A Quiet Friday & Island Real Estate Scoop


It definitely is quiet now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Below are my signs-of-summer observations, followed by a couple of news items, then what has been posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

SanibelSusan’s Signs of Summer

It has been both a good and a bad week on beautiful Sanibel Island. Here is my list of the pros and one con from the last seven days:

PROS:

  • With snowbirds and seasonal visitors gone, traffic is nil, traveling the island is easy-going, and there are no waits at restaurants – a great time to get reacquainted with your favorite local spots. I took a drive out to Captiva midweek with a stop for lunch at Sunset Grill. Below is a photo taken that day. I sure hope the gulf waters stay this beautiful color.Captiva beach 06-06-18
  • Since the winter drought is over, most vegetation is lush, flowering, and green again. Some beautiful sights include some royal poinciana roadway canopies which have been especially vivid the last couple of weeks. RoyalPoincianaTrees
  • Big white popcorn clouds coming from the mainland now are cropping up in the afternoon forming spectacular sights against the bright blue sky – and resulting in picture-perfect sunsets.

CONS:

Sanibel/Captiva Preliminary Property Tax Valuations

LeePALogoOn May 31, the Lee County Property Appraisers office released its estimated tax roll values. According to the June 6, “Islander/Island Reporter”, they “Indicate a 2.51% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 5.33% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The preliminary valuations for the fire districts on the islands also rose.

“The official numbers will come out by July 1, then be sent to Tallahassee for state approval. According to the estimates, Sanibel’s taxable value rose approximately $1.269 million – the 2.51% – to about $5.18 billion. The assessed value jumped 2.48% to $5.46 billion, up $131.99 million from 2017, while the just value improved by 0.04% to $6.08 billion, up $2.56 million.

“Obviously the estimates are lower than we anticipated,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. He noted, however, that the final number released in July typically comes in higher for the city than indicated by the preliminary one. For example, last year it went from 4.5% to 6.2%….”

Foodie Info

  • Jac 06-08-18The Jac – Sanibel Island Grille & Rum Bar is open. At the site of the former Jacaranda Restaurant, The Jac is officially open for business with plans to kick off weekend brunch for the first time tomorrow. The restaurant has been open for two weeks for lunch and dinner every day. This weekend it will open early, for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I had dinner there last week and can recommend the Citrus Fettuccine and Shrimp. Ads for the weekend brunches, say they will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include homemade bloody Mary mixes and an omelet bar.
  • Mud Bugs 06-08-18Mud Bugs Cajun Kitchen coming at the former site of the Sanibel Steakhouse remains under construction, but roadside landscaping went in yesterday and is beautiful. Appears that future parking will all be in the back as the new trees and plantings are big and plentiful. From the road, you can hardly see the new building.

Give Back Wednesdays for Community Housing & Resources

CHR-Logo-Hor-1Every other Wednesday, from May through July, Sanibel’s Community Housing & Resources (CHR) is hosting a Give Back Wednesday at one of its supporter’s locations where that restaurant will donate a percentage of its profits to CHR, the island’s affordable workforce housing program. In addition, Bailey’s General Store is donating a portion of its wine sale proceeds from every Wednesday.

So, if you are here in July, please join local Realtors® and others who will be dining at Sundial Resort’s Seabreeze Café on July 11 and at ‘Tween Waters Resort’s Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grill on July 25.

CHR’s Executive Director, Melissa Rice, also is a Realtor®. Kudos to her, her CHR team, and these wonderful businesses for coming up with such a fun way for us to support the community.

Successful Give-Back-Wednesday events have already occurred at Sanibel Café, Joey’s Custard, and Dante’s Coal-Fired Pizza. There also is one next Wednesday, June 20, at Sanibel Deli.

CHR’s, below-market-rate housing program began on Sanibel about 40 years ago when community leaders saw the need to subsidize housing costs to make it affordable for people who work on the island but couldn’t afford rent. According to an article in this week’s “Santiva-Chronicle”, “CHR currently has 74 properties in its rental program and another 14 properties in its limited-equity ownership program. The non-profit partners with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel or are retired or disabled longtime residents of Sanibel.”

Homeowners’ Association Documents Versus Condo Association Documents

Florida Realtors logoIt has always irked me, that in Florida, condo buyers must be provided with a copy of the condo association’s documents, but that the same does not apply when buying a home in a community with a Homeowners Association. Here’s a question and answer as they appeared in the June 2018 issue of Florida Realtor® magazine.

“I heard that, pursuant to the Homeowners’ Association Disclosure law, the seller must provide the buyer a current copy of the HOA documents. I’m aware of the document delivery for condominium associations, but thought HOAs are different.

“Yes. Section 720.401 does not require the seller to provide a copy of the HOA documents to the buyer; it merely requires a disclosure summary that should be attached to and made a part of the contract.

Wondering what the SanibelSusan Team does when a buyer is purchasing in a home community with a HOA, and we are not required to provide those documents?

We – like anyone in the public – have access to the recorded documents through the website of the Lee County Clerk of Court at www.LeeClerk.org. There, under “Records”, then “Official Records Search”, is a link to “Official Records Public Search”. Searching by a community or subdivision name, one will find every document recorded about it, including the original community documents and plats, plus each subsequent amendment, restatement, or new documents. It also has easements, liens, judgements, deeds, etc. A similar search by an individual’s name will provide every recording about them.

Sometimes home buyers (like condo buyers) want a hard, printed copy of those documents (which can be voluminous). Others prefer just links to the documents, so they can refer to them electronically. Either way, we are happy to provide them.

It is important to note that just the recorded documents are at the courthouse. HOA financials, budgets, reserve schedules, and rules/regulations must be requested from an Association Manager, management company, or board member, similar to those for a condo association.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 1-8, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #D304 1/1 $460K, Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $589K, Sundial West #H203 2/2 $695K, Compass Point #161 3/3 $1.279M.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 now $329.9K, Blind Pass #E205 now $425K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $529K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $544.9K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $229K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed at $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 listed at $625K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 listed at $745K.

4 closed sales: Kings Crown #312 2/2 $765K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $925K, Compass Point #192 2/2 $1.05M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $535K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $879K.

6 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $529K, 744 Marthas Ln 2/2 now $579K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $699.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $765K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $999K.

5 new sales: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 listed at $429K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $749K, Moonshadows #2F 3/3 half-duplex listed at $885K, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 listed at $1.299M.

7 closed sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $568K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $630K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $630K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $695K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $805K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.16M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.95M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $895K.

1 new sale: 6000 White Heron Ln listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas 2/2 $658K.

1 price change: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 now $1.16M.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 listed at $685K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 $939.25K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 now $1.575M.

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 (watching the water…sanibel-island-beach-white-sand

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Nitty Gritty


It’s Susan, reporting another Friday and another beautiful one on sunny Sanibel Island. Following a somewhat blustery rainy Memorial Day weekend, the last few days progressed with only a few showers. Chance of rain is now down to only 10-20%, with daytime temperatures in the low 80’s – pretty nice by island standards.

sunset carinteriordesign(Of course, as soon as I was ready to push the “publish” button on this post, it starting raining. It’s about 3:30 p.m. and looks to be just a quick shower! Maybe with some lingering clouds there will be another one of these gorgeous sunsets tonight.)

 

The action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. It’s quiet now on-island, but even so Sanibel had six new sales (two condos, four homes). No sales on Captiva.sancap GO MLS logo

With today being the first day of hurricane season, it’s a good time to buy – properties generally are easier to view than during the busy winter months and sometimes sellers more negotiable. Inventory remains low, however, so if you want a particular property type or community or have special requirements, it pays to have someone on the lookout for you. Realtors® here often get a heads-up before a new listing hits the market – the beauty of living and working on a small island – and The SanibelSusan Team has good radar!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoCommunications & Public Relations Committee Meeting at our Wednesday morning meeting, the Committee finalized plans for some summer community and fundraising projects:

  • FishFISH of Sanibel-Captiva – As our spring food drive for non-perishable items wrapped up, items collected were delivered yesterday to the food pantry.
  • Sanibel Heritage Trail – Within the next month, now that the rainy season has begun, and with help from SCCF’s Native Plant Nursery, Realtors® hope to add plants to stops along the recently completed Heritage Trail. Funds are already raised and earmarked.
  • meals_of_hope(1)Meals of Hope – The Association is hosting another meal-packing event on Tuesday, July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church. Last summer, we packed over 20,000 meals in less than 2 hours. We hope to pack another 20,000. First, we need to raise $5,000 to cover the food cost. The Association is collecting donations (checks made out to Meals of Hope) and looking for volunteers to help pack during the 2-hour event. Neighbors, family, friends, and children needing community service credits are welcome. Call your Realtor® or the Association (472-9353) for more info. More about the mission of Meals of Hope is at www.mealsofhope.org.
  • Bedz for Kidz – In August, we will be collecting twin and crib bed sheets and children’s luggage/backpacks for this local charity that provides beds and bedding for children as part of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of the 20th Judicial Circuit “Voices for Kids”.
  • New ACT logoACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Center) – In September/October, we are collecting pillows and fresh linens for this Fort Myers facility.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan at yesterday’s Caravan Meeting, only two new sales were announced and just three properties were open for Realtor® Caravan. The meeting was well attended though, with plenty of announcements about educational opportunities this summer and a final financial report from our recent End-of-Season Golf Outing & Auction to benefit water quality.SCCF logo

Association Affiliate and event Chairman, David Arter announced that the event raised more than $14K which will be presented soon to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

RPAC raffle tickets also were sold at the event. These sales helped the Association again surpass their annual national goal. (RPAC stands for Realtor Political government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeAction Committee. RPAC was created in 1969 and raises funds voluntarily from members of local Associations for use in issues, campaigns and contributions to political candidates at federal, state and local levels. RPAC funds have been used here for a variety of issues affecting island real estate and property rights (including water quality, redevelopment, flood insurance, etc.))

Historical Village To Hold Free Admission Day

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumAs reported this week in the “Santiva Chronicle”: “The Sanibel Historical Village will offer free admission for all visitors on Saturday, June 16, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

““We decided to hold Free Admission Days because sometimes Sanibel residents tell us they have never been to the village,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “I suppose it’s the same syndrome that causes New Yorkers to ignore the Empire State Building! With our mission to share and celebrate Sanibel’s history, we wanted to do something to entice more people to explore the village. Once they do, we know they’ll love it and return many times and bring family and friends.”

“The free day is not aimed at just locals but is open to all visitors.

“The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village tells the story of Sanibel from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. It tells of warriors, adventurers, fishermen, farmers and proprietors. The island’s way of life is recreated in a village of nine structures that have been relocated from their original sites, restored and preserved. Visitors trace the footsteps of the island’s past as they meander along a handicapped-accessible path lined with buildings that represent “old Sanibel,” as Sam Bailey used to say. Visitors can tour a pioneer home, fishing cottage, post office, schoolhouse, tea room, general store, and more.

“Learn more at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A full guided tour takes place at 10:30 a.m. at no additional charge, depending on the availability of a docent. The museum closes for the summer on August 1 and re-opens October 16.”

Floridians’ Outlook Improves – Second Month in a Row

Florida Realtors logoAs posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®, sourced to Gainesville:

“Consumer sentiment among Floridians increased 2.6 points in May to 100.6 – an increase from a revised figure of 98 in April. Among the five components that make up the index, three increased and two decreased. It’s the second reading over 100 since March 2002, the first being January of this year….

UF logo“Overall, Floridians are more optimistic, and the gain in May’s confidence came mainly from consumers’ future expectations about the national economy in the medium- and long-run. Notably, these expectations are shared by all Floridians regardless of their age or socioeconomic status,” Sandoval said. (Hector H. Sandoval is director of the Economic Analysis Program at University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.)

“Economic activity in Florida continues to expand with more jobs added every month. In April, 178,400 more jobs were added statewide compared with a year ago, an increase of 2.1%. Among all industries, professional and business services gained the most jobs, followed by construction, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

“The Florida unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 3.9% for the past eight months. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product in Florida increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The real estate and rental and leasing industry and the construction industry contributed the most to the increase.

“”Despite the ups and downs, consumer sentiment has been very favorable over the year and has remained quite stable since the beginning of 2018. Looking forward, we anticipate consumer sentiment to remain high in the months to come,” Sandoval says.”

Update on Bailey Tract Closing

ding darling goose logoRefuge Manager, Paul Tritaik issued the following press release this week: “J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be closing the Bailey Tract for four to six weeks starting the afternoon of Sunday, June 3, 2018. This closure is for a planned hydrologic restoration project, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), commencing in the morning of Monday, June 4, 2018. To avoid public safety concerns, the Bailey Tract will be closed to all public access for the duration of the restoration project…. This restoration is intended to enhance the hydrology of a portion of the Bailey Tract to benefit a suite of species dependent on the historic cordgrass marsh habitat of Sanibel Island. The restoration will partly restore the hydrology of the affected area by helping to increase groundwater levels, improve surface water capacity, extend the hydroperiod of the marsh, and ultimately restore the freshwater marsh habitat in the affected area.”

Summer/Fall Shell Shows For Travelers

odd shellAs a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, I recently got an email which included info on a variety of upcoming shell shows. If you are traveling to any of these locations this summer, you may want to add a show to your itinerary – or plan a trip around a show. (If you’d like more contact info for any of the events, let me know, and I’ll send you the details.)

  • Shanghai Shell Show, Shanghail, China – July 27-29
  • Chatsworth Shell Fayre, Derbyshire, UK – August 18
  • 3rd West Coast Shell Show, San Diego, CA – August 25 & 26
  • Conchologists of America Annual Convention, San Digeo, CA – August 30 to September 3
  • Oregon Shell Show, Salem, OR – August 24 to September 4
  • Annual German Shell Fair – Oehringen, Germany – September 22 & 23
  • North Carolina Shell Show, Wilmington, NC – September 28 to 30
  • XXIII Prague International Shell Show, Prague, Czech Republic, October 20 & 21
  • British Shell Collector’s Club Convention, Essex, England – October 27
  • Sydney Shell Show, Sydney, Australia – October 27
  • Philadelphia Shell Show, Philadelphia, PA – October 27 & 28.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 25 to June 1, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $229K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $560K.

3 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $799K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $875K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $950K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 listed at $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 listed at $549K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $525K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 $525K.

HOMES

No new listings.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $445K; 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $579,975; 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $595K; 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $798.9K; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $799K; 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $849K; 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $875K; 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.095M; 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.238M; 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.69M.

4 new sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $439K, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $768.9K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $2.199M.

4 closed sales: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $557K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $624K, 727 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $774K, 3320 Saint Kilda Rd 4/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $575K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

2 price changes: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 now $919K, Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 now $1.149M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.499M.

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.

SanCap Aerial 05-19-2018

Photo by Jim Szabo, SanCap Aerials, & borrowed from the City’s website. Taken May 19, 2018 before the islands’ surrounding waters were stirred up from recent rains. Lake “O” water releases are expected to begin soon, if not today. They are just part of the summer routine here. See more info & photos at www.mySanibel.com

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Memorial Day 2018 on Sanibel Island


SanibelSusan was ready to report another Friday with fantastic island weather until the rain began about 2 p.m. It’s still beautiful, just with a few raindrops. Since yesterday, the team and I have been getting our annual 7000-piece mailing post-office ready. If you are on our mailing list, you will get an island inventory/recent sale booklet soon. If you want to be added to the mailing list, just let us know.

The forecast isn’t what we want for a holiday weekend, with Tropical Storm Alberto likely to bring more heavy rain beginning tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed that maybe some holiday visitors will decide to look at real estate, instead of beaching, boating, and biking.

In anticipation of a rainy weekend, yesterday I took the long route from home to office to snag a few photos of some of the wonderful flowering spring vegetation before the raindrops pelted them. Here they are, beginning with a pink hibiscus at my house, followed by a late-blooming Royal Poinciana tree at Captain’s Walk, my favorite flowering trees at Sanibel Moorings, a fragrant frangipani in Sanibel Shores, and the wonderful butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.

2015-05-24 Hibiscus2018-05-24 Poinciana2018-05-24 Pink Moorings2018-05-24 Yellow2018-05-24 Frangi2018-05-24 West W

Below are a couple of news articles followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. It illustrates, “it’s quiet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThere was no Realtor Caravan yesterday. It’s the off week in the summer biweekly schedule, but the Sanibel Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been hosting their annual classes for the Islands Specialist designation. To earn the designation, Realtors® must attend all 12 module classes which cover all aspects of listing and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva. Since this program began in 2006, close to 100 local Realtors® have earned the designation.

On Wednesday, I again taught the Resort & 2nd Homes module which I authored and update each year. It’s good to know that the “beach” remains the top location for all vacation and 2nd home sales. Florida also continues to hold its place as one of the top four states for resort and 2nd home buyers. (The other states are California, Texas, and Michigan.) Here’s a photo of the attendees after my pop quiz which earned them funny resort wear.

RSPS class 2018

Island Projects Underway

During my drive-around yesterday, I noticed that several building projects are underway. Several new homes are going up, including a big one on Limpet Drive and another big home in Butterknife. I was surprised to see a cute little often-admired beach cottage taken down on East Gulf Drive near Olde Sanibel. Probably a new larger home soon to go up there too.

paperfig kitchen logoConstruction continues on the new building at the site of the former Sanibel Steak House, and remodeling continues at the former Jacaranda Restaurant.

Remodeling also is ongoing at another new eats spot in Tahitian Gardens, called “Paper Fig Kitchen”. It’s scheduled to open in June providing catering and take-along. Check them out at http:/www.PaperFigKitchen.com.

Best 25 Places People Moving To in 2018

News Press logoAs published in the May 21, 2018 Fort Myers “News-Press”, Lee County is among the best places people are moving. It says:

“A new report from U.S. News & World Report ranks Lee County 2nd nationwide on its list of “The Best 25 Places People Are Moving to in 2018.”

“The county’s population spiked more than 14% from 2012 to 2016, behind only Myrtle Beach, S.C. (The report refers to Fort Myers, but the data reflects the entire county.)

“Florida locations dominate the list, including Sarasota at No. 3, Port St. Lucie at No. 6 and Melbourne at No. 10.

“This begs questions: Is so much growth good or bad? What is the impact? Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, said there are many ways to look at such a ranking.

“Demographically, the Baby Boomers have been planning to move to Florida for 25 years and now they’re doing that, hence Florida’s outsized presence on this list,” he said. “That’s a big factor.” It’s important, Westley said, for elected leaders and others to consider the implications of such growth 20 years from now, when that generation’s migration is over. “Then what will Florida look like?” he pondered.

“Florida’s population is over 21.3 million, according to the latest estimate based on U.S. Census Bureau data. It will exceed 22 million in 2020, based on trends, and could hit 26 million in 2030. The last Census estimate for Lee County, in July 2017, says the population is nearly 740,000, so it’s likely over 750,000 today.

“The largest future growth areas in the county include Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, where there is plenty of space to develop. The Cape’s population, estimated at 180,000, is expected to reach 400,000 at buildout.

“This “Best 25” list is based on the “Best Places to Live” ranking, which looks at the 125 most populous metro areas in the nation. Lee County, again listed as Fort Myers, ranks No. 41 on that list. Collier County’s population, estimated to be almost 373,000 in July 2017, is slightly too small to be included.

“Eric Berglund, executive director of the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance, said workers are a critical piece of the growth equation. “Jobs attract people and having more people here gives us a more diversified and qualified workforce,” he said. That’s important because site selectors — those examining where to locate businesses — look at more than just population when making decisions. “They’re asking, ‘What skill sets does the workforce have?’” Berglund said. “They’re saying, ‘If I can’t get the talent to work for me, the location won’t work.'”

“Workers, too, are evaluating a community when determining whether to relocate. That’s one reason issues like attainable housing and transportation are important. “You need to make sure workers have somewhere to live and that the infrastructure is adequate to get them around,” he said.

“Those concerns have sparked more conversations around attainable housing in Lee and Collier counties.

“Everybody is saying, ‘If we have such a robust tourism industry, we need to make sure our workers have a place to live,’” Berglund said. “It’s critically important.”

“Brian West, a spokesman for Lakeland-based Publix, said many variables are involved in the company’s site selection process, which relies on market research. “The population in an area is one of the considerations, along with projected growth,” he said. “Most of our growth continues to be right here in Florida.”

“The Great Recession, Berglund said, changed the budget realities for policymakers, forcing them to reprioritize spending. That’s changed in recent years, through the rebound. “With the tax base increasing, they’re able to come in and start to make some of those investments with infrastructure that got delayed,” he said.

“On a longer-term scale, Westley wondered: “How many municipalities’ operational strategies are based on income from continued in migration and how will that change once the demographic trends change?”

“Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais was at an all-day meeting Monday and unavailable for comment, said Betsy Clayton, county spokeswoman, in an email. The county, she wrote, has a “continuation budget,” which is the cost to provide the exact same level of services from one year to the next. “If population growth impacts service levels, that is factored into the development” of this budget, she wrote. “The county’s 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan also contemplates the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate growth.”

“More population can strain resources, from roads and schools to water and health care if it’s not addressed adequately.“These are things that have to be taken into consideration as the region grows,” Westley said.

“Most of the same cities appear on such “best places” lists because they are appealing destinations and many are in states — like Florida — with no income tax.

While growth affects Florida cities and counties differently, partly based on their reliance on tourism, there are many other communities nationwide — from Seattle to Key West — struggling with such issues due to wage differences in the workforce. “When you attract higher income through in migration, you also create a demand for more of the trades as a result of them being here, whether it’s health care or restaurants,” Westley said.

“Moving forward, elected officials in Lee and Collier counties will continue to look to the state’s more developed east coast for lessons. “What did they do wrong? What did they do right and what can we learn from their experience?” Westley said. “Our area is in the process of turning a corner right now.”

us news & world report logo“Florida metro areas on ‘Best Places People Are Moving’ list

No. 2: Fort Myers

No. 3: Sarasota

No. 5: Orlando

No. 6: Port St. Lucie

No. 7: Daytona Beach

No. 9: Lakeland

No. 10: Melbourne

No. 12: Tampa

No. 21: Jacksonville

Source: U.S. News & World Report”

What to Consider Before Downsizing

Florida Realtors logoPosted online today at FloridaRealtors®, this article is sourced to USA Today:

“Tim and Tracey Kerin knew it was time to downsize soon after their grandson Maximus was born. “We started to re-evaluate what’s important to us at this stage in life and decided that our health and family were more important than a larger home with a big backyard and pool,” says Tim, 58, who along with Tracey, 59, operates a commercial cleaning and construction business.

USATodayLOGO“Last December, the Kerins packed up a two-story colonial replete with a beautifully landscaped garden in Damascus, Md., and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., near their sons Justin, 35, and Jason, 33, and their families. And of course, they get to see Maximus, now 2. “We usually see Max a couple of times a week, and he spends one night every weekend, which we look forward to,” Tim says.

“The Kerins are not alone in their quest for a simple life centered on happiness. According to a recent TD Ameritrade Survey, 42% of pre-retirees are likely to downsize if they haven’t done so already. Some 25% of respondents are moving to a warmer climate, and 17% are moving closer to loved ones.

“Another critical consideration is cost. “Retiring with a lower mortgage payment, (lower) property tax bill, (and) smaller place to clean and maintain can be attractive,” says Dennis LaVoy, CFP of Telos Financial in Plymouth, Mich.

“Before downsizing, homeowners should run the numbers to make sure it makes financial sense. “Look at costs associated with selling the primary home, such as preparing the house for sale, agent’s commission, moving and buying a smaller home to get an idea of the fixed costs to relocate,” says Aaron Galileo, senior loan officer at Investors Home Mortgage in Howell, N.J.

“Once a person decides to downsize, he or she must keep lifestyle in mind. “You need to save as much as you can for retirement to keep your lifestyle intact,” says Jeff White, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. “If you can lower your monthly mortgage payment from $2,500 for the big home to $1,200 per month for a nice condo that fits you and your spouse, why not leap and invest the extra $1,300 into your retirement plan?”

“The amount of space you have may also influence your decision to scale down. “If the kids have moved out and you’re an empty-nester, do you need all of that space?” asks Brian Graves, co-founder of Everything But the House, an online estate sale marketplace. He says factor in how much space you need based on your family dynamic and the frequency of out-of-town guests.

“For some homeowners, maintaining a property, especially an older one, is no longer attractive. That was the case for Sean Dougherty, age 51, and his wife, Juliana Atinaja-Dougherty, 56. In February, they moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Manhattan after living for more than 20 years in the 2,000-square-foot single-family ranch house in Clifton, N.J., where his wife grew up. “The house was run down in small but noticeable ways, and we kind of lost the emotional energy to fix it up for sale, so we priced it to sell,” says Sean, a senior vice president at a public relations firm, and Juliana, an attorney. “Plus, we always wanted to move back to New York at some point and having reached a point where we are more financially comfortable, it made sense.”

“Part of their decision was doing the math and figuring out they could afford to do it, especially given that the move to New York would increase their cost-of-living expenses substantially thanks to the rent they now pay. The other part was wanting to enjoy the entertainment and cultural experiences of big-city living.

“In my case, I wanted to do more in New York like seeing friends, taking in a Broadway show or going to a book reading without worrying about the frustrating commute back to New Jersey,” Sean says. Even still, they are happy with the move. “I put a ceiling on what we could afford, and I could still keep my job as my wife plans to retire soon,” Sean says. His best advice for those thinking about downsizing: “Don’t wait too long. It’s easy to live in the status quo of your life, but then you deny yourself other experiences.”

“While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when it’s time to downsize, keeping these factors in mind will help pre-retirees and retirees make a smooth transition.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 18-25, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $549K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $899K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #Q404 2/2 listed at $929.9K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $950K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.059M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $459K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $629K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $739K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $995K.

5 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $465K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $515K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $639K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $899K (our listing – photos below).

6 new sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $449K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $450K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 listed at $898K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 $487.5K; 1145 Shell Basket Ln 2/2 $639,875; 1137 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $700K; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $2.8M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 9226 Kincaid Ct now $129K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #22 2/2 $1.791M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.495M.

2 price changes: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $1.875M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $8.475M.

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.

memorial-day-clipart-Memorial-day-clip-art-5-2Especially on Monday, we honor those who served. Here’s hoping you have a nice weekend too.

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

May Is Fabulous on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan here, reporting another bright and sunny Friday – or at least so far today. But, the rainy season has begun, with occasional rain “off & on” pretty much all week. The typical summer weather routine is settling in – meaning late afternoon or evening showers. Those occasional storms have made for good shelling and fishing (tarpon are running), island vegetation is “greening up” nicely, and spectacular sunsets. Did I mention that the roadways and bike paths are traffic-free and restaurants easy to get into without a wait? Gotta love May!

(Photo below by Jim Szabo, SanCap Aerial, taken just before an afternoon shower earlier this month. If you know the condos beginning on Nerita Street, you can see Coquina Beach (brown roofs), Shorewood, Sanibel Surfside, Pelican’s Roost, Sanibel Siesta…)

SanCap Aerial 05-05-18 Jim Szabo

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop

There was average turnout at our biweekly Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday with eight new listings open for viewings and a handful of new sales announced. The action posted this week in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, the team and I are trying hard to get our last five “winter” listings sold while also beating the bushes looking for new ones.

2018-05-14 - Island Inventory BookletOur annual inventory lists now are at the printer and will be back next Friday with mail-out soon after to 7,000 island property owners and prospective buyers. If you are not on our mailing list, but want to be, just drop an email to Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

We don’t send much snail mail anymore, but these booklets are in demand. They offer a good way for owners to stay up on the market and for buyers to get smart of what their dollar can buy here. They show addresses and prices for all the residential properties for sale on both islands (Sanibel & Captiva) (condos, homes, & lots). Organized by neighborhood (complex/community) they also show recent sales over the last few years.

If you’d like a booklet more often that annually, we update them every weekend, so can mail or email them to you anytime too.

Sanibel Makes List of Top-15 North America Vacation Destinations

As reported in the “Island Reporter” this week:

expedia logo“Sanibel Island has been named one of the top-rated vacation destinations in North America by reviewers on the travel website Expedia – a first for the island.

“On May 10, Expedia published “Top-rated Vacation Destinations in North America.” According to the site, it is the company’s 2nd annual list of the 50 top-ranking locations, which were chosen by verified reviewers throughout 2017. From the more than 4,600 cities reviewed, Sanibel rose to No. 15.

“Sanibel has made the top-rated vacation destinations list for North America for the first time,”

Jodie Booras, communication specialist for Expedia, said via an email. “Each of these cities (the top-rated spots) received at least 600 reviews and are listed in order of highest-reviewed out of 5.” The only other Florida location to make the top 15 list is Key West at No. 14.

According to the site the list of top 15 destinations are:

  1. Wailea, Hawaii
  2. Cambria, California
  3. Springdale, Utah
  4. Quebec City, Quebec
  5. Ashland, Oregon
  6. Calgary, Alberta
  7. Victoria, British Columbia
  8. Sedona, Arizona
  9. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  10. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  11. Paso Robles, California
  12. Solvang, California
  13. Bar Harbor, Maine
  14. Key West, Florida
  15. Sanibel, Florida

“Not to be too outdone by its southerly state-mate, Sanibel clinches the No. 15 spot in its 1st appearance. Visitors fall in love with the place for many reasons. Go shelling on the beach, fill up on fresh seafood at joints like the super-fun Bubble Room, and spend peaceful time at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.”

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane called the listing an accomplishment. “We’re obviously honored and thrilled about the ranking,” he said. “It obviously continues to show what a special place Sanibel is.” He expressed pride for the island community. “I’m really proud to not only be the mayor of Sanibel, but someone who lives here full-time,” Ruane said. “We continue to be a world-class destination.”

“The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce also commented on the ranking. “To be one of only two Florida destinations chosen in the top 15 of Expedia’s Top-Rated Vacation Destinations In North America is quite an honor, but as anyone who is fortunate to have vacationed on Sanibel would attest, it is well deserved,” President John Lai said. “We have consistently offered world-class beaches, shelling, shopping, biking, fishing and dining, but our sustainable initiatives and undisturbed natural environment is truly what sets us apart,” he added. “Sanibel offers the complete package for families of all seasons of life.”

“For more information or to view Expedia’s list for North America, visit online at viewfinder.expedia.com/features/top-rated-vacation-destinations-in-north-america.

The Last Plastic Straw Challenge

skip the straw save a sea turtleFrom the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter dated May 17, 2018:

“This is an invitation to all bars and restaurants, to be part of the movement to eliminate plastic pollution from the source. By simply stating on menus “Straws available upon request,” bars and restaurants can be part of the solution. Here’s How:

  • Provide a straw only when requested by a customer.
  • Provide either compostable or reusable straws.
  • Or get rid of straws completely.

“From London to Miami, restaurants, bars, and cities are banning plastic straws voluntarily. Read more at the lastplasticstraw.org.

“Click here to read a Florida Weekly article about the Strawless on Sanibel movement.

“Doing Our Part to Reduce Plastic: “Ding” Darling is committed to and has led the way on the islands in reducing the single-use plastic products that plague our planet and threaten wildlife. Thanks to DDWS’ efforts, we have eliminated plastic shopping bags and one-time-use plastic water bottles in the Refuge Nature Store and at Tarpon Bay Explorers’ gift shop. In recent years, the Refuge has also installed a filtered water refill station and DDWS has transitioned to compostable plates, cups, and flatware for event use. We have a no-straws policy.”

SCCF Hosts Special Movie About World’s Rarest Sea Turtle

From an email announcement yesterday from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

Sea Turtles Release“In celebration of the rare Kemp’s Ridley nest that started SCCF’s 2018 season, join us for an award-winning documentary highlighting the critical role that conservation organizations and volunteers are playing in their recovery.

“The screening will take place at Island Cinema on Sunday, June 3rd at 12:00pm. The film will be screened simultaneously in both Island Cinema theaters. Tickets are priced at $10 to defray the licensing costs. The concession stand will be open, and SCCF sincerely thanks Island Cinema for waiving the rental fees for this special event.

“Narrated by renowned scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, this feature-length independent documentary tells the larger natural history story of the world’s rarest sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley and how humans pushed a healthy population to the precipice of extinction and are now slowly helping it to recover. From the beaches of Massachusetts to Mexico, Texas and Georgia, this film highlights the collaborative work that is being done to save a species from going extinct.”

Florida Realtors® Awards Student Scholarships

Florida Realtors logoAs posted on-line yesterday by Florida Realtors®:

“As high school seniors across Florida graduate this month and look ahead to college, costs are top-of-mind. But there’s good news from Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Inc., which has awarded scholarships to 132 well-deserving young people living in communities throughout the state.

“A not-for-profit corporation established by the state Realtor® association, the Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Inc. provides real estate-related educational scholarships. The Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded $198,400 in scholarships to help pay for higher education expenses for 132 young people in the 2018-2019 school year. All recipients are Florida residents and will be attending community colleges, four-year universities, graduate programs or law schools both in state and out-of-state. Some students wish to pursue careers in real estate.

“”Over the past nine years, the Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Student Scholarship Program has helped 922 young people realize their dreams for the future by continuing their education,” says Mary McCall, current chairman of Florida Realtors® Education Foundation. “If all of this year’s students claim their scholarships, then Florida Realtors® will pass the $1.5 million-dollar mark, awarding a total of $1,506,400. These student scholarships are one way that Realtors® give back to the community. It’s our investment in the future.”

“Scholarship recipients are enrolled at institutions of higher learning throughout the state, such as the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Tampa, Florida International University, Florida Southern College, State College of Florida and Tallahassee Community College, as well as other colleges throughout the U.S., including Yale University, Columbia University, Howard University, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and University of Mississippi, to name a few. A variety of criteria was considered for successful applicants including: academic achievements, financial need, relationship to the Realtor family and contributions to family, school and community.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 11-18, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $459K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 now $489K, Sundial West #G206 1/1 now $489.9K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $539K, Sunset South #2C 2/2 now $625K, Seawind II #5 2/2.5 now $799K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.05M.

1 new sale: Poinciana #2B 3/2 listed at $1.35M.

5 closed sales: Blind Pass #B211 2/2 $430K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 $420K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $525K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $774K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.035M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $699K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $795K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4.5 $4.299M.

4 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $489K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $750K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.799M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.624M.

3 new sales: 956 Dixie beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed at $598K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $599.9K.

8 closed sales: 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 $649K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $720K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $865K, 1120 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 $895K, 335 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.04M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.118M, 2379 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.695M, 6021 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3/2 $2.499M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1550 Centre Ct $199K, 1272 Par View Dr $365K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 555 Piedmont Rd listed at $219,555; 412 Tiree Cir listed at $319,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.249M.

4 price changes: 16181 Captiva Dr 4/4 multi-family now $1.895M, 16177 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $3.395M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $4.695M, 16179 Captiva Dr 6/6 multi-family now $5.095M.

2 new sales: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed at $989K, 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sale: 9 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 $1.14M.

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, stay dry & enjoy spring & sunsets wherever you are! & call The SanibelSusan Team, if we may help you! TGIF!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

sanibel_sunset_by_sunira-d9oq0lm

Almost Mothers Day 2018 on Sanibel & Captiva


SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another beautiful week on sunny Sanibel with no evidence of a rainy season (other than a some predicted for Sunday into next week).

It also was quiet again on the real estate front. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some news items below.

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 81st Annual Shell Show

Shell club shellsAs a life-member of the Sanibel Shell Club, I got an email this morning about a cool article that was posted this week on the website “Earther – Nature for Nerds”. This past March, their Senior Reporter Brian Kahn and Cinematographer/Producer Raul Marrero came from New York City to cover the island’s 81st Annual Shell Show. They wanted to get insight into the world of shell collecting and Sanibel. They arrived early so they could experience the exhibitors setting up their exhibits. The next morning, they headed to the beach with a seasoned Shell Club member to learn about the “Sanibel stoop”. They also spent time visiting with Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Curator Dr. José Leal. Their finished product was posted Wednesday. A video is part of the article and can be found after a few paragraphs. Here is the link to it “The Secret Science of Shell Seeking” – https://earther.com/the-secret-science-of-shell-seeking-1825860194 .

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis was an “off” week for the islands’ Thursday Caravan, but on Wednesday, the 23rd annual local Realtors® end-of-season golf outing and auction event was a big success with the proceeds this year going toward water quality efforts at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

The golfers said that the afternoon scramble was a little toasty with temperatures hitting 90 degrees F, but the breezes from Pine Island Sound and beauty of The Sanctuary Golf Course (not to mention their terrific food post-golf) made it all worthwhile.

Sanctuary golf 05-09-18

Thank you to Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director, for attending and acknowledging the Association for their many years of continued efforts toward keeping local beaches and waterways clean. Rae Ann recently was one of the local leaders in DC working to convince lawmakers to support funding for the Everglades restoration.

RAE Ann 05-09-18

You can be sure that the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® leadership team again will be pushing for water quality when we attend our annual state convention in August.

It was a big deal this year for us not to provide our golf and auction proceeds to RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee). You may remember that for years, the islands Association has won many state RPAC awards for their percentage of participation and dollar amounts collected on Sanibel/Captiva.

SCCF logoBut, our membership is disappointed that the state association is not doing more about water quality, so this year we decided to donate our money locally to the conservation foundation – ensure that it’s used where it’s needed most – or to a cause that is important to us.

Water quality certainly affects real estate values. Good water makes Southwest Florida, particularly the islands, desirable!

Collective Beach Camera Website Launches

scbr-new-logoFrom this week’s “business notes” section of “The Islander”:

“Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has launched a combined live beach camera website at www.SanibelCaptivaBeachCams.com . It serves as a location to view all four of the Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort on-property cameras – ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages, and West Wind Inn. Each of the videos are located on the properties’ websites, as well as the new collective site. The videos are high-definition streaming video, without delay in feed.”

Real Estate Major Drive of U.S. Economy

Real estate is the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services and income for millions of Americans. Accounting for 19% of the GDP, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy. Here’s the latest Real Estate and the Economy infographic from NAR (National Association of Realtors®.)

2018-rltme_real-estate-and-the-economy-infographic-04-26-18-1224w-2737h

“Groundcovers: No Bunnies Business”

sanibel bunnyThe above is a headline of an article by the City of Sanibel Vegetation Committee, posted in today’s “Island Sun”. It gave me a giggle since I think the trio of marsh rabbits at my house last week were smiling as I pulled into my driveway one evening. Probably were licking their chops too as they eat every new plant that’s planted along my walkway border (except thorny beach roses & bougainvillea).

Those little rascals are cute, but they are taking over the east-end this spring. I have seen them everywhere. There are some plants, however, that they don’t like. So, if you too are challenged by Sanibel bunnies, read the article on-line at www.IslandSunNews.com or go to the National Resources Department section of the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com for more info.

Opposition Sought for New Development

Interesting article on the first page of the real estate section of today’s “Island Sun”. It’s long, but good info if you want to get involved.

eden oak

“A major off-island residential development that has been in the works for the past six years is about to come before a Lee County hearing examiner next week, and environmental activists are rallying other concerned citizens to share their objections for the proposed development.

“An application for Eden Oak Preserve seeks to rezone 36 acres of jurisdictional, coastal mangrove wetlands and open water, from Agricultural (AG-2) to Residential Planned Development (RPD) to enable the development of 55 single family homes and 56 boat slips. The proposed development site is located on both sides of Shell Point Boulevard, which is surrounded by the Shell Point Retirement Community to the north, San Carlos Bay to the west, and the Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve to the south.

“Currently, the property is owned by Ontario, Canada-based Eden Oak LLC, a commercial developer responsible for the construction of more than 30 significant developments in the greater Toronto area.

“According to officials from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), development on this property has been proposed and appropriately rejected repeatedly over the past 40 years beginning with The Estuaries development in the 1970’s. It was dismissed due to the critical location, services and functions of these wetlands, which include mangrove habitat that provides public projection from storm surges, flooding and designated critical habitat used by several endangered and listed species.

“”These critical functions are even more important today as over half of Lee County’s wetlands have been eliminated for development and sea level rise presents a progressive erosion of wetlands that will significantly increase the storm surge hazard in the next 20 years,” an April 13 letter from SCCF to Lee County Community Development representative Anthony Rodriguez reads in part. “This project is contrary to the public interest and does not meet the goals, policies, and objectives of the Lee County Comprehensive Plan or the Land Development Code that have been adopted to assure public safety and carefully plan for growth and its effects.”

“Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF natural resource policy director, said last week that plans to build Eden Oak Preserve in a critical wetland area have been downscaled by its developers over the years, however, it remains an undesirable project.

““We’ve been fighting it since 2012,” said Wessel. “The original plan called for 171 boat slips. The marina, clubhouse, multi-family and all but four single family units have been eliminated from the east side of Shell Point Boulevard. But this is all critical wetland habitat. When in this day and age, with concerns about sea level rise, would we want to put people in a wetland zone like this?”

“In a 13-page letter to Rodriguez, SCCF pointed out that the elimination of 36 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands would have negative impacts on a number of animal species including the small-tooth sawfish, diamondback terrapin, manatee, mangrove cuckoo and American bald eagle.

“”At least three species of endangered sea turtles, both juvenile and adult, are known to use and forage in this area,” the letter stated. “Any time there is increased boat traffic in an area with sea turtles, there is a heightened concern for collisions. The heightened traffic activity resulting from the addition of 56 boats will push turtles out of the more protected areas into areas of higher boat traffic, increasing collision risks.”

“Wessel also noted that mangroves bordering the wetland zone would be affected. Mangroves represent some of the most important wetland habitat for coastal fish and wildlife resources, which are critical to the health of local aquatic systems and the specifically designated, publicly owned aquatic preserves and national wildlife refuges that surround this site that have been protected for their high resource values.

“In Southwest Florida, 80% of commercial and recreational marine species depend upon mangrove estuaries for a portion, if not all, of their lifecycle.

“There is also question about the density proposed for Eden Oak Preserve. The applicant’s calculation of 55 dwelling units is based on the assertion that there are eight acres of uplands on the 306 acres, and that a small portion of the northern property boundary is within the Suburban Land Use category. However, the property is currently identified on the Future Land Use Map as Environmentally Critical Wetlands.

“”We challenge the applicant’s characterization and assertion that isolated spoil piles created by the excavation of mosquito ditches through healthy mangroves meets the definition of wetlands,’ said Wessel. “The Future Lane Use Map shows the entirety of the property as Environmentally Critical Wetlands. Three sides of the applicant’s property are adjacent to wetlands zoned AG-2, thus the maximum calculation of units would not approach 55 units.”

“According to Wessel, a maximum of 15 dwelling units would meet current county requirements for that property.

“”The county would create a cancerous precedent by allowing increased density over current zoning by allowing the applicant to use the subdivision zoning along the northern boundary to calculate their unit count when that property was established before the comprehensive plan. Far more of the applicant’s property is wetlands on three sides of the property, which should be a stronger consideration for future zoning,” added Wessel.

“Another concern shared by SCCF is for public safety. Should Eden Oak Preserve be permitted to construct a major residential development off Shell Point Boulevard, traffic congestion for the lone evacuation route – affecting the residents of the retirement community along with people who live on Sanibel, Captiva and in South Fort Myers – could prove to be catastrophic.

“”This area is in the evacuation zone for the most minimal of storms so permitting additional development in wetlands in this flood prone region is in conflict with public safety,” Wessel said. “Evacuation and flooding risks are substantial before the addition of the proposed additional units.

“Late last week, the Lee County Department of Community Development submitted their staff report recommending denial of the rezoning application.

“”Regardless of the density proposed by the request, the request is inconsistent with Lee Plan goals, objectives and policies intended to limit density within the Coastal High Hazard Area,” the report reads, in part. “Moreover, the request, if approved, will adversely impact environmentally critical and sensitive areas and natural resources.”

“On Friday, May 18 at 9 a.m., the Lee County hearing examiner will be accepting public comment on the proposed Eden Oak Preserve development at their offices, located in Room 218 of 1800 Monroe Street in Fort Myers. Only the people who appear during the examiner’s public hearing will be permitted to speak during the Lee County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on the topic, during which they will formally vote on the plan.

“The hearing examiner will either recommend approval, denial or approval of the project with certain conditions,” said Wessel. “But only the people who speak before the hearing examiner will be able to speak during the commissioners’ meeting. That’s why it’s important for people to get involved.”

“For additional information or to submit comments on the Eden Oak Preserve development, send an email to arodriguez4@leegov.eom or rsweigert@leegov.com, call 239-533-8100 or write to Lee County Community Development & Zoning, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.”

Borrow Passes to Local Attractions With a Sanibel Library Card

sanibel libraryA library update from the “Islander”: “As Sanibel Public Library’s “Your Library Reimagined” project continues, the facility is open for business. Services include computers, printers, high speed Wi-Fi, newspapers, puzzles, and reference services are available. The other half of the library being renovated is expected to reopen in the fall. The children’s weekly program schedule has changed. For the full schedule, visit on line.

“The library offers passes to four of the area’s popular attractions, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel Historical Museum, and Village, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, and CROW’s Visitor Education Center. Cultural passes may be reserved to check out for one week using a current Sanibel Public Library Card. To reserve a pass or for more info, call 239-472-2483.

“Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County at no charge. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. For more info, visit www.sanlib.org. The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 4-11, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $549K.

5 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $384.9K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 now $679.9K, Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 now $729K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.349M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 now $1.35M.

5 new sales: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 listed at $379K, Blind Pass #A205 2/2 listed at $418.9K, Sundial West #F205 1/1 listed at $429K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 listed at $875K, Compass Point #192 2/2 listed at $1.175M.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $480K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $599K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.25M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1.598M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 $1.598M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 $1.95M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.45M.

9 price changes: 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $665K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $699K, 1020 Bird Watch Way 3/2 now $739K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $899.9K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.195M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.895M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.199M.

5 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $809K.

5 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $670K, 1057 Seahawk Ct 3/2.5 $625K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $863K, 4115 West Gulf Dr 4/5 $5.2578M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1820 Ardsley Way now $167.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4995 Joewood Dr $2.25M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 $12.5M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

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.

happy mothers dayHappy Mothers Day!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Sun-Filled Friday on Sanibel Island


With more gorgeous weather here this week, the few visitors and vacationers in town have had outstanding shelling resulting from the full moon and its low tides plus strong breezes.

I have had family here all week. It sure is fun to view the island through the eyes of a 4-year-old (my great nephew) who caught his first fish from my dock.

Caden 1st fish 05-03-18

To him black racer snakes, anoles/geckos, dolphins, alligators, and manatees are more interesting than shells.

(For the record, I also have now been reprimanded by a 4-year old. FYI, using the word “stupid” to describe my decorating is bad language. I should instead be saying “it does not look as nice as I’d like”.)

In the real estate world, the high season rush always is over when the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has their end-of-season party and auctions. This is the 23rd year. It’s next Wednesday at The Sanctuary and includes a golf scramble first. Proceeds will go toward water quality work at The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

Auction Lobsters 2018For the live auction, SanibelSusan donated an always-popular “Jumbo Lobster Bake for Six” dinner from The Lobster Net in Brewer, Maine. They provide a good product if you ever get a hankering for Maine seafood. It’s delivered fresh from the boat, via FedEx, right to your door. (www.TheLobsterNet.com)

Here are a couple of new items before the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

More Fun Photos

Our friend, Scott, who last week provided the osprey nest video, this week paddled in Tarpon Bay. Thanks for sharing the below photo with us, Scott. Known as the “gentle giant”, shown is a Florida manatee which is a subspecies of the West Indies manatee.

Manatee 05-03-2018

My family took a boat ride out of the Sanibel Marina this week. Thanks to Melissa for sharing this dolphin photo.

dolphin 2018-05-0`

This morning teammate Dave and his neighbor, Max, took Dave’s cousin, Chris, and son (that smart 4-year-old) out fishing. It was a beautiful day for it. Thanks, Max, for letting Caden take the wheel. Only a few fish caught, but the boys had fun!

Island Events

seahorse festival 2018Annual Seahorse Festival – May 5, tomorrow, from 4 to 7 p.m. hosted by The Sanibel School PTA. At Sanibel Community Park, 2231 Periwinkle Way, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. Food, desserts, drinks, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment by Wilder Sons, students performing skits, games, inflatables, & more.Island night Logo25th Annual Sam Bailey’s Island Night – May 9, Wednesday at CenturyLink Sports Complex where the Fort Myers Miracle play the Charlotte Stone Crabs at 7 p.m. Free tickets at Bailey’s General Store and business sponsors. Gates open at 5:45 p.m. with community parade around the ballpark beginning at 6:20 p.m.

Sanibel City Council Looking at Traffic in The Dunes

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported this week in the “Island Sun”: “With residents of The Dunes subdivision preparing to undergo a repaving project in the coming months, members of the Sanibel City Council are looking at the success of current speed control devices, procedures, and investigating whether additional traffic-calming measures may be required for the neighborhood.

“On Tuesday, Public Works Director Keith Williams told the council that as a result of a major traffic study of The Dunes, Tier I of a traffic-calming initiative began in 2016, primarily achieved through the reduction of speed within the subdivision from 30 to 25 miles per hour. Periodic increased police patrols, temporary radar signage and additional signs and markings were also implemented. Tier II, which began last year, included the installation of four modular speed humps along strategically planned areas of The Dunes.

DunesEntrySign“The City of Sanibel Public Works Department has $900,000 budgeted to resurface the public street system within The Dunes subdivision during the summer of 2018,” a May 1 staff memorandum reads, in part. “Because of the extensive scope and timing of the resurfacing project, the department is seeking city council direction relative to the existing traffic calming efforts within the neighborhood.”

“According to traffic studies of The Dunes, traffic speeds along the southern loop were reduced following implementation of Tier I from an average of 26.5 miles per hour in 2014 to 20 miles per hour in 2018, with a low of 16 miles per hour realized last year. Similar results were witnessed along the northern loop over the same period.

“Williams also noted that traffic going through The Dunes southern loop increased from 783 vehicles per day in 2014 to 812 vehicles per day in 2018. However, traffic volume along the northern loop dropped from 695 vehicles per day four years ago to 604 vehicles per day this year….

“During discussions on plans for The Dunes road resurfacing, council members were asked to consider whether or not to re-install the modular speed humps after the project has been completed, consider moving them to new locations or removing them entirely, or consider placing additional and/or permanent speed humps throughout the subdivision.

“Opening the meeting to public comment, several local residents spoke both for and against reinstalling speed humps within The Dunes….Following some additional comments, members of the council weighed in on the options available…Later, Mayor Kevin Ruane made a motion to request city staff to investigate the reinstallation of the modular speed humps in their current locations, whether those traffic calming devices should be moved to different locations, whether a seasonal reduction of speed during peak periods could be implemented, and if and where additional speed humps should be installed. That motion was unanimously approved.

“Williams, who noted that the road resurfacing project would go out for bids next month, will deliver a follow-up report at the June 5 city council meeting. Once a bid is approved, the project will take approximately one month to complete. Currently, the public works department anticipates starting the project by the 2nd week in July so that work is finished before the start of the next school year….”

New Places & Island Happenings

  • VIP Vacation Rentals last week announced their acquisition of Lighthouse Realty of the Islands Vacation Rentals. All properties managed by Lighthouse Realty have transitioned into VIP’s inventory.
  • Tidewater Bistro now open at 2330 Palm Ridge Road in the former location of Rosie’s. Casual dining from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. www.TidewaterBistro.com

Everybody Is For Amendment 2 – Because Amendment 2 is for Everybody!

amendment 2 logoIt’s not too early to get smart about what is coming up for a vote in the November elections. Passing Amendment 2 means protection for all Floridians by keeping a cap on certain annual property tax increases. It limits the tax burden on Florida residents and families, protects renters from rent increases brought on by higher taxes, and ensures Florida remains an affordable place to live, work and do business.

Amendment 2 – Good for All Floridians

Amendment 2 is for Communities! Amendment 2 helps communities thrive by preventing increases over 10% on certain property taxes. Before this cap was in place, local businesses were under threat of property tax spikes, and residents could be subject to soaring taxes and rent increases. Amendment 2 protects residents by permanently removing the threat of these large tax hikes.

Amendment 2 is for Business Owners! Local businesses are critical to the economic success of our state. Amendment 2 preserves their protection from large tax increases, allowing local businesses to thrive within their communities and keep prices low on the goods and services they sell.

Amendment 2 is for Police and Firefighters! First responders are the bedrock of a safe and vibrant community and must be protected. Amendment 2 simply keeps in place a property tax cap that has existed for 10 years, which means funding for our emergency services will not be impacted.

Amendment 2 is for Teachers! The property tax cap kept in place by Amendment 2 does not apply to the funds that schools receive from property taxes. This means that the tax cap can continue to help communities thrive without impacting the great work our schools are doing to educate our children.

Amendment 2 is for Renters! Amendment 2 protects renters from unaffordable rent increases that would occur if landlords were to get hit with uncapped property tax assessments. Stable rent provides renters with security and allows them to contribute to their community.

More info on the Amendment 2 website www.everybodyisfor2.com

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 27-May 4, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset South #2C 2/2 $645K.

2 price changes: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $749K; Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 now $777,777.

7 new sales: Sundial West #G407 1/1 listed at $460K; Sanibel Arms West #G7 2/2 listed at $529K; Sanddollar #A104 2/2 listed at $849K; Shorewood #3C 3/2 listed at $925K; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 listed at $1,184,415; Gulfside Place #323 2/2 listed a t$ 1.298M; Bougainvillea #B 3/3 listed at $1.299M.

9 closed sales: Tennisplace #E32 2/1 $267.5K (our buyer), Seashells #42 2/2 $357K, Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 $435K, Sanibel Arms West #M3 2/2 $514K, Snug Harbor #211 2/2 $725K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 $1.045M, Pine Cove #102 3/2 $1.15M, Blue Gulf #101 3/2 $1.345M, Poinciana #3C 3/2 $1.6M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1520 Centre St 2/2 $474K, 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 $575K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M.

16 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $449K; 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $499K; 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $535K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $649K; 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $659K; 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $689K; 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $699,996; 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $724.9K; 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $779K; 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $854K; 580 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 now $1.095M; 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.248M; 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.569M; 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $2.15M; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 now $3.475M.

3 new sales: 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $849K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $895K.

14 closed sales: 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $622K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $645K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 $660K, 3980 Coquina Dr 3/2 $765K, 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $945K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1M (our listing), 330 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.09M, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.175M, 2441 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.25M, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 $1.4M, 1475 Angel Dr 3 /4.5 $1.4M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 $1.775M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.5M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $5.4M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $679K, 5251 Indian Ct now $714K.

1 new sale: 1639 Serenity Ln listed at $295,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #109 1/2 $387K.

No price change or new sales.

1 closed sales: Lands End Village #1617 2/2 $1.45M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $2.05M.

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, here’s hoping you have plenty of sunshine too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Still Awaiting April Showers on Sunny Sanibel


This was a week of more gorgeous weather on sunny Sanibel, warm with some nice breezes too. Before the summer rainy season begins the waters of San Carlos Bay look so inviting. Here are a couple of shots taken while I was at a standstill. When there is a fender-bender on the causeway, there is more than just that impact. With just one way on-/off-island, we are thankful that there are only accidents occasionally, but with a view to enjoy, it’s all good.

causeway 2causeway 1

In the real estate world , we saw more of a slowdown this week, though several new listings and more price reductions were announced yesterday at our last weekly morning Association of Realtors Caravan meeting of the season. (From now until fall, Caravan meets every two weeks.) New listings at this time of the year are typically from folks who just enjoyed their last winters on island, though many also are retirees looking to make their next move to a retirement or assisted-living community – Florida has plenty of those.

This also is the time of the year for more “season” sales finalize with closings. Plenty of those were reported.  We had one this week and two more coming up on Monday. We are down to five listings, so we hope, if you have friends thinking of selling (or buying), that you’ll send them to us.

Here are a couple of new items before our weekly update of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Shared Use Path Project Underway

sanibelmapbikeLast Friday, the City began repairing Hurricane-Irma-related damage to Sanibel’s Shared Use Paths. The work is expected to be completed by next Friday, May 4. In the meantime, some areas may be barricaded off from users. Each year, the City inspects all 26+ miles of paths. Last year’s original repair project was completed, but Irma caused the need for these repairs (which will receive FEMA funding assistance). So, be especially careful on the bike paths for the next few days.

Passenger Record in March at RSW

RSW LogoAccording to an article posted on-line Monday (April 23) at News-Press.com:

“Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers scores passenger record in March.\

Southwest Florida International Airport scored record growth in the first quarter of 2018, including a 10.2% year-over-year increase in passengers for March. In March alone, the airport served 1,379,728 fliers “despite numerous flight cancellations … due to weather conditions in other parts of the United States,” said Jeff Mulder, Lee County Port Authority executive director.

“March historically is the airport’s busiest month. But this March now stands as the single-busiest month at the south Fort Myers airport, which will mark its 35th birthday in May. Lee County Port Authority also reported:

  • Year-to-date, passenger traffic was up 10% from the same period last year.
  • Southwest Airlines was the busiest carrier in March, with 297,668 passengers, followed by Delta Air Lines (268,505), American (168,995), Spirit (166,602) and JetBlue (136,670).
  • Southwest Florida International Airport had 10,907 takeoffs and landings, an increase of 3.5% compared to March 2017.
  • The international airport handled nearly 3 million pounds of air freight in March, down about a half percent from March last year.

“The airport’s low-cost carriers led the passenger surge. Frontier alone had nearly 71,000 more local passengers this March, for a 126% increase. It went from serving six to 20 cities out of Southwest Florida International. Spirit carried about 35,000 more fliers for a 26.1% increase.

“The legacy carriers, however, also chipped in, most notably American and Delta – with 11.4% and 8.6% more passengers, respectively.

“The biggest downer in the port authority report: Page Field, Lee County’s general aviation airport, sustained a 20.5% year-over-year decline in takeoffs and landings in March. That’s one temporary consequence of a planned rehabilitation of the two runways there, said Victoria Moreland, port authority spokeswoman. “The (shorter) crosswind runway is still closed, and we’ve had a lot of crosswinds,” Moreland said. That has prompted some of the smaller private aircraft to stay away. Moreland expects takeoffs and landings will return to season-appropriate frequency when the runway work is completed, by early to mid-summer.”

Sanibel Historical Museum & Village – Summer Hours

Museum LogoBeginning May 1, the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village change to off-season summer hours which are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The museum also will close August 1 and will reopen with regular full-time hours beginning October 16. (Regular “season” hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.) More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org.

Remodeling Project – Costs More – Takes Longer 

renovation-clipart-home-renovationSummer is the most popular time of the year here for remodeling projects. Made me think that this article from real estate trainer/coach PatZaby is timely.

“The one experience that homeowners can agree upon after completing a remodeling project is that it costs more and takes longer than expected. It doesn’t really matter that you researched, planned, and received multiple bids, it will, invariably, cost more and take longer than you originally anticipated.

“Replacing floorcovering or painting is a project that a homeowner can easily get bids and contract with the workmen directly. A new level of complexity occurs when the project involves more specialized contractors, like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, counters, and others.

“Now, a homeowner is faced with dealing with one general contractor who will run roughshod over the sub-contractors or make the decision to do it themselves. Typically, you’ll pay more for a general contractor, but the trade-off is that they have the contacts and experience to make things go smoothly.

“Subs are notorious for wanting to finish their “part” of the project and move onto to the next job. Sometimes, they’re not interested in the “big picture” enough to consider doing things in a way that are best for the overall outcome.

“When you start tearing out some things, you find out that there may be unexpected expenses involved. Another common occurrence is that during the project, you get a new thought about changing something else “since it is already torn up anyway.” This will add time and money to the job.

“There can be the situation that the homeowner doesn’t even know the right questions to ask or what to consider when trying to coordinate the different workers. The most detailed timetable can be thrown off track if one set of workers don’t show up or finish on time. At best, it delays the project for a few days. At worst, it can delay it for a few weeks because the individual workers may have committed to other jobs that don’t allow them to reschedule.

“Once the work is done in a professional manner, you’re probably going to live with it for years. If it is something you’ve wanted to do and it will allow you to enjoy your home more, it is worth doing. Just be patient and enter this adventure with the understanding that it will cost more and take longer than you expect.”

Check Your Hurricane Passes

Sanibelcityseal logoWe sure hope that we don’t have to use them, but it’s good to be prepared so if you have old hurricane passes, please note that Sanibel will again reuse the 2016 passes for the upcoming storm season. Residents and businesses need them to return following an evacuation order. For residents, two passes are allowed per address. Those 2016 passes are purple. For businesses, only enough passes are issued to facilitate damage assessment. The 2016 commercial passes are tan. So, if your passes are other colors or years, toss them.

Passes are issued year-‘round Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sanibel Police Dept. Applications may be submitted via mail, fax, or email. For more info or to print the application, go to the “Emergency Management” link under Sanibel Police Department at www.mysanibel.com .

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 20-27, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 $319.9K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 $835K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $519K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $549K, Sandy Bend #4 2/2 now $738K, Sundial East #O404 2/2 now $929K.

7 new sales: Sundial West #I305 1/1 listed at $340K; Blind Pass #B211 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 listed at $484K; Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 listed at $499K; Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 listed at $615K; Sundial West #G204 2/2 listed at $649,999; Tarpon Beach #206 listed at $799K.

4 closed sales: Sundial West #F306 1/1 $450K, Sand Pointe #122 2/2 $649K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #321 3/2 $645K, Sundial West #J408 2/2 $679K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $549K, 1020 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $779K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 $869K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.095M, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $1.1M.

12 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $539K; 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $564K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $588,885; 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $749.9K; 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $799K; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $824K; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 now $949K; 1244 Par View 4/3 now $1.045M; 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 now $1.1M; 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.129M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 ow $1.129M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.149M.

6 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed at $598K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $648K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $655K, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.149M.

8 closed sales: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $352.5K; 667 Spartina Dr 3/2 $582K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $585,750; 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $1.06M; 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 $1.125M; 2263 Starfish Ln 5/4.5 $1.699M; 514 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $1.82M; 3813 West Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $4.9M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 4995 Joewood Dr listed at $2.495M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1655 2/2 now $1.075M.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 listed at $330K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $989K, 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.548M, 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.35M, 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $5.25M.

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.

The below video, taken this week of an osprey family feeding their two chicks, is courtesy of our friend Scott Shew on Woodring Rd. Thanks for sharing, Scott.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate, Sea Turtles, Freebies, & Other Sanibel Scoop


It was quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but with more gorgeous weather including reports of outstanding shelling thanks to stiff winds last weekend and some super low tides. Roadway and bike path traffic continues – though less of it – from visitors on spring breaks from some northern states that keep getting wintry weather. Here we cherish the balmy breeze days in the 70’s – like this week.

Spring events are in full swing. A few are mentioned below before a report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service this week.

Island Sales Statistics Year-to-Year

SanibelSusan loves statistics, so here’s a little info confirming my recent posts about Sanibel homes being the most popular product this year. The 83 Sanibel home closings that have already occurred this year are more than all of the other sales on both islands combined.

 

Closed Sales from January 1 to April 20

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
2016 54 56 15 12 13 2
2017 44 66 15 8 12 1
2018 48 83 5 8 12 0

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.

2018 Sea Turtle Season Has Begun

kemp turtleAs reported on-line by The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation this week:

“On Monday we had our first sea turtle nest of the 2018 season!

“For only the 3rd time in the history of the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nested on Sanibel Island! The Kemp’s ridley is one of the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle in the world. We are beyond thrilled that our first nest of the season was laid by a rare Kemp’s ridley!

“Last year SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program had a total of 684 nests on Sanibel – 650 loggerhead nests and 34 green nests – and 189 nests on Captiva. Both the loggerhead and the green nest counts for Sanibel surpassed previous records. 2017 was the fourth year in a row that Sanibel has broken historic nesting records, so we are hopeful that conservation efforts from the past 20-30 years are starting to pay off and sea turtle nest counts will continue to rise. More information on SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program can be found here.

“Please keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:SCCF logo

  • Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
  • Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night.
  • Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
  • Pick up litter.

“If you have any questions or concerns about nesting or injured turtles please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at (978) 728- 3663.”

Free “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) on May 12

BYOBAs posted on-line at the “Santiva Chronicle” this week:

“Get a BYOB washable canvas bag from Coastal Keepers free of charge, while supplies last, starting at noon May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way.

“On May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, Coastal Keepers will hold an event to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags on our islands and educate locals and visitors about the harm plastic bags cause to our environment.

“More than 100 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually in the United States, making them one of the most common trash items collected on beaches worldwide. Plastic bags have a short usage time and are rarely recyclable, taking 1,000 years or more to decompose. They pose a threat to wildlife as countless animals become entangled or mistake them for food each year.

“The solution to this problem is simple – bringing your own reusable bags when you shop eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags! On May 12 starting at noon, Coastal Keepers and Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way, will partner to distribute reusable, washable canvas bags for free while supplies last. We invite everyone to come out, grab a bag, and go reusable!

coastal keepers loglCoastal Keepers, formerly the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of START, operates as an independent branch of Sanibel Sea School to create and implement conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and our coastal heritage. Additional BYOB events are being planned for 2018. For more information about Coastal Keepers, please contact coastalkeepers@sanibelseaschool.org.

Upcoming Events

  • Public Meeting on Blind Pass Inlet Management Study – April 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sea Pearl Room at South Seas Island Resort at 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd. Provided by the Lee County Division of Natural Resources. More info about the study at www.leegov.com/naturalresources/blind-pass-2016–inlet-management-plan-study.
  • Annual Seahorse Festival – May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park, 2231 Periwinkle Way, hosted by The Sanibel School PTA. With a “taste” theme this year, featuring local restaurants with food, desserts, drinks, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment by Wilder Sons, students performing skits, games, inflatables, & more.
  • Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School Summer Camp – June 4 to August 24 at three locations: Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus, Sundial Beach Resort, & Canterbury School in Fort Myers. Programs for campers ages 4 to 18. Also space available in Pea-Sized Pufferfish Week, a program for 4- to 6-yr-olds; a coral reef expedition to the Florida Keys for 11- to 12-year-olds; an expedition to Belize for teens 15 to 18, and a variety of camps for 6- to 13-year-olds, each with ocean-related themes. More details at www.sanibelseaschool.org.
  • Captiva yacht clubSummer Junior Sailing ProgramJune 11 to 22 & July 16 to 27. A U.S. Sailing Certified program hosted by the Captiva Island Yacht Club at 15903 Captiva Dr. Open to children ages 8 to 15, of all skill levels. More info at www.captivaiyc/activities/sailing.

Changes Coming to Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

Sanibel-Island-Captiva-Island-Visitor-Center-Exterior.jpgAs reported in the “Island Sun” this week, announced at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last week were plans to renovate the chamber’s Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitors Center on Causeway Road. “With work expected to begin in early fall, the visitor center “refresh” will include a redesigned interior that will increase visitor “flow”, incorporate a classic coastal design with enhanced visitor experience integrating technology.”

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises to 4.47% This Week

associated-press-logoThough most island sales continue to be “as is” and “cash”, we always watch the interest rates because we know that it “only takes one” to make a sale and that “one” may want/or need a mortgage. Here is the Associated Press article that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®.

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed upward this week, slightly worsening affordability for homebuyers.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.47% from 4.42% last week. This benchmark rate averaged 3.97% a year ago.

“With the start of the traditional spring home buying season, people shopping for homes are dealing with higher loan costs and fewer properties for sale. Rising rates could further erode inventories as existing homeowners renovate homes rather than putting them up for sale to avoid a more expensive mortgage that would come with a new house.

“If higher rates lead to fewer homes on the market, it could push prices higher and further squeeze would-be homebuyers.

“”These increasing rates will serve as an added challenge to home shoppers in what is already perhaps the toughest home buying market in recorded history,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

Home borrowing costs have risen in response to higher yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. The interest charged on this form of government debt has risen from 2.78% last week to 2.9% early Thursday.

“The interest paid by the government is up along with the federal budget deficit in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and plans by the Federal Reserve to raise short-term borrowing rates for banks.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose this week to 3.94% from 3.875.”

Apply Now If You Want Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Florida Realtors logoThe Atlantic hurricane season coincides with the Florida rainy season which is June 1 to November 30, so seeing the below article posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® was a timely reminder that it is just around the corner. If you want flood insurance or need to make a change to your policy, now is the time. See the article and some provider recommendations below:

“Nearly a million property owners filed claims for various insured losses from Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, with estimated insured losses totaling nearly $8 billion. More than 750,000 of the 900,000 claims were made by residential property owners.

“With 1.7 million National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, Florida has the largest percentage – 35% – of NFIP policies in the entire system. When Irma made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, many homeowners, renters and business owners had flood insurance policies, but many more did not.

“Flooding can occur anywhere, even in low-risk areas. Almost 25% of claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding and receive one-third of all federal flooding disaster help.

“Homeowners, renters and business insurance does not typically cover flood damage, making it important for Floridians to buy an NFIP policy now. An NFIP insurance policy becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased. Flood insurance pays policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration.

“Floods are the most common and most costly natural disasters in the United States. Without flood insurance, it may be too expensive for owners to repair or rebuild.

“NFIP policyholders have been paid more than $887 million to repair and rebuild since Irma. Many policyholders received up to 50% advance payments–nearly $121 million–to minimize waiting for money to start work.

“By mid-March this year, 97% of the more than 28,000 submitted NFIP claims had been closed, with an average payment of $49,000.

“Homeowners, renters and business owners who live in NFIP-participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in NFIP.

“To find out if a community participates in NFIP, ask an insurance agent or go online to fema.gov/cis/FL.html….

“To find an agent who sells flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661.

For more information on general flood insurance questions, contact your local floodplain administrator, NFIP at 800-427-4661, or your insurance agent….”

Here are the four local insurance providers on SanibelSusan’s Directory of Services & Utilities:

Freebies From SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoIf you’d like a copy of our directory, mentioned above, just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. This list was compiled as a courtesy and is updated as we get recommendations. Vendors and service providers are included based on past service to us or our clients.

Also, if you are wondering when SanibelSusan’s next mass mailing of our inventory tables will go out, it will be soon. (With nearly 9,000 copies mailed, it makes our phones ring.) My team is confirming sales and updating our database now, while they also continue each Saturday to update the individual (Sanibel condo, home, lot, & Captiva) tables. To be added to our mailing list to receive a copy in early May (or anytime), just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. (Easy to email these inventory lists too. ) They show the addresses and prices of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and, for comparison, sales over the last few years too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 13-20, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $379K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $489.9K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $799K.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $535K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $549.9K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $624.5K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 now $625K.

1 new sale: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $474.5K, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.765M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $549.9K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $899K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $909K, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $1.25M, 725 Donax St 6/2.5 $1.548M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3.5 $3.395M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $509.5K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $669K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $635K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $809K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $825K, 501 Lagoon Dr 2/2 now $979K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.449M.

11 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $565K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 4439 Gulf Pines Drive 3/2 listed at $695K, 3320 St. Kilda 4/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 listed at $1.349M, 1033 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.495M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex listed at $2.075M.

6 closed sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $540K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 $607.5K, 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 $640K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.497M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $2.85M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 $3.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 412 Tiree Cir now $319,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $375K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $950K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.339M.

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, here are a couple of fun photos borrowed from Facebook.

Thriller 04-19-18.jpgA mama & baby dolphin photographed this week during a Sanibel Thriller rider (departs from The Sanibel Marina, more info at http://www.SanibelThriller.com).

Plus another Sanibel sunset!

sunset 04-18-18.jpg

TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Beach at Noon Today, Friday the 13th (April 2018)


 

Wondering how the beach looks? SanibelSusan made a quick stop, just after noon today, at the beach access at the end of Donax Street on Sanibel’s almost east end. As the above photos show, the beach is looking great and being enjoyed. My car said the outside temperature then was 83 degrees F. With a brisk breeze, it was perfect beach weather.

My team and I are continuing to enjoy the change in traffic pattern this week as the islands slow down. The trouble is once Periwinkle Way eases up, so do the real estate phone calls and inquiries. That’s too bad, as now is when it’s often easiest to gain access to the properties that have been occupied all winter.

Sanibel realtors logoAt yesterday’s local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, in addition to many new price reductions, a large number of new listings were announced. It was a full caravan, too.

That’s a bit of an oddity for this time of the year when business typically slows down a little. Hopefully this year with winter weather continuing in many areas, Florida will be more attractive to future prospective property owners.

Shown after a couple of news items below is our weekly report showing the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Florida House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – What Are The Facts?

State of FL SealThere have been rumblings the last couple of weeks over House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – Possession of Real Property (commonly known as customary use), signed by Governor Scott on March 23. Some folks believe that this bill restricts access to Florida’s beaches. That is not true.

Florida’s Constitution provides that all land seaward of the mean high-tide line belongs to the public. No government entity or private individual or property owner can deny access to it.

Florida Realtors logoPosted on-line yesterday, April 12, Florida Realtors® provided a good explanation of customary use and the beach access issue with the following questions and answers:

“Question: What is “customary use”?

Answer: “Customary use” is a common law term referring to public access to private beachfront property. Generally speaking, beachfront property owners in Florida own the “dry sand” area leading down to the mean high tide line – the line of intersection of the land with the water’s surface at the maximum height reached by a rising tide. The land seaward of that, commonly known as the “wet sand” area, is held by the state in trust for the public.

The process known as customary use allows a local government to adopt an ordinance that allows public access to the private dry sand area of beachfront property where the use has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption and free from dispute. (1974 City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama, 294 So.2d 73 (Fla. 1974)

“Question: Are customary use ordinances new?

Answer: No. The public trust doctrine is embodied in Art. 10, s. 11 of the state’s Constitution. Further, the customary use process has existed in Florida for many decades.

“Question: If customary use is not new, then what does this new law (HB 631) that was passed actually do?

Answer: The previous process for adopting a customary use ordinance was not structured in a way that encouraged active dialogue about the issue between property owners and the local government. The intent of the new law is to allow customary use practices to continue, but in a way that is more transparent, efficient and economical, while requiring active dialogue between local governments and private property owners on the front end to avoid costly legal challenges.

“Question: What was the old customary use process and how does it work now?

Answer: Simply put, prior to this law a local government would evaluate its public beach needs and previous public use, draft a customary use ordinance to address the issues they found, and then vote to adopt that ordinance. Property owners affected by the new ordinance could then pursue a legal challenge if they wished to.

Under the new law, the local government must first hold a public hearing to make the public aware of the new customary use ordinance they want to adopt. They also need to notify every affected property owner of the proposed ordinance in writing, as well as identify the use they are seeking and show evidence of the need of that use. They will then bring the proposed ordinance forward for a judicial determination and must notify affected property owners that they have 45 days from receipt of the notice to intervene in the legal proceedings….

“Question: Is public access to Florida’s beaches cut off under this new law?

Answer: No. The law only changes the process by which a local government would follow to adopt a customary use ordinance.

“Question: I live in a county that has an engineered beach/erosion control line. Does this issue affect me?

Answer: There are 35 coastal counties in Florida. A total of 26 coastal counties have an engineered beach/erosion control line – a jurisdictional boundary established in beach re-nourishment project areas. If you live in one of these counties, then customary use ordinances are highly unlikely for your area.

Nine counties don’t have an engineered beach/erosion control line. These counties are: Walton, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Volusia and Flagler.”

Reducing Your Flood Insurance Cost

femaThe cost of flood insurance often is a consideration to a prospective buyer. Some flood policies allow a new owner to assume the seller’s policy, so it is common for Realtors to ask owners about their insurance costs and the contact information for their insurance carrier. Sometimes we have info about how you may be able to reduce your insurance costs too.

Several years ago, the local Association of Realtors® brought in speakers from a local engineering firm that specializes in services related to flood zone mapping and analysis, flood protection analysis and flood proofing services. Sometimes that engineering work results in a document called LOMR (Letter of Map Revision). To fully understand what a LOMR is, it helps to know about the City’s evolution and how it relates to flood insurance.

Sanibelcityseal logoHere is some background from Sanibel’s on-line 2017 Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan. (Read the full document at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/Comprehensive-Floodplain-Management-Plan )

“The City of Sanibel is a barrier island, located on southern Florida’s Gulf coast. In 1974, the City was in a grassroots effort to gain local control over land development so that the fragile and unique environment of the Island could be preserved and enhanced…. Development within the City is regulated to coexist with nature.

“One of the City’s initial tasks following incorporation was the adoption of the Sanibel Plan (a comprehensive land use plan), which uses the ‘carrying capacity’ concept of land use management to determine the development intensity permitted on the island: the more sensitive the land is to human activity, the less development is permitted. In the City’s very fragile and vulnerable Gulf Beach, Bay Beach and Mangrove Forest Zones, little or no development is allowed. On the higher and less environmentally sensitive ridge areas of the Island, more intense development is permitted.

“Prior to incorporation, Sanibel Island was zoned for the development of over 30,000 dwelling units. After the City was established and the initial Sanibel Plan was adopted in 1976, the projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island dropped to approximately 7,800. After subsequent lawsuits and Plan amendments, the current projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island has been adjusted to approximately 9,000.

“Not only did the City significantly decrease the amount of development permitted on the Island, but the City’s new zoning regulations severely restrained and, in some cases, prohibited development in the Island’s most environmentally sensitive and flood prone areas such as the Bay and Gulf Beach Zones, the Mangrove Forest Zones and the Interior Wetlands Conservation District. By restricting or limiting development in these sensitive and vulnerable areas, the City took a giant step to protect the public health, safety and welfare from flood damage.

“When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the Community Rating System (CRS) in 1990, the City of Sanibel was one of the first to apply. Due to its historic proactive floodplain management efforts, the City is currently recognized as a Class 5 community by the CRS. Through the CRS program, the City has made a commitment to further improve and enhance its proactive floodplain management efforts through the evaluation and updating of its comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan (FMP).

“The purpose of the Sanibel FMP is to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from flood hazard and has been developed to meet CRS criteria for such planning documents and incorporates the primary goals of the CRS to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings, and promote the awareness of flood insurance. The plan includes existing and new mitigation activities, to prioritize mitigation activities and on-going activities to meet the City’s floodplain management goals. The City of Sanibel has implemented its Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan since the initial adoption of that plan in 1995. This 2005 Floodplain Management Plan assesses updates and clarifies that plan and provides direction for future actions. On May 3rd, 2016, the Sanibel City Council established a City of Sanibel Floodplain Management Planning and Mitigation Advisory Committee to the City of Sanibel to organize and prepare the Floodplain Management Plan. Under the Community Rating System (CRS), there is an incentive for communities to do more than regulate new construction. The CRS provides a reduction in flood insurance premiums to reflect activities that reduce flood damage to existing buildings, protect new buildings beyond the minimum NFIP protection level, and help residents obtain flood insurance.

“…The largest potential impact in hazard assessment of the 100-year storm is Base Flood Elevation (BFE) requirements from the FEMA maps. In November 2014, FEMA notified the City of Sanibel that it is analyzing coastal wave action in the Gulf of Mexico as part of its Risk Mapping, Assessment & Planning (Risk MAP) program. This analysis will be used to create new elevation data for Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Preliminary maps are anticipated to be distributed in 2018. Previous maps included Zone VE, where the flood elevations include wave heights equal or greater than 3 feet; and Zone AE, where the flood elevation includes wave heights less than 3 feet….

“By joining the NFIP in 1979 and requiring new construction to be built above the Program’s base flood elevation, development that has occurred on Sanibel since that time is relatively safe from flood damage in all but the very worst-case storm events….”

So how does this relate to a LOMR? In floodplain lingo, a Letter of Map Revision or LOMR is FEMA’s modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM) or both.

Why do you want your property to be included in a LOMR? Because it may mean that your property is now located in a flood zone that is less likely to flood, so less costly to insure. The property didn’t move, but the likelihood of flooding occurring may have lessened because of nearby construction, shift in the land, and changes in the weather, that could affect wind and wave action.

In recent years, many island condo complexes and communities have hired engineering firms to determine if their locations could be candidates for LOMRs. The process can be costly and lengthy, but in many cases has achieved great results – and huge savings in flood insurance. Posted at on the City’s website at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/LOMR-Letters-of-Map-Revision are recent revisions.

If your property is near one of these locations, particularly if it is landward of one of them, go to the link for that LOMR. There, you will see the letter that FEMA sent to the City identifying the area of change. The last page(s) of each document list by STRAP numbers & owners names, all of the properties affected by the that document. If yours is included, it may be worth a phone call to your insurance provider, as they may not be aware of the change. The LOMRs currently posted on the City’s site are:

  • West Wind Inn – 3345 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachcomber condo – 635 East Gulf Dr
  • 1243 Par View Dr
  • Pointe Santo condo – 2445 West Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Seaview condo – 727 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Beach Club condo – 2265 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachview Cottages – 3325 West Gulf Dr
  • Dosinia condo – 3339 West Gulf Dr
  • Sandalfoot condo – 671 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Inn – 3111 West Gulf Dr
  • Loggerhead Cay condo – 679 East Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Arms West condo – 827 East Gulf Dr
  • Casa Ybel Resort – 2255 West Gulf Dr
  • Tanglewood condo – 1101 to 1104 Seagrape Ln
  • Sunset Beach hotel – 3287 West Gulf Dr
  • Gulfside Place condo – 1605 Middle Gulf Dr
  • 5125 Joewood Dr
  • Sundial East condo – 1401 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sunset South condo – 1341 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sundial of Sanibel Bldg E & K – 1501 Middle Gulf Dr

To find your property’s FEMA map location, go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

2018 Hurricane Seminar

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiThe same day last week as the City seminar about the 2018 hurricane season, forecasters projected that the upcoming 2018 season may be busier than usual. As a fan of the City’s official weather consultant, Dave Roberts, it was interesting to read that he said hurricanes can happen during any month of the year when certain conditions are present. One of those is that water temperatures need to be about 80 degrees. (Right now, the gulf is about 77, 78 degrees.) According to Roberts, due to La Nina weather conditions, Atlantic Ocean water temperatures currently are one degree above average. “That’s something to be worried about,” he said.

Roberts also stressed the importance of heeding calls for an evacuation especially when powerful storm surges are expected. “I can tell you that a 15’ storm surge is very unlikely, but a 3’ to 5’ storm surge can happen. Believe me, you don’t want to get caught in that because one foot of standing water can move an SUV….”

Here’s hoping that if we are prepared, no storms will come.

Upcoming Events

ding darling48th Earth Day Celebration at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge, Saturday, April 21:

  • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Wildlife Drive free to bikers/hikers, $5 per motor vehicle
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free bike rentals at Tarpon Bay Explorers
  • 9:30 a.m. – Bike refuge tour (4 miles)
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Earth-friendly crafts in Refuge Visitor & Education Center
  • 1 p.m. – See free film STRAWS

Sanibel School Fund Blue Ribbon Golf Classic at The Sanctuary, Saturday, May 12. Call Christian at 917-763-6824 for more info/tickets.

Reminder About Watering

Lee County_logoAfter experiencing below-average rainfall from November through March, residents and visitors are reminded of Lee County’s year-‘round water conservation ordinance. It prohibits irrigation between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Irrigation outside of these hours is limited to Thursdays and Sundays for even-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Saturdays for odd-numbered addresses

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 6-13, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 $339.9K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $849K.

8 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $450K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 now $499K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $569K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 now $599K, Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 now $719K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 now $745K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $749.9K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.249M.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 listed at $549K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 listed at $729K, Kings Crown #312 2/2 listed at $799K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 listed at $799K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $819K, High Tide #C201 2/2 listed at $989K.

7 closed sales: Tennisplace #E33 2/1 $285K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $615K, Sundial West #J307 2/2 $738K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $795K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $845K, High Tide #C101 2/2 $885K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 3/3 $968.5K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex 3/2 $565K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $599K, 223 Daniel Dr 3/3 $898K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.149M, 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.849M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.149M.

16 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $455K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $699K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $739K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $759.5K, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $885K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $878K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $1.099M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.145M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.249M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.495M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.65M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $2.1495M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.795M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.374M.

9 new sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex listed at $399K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 listed at $525K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $575K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 listed at $689K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $829K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.22M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $515K, 1625 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $575K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $655K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 $875K, 748 Windlass Way 3/3 $1.1M, 2629 Coconut 2/3 $1.15M, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 $1.275M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 $3.675M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 976 Whelk Dr now $679K, 6000 White Heron Ln now $749K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.849M.

1 new sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct listed at $679K.

1 closed sale: 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd $215K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $545K.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 now $640K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $1.794M; 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1,999,999; 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.499M.

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 week, here’s hoping your Friday the 13th has been lucky & you get to the beach this weekend!

Here’s one more photo from today. TGIF!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanIMG_5541

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Gulf/Bay Waters & 1st Quarter Real Estate Stats


SusanSusan here reporting the end of another week of gorgeous weather with the island thinning out a little as snowbirds continue to depart and “season” activities wrap up. Many locals and visitors have noticed this week that the water around the islands is beautiful, both gulf and bay side – a brilliant clear teal blue. Seeing the water like that in the spring makes one wish the summer rainy season would stay away, but it’s an inevitable part of the Florida weather cycle.

Beach

In another few weeks, regular afternoon showers will begin with the first of the afternoon puffy popcorn-like clouds already appearing occasionally, though mostly inland.

chateau 8 07-17

 

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate

Now that first quarter is over, I always like to compare the activity from one year to the next to confirm that what the market seems to be indicating is true. Below is this year’s real estate action, compared to 2016 and 2017:

Sold/Closed Sales 1st Quarter
2016 2017 2018
 

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM
SANIBEL
Condos 38 709,628 190 32 732,686 219 34 765,668 118
Homes 44 966,872 191 58 1,047,638 138 63 1,263,989 160
Lots 6 365,333 269 11 389,074 354 3 247,333 238
CAPTIVA
Condos 4 831,125 285 10 432,600 214 11 911,783 190
Homes 8 4,096,250 309 6 2,161,667 116 9 2,462,500 169
Lots 1 1,549,000 386 1 1,925,000 294 0 N/A N/A

DOM = days on market

On Sanibel, closings indicate that homes continue to be the predominate product, with both condo and home prices on the rise. With the winter months being when the most high-end buyers are on island, it makes sense that larger more-luxurious more-expensive properties sell then.

This year, it may be surprising to see the jump in the number of closings that are posted this month and in May, since sales activity didn’t pick up until later than usual this year. Perhaps that’s related to the stock market, new tax laws, or something else. Those in the real estate business are happy that it did improve, now we hope that it doesn’t trickle off with folks leaving.

As a listing agent, an important consideration always is remaining inventory or the competition. It can provide insight into how long it may take for listings to sell, particularly at this time of the year when the next wave of prospective buyers is expected to be those who may think they can get a great deal buying post-season and before hurricane season. The below table shows the same details as the table above, but this one shows the properties currently for sale and under contract, on both Sanibel & Captiva.

Inventory as of April 6, 2018
Under Contract Without Contingencies, Awaiting Closing Under Contract With Contingencies Available

For Sale

 

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM
SANIBEL
Condos 5 1,056,100 85 25 759,076 193 104 804,055 181
Homes 19 2,016,526 125 37 1,100,088 109 192 1,431,145 168
Lots 1 239,800 278 1 59,000 413 67 646,683 363
CAPTIVA
Condos 1 2,095,000 182 0 N/A N/A 38 1,414,843 199
Homes 0 N/A N/A 3 2,696,000 418 47 3,209,702 249
Lots 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A 3 4,264,667 117

Again, the data confirms that Sanibel homes are the hot commodity and indicates that it is the pricier larger ones that are moving. Many of us have buyers just waiting for the right gulf-front pool home. There haven’t been many of those for sale. Not of enough of those exist on Sanibel, which probably is what has caused the bay-front pool home market to get lots of action in the last few weeks. With 192 Sanibel homes for sale, 63 closing first quarter, and another 56 under contract, there still are a lot of homes for sale – probably better than a year’s worth of inventory in my estimation.

With Sanibel condos having 34 sales first quarter and another 30 under contract, seeing 104 on the market, probably means that’s close to a year’s worth of inventory too. I bet we see fewer condo sales than we usually do this summer, but I hope I’m wrong.

The time to move island lots and Captiva properties are tough to guess-timate because those markets are so small, specialized, and varying in price. Captiva condo statistics can be skewed too, because the 33 gulf-front Beach Home properties (priced as high as $4+million) and 68 units Land’s End Village units within South Seas Resort are home-like but are in condo associations.

So, our hopes are that brisk sales continue. Many of our winter listings have sold or are under contract, so we are looking for new listings and working hard to get our remaining listings sold. Our focus shifts to getting showings at the properties that could not be viewed “in season” due to paying guests and promoting them to agents who have not shown them, as well as reminding those who have shown previously that they still are available.

Teammate Dave held several Open Houses this week, unfortunately with little traffic, probably because of the beautiful weather. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week follows a couple of news items below.

Leaving LIBOR, Say Hello to SOFR

miami herald logoAn interesting article was posted on-line by the “Miami Herald” last Friday, March 30, 2018. It’s by Tom Hudson who hosts “The Sunshine Economy” on WLRN-FM; @HudsonsView.

“If you have a home equity line of credit, private student loan, commercial mortgage or business loan, your payment may be tied to LIBOR. The London Interbank Offered Rate serves as the starting point for figuring out how much borrowers owe. But the interest rate underpinning trillions of dollars of loans will be changing.

“In the week ahead, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York begins publishing the SOFR. The Secured Overnight Financing Rate aims to be more reliable and less contrived. It also begins a new chapter in the massive move away from LIBOR and its lock as a fundamental price of borrowed funds.

“Deep inside most variable interest rate loan documents is LIBOR. Since the 1980s, lenders have leaned on LIBOR as the gauge to set other market interest rates. As LIBOR moves, so moves repayment costs. But it is an imperfect reflection of the cost of cash.

“LIBOR isn’t based on actual borrowing. It is a daily poll of banks, asking them what they think would be the cost to borrow from each other without using any collateral. Those are unsecured loans, and fewer banks are conducting business like that. So, the poll has become less accurate. And since it’s a survey of expected costs, not actual costs, the poll is vulnerable to manipulation. A dozen banks have paid billions of dollars in fines for rigging LIBOR rates.

“LIBOR lied. The benchmark is broken.

“Over the past four years a group of bankers, financiers and American regulators have been working toward a new reference rate. That rate, the SOFR, makes its debut Tuesday morning. It differs from LIBOR in two significant ways; It will be based on actual lending rates between banks, and it will be based on loans using US Treasuries as collateral — a more common practice than LIBOR’s unsecured loans.

“The introduction of what may become the new benchmark is far from complete. Whereas LIBOR rates include different durations ranging from overnight loans to those lasting one year, the SOFR is solely short-term money — one day.

“New variable interest rate loans likely will include references to SOFR as the new standard. Other loans may include fallback language allowing them to swap the old benchmark for a new one.

“This may seem like an arcane action by the financial industrial complex, but with trillions of dollars of consumer and business loans tethered to LIBOR, a smooth and orderly transition to a new interest rate benchmark is vital for the American economy.”

Is A Seller’s Disclosure Required?

Florida Realtors logoHaving served on the state Contract and Forms Content Committees many times, I often find that I can be too close to this question. The following article was posted on-line this week by Attorney Joel Maxson who is Director of Member Legal Services at Florida Realtors®. Joel also manages the Realtors’ Legal Hotline.

Florida is a full-disclosure state, but I have found that often when a property is not the primary residence of the seller or is a rental investment property, the seller does not always know of the property defects. Here is Joel’s posting from April 2, 2018:

“Based on what we hear on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, most residential sellers are content to complete the Florida Realtors Seller’s Property Disclosure – Residential form (SPDR) around the same time they enter into a listing agreement. However, every now and then, a seller will balk at the idea of completing this form, prompting a member to ask what Florida law requires regarding disclosures.

“Although sellers aren’t required to complete this specific SPDR form, a residential seller does have to comply with the rule established in Johnson v. Davis. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court held that “where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” These material facts are sometimes referred to as latent defects.

“In addition, in Rayner vs. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee, the First District Court of Appeal provided that this same disclosure requirement applies to residential properties that are being sold as is.

“Sellers can make this disclosure in writing or verbally, although Florida Realtors attorneys recommend that it be made in writing.

“Realtors should note that the SPDR contains safeguards to ensure the seller completes the form – not the associate or broker. As a reminder to all parties, the first line of the SPDR provides “Notice to Licensee and Seller: Only the Seller should fill out this form.”

“As a separate but related issue, some brokerage companies may require that certain documents (like a seller’s property disclosure) be maintained in a file, so associates should always ensure they understand and comply with any specific requirements their company may have.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 30 – April 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

12 new listings: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 $379K, Sundial #F205 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $549K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $599.5K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 $759K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $799K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 $889.5K, Compass Point #102 3/2 $1.295M, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.299M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $399K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $524.9K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 now $1.298M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 listed at $535K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Tamarind #B302 2/2 listed at $1.789M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 $415K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 $580K (our listing), Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $790K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 $835K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.05M (our sale).

GSP 222 view 2018-04

Gulfside Place #222 view

HOMES

7 new listings: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 $629K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex $679K, 247 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $939K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $1.125M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.155M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.849M, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.899M.

9 price changes: 317 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $565K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $595,995; 1357 Tahiti Dr 2/3 duplex now $629K; 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $695K; 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 now $749K; 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.279M; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.629M; 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex now $2.075M.

8 new sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 listed at $598K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $625K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 listed at $645K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 listed at $649K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 listed at $1.159M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.549M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 listed at $3.999M.

6 closed sales: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $485K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $659.9K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 $975K, 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 $1M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1312 Eagle Run Dr $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $950K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $370K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 2/2 now $5.5M.

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.

happy weekendUntil next Friday, enjoy your week…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan