Pre-Halloween Happenings & Good Real Estate Action at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan with another report about island real estate and happenings. Another sunny blue-sky Friday it is with local temperatures again expected to be record setting (low 90’s). The calendar says fall, but it still sure feels like summer.

 

Upcoming Events

As the roadways continue to fill up, the island events calendar also is in full swing. Below are some happenings scheduled this weekend, but first a photo taken this morning at Sanibel’s Pond Apple Park. Thanks to Yves-Pascal and Susanna for sharing. Look closely, they said they saw about 12 baby gators. They are cute when they are this size!

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Island Paw’s 15th Annual Howl-O-Ween – Today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Over Easy Café Patio with pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Flying Fur Animal Rescue.

11th Annual F.I.S.H. 10K Race – tomorrow, Saturday, Oct 26, race starts at 7:30 a.m. & finishes at The Community House. Sign-ups begin at 6:30 a.m. (SanibelSusan again is the volunteer guard for any vehicles entering/exiting Sanibel Square. Other Realtors® & Rotary volunteers will be on safety patrol at other driveway intersections along the route.) During the 10K Road Race, a Kids Race (up to age 10) will take place at the Sanibel Community Park (across the street from our office). The Kids Race is just for fun with all participating children to receive a ribbon and treat from Joey’s Custard.

baileyfest 201934th Annual Bailey Fest – Sunday, Oct 27 from noon until 4 p.m. at Bailey’s Center. Free & open to the public, this is the Center’s annual thank you to their patrons. Festivities include parade featuring the king and queen from the Sanibel School (winners of the essay contest, “What Sanibel Means To Me”) & stage performances by the school’s steel drum band & elementary choir performing. Free food, pony rides, water slide, giveaways, games, & more.

Red Tide Update

The red tide reported in last week’s blog was short-lived, thank goodness. When I received two offers Sunday afternoon about the same time that social media was posting reports of bad smells and photos of fish washing up on the beach, I thought we might be in trouble. But, by Monday the worst of it was gone and most beaches were back to normal. Those darn red tide occurrences can be as unpredictable as shelling. Whenever there is a change in the weather or wind direction, it can affect what comes ashore. Some of what came ashore last week was red drift algae which as mentioned in earlier updates, is not the same as red tide. Last week’s red tide event was likely from an upwelling of nutrients from the ocean floor from recent gulf storms that triggered the algae blooms – a natural event that sometimes comes at the most inopportune time.

Floria Fish & Wildlife LogoFlorida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission website posts the last eight days of their test results on their on-line map. Yesterday, that map showed just three spots of high red tide readings in Florida. Those were in the middle of Pine Island Sound between Captiva/North Captiva and St. James City. Today, Lighthouse Beach was also tagged as an area with high readings. Some medium readings were shown sporadically in a few areas from North Captiva to Marco Island Beach. Most Florida areas showed low to no evidence.

At West Wind Inn

This afternoon, I stopped at West Wind Inn’s Normandie Seaside Café for a quick lunch and to check the beach there. Though the wind was blowing on shore, I did not notice any smell or have any eye or throat irritation. The gulf was a little stirred up from the breeze, but there were swimmers in the water and pelicans diving.

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West Wind’s café and bar manager, Kim who faithfully posts the best pictures from the Upper Deck poolside was working inside the restaurant, training up a new employee. Got smiles out of them both. West Wind is a long-time favorite of both locals and visitors. Music most nights at the Upper Deck for sunset and consistent reasonable meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Photo below by Kim at the Upper Deck on Wednesday.

2019-10-24 WW pool bar

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Smiling gals at Normandie Seaside Café. Kim on right, with new employee Marlaina on left.

Lee County Property Fraud Alert Service

henderson-franklinIt sure is scary to hear about the fraud occurring these days. The below article was posted on-line in August by attorney Kaylee Tuck with Henderson-Franklin.

“Did you know that liens can be filed on your real property without your knowledge or consent, even if they’re not valid? Did you know those liens can affect title to your property? Did you also know someone can create a fraudulent deed that gives your real property to someone else? It’s all very scary and, unfortunately, happens frequently. That’s why the Lee County Clerk of Courts recently launched a new Property Fraud Alert program.

“The Property Fraud Alert program is completely free and allows subscribers to register their name (or any name) into the fraud alert system, and the system will alert registered users within 48 hours if a document has been recorded with the name of a registered user. This system will allow early detection of potentially fraudulent activity, which allows property owners to act fast and avoid issues down the road.

“Why is the system so important? Property owners will never know if an official record has been recorded in their name or on their property if they are not consistently monitoring Lee County’s official records. The Property Fraud Alert system does the work for you. If you are a registered user, the system will email you if a document has been recorded with your name on it. The email will also give you a link to review the recorded document. If the document is fraudulent or a mistake has been made, you have the opportunity to take immediate action to fix the potentially fraudulent activity

“Are you ready to subscribe yet? If so, just go to this link: https://or.leeclerk.org/LandMarkWeb/FraudAlert.

Enter the name of the person or business you want to monitor and the email address where you would like to receive the alerts. You can monitor as many names as you wish.

“Tips for subscribing: Use a personal email address that you check regularly. This system can’t help if alerts aren’t received. Register your name as follows:

  • First and Last
  • First, Middle, and Last
  • First, Middle Initial, and Last

“The system will only notify the registered user if the name on the recorded document exactly matches the registered name. Make sure to register multiple variations of your name.

“Register yourself and other family members. There is no limit for how many names you choose to monitor, so keep an eye on yourself and your family.

“If you think you are a victim of a fraudulently recorded document, contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line at 239-258-3292 or by email at fraudline@sheriffleefl.org. You may also wish to contact an attorney to determine whether you should take legal action to undo the fraudulent recording.”

Sanibel’s Leaders Working for All of Us

2019-10-23 DC Federal fly inYesterday, City councilor and friend Holly Smith returned from her trip this week to the Capitol. She was there as part of the Florida League of Cities for an event called FAST (Federal Action Strike Team) Federal Fly-in to Washington DC. Sanibel’s City leaders sure work hard for us. Thank you, Holly!

Below is some info from her Facebook post:

Port St Lucie Councilor Jolien Caraballo Congressman Brian Mast

Florida water warriors. East coast & west coast working together. Holly on the right, with Port St Lucie Councilor Jolien Caraballo & Florida Congressman Brian Mast in the center. 

“I am part of the FAST Committee for the Florida League of Cities. About 55 Elected Officials from around the State work together in unified and diverse voices – we don’t wear our political affiliations on our sleeves -speaking to our outlined 2020 legislative priorities. This is a non-partisan advocacy trip to meet with various White House Departments, FL Congresswomen, FL Congressmen and our esteemed FL Senators Rubio and Scott to discuss and bring to attention these vital Federally-regulated issues.”

In addition to Holly, other Lee County municipally-elected officials participating included City of Fort Myers Councilwoman Teresa Watkins Brown, Village of Estero Mayor Bill Ribble, and Bonita Springs Councilman Fred Forbes, joined by a group of elected advocates. Here posting continued with:

“Our 2020 priorities (not in particular order) included:

“1. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – We Floridians basically pay 3:1 or 4:1 Nationally. You all see your premiums increase. The Citizens of Florida should not bear the financial weight of National disasters. Our Ask – A long-term reauthorization NFIP package which provides affordability for existing and future policy holders, accurate flood mapping, resiliency incentives.

“2. Cyber Security – We have all seen the number of municipalities and private sector hit by Cyberattacks and held for ransom. This can and has been crippling and/or expensive to those compromised. We support Federal funding for technical assistance, threat assessments, employee training, infrastructure improvements and data protection to help cities be better prepared for the next cyberattack.

“3. ADA Compliance for Municipal Websites – I was the spokesperson to this issue for my group. There is a cottage industry of litigation throughout Florida stemming from unclear accessibility standards for Website ADA Compliance. I can speak from personal experience to this matter. Public and private sector entity websites across the state have seen a steady increase in legal claims. It’s a racket – settle for a specified amount – then no follow up. We need the DOJ to clarify the rules on Website Accessibility Standards. It was initiated – then halted. Let’s get this vague language eliminated and have rules of specificity we can all comply with. Also allow for a period to cure rather than awarding these unscrupulous attorneys to benefit unjustly. Some municipalities have literally had to shut down their public websites as they are unable to afford the cost of litigation

“4. Investing in Infrastructure, Water Supply and Water Quality – through grants, low-interest loans and technical Assistance. An estimated 48.71 Billion is needed over the next 30 years to meet the needs for drinking water, wastewater, flood control, nutrient pollution, Everglades Restoration and beach/inlet erosion. I don’t have to tell you how proactive Sanibel is in this priority. Mayor Kevin Ruane, Director James Evans, and I return to DC on Sunday to directly advocate for our Cities priorities.

“Other priorities included transportation infrastructure, broadband infrastructure funding opportunities, federal preemption of small wireless infrastructure deployment (meaning providers can now put up a structure in local rights of way without much, if any restrictions- so not right), advance refunding on municipal bonds, and Risk Rating 2.0 (urging FEMA to provide more details to better comprehend the impacts to Floridians).

“We also can claim victory as President Trump just approved one of our priorities: To approve a Category B reimbursement to offset the costs to local Governments incurred for emergency protective measures!

“Very grateful to all of our Federal Partners and Federal Elected Officials who were generous with their time and look forward to their efforts in helping us move these priorities forward. STAY TUNED!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 18-25, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sundial #F205 1/1 $429K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $549K, Loggerhead Cay #263 2/2 $665K, Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 $689K, Sand Pointe #212 2/2 $739K.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $389K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $519.9K, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 now $1.395M.

2 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 listed at $849K (our listing), White Pelican #114 2/2 listed at $850K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $529K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $538.6K, Gulfside Place #305 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $499K, 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $669K, 5672 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $715K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $995K, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.995M.

11 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $499.9K; 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $575K; 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $729K; 788 Nerita St 3/3 now $887K; 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $899K; 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.08M; 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.699M; 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.875M; 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.997M; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 now $2,999,999; 4709 Rue belle Mer 3/2 now $3.225M.

1 new sale: 572 Kinzie Island Ct 5/5 listed at $2.15M.

3 closed sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $485K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 $689K, 4080 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $955K (our buyer).

LOTS

1 new listing: 6008 White Heron Ln $899K.

No price change or new sales.

1 closed sale: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $280K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listing.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 now $335K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Halloween treat-clipart-halloweenHappy Halloween next week! SanibelSusan still is trying to come up with an outfit for the Realtors® Thursday Morning Caravan Meeting (& costume contest). Wish me luck!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

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Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

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Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

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On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

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.

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan