Things are Hoppin’ On Sunny Sanibel


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

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

Tarpon Bay Explorers 10-03-19

Turner Beach 10-03-19

Turner Beach again 10-03-19

Green flash to channel 10-03-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Island “Season” Begins & With Annual Events

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

 

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

Lanai d

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

HOMES

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

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

Image 3 c.jpg

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

default

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

LOTS

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

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

No new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Sanibel Sharing, Singing, Shelling, Sales, & Scoop


Sanibelcityseal logoFamilies on spring break are on Sanibel – or at least those wanting an environmentally-fun outdoor vacation with fabulous weather. Traffic is challenging with the City encouraging no unnecessary travel from 3 to 7 p.m. That’s what happens in “peak” season. The City traffic app showing the cameras at the intersections helps us plan our routes which always includes turning “right”, not left.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThe team and I got our Friday work done early this week to give me time to run home and change for our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Singers were/are required to be on-stage for pre-performance warm-ups at 6 p.m. and with the traffic being iffy, extra time was anticipated. It took me 45 minutes last night at 5 p.m. to drive the 3 miles from my east-end home to get back to BIG ARTS. Hopefully, it will be easier tonight. Last night’s performance was a sell-out!

Chorus Pic spring 2018.jpgThese concerts were early this year because the buildings at the BIG ARTS campus on Dunlop Road will be coming down in just a few weeks when the construction project for the new facility begins. Next year, when the new performance hall is complete, the entire chorus will fit on the stage and the audience will enjoy more comfy seating.

With our listings, teammate Dave held three open houses again this week and we had closings yesterday and today where they are both our listing and our sale. All of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. You’ll notice that price reductions continue, but there also was good sales action.

1st Meeting of the New Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District

We heard excellent news yesterday following the first meeting of the entirely new board of the South Florida Water Management District. You may remember that just days after he took office, Florida’s Governor DeSantis called for the resignation of the former board members. Over the course of the last few weeks, Gov DeSantis appointed new board members.

Chauncey GossIn West Palm Beach yesterday, at the first meeting of this new board, they chose their new leaders to fulfill the District’s flood control, water quality projects, environmental restoration and water supply missions. The new board elected Sanibel’s-own Chauncey Goss as their Chairman. That is great for the 8.1 million residents of South Florida. Congratulations, Chauncey!

Shell Identification App

banner-shellmuseumappThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has announced that their shell identification app now is available. Many members of the local shell club including SanibelSusan helped for several months with the beta version as the shell library was compiled.

The app is available through the link below and is helpful in several ways. First it helps identify shells, provides a full-color shell guide, offers info from museum experts about shells, and provides info on the daily activities and special events at the museum, and beach walks. You can take a picture of a shell and quickly identify it using the app. That’s the part of the testing where I participated.

https://www.shellmuseum.org/shell-app

Florida Homes Are Hot

Posted on-line by FloridaRealtors® on Tuesday, this article is sourced to “Builder” magazine  (03/11/19) Sowers, Scott:builder

“Florida ranked as the No. 1 place for buyers, according to a recent Lending Tree survey. “Out of all mortgage requests made during the study, 9.1% were for homes in Florida, and moving companies that worked with out-of-state homebuyers reported that 12.4% of all requested destinations were in Florida. Builder magazine calls Florida’s growth “explosive.”

florida“The study broke Florida down into five distinct housing markets.

“”In Southwest Florida you have a lot of retirees. In central Florida you have retirees and international buyers,” says Tony Polito, Metrostudy’s regional director for the Tampa area. “In South Florida you have a lot of international buyers.”

“The largest pool of buyers in Jacksonville are first-time and entry-level buyers impacted by a lack of choices and affordability. In Central Florida, there is local demand as well as a diversified base of buyers that includes investors, seasonal residents, international and vacation homebuyers.

“High demand and low inventory have pushed prices up, according to Toby Hoff, Metrostudy regional director.

“Builders moving out of the core areas of Central Florida have been able to bring more affordable homes online. Buyers in this supply-constrained market are now willing to deal with longer commutes or less-than-desirable schools in order to find something that is both new and in their price range,” he says.

“Although Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg are all interconnected, they are very different housing markets, with Tampa booming and generating new jobs. “We have two counties that account for 90% of the housing activity. Hillsborough, which the city of Tampa sits in, and Pasco County to the north,” says Polito. “Between Pasco and Hillsborough County, today we have a 14.8-month supply of vacant lots. Market equilibrium in this market is 24 to 36 months. Anything below 24 months means land prices are still rising. You can’t even find a small orange grove to develop.””

Florida Realtors® & Dubai Land Dept. Sign Agreement to Encourage Collaboration

Florida Realtors logoHaving visited Dubai last year, it was fun to read the below Wednesday news release from Florida Realtors® – where friends President Eric Sain and President-Elect Barry Grooms represented our organization at MIPIM 2019.Dubai govt

“CANNES, France, March 13, 2019 — Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department today signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during MIPIM 2019, the international real estate and property investors conference held March 12-15, 2019, in Cannes, France.

dubai land dept“The MoU establishes the parties’ cooperation in developing a mutually beneficial relationship in the general field of real estate, building a foundation for future business opportunities.

““As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Dubai and throughout the world,” said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. “Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department share mutual goals for future success. We look forward to strengthening our cooperative efforts and building more connections to enhance business opportunities for all of our members.”

“As part of the agreement, Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department “affirm the value of international collaboration and agree to exchange information in the general field of real estate, promote professionalism in the real estate industry and engage in other activities that offer mutual benefits.”

“According to Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department, establishing this relationship with Florida Realtors enables the parties to develop a greater mutual understanding and more mutually beneficial opportunities.

“The MoU signing took place today at the Dubai Pavilion. Florida Realtors 2019 President-Elect Barry Grooms attended the signing along with President Sain; Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department; Mr. Shadi Bteddini, CEO of AQARI Global, the USA Trustee of the Dubai Land Department; and Florida Realtors Director of Global Business Maria Grulich.

“Also in attendance: Spanish International Realty Alliance CEO Francis Fernandez Ariza, representing another global partner with Florida Realtors; André Perrissel, president of FNAIM Provence International Committee, FNAIM Aix Marseille Provence; Michel Platero, president of FNAIM Grand Paris; Ingrid Damoiseau, president of World Property Business Club; and Adam Scott, an international delegate also representing the last three groups, all highly regarded real estate organizations in France that also are global partners with Florida Realtors..

“Representatives of several sponsors and partners with Florida Realtors for this year’s MIPIM were present as well, including: Enterprise Florida, Florida Power & Light, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) and the Pinellas Realtors Organization (PRO).”

Island Water Reminders For Seasonal Residents

island-water-logoThere was a nice checklist in the spring issue of the “IWA Pipeline. Here’s the abbreviated version for keeping your water secure when you are away.

  • Take advantage of IWA’s annual free turn-off and turn-on of your water at the meter. If you don’t have a pool or irrigation system, it makes sense that you have IWA do this if you are heading north and won’t be back until next “season”.
  • If you don’t want your water turned off at the meter and don’t have a backflow prevention device, turn off your house water valve. That turns off all spigots inside the house. If you do this, it is wise to also shut off the hot-water heater valves and corresponding circuit breaker.
  • As a precaution remove any outside hoses that won’t be used while you are away.
  • Have your home-watch read your water meter to see if water is going through the meter or if you have high usage. IWA reads meters only once a month.
  • Check the usage and amount of your water bill every month.
  • Put a fresh battery in your irrigation controller. Power outages and surges are common in the summer. Irrigations system controllers have battery back-up for these instances, but if the battery is dead, some systems will default to water every day. Also check your rain sensor to be sure that it’s operating correctly for your property. Speaking of sensors, Sanibel irrigation systems are required to have a working rain sensor.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 8-15, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 $515K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $525K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $1.095M.

6 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $349K, Sundial #H210 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 now $749K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $799K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.049M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.25M.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $249K, Pine Cove #204 2/2 listed at $1.45M, Atrium #207 2/2 listed at $1.55M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $214K (our listing & sale), Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $650K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $699K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 $739K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 $825K, 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $975K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $1.195M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

20 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $599,999; 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $645K; 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $689K; 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $689K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $749.9K; 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $795K; 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $799K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 now $849K (our listing); 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $875K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $949K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $969K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $999K; 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.12M; 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.195M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.295M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.485M; 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 now $1.495M; 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.499M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 now $2.59M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $2.95M.

Pool View

Pool & water view at 1050 White Ibis Dr in Gulf Shores

13 new sales: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 listed at $399K, 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $524.9K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 6143 Henderson 4/3 listed at $599K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 listed at $749K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 listed at $1.169M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 listed at $1.795M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $2.374M.

2 closed sales: 9448 Cotton Ct 3/2 $800K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $900K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 223 Robinwood Cir $329K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $399,999.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $638K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2636 2/2 listed at $759K.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2428 2/2 $625K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 listed at $929K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend! st pats day.jpg

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Cold Front Arriving – Island Style


merry-christmas-from-sanibelugly-sweater

It’s SanibelSusan, again reporting that all is well on the islands, as we await our first winter cool front which is expected to arrive tomorrow after some rain.

We may need to get out our Christmas sweaters by Sunday, as the latest forecast calls for highs in the 60’s/low 70’s with nighttime lows into the 40’s for about the next week. Yikes!

Sanibel realtors logoBig difference yesterday compared to last Thursday at our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting. This week, attendance was light, just a handful of new listings were open for viewing, and “no” new sales were announced. Our listing in Seagull Estates went under contract shortly after the meeting, so I will have that to announce at next week’s event which will be our December monthly membership meeting. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few news items below.

Sanibel Shoes for Homeless Veterans

American Legion logoUntil Dec 19, the American Legion Post 123 at 4249 San-Cap Rd is collecting shoes for homeless veterans. Donations of new sneakers, work boots, dress shoes, and socks are being accepted.

Upcoming Events

  • Holiday Stroll – tonight 12/8, tomorrow night 12/9, & 12/15, 12/16, 12/22, & 12/23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at South Seas Island Resort yacht harbor and marina. Tickets $10, children under 10 free. Proceeds to benefit Community Cooperative.
  • BIG ARTS Holiday Concerts – at 7 p.m. in Schein Performance Hall, The Band Concert is tomorrow night, 12/9. The Chorus concert is Thurs, 12/14 (you-know-who is singing). Tickets still available for both events.
  • Captiva Carol Sing – Sun, 12/10 at 6 p.m. at the historic Chapel by the Sea. It’s fun, though may be chilly, with singing of holiday favorites by a few soloists and attendees. Six of us from the BIG ARTS Chorus will be singing “Carols Around” and “It’s a Wonderful Time of the Year”.
  • Shell Harbor Boat Parade – CANCELLED. It was scheduled for 12/16.
  • 5th Annual Heart Walk & Wellness Festival – Sun, Jan 28, at the Community House beginning at 2 p.m. More info at www.SanibelCaptivaHeartWalk.org

Mortgage Rates Rise as Economy Shows Signs of Strength

associated-press-logoThe following article was posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® on-line with credit to The Associated Press:

“U.S. mortgage rates rose this week as the economy showed signs of strength, which makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise its short-term rate next week.

“The rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.94% from 3.9% last week, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said. The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance, also increased, rising to 3.36% from 3.3%.

“The five-year adjustable mortgage rate rose for the third straight week to 3.35% from 3.32% last week.

“Shorter-term rates are rising more quickly than longer-term debt, and the gap between the 30-year mortgage and five-year has narrowed since the summer. As a result, more homebuyers are choosing the longer-term fixed rate, Freddie Mac said.

“Even with the increase, the 30-year rate is down from the beginning of the year, when it stood at 4.13%. Any rate below 5% is low by historic standards.

“The number of people seeking unemployment benefits is near a four-decade low and surveys of manufacturers and service firms point to healthy growth.

“Federal Reserve policymakers meet next week and are widely expected to lift their short-term rate for the third time this year.”

Florida Regulators Approve Citizens Insurance Rate Hikes

news service of FL logoI was recently notified that another insurance company is picking up the wind policy on my home. It previously was covered by Citizens Property Insurance. If you still have coverage by Citizens you may be interested in this article posted on-line yesterday by News Service of Florida, Tallahassee.

“State regulators have approved a series of rate increases for Citizens Property Insurance customers now that a 90-day rate freeze due to Hurricane Irma has been lifted.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said Wednesday that it approved an average 6.6% increase for homeowners’ multi-peril policies under the Florida-owned property insurer. That increase is slightly lower than a 6.7% hike requested by Citizens.

The average wind-only homeowners’ policy will go up 0.9%, rather than the 1.7% sought by the state-backed Citizens.

Regulators approved Citizens’ request for a 4.8% increase in multi-peril coverage for condominium associations, while wind-only condominium association policies will see a 10.1% hike.

“Actual rate changes will vary across the state and even within local areas based on factors such as the amount of coverage, the type of policy and the location of the property.

“Because of the freeze imposed after Hurricane Irma, the new rates will begin May 1, 2018, rather than Feb. 1 as initially requested.

“Citizens had 448,737 policies as of Oct. 31, 2017, with residential homeowners making up the majority of them.”

Walk-Through Woes

Florida Realtors logoMost seasoned Realtors® have gone through their share of walk-through woes. I’ve heard the stories, but I guess that I have been lucky as I’ve not encountered any unusual scenarios. That didn’t keep me from getting a chuckle from the following article written by Meredith Caruso. She is the Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors®. Maybe you will enjoy it too.

“In the final days before a closing, most buyers choose to do a walk-through of the property. Under Florida Realtors’ contracts, they’re entitled to do this on either the day before or day of closing. While not mandatory, the walk-through can be an important buyer step to confirm that the property is in the condition warranted by the contract.

“Unfortunately, sellers can sometimes leave items that the buyer doesn’t want or take things meant to stay. Here are some tips to assist you should you find yourself faced with an upset buyer or a sneaky seller right before the closing:

“Scenario 1: Into the darkness – The buyer showed up at the property for a walk-through and noticed that the seller removed all the lightbulbs – including ones used for recessed lighting in the 20-foot ceiling. The buyer was very upset because purchasing and installing new lightbulbs is costly.

“The seller pointed to the contract and said that nothing obligated him to leave the lightbulbs because, in his opinion, lightbulbs aren’t fixtures required to stay. The buyer wanted the seller to credit him several hundred dollars at closing to cover this new expense. The seller refused.

“What now? To start, it’s important to remember that professionalism must prevail if faced with this type of situation. Do not pick up the phone and scream at the listing agent about how her client is in breach of contract. Often times, the listing agent has no idea the seller did this. Instead, try to address your buyers concerns by saying that you’ll get in touch with the listing agent to see why this has happened.

“To prepare for that call, ask your buyer what he thinks would remedy the situation, such as a credit at closing for the lightbulbs. Then reach out to the listing agent and discuss how you can work together to remedy the situation. Please note: In this particular example, based on the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract (FR/Bar), the buyer isn’t entitled to anything. But the point can always be negotiated.

“Scenario 2: Why’d it have to be snakes? – Buyers came in from out of town, and they arranged to meet their agent at the property a few hours before closing for a final walk-through. The buyer’s agent arrived early and decided to take a quick look around to make sure nothing was amiss. Upon entering the garage, however, the agent saw that a large glass fish tank was still there – worse, it contained a massive python.

“The agent panicked. His buyers won’t want a large predatory snake in their garage, but the sellers told him that they wouldn’t remove it – take it or leave it. What now?

“Believe it or not, this scenario actually happened. The agent resolved the issue by calling local animal control, and they removed the animal before closing.

“Yes, the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract says all of the sellers’ personal belongings will be removed from the property; but the fact is, it doesn’t always happen. In this case, the agent was proactive and got the issue resolved before it became a bigger problem that could have derailed the closing.

“However, take the snake component out of this example and replace it with a sofa that the sellers left behind, and the end result is similar. Yes, the seller was to remove this personal property item, but no, the seller simply did not.

“In cases like this, the core question is: Will the buyer refuse to close because of the personal property item being behind? While a snake can’t be tossed in the trash, the buyer may decide it is easier to drag the couch to the curb than not close on the home.

Not always easy – Of course, there are instances without an easy solution. For example, what if the seller removes all the stainless-steel appliances and replaces them with mismatched older versions? Here the buyer has legal options and may well want to contact his attorney and ask how to proceed.

“Remember too that you and the other agent in the transaction should be working towards the shared goal of getting the parties to closing. Being on “opposite sides” and demanding results from either party rarely leads to a happy ending.

“Always keep in mind that you and your fellow Realtors are in this transaction together and continue to remain professional, even in the face of an upset or difficult customer.’

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 1-8, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Colonnades #C3 1/1 $225K, Tennisplace #E32 2/1 $299K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 $819K, White Sands #32 2/2 $1.095M, Island Beach Club #220D 2/2 #1.45M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.45M, By-the-Sea #A302 3/2 $1.745M.

3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #220 now $482.5K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now 549K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 now $580K.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $390K, Sundial West #B108 1/1 $450K, Sanibel Siesta #303 2/2 $507K, Sanibel Moorings #612 2/2 $545K.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $459K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $647.5K,

5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $649K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 929K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $995K,

1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.099M, 580 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $1.249M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.249M, 2441 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 1.295M, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $1.85M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 $2.095M.

8 price changes: 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 now $419K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $685K,

5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 now $699K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $739K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $948K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.25M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.299M, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 now $4.345M.

7 new sales: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 listed at $449.9K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $725K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $1.069M (our listing & sale), 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 960 Victoria Way 3/3 listed at $1.779M, 1255 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed at $1.795M, 4731 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $2.65M.

1 closed sale: 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $600K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5847 Pine Tree Dr $369,555.

4 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $179K, 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd now $239.8K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $339K, 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $339K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1662 3/3 $2.395M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2523 1/1 $537K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/8 $2.799M, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.895M, 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 $3.1M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16970 Captiva Dr $3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

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

Enjoy your weekend… stay warm!captiva-chapel-by-the-sea-carol-sing

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

 

Blue Skies & Island Real Estate Happenings


It’s SanibelSusan reporting at the end of another quiet week on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. The rainy season has begun with a few puffy pop-corn-like clouds rolling in some afternoons followed by short, sometimes heavy, evening showers. Here are a couple of photos taken yesterday at the new garden area at The West Wind Inn. Those white clouds sure pop against the bright blue sky!

West Wind 1 05-18-17West Wind 2 05-18-17

It sure has been a funny week with weather – not here, but certainly elsewhere. Yesterday, I heard from a friend in Colorado where it was snowing, then another in Maine where it was a stifling 90-some degrees with no ocean breeze. Then last night on the news, there were severe weather alerts issued for the Midwest.

Amazing that spring weather can make it a good time to vacation in Florida. Even before moving to the island 25 years ago, May was one of my favorite months here – with summer-like weather, the rainy season just beginning, traffic light, and occupancy and hotel rates down.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates & Real Estate Happenings

Attendance was light yesterday at the early Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting. Some of our leadership team is in Washington DC for the 2017 REALTORS Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo which wraps up tomorrow. Thanks to Association President Joel Goodman, President-Elect Dustyn Corace, & Association COO Bill Robinson who made the trip.

Though I did not go, I was one of the 18 Realtors® from Florida inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame on Wednesday night.

nar-dc-with-capitol

SanibelSusanSo, if you get to DC and go to the top of the National Association of Realtors® headquarters building at 500 New Jersey Ave (just 3 blocks from the U.S. Capitol), the roof-top terrace holds the recognition plaques for the now 773 members of the Realtors® Hall of Fame.

Mine, shown at right, says “SanibelSusan Andrews”.

The Realtors® recognized come from 50 states and now include a total of 64 members from Florida. Nationwide, 106 Realtors® were inducted this year for their contributions through 2016. That is the largest annual group yet. Congratulations all!

The action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday follows a couple of news items below. We had another nice closing! We got a couple of calls this week about listing properties too, so don’t be surprised to soon see some nice new offerings.

What’s Happening With the Island Real Estate Market

sancap GO MLS logoThere is no denying that selling business here is seasonal. Of course, property can be sold at any time of the year, it is just that there always are more sales during the months when the island has the most occupants. The snapshot of statistics below compares sales this year to last. It also shows the comparison of sales in the summer compared to the winter months. (Data from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS.)

SANIBEL CONDOS

#                      Average Price            Days-on-Market

Currently available            97                    $723,879                      205

Under contract                    22                    $805,286                      184

Sold/closed in winter:

1/1-5/18/2017                     62                    $767,193                      193

1/1-5/18/2016                    76                    $770,610                      194

Sold/closed in summer:

5/18-9/1/2016                     29                    $635,540                      287

5/18-9/1/2015                     46                    $619,095                      193

SANIBEL HOMES

#                      Average Price            Days-on-Market

Currently available           168                   $1,552,326                    181

Under contract                   40                    $1,110,892                    155

Sold/closed in winter:

1/1-5/18/2017                     89                    $1,016,615                    149

1/1-5/18/2016                     85                    $1,065,610                    164

Sold/closed in summer:

5/18-9/1/2016                    68                    $870,219                      168

5/18-9/1/2015                    81                    $927,123                      199

SANIBEL LOTS

#                      Average Price            Days-on-Market

Currently available           65                    $536,158                      384

Under contract                   2                      $236,278                      524

Sold/closed in winter:

1/1-5/18/2017                     19                    $373,385                      471

1/1-5/18/2016                     13                    $569,615                      604

Sold/closed in summer:

5/18-9/1/2016                     4                      $631,062                      617

5/18-9/1/2015                    11                    $529,818                      341

The Best Vacation Spot in Every U.S. State

active times logoLooking forward to summer … once again, “Sanibel” has made a list. This one for the best vacation travel spot in each U.S. State. This article is posted on-line at “TheActiveTimes.com”:

“The number of international travel for vacation purposes has dropped and half of trips abroad are to Canada and Mexico. Part of the reason is that the U.S. is a big country with plenty to see. Exotic journeys, peculiar quick escapes, and seaside paradises will inspire a year filled with irreplaceable experiences. Visit unique attractions and see majestic landscapes, visit vibrant cities, view iconic landmarks, and explore national parks.

“From possible solo trips to a beach, exciting couple’s getaways and week-long escapades with the entire family to a secluded island, the vacation spots on the following list were picked due to their recreational and adventurous potential. No two locations are the same.

“There is a state on this list that has everything you wish to experience during a holiday, whether it’s old-school charm, history, serenity, adrenaline-pumping activities, or extreme sports.

“Alabama – The Gulf Shores

Alaska – Anchorage

Arizona – Grand Canyon

Arkansas – Hot Springs National Park

California – Santa Barbara

Colorado – Aspen

Connecticut – Mystic

Delaware – Dewey Beach

Active Sanibel PixFlorida – Sanibel Island

Georgia – Jekyll Island

Hawaii – Kauai

Idaho – Idaho Falls

Illinois – Chicago

Indiana – Indiana Dunes State Park

Iowa – Dubuque

Kansas – Wichita

Kentucky – Cities Along the Bourbon Trail

Louisiana – New Orleans

Maine – Bar Harbor

Maryland – Ocean City

Massachusetts – Cape Cod

Michigan – Grand Haven

Minnesota – Voyagers National Park

Mississippi – Biloxi

Missouri – Branson

Montana – Glacier National Park

Nebraska – Lincoln

Nevada – Las Vegas

New Hampshire – Bretton Woods

New Jersey – Ocean City

New Mexico – Albuquerque

New York – Adirondacks

North Carolina – Asheville

North Dakota – Fargo

Ohio – Cleveland

Oklahoma – Tulsa

Oregon – Astoria

Pennsylvania – Skytop

Rhode Island – Providence

South Carolina – Myrtle Beach

South Dakota – Sioux Falls

Tennessee – Spencer

Texas – Austin

Utah – Salt Lake City

Vermont – Swanton

Virginia – Virginia Beach

Washington – Seattle

West Virginia – Berkeley Springs

Wisconsin – Madison

Wyoming – Jackson Hole”

Be Prepared

Sanibelcityseal logoNext Friday May 26, the City of Sanibel is sponsoring their 2017 Hurricane Seminar at BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Rd from 1 to 3 p.m. It is free, no reservation needed.

New info will be provided including predictions for 2017, family hurricane planning, use of social media in emergencies, and Sanibel Building Codes. Featured speakers will be: City weather consultant Dave Roberts, Lee County Emergency Management Program Manager Jim Bjostad, F.I.S.H. Director of Operations Maggie Goldsmith, City of Sanibel building official Harold Law, Sanibel Emergency Management Director Lt. Buikema, and Sanibel Policy Chief William Dalton.

Residents, property owners, business owners, and island workers are encouraged to attend. If you cannot be there, the seminar video will be posted after the event on MySanibel.com.

Summer Happenings

big arts logoBIG ARTS Summer Arts Camp – offers a program of visual and performing arts for 1st through 5th graders. Each week begins a new session with a new theme. There also is an apprentice program for 6th through 12 graders where middle and high schoolers spend half their day taking a more advanced art class and half their day days earning community service hours by assisting campers in their classes. Registration for both programs is now open. Registration forms are on-line at www.BIGARTS.org . The schedule includes:

Week 1 – June 5 – 9 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Week 2 – June 12 – 16 – Life’s a Circus at Camp! Week 3 – June 19 – 23 – Under The Sea Week 4 – June 26 – 30 – Where the Wild Things Are Week 5 – July 3 – 7 (No camp on July 4) – Red, White, Blue and YOU!

Week 6 – July 10 – 14 – I’ve Got a Golden Ticket!

Week 7 – July 17 – 21 – When You Wish Upon a Star

Week 8 – July 24 – 28 – Say Yes to the Mess!

Captiva yacht clubCaptiva Island Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing Camp – For children ages 8 to 15, it teaches the ins and outs of operating their own sailboat in Roosevelt Channel behind the yacht club. The camp gets support from the City of Sanibel, F.I.S.H., and Sanibel CHR (Community Housing & Resources). Divided into two sessions: the 1st June 12-16 and June 19-23; the 2nd July 10-14 and July 17-21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $500 per session and includes sailing and kayak instruction. At the end of each session, students earn a Beginner Level I U.S. Sailing certificate. The Captiva Yacht Club has a fleet of 12 Optimist prams, six Sunfish, and three Laser sailboats.

Counselor in Training Program – This City-sponsored program at the Rec Center provides junior-level personal development and leadership opportunity for teens entering 9th and 10th grade that are interested in working with children in a recreational day camp setting. The program is designed to prepare teens to become a camp counselors. For more info, call the Sanibel Recreation Center at (239) 472-0345

Sanibel Sea schoolOcean Tribe Paddlers Club – A new club to bring the paddling community together is being offered by the Sanibel Sea School. The first club meeting is a free welcome group paddle on Tuesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. at Causeway Island A, north side. Those who do not have a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe should contact spencer@sanibelseaschool.org or call 239-472-8585, who will provide them.

Sea School Opening Retail Store – Called Ocean Tribe Outfitters, the ribbon-cutting for this new store at 455 Periwinkle Way is May 31 at 5 p.m. The store will specialize in paddling gear, including kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and related accessories, plus equipment and closing for ocean recreation. All profits from the store will fund the nonprofit Sanibel Sea School’s programs, including scholarships and ocean outreach programs for students in need. More info at www.sanibelseaschool.org

Sanibel Rec CenterSWAT (Sanibel Water Attack Team) – For children ages 5 to 18, SWAT is the island’s competitive swim team. SWAT practices at the Rec Center Monday through Friday with the Blue Team (K through 8th grade) from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. and the Gold Team (high schoolers) from 2:30 to 4 p.m. To join SWAT, students must be able to swim the length of the pool and commit to attending four meetings a year – two at Florida Gulf Coast University and two in Sarasota. The next swim meet is June 17 and 18 at Florida Gulf Coast University with competition from teams throughout the state.

Lcec logoGood Tips from LCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op)

“Summer Saving Tips

  1. Install a programmable thermostat. When you aren’t home, turn it up. Work around your schedule and earn savings by adjusting the temperature.
  2. Lower your water-heating costs. Turn the water-heater temperature to the warm setting of 120 degrees F. It’s hot enough for showers and to clean dishes. Do laundry in cold water.
  3. Replace your air filter. It allows your system to work more efficiently. This is also the ideal time to have your annual AC system checkup.
  4. Seal cracks and gaps. Keep cooled air from leaking out and prevent warm air from getting in. Inspect door/window cracks and apply calking around cable lines and dryer vent openings.
  5. Save in the laundry room. Inspect the vent and clean the dryer lint trap after every use….

“Checklist for Vacating Your Home for The Summer

Use the following checklist to keep your home and all its electrical treasures in great shape!

  • Avoid mildew damage by installing a timer on the air conditioner to cycle the air for two hours per day, or install a humidistat that will cycle when indoor humidity exceeds 65%.
  • Fill jugs of tap water to put inside the refrigerator/freezer since a full unit will use less power than an empty one….
  • Leave all interior doors open to promote airflow. Resist the temptation to leave your ceiling fans on low to circulate air. Fans should only be used when you are in the room since they only cool the body.
  • Consider having a … house sitter keep an eye on your home while you are gone.
  • Enroll in LCEC kiloWATCH at www.lcec.net so you can be alerted of unusual electricity usage.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 12-19, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 $549K, Blind Pass #F108 3/2 $594.9K.

3 price changes: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 2/2 now $489.5K, Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 now $629K, Nutmeg Village #100 2/2 now $1.07M.

2 new sales: Seashells #6 2/2 listed at $395K, Pointe Santo #B23 2/2 listed at $799K.

6 closed sales: Lake Palms #8 2/2.5 $331,750, Sundial West #H209 1/1 $404K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $450K, Coquina Beach #3G 2/2 $450K (our Seller), Loggerhead Cay #443 2/2 $538K, Loggerhead Cay #103 2/2 $962.5K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 986 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $529K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $1.35M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 $2.395M.

11 price changes: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $489K; 1918 Ibis Ln 3/3 now $629K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $789,555; 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 now $799K; 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $1.099M; 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.149M; 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M; 6494 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $1.795M; 4649 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 now $2,995,555; 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $3.5M; 3547 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $4.25M.

3 new sales: 1596 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $499K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $534K, 6081 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed at $799.9K.

4 closed sales: 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 $580K, 5126 Joewood Dr 3/2 $710K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $879.75K, 4117 West Gulf Dr 5/6 $5.35M.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $183.9K, 6159 Starling Way now $639K, 5251 Indian Ct now $759K, 0 Island Inn Rd now $1.099M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 0 Island Inn Rd $182K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 listed at $254K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2324 2/2 $595K.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $1.595M, 16171 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $2.195M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $3.999M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11515 Andy Rosse Ln 6/5.5 $2.725M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping your weekend is rosy! I’ll be in the office… looking for business!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Paul collins roseate 04-13-14

Columbus Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


As another week comes to a close, SanibelSusan reports that although many new listings are coming on the market for “season”, there was not much sales action again this week.

Here is a quick summary of the Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales since the first of the year compared to last year and the year before. Also included is inventory today. Note these prices are averages.

SANIBEL   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale        84      $763,929                 101      $1,365,647           65         $462,128

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015            133     $674,347                 205         $876,028           36          $392,344

2014            132     $672,330                 174         $821,266           20          $452,903

2013            138     $563,493                 175         $922,938           18          $450,364

CAPTIVA   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale         37      $743,454                  36       $3,798,014           4        $2,234,750

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015              30      $1,112,050              19       $3,269,079            2          $2,847,500

2014              17           $660,471            23       $2,826,717            0           N/A

2013              27           $665,630           15       $2,642,267             1             $650,000

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

Here are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Island Weather, Happenings & Upcoming Events

Farmers Market Girls 10-4-2015Between some occasional showers, the opening of Sanibel’s Farmers’ Market last Sunday morning was a great success. Lots of locals were in attendance with a terrific variety of goods available for those looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, prepared food, and much more. Big thank you to the market organizers, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura.

Farmer Market bagsThis year they have some new recyclable shopping bags too, I bought a few to hold some future closing gifts!

Sanibel Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April. See you there!

Since last weekend, island weather has been pretty nice. Temperatures are in the low to mid 80’s, the humidity is down, and sunshine is expected every day for at least the next week.

Theater-in-SanibelTonight through Sunday – BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater – With a cast of 35 children, the debut of “Flat Stanley”, the 1st children’s theater show from Creative Theater Workshop is being performed at Strauss Theater.

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumOctober 20 – Sanibel Historical Museum and Village reopens with new expanded hours. Opening two weeks earlier than last year and adding an additional day to their schedule, the Museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

November 8 – 34th Annual Taste of the Islands – from 12 to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. This is CROW’s largest fundraiser of the year. Volunteers are needed, forms available at www.crowclinic.org

2015 Tast of the Islands

Through 2017, Market Should Stay Strong

More positive indicators in Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

Urban Land Insititute logo“You can expect at least three more years of favorable real estate conditions, with the overall housing market projected to continue expanding at steady levels from this year through 2017, according to a new survey from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, based on 49 of the real estate industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Still, compared to previous forecasts, the latest ULI forecast is less bullish on its outlook. Overall, real estate indicators are expected to be better than their 20-year averages this year, except among the following indicators that are forecasted to perform worse: commercial property price growth, equity REIT returns, retail availability rates, and single-family housing starts.

““The latest Consensus Forecast has picked up on recent growth concerns and stock market corrections around the world,” says William Maher, ULI leader. “The U.S. economy and real estate markets are in much better shape than most other countries, but global economies and capital markets are increasingly inter-related. Still, the vast majority of indicators in the forecast indicate favorable economic and capital markets in the U.S., as well as moderately strong real estate fundamentals and investment returns.”

“Additional highlights from ULI’s Consensus Forecast:

  • Commercial property transaction volume is predicted to rise for another two years and then level off to $500 billion by 2017.
  • Commercial real estate prices are forecasted to rise by 10% in 2015 and then slow to a 6% increase in 2016 and to 4.5% in 2017 – below the long-term average
  • Vacancy rates are projected to decrease slightly for office and retail over the next three years. On the other hand, industrial availability rates and hotel occupancy rates are projected to improve in 2015 and then basically plateau in 2016 and 2017.
  • Single-family housing starts are projected to increase to 745,000 in 2015; 842,000 in 2016; and 900,000 in 2017. Despite the increases, starts are expected to remain below the 20-year average.
  • Home prices are expected to moderate to 5% this year; 4.3% growth in 2016; and 3.9% in 2017.”

What Zillow Doesn’t Want You To Know

buildzoom logoPosted on BuildZoom.com on Monday, this was written by their Chief Economist, Issi Romem:

“Almost every home buyer begins searching for his or her dream home online. Today, that largely means looking for listings on Zillow Group portals, Zillow and Trulia, or on Realtor.com.

“But which one is the best place to begin that search?

“Depending on where you happen to reside — and especially if you intend to relocate — the portal you choose to search may be more important than you realize.

“The crucial point for homebuyers, realtors and investors to take away is that the number of listings being provided still varies widely from city to city.

realtor.com“According to comScore, Zillow and Trulia combined attract far more web traffic than Realtor.com. However, since News Corp. acquired Realtor.com the number of unique visitors to that site has steadily grown, and notably has now surpassed Trulia to become the second most popular portal.trulia-logo

“But Realtor.com has a different advantage. Before its recent acquisition by News Corp., Realtor.com operator Move, Inc. had a 10-year head start, backed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This advantage has translated into the Realtor.com site having more timely, accurate and comprehensive nationwide listings. This is a result of receiving and updating data from almost all of the 800+ multiple listing services (MLSs) in the U.S. every 15 minutes.

Zillow logo“The discrepancy between the number and quality of listings available on the Zillow Group portals and on Realtor.com attracted a great deal of attention in April, when ListHub — a key aggregator of MLS data, now controlled by News Corp. — terminated the contract, and stopped providing listing information to Zillow Group.

“In anticipation of the event, Zillow Group scrambled to negotiate its own agreements with individual MLSs to obtain listings which it had previously obtained from ListHub. By mid 2015 Zillow Group had signed agreements with just over 300 MLSs.

“In April, we tracked the overnight change in the number of listings on the different portals after ListHub’s agreement with Zillow Group expired. Although the number of listings on Zillow and Trulia fell markedly overnight, we gave Zillow Group the benefit of the doubt by expressing our belief that it was well poised to obtain many more MLS agreements.

“Nevertheless, we soon faced a string of cease-and-desist letters from Zillow Group’s counsel, ordering us to retract the blog post on the grounds that we collected the information therein in an automated fashion that violated the portals’ terms of service. Fearing the implications of a lawsuit by a large corporation — regardless of the ultimate outcome — we obeyed the order by retracting the blog post.

“Since then, we have recorded the number of listings on Zillow.com and Realtor.com for the core cities of the 51 largest U.S. metro areas. So as not to violate Zillow.com’s terms of service we have done so manually (hence the limited number of cities). On Friday, Zillow Group issued us a new order to cease-and-desist….

“As of September 21, Zillow.com has fewer listings than Realtor.com in 42 out of 51 cities. The discrepancy is often quite substantial: in 30 of the 51 cities, Zillow.com has more than 20% fewer listings, and in 15 of the 51 cities Zillow.com is behind by more than 60%!

“In a handful of cities, notably Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Detroit, Zillow.com provides more listings than Realtor.com. While this may indicate the absence of some listings from Realtor.com, it may also reflect data quality issues in Zillow’s database, such as incorrect listing details, or duplicate or expired listings. We encourage readers to compare listings in these cities and form their own opinions. Here is a link to the guidelines for comparing apples-to-apples on the Zillow.com and Realtor.com websites.

“At least superficially, the numbers appear to support Realtor.com’s claim of having superior data, but does Realtor.com’s advantage matter for Zillow Group?

“As long as Zillow Group continues to draw substantially more traffic than Realtor.com, agents and brokers will continue to feel compelled to advertise on its portals. As a result, Zillow Group revenue is less sensitive to its listing coverage than one might think. Yet the danger remains that consumers will eventually recognize the discrepancy and flock to Realtor.com or elsewhere in search of more comprehensive and accurate listings. If this happens, agent and broker dollars will follow.

“Going forward, Zillow Group has the ability to close the listing gap as it continues to sign additional local MLS agreements, but will it succeed? Judging by its limited progress on this front between April and September…it is destined for an uphill battle. The nature of relationships between the MLSs and Zillow Group’s portals are the subject of passionate disagreement, and it appears that Zillow Group is finding it difficult to win over “multiple” hearts and minds.”

San Cap LogoFYI – The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service does not syndicate its listings through Zillow or any third party site. Through the islands association of Realtors, listings are on-line to members at SanCapMLS.com and to the public on SanibelRealtors.com and Realtor.com.

Since SanibelSusan also belongs to the Southwest Florida Regional MLS (SWFLRealtors.com), our listings are posted twice on Realtor.com. Because the regional MLS also offers syndication. Our listings also are on Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate search sites. Additionally through the regional MLS, our listings are shared with other participating Florida MLS’s, through a cooperative agreement called MLS Advantage.

The 8 Biggest Concerns for Realtors®

realtor logoGood write-up in the October issue of “Florida Realtor®” which says:

“Realtors® are strongly confident about the housing market’s outlook although confidence has eased since the beginning of this spring, according to a recent Realtors® Confidence Index, a monthly survey…about local market conditions. The Realtors® Confidence Index survey stressed these concerns:

  1. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure regulations, which took effect October 3, and concerns that they could delay closings.
  2. Tight inventory with a limited number of homes for sale.
  3. Affordability issues: Fewer affordable homes so sellers are also hesitant to move.
  4. Financing issues, such as difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage due to higher FICO credit and down payment standards, a protracted mortgage approval process and condo-financing issues.
  5. Appraisal issues: conservative estimates, out-of-town appraisers, and slow turn-around.
  6. Rising interest rates.
  7. Declining demand from international buyers due to a strong U.S. dollar.
  8. Uncertainty about flood insurance rates and reform.”

Casa Ybel Sets the Bar High for Sanibel Island Resorts

Thistle Lodge View USA TodayNice article about Casa Ybel and Thistle Lodge on Monday’s USA Today’s “10Best.com”. (Both of these photos came from that web site.)

I had lunch at Thistle Lodge a couple of weeks ago and the food and view continue to be magnificent. Some don’t know that most of this resort is comprised of timeshare units, but the five westerly buildings of eight units each are privately-owned 1-bedroom condominiums called Cottage Colony West. None are currently available, but there always are buyers for these income-producers. I got a request just yesterday. There have been three sales there this year with prices back into the 6’s. Here’s the recent article from 10Best.com:

Thistle Lodge USA today“To get the story of one of the most historic beachfront resorts in the Fort Myers area, you’ll have to go back to the late 1800s. That’s when former missionary George Barnes homesteaded nearly 500 acres on Sanibel, building the island’s first church, a cottage that evolved into the first inn and eventually the award-winning Casa Ybel Resort.

“When one of the missionary’s daughters married a resort guest, the two built a Victorian home on the property, naming it Thistle Lodge. Celebrities and dignitaries the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford visited the lodge.

“Recreated in 1979, today it is home to a beloved restaurant for both resort guests and locals. Diners not only love the view of the beach from its big windows, but also the partnership between Thistle Lodge and winemakers at Rutherford Wine Company in Napa Valley, Calif.; they’ve created a private label Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. The rest of the wine list spans the globe, offering valuable tasting notes and affordable pricing.

One menu item not to miss is the Lobster and Lump Crab “Diver” Scallops. In this signature dish, scallops are topped with lobster and crab, encrusted and baked. The dish is finished with a citrus buerre blanc and served with baby field greens and jasmine rice. The Pecan Seared Salmon is another hit.

“While the menu leans heavily on seafood, the lodge serves succulent steaks, hand carved in house, along with an herb-crusted lamb and a veal tenderloin in a smoked pomodoro romesco.

“Besides at Thistle Lodge, guests can dine around the pool bar at Coconuts. The smell of the grill is hard to resist, as the resort has a popular grilling station every weekend and almost every day during season (winter and spring).

“As for the rest of the resort, managers are constantly upgrading its amenities and accommodations. The one- and two- bedroom suites are spacious and well equipped. Their screened lanais face the water, creating the perfect space for your morning coffee or evening cocktails. New this season are upgraded kitchens in all of the units.

““Some of the same people have been coming here for decades, so we are always trying to enhance their experience,” says Casa Ybel’s General Manager Froilan Ramirez. Casa Ybel has it all; it’s perfect for romance, while still accommodating to families. The Kids Club offers daily themes and activities that range from lizard hunting to arts and crafts. The resort even offers babysitting services to allow parents a date night. If you must do some work during your vacation, the resort Wi-Fi has been shored up enough to reach the beach, for your office under an umbrella.

“Other amenities include tennis and basketball courts, along with clinics to improve your skills. Less strenuous activities include horseshoe and croquet, to name a few.

“However, some of the best things to do are on the beach. Casa Ybel’s striking, white-sand beach is full of shells and beautiful blue water. It’s also host to some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see.

“The grounds here are gorgeously landscaped, providing a calm, inviting atmosphere. Many guests like the fact that Casa Ybel is slightly off the beaten path, yet still a quick bike ride to shopping, nature preserves and other sites. One getaway here, and you’ll understand why visitors return year after year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 2-9

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $369K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $559.9K, Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.159M, Sunset South #5A 2/2 $1.224M, Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.295M, Sanibel Seaview #1 2/2 $1.349M.

3 price changes: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 2/2.5 now $625K, Sundial #T302 2/2 now $729K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.195M.

1 new sale: Sundial #F201 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $995K.

1 price change: 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 now $2.795M.

2 new sales: 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749K.

3 closed sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 $315K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $462K, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2501 Wulfert Rd $249K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2142 Starfish Ln $383.5K

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 $649K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 now $1.298M, 16697 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $8.05M.

1 new sale: 15172/174 Wiles Dr 7/5.5 multi-family listed at $7M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16297 Captiva Dr now $1.595M.

No new or closed sales.

(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.)

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a terrific Columbus Day weekend 2015!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. Lots of new things to do have been added to the list under “Upcoming Island Events” above. Some get sold out early, so be sure to check the list often.

The December Fun Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanCapAssnLogoWith the holidays fast approaching and folks scurrying to prepare, this week there likewise was a sudden flurry of real estate activity on Sanibel.

Several sales were announced at our Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, while later in the day SanibelSusan got the listing paperwork signed on a home in The Sanctuary which will be posted as a new listing next week. At about the same time, two offers were received on two properties that we have listed. Those too are “in the works”! Season may be here early. We sure hope so!

The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. You will notice that we have a new listing on Martha’s Lane too. Below are a few photos:

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Realtors® Support Friends Who Care Toy Drive

Kiwanis santaFriends Who Care, Inc. has been assisting island residents since 1983, providing for children and adults in crisis situations, and working anonymously through information from local churches and schools. Again this year, the islands Association of Realtors® joined the effort by donating, collecting, and buying toys/gift cards which were presented to this non-profit at our meeting yesterday. The items will be sorted, wrapped, and ultimately delivered on December 23 to those in need by The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club Santa Run. Big thank you to teammate Elise’s kiddos, Payton and Ryan, who did the toy shopping for SanibelSusan’s donations this year!

Real Estate’s Most Loyal Age Group

bloomberg businessweekMy experience shows that this is the trend on Sanibel and Captiva too. This is what “Bloomberg Businessweek” had to say on Monday about real estate’s most loyal age group:

“Americans age 65 and over are holding onto home ownership instead of downsizing into rentals or moving to senior centers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Indeed, the largest jump in buyers this year was among people between the ages of 65 and 74. This age segment increased to 13% of all buyers from 10% a year earlier, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

“”They want to remain as home owners now because it represents stability, so they don’t have to deal with generating fluctuating payments for rent,” says Chris Mayer, a real estate professor at Columbia University Business School in New York. Even during the housing crisis, the home ownership rate for Americans 65 and over stayed around 80% while it dropped for every other age group, according to Census Bureau data. Since then, Americans under 35 have seen the largest decline in home ownership, falling to 36% from 48%, Census data shows.

“In 1982, the home ownership rate for every age group was higher than it was in 2013 — except for those 65 and over. “This group has been a ballast for the market,” says Chris Herbert, acting managing director at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. “If not for them, we would have seen a much lower home ownership rate overall, more homes on the market, and more weakness.”

“Seniors usually have less mortgage debt than younger home owners, greater wealth than they had four years ago, and longer lifespans than previous generations, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. For those aged 65 to 74, their median net worth rose 5% to $232,100, which is the largest gain for any age group from 2010 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. “They have a quadruple bonus: They benefited from real estate, the best in equity and bond returns, plus higher GDP per capita growth well before the crisis during the 1980s and 1990s,” says Amlan Roy, head of global demographics and pension research for Credit Suisse Group AG’s investment bank in London. “It’s unlikely to repeat.”

“While older Americans are staying in real estate, they are carrying more mortgage debt than previous generations, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In 2010, about 40% of those over 65 were still making house payments compared to more than 70% of those 50 to 64, according to a report earlier this year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies.”

Older Americans are indeed a pillar of the housing market!

Six Features in Demand Among Luxury Buyers

In Refin’s blog this week, an article says:

REDFIN logo“Luxury sales have been soaring in recent months, outpacing the rest of the housing market. Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16% in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than that of any other price segment.

“So what home features are these luxury buyers on the hunt for in their million-dollar–plus homes? The real estate brokerage Redfin recently uncovered some trends in home features and interior designs by looking at what’s in demand among their luxury clients as well as what’s trending on luxury listings. Here are some of the luxury home design trends they noticed driving 2014:

  1. Luxury showers: Forget the Jacuzzi tub. The luxury buyer wants a luxurious shower. “Since most people take more showers than baths, they want to have a stand-alone shower with multiple shower heads,” notes Charlie Baker, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego.
  2. Fire pits by pools: Fire pits and gas fireplaces beside a pool are gaining in popularity, says Roseann Cossman, a Redfin real estate professional in Phoenix. “One quick way to warm up after a dip in the pool is to curl up next to a fire, and now that fire is just steps away,” Crossman says.
  3. Tasting rooms: Wine cellars are no longer a dark place in a basement or a closet. Home owners are placing more in living areas to host tastings with friends.
  4. White kitchen cabinets: High-end kitchens with cabinets in white, gray, or black with matching or contrasting countertops are gaining in popularity among the luxury market, notes Anna Schwoerer, a Redfin real estate professional in Virginia. Meanwhile, natural-colored wood cabinets are on their way out, she says.
  5. Quartz countertops: Luxury properties are showing more quartz or sandstone in countertops and making granite countertops look more outdated, says Jordan Clarke, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego. “Quartz comes with a few benefits over granite; it is not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance, it is less prone to staining, and it is better able to withstand abuses during its lifetime,” Clarke says.
  6. Grand powder rooms: The powder room is getting a big makeover. These half-baths are getting more attention and fancier with elaborate mirrors, sinks, and lighting fixtures.”

Island Events & Festivities Continue 

Sanibelcityseal logoA news release from the City today included info on a couple of special events this weekend.

Here is the scoop on those events and some others occurring this weekend on Sanibel and Captiva.

Today (12/12)

6-9 p.m.            Grand opening of the South Seas Holiday Stroll

Tomorrow (12/13)

10 a.m.-3 p.m.   Art on the Veranda at Bailey’s Center

4:30 p.m.          Junkanoo Parade on Captiva in the village

5:30-7:30 p.m.   Captiva Lighted boat parade, view from McCarthy’s, Jensens’, Green Flash, ‘Tween Waters

6-9 p.m.            South Seas Holiday Stroll

8 p.m.               Boat parade after-party at Captiva’s Keylime Bistro

Sunday (12/14)

8.a.m.-1 p.m.     Sanibel Island Farmers Market on City Hall Grounds

6-7 p.m.            Captiva Community Carol Sing at Chapel by the Sea

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009It was great to see teammates, colleagues, client, and friends in the audience at our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert on Tuesday night.

If you like the “12 Days of Christmas” song, below is the final verse of the rendition that we sang during the concert. Words were written by chorus-mate, Mike Bugler. It’s fun!

‘Twas the twelfth day of Christmas,

On Sanibel, by the sea

I saw Twelve Dolphins Dancing

Eleven Lighthouse Lookers

Ten Pelicans Plunging

Nine No-See-Ump Swatters

Eight Tourists Tanning

Seven Shellers Shelling

Six Billy’s Bikers

Five Man-a-tees

Four Wading Birds

Three Fishing Men

Two Turtle Tracks

And a Gator in the Sanc-tu-ary!

White_Christmas_(musical)Chorus-mate, Dick Brown, Dad to author Dan Brown, also composed his own verbiage for the familiar Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

With a few of the verses changed for some soloists dressed in different attire, it drew a few laughs from the audience too.

Soloist (a Sanibel gal):

The sun is shining, the sea is blue,

The orange & palm trees sway.

There’s never been such a day

In Sanibel U.S.A.

But it’s December the twenty-fourth,

And I’m longing to be up north.

Refrain:

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know,

Where the treetops glisten

And children listen

To hear, sleigh bells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With ev’ry Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright,

And may all your Christmases be white.

Soloist (in heavy winter clothing):

I’ve had it with this white Christmas,

I’ve had enough of all this snow.

I’m so tired of my wool coat,

My runny nose & sore throat,

And spreading flu ‘neath mistletoe.

 

Refrain:

We really love our grandchildren

Although two weeks with them’s a lot.

Oh, to be on Captiva, on a yacht,

Where all our Christmases are hot!

Soloist (island couple in beach attire):

There’s nothing like a green Christmas,

Not like the ones we used to know.

Instead of ice-chipping,

We’ll go skinny-dipping,

And dream of never shov’ling snow!

Refrain:

We’re dreaming of a green Christmas,

With sunny skies & a warm beach scene.

May your days be merry and serene

And may all your Christmases be green!

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends on Sanibel

Where I’ll walk the beach

And maybe reach

To find a rare junonia shell.

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends so dear & swell,

Where my soul is happy, & I’m well,

With all my friends on Sanibel.

 

Stinton: News Corp Deal Is a ‘Global Play’

Realtor.com logosThis article posted on-line yesterday on “Daily Real Estate News” elaborates on the recent acquisition of Realtor®.com by News Corp:

“National Association of Realtors® “NAR CEO Dale Stinton talked about the global opportunities that could come out of News Corp’s acquisition of Move Inc. in a wide-ranging interview he gave on Real Estate Coaching Radio earlier this week.

“”What’s missing [when people talk about the News Corp acquisition] is that this is going to be a global play,” Stinton told radio host Tim Harris. “This is the first time you’ve seen the largest trade association in the world, combined with the No. 3 portal in the space, matched up with a platinum-level media company that knows how to deliver messaging and branding to the public. That triumvirate is a very strong, unique basis for approaching the consumer.”

“One thing people often forget, Stinton said, is that NAR has global reach, too—relationships with more than 80 cooperating real estate associations around the world. While Stinton said it was too difficult to predict exactly what changes News Corp would make, creating a much better consumer experience and getting realtor.com® back into the No. 1 position are top priorities.

“Stinton called the News Corp acquisition one of the milestone events during his 31-year career with the association. Others included the creation of realtor.com® during the formative years of the Internet, the decision to marshal REALTOR® Party resources to advocate on the state and local level, and NAR’s eight-year, ultimately successful, campaign to prevent banks from owning real estate companies. “Imagine what the [financial] crisis would have looked like if banks had been in real estate,” he said.

Among other topics Stinton touched on were the association’s efforts to set REALTORS® apart from non-member licensees in consumers’ minds and increasing the availability of safe, affordable mortgage credit.”

Loan Defaults Plunge to Pre-Recession Levels

real estate daily newsThis is good news, also posted on “Daily Real Estate News”, on Wednesday:

“More home owners are keeping up with their mortgage payments. The nationwide mortgage loan delinquency rate — the number of borrowers 60 or more days past due on their mortgage — is projected to drop to 3.12% by the end of this year. By 2015, TransUnion researchers predict, the delinquency rate will reach 2.51%, the lowest level since reaching 2.61% in the third quarter of 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

“Mortgage delinquencies peaked in the first quarter of 2010 at 6.93%. Since then, the delinquency rate has steadily been dropping.

““We expect the national mortgage loan delinquency rate to continue its decline throughout 2015, marking four consecutive years of quarterly decreases,” says Steve Chaouki, head of financial services for TransUnion. “We anticipate interest rates to remain relatively low next year and unemployment rates to continue their decline, both of which should help fuel home sales and improve consumers’ ability to pay.

“Foreclosures are also expected to continue to funnel through the legal system in 2015, which will reduce delinquencies that have been lingering for some time,” he continues. “All of these factors will contribute to a further decline in mortgage delinquencies.”

“Nevertheless, TransUnion researchers project that while delinquencies will likely fall to precession levels, they likely will remain above the historic norm of 1.5 to 2%.  Delinquencies had started to rise prior to the recession.

“TransUnion predicts that 33 states will have delinquency rates lower than 2.5% by the end of next year.

“The largest mortgage delinquency rate drops likely will occur in Nevada (dropping from 4.65% to 2.97%); Georgia (falling from 3.31% to 1.92%); Maryland (falling from 4.17% to 2.83%); and Illinois (down from 3.37% to 2.17%), according to TransUnion’s report.

“On the other hand, delinquency increases are projected to occur in only three states: Idaho (rising from 2.16% to 2.44%); Massachusetts (inching up from 3.18% to 3.265) and North Dakota (up from 0.97% to 1.02%).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 5-12

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #27 2/2 $323K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #202 2/2 $559.9K.

2 price changes: Colonnades #44 now $189.5K, Lighthouse Point #219 2/2 now $449.8K.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 listed for $259.7K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 listed for $849K, Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 listed for $849K, Wedgewood #204 1/1 listed for $2,225,555.

4 closed sales: Colonnades #1 1/1 $185K, Sundial #C307 1/1 $305K, Sundial #I203 1/1 $359K, Sandalfoot #5A3 2/2 $820K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $479K (our listing), 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $599.9K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex $649K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 $779K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 $848K, 1429 Sanderling Cir 3/3.5 $1.575M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $2.2M.

4 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $349K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex now $359K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $449K (short sale), 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 now $18.95M.

6 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 listed for $339K; 4599 Brainard Bayou 3/2/2 listed for $529K; 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $549K, 490 Christine Rd 2/2 listed for $569,555; 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 listed for $1.349M, 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed for $1.449M.

3 closed sales: 705 Oliva St 3/2 $747.5K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.615M.

LOTS

1 new listing: Pine Ave $200K.

4 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $149K, 1299 Par View Dr now $229K, 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 6486 Pine Ave now $379.9K (foreclosure).

3 new sales: 864 Birdie View Pt listed for $349.5K, 860 Birdie View Pt listed for $389K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr listed for $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.
HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.795M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS

1 new listing: 11545 Wightman Ln $1.345M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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.

Susan

Until next Friday, happy weekend wishes to all,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

September Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


The SanibelSusan Team has been surprisingly busy again this week. Who said that September is the slowest month of the year? We had several listings shown, some multiple times. We got one condo listing under contract (sold by SanibelSusan) and are working an offer on another one. The team and I too are now ready for three closings coming up next week. This business is always full of surprises and we are thankful for any and all action, particularly as summer winds down.

That rainy season weather continues with bright blue skies and wonderful popcorn clouds most days until late afternoon and evening when the rain and lightning storms roll in. Sounds like we are in for a rainy weekend, however, with earlier storms expected beginning today. Yesterday when Dave and I stopped for a quick lunch at Normandie (West Wind Inn) the storm clouds were just rolling in. See photo below.

WW Beach

A report of the Multiple Listing Service action is below; but, first a couple of news items.

Sanibel City Council Approves Rolled-Back Rate of 1.9995

Island Sun logoToday’s “Island Sun” reports that:

Sanibelcityseal logo“During last Saturday’s first budget hearing, Sanibel City Council unanimously approved lowering the operating millage rate for fiscal year 2015 to the rolled-back rate of 1.9995 mills, with Sanibel’s revenues estimated at $50,480,097. The tentative budget presentation, delivered by the city’s Finance Director and City Manager offered council members and about a dozen local residents gathered at city hall an in-depth analysis of Sanibel’s property values (which increased 4.82% to $4,300,931,329)…. The rolled-back rate is the millage rate that will bring in the same amount of dollars as the current millage rate after adjusting for new construction. Approximately $19.9 million in new construction occurred on Sanibel in fiscal year 2014…. At the approved rolled-back millage rate, the average residential taxpayer will pay $1,255.23 for all city services, $45.02 less than the previously budgeted millage rate. The average residential taxable property value on Sanibel for fiscal year 2015 is $519,871….The city’s final budget hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 16 at 5:01 p.m. at MacKenzie Hall.

2014 Galloway Captiva Triathlon This Weekend

south seas logoThe spring triathlon tomorrow and Sunday is a family fun fitness weekend held at South Seas Island Resort. The first day includes children fun races: the 6-8 and 9-10-year olds complete a 100-yard swim, 1.5-mile bike, and 0.5-mile run, while the age 11-13 racers face a 200-yard swim, 3-mile bike, and 1-mile run. The next day, adults will swim .25 miles, bike 10 miles, and run 3.1 miles. Elite amateur athletes (who posted qualifying times at a USAT sanctioned event) will be sent off first in their own wave. The triathlon which is sanctioned by USA Triathlon is organized by Southwest Florida Events, a tax-exempt Florida not-for-profit corporation. Info is available online at wwwCaptivaTri.org or on Facebook under Captiva Tri.

Billy’s at Bailey’s Now Open

Billy's-logo-bikesThose who have enjoyed renting bikes from Billy’s on Periwinkle over the last 15 years may find it more convenient to now rent from his new expanded location in the Bailey’s Center, 2437 Periwinkle Way. The new location offers almost everything available at their original location, including may sizes and styles of bicycles, bike trailers, helmets, and even Fat Boy cruiser bikes. Certain rentals – like scooters and surreys – will still need to be arranged through their original location at 1470 Periwinkle Way.

Additionally, Billy’s at Bailey’s now offers customers the opportunity to rent YOLO stand-up paddle boards through partnership with YOLO Board Adventures of Sanibel (www.yoloboardadventuressanibel.com).

BIG ARTS 2014-2015 Ticket Brochure

BIG Arts logoAs a big supporter of BIG ARTS, it was great to get their new brochure this week. Whether you fancy classical, dance, forum, family entertainment, visual arts, jazz/pop/contemporary, theater, film, or community creations, BIG ARTS really is your home for all the arts!

Herb Strauss Theater productions coming up include: The Divas, Holiday Spectacular 2014, Freud’s Last Session, The Fourth Wall, Godspell, and A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia.

The Monday Night film series runs from October 20 through April 27 with a variety of other films too, include the BIG ARTS Film Academy’s Not-For-Monday-Night Series, “Great Themes” Film Discussion Groups, and a Critically Acclaimed Documentary Series Wednesdays in March.

Classical music performances include: Kinga Augustyn, The Merling Trio, Amphion String Quartet, Emalie Savoy, Third Coast Percussion, Svetlana Smolina, and The Souothwest Florida Symphony.

The Forum Lecture series features: Arthur Brooks, Ph.D., American Enterprise Institute; Kevin Carey, M.P.A. from New America Foundation; Andy McAfee, Ph.D., MIT Sloan School of Management; Ivo H. Daalder, Ph.D., Chicago Council on Global Affairs & U.S. Ambassador; Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize – Journalism; Dennis Ross, Ph.D., The Washington Institute for Near East Policy & U.S. Ambassador; Karen Tumulty, M.B.A., The Washington Post; Nicholas Burns, M.A., Harvard University & U.S. Ambassador.

Jazz/Pop/Contemporary performances include: Riders in The Sky, Jack Jones, So Good for the Soul, and Tom Chapin. There also is a National Geographic “Live” family program and “The Second City” comedy.

Visual Arts include a variety of exhibits right through “season”, plus the Photography Scavenger Hunt that SanibelSusan sponsored last year. I will be the sponsor again this year too, with proceeds to benefit the BIG ARTS scholarship programs.

Community Creations include poetry events, play readings, a Wendy Webb concert, and the BIG ARTS Concert Band concerts. I still sing with the BIG ARTS Community Chorus which also has Holiday and Spring Concert performances. There is more info at www.BIGARTS.org. If you want tickets, do not delay, one of the Forum events already is sold out.

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer

House logic logoHere is an article with some good advice from “HouseLogic” on-line. The author, G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

“Have a plan for reviewing purchase offers so you don’t let the best slip through your fingers. You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.

“1. Understand the process

All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.

“2. Set baselines

Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance, if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash buyer.

“3. Create an offer review process

If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers. That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.

“4. Don’t take offers personally

Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business transaction, and you should treat it that way. If your agent tells you a buyer complained that your kitchen is horribly outdated, justifying a lowball offer, don’t be offended. Consider it a sign the buyer is interested and understand that those comments are a negotiating tactic. Negotiate in kind.

“5. Review every term

Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important, but so are other terms. Is the buyer asking for property or fixtures—such as appliances, furniture, or window treatments—to be included in the sale that you plan to take with you?
Is the amount of earnest money the buyer proposes to deposit toward the downpayment sufficient? The lower the earnest money, the less painful it will be for the buyer to forfeit those funds by walking away from the purchase if problems arise.
Have the buyers attached a prequalification or pre-approval letter, which means they’ve already been approved for financing? Or does the offer include a financing or other contingency? If so, the buyers can walk away from the deal if they can’t get a mortgage, and they’ll take their earnest money back, too. Are you comfortable with that uncertainty?
Is the buyer asking you to make concessions, like covering some closing costs? Are you willing, and can you afford to do that? Does the buyer’s proposed closing date mesh with your timeline?
With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale?

“6. Be creative

If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask questions to determine what’s most important to the buyer and see if you can meet that need. You may learn the buyer has to move quickly. That may allow you to stand firm on price but offer to close quickly. The key to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 5-12

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Kings Crown #108 2/2 $695K.

2 price changes: Sundial #D207 1/1 now $239K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $699K.

5 new sales: Sundial #D407 1/1 listed for $230K, Sundial #H102 2/2 listed for $440K, Island Beach Club #310F 2/2 listed for $474K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Siesta #502 2/2 listed for $595K, Compass Point #112 2/2 listed for $1.135M.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #D204 3/2 $375K, Seascape #204 3/3.5 $1.735M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 listed for $280K; 5289 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 listed for $499,995; 981 Main St 4/2.5 listed for $599K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed for $749K, 1021 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 listed for $749K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 592 Sea Oats Dr now $339K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 listed for $965K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2313 1/1 $520K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Laika Ln 2/2 $2.75M.

1 price change: 15747 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 now $6.495M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $2.668M (short sale).

LOTS

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.

Even if it rains on the islands, it’s still paradise! Weekend wishes to all!

Mid-Summer Scoop from Sanibel Island


It has been another quiet, summer shower kind of week on the islands, with no real estate meeting yesterday and very few showings or even phone calls. All-in-all, that is pretty typical for late July. At SanibelSusan Realty we spent much of the week beating the bushes for new listings and working on selling long-distance and sight-unseen. It always pays to have good marketing material when you do that. Here are a few photos taken this week at our new listing at Spanish Cay. It’s great value at $349K and already getting interest. Smart buyers know that summer is a great time to buy – when it is easy to preview property and sellers may be more motivated.

Below are a few news items followed by the action posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sea Turtles Nesting in Record Numbers

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogFrom the “Island Sun” today: “Local businesses and residents of Sanibel and Captiva universally agree that the 2013-14 “in season” for tourism was the highest in recent memory. However, another group of visitors to the islands this summer has shattered the record books.

“On July 7 when the 70th nest was recorded, it established a new mark for nesting activity on Sanibel’s east end…Last Friday morning, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) updated its sea turtle nesting statistics. Reported were 73 loggerhead nests and one green sea turtle nest on Sanibel’s east end, 237 nests on Sanibel’s west end, and 101 nests on Captiva. By way of comparison, by the same date last year, SCCF had reported 44 nests on Sanibel’s east end, 208 loggerhead and seven green turtle nests on Sanibel’s west end, and 99 loggerhead and one green turtle nest on Captiva.”

An interesting fact is that once a tiny hatchling reaches the water, “they’ll swim for 48 hours straight to get away from the shoreline and birds and other predators…that’s their instinct.”

“Each day during nesting season, which runs from May to October, more than 100 volunteers, permittees and SCCF employees monitor approximately 18 miles of island beachfront which stretches from the Sanibel Lighthouse to the tip of Captiva….”

BIG ARTS Then/Now & Their Fall Schedule

BIG Arts logoKnown as Sanibel and Captiva’s home for all the arts, BIG ARTS has been providing cultural enrichment and fulfillment to island residents and visitors since 1979. BIG ARTS began when a group of artists dreamed of a cultural center on the island. Today, BIG ARTS members and participants enjoy a wide spectrum of performing and visual arts events, and the community participates in more than 200 educational classes and workshops each year.

The creative spirit, driving force, and hard work of volunteers have shaped BIG ARTS into the vibrant organization it is today. More than 250 talented volunteers assist the staff each season to ensure the professional management of BIG ARTS. Now a prominent cultural institution in Southwest Florida’s region, BIG ARTS has fulfilled its original mission to provide cultural, social, and volunteer opportunities to island residents. As new residents move to the area, they see how BIG ARTS enriches island life, and many are eager to participate and support the arts as they did in their former communities.

BIG ARTS banner-homepage-35-anniversaryBIG ARTS activities were held in private homes around the island until 1987, when a small cottage was donated and moved to its present location on Dunlop Road. Founders Gallery opened in this cottage and concerts were held in the garden under a tent. Due to the popularity of the programs, the organization quickly outgrew these facilities. Through the generosity of BIG ARTS supporters, Phillips Gallery opened in 1990 as an art gallery, concert hall, and classroom.

BIG artsThe West Wing, Schein Performance Hall and sculpture garden were added in 1997. Designed by BIG ARTS member Irwin Stein, Schein Hall is a 400-seat concert hall with surround sound in high definition and a recently added high definition projection system. Classrooms provide space for pottery, clay, metal works, and many other offerings. The beautiful sculpture garden, renamed Boler Garden, was restored in 2006, including an ongoing project with installation of an etched stone walkway.

BIG ARTS Administrative Offices and Classrooms are at 2244 Periwinkle Way, right behind SanibelSusan Realty Associates. Additional classrooms and meeting space there allows BIG ARTS to further its mission to support the arts.

Theater-in-SanibelIn 2010 the Boards of the Herb Strauss Theater and BIG ARTS joined together to combine the support functions and volunteers of the two organizations, making both stronger and more efficient. The Herb Strauss Theater is now part of the BIG ARTS family of programs and productions. The goal is to further the tradition of quality cultural and educational experiences to the residents and visitors of Sanibel, Captiva, and neighboring communities.

BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater presents professional live theater, and offers Broadway-caliber talent in an intimate atmosphere. The 160-seat Theater is at 2200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009Going into the fall 2014, as in past years, as soon as the BIG ARTS Summer Arts Camp ends, the new schedule begins. Workshops will continue classes in painting and drawing; open studio sessions; fine crafts, such as stained glass, glass fusing, and weaving; pottery; dance/fitness; discussion groups; music appreciation and instructional; technology lessons; language and writing classes. Also part of the family of workshops is BIG ARTS Community Chorus and BIG ARTS community Concert band.

As one of the original members of the BIG ARTS Chorus, SanibelSusan was working behind the scenes this week with Director Steve Cramer in organizing the music that chorus will sing for the fall Bailey Fest, Thanksgiving Celebration, and December Holiday Concert. It’s going to be another great season!

Sanibel Rec Center – Brief Closing for Maintenance

Sanibel Rec CenterThe Sanibel Recreation Center will close July 26 through August 3 for maintenance projects. Improvements will include resurfacing of the gym floor and front entrance, deep cleaning and painting of the facility, restriping of the parking lot, and resealing of rest room tile. Day-camp programs will operate as scheduled.

The Sanibel Recreation Center is at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Rd. Daily, weekly, semi-annual, and annual memberships are available. More info on www.MySanibel.com.

Survey: Buyers, Sellers ‘Not on the Same Page’

REDFIN logoThis article in “Daily Real Estate News” on July 10, 2014 describes a small survey, but to me the points are “spot on”.

“Home buyers and sellers are “not on the same page” when it comes to the state of the housing market, according to a new Redfin survey of 707 of its agents and partner agents across 35 U.S. markets. Buyers and sellers are taking a more aggressive stance in the market, with some sellers overpricing their homes and more buyers refusing to get in bidding wars, the survey found.

““In May, 40% of sellers surveyed by Redfin said that they planned to list their homes above market value, even though home sales had dropped by 9% since the year before,” says Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. “Typically, it takes sellers six to nine months to adjust to a price change, but this latest shift is longer. Prices have moved down and then up so much over the past five years that it’s even more difficult for sellers to have a realistic baseline for what their homes are worth in the current market.”

“Fifty-eight percent of Redfin agents say that sellers are holding unrealistic expectations about the value of their homes, up from 49% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, buyers are showing less willingness to chase after a home, as they face affordability and financing hurdles, the survey found.

““Buyers who have been searching for a long time may still try to win deals with aggressive offers,” Richardson says. “However, new buyers in the market are much less willing to chase an escalating sale price to compete with multiple bids. The demand side of real estate is moving from ‘please take my offer’ to ‘take it or leave it as you please.’ Home buyers’ willingness to walk away from a deal that’s a bad fit is good for them and is ultimately healthier for the housing market.”

“So is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? It depends on who you ask. Twenty-four percent of Redfin agents surveyed say that “sellers have all the power,” a drop from 35% three months ago.

“Rising inventories have been beneficial for buyers who are less willing to participate in a bidding war, but they are facing other challenges, such as access to credit and affordability, the survey finds. The top challenges Redfin agents identified as growing problems for buyers are: lack of affordability; qualifying for a mortgage; saving enough for a down payment; and worries about the economy.”

Despite Predictions, Baby Boomers Aren’t Downsizing Yet

realtor logoBelow is another “spot on” report from “Daily Real Estate News”, July 15. Some points here can be further illustrated by the “housing” market on Sanibel and Captiva where today there are not enough homes for sale to meet the demand of the baby boomers, particularly those wanting enough space for entertaining, home offices, and visiting family members.

“Baby boomers aren’t showing any signs of leaving the single-family home market that has defined their generation’s real estate habits, despite many predictions that they would by now. As boomers hit age 65 and become empty nesters, many housing analysts forecasted that a huge wave of them would downsize and move into an apartment, condo, or townhouse.

But Fannie Mae researcher Patrick Simmons says that isn’t happening yet. “There’s a perception, particularly in many media reports, that this massive generation born between 1946 and 1964 is altering its housing consumption,” Simmons, the director of strategic planning for Fannie Mae’s economic group, told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s true that they’re becoming empty nesters in droves. But by one measure, the proportion of boomers who live in single-family homes actually increased between 2006 and 2012.”

“Baby boomers’ mobility has gone down. Nine out of 10 boomers surveyed by AARP reported that they wanted to stay in their current home as long as possible. Some may be motivated to stay put because of the housing crisis. For boomers, the value of single-family homes they owned fell by an average of 13%. Some boomers could still be underwater and are waiting to recoup more on their house before they sell. Others may be holding on to their home because they snagged a record low mortgage rate in recent years, and they know borrowing won’t be any cheaper if they do decide to sell.

“Some baby boomers are downsizing but choosing to stay in smaller single-family homes rather than move to a condo or townhome. But “eventually, boomers will slow down with age and have the same physical frailties that their predecessors had,” Simmons told the Tribune. “My sense is that it’s not going to be a major shift — something we see in the numbers in a year. It will likely unfold over a decade or more.””

More Chinese Buyers Coming to America

Florida Realtors logoHere’s another interesting article from “Daily Real Estate News”, July 11. We keep hearing that the islands will soon have more Asian buyers, but it hasn’t happen yet.

“The number of Chinese home buyers and investors flocking to the U.S. is on the rise, driven by China’s currency appreciation, rising affluence, and concerns over its own economic slowdown, according to the 2014 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, released this week by the National Association of REALTORS®.

““It’s just the beginning of a tidal wave,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Chinese investors accounted for 16% of the $92.2 billion worth of international U.S. homes purchases in the year through March, up from 12% a year earlier, according to NAR.

“China was the leader in dollar volume of international purchases, purchasing an estimated $22 billion with an average sales cost of $590,826, according to the NAR report. China also was the fastest-growing source of U.S. foreign transactions, now accounting for 16% of all purchases, up 4% from last year.

“Canada maintained the largest share of purchases, but its share is falling – 23% in 2013 to 19% in 2014.

“The share of Chinese buyers in the U.S. market will likely only get bigger, says Paul Diggle, Property economist at Capital Economics. “This bigger picture hides a rapid rise in purchases by Chinese investors, who may overtake Canadians as the largest group of foreign buyers of U.S. housing within the next five years,” Diggle told HousingWire. “The strength of Chinese demand is another reason to watch closely developments in the Californian housing market, where housing is now no better than fairly valued at the statewide level and starting to look frothy in a number of metros.””

Source: “China Set to Dominate Foreign Homebuyers Market,” HousingWire (July 10, 2014) and “Bloomberg Briefings,” San Francisco Chronicle (July 9, 2014)

Energy-Saving Tips from LCEC

Lcec logoSome timely concise suggestions were included in our recent electric bill from Lee County Electric Co-op (LCEC):

“Warmer weather has arrived and you may be looking for ways to save energy and lower your bill. Our energy experts are here to help you save energy by following these simple tips:

  • When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees F. Each degree below adds 8 to 12% to cooling costs.
  • Do not close A/C vents or interior doors when A/C is running.
  • While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees F.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
  • Turn fans off when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.

For more green energy tips visit www.lcec.net.”

Prescribed Burns are Done

SCCF photo

If you are concerned about the large burned areas noticeable on Tarpon Bay and San-Cap Roads, know that they are for the good.

Last Sunday morning, fire officials and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge staff conducted a prescribed burn at the Bailey Tract and surrounding SCCF property. Planned burns scheduled for the following days along San-Cap Road and Legion Curve were delayed due to heavy wind and rain, but the fire team completed their planned burn along Legion Curve on Wednesday. (photo here by SCCF)

Summer is not only rainy season in Florida, but also peak lightening season, which can cause fires with devastating impacts. Managed burns can prevent the likelihood and severity of wildfires and help preserve the natural ecology of the area.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 11-18

Sanibel
CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 $310K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 3/2 $449K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Breakers West #B1 2/2 listed for $449K.

1 closed sale: Sundial #O307 2/2 $920K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $395K, 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 $829K.

2 price changes: 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $495K, 580 Birdsong Pl 3/2.5 now $574.9K.

1 new sale: 1434 Sandcastle Rd 3/2 listed for $575K.
2 closed sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $580K, 1529 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $787.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 6519 Pine Ave now $1.095M, 6505 Pine Ave now $1.095M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 659 Anchor Dr $520K, 4308 West Gulf Dr $600K.

Captiva
CONDOS

Nothing to report

HOMES

1 new listing: 11529 Laika Ln 3/2 $1.65M.

1 price change: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.645M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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.

It’s a great time to enjoy the beach, the shelling, & fabulous sunsets on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Best wishes to all…SanibelSusan

sanibel_sunset

Gorgeous Summer Weather & Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


White herons like Pointe Santo too!

White herons like Pointe Santo too!

It is another happy Friday here on Sanibel Island.

Below are some general island news items, followed by the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

 

Vacation fun at Pointe Santo

Vacation fun at Pointe Santo

SanibelSusan finalized three transactions this week: a Pointe Santo condo listed for sale, a Sanibel Moorings condo sale, and two closings, an East Rocks and a Sanibel Bayous home.

Otherwise, the islands were pretty quiet – just some afternoon thunder showers – which make for beautiful sunsets. It is definitely summer-mode here now!

The beach today at Sanibel Moorings

The beach today at Sanibel Moorings

Sanibel Authorizes Work Toward a Civic Core Master Plan

Sanibel Planning Commission, with City Council direction, is reviewing sections of the Land Development Code with the goal of developing a Civic Core which would ease public safety, traffic, and parking concerns at community facilities like the Sanibel Library, City Hall, BIG Arts, the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, and the Center-4-Life, and for various events like the Farmers Market. Their input is expected for the next City Council Meeting on July 16. That is also the meeting when the annual Sanibel millage rate is expected to be set.

Three Sundial Restaurants Open to the Public

sundial-logoThis week, islanders got an invite to Sanibel Summerfest celebrating the opening of the three new restaurants and lounges at Sundial Beach Resort and Spa.

Danny MorganNow open to the public, they include “Waterview” which is the more formal dining room with panoramic view of the gulf, the casual “Turtles Cafe and Patio” also on the main level overlooking the pool to the beach, and “Sea Breeze” cafe downstairs near Turtles Tiki Bar where island Troubadour Danny Morgan plays Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Summer Happenings at Sanibel Historical Museum & Village

Museum LogoThe spring/summer issue of “The Old Village Voice” arrived this week. It reports that Sanibel’s Historical Museum and Village had over 7,000 visitors through April. Over 450 were children. A major upgrade at the village this past year is the addition of Shore Haven, their founder Elinore Dormer’s home, and its caretaker’s cottage. Over the upcoming year, these recent acquisitions will be restored and the village paths modified and native vegetation added to accommodate them.

Sanibel historic_buildings_villageIf you like visiting the Museum in the off-season, they are now operating on their summer schedule of Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (They will close August 4 and reopen November 6 on full hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

If you are looking for a special gift, the Gift Shop in Bailey’s Old General Store at the Village has some unique offerings. Or if you are looking to volunteer, check out the Museum website. Become a docent!

Sanibel Public Library Summer Happenings

sanibel_library exteriorI love it when I am working with prospective buyers new to the island and they visit the Sanibel Library for the first time. Suffice it to say, it always receives glowing reviews, as it did again last week from some folks who now have visited it several times while here for their condo-hunting expedition.

The Sanibel Public Library spring/summer newsletter “Palm Reader” just came out too. The Library is gearing up for its 2013 Summer Reading Program. Children will be “Reading for Others” just like last year, when they earned 857 books for the Children’s Hospital at Lee Memorial Health System. This year, they want to break the 1,000 book mark.

Downloading eBooks and audiobooks to tablets, phones, and iPods just got easier with an upgrade at the Sanibel Public Library’s eShelf service. Visit the Library’s Technology Lab or contact the Library technology staff to schedule an appointment.

Here’s a link to the library’s website. This is another organization/facility also operating with the help of many volunteers, nearly 5,000 hours this year!

Summer Arts Camp at BIG ARTS

BIG Arts logoFrom kindergarten-age right through high school, there is something for every one this year at BIG ARTS. Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through July 26, activities are designed for children to get creative and keep engaged during school break.

BIG ARTS Summer Arts Camp 2013 flyer

Activities include acrylic painting, dance, puppetry, improvisational acting, music appreciation, folk art, and general arts and crafts. Middle and high schoolers have the option to attend as a student or participate in an apprenticeship program.

Sanibel Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

realtor logoThough there was no Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday, we had a presentation on Wednesday by three of our affiliate insurance brokers.

Flood insurance continues to hold the attention of all of us as the requirements of the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 are enacted. As the 2013 Chairman of our local Realtors Professional Development Committee, I facilitated the meeting. Though I have mentioned flood insurance in other recent blogs, it is worth repeating. This is serious stuff! I encourage all owners who have questions to contact their insurance carriers for advice particular to their property.

The Wednesday presenters were: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Co. Insurance, and Dawn Zettler with Insurance and Risk Management Services, Inc. Here is some summary info from Chris’s handout about what structures are impacted:

“Which Pre-FIRM Special Flood Hazard Area (A & V Zone) Structures Are Impacted?
(Pre-FIRM means when the community began using the Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps. On Sanibel the Pre-FIRM date applies to a property constructed before April 16, 1979. Unincorporated Lee County joined the National Flood Insurance Program in September 1984.)

Primary Residence (Owner-Occupied 80% of the year – 292 nights):
Policy purchased prior to 7/6/12: will increase ~20% this year. Some subsidy will remain.
Policy purchased 7/6/12-9/30/12: full flood rate applies at next renewal on or after 10/1/13. Grandfathering will be eliminated at next renewal. Elevation certificate will be required or tentative/provisional rates will be applied.
Policy purchased 10/1/13 or later: full flood rate applies immediately, ineligible for grandfathering.

Non-Primary Residence
Policy purchased prior to 7/6/12: will increase 25% per year until full flood rate is reached, effective 1/1/13.
Policy purchased 7/6/12-9/30/12: full flood rate applies at next renewal on or after 10/1/13. Grandfathering will be eliminated at next renewal. Elevation certificate will be required or tentative/provisional rates will be applied.
Policy purchased 10/1/13 or later: full flood rate applies immediately, ineligible for grandfathering.

Condo Associations
Policy purchased prior to 7/6/12: regular rate increases. Subsidy will remain.
Policy purchased 7/6/12-9/30/12: full flood rate applies at next renewal on or after 10/1/13. Grandfathering will be eliminated at next renewal. Elevation certificate will be required or tentative/provisional rates will be applied.
Policy purchased 10/1/13 or later: full flood rate applies immediately, ineligible for grandfathering.

Non-Residential (Commercial Structures)
Policy purchased prior to 7/6/12: increase 25% per year until full flood rate is reached.
Policy purchased 7/6/12-9/30/12: full flood rate applies at next renewal on or after 10/1/13. Grandfathering will be eliminated at next renewal. Elevation certificate will be required or tentative/provisional rates will be applied.
Policy purchased 10/1/13 or later: full flood rate applies immediately, ineligible for grandfathering.

Notes: Full flood rate is the rate based on the Elevation Difference (lowest floor elevation – base flood elevation) in the current flood zone, as defined by a Flood Elevation Certificate. Policies with tentative/provisional rates are not eligible to receive claim payments and cannot be renewed.”

Summer Storm Prep

rainIsland Water’s summer newsletter, “IWA Pipeline” offers a good reminder: “Turn off your house (water) valves when you leave the islands for storms or extended periods of time. Water pipe breaks and leaks are wasteful and can be expensive. Water leaks inside an unoccupied home can be disastrous. Failed dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker hoses can all lead to a very bad day inside an unoccupied home. There is a very good side to storm season – more RAIN – and hence lower consumption and increased water conservation!”

Ways a Property May Turn Off Buyers

BankRate.com logoBankrate.com recently featured a list of the top ways buyers back away from a property listed for sale. Its list includes these items, among others:

“Dirt – The No. 1 biggest mistake is not getting a property in the best possible condition…including steam-cleaning tile/grout and carpets and replacing carpets if necessary.

“Odors – …have curtains and upholstery cleaned, particularly if someone in the property is a smoker, and take steps to eliminate any pet odors.”

“Old fixtures – …outdated ceiling fans and light fixtures should be replaced prior to listing… New cabinet hardware and doorknobs are relatively inexpensive, but can make a huge difference.

“Wallpaper – When buyers see wallpaper, they think of another thing to add to their to-do list….

“Popcorn acoustic ceilings – These ceilings were popular in the 1960s/1970s but now can date a property….

“Too many personal decorative items – Clutter makes it difficult for buyers to see past the …belongings and start envisioning themselves there.”

Equity Membership Cost Increasing at The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary golfSheryl Tatum, Director of Membership and Marketing at Sanibel’s Sanctuary Golf Club, always does a good job at keeping Realtors® up-to-date on changes at the facility. Her June issue of their newsletter, the “Sanctuary Sound”, says:

“This is a reminder to you regarding the upcoming changes to the Equity Membership at The Sanctuary Golf Club. The Board of Governors of the Club approved an increase in the price of its Equity Membership to $110,000, effective July 1, 2013. The ability to pay for your membership in two installments if you are under the age of 60 years old is also being limited to younger than 55 years old effective July 1. If you join now as an Introductory Member and pay the $10,000 membership fee, you can retain the $100,000 price and save $10,000 when you convert to the Equity membership. If you are under the age of 60 years old, you can also lock in the two-installment option with your second payment due at 60 years old. Just send the Application for Membership and the $10,000 membership fee before July 1, 2013. The Application for Membership will be processed this summer. The annual dues will begin on October 1, 2013, as well as the membership. (If you are on island during the summer months, feel free to use the Club facilities and the nine reciprocal golf clubs.)

Note: There are a limited number of Equity and Social Memberships. Contact Sheryl Tatum at 239.322.5182 or statum@sanctuarygc.net to JOIN TODAY!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 7-14

Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Pointe Santo #B23 2/2 $649.9K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $899K, Shorewood #3 3/3 $1.849M.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #241 1/1 listed for $309.9K (our buyer), Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 listed for $2.349M.
4 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #A202 2/2 $357.5K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A102 2/2 $381K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $409K, Sand Pointe #137 2/2 $735K.

HOMES
4 new listings: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $424.9K, 366 Lake Murex Blvd 4/3 $749K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 $1.1M, 1220 Morningside Place 5/5 multi-family $1.28M.
3 price changes: 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 now $475K, 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $489K, 4570 Bowen Bayou Rd 2/2 now $599K.
5 new sales: 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 listed for $525K, 1744 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $599K, 696 Durion Ct 3/2.5 listed for $635K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed for $849K, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 listed for $875K.
8 closed sales: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $356.5K, 625 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $400K (our buyer), 5650 SanCap Rd 2/2 $480K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $625K, 4518 Bowen Bayou Rd 4/4 $640K (our buyer), 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $749.9K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $750K, 804 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1M.

LOTS
1 new listing: 864 Birdie View Pt $349.5K.
1 price change: 1503 San Carlos Bay Dr now $1.195M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 2418 Blue Crab Ct $115K, 9277/9283 Belding Dr $147.8K.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2328 2/2 listed for $599K.
1 closed sale: Marina Villas #903 2/2 $525K.

HOMES
No new listings.
2 price changes: 15160 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 now $1,999,999; 15166 Wiles Dr 3/2.5 now $2.995M.
2 new sales: 1102 Tallow Tree Ct 5/4 half-duplex listed for $3.3M, 17201 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 listed for $3.698M.
1 closed sale: 11517 Wightman Ln 4/3 $1.625M.

LOTS
1 new listing: 15164 Wiles Dr $795K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Happy Summer from SanibelSusan & The Sanibel Susan Team!