refreshments. Open to the public, no pre-registration required. Also, the Club will hold a dinner on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Membership is $60/person or $75/couple or family. Email Scot Congress for more info at scot@scongress.com.

Farmers Markets – on both islands also begin in October (and go through May). Sanibel Market, on City Hall grounds, next to the Library, is Sundays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. (every Sunday, except Christmas Day when instead it will be open on Monday). Captiva’s market is Tuesdays, at the entrance to South Seas Resort (5400 Plantation Rd), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info about seven other local markets is on www.BuyLocalLee.com  Big thanks to Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura for starting these markets. Time flies and expansion occurs when success abounds! Congratulations, ladies!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 16-23, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captains Walk #C6 1/1 $399K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $869K.

2 new sales: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 listed at $699K, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 listed at $1.325M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #K8 2/2 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $870K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.35M.

3 price changes: 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 now $805K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now $1.599M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/2 now $1.695M.

3 new sales: 749 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $1.179M, 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $1.499M (our sale), 424 East Gulf Dr duplex 4/2 listed at $2.599M.

2 closed sales: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $1.05M, 5690 San-Cap Rd 3/3 $1.65M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $3,990,050.

1 price change: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $4.799M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 $4.5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend! Keep an eye on the weather!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Mid-September & Islands Are Quiet

Here’s another update on another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. Here at the office, we had been noticing periodic slow internet service – which went out completely last Friday when I was trying to send our update.

Internet service can have problems during summer tropical storms, but teammate Dave thought this more serious and got Comcast “on it”. Now we have a new wireless modem plus all new wiring from our unit, under the parking lot, and over the buildings behind us, to the closest central pole. It took several days, but we are happy speedy internet users again.

Speaking of storms, all eyes are on Fiona, but “knock on wood”, 2022 continues to treat SW Florida well.

While out on Captiva this morning, I noticed many construction projects underway – some are huge. As I drove around the “S” curve, I remembered that before Hurricane Charley in 2004, we enjoyed the tunnel of tropical vegetation there – which was destroyed in that storm. A tunnel (of sorts) is back, without the Australian pines that created such havoc.

Out on Santiva, it looks like Castaways Cottages have received new bright cheerful coats of paint. Sunset Grill center also is getting updates. Similarly on Sanibel, all kind of projects are underway or wrapping up as we all look forward to a busy “season” beginning, hopefully, when the first snowbirds arrive in a few weeks. We are ready!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Monday through Wednesday, the Association offered the Continuing Ed classes required for state license renewals. At the biweekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, attendance was light and just two properties were open for viewing. Tomorrow morning (Saturday), Association members are participating in Coastal Clean-Up.

Photo from Seagrape Ln bayside, after class on Monday, 12:48 p.m. 09-12-22

According to the Sanibel & Captiva islands Multiple Listing Service, Sanibel inventory ticked up a little this week with one more condo and four more homes available today, compared to last Friday. (Today, there are 27 condos, 37 homes, and five lots are for sale on Sanibel. Captiva has seven condos, nine homes, and one lot for sale.)

The action this week posted in the local Multiple Listing Service is below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is here.

As mentioned before, most island offers today are on the Florida Realtors® “As Is” Contract which by default has a 15-day inspection/cancellation period. That timeframe often is negotiated. Because of that right to cancel and buyers going under contract before they have seen a property or had inspections, many listings recently have come of the market, quickly gone under contract, and then come back on the market. For example, since last Friday, three homes and a condo that were under contract again are available.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 9 – 15, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Heron #3A 2/2.5 $999K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $879.9K.

1 new sale: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 6054 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/2 $899K, 1986 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $975K.

1 price change: 1018 S Yachtsman 3/3 now $1.245M.

1 new sale:  1242 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.145M.

2 closed sales: 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.095M, 3169 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $1.2M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #803 2/2 $1.275M

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 listed at $3.9M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

An Interesting Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

Another quiet week for us at SanibelSusan Realty, so much so that yesterday Dave and Lisa took another long-deserved day off together. When we are in the office, we are catching up with database updating, reaching out to fence-sitting buyers and sellers, and gearing up for “season”. Inventory still is low. For sale today on Sanibel, just 26 condos, 27 homes, and five lots.
It was five years ago today, when many left the island as Hurricane Irma was looming. It arrived September 10, 2017. Thankfully, we have not seen any serious storms this year, though the heavy rain, thunder, and lightning that passed through the islands several times yesterday, kept the alarms ringing at the community park across the street from our office.
Late-afternoon, I also received repeated City warning announcements of severe thunderstorms. As they say in Florida this time of the year, wait a few minutes for the weather to change. I say, keep an eye on the sky and a good weather app. Yesterday, it was heavy rain on Sanibel, while the night before it was inland. Both events resulted in more than 1000 lightning strikes during very short timeframes.
With water quality always in our minds, particularly after storms, I stopped at the bayside beach on Bailey Rd enroute to the office this morning. Water not sparkling blue, but still clear.
This afternoon, we have been without internet service for hours so that’s why this is a little later than usual today. In fact, It came back on for a few minutes but is off again now, so am winging this from my iPad.
SanibelSusan’s Crystal Ball
So, over the long weekend, I both met and corresponded with more prospective buyers. Since we Realtors© often hear the same objections again and again, here is my 2-cents worth on some. First a little background from my 30 years selling island real estate and maybe a little credit for spending 23 years in marine engineering, management, and contracts before that.
These may be generalities, but most buyers here are NOT looking to purchase somewhere else. They want to be on the island. Maybe it’s the weather, or the laid-back lifestyle, or the taxes, or the school, or the environment, or something else, but they want to be on Sanibel. Most of these buyers also say they do NOT need to buy – or can wait to buy. Most also recognize that the Sanibel/Captiva market has been hot, inventory is down, and prices are up.
Many also say, they are waiting for the market to change because they think it will – for reasons like the economy, war in Ukraine, high interest rates, increases in insurance costs, storms, politics, and more.
What they can’t understand is that I don’t always agree with them. They look at me like I’m a salesman when I say that every island Realtor® worth their salt has a list of buyers just like them, that the difficulty is the amount of inventory and when it is available, not that the property is not worth what sellers are asking. Property values are determined by buyers, based on what they are willing to pay.
Here it is an issue of supply and demand. Sanibel often is a retirement destination which may mean buyers purchase more than one property here before they get their final one. There are few listings motivated by job or family changes. Those that sell to leave the island are often going for health reasons or to enter a retirement community.
Many of today’s prospective sellers would like to take advantage of the “hot market”, but where would they go? For that reason alone, many are sitting tight. Those that are choosing to sell though sometimes get the luxury of doing things on their own timeline and choosing from a variety of good offers.
What does a seller consider a good offer? That varies with their motivation, but in most cases, it is a cash full-price with strong deposit(s), no seller warranty or repairs, and closing at a time of seller choice.
What else happened here with real estate, from the pandemic, is that island owners who previously spent only short times on-island, now are here much longer, or moving here permanently, or working from here, or no longer renting their property. Real estate availability has been reduced.
Unfortunately, for prospective buyers, this market boom usually means the best deals are grabbed up quickly. Despite some media claiming otherwise, existing properties for sale and priced appropriately still are moving at a remarkably fast pace in many areas. According to statistics collected by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the average house in the U.S. is selling in just 14 days. To put that into perspective, U.S. homes took an average of 96 days to sell back in 2011.
It is true that Florida home prices are up over 30% over last year. Despite escalating mortgage rates and slumping home sales in the second quarter of 2022, a greater number of U.S. markets experienced double-digit annual price gains compared to the prior quarter, according to NAR. Eighty percent of the 185 tracked metro areas posted double-digit price gains, up from 70% in the 1st quarter of the year.
Nationally, the median single-family existing-home price eclipsed $400K for the first time, rising 14.2% from one year. Year-over-year price appreciation eased slightly compared to the previous quarter. Are there homes on the islands priced this low? No. As I had to tell recent prospects wanting to spend no more than $750K, the lowest-priced home on the island today is one that is inland for $815K. I’ll watch for some priced lower, but who knows when that will be.
Many real estate gurus predict that Florida will stay hot through the year. I bet it stays hot through winter too.  Will high interest rates affect the number of sales? Sure, just not much here, where few buyers make offers with mortgage contingencies. What I see those higher interest rates may do is slow price growth. (The key word here is “growth”, prices are not trending down.)
For years, the supply of new homes in Florida has trailed behind population growth. On the island, new homes are almost impossible to find. Adding the post-pandemic migration to Florida resulted in an enormous gap in supply and demand – which continues to drive prices up.
Many who follow the market also think that through the remainder of this year and into 2023, housing demand will be all about the Gulf Coast of Florida. As the popularity of working remotely grows, people are expected to continue to move from major cities to slower-paced lifestyles. That’s here!
Those selling in Florida this year will probably make a nice profit. They may not get multiple offers, but they should have choices.
Meanwhile, those island buyers sitting on the sidelines thinking the market here is going to crash, better think again. I bet prices will continue to go up – perhaps more modestly – until the day (if ever) that the islands become less desirable. That probably would take a catastrophic event.
Buy now, tomorrow is not promised. That is one lesson learned from the pandemic.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
No caravan meeting this week at the local Association of Realtors©, but there was still a little action posted in the Multiple Listing Service. See that below, after a couple of news items.
Next week, the Association is offering the classwork required every two years for Realtor© license renewals. I will be in class Monday morning and all-day Tuesday to finish up the continuing education required for my renewal in March. (It’s true, “old dogs can learn new tricks.”) I look forward to seeing long-time instructor pals, Chuck Bonamer from Venice who is teaching Bias Override and Pat Pitocchi from Naples who will teach both Code of Ethics and Core Law. (Tough to keep those subjects interesting, but I know these two will do it.)
SanibelSusan teammates Dave and Lisa have already completed their classwork and renewed their licenses for two more years.
September Restaurant Closures
Update below on when some restaurants are closed this month. Best September advice is to give them a call before going. Some are experiencing delays in reopening.
·        400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
·        CIP’s – In Sept, closed for lunch CLOSED & CLOSED all day Tuesdays, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
·        Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30, reopens 10/1
·        Island Pizza – 9/6-19, reopens 9/20
·        Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow
·        Mad Hatter – 9/5-30, reopens 10/1
·        Over Easy Café – 9/12-22, reopens 9/23
·        Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20, reopens 9/21
·        Rosie’s Café & Grill – 9/5-12, reopens 9/13
·        Schnapper’s Hots – 9/6-15, reopens 9/16
·        Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19, reopens 9/20
·        The Fig – 9/11-13
·        Trader’s – 9/18-10/2, reopens 10/3
·        Traditions – 9/4-26, reopens 9/27
·        Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13, reopens 9/14
Bankrate’s Best State for Retirement in 2022? Florida
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Nexstar Broadcasting:
“In a study heavily weighted for affordability, Fla. “unsurprisingly took the top spot,” while Alaska, despite its affordability, came in last.
“MIAMI, Fla. – Whether it’s kicking back on the porch reading the newspaper, enjoying the outdoors or just being closer to the grandkids, post-career goals vary for people. But all states are not the same when it comes to retirement, a recent study from Bankrate found.
“Bankrate conducted a study to find the best and worst states for retirement in 2022. “For this study, Bankrate looked at five broad categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. We placed the heaviest weighting on affordability,” according to the study, whose authors acknowledged that some things, such as proximity to loved ones or personal dislike of the cold, were just too subjective to measure.
“The Southeast dominated the top two spots followed by some Midwest states and others across the U.S. Florida, well known for its warm weather, abundant golf and retirement communities such as The Villages, unsurprisingly took the top spot.
“Let’s check out the best and worst states:
“Alaska was relegated to the last spot because of its poor scores for weather, crime and affordability. If avoiding taxes is your top goal, however, you may still want to consider Alaska, which beat out all other states in that category.
“As for overall affordability, Michigan is your destination. Despite the frigid winters, The Great Lakes State broke the overall top five for 2022 thanks in large part to its cost of living.
“Also in the top five were Georgia, for its mostly pleasant weather (outside of hurricane season) and affordability; Ohio for its affordability and lack of bad scores in other metrics; and Missouri, also for affordability and weather.
“If it’s still too hard to pick, consider the advice of Laura Kovacs, former director of education at the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in Arizona who recently retired herself: “Go to a variety of different places that you seem to be attracted to – places that have a lower cost of living and lower property taxes – and test them out for a while. If you’re interested in Florida or Arizona or California, stay there for a while and see if you like the climate at the time of year you’re going to be living there.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2 – 9, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Tiqua Cay #487 3/3.5 $3.4M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 listed at $685K.
2 closed sales: Sundial #G306 1/1 $845K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 683 Emeril Ct 2/2 now $1.049M.
1 new sale: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 listed at $2.339M.
1 closed sale: 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $755K.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 now $519K.
No new or closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 $3.9M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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Labor Day Weekend 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

As we look forward to a holiday weekend, islanders continue to “knock on wood” that this has been the quietest hurricane season in decades. Island weather has been nice again this week too, though the lightning storm surrounding midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was another humdinger. More daytime temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s expected for the foreseeable future, again with a good chance of rain sometime during each 24-hour period.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave got another big postcard mailing out Wednesday. It featured our three east-end listings. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below also highlights them.

The next few months usually are busy with island real estate, mostly sellers thinking of taking advantage of the market and buyers wanting a property to benefit from themselves this winter – whether it be for personal use or income.

Below is an update of island residential inventory today (data from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS September 2, 2022):

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 25 1,250,080 66 30 2,225,633 61 6 1,702,000 90
Under contract 8 1,211,362 31 14 1,499,000 38 2 247,500 47
Sold to-date 2022 113 1,137,190 43 148 1,672,436 57 23 686,641 244
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 6 1,433,666 111 8 7,085,345 127  1 15,500,000 160
Under contract 0 N/A N/A 1 4,995,000 197  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 28 1,458,963 52 21 5,690,500 130  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors©, many donations of goods plus a $500 check were presented to Jennifer Benton, CEO of ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Inc.), the private non-profit in Fort Myers that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Always looking for volunteers and contributions, you also can support ACT through their thrift store (Second ACT which is on U.S. 41 at 12519 South Cleveland Ave), their gallery and boutique (at 2265 First St in the Fort Myers River District), and their annual benefit Gala/Art Auction (this year on October 29). More info at www.ACTAbuse.com

After the meeting, three newly-listed homes open for viewing – an indication that inventory is increasing albeit slowly and that new listings are no longer selling immediately – though one of those properties hit the MLS for the first time the day before and the listing agent reported that it already had nine showings. (It is a very large near-beach like-new well-furnished pool home.)

Beach Bucket Success

Posted in SCCF’s August 31 update, “Coastal Watch is happy to announce that the buckets at the beach bucket stations are being used! Several volunteers have been monitoring and reporting the usage of the buckets over the past two months at the three bucket stations – Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Rd Access, and Bowman’s Beach. We are thrilled to see the community and visitors taking advantage of this program and helping Coastal Watch keep our beautiful beaches clean! More volunteers are needed to help monitor the stations. If interested, please email CoastalWatch@sccf.org.”

September Closures & Happenings

Restaurants – Traditionally, September is the slowest month of the year on the islands. Social media has been overloaded with questions about what restaurants are closed – and when. Many with maintenance projects and improvements planned are dealing with construction and material delays. So best advice is to call the restaurant before you go to be sure they are open. Below is the list from the Chamber of Commerce website showing 2022 off-season restaurant closures:

  • 400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
  • Blue Giraffe 2 – 9/4-19
  • CIP’s – (Today on Facebook, their page says September hours: Lunch CLOSED; also CLOSED all day Tuesdays, CLOSED Labor Day Monday, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20
  • Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30
  • Island Pizza – 9/6-19
  • Lighthouse Café – 9/5-9
  • Over Easy Café – 9/12-22
  • Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19
  • The Fig – 9/11-13
  • Trader’s – 9/18-10/2
  • Traditions – 9/4-27
  • Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13.

CROW Visitor Center – Closed September 5 to 9 for Labor Day and fall cleaning. Call to schedule Wildlife Walk Guided Hospital Tours for the week of September 12.

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest – Beginning September 16 and running for ten days, this Southwest Florida festival features performances by singers-songwriters from Nashville and beyond. The first weekend is on Captiva (Sep 16-18), then downtown Fort Myers during the week (Sep 19-22), followed by weekend on Fort Myers Beach (Sep 23-25).  Get the full line-up of performers at www.island-hopperfest.visitfortmyers.com.

International Coastal Clean-Up Day – is Saturday September 17. Several island organizations including the local Association of Realtors©, CROW, and SCCF’s Coastal Watch are participating. For more info or to sign up through SCCF, visit www.Bit.ly/sccf-cleanup-2022 For off-island locations, go to www.KLCB.org/events/coastal-cleanup

SCCF Watch Party – This fundraising event supporting the Foundation’s community-based marine conservation and volunteer program, Coastal Watch, is September 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Sanibel Sea School (455 Periwinkle Way). It includes live music from Uproot Hootenanny, shrimp boil, other good eats, craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, casting competition, 50/50, and more fun ways to give. Tickets available at www.CoastalWatchParty.eventbrite.com.

Plan Ahead for “Taste of The Islands”

CROW’S oldest running fundraiser is evolving again. This year it will be a Sanibel-Captiva restaurant week, scheduled for November 12-19. Restaurants still will feature a “Taste” for judging and panels of judges will do tasting on each Saturday. More details to come in October.

More Insurance News

Posted yesterday, September 1, 2022, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to The News Service of Florida:

“State-Owned Citizens Insurance May Raise $700K Cap

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With homeowners struggling to find coverage, insurance regulators are looking at the possibility of lifting a $700,000 cap on policies sold by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens is barred by law from providing what is known as a “replacement cost” coverage of more than $700,000 for homes, except in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where the limit is $1 million.

“But as Florida’s property-insurance market has crumbled and home values have soared, many homeowners have been dropped by private insurers and cannot qualify for Citizens coverage because of the $700,000 cap.

During a Citizens committee meeting Wednesday, Susanne Murphy, a deputy commissioner at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR), said that regulators are analyzing whether they could increase the $700,000 cap in at least some counties.

“State law would allow such a move if regulators determine that “there is not a reasonable degree of competition” in those counties. That finding in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties opened the door for an increase to a $1 million coverage limit. “Whether there’s enough data to support that finding is what we’re trying to determine,” Murphy told members of the Citizens Market Accountability Advisory Committee. “The last time we did this (with Miami-Dade and Monroe), it was pretty clear … and I think that the data that we’ve looked at thus far is not as clear as it was years ago.”

“Committee member Lee Gorodetsky, a South Florida insurance agent, said “clients can’t even squeeze into Citizens insurance, even though they want to or need to.” That has resulted, for example, in homeowners having to turn to what is known as surplus-lines coverage, which is largely unregulated and can include more conditions on policies.

“Murphy, a member of the Citizens committee, said it will probably take another month before regulators decide on whether to lift the cap. The discussion about the cap is more fallout from the troubled private insurance market, as carriers have shed policies and sought large rate increases to try to curb financial losses. Since February, five insurers have been deemed insolvent and placed into receivership.

“Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has been flooded with policies during the past two years. As of Friday, it had about 1.02 million policies. By comparison, it had 499,056 policies on Aug. 31, 2020, and 687,079 policies on Aug. 31, 2021, according to data posted on its website.

“The coverage cap also is tangled in longstanding efforts by state leaders to have homes insured in the private market, rather than by Citizens. Those efforts, in part, stem from concerns about financial risks if the state is hit by a major hurricane or multiple hurricanes.

“Citizens policies had a $2 million coverage cap until 2013 when lawmakers passed a measure to gradually reduce it, with the $700,000 limit in place since 2017. Murphy said increasing the $1 million cap in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties – and potentially other counties – would require the Legislature to change state law. Home values vary in different parts of the state, and most do not exceed $700,000. But the cap issue has drawn particular attention in high-value areas such as Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“As an example, the metropolitan statistical area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach had a median sales price for existing single-family homes of $595,000 in July, according to the industry group Florida Realtors. In the area that includes Naples, Immokalee and Marco Island, the median sales price was $748,270.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 26-Sep 2, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or sales.

2 price changes: Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 now $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $1.345M.

2 closed sales: Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $885K, Pointe Santo #D44 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $2.239M.

1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.895M.

5 new sales: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $849K (stats), 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $899K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $1.15M (stats), 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $1.279M.

3 closed sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $769K, 1012/14 E Gulf Dr 4/2 $960K, 5802 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 $1.125M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4636 Rue Royale $825K, 1729 Jewel Box Dr $1.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1994 Wild Lime listed at $350K.

1 closed sale: 1321 Seaspray Ln $950K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $4.995M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping you enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Clear Water, Smiling Dolphins, & Florida Real Estate News

It’s another sunny Florida Friday. The summer showers this week have been mostly late day and inland. More similar “chance of rain” days are forecast through next week – a good reminder for beach and boating lovers to make their outdoor plans for mornings.

Teammate Dave (and his first mate teammate Lisa) had his boat out this week, reporting smooth sailing and clear waters up into Charlotte Harbor. The below picture was taken by one of his pals in Redfish Pass where the dolphins are actively soliciting hand-outs. Though this smiling guy is cute, please don’t feed the wildlife.

Photo by Britt Maxwell, 8-23-22, Redfish Pass

At SanibelSusan Realty

The action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is posted after a couple of news items below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is included.

Association of Realtors®

There was no Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors© caravan meeting this week at it was the 2022 Florida Realtors® Convention in Orlando. The schedule for that annual event has changed since the pandemic with many of the leadership meetings by Zoom last week. This week (Wednesday through tomorrow) is the actual convention with trade show, educational sessions, and meetings, followed to the Board of Directors meeting Sunday morning. I zoomed several sessions and events, but sure missed networking in person with committee pals.

This morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at the Realtor Party Town Hall with a political update and look ahead to the midterm election this fall. Of course, I also tuned In to that.

In addition to describing the state of the state, emphasizing the Hometown Heroes Program and other state benefits to first responders, teachers, nurses, etc., he mentioned the unprecedented resident migration into Florida. Most newcomers are from New York, California, and Illinois, while he also said the migration here is four times the number that recently moved to Texas. Two years in a row now, the wealth moving into Florida is setting records. In fact, money-wise, the Governor said that Florida just reported its largest ever budget surplus.

Of particular interest to those along the Gulf Coast where water quality is so important, are the Florida monies allocated and improvements made toward Everglades restoration ($3.3 billion, which is more than two times what was spent in the four years before Desantis).

It also was interesting to hear Desantis say that no Florida state university has raised tuition during his four years, with the University of Florida now also being rated the #5 college in the nation.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke after the Governor saying that Florida is rated #1 for its fiscal condition, but he also mentioned insurance problems. He said that while 7% of insurance claims come from Florida, so does 70% of litigation. Insurance reform remains a top priority.

Lee County 2022 TRIM Notices

The TRIM Notice for my Sanibel home arrived in Saturday’s mail. It was a bit of a surprise to see the assessed value was up 53%. I am gladly homesteaded which also means I receive the “Save Our Homes” benefit which limits property value increases for tax purposes to 3% annually and offers portability. So, thankfully, even worst case, my 2022 property taxes will only go up a few dollars.

These TRIM (or Truth in Millage) notices inform property owners of what the millage rates are proposed to be from the various entities that tax them, what the assessed value of the property is, its taxable value, and what they will owe in ad valorem and other taxes for the year will be, should the tax rates be approved at upcoming public hearings.

Assessed values are based on sales the previous year, or before January 1 this year. Property owners have 25 days after their notice is received to file an appeal.

To file for a homestead exemption, owners must reside in the property January 1 that year, and file for the exemption before March 1. (They are renewed automatically each year.)

Without this exemption, value increases are limited to 10% annually. More info and filing on-line available at www.LeePA.org.

Special Rental & Tour Discounts for Residents

Tarpon Bay Explorers is offering a September discount for locals. For the month, they are extending a 25% discount on all rentals and guided tours for residents of Lee, Charlotte, and Collier counties. This is a great opportunity for residents to enjoy “Ding Darling” during the “quiet” season. Kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and bike rentals are available first-come between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fishing kayaks and pontoon rentals need a reservation, as do cruise, paddling, and tram tours. Call 239-472-8900 or visit www.TarponBayExplorers.com for more info, reservations, pricing.

South Seas Plantation Scoop

The rumor mill has been having a heyday about upcoming changes at Captiva’s South Seas Plantation. Luckily our colleagues who work there are happy to share info. Here are a few improvements in the works there.

  • The old employee housing buildings are essentially demolished with cleanup and grading finishing up.
  • The golf course will close September 6 to begin its renovation. Completion not expected until mid-summer 2023.
  • Front-office arrival desk will be moving to the conference center just outside the resort near Doc Ford’s.
  • Current front-desk arrival area being converted to a water feature to include lazy river, adult pool, kiddie splash zones, and food-beverage option. Design expected to be done later this year with start date of 3rd quarter 2023.
  • Replacement of T-dock schedule delayed with target now early 2023.
  • Starbucks will be doubling in size with renovations to begin later this year, or early 2023.

Appliances to Upgrade Before Selling

From “Florida Realtor®” magazine September 2022:

“50% of homeowners surveyed said they would upgrade their current appliances before selling to increase their home’s value. Homeowners believe that replacing their appliances would increase the value of their homes by nearly $14K. The top 6 are:

  • Air conditioner
  • Dishwasher
  • Water heater
  • Oven
  • Washing machine
  • Refrigerator.”

Bailey Tract Trail Closed Next Week

More summer projects and pre-season maintenance announced this week, when it was posted that the Bailey Tract will be closed Monday through Friday (August 29 through September 2) for maintenance work and mowing.

Lower 2022 Home Sales Projection

Posted Wednesday, August 25, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to Inman (8/22/22): “Fannie Mae expects a 16.2% drop in home sales year-to-year in 2022; one month earlier it predicted 15.6%, but “housing remains clearly on the downtrend.”

“WASHINGTON – According to the latest projections from Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, home sales are expected to total 5.78 million this year, down 16.2% from a year ago. In July, one month earlier, Fannie Mae forecast a 15.6% decline.

““Housing remains clearly on the downtrend – and has been for several months now – due to the combined effects of outsized home price increases and the significant and rapid run-up in mortgage rates,” says Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “Despite a pullback in mortgage rates over the past month, recent incoming data point to a faster near-term slowdown in sales than we had expected, especially for new homes.”

“New-home sales are now projected to fall 18% to 632,000 this year, and existing-home sales are expected to drop 16% to 5.143 million. Fannie Mae forecasters said existing-home sales in June “were somewhat stronger than we had anticipated,” but “recent leading indicators of July home sales, such as pending sales and mortgage applications, point to a continued slow down.”

“Meanwhile, pending sales, which lead closings by approximately 30 to 45 days on average, fell 8.6% from May to June, though by a much smaller 1% in July. However, Fannie Mae economists also believe mortgage rates have peaked and will trend downward into next year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 $685K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 listed at $620K, Spanish Cay #E4 2/2 listed at $649K, Sanibel Arms West #K8 2/2 listed at $889K, Sanibel Moorings #1112 2/2 listed at $1.325M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 $820K, Somerset #D101 3/2.5 $2.1M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 $999K, 1345 Junonia St 2/2 $1.2M, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $1.55M, 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $1.795M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

6 closed sales: 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 $900K, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.65M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.925M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 $1.95M, 4640 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $2.55M, 885 Limpet Dr 4/3 $3.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Island Scoop as Summertime Wraps Up on Sunny Sanibel

Wrapping up another quiet week on sunny Sanibel without the Saharan dust and where the summer breezes pushed east so there were very few showers, except inland. It really has been a nice summer so far – though we continue to watch the tropics and waves coming off Africa.

A favorite photo from 2011 by Jim Anderson, JMA Photographer

At SanibelSusan Realty

This week, our listings had more showings, but overall real estate activity has been slow as shown in the Multiple Listing Service action which is after a couple of news items below.

Demand for real estate here remains high but compared to the action six-plus months ago when properties were selling quickly, often for full price or higher, that no longer is the norm. Buyers are more cautious. Market is shifting.

Teammate Dave and I also received more calls from owners thinking of selling. Most don’t want to give up their property yet or don’t have a replacement to use this winter, so probably will revisit the idea when they come next. Our crystal ball doesn’t extend too far, but you can be sure we closely watch inventory and sales.

Buyers sitting on the fence thinking more choices at lower prices will be available soon, could be disappointed. As we tell prospective purchasers, if you see something you like, buy it. Who knows what will become available next and when. There is no time like the present to enjoy owning on the islands which also is why we understand those not wanting to sell soon, even if they could get a great price.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Professional Development Committee – The Association’s Professional Development Committee met Tuesday. Due to speaker commitments, some schedules were swapped for the rest of the 2022 Monthly Membership Breakfast Meetings. Details on the August meeting, which was yesterday, are below.

An update of other classes and educational events planned through the year also were discussed. SanibelSusan will participate in the upcoming Bias Override, Code of Ethics, and Core Law classes which are September 12 and 13. She also will proctor the next new member orientation on September 20.

August Membership Meeting – It was almost a full house at the monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, August 18, 2022. Sponsored by Rapid Response Team (affiliate Melanie Holliday), speakers were three affiliate members (John Treblicock Esq. with Goede, DeBoest & Cross; Cameron Govreau with Heidrick & Company; and Brian Chapman with Chapman Insurance Group). As a panel they covered how recently enacted Florida Senate Bill 4-D (Building Safety) affects condominiums.

There were few announcements during the Caravan section of the meeting and just one property was open for viewing, a condo that is “back on the market”, after being listed in May and under contract in July.

Below are some take-aways from the panel discussion on Florida condo changes.

Photo by Melanie Holliday (Rapid Response Team)

Florida Condos – Building Safety – Those complexes affected by the new bill are those with one or more buildings that are three or more stories high. Such buildings located within three miles of coastline require a milestone inspection 25 years from the certificate of occupancy (C.O.). (For those further away, the inspection is required within 30 years from C.O.)

After this milestone inspection, they will be required to have the same inspection performed at least once every ten years thereafter. The inspections must be conducted by a licensed architect or building engineer and include load-bearing walls, primary structural members, systems, and the resulting report must attest to the life safety and adequacy of the structural components of the building.

If a building C.O. was issued on or before July 1, 1992 (which includes most of those on the islands), the initial milestone inspection must be performed before December 31, 2024.

Additionally, a study of the reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacement of the common areas also must be completed by this same date and then updated at least every ten years. Study components shall cover roof, load-bearing walls or other primary structural members, floor, foundation, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing and exterior painting, windows, and any other item that has a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost that exceeds $10K.

What does all this mean to today’s condo owners? As John said at the beginning of his talk “The era of subsidized condo living is Florida is over.”

For example, no longer will these associations be able to waive their reserves (including for replacement of windows that some have pushed off onto individual owners). It is expected that many associations will have to pony up to get adequate reserve monies in place.

All of this is to improve the safety of condo living but makes it more important than ever for owners and potential owners to thoroughly review the association financial posture and stability. As a new bill, there may be clarification in the next legislative session. With politics involved there likely will be changes. Stay tuned.

Home Prices Still Soaring in Undervalued Cities

Posted Monday, August 15, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com.

“Increases in Miami (up 36.2%) and Honolulu (up 23.5%) reflect remote work trends, but 8 cities with “top 10” price increases are ones with still-affordable housing.

“NEW YORK – Some suggest that the hot housing market is slowing down as mortgage rates rise and inventories increase, but the reality is that the demand for houses still outpaces supply, according to experts. There’s a change – and overall demand may have fallen – but there are still more buyers than sellers.

“There are signs, however, that home prices will begin to plateau or slow, as sellers reduce their expectations and sellers look for deals.

““There are several indicators that the national housing market is rebalancing in a more buyer-friendly direction,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, but “in these top 10 markets with the biggest price growth, we’re generally seeing signs that the rebalancing seen elsewhere has not progressed as far.”

“The top 10 cities where house prices continue to rise are:

  • Miami, with year-over-year price growth of 36.2% in July
  • Memphis, Tennessee (32.7%)
  • Omaha, Nebraska (31.3%)
  • Wichita, Kansas (25.2%)
  • Greensboro, North Carolina (25.1%)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (23.5%); Grand Rapids, Michigan (23.2%)
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin (23.1%)
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma (22.8%)
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (22.3%)

““Eight of these 10 markets have median home list price well below the U.S. average,” Hale says. “The two exceptions, Miami and Honolulu, are warm-weather spots benefiting from ongoing remote work trends and the resumption of domestic and global travel.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 12-19, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 $620K, Sundial C209 1/1 $799K, Sanibel Moorings #1112 2/2 $1.325M, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 $1.35M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 $1.395M, Kinzie Island #A 4/4.5 $4.495M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed at $899K, Sundial #G206 1/1 listed at $945K, Somerset #D101 3/2.5 listed at $2.499M, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 listed at $3.495M.

2 closed sales: Sundial N301 3/2 $1.23M, Sundial H406 2/2 $1.3145M.

HOMES

2 new listings:  1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $1.149M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

1 closed sale: 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.58M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. Also here’s a pix like the kitten that walked up my front walk at home as I was heading out this week. As I ran to get my phone to take its picture, thinking it was a neighbors pet that escaped, out from behind a bush came its mama. They are bobcats. Gotta love living in paradise!