Wrapping June & Looking Forward to July On Sunny Sanibel

It’s another sunny Friday on Sanibel, with island merchants, restaurants, and Realtors® all hoping for a boost in business from soon-arriving holiday vacationers and visitors. With very little rain this week until a couple of late day thunderstorms yesterday, bay and gulf waters remain clear and bright.

The weather continues to be warmer than usual for this early in the summer, with near-record temperatures almost every day. Those temperatures dropped a little after the showers last night, with more typical high-80’s expected for the next few days with occasional scattered thunderstorms. Betcha we have another one tonight.

First another royal poinciana tree photo – a great vision of red against a blue sky. They are about gone by now, but will be back in bloom next May/June.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association or Realtors® June Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the June Monthly Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Attendance was light.

Speaker was Ashley Gibbons, Member Services Manager at the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce. She explained how visitor traffic to both islands, their facility, and their website continue to increase following a tough period after last summer’s red tide. The Chamber’s renovation is complete, several staff members are new, and their social media, including Instagram, also continue to get more followers.

The real estate announcements that followed were few, with just a handful of sales and price reductions. Caravan included six new listings open for viewing.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It was a busy week for the team, with a closing, a new sale, and action items accomplished with both active listings and upcoming closings. Our detailed report of the activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below, including the local island July 4th events.

Island Holiday Happenings

Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church, complimentary all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, juice, & coffee, with donations to benefit Boy Scout Troop 1740. 

29th Annual Independence Day Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road. The theme this year is “Seas the Day” with Captains for Clean Water serving as grand marshal. The parade runs east on Periwinkle and ends at Casa Ybel Road. Parade judges will be stationed in front of Winds. Parade watchers are reminded to arrive early, Periwinkle Way from Donax Street to Tarpon Bay Road will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. (and reopen about noon).

July 4th Celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center begins after the parade, until 2:30 p.m. with complimentary hot dogs & snow cones, plus water slide, bounce house, face painting & other patriotic fun for kiddos.

40th Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Road Rally which is an automobile scavenger hunt, begins at noon at The Timbers parking lot. Proceeds fund local youth benefits and scholarships. Entry forms are available at Bailey’s, Sanibel Café, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, or online at www.sancapoptimist.org. Rally is limited to 50 vehicles. Prizes are awarded for correct time and mileage, most correct answers to the quiz, best decorated vehicle, team coming from the farthest location, and team finishing last. I’ve done this several times and it ain’t easy, but it’s fun!

An Awesome 4th of July as advertised by The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., includes a backyard BBQ dinner, DG, swimming, putting course, and fireworks. Reservations required 239-472-3355.

Fireworks at dusk from the end of Bailey Road out over the bay. Best viewing on the causeway and bay side of the island.

The Future of Southwest Florida International Airport

Southwest Florida International Airport, aka RSW, is one of the newest airports in the nation, with a terminal less than 15 years old. Even so, with 9 to 10 million travelers a year passing through the airport, lines often are backed up “in season”. With more and more people moving to SW Florida, plans are in the works to stay ahead of the growth with a $200M renovation in the works.

In the local news this week, it was reported that getting through TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will be faster as part of this airport expansion with a new plan to make checkpoints more efficient. Even with RSW’s unique design of three separate security checkpoints determined by airline, there are reports of it taking more than an hour to get through security in the throes of season. Lee County Port Authority already had announced a $1.7 million plan to cut back on these wait times.  The plan creates up to two additional security lines per concourse. These changes are expected to be completed by October/November and will allow passengers to board faster.

Plans to expand RSW are more than halfway complete, with renderings including a new gate, amenities, and consolidating concourses. The most significant change planned is an 18-line centralized security checkpoint, which will be usable by 2023. According to a Wink News article published Tuesday, airport leaders are looking even farther ahead of this project with their long-range plan including space for a second runway.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs Budget With Real Estate Priorities

On Tuesday, posted by FloridaRealtors® on-line:

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the 2019 state budget late last week, and while he used his line-item veto power to remove some budget items, a number of items that impact real estate made it through the process.

“$682 million for environmental projects – A massive bill to help the environment includes $400 million for Everglades restoration, $100 million for springs restoration, $50 million for beach restoration projects, $25 million to combat blue-green algae and red tide, and $25 million for a septic-to-sewer cost-share program.

“$200 million-plus for affordable housing projects – Lawmakers allocated money from the state and local government housing trust funds for affordable housing programs, with more than half the money ($115 million) destined to assist Panhandle residents whose properties were devastated by Hurricane Michael.

“$15 million to continue LIDAR mapping – The Division of Emergency Management may continue spending the

$15 million currently being used for LIDAR (light detection and ranging) mapping. LIDAR is a next-generation mapping technique and has the potential to lower flood insurance rates throughout Florida.

“$500,000 to prevent unlicensed real estate activity – The Legislature allocated money from the Professional Regulation Trust Fund to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for its ongoing effort to combat unlicensed real estate activity.”

Gov. DeSantis Announces Plan to Crack Down on Environmental Crimes

There was more good “water” news on Tuesday when, during a visit to Stuart, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new plan to crack down on Florida’s environmental crimes. During a news conference at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, he signed a bill that creates a Division of Law Enforcement within Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which allows the DEP to conduct criminal investigations into environmental crimes. Officials said the DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement will be made up of sworn officers. Since taking office in January, Gov. DeSantis has made Florida’s environment a top priority.

Construction Progress at BIG ARTS

If you have attended an event or taken a class at BIG ARTS, you will appreciate how quickly their new building is progressing. The former buildings were demolished in early April, right after their annual Spring Concerts. Click on the blue link below for a 4-minute walk through the construction site with Architect Amy Nowacki.


(Amy is a busy multi-talented gal, also singing for many years in the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. She also is the architect for the renovations underway at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, scheduled to reopen mid-July.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 21-28, 2019



No new listings

4 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $375K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $593K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-1 2/2.5 now $773.9K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $895K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $235K; Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed at $499K; Surfside12 #A3 3/2 listed at $749,999; White Pelican #133 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 $347.5K (our buyer), Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 $987.5K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.15M.


2 new listings: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $899K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $919K.

11 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $379K, 1550 Centre Ct 3/2 now $599K, 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 now $649.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $674K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $719K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $754K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr, #1F 3/3 half-duplex now $779K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 now $785K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 now $799.9K, 0 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $969.5K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $995K.

5 new sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 listed at $684.9K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 listed at $785K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 listed at $995K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 listed at $1.495M (our listing).

6 closed sales: 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $462.5K, 1427 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $460K, 458 Cas Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $655K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $754K, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1.09M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 $1.8822M.


Nothing to report.



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 now $519.9K.

1 new sale: with contingencies: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 listed at $469K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $387.5K.


1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 $1.65M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.095M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 listed at $6,999,990.

1 closed sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 $5.65M.


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.

Best wishes for a fun safe 4th of July holiday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


From a parade many years ago!

It’s Sanibel Susan, reporting that Dave, Elise, Lisa and I are counting down to the Independence Day holiday next week. Fingers crossed that some of the many vacationers arriving tomorrow want to view and buy real estate. The SanibelSusan Team is ready to help them, if they are.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

Pre-Parade All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast – 7 to 9 a.m. at Sanibel Community Church. Event is free with donations accepted to benefit the church’s Summit Christian Preschool Scholarship fund.

crow 2015 parade

CROW’s 2015 parade entry. With this year’s theme, their entry should be another winner!

office pix 09-12-1728th Annual Independence Day Parade – starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tarpon Bay Road in front of Bailey’s Center and travels down Periwinkle Way, ending at Casa Ybel Rd. Theme is “Wild About America”. Periwinkle Way closes at 9 a.m., so be sure and get to your favored parade-watching spot early. Good vantage points are in front of SanibelSusan Realty, both in the shade under the trees at City Park across the street or under the overhang in front of our office building. The office will be open.

Post-Parade Celebration – at Jerry’s Shopping Center, begins at 10:30 a.m.

39th Annual Road Rally – begins at noon from The Timbers parking lot. This automobile scavenger hunt has vehicles deployed every two minutes. Hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, more info at their website www.sancapoptimist.org.

fireworks clip artFireworks Cruise – by Adventures in Paradise departs Sanibel Marina “G” dock at 7:30 p.m. Call 239-472-8443 for reservations.

Fireworks – at 9 p.m. rain or shine, from the end of Bailey Road out into the bay, above the causeway. Sponsored by the City of Sanibel.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

Yesterday at our local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting, staff from BIG ARTS gave members a quick preview of some artists scheduled to perform in the upcoming season. BIG ARTS is celebrating its 40th year with their calendar filling up. Tickets often are sold out to see big name bands, singers, and musicians, so it’s never too early to plan to attend those events. Check out their full schedule at www.BIGARTS.org. Many tickets go on sale this summer and can be purchased on-line. Beginning in January 2019, here are a few mentioned that caught my eye.

Bumper-Jacksons1/5 – Beginnings (Chicago tribute band)

1/12 – DePue Brothers Band (named Musical Family of America in 1989)

1/17 – Bumper Jacksons (7-piece band known for their roots jazz, country swing, & street blues)

iLuminate1/30 – iLuminate (dance & acrobatic performance team featured on America’s Got Talent)’

2/2 – m-Pact “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (often called one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world)


2/22 – Judy Collins

3/16 – Live in Central Park Revisited (recreation of Simon & Garfunkel’s performances on 9/19/1981)

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

The below article by Attorney Richard D. DeBoest was posted on-line this week at FloridaRealtors®:

Florida Realtors logo“July 2, 2018 – Question: We heard there were some new laws impacting condominium associations. Would you please give us a summary of the changes we need to know about? – B.T., Port St. Lucie

“Answer: Below is a summary of new laws as of July 1, 2018, applicable to condominiums:

  1. Official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Plans, permits, warranties, declaration, articles, bylaws, rules, meeting minutes and accounting records from the inception of the association must now be kept forever. Chapter 718 previously required these documents to be kept for only 7 years. All other records must still be kept for 7 years with exception of ballots, proxies and related voting material that only needs to be kept for 1 year.
  2. Access to official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Access to official records must be made available within 10 “working” days. Formerly it was 5 working days but since the penalty did not arise until after 10 working days effectively nothing has changed. Records must still be made available within 10 “working” days.
  3. Website creation – 718.111(12)(g)1/HB841. The requirement imposed in 2017 that condominiums (excluding timeshares) must create a website and post digital copies of most of its official records on its website by July 1, 2018, has been extended to January 1, 2019. The term “association” has been replaced by the term “condominium” thereby making it clear that multi-condominium associations that manage several condominiums each with less than 150 units but cumulatively 150 or more units are now exempt from the website requirement.
  4. Website records – 718.111(12)(g)2.e and g/HB841. A list of all bids in excess of $500 received by the association for materials, equipment or services within the past year must now be posted on the website if a website is required. Additionally, the “monthly income or expense statement” must be posted.
  5. Website records failure to post – 718.111(12)(g)4/HB841. The failure to post required records on the website is not sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or any committee.
  6. Board and members meeting notices on website – 718.112(2)(c)1 and (d)/HB841. In addition to sending and posting notices for board and members meetings by regular mail, the board may now adopt a rule to allow the posting of such notices on the website if a website is required. The rule must also require that an e-mail be sent to all owners who have requested electronic notice with a link to the posted notice.
  7. Term limits – 718.112(2)(d)2/HB841. The 2017 law limiting a director from serving no more than four consecutive two-year terms has been changed. The law now provides that regardless of the length of the term (one year or two years) a director cannot serve more than eight consecutive years unless no other eligible candidates run or at least 2/3 of those who vote approve the person to continue serving beyond eight consecutive years. The revised language also clarifies that if the governing documents so provide, directors may be elected to serve terms of more than two years each.
  8. Electronic notice – 718.112(2)(d)6/HB841. An owner who consents to electronic notice is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of e-mails. This will prevent an owner from objecting to a lack of notice if the notice is stopped by the owner’s spam filter.
  9. Recalls – 718.112(2)(j)1/HB841. A director is recalled immediately at the conclusion of the board meeting held to consider the recall if the recall is deemed “facially valid.” Under the prior 2017 change in the law which created a number of procedural ambiguities, the director was apparently recalled even if the recall agreements were clearly insufficient in number to effectuate a recall. Note that a definition of “facially valid” is not provided.
  10. Recalls attorney fees – 718.112(2)(j)6/HB841. If a recalled board member files a petition for arbitration to challenge the recall and is successful, then the arbitrator may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. If the board member is unsuccessful, the arbitrator may award the other party its attorneys’ fees and costs but only if the challenge is found to have been “frivolous.”
  11. Material alterations – 718.113(2)(a)/HB841. Clarifies that any material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements that requires owner approval must be approved before the work is commenced.
  12. Electronic vehicle charging – 718.112(8) and 718.121(2)/HB841. Allows unit owners to install electronic vehicle charging stations in their limited common element parking spaces under certain conditions and subject to certain requirements. Among other things, the owner must pay to install a separate meter and pay for the electricity. Further, the owner’s insurance must also name the association as an additional insured, and if the association’s insurance premium goes up as a result of the charging station, the owner must pay the increase. Moreover, if the owner fails to pay the contractor that installs the charging equipment, the contractor cannot file a construction lien against the association.
  13. Contracts with directors – 718.3026(3) and 718.3027(2)/HB841. The 2017 change in the law allowing an association to contract with a director under certain circumstances but allowing owners to void any such contract with a vote at the next members meeting was removed from 718.3026 and relocated to 718.3027.
  14. Fines and suspension committees/Payment of fine – 718.303(3)(b)/HB841. Provides that the fining committee has three members and that the members cannot be the “spouse, parent, child, brother, sister or employee” of any director. Formerly, the condominium law did not set the number of members and only prohibited board members and persons residing with a board member from being on the committee. Oddly, the new law removes the prohibition that a member of the committee cannot be residing with a director. If the committee approves the fine it must be paid within five days of the committee meeting. The association must give written notice of the fine or suspension after the committee approves it by mail or hand delivery.

“The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC., respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.

© 2018 Journal Media Group. Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 22-29, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


3 new listings: Seashells #36 2/2 $380K, Sanibel Inn #3 2/1 $779K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.398M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 listed at $489K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 listed at $545K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 listed at $549K.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #4D 2/2 $420K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 $455K, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.17M.


1 new listing: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $819K.

15 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $429K; 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $549,999; 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $570K; 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $575K; 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $599K; 836 Donax St 3/2 now $599K; 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K; 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K; 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $795K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $929K; 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $945K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.145M; 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.574M.

3 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $440K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $779K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $945K.

3 closed sales: 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $432K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $590K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.1001M.


1 new listing: 1292 Par View Dr $369K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $239,999; 3354 Barra Cir now $379K.

2 new sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct listed at $349K, 1036 Bayview Dr listed at $3.695M.

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.



No new listings.

1 price change: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 listed at $1.16M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 $635K.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 now $6.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 $1.465M.


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 SanibelSusan Team wishes you a wonderful holiday. Happy Birthday, America!more fireworks slip art.jpgT4thOfJulyWording

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Summer Rain in the Neighborhoods on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It was another fairly quiet week on Sanibel with late-day summer rains continuing and not much real estate action over the last seven days. Just had the electricity in the office go on and off multiple times as I was trying to post this blog. Those folks who scooted out early on a Friday afternoon had the right idea as a huge rain is dousing Southwest Florida now (4 p.m.).

In the real estate world, The SanibelSusan Team had another nice closing on Tuesday, the charming olde-Florida home with guest house, separate garage, and resort-style pool at 375 East Gulf Dr. Due to building code restrictions, we don’t see many multi-building residential properties like it on Sanibel. Since it dates back to the late 50’s, before City incorporation, it has some wonderful and unusual features.

375 East Gulf

Pool at 375 East Gulf Dr

Wednesday, we also had a walk-in looking for an entry-level income-producing condo at Sundial and we continue to receive inquiries about where to rent next winter. There aren’t many vacancies left!

Teammate Dave and I had a couple of listing presentations this week which resulted in two new listings – both pool homes. One, a split-plan 3 bedroom 2-1/2 bath near the beach in Little Lake Murex has an amazing wide and long lake view. The other, a large 5-bedroom 4-bath in gated Laguna Lakes with amenities, is just off-island.


View at 597 Lake Murex Circle

View 2

View at Sunset South #9C

It was another week without a Thursday Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, but there will be one next week when our new listing at Sunset South #9C is on the schedule.

Little real estate activity has been posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. Compared to “high season” when we may see as many as 15-25 island properties go under contract in a week, this week there were just five: a single Sanibel condo and four homes, three on Sanibel and one on Captiva. Those details follow a few news items below.

Florida’s Economic Growth Beats U.S. Average

Florida Realtors logoThe following article was posted at FloridaRealtors® on-line yesterday:

“Florida’s economic growth in 2014 outpaced the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday. Goods and services produced in Florida increased 2.7% last year compared with 2.2% nationally, the bureau said.

“Growth in Florida topped all states east of the Mississippi River except West Virginia where the economy jumped 5.1% thanks to its mining industry, said BEA spokesman Thomas Dail.

“Florida’s economy, meanwhile, has benefited from strong growth in real estate and rental and leasing, Dail said. Florida, with more than triple the national growth in the real estate sector, was behind only North Dakota, the federal data showed.

“”There has been fairly strong contributions from retail trade as well,” Dail added. Florida had nearly double the national growth in the retail sector and was behind only Arizona, Washington and North Dakota, according to BEA’s numbers.

“Overall, Florida’s economic growth ranked 11th in the nation – good enough to beat any state touching the Atlantic – including New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Georgia.

“The one bleak spot: Florida’s per capita share of the economy – the state’s output of goods and services divided by its population – continues to lag the nation’s. Last year, Florida’s was $38,690 vs. the nation’s $49,049. Florida has yet to recover to its pre-recession high of $44,048 in 2006.

“Florida has been rebounding from a deep recession since 2011, when the state’s economy actually contracted 0.6%, federal data shows. Goods and services grew only 1.7% in 2012, below the 1.9% national average.

Florida’s economy outpaced the nation’s in 2013 and 2014.”

© 2015 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Donna Gehrke-White. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sanibel + Captiva Islands: Florida’s Best Family-Friendly Nature-Loving Escapes

We know it has helped the real estate market and the economy here as the islands have made top-ranking on many internet sites. FYI, here’s the article about Sanibel and Captiva that was posted yesterday on-line on “Forbes” by their travel writer, Katie Kelly Bell:

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-2015

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-2015

“The sister islands of Sanibel and Captiva are something of a special breed in Florida. You won’t find bustling theme parks, water parks or alligator attractions on these islands. There won’t be long lines of sweaty tourists or beaches thronged with sunbathers either. In fact, these islands with their fertile unspoiled habitats seduce visitors without even trying.

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-15

Photo from Forbes on-line 06-11-15

“The islanders like to think the appeal is in the numbers: 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 kinds of fish, 230 kinds of birds, 250 kinds of shells and their favorite number of all—zero traffic lights. Sanibel alone is home to 6,400 acres of mangrove wilderness, which is almost half of the total island. Many visitors just come to spend time in the J. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge—a birders paradise, but also an ideal place for nature hikes and the occasional alligator spotting.

“Sanibel and Captiva (which are connected by a short causeway) also have a few simple guidelines in place that keep this wildlife-rich paradise as pristine as it was when I first visited as a young girl almost 40 years ago. The island allows no weekly home rentals (although smaller condominiums can be rented weekly) and no developer, no matter how deep the pockets, is permitted to build a structure higher than three stories.

“Yet, most people really don’t care about the rules; they come for the uncrowded beaches and unparalleled shelling. During my first visit as a child, my father and I decided to go shelling in the rain. We discovered the most magical things on that gloomy day–lighting whelks, king conch, shark eyes–even the occasional fish or horseshoe crab washed ashore by storm tide. Our pockets bulged with loot. I felt like an explorer, alone in the beachy wilderness. The adventure remains one of my most treasured memories with my dad to this day.

“In the following years I’ve taken my own babies down those beaches—each walk its own treasure hunt. Shelling on Sanibel is a rewarding pursuit simply because it yields intact shells—the ones with critters have to go back—but the empties are yours to keep. Of course you can sunbathe, or just drift in the gentle waves, but busy bees like me find the shelling hard to ignore.

“The island is threaded with bike trails and it’s a great way to get around or just explore sections you haven’t yet seen. I prefer biking through the wildlife refuge to driving—one always sees more when you slow down—and see you will. You can also take a guided tour by kayak through the refuge or through the mangrove forest. (Tarpon Bay Explorers offer several options led by naturalists). Expect to see a wide range of wildlife including dolphins, manatees, alligators, anhinga, pelican, and more.

“Shoppers won’t be disappointed, nor will those who just eat out every meal…Sanibel and Captiva have enough of both options to keep visitors busy for weeks without ever having to return to the dreary “mainland”.

“Today I go for different reasons—my mother, who lives there now, is aging and we spend more time shuttling her to the hospitals in Ft. Myers than shelling or kayaking. But, on each trip the wildlife still give–I’ll spy an anhinga drying its wings, or a pelican diving for dinner, and shells still wash ashore. Maybe that’s why people come back year after year—the island never changes–and you can feel, if only for a while, that you haven’t changed either.

When to Go: Summer is certainly hottest—but the islands are quieter during this season. Once November hits (through late April) you’ll be competing with the high season in terms of pricing. There are never any lines or crowded beaches here—just traffic getting off and on the island. So year-round it’s still a pleasure to visit….”

Sanibel Sewer Project Moves to Last Phase

Sanibelcityseal logoThe Sanibel Sewer Expansion Program is moving into Phase Four which is the last portion of the program which included centralization in 1974 and consolidation of island wastewater in 1991.

The program is about 99% complete with 42 properties in Phase Four remaining to be converted from their current septic systems. A low flow exemption has been granted to 28 properties, which will remain on septic for a temporary time period, which allows these properties to remain on their systems until they fail. The construction of Phase Four is estimated to take three off-seasons with the potential of being completed in just two. A more firm timetable will be established for City Council’s July meeting.

Read a Book, Get a Donut

Bennetts logoSanibel’s Bennett’s Fresh Roast is encouraging children to read while out of school for the summer. The shop is offering donuts in exchange for reading. Through August 31, school-aged children, from kindergarten through 5th grade, may receive a complimentary fresh donut each time they read a book at Bennett’s. Children may receive one free donut per day before 4 p.m. when they read a book while accompanied by a parent. Books appropriate for children are available for reading on-site.

Island Businesses Earn Trip Advisor Awards

trip advisor logoTrip Advisor has awarded several Sanibel businesses with Hall of Fame Awards (which are earned after winning five years in a row) or single excellence awards. Trip Advisor says Sanibel is “a family destination offering the best of both worlds. Sanibel Island is a vibrant community with laid-back beach relaxation or deep sea adventures. Fishing excursions, dolphin-watching tours and snorkeling appeal to travelers of all ages. Sanibel vacation homes are praised for their cozy, yet airy vibes and proximity to some of American’s most gorgeous beaches, with views into the Gulf of Mexico to make for a frame-worthy picture or postcard.”

Here are the businesses that recently received awards:

pinnocchiosPinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream

Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame Winner.

tarpon bay explorers logoTarpon Bay Explorers

2015 Hall of Fame

Oceans Reach LogoOceans Reach Condominiums

Customer Satisfaction Index of 98.2 when rated for value, rooms, service, cleanliness, and location.

BeachView_logoBeachview Cottages

Hall of Fame Award for their unique vacation experience.

Fourth of July Events Announced

fireworks-clipart-fireworks_rocketsThe 4th of July is on Saturday this year. Here are the events promoted in today’s “Island Sun”.


25th Annual Independence Day Parade – themed “For The Fun of It”. Parade line-up begins on Island Inn Road at 8:30 a.m. & the parade begins at 9:30 a.m., traveling from Island Inn Road to Tarpon Bay Road down Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road. Commemorative T-shirts are available at Bank of the Islands and will be sold along the parade route.

36th Annual Road Rally – sponsored by Sanibel-Captiva Optimists Club, teams puzzle out clues while following a prescribed driving course around the island. Prizes are awarded for correct time and mileage, the most correct answers to the quiz about things seen along the route, as well as best decorated vehicle. Entry forms available in various locations around the island. Fee covers car, driver, navigator, unlimited crew, and includes one official Road Rally T-shirt (additional shirts available for $15). Rally begins at Timbers Restaurant/Sanibel Grill parking lot at noon, and ends there for the “after-glow party”. Starting times are staggered. All proceeds provide funds for college scholarships.

Sanibel Island Fireworks Nights 2015 – at 9 p.m. set off from the end of Bailey Road into San Carlos Bay. Best viewing from the causeway. (Sorry, no public event at The Dunes this year, but member and VIP event 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

First Federal Junior Duck Stamp Judging On Sanibel

Ding Darling Society logoNext year, for the first time, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will hose the Federal Junior Duck Stamp judging. The public is invited, so mark April 22, 2016 on your calendars, and stay tuned for news of other activities in the planning stages.

““Ding” on the Wing”, the “Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society newsletter, announced this week that “Every year, the Refuge hosts the judging of the Florida Duck Stamp program. In 2016, it will welcome the nationwide judging – a fitting tribute to Sanibel Island as the birthplace of the JDS program.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 5-12



1 new listing: Somerset #B201 3/2.5 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 now $315K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $485K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 listed for $339K.

5 closed sales: Colonnades #41 1/1 $185K, Sundial #H109 1/1 $315K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $450K, Sundial #J401 1/1 $465K, Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 $640K.


20150609_1622525 new listings: 1314 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $525K, 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $679K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 4/3 duplex $699K, 597 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $749K (our listing), 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 $768.5K.

4 price changes: 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 now $659K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $670K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $789K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.95M

3 new sales: 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $489K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed for $585K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 4/3.5 listed for $865K.

aerial 375 east gulf5 closed sales: 536 Boulder Dr 3/2.5 $650K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $950K, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 $970K (our buyer), 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $1.575M, 428 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.6M.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 915 Main St $150K.



1 new listing: Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $649K.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 now $249K.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 16237 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.95M.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 now $2.049M.

1 new sale: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 listed for $3.99M.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan