Happy Friday at The SanibelSusan Team

Another Friday report from SanibelSusan and team. Funny weather here this week – still summerlike, warm and humid, but two mostly-overcast days in a row now, rather than bright sunny days with occasional afternoon or evening showers.

meals of hope logoNext Friday at the Sanibel Community House is the Meals-of-Hope food-packaging event that the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® is sponsoring and my committee is ringleading. I am happy to report that we have met both of our goals: 1) to raise more than $5,000 to pay for the food/supplies, and 2) to line up at least 50 volunteers to help in the packing. If any of you are here and want to help, just let us know in advance so that we have a task lined up for you. It will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 28. Our goal then is to pack 20,000 meals during the two hours.

Below are a couple of news items, followed by the action posted since last Friday in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service. Not much action this week, but The SanibelSusan Team has good representation! Woohoo!

Other Dates to Remember

Noahs-Ark-2August 4, Friday – Noah’s Ark Annual Bag Day from 9 to 11 a.m. Fit as much as you can in an bag purchased in the parking lot for $4. Any items that don’t fit in the bag are 80% off. After August 4, the Ark is closed for cleaning and repairs. It reopens October 3 on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. In November, full schedule resumes (weekdays and the 1st Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. Donations are accepted beginning September 1. More info at www.saintmichaels-sanibel.org.

ding darling goose logoUntil August 28 – Seniors age 62 and older can purchase a lifetime pass “America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior” for $10 at the “Ding” Darling Nature Store when the price increases to $80. The pass allows free lifetime admission to most national wildlife refuges, including “Ding’ Darling, plus national parks and monuments, and more than 2,000 sites manages by federal agencies. This is the 1st senior pass price increase since 1994.

Homeowners Association Restrictions Have an Expiration Date

henderson-franklinA good article was posted on-line June 28, 2017 by Amanda Barritt, with Henderson Franklin Attorneys at Law.

“With the turnover of volunteer homeowner’s association (“HOA”) board members over time, it is not surprising that certain important long-term issues may be overlooked. There is one very important law, however, which board members may not be aware of that can eliminate an HOA’s ability to enforce its restrictions.

“I am often contacted by an HOA board at the last minute before their restrictions “expire” under this law and even sometimes after they expire. Below is a breakdown of the two different processes an HOA must follow to preserve the restrictions before they expire or, if the deadline has been missed, to revitalize the restrictions.

What is the law and why? The Marketable Records Title Act (“MRTA”) is a Florida law designed to eliminate “stale” recorded claims that affect the title to real property, such as old recorded leases for which the beneficiaries have long departed or dissolved. Without MRTA, these documents still have to be shown on title commitments and policies even though may have long since become irrelevant and unused. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exemption to save old (and still active) association covenants unless the affirmative steps are taken to preserve them.

What does it mean to HOA’s? The simplified explanation is that the recorded covenants governing a community must be preserved before the end of a 30-year period beginning on the date they were recorded. The Florida statute lays out the process that an association must go through to preserve the effectiveness of the recorded covenants if the 30 years has not yet expired. The preservation process will mean that the covenants are effective under MRTA for another 30 years. HOA’s must still look at the Declaration to determine if the covenants expire under their own terms at another date without an automatic renewal.

“Merely amending or restating the covenants does not restart the 30-year clock. The statutory process must be followed. For preservation, the Statement of Marketable Title Action provided in Section 712.06, Florida Statutes must be sent to all homeowners seven (7) days in advance of the board meeting to consider preserving the covenants. The Board must approve the preservation by at least 2/3 vote of the Board, and then a Notice of Marketable Title Action is recorded in the public records.

What if an HOA misses the 30-year deadline? “Revitalization” is required to reinstate the recorded covenants for another 30 years. The revitalization process that applies to HOA’s is found in the Homeowners’ Association Act (ch. 720, Florida Statutes).

Revitalization Process: In order to revitalize, a majority of the owners of the affected property must approve of the revitalization. The process also includes:

  • Forming an “Organizing Committee” to prepare the proposed revitalized documents.
  • Providing notice to all homeowners that includes the HOA documents (as well as the current articles of incorporation and bylaws), a graphic depiction of the property (often a copy of the plat, if applicable), and the form of written consent for them to sign to approve the revitalization (unless the HOA is holding a vote at a meeting).
  • Submitting the approved documents, the consents, and other documentation verifying that the proper process was followed to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (“FDEO”) for approval.
  • Upon approval by the FDEO, the revitalized Declaration, the current Articles, Bylaws, and affected property owners and property list are recorded.

Bottom Line: It is important to note that the expiration date under MRTA applies regardless of whether an HOA’s Declaration of Restrictions contains its own expiration date. Both the MRTA deadline and the Declaration’s own expiration provisions must be addressed by all HOA’s. The process may be daunting for some Boards, but a successful revitalization or preservation is possible with some diligence. If you have any questions or concerns regarding how MRTA applies to your HOA, please feel free to contact me at amanda.barritt@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1108.”

Green Sea Turtles On Sanibel

GREEN-SEA-TURTLE-900The first green sea turtle was tagged on June 5, on the west end, just east of Bowman’s Beach. Since then four more have been tagged here making the Green Sea Turtle in Southwest Florida program a huge success for the first year.

Conservancy of SW FL logo.pngThe Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) partnered with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this year to tag green sea turtles. As of last week, two green sea turtles were tagged with satellite trackers on Keewaydin Island and five on Sanibel.

SCCF logoSCCF has a nighttime tagging crew monitoring the beaches seven days week to tag loggerhead turtles with flipper and pit tags, and taking measurements. So far this year, the crew has encountered 202 loggerheads, while 20 green sea turtles have been reported on the island. Green sea turtles nest biannually.

In addition to looking different, these two turtles have different nesting characteristics. Green sea turtles use symmetric movements while crawling on the beach, while loggerheads crawl like babies. Green sea turtles also have a tail drag because their tails are a bit longer. The green sea turtle also spends a long time covering their nest to camouflage it from predators. Two of the five green sea turtles were found nesting at 5 a.m. Green sea turtles lay a clutch of about 136 eggs, while loggerheads lay an average of 110 eggs. Follow the green sea turtles that have been tagged on www.movebank.org.

To help protect sea turtles, please:

  • Hunker down when spotting a sea turtle on the beach, especially when seeing a green sea turtle. If it sees a human near them, it is enough to scare them back into the water.
  • Turn lights completely off near and on the beach, or place an approved red filter over the light. Sea turtles are not attracted to the long wave length of red lights.
  • Make sure beaches are clean and flat. Flatten sand castles, fill in holes, and remove beach furniture from the beach at night.
  • If you see a sea turtle nesting, do not approach it, but rather watch from a distance and hunker down.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 14-21, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


2 new listings: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 $825K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 $1.749M.

1 price change: Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $669K.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #B105 2/2 listed at $464.9K.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #D1 2/2 $360K (our listing & sale).


1 new listing: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $1.149M.

6 price changes: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $649K; 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $669K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $733,888; 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $749K, 765 Conch Ct 5075 5/4 now $899K, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.45M.

1 new sale: 625 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 listed at $699K (our listing).

No closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $995,555.

1 new sale: 2501 Wulfert Rd listed at $183.9K.

No closed sales.



Nothing to report.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5/2 now $3.699M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2.5 $2.345M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Here’s hoping your summer is happy too! Next Friday’s update will be posted earlier in the day! Happy weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Causeway 07-15-17


Sea Turtles, Shells, Sunshine = Sanibel Summer


Hooray for a week of nice weather in sunny Southwest Florida – an occasional few raindrops here and there, but not enough to disturb those enjoying the outdoors. Shelling continues to be excellent with local papers still posting multiple photos of happy junonia finders.junonia shell

About the only negative we’ve heard lately is about mosquitoes and noseeums. A good reason to lather up if you plan to be on the beaches and waterways at sunup or sundown.

No Caravan Meeting this week at the islands Association of Realtors® and not much real estate action was posted in the local Multiple Listing Service. That MLS activity follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Voters to Consider Permanent Cap on Annual Non-Homestead Property Tax Assessments

henderson-franklinGood article on-line today (June 23, 2017) in “Legal Scoop on Southwest Florida Real Estate” by Austin Turner of Henderson Franklin, Attorneys at Law:

“With Florida’s 2017 Regular Session officially adjourned on May 8, 2017, only 203 bills (of the total 1,606 general bills filed) survived both chambers of the Legislature.

“From the handful of legislation that ultimately passed this year, Joint Resolution CS/HJR 21 was enacted. This resolution proposes an amendment to the State’s Constitution that would limit a local government’s authority to assess non-homestead real property for purposes of ad valorem taxation.\

Background – Under Florida’s Constitution, ad valorem taxation is expressly reserved to local governments. The state is prohibited from levying ad valorem taxes on real and tangible personal property.

When preparing an annual assessment, the State Constitution also generally requires that all property be assessed at just value (i.e., market value) on January 1st of each year. Thereafter, such assessments are used to calculate property taxes to fund counties, municipalities, district school boards and certain special districts.

Florida’s Existing Limitations on Assessments for Non-Homestead Property –For real property that has not qualified for a homestead exemption under the applicable provisions of ch.196, Florida Statutes, Florida’s voters approved a 2008 constitutional amendment which now limits the authority of local governments to increase non-homestead property tax assessments in excess of 10% each year (not applicable to school board assessments, years following a qualified improvement, or any year property undergoes a change in ownership or control).

“Under the provisions previously approved by the 2008 amendment, Florida’s annual limitation on increases for non-homestead assessments is scheduled to expire on January 1, 2019.

CS/HJR 21 – Following the Legislature’s recent passage of Joint Resolution CS/HJR 21, a new constitutional amendment will now be proposed to Florida’s voters during the 2018 general election which, if approved by a supermajority (60%) of voters, will permanently extend our state’s current 10% annual cap on non-homestead ad valorem tax assessments.

So What’s the Legal Scoop? As this legislation will not be subject to a gubernatorial veto, Florida’s new constitutional amendment will become effective on January 1, 2019, if it is approved by the 2018 electorate.

Given the number of flourishing local businesses, vacation rentals, and secondary homes throughout Southwest Florida, which have recently benefitted from the 10% annual cap on non-homestead ad valorem assessments, a strong voter turnout in support of this measure is expected in 2018.

“If you have any general questions regarding ad valorem property taxes in Florida or the recent approval of CS/HJR 21, please feel free to contact Austin at 239-344-1178 or via email at austin.turner@henlaw.com.”

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Is On a Roll

Loggerhead turtleFrom an email last Friday, Jun 16, from SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation):

“We now have a total of 8 green sea turtle nests, including one on the East End! We also have 363 loggerhead nests (262 on Sanibel and 101 on Captiva).

“We’ve been extremely busy in the best way possible. Last week our night team, who have been tagging loggerheads after nesting, have seen 31 individuals, including 8 recaptures. On Thursday of last week, they encountered 11 sea turtles in one night – a record for SCCF!

sea-turtle-eggs“And early today we put a satellite transmitter on our third green sea turtle! She nested very late in the night and our team was able to release her this morning. SCCF is grateful that Dave Addison from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida invited us to participate in this project. Doing so will allow us to learn more about the greens nesting in Southwest Florida.

“Please remember to share the beach with these amazing creatures by turning off all lights on the beach (including cell phone lights), bringing in beach furniture, and filling in any holes. “Here are the nest counts as of today (6/17/2017:

Loggerhead Nests – Sanibel East 67, Sanibel West 195, Captiva 101, Total 363

Green Nests – Sanibel East 1, Sanibel West 7, Captiva 0, Total 8

Loggerhead False Crawls – Sanibel East 144, Sanibel West 285, Captiva 88, Total 517

Green False Crawls – Sanibel East 0, Sanibel West 5, Captiva 0, Total 5.”

Owners, Appraisers Disagree on Home Values

Quicken Loans logoiAs posted in “Daily Real Estate News” last Thurs, June 15, 2017:

“Homeowners feel like their homes are worth more than what appraisers say they are, and the gap between the two estimated values has grown for the 6th consecutive month, according to Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index.

“Appraised values were, on average, 1.93% lower than what homeowners expected, according to the index. Appraisals are drifting farther from owner estimates, even though their assessments continue to rise higher each month, the index shows.”

On island, with business so seasonal and appraisers needing to use recent comparables, it can be challenging getting good appraisals in late summer/fall. It’s always important for owners to recognize that location often plays the major role in an appraisal. The “where it is”, can influence the value, more than the “what it is”. In most cases, values are based on what a consumer has paid, rather than replacement cost.

Sanibel Boat Ramp Rehab

Sanibelcityseal logoCity construction of the Sanibel boat ramp rehabilitation project at 888 Sextant Dr (next to the causeway bridge) begins Wed, July 5. The boat ramp will be closed from then until Fri, Sep 8, provided the weather cooperates. The picnic areas and rest rooms will stay open. Residents/visitors are encouraged to use the Punta Rassa boat ramp (next to the toll booth) during this time. Lee County Parks and Recreation has an agreement with the City of Sanibel to honor Sanibel’s “C” parking permits during this time.

Upcoming Island Holiday Fun

Indoor Mini-Golf – July 1, 2, 3 at The Community House. 9 holes for $3 with tee times from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Holiday Hog Roast – July 1 at The Community House from 5 to 8 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the newly renovated facility. $10 for adults. $5 for children under 12 for hot dog meal.

27th Island Independence Day Parade – July 4 at 9:30 a.m. Begins at Bailey’s Center & heads down Periwinkle to Casa Ybel Rd. Commemorative tee shirts and tank tops available now at Bank of the Islands. This year’s theme “Preserving the Red, White, & Blue”. A few photos below of the Bailey’s Store entries from last year’s parade.

38th Annual Sanibel-Captiva Road Rally – July 4 at noon from Timbers Restaurant parking lot – register early at http://www.SanCapOptimist.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 16 – 23, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


5 new listings: Seashells #40 2/2 $369.9K; Sanctuary Golf Villages #6-2 2/2.5 $649K; Snug Harbor #211 2/2 $799,999; Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $1.05M; Gulfside Place #124 2/2 $1.25M.

2 price changes: Seashells #11 2/2 now $359K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 now $675K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #A31 2/1.5 listed at $299K, Tennisplace #C21 2/1.5 listed at $339,555, Blind Pass #F210 2/2 listed at $459K, Sanibel Arms West #I3 2/2 listed at $519K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 $515K, Sundial East #T202 2/2 $799K.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $749,888; 4995 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $2.695M.

2 new sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $489K, 1918 Ibis Ln 3/3 listed at $629K..

9 closed sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $500K, 2154 Egret Cir 3/2 $525K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 $600K, 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 $635K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 $670K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $750K, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 $1.235M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.45M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 $1.825M.


1 new listing: 9226 Kincaid Ct $190K.

1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $277K.

1 new sale: 2441 & 2453 Los Colony Rd listed at $179K.

No closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 listed at $260K, Beach Homes #9 4/3.5 listed at $2.95M.

No closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $819K.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

17.Until next Friday, hope you enjoy your summer!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate on Cinco de Mayo

cinco de mayoSanibel & Captiva Islands had another week of good weather and little traffic – or at least until late yesterday when a boat slid off a trailer coming out of Sanibel Harbour onto Summerlin Road just after the toll booth going off island.

That little roadway snafu kept vehicles leaving the islands at a slow crawl until close to 7 p.m. Silly me then, doing some off-island chores after work.

The weather this week included the first major shower of the rainy season. Boy, was the rain needed when it arrived late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Though off-island teammates Dave and Elise saw only a few drops and heard some thunder rumbles where they live, they noticed causeway flooding as they came onto the island. There were huge puddles from the east-end to Captiva. Most now have disappeared, with “greening” up already noticeable. I heard a Lee County Mosquito Control plane buzzing the east-end early morning yesterday, yet another sign that we got rain and it’s May.

The change in island occupancy is evident even to the lunch crowd. No waiting at Doc Ford’s on Tuesday when my lunch friends and I snagged a nice breezy outside table. They later sent me the below photo and said I could share it. Thank you, Susanna and Yves-Pascal, for a great visit and terrific picture too!

Version 3

First Off-Season Caravan Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was light at yesterday’s Thursday morning local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting which had just two homes (one bank-owned) and a single condo on tour. That’s another indication that “high season” is over. Here forward, until late fall when business picks up, Caravan’s will be held every other week and open to any new listings in any location on either island.

  • Water Quality Update – During the Committee Reports, Realtor® David Schuldrenfrei for the Government & Environmental Committee reported that SB #10, regarding Everglades restoration and water storage, passed in the Florida Legislature with the House of Representatives following the lead of the Senate. This bill has been decades in the making and provides $800 million in funding to create a dynamic reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in the Everglades Agricultural Area. The reservoir is needed to provide freshwater to Florida Bay and to alleviate discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie Rivers. The bill now is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature. Local Realtors®, City officials, and others have spent nearly 20 years working toward this milestone. David offered a big thank you to all involved for their continued persistence. A further update is below, on other issues in the forefront of Florida’s legislative session which wraps up today.
  • Working Together to Make a Difference – For the Communications and Public Relations Committee, I announced that Realtors® Bob and Diane Stocks joined me Monday morning in transporting to Catholic Charities of SW Florida, the gently-used clothing collected over the last two months by Association Members. That delivery was a humbling experience. Charity workers were very thankful for the carloads of goods delivered saying they are particularly in need of donations for Clewiston farm worker families, those who lost belongings in Florida’s fires, recent rescues human trafficking, as well as those down on their luck hoping and looking for jobs, to become more self-sufficient. This month, the Committee is spearheading a new campaign, collecting pillows, bed linens, and diapers which will be donated on June 1 to ACT (Abuse Counseling Treatment Center) in Fort Myers. Their needs increase in the “off season” too.
  • Real Estate Announcements – Under new and old business, a couple of old sales were announced. Listing agents are careful these days to wait until after inspection/cancellation periods are over – or contingencies are removed – to make an announcement.

Also, a “back-on-the-market” was reported where a property did not close because the buyer couldn’t get financing. That doesn’t happen here too often, but it could be because the home was found to have aluminum wiring, which can make a property difficult to insure. The listing agent announced that the wiring is being replaced and it again is available for sale.

I announced the price reduction at our Seagull Estates listing. A couple of upcoming new listings were announced too. There usually are not many new offerings this time of the year. These were the result of winter residents heading home and moving elsewhere. The details of the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows some other news items below.

While I was at the Thursday caravan meeting, Dave was at a property inspection. I hope he wasn’t on the roof when this picture was taken, but here is his photo showing how few were on Beachcomber’s east-end stretch of beach then.  The gulf waters are beautiful!

Roof 05-04-17 Cropped.jpg

Update on Florida Legislative Session

Florida Realtors logoAs Florida’s legislative session comes to a close, Florida Realtors® Vice President of Public Policy, Carrie O’Rourke, emailed the members of FloridaRealtors® Think Tank (yes, I am one of those) a summary of what she said is “is shaping up to be one of our most successful sessions in recent memory.” Here are some excerpts:

  • Business Rent Tax Reduction – We are closer to success than ever before! After years of fighting for a reduction to the business rent tax we were finally able to overcome the obstacles and there is a strong chance we will come out with a win for business owners, commercial Realtors®, and ultimately, Florida’s economy. Under the current proposal, which was just passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the business rent tax would be reduced 0.2%, moving from 6% to a permanent 5.8%. While this may at first seem like a very modest cut, there are two things to consider
  • First, this cut represents more than $60 million fiscal impact to the state, and comprises the vast majority of the small amount of funding that was available for tax cut purposes.
  • Second, this cut represents a big step for a legislative body that has been reluctant to even open the door on a cut to this revenue source.
  • The bill now travels to the full Florida Senate for a vote, and will also need to pass the House before the legislature adjourns on Friday, the scheduled conclusion of the Legislature’s 60-day session.
  • “10% Non-Homestead Property Tax Cap – Success! The joint resolution has passed both legislative chambers and will not be heading to voters during the 2018 general election. This is a significant victory for Florida Realtors® as it gives us the time we need to conduct a comprehensive, direct-to-voter campaign that will help voters understand why they need to make this important tax break permanent.
  • “Estoppel Certificate Fee Reform – …For three years, we have been advocating for caps on unreasonable estoppel certificate fees and all that hard work has paid off with the passage of SB 398. This legislature caps the fees that community association management companies can charge for estoppel certificates at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. An additional $100 can be charged for “expedited” estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days), and another $150 can be charged for owners who are delinquent in their assessments. This is a maximum of $500 for an expedited, delinquent estoppel certificate. Gone are the days of certificate fees that cost $1,000 or more….
  • “Vacation Rentals – It took about 4 hours of debate and a close vote for HB 425… to make it out of the House. This is the bill that essentially stops local governments from targeting vacation rental homes with restrictive ordinances. In other words, if a local government passes an ordinance targeted at vacation rental homes, it has to apply to all residential homes in the area; vacation rentals cannot be singled out. The original bill has been amended several times and has a tough road ahead of it in the Senate.
  • “Increase to the Non-School Homestead Exemption – The Senate passed a priority issue of the House concerning a proposed increase to the non-school homestead exemption by $25,000. Currently homeowners receive a tax exemption on the first $25,000 in the value of their properties. They pay taxes on the value between $25,000 and $50,000 and then receive an exemption on the portion from $50,000 to $75,000. The House ended up adopting the Senate’s version of the joint resolution which would apply the exemption to the portion of values between $100,000 and $125,000. This passage will place a constitutional amendment on the 2017 general election ballot.”

First Sea Turtle Nest

Turtle hatching 07-01-16As follow-up to last week’s posting about sea turtle nesting season beginning, the first nest of the season was found Saturday, April 29, near Gulfside Place condos. The nest has been staked off by volunteers from SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Monitoring Program. Reports say that this year’s first nest is early, but not as early as last year when the first one was found on April 20 on Captiva.

Sea turtles on Sanibel/Captiva are coming off back-to-back record years. A new record was set in 2015 with more than 600 nests. Last season that record was beat by a mile when the two islands had a combined total of 826 nests.

SCCF volunteers patrol the beaches early every morning during nesting season, recording new nests and false crawls (when a female comes ashore but doesn’t lay eggs). The volunteers take measurements and stake the nests. In recent years, they also have covered nests with mesh to prevent coyotes from getting to them.

Southwest Florida By The Numbers

As a numbers kinda gal, I enjoyed reading the statistics in the “Gulfshore Business Source Book 2017” that arrived in the mail this week. Below is a sampling, showing Lee County compared to neighboring Collier and Charlotte, the state, and the nation.

“Demographics              Lee             Collier          Charlotte     Florida               United States

2016 population             680,539      350,202        170,450        20.612 million   323.127 million

Projected by 2025          839,497       409,899       187,862        22.799 million   357.452 million

Median age (2016)         46.9              46.5             54.5                 39.4                     35.9

Percentage over 65        25                27.8             36.2                 18.8                     12.4

Cost of Living

Median home price      $246,900      $450,000     $195,000        $226,000          $233,500


Unemployment rate     4.4%              4.5%              5.2%              5.0%                 4.7%

(Feb 2017)

Median annual wage   $31,548         $32,946         $29,526         $32,789           $36,764


Further along in the article, it provided details on the major communities within the counties.

Here is their info for Sanibel:

“Population (2016) – 6,591

Per capita income (2015) – $79,354

Median household income (2015) – $98,818

Median home value – $664,500”

Wondering the largest employers in Southwest Florida? Here are the top ten with their number of employees:

  1. “Lee Health (12,600)
  2. Lee County School District (11,098)
  3. Publix Super Markets (8,533)
  4. Collier County Public Schools (7,000)
  5. NCH Healthcare System – Naples Community Hospital (4,200)
  6. Wal-Mart (3,792)
  7. Chico’s FAS Inc. (2,900)
  8. Arthrex Inc. (2,510)
  9. Lee County Government (2,362)
  10. Lipman Produce (2,300)…”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 28-May 5, 2017



5 new listings: Sundial West #D403 1/1 $435K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $659K, Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $659K, Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 $749K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 $1.489M.

5 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $349K, Seashells #11 2/2 now $365K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $438.5K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 now $485K, By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 now $1.495M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 listed at $463.5K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 listed at $475K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 listed at $699K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 listed at $749K, Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 listed at $774.9K.

5 closed sales: Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $705K, Sundial West #E304 2/2 $790K, Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $865K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 $910K, Wedgewood #202 3/3.5 $2.38M.


2 new listings: 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $575K, 315 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $649K.

15 price changes: 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $578K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $584.9K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599.9K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $614K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $629K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $675K, 1717 Sand Peble Way 3/2 now $679K, 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $798.8K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $1.069M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.595M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 now $ 1.85M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 now $1.995M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 now $2.499M.

4 new sales: 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $495K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 listed at $5.799M.

3 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $850K (our seller), 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.475M.


4 new listings: 644 Sea Oats Dr $295K, 223 Robinwood Cir $295K, 540 Birdsong Pl $390K, 3354 Barra Cir $425K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 434 Lake Murex Cir listed at $275K.

2 closed sales: 255 Hurricane Ln $310K, 1301 Sand Castle Rd $360K.



1 new listing: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $785K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #29 4/4 listed at $2.3M.

No closed sales.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 now $1.198M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

I’m in the office tomorrow, if you want to list or sell on seis de mayo! Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Bidding September Goodbye at SanbelSusan Realty

It’s SanibelSusan reporting another Friday of beautiful Sanibel Island weather. Today we continue to watch the track of Hurricane Matthew. It could miss much of Florida, but still bears a close eye.

This morning, there also was a news report that red tide which over the last few days has plagued Sarasota county beaches to the north, could be heading this way. There is a red tide watch through tomorrow for Lee and Collier counties. Fingers crossed that early Hurricane Matthew winds disburse it.

Teammate Lisa received the below “green flash” photos from a reader who noticed the one mentioned last week. She said she also saw one on her last island visit. (Thanks for sharing, Cheri.)


On the “Upcoming Events” tab above, I have been adding fall/winter happenings as they are scheduled and announced. “Season” is filling up nicely with plenty of things to do.

Record Turtle Nesting Season


Those here this summer likely noticed the large number of sea turtle nests. As reported on-line at the “Santiva-Chronicle”, as of Monday, “SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) reports that 23,017 sea turtle hatchlings have emerged. With almost 100 nests left on the beach, this season could beat last season’s 26,727 hatchlings. A normally-developed nest yields about 100 hatchlings to offset a survival rate of about 1 in 1,000 once the turtles are in the water.

“Last year was a record-setting year here for nests with more than 600. This year has obliterated that mark with a new record total of 826 nests, two of which are endangered green sea turtle nests.

“SCCF turtle volunteers comb the beaches each morning during the nesting season to chart the nests, stake them off and protect them from coyotes and other predators. The volunteers have been busier this season than ever before in all three of SCCF’s designated turtle nesting zones. All three zones have set nesting records. The volunteers also log false crawls, where a female turtle comes ashore but for one reason or another doesn’t lay eggs. The previous record for false crawls has also fallen with 1,447 false crawls found this season….

“The nesting season took a hit recently with the passage of Hurricane Hermine. Hermine a tropical depression when it skirted past the barrier islands on Aug 30 hundreds of miles out to sea. It created a storm surge that SCCF said washed out 57 nests on Sanibel and 24 on Captiva, a total loss of just under 10%….”

New Places/Things & Re-Openings

DunesEntrySignDunes Speed Humps – To reinforce the 20-mph speed limit to travelers taking this alternate route during high season, four humps have been installed on Sand Castle Road in The Dunes subdivision.

Two are on the north side of the circle and two on the south side. Speeders beware!

Noah’s Ark – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market – The locals are ready and this is an indication that “season” is coming. Sanibel Farmers Market opens Sunday and will be open every Sunday through Apr 30 – from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall. The only exception is Christmas Day, when it instead will be open the next day, on Monday.

Restaurant Reopenings:

  • Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro – Reopens Thurs, Oct 6.
  • Blue Coyote – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – Bar renovation is almost complete. They reopen Tues, Oct 4.
  • Trader’s Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Has their sold-out Shell Museum fundraiser on Mon, Oct 3. Reopens the next day for lunch and dinner.

Coming Soon:

  • Totally Baked – in the Island Center, 2407 Periwinkle Way (former location of McIntosh Books) where construction began this week, is expected to open in early Nov. This week, Sanibel Planning Commission approved a variance and development permit that will allow them to have 16 outdoor seats.
  • Pasture & Pearl – The “Island Sun” posted that this new restaurant will open in early 2017 in The Village Shops as a “refined and modern dining experience…a more relaxed interpretation of the “fine dining” concept….”


Florida Ranks 4th as Business-Friendly State

Florida Realtors logoAs posted yesterday by FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.

“Wyoming once again took first place with the most competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintained its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.

“Overall, Florida ranked fourth. Only three other states were deemed to have a more business-friendly tax code. This year’s most competitive states include:

  1. Wyoming 2. South Dakota 3. Alaska 4. Florida 5. Nevada 6. Montana 7. New Hampshire 8. Indiana 9. Utah 10. Oregon

“This year’s least competitive states include:

  1. Louisiana 42. Maryland 43. Connecticut 44. Rhode Island 45. Ohio 46. Minnesota 47. Vermont and D.C. 48. California 49. New York 50. New Jersey

“States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes, and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state’s ranking can rise or fall in rank because of its own actions or actions taken by other states….”

The full report is available online

A Lesson for Sellers on Disclosures

realtor logoThe below article posted on RealtorMag® “Daily Real Estate News” on Sep 21:

“Sellers may feel hesitant to reveal any minor problems with their home; afraid they’ll scare off buyers. But here’s a warning for your sellers: They may land in legal trouble if they fail to disclose.

““Most sellers think it is in their best interest to disclose as little as possible,” Rick Davis, a real estate attorney in Kansas, told realtor.com®. “I completely disagree with this sentiment. In the vast majority of cases, disclosing the additional information (especially if it is something that was previously repaired), will not cause a buyer to back out or ask for a price reduction.”

“Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and sometimes even on a local level. (Florida is a full disclosure state.)

““In general, sellers should disclose any known facts about the physical condition of the property, existence of dangerous materials or conditions, lawsuits or pending matters that may affect the value of the property, and any other factors that may influence a buyer’s decision,” according to a recent article at realtor.com®.

“This includes disclosing issues that have been previously repaired, Davis says. Also, disclose any inspection reports.

““It is much better to lose a buyer by clearly disclosing all known issues than it is to spend two years and tens of thousands of dollars in litigation,” says Adam Buck, a certified real estate specialist with the Frutkin Law Firm in Arizona.

“Rest assured, sellers won’t be put on the hook for failing to disclose issues that they didn’t know about.

They should be careful not to make any guesses when prompted, particularly when it comes to the measurements of the home — one common problem area for disclosures.

““Even if you’ve had an appraiser check out your home, you may have no idea how many square feet it truly is because, as it turns out, there’s no single agreed-upon way to measure a home,” the article states. “Three different appraisers can come up with three different measurements.” Don’t make a guess or buyers can come back and accuse you of misleading them.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 23-30, 2016



3 new listings: Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $799K, Atrium #201 3/3 $1.595M, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $245K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.099M.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $229K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $505K, Sanibel Moorings #1542 3/2 $750K, Sundial West #A205 2/2 $789.5K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $862.25K.


2 new listings: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 $298K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

3 price changes: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $489K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $1.049M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 now $2.295M.

4 new sales: 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $629.9K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 584 Kinzie Island Ct 3/4 listed at $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 774 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $1.225M.


1 new listing: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $879K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 $507K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.295M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.82M.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

So as September comes to an end, the wonderful popcorn-like clouds won’t be seen as often. They seemingly jump from the sky & create the best sunsets! Here are a couple from this week!



Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Summer & Ospreys, oh my…

It is Susan reporting that it has been another “quiet” week on the islands. No Association of Realtors® caravan meeting yesterday, but the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days follows a few news items below.

First a few photos  from our friend, Scott, who shares his pictures with us – for the blog. These ospreys love his dock! Thank you, Scott!

Sea Turtle Nests Break Record on East Sanibel

kemp turtleFollowing up on last week’s post about sea turtles, SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) blog on Wed, July 13, posted the following:

“Today SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program confirmed that Sanibel’s East End has broken the record for nest numbers since we began recording. We officially have 122 loggerhead nests on the East End.

“2015 was the previous record holder with 120 nests. Prior to that, the average for nests on the East end was 38 per year! We are having an excellent season!

“Here’s how you can ensure all those nests, hatchlings, and momma’s stay safe:

  • Respect all staked nests.
  • Turn off all lights – Nesting females and hatchlings primarily emerge after dark so remember to turn off all lights. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon to navigate towards the water. Any artificial lighting will cause confusion and steer turtles in the wrong direction. This includes beachfront lighting, flash lights, flash photography, and even iPhones.
  • Remove all beach furniture and toys – Clear everything off the beach from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. Obstacles on the beach can cause nesting females and hatchlings to become entangled.
  • Fill in all holes on the beach – if you dug a hole on the beach please fill it in. Nesting females and hatchlings can fall into holes, causing them to be vulnerable to predators.
  • Never approach a nesting sea turtle – if approached the sea turtle will likely abandon her nesting attempt

sea-turtle-eggsLoggerhead Sea Turtle Facts

  • Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world
  • Nesting/hatching season occurs from April 15 through October 31
  • Adult loggerheads can grow to more than 3-feet long and weight 200 to 350 lbs
  • A female loggerhead may nest around 3-6 times per season
  • Each nest contains 100 or more leathery ping-pong ball sized eggs
  • Incubation takes about 55 to 65 days depending on sand temperature
  • It may take 30 years or more for loggerhead hatchlings to reach maturity.”

2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate

realtor logoThe National Association of Realtors® (NAR) just issued the results of the annual survey by their Research Division which measures the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients. The report divides those international or foreign clients into two types:

  • Non-resident foreigners who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S. They typically purchase for investment, vacations, or other visits of less than six months.
  • Resident foreigners who also are non-U.S. citizens, but are recent immigrants (or in the country for less than two years) or temporary visa-holders residing for more than six months for professional, educational, or other reasons.

The report contains some interesting information. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “Amid slower economic growth in many countries and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, fewer non-resident foreigners purchased U.S. residential properties while resident foreigners stepped up their purchases. Meanwhile more U.S. domestic clients searched for properties abroad…
  • Foreign buyers purchase $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 – March 2016, a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period…
  • Non-resident foreigners accounted for 41% of foreign buyers while resident foreigners made up 59%. In past years, the number of foreign buyers was split almost evenly between resident and non-resident foreign buyers…
  • Foreign buyers typically purchase more expensive properties…
  • 45% of foreign buyers who purchased residential property came from China ($27B), Canada ($8.9B), India ($6.1B), the United Kingdom ($5.5B), and Mexico ($4.8B)…
  • Non-resident foreign buyers made up the bulk of buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom while resident foreign buyers came from China, India, and Mexico…
  • Although foreigners purchased property nationwide, five states accounted for 51% of total residential property purchases: Florida (22%), California (15%), Texas (10%), Arizona (4%), and New York (4%)…
  • 72% of non-resident foreigner buyers purchased the property as a vacation and/or residential rental property for investment while 21% of resident foreign buyers purchased the property for vacation and/or rental use…
  • 50% of reported transactions were all cash…
  • Previous client contacts and referrals accounted for 47%….”
  • Florida and Arizona attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes…
  • The outlook for international real estate activity in the U.S. remains positive. The decline in the value of the British Pound following Brexit is likely to mean fewer buyers from the United Kingdom. However, businesses and foreign real estate investors may choose to stay away from the United Kingdom, and the United States could become an attractive alternative.”

Corps to Cut Back Lake O Releases

SCCF logoAs reported on line yesterday (July 14) by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Some good news — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted the request made during this week’s Periodic Scientists Call to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to 2,800 cfs measured at the Franklin Lock from last week’s average 4,158 cfs. Flows to the St. Lucie will be reduced to 650 cfs.  There should be some improvement in water clarity because of the reduction — but that would also require that rainfall not be heavy enough to increase the amount of runoff from the Caloosahatchee’s own watershed.

“SCCF participates in a weekly conference call with the Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District as part of a local stakeholders group, which also includes J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the City of Sanibel, Lee County, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the City of Cape Coral.  As part of this process, the partners prepare a weekly Caloosahatchee Conditions Report.  During this week’s call, stakeholders requested a slowdown on the lake releases.

You can find the reports on our website.”

In other SCCF news, their Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel spoke at a congressional hearing yesterday in DC on the water quality crisis in Southwest Florida and St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties on Florida’s east coast. In part, she said:

“We need to recognize this is a national issue requiring science that informs and directs public policies to protect the natural resources in our backyard,” Wessel testified. “This is an economic crisis as well as an environmental one, with 47,000 jobs in our $3 billion tourism industry at stake. We must act now to stop the harmful algal blooms that extend over 35 miles of the Caloosahatchee as we speak. We ask four things of Congress today. Bring greater science to bear in seeking solutions. Pass WRRDA (The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2016). Continue the Tamiami Trail bridging. Accelerate the implementation of the CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) project to store water in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee. These four actions will provide the greatest impacts for resolving the water quality crisis on Florida’s two coasts.”

The Interagency Working Group hearing was the start of “Lagoon-Gulf Action Day” on Capitol Hill. Participating agencies included:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 8-15, 2016



No new listings.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $515K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 now $699K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.1479M.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1,299,999.

5 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $540K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 now $649K, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.929M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.895M.

3 new sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $775K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

2 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $330K, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 $1.075M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1242 Anhinga Ln listed at $525K.

1 closed sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd $799K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 $317.5K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

Scott shared this sunset photo too! It’s a beauty!

Sunset 07-09-16

Thanks again, Scott ! Here’s hoping everyone’s weekend sunsets are beautiful too!

TGIF! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan