No Snow Here, But This Egret Sure is White!


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island roadways are getting busier. With 2018 off, it sure is great to again see activity pick up in October. In the summer, I often make a quick trip home during the noon lunch hour. That 2.9-mile trip up Periwinkle, in the off-season, usually takes about seven minutes. By yesterday, that time had expanded to 15 minutes. But, that’s OK, businesses need those returning owners and visitors.

Island friends, Ed and Ellie stopped in this week to say “hello” and Ellie shared the below photo she took at the Sanibel fishing pier. I told her this beauty will be the star of this week’s blog! It’s a beautiful great white egret (I think), not a snowy egret. Those are smaller and have the opposite coloring – still bright white, but black beak and yellow feet. Great white herons are similar too. Also large and their coloring is like the great white egret, but they have large heavy bills. If I guessed wrong, I bet a birder will set me straight!

2019-10 Ellie's bird

It still feels like summer! Weather this week cooled down to the high 80’s (degrees F) during the days, low 70’s at night – mostly sunny with occasional showers inland off-island. We need rain, so on Saturday the Army Corps of Engineers initiated minimum water flows from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee estuary. During certain times of the year, scientists say water releases like this are necessary to maintain a health estuary. The releases were expected to continue until tomorrow.

With the news reporting big weather changes elsewhere – huge temperature drops, plus snow and ice storms. That should make Sanibel & Captiva even more appealing.

Teammate Elise advises that the Lee County Schools first quarter ends today – that was fast. Local kiddos also get a full week off for Thanksgiving vacation this year, usually they just get a few days.

We did not have a local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week. Next Thursday is our annual meeting. After a few news items below, check out the action since last Friday reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that in comparison to last week, there was not much. We hope that changes with the holiday weekend and that you enjoy your weekend too!

Vice President Pence to Visit Sanibel Again This WeekendVice Presidents Logo

Once again, the island is a twitter with the news that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to make another trip to Southwest Florida this weekend. A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) has been issued for VIP movement at Southwest Florida Regional Airport and southern Sanibel Island from Thursday at 11:45 p.m. through Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

During that time, the airspace around Sanibel has been designated as “national defense airspace,” which is common when the president or vice-president visits an area. The Sanibel Causeway and other roads are expected to close at times during the high-profile visit, but please know that it is not much of a disruption. He stays at a client’s home here that is off the beaten path so unless you happen to be on Periwinkle or the Causeway when he is on the move, you probably won’t even know that he is in town.

Process for Registering Sanibel Short-Term Rentals

Sanibelcityseal logoRecently, Sanibel City Council approved establishing a registration process for island short-term rentals. Council supports an ordinance to create registration of dwelling rentals and rental licenses. The purpose of the process is to regulate and ensure compliance of non-resort housing and platform vacation rentals like Airbnb and to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods. (It is basically a record and licensure process to ensure that rules already in place are followed. Sanibel Code says that compliant resort dwellings have no rental time or frequency limit, while non-resort dwellings must be rented for four consecutive weeks or more.) More on this in the weeks to come.

Events & ReOpenings

“Season” begins with lots of annual happenings:

Sanibel shellsSanibel-Captiva Shell Club – Though the Shell Museum remains closed while the new Aquarium construction completes, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club’s first meeting of the season is this Sunday, October 13 at the Sanibel Community House beginning at 2 p.m.

historical village logoSanibel Historical Village – reopens Tues, October 15 and will be open Tues-Sat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Season highlights include several Twilight Talks and their annual gala fundraiser February 18 at The Community House. The talks are at noon on the 1st Mondays, December through March. New museum volunteers are always needed. Training begins November 4. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Tower gallery13th Annual Tower Gallery Attic Sale– Fri & Sat, October 18 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.towergallery.net

 

4th Annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Fest – Sun, November 3 from noon to 7 p.m. in the backyard of Bailey’s Center sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Annual fundraiser for the club’s charities, including scholarships and summer youth programs at the Sanibel Rec Center. sanibel Jazz festival pixPerformances by islander Johnny Jensen at 1 p.m., the local Marty Stokes Band at 2 p.m., Sean Chambers featured on the U.S. Billboard Blues Album Chart at 3:30 p.m., & British Blues Hall of Famer Matt Schofield at 5 p.m. A jam session featuring all of the performers ends the event. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, & George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille.

Hobie cat race 2019.pngSouth Seas Hosting World Championship Hobie Class Races – from Nov 1-16. This is the 1st time since 1984, that these races are being held in the U.S. and the 1st time in SW Florida. According to race organizers, the Hobie 16 World Championships is the only sailboat class in the world to supply brand new identical boats for all competitors to race. The course will be just off Sunset Beach, at the north end of Captiva. Sailboat racing fans may enter the resort entry gate and proceed to hotel registration where $5 per vehicle will be collected, parking pass issued, and wristbands provided for each spectator. Tickets also are available for special events (www.hobieclass.com).

crow-logo2019 Taste of The Islands – Sun, November 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park with CROW’s animal ambassadors and silent auction in The Community House. The participating restaurants were announced this week including The Bubble Room, The clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, The Jac Island Bar & Grille, Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen, MudBugs Cajun Kitchen, Rosie’s Café & Grill, Sanddollar Restaurant, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse, T2 (Traders 2), Thistle Lodge, and The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.

coastal keepers loglCoastal Watch 3rd Annual Fundraiser, The Launch – Sat, November 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Community House, in support of local conservation initiatives.

UCF Economist: Recession No Threat to Florida

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted on-line this week at Florida Realtors®.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, expects Florida’s economy to grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next three years.

His third-quarter economic forecast indicates that the state’s “powerful” economy will produce a higher percentage of jobs than the nation and attract more job seekers from other states through 2022. Snaith predicts that much of the job growth will come from the professional/business services, education/health care services, and construction sectors.

““Florida’s economy continues to hit on all cylinders, and there are no economic storm clouds on the horizon,” he says. “Our biggest challenge over the upcoming years will revolve around how best to manage and facilitate economic growth.” In addition, Snaith says the fundamentals of the state’s housing market remain “solid,” and economic and job growth and the influx of retiring baby boomers should continue to support the upward trend on sales.

““Low inventories of existing homes for sale and lagging housing starts growth contribute to an environment where home prices continue to rise,” Snaith adds. “The shortage in the single-family market will be rectified as the pace of single-family housing starts to ramp up over the next several years. Single-family housing starts in 2022 are expected to increase by 79.7% from 2014 levels.””

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (10/03/19) Hielscher, John

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 4 – 11, 2019

Sanibel realtors logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #2C 2/2 $609K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $727.5K, Sundial #J208 2/2 $769K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $629K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.35M.

5 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $504.9K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now 645K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $825K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $889K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M.

3 new sales: 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed at $695,555; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1837 Buckthorn now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.549M.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $419K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $429K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 $2.9M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $1.699M.

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.

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a fun holiday!

SanibelSusan Realty will be open so you won’t need Columbus. We can help you find what you want!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Things are Hoppin’ On Sunny Sanibel


Susan here, reporting a record-breaking weekend followed by a busy week at SanibelSusan Realty. Before those details, here are a few photos taken after I left the office last night. With no rain for several days, water and waterways surrounding the island are clear. These pictures in order include:

  • Tarpon Bay taken from next to SCCF’s Marine Lab and Tarpon Bay Explorers
  • Turner Beach looking toward the bridge to Sanibel and to the gulf
  • Roosevelt Channel to Pine Island Sound, taken from behind the Green Flash restaurant.

Tarpon Bay Explorers 10-03-19

Turner Beach 10-03-19

Turner Beach again 10-03-19

Green flash to channel 10-03-19

A combination of circumstances kept the SanibelSusan Team hoppin’ with three new sales, including the two properties we just listed last week. Sometimes when a new listing hits Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are buyers waiting for a property like that. Often their Realtor also is watching new inventory for them.

There usually is a jump in interest too whenever an asking price is reduced under the next $100K mark. With most internet search engines having drop-down menus in those increments, once a price is reduced, the listing gets noticed by prospective buyers who may have not considered the property before because the price was out of their budget range.

Sellers sometimes think that their first offer is too soon. But, even in multiple offer situations, it usually makes sense to see the first offer through to the end. Statistics show that the 1st offer often is the best offer. It also is important to recognize that sometimes there are terms as important as the price, like when the closing will occur, how serious the deposit is, Seller repair requirements, and what “outs” the contract has for the Buyer.

Getting a buyer to sign on the dotted line and negotiating the sale are just the first steps in getting a property sold. Working through contract contingencies often may be more challenging. Those may be things like the inspection/cancellation period in the “as is” contract. During that window, a buyer may view the property for the first time, have inspections, do due diligence on costs (like insurance, utilities, repairs), investigate making changes to the property (like adding a pool), or even change their mind.

The team tracks post-contract action items to ensure that they are successfully completed on time – things like escrow deposits, financing applications, applications to homeowners and condo associations, estoppel letter payments, appraisals, loan commitments, utility and service provider changes, etc.

The last seven days also brought us an unexpected and unusual number of hiccups with properties already under contract. I don’t know if that is what makes this business fun, but it certainly makes it interesting – ever changing – and reminds us that flexibility can be as crucial as follow-through.

The action posted since last Friday in the islands’ MLS is posted after a few news items below. We sure hope that this spurt of activity for us is an indication of what “season” will be like this year, but honestly, I think we just got lucky – and we are very thankful for it.

Sanibel’s Tax Rate Adopted – Lowest in Six Years!

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel City Council recently took less than eight minutes to officially adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. Approved and discussed at earlier budget hearings, the rolled back operating millage rate of 1.8922 mills is the lowest tax rate in the last six years. (A mill is $1 per every $1,000 of taxable valuation. The rolled back rate is the same rate it would take to generate the same amount of revenue in the coming fiscal year as was generated in the previous year.) The budget for the upcoming year is $73,266,546.

Mayor Ruane also noted that the millage rate is down 25% from its historical peak. Ruane explained that during the recession in 2007, the City’s total debt was high, and there were little reserves. In comparison, now, 12 years later, taxes are lower, reserves are replenished, the City has minimal debt that continues to drop off, and funds are available to allocate to large-scale projects like the Donax wastewater project.

Noteworthy from the budget is that Sanibel has received approximately $3.3 million of the $3.9 million expected from FEMA and the State of Florida for reimbursement of Hurricane Irma expenditures. If there are additional disaster needs through the end of hurricane season, the City has secured a $5 million line to use for immediate expenditures.

sanibel-fire-logo-e1539870118355New Website – Sanibel Fire & Rescue District

In compliance with State mandates, Sanibel Fire & Rescue District recently launched its new website at www.SanibelFire.com. It includes meeting dates, agenda, minutes, etc.

Island “Season” Begins & With Annual Events

  • San-Cap Motor ClubThe first Cars & Coffee Cruise-in of the season begins this week. Saturday, Oct 5 at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center from 9 to 11 a.m. with a lineup of classics, muscle cars, antiques, hot rods, and other vehicles on display. The Club usually holds this event the first Saturday of each month through season.
  • Sanibel Farmers Market – begins this week. See you there Sunday, Oct 6, on the grounds of City Hall (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Be sure and bring your recyclable bag – or buy one there. The market is both straw and plastic bag free! More info at www.BuyLocalLee.com
  • BIG ARTS Community Chorus – fall schedule runs from Oct 15 to Dec 9. While the new BIG ARTS building is under construction, chorus meets Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Strauss Theater. Join SanibelSusan who’s been with the group since it began in the early 90’s. No auditions are required, all ages and abilities welcome. Fall performances include: Sunday, Nov 24 at Community Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House; Friday, Dec 6 at Center-4-Life Luncheon at the Sanibel Rec Center; Friday, Dec 6 at Bailey’s Shopping Center for Luminary caroling; Tuesday, Dec 10 Holiday Concert. The spring schedule runs from Jan 7 to Mar 31, with rehearsals beginning Jan 28 at the new Performance Hall. Spring performances include: Saturday, Jan 25 at BIG ARTS Gala showcasing the new building and performance hall; Wednesday, Feb 19 at Annual FISH Luncheon at The Community House; Thursday, Mar 19 at Center-4-Life Dinner at The Sanibel Rec Center; Wednesday & Thursday, Apr 1 & 2 Spring Concerts at new BIG ARTS Performance Hall.
  • Howl-O-Ween Fundraiser – Friday, Oct 27, 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café patio. Includes pet costume contest and fundraiser to benefit Flying Fur Animal Rescue. $10 donation includes beer, wine, and yappitizers.
  • 38th Annual Taste of the Islands – CROW’s annual fundraiser featuring local island restaurants is Sunday, Nov 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty). Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving sick, injured, and orphaned native and migratory wildlife. Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education, and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and animals through wildlife medicine. For more info, or to plan your visit, go to http://crowclinic.org . If you find an animal needing help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.
  • SCCF’s Wine in the Wild – Friday, Nov 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Bailey Homestead Preserve. Usually a sell-out, tickets will NOT be available at the door. Five food stations will be set up each featuring a dish from one of Sanibel’s finest kitchens – Catering by Leslie Adams, Cielo, Malia, Sanibel Catering Company, and Sweet Melissa’s Café. Each will be paired with a wine. Dessert buffet by Normal Love confections, followed by live auction. Reservations through Linda Uhler at 239-472-3817.

 

Upcoming at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

  • EveryKidOutdoors LogoEvery Kid Outdoors Program – The U.S. Department of Interior recently extended the Every Kid Outdoors Program (formerly Every Kid in a Park) for another seven years. The program grants fourth-grade students a free annual pass to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas – including J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge — with their families, classmates, and friends. To obtain the free pass, fourth-grade students visit www.everykidoutdoors.gov , participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple uses between Sep 1, 2019, and Aug 31, 2020, to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a keepsake pass at “Ding” Darling or other participating federal lands. The voucher or pass allows free entry for fourth graders, all children under age 16 in the group, and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in public lands like “Ding”) to most federally managed lands and waters. The pass does not cover amenity fees such as kayak rentals or boat rides.
  • Ding Darling DayDing’ Day Combines Art with Family Fun – Two-time Federal Duck Stamp winner Scot Storm will travel from Minnesota to headline the “Ding” Darling Day Duck Stamp Presentation on Sunday, Oct 20, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. He will sign stamps following his presentation. Florida Junior Duck Stamp winner Anna Grace Swanson from Titusville will also be on hand to meet and greet. “This year, we have folded Conservation Art Day together with ‘Ding’ Darling Day Family Fun Day,” said Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. Go to www.dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/ding-darling-days  for a full schedule of activities. Duck Stamp
  • Merit Badge University – On Oct 26, the Refuge will host its second annual Merit Badge University for registered Boy Scouts of America. Support for the program comes from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, LCEC, and Tarpon Bay Explorers, the Refuge’s recreation concession. Scouts from around the nation will have the opportunity to earn up to two out of six badges being offered that day. Ding Merit BadgeThey include Bird Study, Photography, Cycling, Kayaking, Fishing, and Fly Fishing. Class sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 27 – October 4, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $459K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 $559K.

5 price changes: Sundial #A306 2/2 now $729,999; Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-1 2/2.5 now $754.5K; Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $778K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3B 3/2.5 now $850K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $889K.

3 new sales Breakers West #A5 2/2 listed at $499.9K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 listed at $739K. Pine Cove #201 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing, view below).

Lanai d

1 closed sale: Sundial #I103 1/1 $435K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9440 Cotten Ct 3/2 $650K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $689K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $795K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $895K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.12M, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 $1.195M, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 $1.299M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.45M.

3 price changes: 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $599K (our listing, pictured below), 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $599.9K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.375M.

Image 3 c.jpg

6 new sales: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $449K (our listing, pictured below), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 listed at $639K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed at $665K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $995K (our buyer), 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.189M.

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1 closed sale: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $509K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 1872 Middle Gulf Dr $495K, 2299 Starfish Ln $549K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr $979K.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $394.9K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 0 Dinkins Lake Rd $240K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $638K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $995K.

1 price change: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.1M.

1 new sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 listed at $995K.

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.

Until next Friday! If you are thinking about wintering on Sanibel, please don’t delay buying or making reservations.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Action This Week


cartwheelHappy Friday! It has been a week with a little more activity on the islands. Our listings certainly got more action, including two sales and a couple of price reductions. Teammates and I were out showing and viewing property, and we also got two new listings. Hopefully, this is an indication that the market is picking up.

A report with the details of the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis week, there was no Thursday morning Realtor® caravan of new listings. The bi-weekly summer schedule ends at the end of October when it reverts to every week. Our new listing at Pine Cove #201 will be open for caravan next week (9 a.m. to noon).

SCCF Sea Turtle Program 2019

kemp turtleDetails about the 2019 Sea Turtle tagging project are in “SCCF’s Member Update” Oct 2019 issue. Since the project began in 2016, their team has documented 1,178 encounters with turtles on the beach at night, representing 587 unique individuals. When a turtle is encountered, she is scanned for existing tags, tagged if none are found, and measured with calipers and a measuring tape.

Of the 587 seen, 236 have been encountered more than once. Sea turtles don’t nest every year – each individual lays approximately 3-6 nests over the course of the season and then spends a year or two foraging to replenish her energy reserves before returning to the nesting beach.

The 2019 season is the 4th year of the tagging project. “Highlights of the 2019 tagging season include:

  • A new record of 353 documented turtle encounters from May 1 – July 31
  • Six green sea turtles seen on Sanibel, totaling 18 observed nests
  • The average loggerhead carapace size was 94.5 cm (slightly over 3 feet), with their largest loggerhead measuring at 115 cm (almost 4 feet long).
  • Staff interacted with 1,126 beachgoers at night to educate them about the impacts of flashlights on sea turtles.”

More info at www.SCCF.org.

A Mixed Economic Picture Ahead

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_An interesting update in the September-October 2019 “Realtor®” magazine by NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun. He says, “Home building is accelerating, but sales continue to lag.”

“Annual home sales have been moving sideways in recent years: 5.4 million in 2016, 5.5 million in 2017, and 5.3 million in 2018. As of June, this year’s total stands to be 5.2 million on an annualized basis.

“These flat numbers make little sense in light of the decent economy. From 2016 through the first half of 2019, the economy added 8 million net new jobs at higher pay. Moreover, household net worth grew by $13.5 trillion, thanks to the rising stock market and surging real estate prices. The unyielding homeownership rate has lead to a more concentrated build-up in wealth than if ownership had expanded.

“Perhaps reduced tax benefits for homeowners is the main reason the home sales have become sluggish. Fortunately, the market is shifting for the better because of amazing mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve’s decision to be more accommodating has brought mortgage rates down to under 4%. The housing supply remains a hurdle but steadily homebuilders are responding by building more spec homes and at lower price points, where the demand remains the strongest. Realtors® are also witnessing an uptick in seller inquiries in our consumer survey. Consequently, pending contracts rose in June in all major U.S. regions, marking the first year-over-year gain in 17 months. Barring headaches over inspections, appraisals, and mortgage funding, closing activity is expected to shoot higher in the second half of the year.

“And the economy still has room to grow. Home building needs to increase robustly to address the inventory shortage. And falling vacancy rates in office, industrial, and apartment properties suggest commercial construction needs. The main looming worry is the impact of the intensifying trade war on corporate investment and the stock market. In a good economy, business investment should be rising around 5% or more – certainly roughly in line with the growth in profits, which have soared. That’s not happening, and it’s of concern.”

Fall Home Checklist

Florida Realtors logoWhether you are in Florida or elsewhere, here is a good Fall Home Checklist reminder taken from an article posted in the September issue of Florida Realtor® magazine:

Exterior

  • Trim tree branches and vegetation near roof
  • Check roof, siding and foundation for damage
  • Check chimney for loose bricks and missing mortar
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure water doesn’t pool around foundation
  • Seal gaps and holes that could provide access for animals
  • Replace loose or missing caulking around windows and doors
  • If area is subject to freezes, shut off exterior faucets and irrigation system and store hoses

Interior

  • Check attic and crawl spaces for leaks and moisture after wet weather
  • Check caulking around faucets showers, bathtubs, sink and toilets
  • Check faucets and supply valves for leaks or corrosion
  • Inspect water heater for leaks
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Have a professional inspect/clean the chimney. Test fireplace flue for tight seal
  • Test circuit breakers and ground-fault/arc-fault interrupters
  • Consider hiring a professional to inspect and tune up your furnace/HVAC system
  • Change HVAC system filters and remove any materials that block return air vent
  • Clean dryer vent.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service paragon black knight logoActivity September 20 – 27, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandpebble #1A 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.175M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.395M (our listing).

Lanai c

From the wrap-around balcony at Pine Cove #201.

2 price changes: Signal Inn #10 1/1 now $499.9K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $739K.

3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 listed at $569K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $575K, Sanibel Moorings #1341 2/2 listed at $680K.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 $640K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $449K (our listing), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $959K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $995K.

20190927_102647.jpg

1365 Tahiti Dr in Tradewinds

6 price changes: 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $959K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $975K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M (our listing), 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.795M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.795M.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0795.JPG

842 Limpet Dr in Shell Harbor

5 new sales: 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K (our listing), 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $1.095M, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.125M.

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1558 Sand Castle Rd in The Dunes

3 closed sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $505K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 $649K, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.6335M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $389K.

1 new sale: 5737 Baltusrol Ct listed at 299K (our listing).

zpfile003

5737 Baltusrol Ct in The Sanctuary

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2217 1/1 $510K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 $1.375M.

1 price change: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 now $1.495M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!

 

 

 

Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website www.IslandWater.com under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at http://www.sccf.org/preserves. SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at http://www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at www.USTA.com using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to BuyLocalLee.com
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at www.MySanibel.com. The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map

END”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

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, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Wondering About Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate?


Happy Friday the 13th from SanibelSusan. It has been a very quiet week on the islands. Last weekend, when I manned the office, it was fun to write and negotiate an offer. Those are the best kind of surprises, particularly when it’s a sight-unseen purchase. That sale was one of the few posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) this week, actually the only Sanibel condo sale. Details of all the action posted since last Friday are after a few news items below.

Gulf & Bay Waters Around Sanibel & Captiva

Last weekend, the aftermath of Dorian created a little havoc with red drift algae washing up on some Sanibel beaches (mostly east-end) and creating a bit of a stink. Or the thought was that rotting algae was the cause of the smell.

After complaints, the City brought in equipment and started cleaning up the algae at Lighthouse Beach. Click on the link below to see the drone aerials taken for the City on Tuesday morning. If you pan onto the beach near the “green roof” on the south side at Lighthouse beach, you will see the equipment and workers then, removing the algae. https://cityofsanibel.s3.amazonaws.com/LH9-10-19/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3DSv2s_4RWlDscmsk_zRVIhkolOVaUaKd-wfI9avKwWn4WVxL5FxdQTyQ

As follow-up, the City posted condition reports for several days on www.mySanibel.com about each of the island beaches. But, by Wednesday the beaches were all clear with the nasty odors gone. Some say that it could have been the offshore water itself that was creating the smell, from decayed material on the gulf floor that was stirred up during the hurricane. Mid-week, the wind had changed direction. That is when it all changed – a good example of how the beaches, like the shelling, can be different every day.

The picture below was posted today on the “Sanibel Island” Facebook page and described as in front of the Sanibel Inn at 10:15 a.m. this morning. The Sanibel Inn is at the end of Lindgren Blvd which is a continuation of Causeway Rd, so the photo is a good representation of what the east-end beach looks like. Thank you to Gina Frasca for sharing her photo.

2019-09-13 Sanibel Inn

Comparing water quality this summer to last year, this year there has been no evidence of red tide. Though the water level is high at Lake O, there have been no water releases this direction for many months. Fingers crossed that no more tropical storms come this way or that rains linger over the lake.

Peak hurricane time passed this week, as we remembered Hurricane Irma from two years ago. Now we look forward to November 30, when the 2019 hurricane season officially is over.

It has been bright sunny and warm here pretty much all week, but a few showers just began and are expected to occur off-&-on over the next few days as the tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic travels up the eastern seaboard.

76% of All Home Buyers Use Their Phones to Find Properties

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Wondering how real estate is done in today’s digital age? The below article by Information, Inc. was published last month by the National Association of Realtors®.

“CHICAGO – Buyers turn to mobile devices to find properties and connect with real estate agents. This puts increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure websites are mobile friendly and connecting to clients in the ways that they desire.

“The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) that looks at technology use within transactions.

“Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device – and 17% said they found their agent on a mobile device. The younger the buyer, the more likely they are to use mobile searches. Eighty-one percent of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of younger baby boomers, the NAR report finds.

“Type of communication – Ninety-three percent of real estate pros surveyed said they prefer to communicate with clients through text messaging, phone calls (93%) and email (92%). The mediums were more popular than instant messaging (38%) and postal mail (27%).

“Websites – The website features respondents find most helpful are photos (87%), detailed information about properties (85%), floor plans (52%), virtual tours (46%) and real estate agent contact information (42%). Half or more of respondents also valued property listings, agent/staff profiles, customer reviews/testimonials, mortgage/financial calculators and information on the home buying and selling process.

“Additional report findings:

“Social media: Real estate pros cited social media as the top tool for generating high-quality leads (47%), followed by Multiple Listing Service websites (32%).The main reasons cited for using social media was to promote listings, help build and maintain relationships with existing clients, and a belief that they’re “expected” to have a presence on social media sites nowadays. The top social networks used by Realtors: Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), Instagram (39%) and Twitter (33%).

“Drones: Twenty-nine percent of real estate pros have hired a professional to operate a drone for their business, and 5% personally use one. An additional 14% say they plan to use drones in the future to capture aerial pictures or videos of their listings.”

iBuyer Perspective: Not New and Not Much to Worry About

Florida Realtors logoHave you heard about iBuyers? We have not seen them on the islands, though I have had inquiries from them. Here is an article about them, posted this week on Florida Realtors®: Realtor Bill Lublin, lead author of e-Pro and Florida Realtors® convention speaker, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. They’re “instant buyers,” and “we’ve had them for years.”

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Bill Lublin, a Realtor® from Pennsylvania, lead author of e-Pro and a speaker at last month’s Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. “It’s an ‘instant buyer’ and we’ve had them for years,” Lublin said. “That’s not new.”

“The big difference between flippers and iBuyers is the type of homes they want to buy. Flippers often want a fixer-upper they can improve and sell for a profit. iBuyers, however, look for value-added flips, said Lublin. “They want livable houses. Polish-and-buff kinds of buyers – minimal repair amounts.”

“New iBuyers continue to come onto the market, but the biggest – Opendoor, Knock, Offerpad, Zillow Instant Offers and Redfin Now – are “fueled by cash,” Lublin said. “Opendoor, the first one, has $1.3 billion in equity raised; Zillow has a $7.1-billion market cap; Offerpad has $150M in equity; Knock has $60.5 million equity raised (Knock is slightly different – buying and selling you another one.) Redfin has an $18 billion market cap.”

“As corporations, the iBuying concept is new, and investors want to get in on the ground floor. That makes them less concerned about profitability for now – and more concerned about becoming one of the dominant iBuyers in the U.S.

“Other iBuyer differences, according to Lublin: People go to the iBuyers websites, fill out a form about their house, and request an offer. An inspection might be requested, but “It all starts with someone raising their hand and saying they want an offer on their house,” Lublin said.

“iBuyers use algorithms. They calculate upfront what they can pay, what they need to sell the home for, and what the cost of holding is. Like Zillow home price Zestimates, iBuyers use an AVM (Automated Valuation Models) to calculate a home’s value. “It’s an educated guess,” said Lublin. “AVMs don’t include the things that make sales, such as views, neighbor’s flowers, etc.”

“Each iBuyer company has targets. Offerpad, for example, targets homes valued from $200,000 to $400,000. “They don’t want to buy everything. They identify a sweet spot in their business model, and that’s the only thing they buy,” said Lublin. “Just like Realtors have a market niche, they’ll stray from it if a potential sale comes up – but when iBuyers stray, it hurts their bottom line.

“Observers who wonder how the iBuyers make money may find out that they don’t – or not much money. “They’re only marginally concerned with profitability,” said Lublin. “They have tons of money to go out and experiment with a new business model. Redfin says they weren’t profitable in their first 10 years, and they made the most amount of money from their IPO. Speed of growth fuels profit in the beginning. None of these companies is profitable so far, and that’s a competitive advantage.”

“iBuying may not debut in all markets. Cities like Philadelphia have an older housing stock, for example. iBuyers are more attracted to metros, such as many in Florida, with a newer housing stock that’s easier to value. iBuyers with secondary companies – Zillow’s mortgage company, for example – could also benefit via their related industries.

“While the iBuyer share of the market isn’t expected to get large – Morgan Stanley projects a 3% market share by 2030 – it still could potentially pick up a large numerical number of sales.”

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Below is an update on the year-to-date sales posted in the islands MLS – first on Sanibel, then Captiva. It compares inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales over the last three years, and the sales during the market peak, 13 years ago, in 2006. Though averages, these statistics shows the market downturn from the water woes last summer. Even so, things are looking up!

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Sanibel
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 93 851,024 217 113 1,377,721 210 66 688,492 424
Under contract 6 652,816 204 20 1,097,970 146 3 311,166 782
Closed year-to-date 97 674,067 144 160 958,364 170 11 406,181 687
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold in 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504
Sold in 2016 143 717,768 217 181 979,576 176 25 487,095 571
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Captiva
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 35 1,269,990 219 35 2,808,568 262 3 1,929,666 496
Under contract 4 806,725 443 1 2,400,000 637 0 N/A N/A
Closed year-to-date 19 1,047,894 337 14 2,984,325 288 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2017 34 671,551 261 22 2,457,023 394 2 2,312,500 1,005
Sold in 2016 22 873,636 314 27 3,195,000 284 2 3,150,000 365
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307375 334 4 2,218,750 432

(Note: Average $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” and “Under contract”.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 6 – 13, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $885K, Golden Beach #3 3/2.5 $1.499M.

1 price change: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $395K.

1 new sale: Sundial #I104 1/1 listed at $469K (our buyer).

Sundial West from I104

From Sundial I104 listing, showing central pool at Sundial Resort & looking toward the buildings of Sundial West.

1 closed sale: Seashells #12 2/2 $360K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

8 price changes: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $475K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $498K, 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $509.9K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $549K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $648K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $699.9K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.095M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.199M.

2 new sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 listed at $539K, 725 Donax St 6/6 listed at $1.295M.

3 closed sales: 1520 Centre St 3/2 $409K, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.42M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.595M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $660K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.949M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $519.9K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 listed at $639K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $812.5K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 listed at $2.4M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you clear skies & sunny days!

36.

One of my favorite photos by our photographer Jim Anderson of JMA Photography. They are blue crested night herons. It reminds me of the ugly duckling story. Thanks for sharing, Jim!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Warm Grateful Friday on Sanibel Island


It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on Sanibel after a fearful few days of Dorian-watching. It certainly was heart-breaking to see the devastation in the Bahamas. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has teamed with the Over Easy Café and is a drop-off point for Bahamas donations. The first two days of contributions at Over Easy have already been delivered to their next destination, with collections continuing for at least another week.

As probably expected, the holiday weekend here turned into a bust with many visitors/vacationers opting to cancel their plans. There has been very little traffic on Periwinkle all week. Some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, though.

Sanibel sunset 2011

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Though a quiet week, the team and I were happy to get a new listing in Sanibel Bayous over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, teammate Dave got all of our listing “for sale” signs back in place.

paragon black knight logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® transition to their new Multiple Listing Service continues for the second week with kinks continuing to be worked out as the system and its reports are fine-tuned to our geographic areas. If you previously received automatic email updates about a particular property type, those databases did not convert with the transition, but I am s-l-o-w-l-y setting up new searches so that you will begin receiving listings again.

The new system offers a Collaboration Center where both prospective buyers and sellers may access the system, make changes to their search criteria, save favorite listings, delete others, and request additional information. If you would like your email address to be set up for a search followed by automatic notifications, just let us know.

sundial-logoMid-week, Dave and I visited a couple of condos at Sundial Resort. It was surprising to see so few vehicles there, but like at other complexes in September, associations are making good use of the downtime. At Sundial West, the building walkways and stairs were being pressure washed.

At our listing at Sanibel Arms West, the building is being painted this month, with no rental bookings allowed until Oct 5. Showings still will be permitted, however, so we are trying to drum some up. It gets tough with income-producing properties to get access “in season”, so now is a good time for those investors to be looking.

View c

View from Sanibel Arms West #E2

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the islands’ Association of Realtors®, there were few announcements, and no new listings were open for viewings. That break in the usual program provided a nice opportunity for me to pass along a couple of the “giving keys” that I purchased recently at the Florida Realtors® RPAC Jamboree. “Giving keys” are typical-looking house keys, but each is stamped with an inspirational word. Worn on a chain around your neck. “Giving keys” are to be enjoyed, then shared, by passing them along to someone else who also may be inspired by their message. I passed along three keys, “hope”, “trust”, and “strong” to Association members Kasey Albright, Megan Rose, and Mary Lou Bailey, encouraging them to also “pay them forward”.

After a couple of news items below, you will find an update of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Temporary Closings

dining clip artThe Chamber of Commerce has posted the below list of island temporary restaurant closures. As in past years, many take staff vacations now, do annual deep cleans, and fix-ups before “season”.

Restaurants Closed
Blue Rendezvous French Bistro Now through Oct
Blue Giraffe Sep 2-16
Gramma Dot’s Sep 3-26
Il Cielo Now through Oct
Joey’s Custard Sep 20-Oct 3
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant Month of Sep
Over Easy Café Sep 9-19
Pecking Order Closed Sundays thru Sep
Sand Dollar (Sanibel Island Beach Resort) Breakfast only

Dinner only Fri & Sat

Schnapper’s Sep 3-16
Sweet Melissa’s Sep 8-30
Traders Sep 16-30
T2 Sep 16-30
Traditions Closed Sundays thru Oct 20

Closed Sep 1-22, & Nov 16

Island Cinema – Also closed temporarily for annual maintenance is Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center. It is closed all month and expects to reopen in early Oct.

rosieRosie’s Café & Grill is back. After a year-long absence Rosie’s reopened recently in its former location in Palm Ridge Place. The restaurant dates back a few decades when it went by the name Rosie’s Deli & Market and was on Sanibel’s east end. The 4th generation of owners, Joanne Fitzgerald and Irving Gavin, bought the restaurant in 2009 when it was still on the east end. (Gavin is the son of Eugene, of the well-known Gavin family that settled on Sanibel in 1914.)  The restaurant relocated to its current location, reopening in 2012 under the name Rosie’s Café & Grill. Currently serving breakfast and lunch; dinner will be available in-season starting in Nov. In addition to their former menu and Royal Scoop ice cream, Rosie’s now serves barbeque and soon will expand with a new bakery. Hours now are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues through Sat.

Upcoming Events

PrintCaptiva Triathlon – is this weekend, Sat and Sun Sep 7 and 8. As a reminder, Captiva Drive will be closed tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. and remain closed until the bike segment of the race is complete. The USAT-sanctioned adult sprint triathlon is a ¼-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile (5K) run on Captiva. The swim will be in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the bike will cover the length of Captiva on closed roads, and the run will be on the golf course path along the Gulf and Redfish Pass at South Seas Island Resort. On Sunday, there will be three age groups for the USAT National Splash n’ Dash race:

  • Ages 6-8: 100-yard swim, 0.5-mile run
  • Ages 9 & 10: 100-yard swim, 1-mile run
  • Ages 11-15: 200-yard swim, 1-mile run

The race is to benefit Community Cooperative’s Growing Healthy Kids and Mobile Food Pantry programs. More info at https://www.gearedup.biz/.

Sanibel Sea School2nd Annual Flip-Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – This Sanibel Sea School fundraiser will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church at 2304 Periwinkle Way. At check-in, each scavenger team (up to eight individuals) will be given a book of clues and challenges, each worth a set number of points. Included are clues that could be easily solved by younger children. Through the hunt, participants will use their knowledge of the island, marine biology, and local folklore to earn points. Along the way, teams will visit several Sanibel locations, where they may be asked to take a photo or bring back a specific shell or artifact to prove the visit. The Sea School says, “The key to hosting a successful scavenger hunt is creating clues that can be solved by anyone in the family, no matter their age.” The event is expected to be completed by 3 p.m. At the finish line check-in station, staff will tally all points collected by each team. Those teams will be able to “buy” letters with their points earned in order to solve the final puzzle. The team that solves the final puzzle correctly first will determine the winner, but that might not necessarily be the team that tallies the most points. Cost to participate is $25 per person. Participants must provide their own transportation. All proceeds will support the nonprofit’s scholarship fund which provides ocean experiences to thousands of area children each year. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.sanibelseaschool.org/flipflopfundraiser or by calling 239-472-8585.

Crow classic 2019Annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament – Also on Saturday, Oct 5 at The Sanctuary is the annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament. Shotgun starts at 12:30 p.m. with check-in at 11 a.m. and lunch at 11:30. Player registration is open to 100 golfers. It features 18 holes, a helicopter ball drop, and chances to score prizes. Players may sign up as a foursome, or as individuals and will be matched up as a team. All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the animals at CROW, their care, public education, training, etc. The community is encouraged to sign up to play or purchase some helicopter balls. Players can register to play (through Sep 16) and players/non-players can purchase balls (through Oct 3) at www.CROWClinic.org.

Positive Trends for Florida Real Estate

Posted yesterday on LinkedIn by local Realtor® colleague Wendy Humphrey with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty:

“SALT, the cap on state and local tax deductions, is likely to lead to a Florida population boom according to estimates from Demographic Estimating Conference.

“The controversial $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions encourages moving cash from high tax northern states to lower-tax states like Florida while it remains in effect. It is due to expire in 2025.

“Then there’s actually some relatively good news for Florida and other southern states regarding global warming.

“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which examines annual temperatures for the U.S. indicates warming is very uneven with some states barely warming at all.

The Washington Post“Northeastern states and Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have experienced extreme warming while many southern states have experience little change. Some have even cooled slightly. Florida has seen slight to moderate change. For the full report go to The Washington Post of August 13, 2019.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 30 – September 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $489K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.25M, Sundial #E108 3/2 $1.3M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Seashells #42 2/2 $375K, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 $1.185M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $539K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

3 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $424K, 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 743 Windlass way 3/2 now $669K.

2 new sales: 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $998.5K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/.5 listed at $2.875M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0180.JPG

Lot at 4566 Buck Key Rd in Sanibel Bayous

1 new listing: 4566 Buck Key Rd $149K (our listing).

2 price changes: 1219 Par View Dr now $299K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $599K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.797M.

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.

happy fridayUntil next Friday, wishing everyone a great weekend & week,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

All Eyes on Dorian


What usually is a quiet week on the islands has turned into a bit of a worry with Hurricane Dorian expected to come ashore along Florida’s eastern seaboard early next week. Dave took a spin by all of our listings yesterday, removing and tucking away signs and items that could become airborne with strong winds. If all goes well he will be putting things back in place soon.

Sanibelcityseal logoAs I post this, a meeting is now occurring at Sanibel City Hall with a departmental operations update. Island partners in attendance include CHR, SCCF, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, Island Water, police, Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Disposal, Sanibel School, post office, FISH, CROW, LCEC, Ding Darling, plus both Sanibel & Captiva Fire & Rescue.

There is a separate meeting City Council meeting at 2 p.m. Listen live through the link on http://www.mysanibel.com Dorian Update #3 and follow the City website for more updates.

Island Real Estate

2017-09-12 OfficeUsually the Labor Day weekend brings a spurt of real estate business, but that is looking doubtful now with many 3-day visitors cancelling their plans.

But, if you are wondering, unless forecasts change, we will be open tomorrow and I will be there Sunday too. If we may help you with anything on island, please let us know.

For island Realtors®, this past Monday was the cut-over date for service with our new Multiple Listing provider, Paragon. It has lots of new state-of-the-art features and capabilities that we are learning.

A summary of the action this week in the islands’ MLS follows just a couple of news items below. Stay safe islanders!

At Florida Realtors®

CBAEEA3C-B9F0-4879-912A-44CB0A33B161Last week, at the Florida Realtors® 103rd Annual Convention & Trade Expo, first I served on the state instructor audition panel and then as an Education Ambassador where members had a choice of more than 40 educational sessions.

Following the convention, on Friday and Saturday, the Florida Realtors® leadership team held their governance meetings. This was my 22nd year participating, this year in the Resort & 2nd Home Specialist breakout group (which is part of the Legislative Think Tank), the Curriculum Subcommittee, and the Professional Development Committee.

Networking at these events is the “best” – especially after all these years. It was interesting to hear that water quality and short-term vacation rentals are two hot topics in every area – even those inland. These meetings were the first for our Association’s new Education Director. It was so much fun introducing her to some terrific instructors and her peers throughout the state.

At the Capital Club luncheon on Friday, we had a surprise visit from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. What a smart, energetic, thoughtful man he is. His priorities coincide with ours on the islands, “Florida 1st”.

Coastal Cleanup on Sept 21

Join the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Keep Lee County Beautiful as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s international Coastal Cleanup on Saturday morning, Sep 21. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 10.5 million volunteers have cleaned 350,000 miles of shoreline collecting 192 million pounds of trash in the more than three decades of this international effort.

If you would like to work at Gulfside City Park or Bowman’s Beach, sign up at http://klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.hmtl. For other Sanibel-Captivalocations or for more info, contact Alex Horn at ahorn@sccf.org or call SCCF at 239-472-2329.

SCCF will provide trash bags, data cards, gloves, water, and a tee-shirt to all participants before they head out for their beach assignments from 9-11 a.m. After collecting, documenting, and disposing of their trash back at the SCCF Nature Center (3333 San-Cap Road), volunteers will be offered complimentary lunch items starting at 11 a.m. (Thanks to Doc Ford’s Rum Barr & Grille as the 1st Lunch Partner for the 2019 Coastal Cleanup.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 23-30, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: White Caps South #8 1/1 $849K.

7 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $380K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $575K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $850K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 now $899K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 now $1.075M, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 now $1.229M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.44M.

1 new sale: Sundial #J201 1/1 listed at $550K.

3 closed sales: Seashells #31 2/2 $405K, Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $539K, White Pelican #133 3/3 $1.489M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 701 Nerita St 3/2 $749K.

8 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $429.9K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $492.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $592.5K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $650K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $759K, 1560 Royal  Poinciana Cir now $1.295M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.899M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $2.875M.

2 new sales: 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $585K, 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.045M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1044 Fish Crow Rd $399K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.799M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.275M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1.1 $316.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $745K.

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, may Dorian be kind!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

From Sanibel to Orlando


The Sanibel weather has been great this week, although hot and with a few quick afternoon rain showers. With news reporting dangerous heatwaves in other parts of the country, I hope you have been staying cool where you are.

1C69D697-8D51-416F-97DB-DF1EF4EC55CAThe SanibelSusan Team has been manning the office all week, while I am in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors 2019 Convention, Trade Expo, and Annual Meetings.C55AE7AA-E304-4086-86BC-8FAF51E87A34

The convention educational sessions and expo have wrapped up, with committee meetings today and tomorrow. The highlight today was at the Capital Club annual luncheon with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It was so inspiring to hear the many positive initiatives underway, thanks to his leadership, including in water quality. As he said, it’s all about “Florida first”. He is without a doubt, smart, energized, and working hard for our state.

240E8040-E5F3-4B47-94D6-475F102AF94A

Below are a few local news items from the Sanibel team, before a summary of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity this week.

County Approves Wulfert Bayous Acquisition

Ding FundraiserAs reported in this week’s “Island Sun”: On August 20, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of supporting the acquisition of the 68-acre Wulfert Bayous parcel. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge have been working with the county on the collaboration for more than a year to make the acquisition a reality.

Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program will fund $6.5 million of the total $9.5 million cost to purchase the property. DDWS has raised the additional $3 million through private donations. The refuge, for its part in the collaboration, will manage the property as part of its complex.

The city of Sanibel had already approved development of the land with up to 28 new homes. To preserve the tract from such development, DDWS, in February 2019, kicked of its public campaign to preserve the acreage.

Located along Wulfert Road and Sanibel-Captiva Road and adjacent to refuge boundaries, the property is home to a number of species that would be seriously threatened by development of the habitat. The preserved acreage will also help protect water quality as a natural filter.

The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will forward the goals and objectives of the Gulf of Mexico and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration plans. In addition to 16 acres of existing mangroves, Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons, while serving as a natural water filter.

If you would like to help restore Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres, contact DDWS at 472-1100 ext 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

2019 “Ding” Darling Day

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 20, in preparation for the Refuge’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, this year’s “Ding” Darling Day is full of the best traditions and it’s FREE. Here’s a summary:

TOURS:

8 a.m.   Birding with a biologist

9 a.m.   Biking at the Refuge (4 miles)

10 a.m. Birding Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10-4     Tram tours on Wildlife Drive (every hour) sign up at the Tram Booth

ACTIVITIES

10 a.m. Nature sketching on Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10 a.m. Wildlife yoga (in classroom)

11 a.m. iPhone photography walk (meet at flagpole)

12 p.m. Wildlife origami (in classroom)

1 p.m.   Canvas painting (in classroom) limited to 1st 25

2 p.m.   Wildlife cartoons with Dave Horton (in Visitor & Education Center)

PRESENTATIONS

10 a.m. “Ding” Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest (in classroom)

10 a.m. & 3 p.m. Live animals with C.R.O.W. (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. Python talk (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Puppet show (in classroom)

12 p.m. Cartoon content award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

1-3 p.m. Federal & Junior Duck Stamp award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

2 p.m.   Snakes Alive (under the Big Top tent)

ON-GOING

Exhibitor booths, face painting, live music, nature crafts, archery, chalk drawing, hot dogs, butterfly house, fly-fish demos, art demos, plein-air artists, fire equipment demos

ON-GOING AT TARPON BAY EXPLORERS

Touch tank, stand-up paddle-boarding.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 16-23, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $450K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $605K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $437K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $499.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $599.5K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.189M.

4 new sales: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $549.9K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 listed at $800K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $899K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $134.9K, 9345 Dimmick Dr now $359K.

1 new sale: 933 Strangler Fig Ln listed at $495K.

1 closed sale: 1817 Longpoint Ln $269K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listing or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

To those asking about the gulf waters, though not taken personally, here is a photo posted yesterday afternoon on Facebook’s “Beautiful Sanibel” page, from a West Gulf Dr beach. With a storm now stalled out over the Atlantic off the east coast, a rainy weekend is expected. Let’s hope it still looks like this next week! Enjoy your weekends!

77D7B743-2CCC-4AAD-AC86-8F953A54A987.jpeg

Until next Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


It is the end of another soggy week on Sanibel. Though there have been periods of sunshine, there have been way more clouds and showers, day and night for over a week. The news today, forecast rain at 100%. Humidity is high and temperatures like the tropics. On the plus side, vegetation is lush and green, from free irrigation. If this sounds like islanders are grumbling, I am. We are so spoiled here – with gorgeous weather so much of the time – that being Susie Sunshine today, is a stretch.

(As a remembrance, the photo below was taken LAST Friday by JMA Photography at our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours overlooking San Carlos Bay. The new landscaping had just gone in!)

Master View

Unfortunately, from runoff this week, tannins again have stained bay waters giving pause to those worried about a change in gulf water quality. Luckily, at least so far, it is just a visual change. The latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report shows NO red tide in Southwest Florida except a small concentration in just one water sample from Pinellas County, north of here near St Petersburg.

Once the rain subsides, the sand should settle out and the color clear again. From the City’s website, Click here to see the most recent aerial photograph of water conditions at Lighthouse Beach Park.

This week, The SanibelSusan Team finished up their classroom training sessions for the new Multiple Listing Service that goes live here July 26. Between now and then, while old and new systems are running in parallel, we are setting up new searches for our prospects and getting more familiar with the system’s collaboration center which will provide both buyers and seller access to the system data including historical info.

Now that local schools here are back in session, there are fewer vacationers on-island. Some also say that occupancy is off because of the water last summer. The return of part-time residents will pick up as summer wraps up elsewhere.

Schools Back in Session

Lee County schools logoRegarding Lee County Schools, it was nice to hear that breakfast and lunch will be free at all schools for the 2019-2020 school year. The school district also said that four specialized centers are included in the breakfast/lunch program: Buckingham Exceptional Center, L.A.M.P., Royal Palm Exceptional School and Success Academy. Parents do not need to apply, and “Free and Reduced” meal applications do not need be completed. (They were required in earlier years). Food and Nutrition Services Director Lauren Couchois said, “We realize if a student is hungry, their ability to learn is compromised, providing this benefit will help our students excel.”

Teammate Elise also mentioned that the County school schedule this year goes into early June (usually school is over before Memorial Day) with a few extra days off at Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to Sanibel’s Leaders!

florida league of citiesYesterday, at the 93rd Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando, Sanibel’s own Mayor Kevin Ruane was sworn in as President of the Florida League of Mayors. With his family and Sanibel’s entire City Council there, he was sworn in by Sanibel’s City Clerk, Pamela Smith. He also posted that Florida’s League of Mayors unanimously approved his priority for 2020 as “President for Water Quality & Water Quantity”.

At this same event, Sanibel Councilor Holly Smith sits on the Municipal Administration Committee of the Florida League. They have chosen “Vacation Rentals” as their priority subject for 2020.

Good things will come from this involvement by our City leaders. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for all of us!

2019 Shared-Use Path Repair Project Begins

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City posted today that the annual repairs to Sanibel’s Shared-Use Paths begins Monday, Aug 19. Every year the City inspects all 26.06 miles of paths and prioritizes repair needs. This year, they total $210K with the contractor required to complete the project within 30 days, weather permitting.

For safety, the areas being repaired will be barricaded off from users. Please take care!

Bailey’s Groceries On Demand

Bailey's Groceries on DemandHere’s a Facebook message I saw posted this week by Bailey’s General Store:

“We are excited to announce mobile shopping! With a click of a button, have your groceries delivered to your home, condo, or rental accommodations. Simply download our app “Bailey’s General Store” on the Apple App Store or Android Market, OR click here http://baileys-sanibel.freshopsites.com/shop, add the groceries you need, and have them delivered straight to your door. Shopping has never been easier!”

Why the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park Is So Cool

Ding Darling Society logoMidweek, I chatted with fellow Realtor Sarah Ashton who with her husband Jim Metzler co-chairs the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s Friends of the Refuge. They authored a “cool” guest commentary that was in this week’s “Island Reporter”. I offered my congratulations on the article which serves to educate as well as promote what Sanibel is all about. I hope you enjoy it too.

“The Sanibel Slough, known to most of us as the Sanibel River, feeds fresh water into low-lying swales to create Sanibel’s interior wetland system. As a result, the health of Sanibel Slough is critical to the health of the wildlife that inhabits the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, more than a decade ago, the slough was identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as being impaired for nutrients, meaning that it does not meet state standards for nitrogen and phosphorus. But we will describe a very cool project that is helping to reduce the nutrient concentrations in the slough.

“The somewhat recently opened Jordan Marsh is a filter marsh, one side of which abuts Casa Ybel Road. The creation of the marsh was funded by the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County impact fees, and the City of Sanibel. A pump located at the rear of the property pulls water out of the Sanibel Slough. The water meanders throughout the marsh before it is return to the slough. Within the marsh, plants such as cattails, bulrush, and pickerelweed, remove excess nutrients.

“If the water is pumped into the marsh at a low rate, it spends a lot of time there, and hence the marsh removes a high percentage of the nutrients. In contrast, if the water is pumped in at a high rate, it spends less time in the marsh and as a result, a lower percentage of the nutrients are removed. However, there is a trade-off. Since the water spends less time in the marsh, it is possible to pump more water through the marsh and hence the marsh can potentially remove a larger amount of nutrients.

“One of the reasons why the Jordan Marsh project is so cool is because it represents a close partnership between the City and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. One part of that cooperation is that the property on which Jordan Marsh was built is comprised of six acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve, and a 1.3-acre portion of the 8.5 acres that is within SCCF’s Wigley Preserve.

“The cooperation between the City and SCCF goes much deeper. The City is currently working with SCCF to collect data from the marsh relative to the amount of nutrients that are removed. This data is being analyzed by SCCF’s Marine Laboratory scientists and will be used to determine the overall effectiveness of the marsh and the optimal rate at which water should be pumped into the marsh. And speaking of cooperation, SCCF’s Marine Laboratory is located on property owned by the refuge.

“Another reason that the Jordan Marsh is so cool is that in addition to removing nutrients from the Sanibel Slough, the project also enhances the existing wildlife habitat on the site, providing recreational opportunities such as biking and birding, and educates park visitors on the various techniques being use to improve water quality.

“There is no doubt that solving the water quality issues such as cleaning up Lake Okeechobee will take considerable help from the federal government and the state. There is also no doubt that the biggest reason that Jordan Marsh is so cool is that it is a cooperative effort of many local groups to solve a problem in our own backyard.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 9-16, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 now $1.495M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Signal Inn #4 1/1 $490K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $495K, By-The-Sea #C1023/2 $1.525M.

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0720.JPG

Still some other condos for sale at Signal Inn! Off the beaten path, yet right on the beach & pet friendly too.

HOMES

1 new listing: 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699.9K.

1 price change: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $439K.

2 new sales: 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

4 closed sales: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $860K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $875K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 $900K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $937.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 3308 St. Kilda Rd now $479,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #606 2/2 $739K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $450K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.95M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, I hope your days are drier than here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

If School Begins Monday, Is Summer Over? Noooo! Summer & Vacations Go On Forever Here!


It’s already another Friday with the islands quiet. When there is no traffic director at the Causeway Road 4-way stop at both noon and 5:30 p.m., you know Sanibel/Captiva traffic has slowed.

Though The SanibelSusan Team was short one teammate this week, we had some nice accomplishments – a great new listing, a nice price reduction on another, an offer in the works, a great turnout yesterday at our Isabel Dr listing on Realtor Caravan, and though our photographer has dealt with many rain and cloud interruptions, I think he will deliver some special marketing photos this weekend. The full team is back to work on Monday (the same day that Lee County schools are back in session). Yikes! Does that mean summer is over?

At our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday recognition was given to the donors and helpers that contributed to the 20,300 meals that were packed in record time at last Friday’s Meals of Hope benefit event. Thank-yous also went to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, his wife Doreen, and City Councilor Holly Smith for their hands-on help. It is fast fun work often with competition. Part of the giggles relate to the required hair coverings. If packers don’t bring a hat, they are blessed with a hairnet. I’m sure the Mayor loved that. (Two photos compliments of JMA Photography below: First the packers. 2nd photo has the Mayor rocking his hair net at the end of the table. That assembly-line begins with his wife Doreen (on left in baseball cap) & Councilor Holly Smith(on right).)

Only two properties, including our listing, were open for the Caravan that followed yesterday’s meeting. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System are after a couple of news items below.

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

Much of SanibelSusan’s business is with buyers who also own in another resort or 2nd home market area, usually one they visit in the summer. When owning here, if retired, they often claim Florida residency for the estate and tax benefits. Many island owners have properties in several resort & 2nd home market areas.

Holding the national RSPS (Resort & 2nd Home Specialist) designation, I follow our group newsletter for tidbits that will help not only in our business, but in the curriculum for the RSPS class that I teach each summer at our local Association of Realtors®. Here are some interesting excerpts from the July 2019 “RSPS Newsletter”. The article linked to http://www.IPX1031.com .

“Whether it’s a cabin in the woods or a beachside bungalow, vacation homes come in all shapes, sizes and locations. We took a closer look at vacation home destinations across the country to find which cities and towns have the most vacation homes. We also analyzed the overall percentage of vacation homes in every state. We researched vacation home data from more than 29,000 different census designated places across all 50 states and ranked the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state.

“Before we analyze the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state, let’s look at the overall percentage of vacation homes in each state. When you think of a popular vacation home hot spot, images of sandy beaches in Florida might come to mind. While Florida ranks high in terms of its number of vacation homes, it doesn’t beat out Maine, which is No. 1 in the country. Surprisingly, 19% of all homes in the Pine Tree State are vacation homes. Vermont and New Hampshire round out the top three states with 17% and 12%, respectively. Florida comes in at No. 6 with 10% of its homes categorized as vacation homes, according to the Census Bureau.

“Apparently, the Midwest isn’t a hot spot for vacation homes. Maybe it’s the brutally cold and long winters, but Midwest states rank low on our list. In fact, Illinois ranks dead last on our list with just 1% of its homes categorized as vacation homes. Other Midwest states like Ohio (1.1%), Iowa (1.6%), Indiana (1.7%) and Kansas (1.4%) are at the bottom of the list as well.

“However, there is one Midwest state that ranks within the top 10. With its more than 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a haven for fishing, boating and vacationing, which explains why the state ranks No. 8 among states with the most vacation homes.

“After we looked at the percentage of vacation homes in every state, we analyzed the top three places with the most vacation homes within those states. While familiar vacation locations such as Copper Mountain in Colorado and Fire Island in New York are among the top vacation home destinations, there are also smaller towns that make the list as well. For example, the top 3 destinations in California all have less than 300 vacation homes. However, every home within those three places are classified as vacation homes. Atlantic City and Boudurant, Wyoming as well as Yellow Pine, Idaho and McCarthy, Alaska are the only other locations on our list where every home is classified as a vacation home.”

After reading their article, I checked their infographic which shows by state what three towns/cities have the most vacation homes. If you are wondering what it reports for Florida. They are Captiva, Horseshoe Beach, and North Key Largo. (If you are like me, you now may be wondering, where is Horseshoe Beach? Google says, it’s on the Gulf, about 315 miles north of Sanibel and west of Gainesville. With an area of less than 2/10 of a mile, the population is only about 200.

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

As reported in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”, “The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

“Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the City of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline….The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it…The City has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District…The work is expected to take place in 2020. As the City manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The City is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.”

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

In the same “Sanibel-Captiva Islander” issue, it reports that “The City of Sanibel recently submitted applications for the design work and a request for financial assistance on the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road…” Once a Construction Control Line permit is issued by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, work there can begin, hopefully as soon as sea turtle nesting season is over at the end of October. In addition to the permit application, “the City submitted an application… for funds through the DEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests for beach projects…The City applied for just over $300,000 in state assistance as part of 50-50 cost share. It would cover the cost of the beach re-nourishment or fill placement and dune restoration…It would not include the structure itself – revetment, sheet piping, riprap – to protect the roadway…The total project may cost approximately $612,000. The City intends to request funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council to help cover the remaining costs of the project…The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the City deposits…That is why the City wants to get the project done by fall, early winter….”

“Earlier this year, the City had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on, at a City Council meeting, the firmed reported the following:

“”Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability…It is the intent of the City to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400’ section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.

“”The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400’ section of vulnerable highway….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 2-9, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $529K, Sundial West #K103 2/2 $920K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $589K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $759K.

3 new sales: Sundial West #I103 1/1 listed at $465.9K, Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 listed at $484K, By-the-Sea #C102 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $595K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $999K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $613.5K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $444K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $725K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.195M (our listing) (a few photos below, including mama & baby dolphin swimming by the 90′ dock)

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

4 new sales: 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

4 closed sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $335K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $485.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.35M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $299K (our listing) (some drone aerials below, it overlooks 9th fairway & has conservation land across the street), 3945 West Gulf Dr 3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 now $324K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,899,999.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan