Sanibel/Captiva Springtime Wonderfulness Is Now

Though the islands continue to need rain (heard on the local news that SW FL is about 5” behind normal accumulation), traffic now is nearly perfect with very few waits anywhere. Midweek, I did a quick drive-around to some of the island resorts and beach accesses. Plenty of parking everywhere and several hotels/condos had few cars.

Back when I used to vacation on Sanibel, we always said the best months are May and October – schools still in session, weather not too hot or too cold, and traffic light, with not as many visitors here then. It surprised me to see such a drastic change in occupancy post-Easter as last year after “season” during the pandemic, occupancy stayed quite high. I guess folks are traveling again – and not just to Sanibel and Captiva.

New Island Businesses

Sometimes social media is ahead of the curve on scoop. two new Sanibel businesses were mentioned on Facebook this week:

  • Island Seafood Market Sanibel recently opened at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Sundays). They advertise that they are family owned and operated, specializing in local seafood. They own their boats and catch their fish!
  • JRods Surf, Fish & Style is officially opening May 1 at 630 Tarpon Bay Rd. They already are selling merchandise through their website ShopJRods.com

1st Sea Turtle Nesting of 2022 Season

Following up on last week’s post by SCCF that the 2022 sea turtle nesting season has begun (April through October), the first loggerhead turtle nest was spotted and staked Wednesday morning (April 27), the same day that the first nest was discovered last year. Don’t forget to keep the beaches clean and unlit after dark. More tips at http://www.SanCapLifesavers.org

Historical Museum & Village Switches to Summer Hours

Sanibel’s museum and village at 950 Dunlop Rd changes to off-season summer hours on May 3. Those are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum also will close on August 1 and reopen October 18, going back then to their regular in-season hours which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are at 10:30 a.m., depending on docent availability. For more info, visit http://sanibelmuseum.org

Summer Fees for Wildlife Drive

At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, admission fees for Wildlife Drive remain the same after season ends. The $10 vehicle fee, however, is good for three days starting May 1 and running through September. Show receipt at entrance booth when returning. Daily fees for bikers and walkers remain $1 each visit for visitors age 16+.

Real Estate Scoop

April Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting – Yesterday was the monthly breakfast meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Speaker was J.P. Fraites, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Rep. He provided highlights from the 2022 Florida legislative session which ended last month and produced the largest state budget ever (well over $100 billion). He highlighted several items including great strides in affordable housing (particularly for first responders, teachers, and medical workers) and, of particular interest to islanders, a record $1.6 billion for various water quality initiatives.

He also mentioned how Gov DeSantis has called a special session for May 23-27, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol that week to address problems in the property-insurance system. Though there were changes to Florida insurance law in 2021 including limiting fees of attorneys who represent homeowners in lawsuits against insurers and a reduction to two years to file claims, the House and Senate were unable to agree on another bill.

Other unfinished issues included proposals to change building codes, like putting additional inspection requirements on condominium buildings. Like insurance, that likely will come up again in 2023.

Association of Realtors® Summer Schedule – During the summer, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meetings change to bi-weekly. That usually doesn’t occur until June, but with so few new listings this year, that schedule will begin now. The next caravans will be May 12 and 26, with the monthly Membership breakfast meeting also on May 26.

Only one new listing was announced at the meeting, an off-island listing. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), today the islands together have just 20 condo, 20 homes, and 11 residential lots for sale – just 51 properties. That is compared to 185 closed and 75 pending sales year-to-date.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the local MLS since last Friday.

What Are Novice Sellers’ Top 3 Mistakes?

This article from the May 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine:

“With soaring home prices and high demand, homeowners find it a great time to sell. But some sellers – particularly first-timers – may be so caught up in the “hot housing market” headlines that it clouds their expectations.

“Real estate professionals shared with realtor.com some of the mistakes of rookie home sellers in the current market:

  • Unrealistic price expectations: It’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean a sky-is-the-limit pricing strategy will work. “First-time sellers often erroneously believe that the list price means the desired purchase price,” says Lindsay Reishman, founding partner at the Reishman Group in Washington, D.C. “In fact, the list price simply indicates an approximate appropriate price, and its purpose is to drive interest to the property.”
  • Accepting the highest offer: Some buyers make giant bids to beat out the competition, but those offers can fall apart. Real estate pros say some sellers become so focused on the highest number that they overlook a bid’s reliability. Home offers can fall apart for a number of reasons, including financing, appraisals or inspections. “In this market, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to submit an offer for a home sight unseen,” says Deborah Ann Spence, a broker at Fierce Real Estate Corp, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. “Then, if the buyer doesn’t like what he eventually does see, the offer can be withdrawn, and the property is likely to lose traction.”
  • Trying to FSBO: “For sale by owner” may tempt homeowners who believe a seller’s market offers them an opportunity to DIY their home sale. However, the FISBO route could limit the home’s exposure to larger pools of buyers since FSBOs can’t be listed on the multiple listing service. And even if the home bets buyers’ attention, a real estate agent is critical to navigate the process, help with paperwork and sort through multiple offers.”

Calmer Market Ahead

This week, the spring 2022 issue of “Realtor” magazine also arrived. Here’s the article by Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist:

“The past two years have been quite exceptional for real estate. Home sales boomed. Home prices rose at the fastest rate in modern times. However, such a strong housing market created growing pains. Inventory shrank to its lowest count ever. Even through the recent winter months, the inventory that has made it onto the market has typically attracted multiple bidders – and increasingly, investors offering cash. Twenty-two percent of recent transactions were investor purchases, up from 15% a year ago, and 27% of transactions were cash-only deals, up from 19% a year ago. That’s putting a strain on first-time buyers. Moreover, mortgage rates are notably higher as the Federal Reserve moves from a quantitative easing monetary policy, quickly buying up mortgages, to what is in essence a quantitative squeezing that does the opposite. With all this in mind, what’s ahead?

“Let’s begin with the jobs picture. Although the unemployment rate is back to normal at 4%, the economy is still short by nearly 3 million jobs compared to before the pandemic. But that hasn’t held back housing sales. Existing-home sales reached 6.12 million in 2021, the best since 2006. The median home price reached an all-time high of $347,100 a one-year gain of 16.9%.

“A few states actually have more jobs now than before the COVID-19 days. They are Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and Montana in order of performance. Those are also the states experiencing extra strong real estate activity, both in residential and commercial markets. Jobs are important.

“What now, given the diminishing pandemic – fingers crossed – and rising mortgage rates? Office workers will need to get back to the office. Maybe the new work model will be some form of hybrid, with a few days each week spent in the office. This still means locational choices do not have to be inherently dependent on big-city-downtowns. It’s fine to live farther from the city, given less time spent on the commute. Higher mortgage rates, though, will lock out some would-be buyers. In very high-cost areas, the increase means about $500 more in monthly mortgage payments for the typical borrower. Consequently, home sales will come down 2% to 4% in 2022. If inflation remains stubbornly high and the Fed is forced to be even more aggressive, then home sales could fall by as much as 10%.

“Prices will keep rising, though, since getting to a balanced market will take time. The turnaround may occur by the middle of the year. Expect calmer home price gains of 3% to 6% per year in 2022 and 2023.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity

April 22-29, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 $1.398M.

1 price change: White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.699M.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $849K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 $595K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $65K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $1.325M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.495M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3/2 $2.195M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 $3.177M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $3.995M.

No price changes.

7 new sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $849K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $935K, 9076 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $985K, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 listed at $1.25M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $2.275M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

1 closed sale: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2462 Wulfert Rd $348K.

1 price change: 1321 Seaspray Ln now $995K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2003 1/1 $925K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.25M.

1 closed sale: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 $11M.

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.

Once the rainy season begins, the clear aqua-looking water disappears, but it’s still looking pretty now. Happy Friday!

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

It’s Not a Joke – It’s an Overcast Friday in Paradise

Rumor has it that some snowbirds already have headed north, but you couldn’t prove it this week by the heavy traffic in SW Florida. More wonderful breezy sunny weather has made for perfect days for outdoor lovers. Beaches, waterways, and bike paths have been busy.

With limited rain since Florida’s storm season ended last fall, forecasters have reported fire danger for much of central and south Florida. Rainy season usually doesn’t begin until May, but with unusual weather events in many places in recent years, who knows what 2022 will bring.

Weathermen say a front is arriving today that may stall over the weekend bringing a few occasional showers. That should help, so far it’s just turned from sunshine to overcast.

Real Estate Scoop

There were a couple of Association of Realtors® sponsored events this week with a Flood Insurance Seminar at the Community House Tuesday evening. With presentations from two Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association affiliate members, Dave Arter with Private Client Insurances Service and Chris Heidrick with Hedrick & Co. Insurance, the focus was the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) new FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 2.0 Rating System for flood insurance. It recently went into effect to more fairly charge flood rates. Unfortunately, on barrier islands like Sanibel and Captiva, that usually means higher premiums. Presenter examples often included a former $800 annual premium jumping to $8,000. Luckily, the new system limits increase to 18% per year.

Their final take-away slide had the following advice:

  • Don’t let your flood policy lapse! Risk rating 2.0 rates will apply.
  • If your premium is escrowed, you still are the responsible party.
  • Be prepared for 18% premium increases for the foreseeable future
  • At renewal, you may receive a request for additional information (type of construction, number of floors, square footage, etc.). Speak to your insurance agent to avoid “Provisional Rates”.
  • Speak with an insurance agent for advice, specific to any property you are buying.
  • Always get the elevation certificate AND the seller’s flood declaration page, when buying a home

Tuesday afternoon was a Zoom class for members of Realtor® Association Professional Standards Committees. At least ten associations throughout the state attended including two members from Sanibel and Captiva. The presenter, Shannon Allen, is an attorney and Florida Realtors® Director of Local Association Services. With Realtors® governing themselves on ethics and arbitration through their local groups (which include Ombudsmen, Grievance and Professional Standards Committees), it was insightful to hear how a hot market and the electronic age have caused nuances. Luckily in a small Association like the islands, complaints are rare.

At the Association Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting, attendance was light, but at least there were two new listings open for viewing. After a couple of news items is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Final Car Show of the Season

San-Cap Motor Club is hosting its final “Cars & Coffee Cruise-In” of the season tomorrow, April 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place shopping center. Exhibitors are suggested to arrive by 8:30 a.m. to secure a good spot. They include antique cars, hot rods, muscle cars, all makes and models, including motorcycles. There is visitor parking behind the shopping center.

Community Chorus Spring Concert

Another annual event is the Spring Concert of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. SanibelSusan has missed singing with them this year but has followed their progress and upcoming program – which is terrific. Tickets are on sale now and night of the concert, which is Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in the BIG ARTS Performance Hall. Link for tickets: https://my.bigarts.org/3260/3262

SCCF’s “Beer in the Bushes”

Yet another annual unofficial end of season celebration is right around the corner. The popular fundraiser for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will be Saturday, April 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.beerinthebushes.com.

Real Estate Trends to Watch This Spring

Posted online Tuesday, March 28, 2022 on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com, 2022 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD.

“Realtor.com: Home sellers may continue to hold the upper hand, but buyers may be more sensitive to price increases; and more inventory could enter the market.

“SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Home sellers will likely continue to hold the upper hand this spring, says a realtor.com® housing report that also uncovered upcoming trends.

“Buyers are likely to become more sensitive to price increases. Mortgage rates are on the rise and are expected to continue to increase this year. As home shoppers face higher borrowing costs, they may need to tighten their budgets or even step back from the market as home prices increase as well. That could help to moderate price trends, realtor.com says. The trend occurred last year, even when mortgage rates were at historical lows but home prices were climbing by double-digit annual gains. In early May 2021, the number of sellers who made price adjustments rose by 17.8% compared to the start of the year.

“More inventory will likely hit the market. Buyers may see the benefit of a greater housing supply. Still, the number of homes for sale is expected to remain historically low this year, though more options are likely to become available. Builders are adding more homes to the inventory. Also, more homes typically come on the market during the spring season. Realtor.com notes that based on historical trends, by mid-August the number of sellers with actively listed homes usually rises 17.4% over the beginning of the year. If that trend holds true, it could mean more options for buyers and more competition for home sellers.

“Sellers may face trade-offs. Homeowners who have to sell and buy could face a dilemma: If they hold out for peak asking prices on their home, they also could end up paying a premium for the home they buy, realtor.com says. Listing prices usually reach their highest levels in the summer. But home seller-buyers who delay will face more competition from other sellers and the possibility of missing out on buying opportunities.

““We all know that homes are selling lightning-fast right now,” says Rachel Stults, managing editor at realtor.com. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean your house will sell itself. Before you list your home this spring – or any other time this year – make sure you’ve taken steps to get it ready, including cleaning and decluttering, getting cost estimates on repairs you might need to make, and talking to agents to see who would be a good fit for your needs. No matter when you decide to list, whipping your home into shape beforehand will help you sell faster and for more money.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 25 ‑ April 1, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $779K, Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 $869K.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 now $1.195M.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #201 2/2 listed at $995K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $1.295M, Island Beach Club #P4E 2/2 listed at $1.799M, Junonia #301 4/2 listed at $2.4M.

4 closed sales: Captains Walk #C5 2/1 $591K; Donax Village #9 2/2 $746K; Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $1,022,222; Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 $1.371M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9476 Balsa Ct 3/2 $1.195M, 3822 Coquina Dr 4/3.5 $1.595M, 479 Las Tiendas Ln 4/3 $1.68M, 733 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.695M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $2.495M, 1558/1545 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $4.7M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $1.725M.

11 closed sales: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $840K, 4560 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $889K, 1666 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.05M, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $1.3M, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.365M, 1174 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 $1.507M, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.65M, 2695 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.8475M, 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 $2.1M, 444 Lighthouse Way 5/4.5 $3.75M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 $5.5M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln $1.15M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2310 Wulfert Rd $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End #1610 3/3 $3.7M, Beach Homes #6 3/3 $3.749M.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4210 1/2 $594.5K, Lands End #1659 2/2 $1.3M, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.609M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $11.25M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 $3.395M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr $15.5M.

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.

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo, More Sanibel Closings, Listings, & Sales!

Another week has flown by with the islands again busy with more visiting families on spring break. It sure is a good thing that states and schools have vacations at different times. As it is, locals are counting down to Easter, when traffic usually eases as snowbirds start heading north. We love the extra winter business and understand why so many want to be here, but too many at once can be challenging to drivers.

Heads-up, roads and bike paths probably also will be busy next week as Lee County schools are out today and next week. With the forecast for more sunny days and temperatures in the low 80’s, those visiting should be happy!

SanibelSusan Realty 

Blind Pass condos

It was nice to get a new surprise listing over the weekend. One that managed to go under contract within hours, even before we got to see it and have it photographed, as it has a rental guest. Blind Pass #D204 is the 3-bedroom condo mentioned in the Multiple Listing Service activity summary, posted after a couple of news items below. We appreciate that the Blind Pass rental office allowed us to use their photos to get the listing posted.

Another new listing was signed and posted in MLS as “coming soon”, then it became “active” today. The difference between those listing statuses is that “coming soon” listings are only available for Realtors® to see, while “active” listings are syndicated to the public and many real estate sites. It was professionally photographed early, thanks to JMA Photography. This condo, a direct bay-front Lighthouse Point 3 bedroom has showings beginning tomorrow.

View from Lighthouse Point #227

A 3rd new listing also signed and posted in MLS as “coming soon” is a condo in Windjammer Village in The Landings in Ft Myers. That listing is occupied but will be available to show in April. It also has been professionally filmed, including streaming video.

With closings, it was another week with a nice one of those. Thanks to Realtor® Wendy Kirschner for bringing that buyer.

Island Inventory

Every week, we continue to get calls and emails from prospective buyers and renters. It is frustrating when we often can’t help them. It certainly pays to have a Realtor® on the lookout though as we often hear of listings coming on the market or cancellations.

Though 1st quarter isn’t over yet, it is amazing to see what is happening with sale prices and days-on-market (DOM). Some are saying that prices are beginning to stabilize, but I’m not a believer – or not yet. As long as demand remains high and inventory low, buyers must be poised to pounce, while most sellers are smiling.

Below is an update of island inventory as of this morning, March 18, 2022, data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service). Looking at just residential property, only 15 condos, 10 homes, and 11 lots are for sale on Sanibel. Just 8 condos and 8 homes on Captiva. With 113 closed sales and another 91 properties under contract, the sellers’ market continues.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 15 1,387,533 56 10 2,919,250 44 11 1,439,545 350
Under contract 30 1,100,726 18 42 1,826,950 44 10 504,155 113
Sold to-date 2022 37 966,863 47 52 1,710,807 78 8 762,625 184
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 189 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 8 1,339,250 20 8 7,929,875 116 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 4 1,209,000 32 5 4,515,800 29 0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 10 1,488,402 51 6 3,952,416 196 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261 2 2,950,000 731
Sold 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2,537,500 448

Americans Moving to Sun Belt States

From the April 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor” and sourced to 2022 News World Communications, Inc.:

“Both U-Haul and United Van Lines listed Florida as a top destination state. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist credits affordability, job creation and lower taxes for the moves.

“Job-rich, low-tax states such as those in the Sun Belt are attracting many Americans as housing prices rise, recent reports show. Zillow and U-Haul both cited Florida and Texas as hot relocation destinations in separate reports, while Unit Van Lines listed Florida and South Carolina among the top states for inbound migration…

“Meanwhile, U-Haul reported in its annual Grown Index that Texas edged out Florida for the largest net gain of one-way trucks in 2021, while California and Illinois saw the greatest net losses.

“And United Van Lines reported in its 45th annual National Movers Study that two Sun Belt states made the top five for inbound migration in 2021: South Carolina (63%) and Florida (62%) joined Vermont (74%), South Dakota (69%) and West Virginia (63%).

“States such as Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%), and California (56%) appeared once again at the top of the list for outbound migration….”

Seawall Approved at Spanish Cay

It was good news to read the below article in today’s “Island Sun”. This approval has been long in coming.

“The problem of crumbling and cracked seawalls on man-made canals was under discussion at the Sanibel Planning commission meeting last week when commissioners approved replacing the seawall behind Spanish Cay condominiums on Middle Guld Drive.

“Seawalls were allowed as a special conditional use in many subdivisions bordering San Carlos Bay including Shell Harbor north and south of Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Harbour, Sanibel Isles and Water Shadows. The Sanibel Land Development Code includes standards for repairing nonconforming use seawalls on humanmade bodies of water.

“The seawall at Spanish Cay borders the manmade canal separating it from Beachview Estates. Repairs to the seawall bordering a narrow walkway required commission approval of a long form development permit.

”Complicating the matter was that removal of the seawall could not result only in loss of land bordering the water, but also cause a very high probability of undermining buildings that are 10 feet or less from the existing seawall.

“To avoid damage to structures, engineering firm Hans Wilson and Associates proposed a plan that includes replacing the seawall cap and installing a 10- to 12-foot shelf of rock riprap with a maximum 2:1 slope and consisting of limestone that is 12 to 36” in diameter.

“Two concerns addressed by the commission were rainwater downspouts from each building that discharged water directly into the canal and the limited vegetation along the seawall. The condominium association accepted a proposal to relocate the downspouts to prevent discharge into the canal or onto neighboring properties, and to install native vegetation along the path where possible…

“Native vegetation will also be planted within the riprap to provide a habitat for aquatic species to live or hide within the voids of the riprap.

“Planning commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the project.”

International Buyers Are Back

Another article in the new “Florida Realtor®” magazine says “Canada and South America are strong markets this year. Global buyers are looking for all types of properties – not just vacation homes…

“Stifled by COVID-19 the past couple of years, global buyers are finally seeing restrictions lifted and opportunities in U.S. properties.

“For decades, Florida has been a preferred U.S. market for foreign real estate buyers seeking a vacation home, primary residence or an income-generating commercial investment. But the travel restrictions imposed in spring 2020 by the COVID-19 pantenic dramatically slowed global purchases.

“Two years later, international buyers are returning to Florida, creating new business opportunities… Some of Florida’s traditional global markets are expected to see a bigger rebound than others this year. For instance, Canadian snowbirds are traveling again to Florida, and buyers from Latin American and the Caribbean are active throughout the state. On the other hand, there may be fewer buyers from China or European nations that imposed travel bans and lockdowns in late 2021 due to the omicron variant….

“According to the 2021 Profile of International Residential Transactions in Florida, Latin American/Caribbean buyers made up 46% of the global market followed by Canadians at 18% and Europe at 15%… Countries with good relations and economic ties with American are the best targets….” 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 11-18, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Captain’s Walk #D5 2/1 $569K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 $849K, Loggerhead Cay #201 2/2 $995K, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 $1.395M (our listing), Island Beach Club #210C 2/2 $1.495M.

1 price change: Junonia #301 4/2 now $2.49M.

Bridge over Clam Bayou heading to Bowman’s Beach

7 new sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 listed at $595K, Blind Pass #D102 2/2 listed at $685K, Breakers West #C1 2/2 listed at $799K, Blind Pass #D204 3/2 listed at $799.9K (our listing), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-3 2/2.5 listed at $859K, Sundial #B206 2/2 listed at $1.3M, Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 listed at $3.995M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1411 1/1 $510K, Sunset South

Bowman’s Beach

#11C 2/2 $1.025M, Sanibel Moorings #122 2/2 $1.08M (our listing), Shell Island Beach Club #A5 2/2 $1.2M, Lantana #101 4/3.5 $2.395M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $2.895M.

3 price changes: 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 now $1.745M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.499M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 now $5.495M.

2 new sales: 1072 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 244 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $1.268M.

2 closed sales: 2276 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.8M, 475 Sawgrass Pl 3/3.5 $2.1M. 

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2486 Wulfert Rd $219K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $590K.

Captiva

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $549K, Beach Villas #2312 1/1 $1.075M, Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 $1.595M, Lands End Village #1628 3/4 $3.5M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4210 1 /2 listed at $594.5K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5226 1/2 $625,026.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1106 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex $4.2M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Gonna Be a Rare Chilly Florida Weekend

This week the downward effects of cold fronts up north brought some chilly weather to the islands. Most locals turned their heat on for the first time in many months. With daytime highs in the 60’s to low 70’s, an even chillier weekend is forecast. While northern states are slated for lots of snow, temperatures here both Saturday and Sunday are expected to go only into the mid-50’s, with freeze warnings in some of SW Florida. Certainly not bikini weather, though most vacationers make the best of it, while we locals continue to enjoy wearing our once-a-year clothes. On a positive note, there were a couple of evenings with nice sunsets again this week. All now after 6 p.m. Hooray!

At SanibelSusan Realty

After posting our blog last week, The SanibelSusan Team had a busy real estate weekend. Teammate Dave and I both fielded inquiries and offers. Wed, we received a new condo listing which already is generating interest with showings scheduled before guest check-in tomorrow. Thank goodness, our photographer, Jim Anderson, fit us into his busy schedule with him filming it this morning. Fingers crossed that he will Photoshop the sky which today looks like I remember it in New England when it was about to snow.

Tues, we had a nice closing this (the results of a multi-year group effort Lisa, Dave, Susan). Two more closings are in the works for next week. Phones are ringing with prospective buyers, many worried, as we are, about the limited inventory. We also are meeting with prospective Sellers next week hopefully to boost that inventory.

The details on activity since last Friday, in the island MLS, are after a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® Update – What’s Changing for Florida Real Estate?

Posted Jan 21 on Florida Realtors® by Marla Martin:

“2022 RE Trends panel: Big and small biz relocations, plus the here-to-stay wave of untethered remote workers, will impact Fla.’s markets for years to come.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – After almost two pandemic years, changes created to deal with COVID-19 have created major shifts that affect Florida’s real estate markets, according to a panel of site developers, Realtors® and economic development experts who spoke to more than 300 Realtors during the 2022 Florida Real Estate Trends summit Thursday.

““Prior to COVID, we saw a lot of Wall Street firms testing the waters with CEOs looking at homes,” said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “Now, these CEOs are signing seven- to 10-year commercial leases, they’re legally domiciling and, most importantly, they’re buying homes and putting their kids in private schools. We now have zero slots open for any private school in Palm Beach County.”

“The Real Estate Trends event was part of this year’s Florida Realtors®’ Mid-Winter Business Meetings at the Renaissance SeaWorld Orlando. In addition to Smallridge, other panelists included: Deanna Armel, broker-owner, Armel Real Estate; John Boyd, principal, The Boyd Company; and Melanie Schmees, director of business and economic research, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor and Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographic and behavioral insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) also shared their insights on the 2022 outlook.

Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County – Unfortunately, the misconception that Florida schools lag and the state’s educated workforce is lacking still lingers among many executives inquiring about relocating their businesses, Smallridge said, and that is “absolutely not the case.” Once they’re in Florida, check out the schools and have their children tested for placement, their perception quickly changes, she said. “The average salary in Palm Beach County is $61,000, while the average salary of the people coming in now is $1 million,” she added – another boon to local businesses and area development.

Many of the business executives interested in moving to Florida want to look at homes first, she said, and may not mention a possible relocation. “When you’re taking a buyer around to see homes, see if they also have any interest in bringing a business here,” Smallridge advised brokers and real estate agents. “You can offer them information to connect with local chambers of commerce or economic development officials. We help them understand all the logistics of what it takes to get them up and running. So, we’re really part of your team. Together, we can land not only the home but the company as well.”

“Melanie Schmees, director of business and economic research, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce – Like real estate, economic development often involves referrals and regional cooperation, said Schmees. “Naples is a unique market,” she explained. “Right now, we have a 1% industrial vacancy rate; sometimes, we need to direct those interested to other areas near us like Fort Myers. The whole region benefits.” One factor important for ongoing business relocations and continued economic development in Florida will be the consideration of employees’ needs and how they can manage new lives here. “We need to create an environment that works for the workers, not only the business executives,” Schmees said. “Often, their workers are concerned that they can’t make the move. They’re worried they can’t find housing or figure out their cost of living.”

“Deanna Armel, broker-owner Armel Real Estate – “Florida in general is a draw for business and for out-of-state buyers,” she said. “There’s no state income tax, our weather, beaches, and in Orlando, our theme parks. Since COVID (the start of the pandemic), home preferences have changed. People want an office, a pool, flex space and a yard.” According to Armel, the influx of major business relocations and wealthy buyers who can pay cash – like many California residents moving to Florida after selling their homes – has made an impact on the housing market, particularly in the luxury-home sector. “I call it monopoly money,” she said. “Cash is great, but it’s really hurting our buyers who need financing, our veterans, our workers and first-time homebuyers. The competition is unbelievable, especially in new construction. New construction, turn-key, luxury homes: That’s what California buyers want.”

“John Boyd, principal, The Boyd Company – Before the pandemic, about 10% of employees worked remotely, said Boyd. “Today, over half of the workforce works remotely, at least on a hybrid basis, and this change is here to stay. It saves businesses too much in terms of office space, operations and so on. It’s also a great recruiting tool – people like the flexibility.” He noted that economic development is now a “people first operation.” And that, he said, “has established a new class of economic development workers – the residential real estate agent.”

Brightline, the private high-speed rail system running from Miami to West Palm Beach with an expansion in the works to Orlando, is a positive for marketing Florida for economic development, the panelists said. “I think we’ll see a lot of exciting development projects along those Brightline lines, with the ability to connect between Central Florida and South Florida,” Boyd said. Another plus for Florida? “Our state is a magnet for global talent, experience and skill sets,” he added. “Having no state income also attracts industry and development. Business and money tend to go where it feels welcome.””

Loans for Condos? New Rules Start to Have an Effect

Posted on-line Jan 24 at Florida Realtors®, the below article is sourced to the “Daily Breeze” and mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson:

“Fannie’s tighter loan requirements post-Surfside collapse started Jan. 1; Freddie’s start Feb. 28. In the meantime, the list of no-loan condo projects will likely keep growing.

“HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – A nightmare scenario looms for condo buyers applying for certain types of federally backed mortgages. If you are selling or are looking to buy an attached condominium in a community with five or more attached units, conventional financing from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may soon become elusive.

“Beginning Jan. 1 for Fannie and starting Feb. 28 for Freddie, the mortgage giants are putting the screws to a required HOA questionnaire. New questions ask applicants about the structural integrity of the community and whether any code violations are anticipated.

“No doubt, Fannie and Freddie’s updated lender mandates are in response to the Florida condo tower that killed 98 people last June 24. Years of deferred maintenance at the Champlain Towers in Surfside caused the 12-story building to collapse.

“Answering the agencies thoroughly and completely could force lenders to decline a mortgage application. (Remember: Mortgage lenders fund a loan, and then may sell it to Fannie or Freddie).

““Yes, lenders are declining projects even for a simple special assessment for repairs now. Things are just trickling in right now because the guidance started Jan. 1,” said one condo project approval expert, who asked to remain unnamed because he’s not the media spokesman for his company. “Soon enough we’ll see the effects hit all the condo market. I’ve only seen it affect projects with major issues at this point; meaning (the project) has code violations and millions of dollars of repairs underway.”

“Answering these questions honestly or possibly with a guess could bring liability in the form of future lawsuits against HOA stakeholders, such as the property management company, board members, inspectors, engineers and the association.

“If the questionnaire isn’t completely answered because the answers are unknown or undetermined, it might mean the purchase or refinance gets torpedoed.

“Here is a sprinkling of questions included in Fannie Mae’s Form 1076 condominium project questionnaire (posted December 2021 and updated to eight from five pages):

Question: Is the HOA aware of any deficiencies related to the safety, soundness, structural integrity or habitability of the project’s building(s)?

My take: If management didn’t know about any deficiencies, for example, and answered as such, should they have reasonably known these calamities could come up later?

Question: Is it anticipated the project will, in the future, have such violations (zoning ordinances, codes, etc., which are related to safety, soundness, structural integrity or habitability)?

My take: For the love of peace, how could one possibly determine if yet-to-be-written, jurisdictional codes trigger new violations in the condo complex?

“These dubious questions could be akin to a winning lottery ticket for any attorney who lives in the world of HOA litigation.

“Why is this so problematic? The nation has a huge community of really old condos and many of them are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. The U.S. has as many as 156,000 condo associations and cooperatives housing between 27 million and 32 million Americans, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

““Seventy percent of all condo loans in the U.S. are Fannie or Freddie (backed),” said Dawn Bauman, senior vice president of government affairs at CAI. “Sixty to 70% of all condo complexes are more than 30 years old.”

Fannie Mae has a published list of 82 “unavailable” California condo-projects, including the Marina City Club in Marina Del Rey, which has $80 million to $140 million in needed repairs according to a report last year. That a 10-acre complex is one of nearly 1,000 “unavailable” condo projects nationwide. To Fannie Mae, unavailable means a property is ineligible for purchase by the agency.

“One mortgage executive told me Fannie is making the rounds, emphasizing these new condo questions during lender visits. So don’t be surprised if that unavailable list explodes as Fannie collects more intel.

“To be fair, Fannie and Freddie need to dig more deeply to assess and consider condo structural risk before purchasing those mortgages from lenders. The mortgage giants also may disqualify a condo community for other reasons, such as a lack of budget reserves.

“If your loan is denied over the Fan or Fred HOA certification answers, you may be able to get funded on what the industry calls a non-warrantable loan. You should expect to pay perhaps one-half to one point higher in rate than conventional financing. You also might have to provide a larger down payment or have more remaining equity compared with Fannie-type requirements.

“But buyer beware: Non-qualified mortgage lenders that offer the exotic non-warrantable condo mortgages are not a loan approval shoo-in, either.

“For example, California-based LendSure has a condo guidance checklist to help determine investor risks. The common three items it looks at are investor concentration (how many rentals are in the complex), single investor (does one person or entity own a bunch of the units), and litigation against the condo complex, according to Joe Lydon, co-founder, and managing director of LendSure.

“Why so much deferred maintenance? Unit owners are often resistant to increased HOA fees or special assessments for repairs and updates.

“Condo complex building inspections can run $15,000 to $50,000 depending on the number of units, according to Bauman.

““Community Associations Institute is lobbying for laws mandating reserve studies and building inspections,” said Bauman. CAI is also asking Fan and Fred to give HOAs more time to be able to address so many of the new HOA questions. “Five years to ramp-up the requisite building inspections.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 21-28, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $824K; Lighthouse Point #112 3/2 $864K; Sanibel Moorings #1332 2/2 $874,999; Sanibel Moorings #122 2/2 $1.2M (our listing); Shell Island Beach Club #A5 2/2 $1.2M; Pointe Santo A2 2/2 $1.35M; Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 $3.995M.

Boardwalk to beach at Sanibel Moorings

1 price change: Gulfside Place #210 2/2 now $1.549M.

6 new sales: Sundial #I402 1/1 listed at $659K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 listed at $739.9K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 listed at $1.095M, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 listed at $1.099M, Sundial #M303 2/2 listed at $1.249M (our listing), Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 listed at $1.35M.

To beach from Sundial East

 

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 $1.225M, Gulfside Place 124 2/2 $1.45M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 645 Oliva St 3/3 $1.1M, 593 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.395M, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $1.495M, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $4.95M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 listed at $1.625M, 489 Sawgrass Pl 5/5 listed at $2.15M, 1266 Par View Dr 4/4 listed at $2.295M, 435 Bella Vista Way E 3/3 listed at $5.2M, 3767 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $7.5M.

3 closed sales: 6429 Pine Ave 3/2 $869K, 1943 Sanibel Bayous Rd 3/3 $1.125M, 2379 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $2.495M (our buyer).

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #706 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 listed at $1.295M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday. Stay warm! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Read On to Find Out Why the Magic Number Today is 12

It is that time of the year when Floridians are especially grateful to be here. Though a cool front sometimes comes through in the winter, the weather here sure tops what is happening elsewhere.

One of those fronts just came through the islands. Though sunny and bright, it is breezy with temperatures only up into the high 60’s. Do visitors still fill the bike paths and beaches in their shorts and tee-shirts, “yes”. Meanwhile, locals are enjoying more fresh air and relish a chance to wear their long sleeves and an occasional sweater or jacket.

At the office, we continue to finalize action items for our upcoming closings and get ready for our big annual inventory mailing. If you are not already on our mailing list and want a copy of this report, please send your request to Susan@SanibelSusan.com. We update the islands residential inventory list (Sanibel & Captiva condos, homes, & lots) every weekend, so have it available anytime and email it often, but the bulk hardcopy mailing only goes out once a year (saving trees & $). It will go out in early February. (The data is from the local Multiple Listing Services as well as the county tax records.)

Yesterday afternoon, teammate Dave listed his in-laws off-island investment property. He probably set a record for a quick sale. Following several immediate inquiries/offers, he had it successfully under contract by 8 p.m.

So, as we continue to market for new listings, today the magic inventory number is 12. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service, now there are just 12 condos and 12 homes for sale on Sanibel, while on Captiva, there are 12 in total (4 condos plus 8 homes).

With most colleagues having buyers waiting in the wings, it is tough convincing those prospects that it is going to take a very long time for supply to meet demand. Meanwhile, the strong sellers’ market continues. I am meeting with condo owners tomorrow. Hopefully a new listing follows.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Last Friday, I attended the Florida Realtors® Resort and Second Home Think Tank meeting via Zoom. During that meeting, Kate Chunka, Vice Present of Industry Engagement at “Visit Florida” provided an update on that agency’s efforts including some interesting statistics. She said that every dollar spent results in $3.27 in tax revenue. Nearly 40% of that in 2020 was the impact of the pandemic on tourism with the third quarter last year exceeding any previous year. In 2021, from first through third quarter, 91.5 million visitors came to Florida. Numbers now are starting to exceed 2019 which was the highest recorded ever. For FY 2022-2023, a $50 million budget has been recommended.

Next, Florida Realtors® Vice President of Law/Policy and General Counsel, Juana Watkins provided an update on the legal options to address local short-term rental ordinance. That has become a huge problem in some areas. Luckily Sanibel and Captiva are proactive in that regard.

A legislative update then was provided by Andy Gonzalez, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Representative. He said, this week legislators are back in session in Tallahassee. On the Senate agenda is a discussion regarding short-term rentals.

He asked Realtor® Broker Marilue Maris from Walton County in the Panhandle to tell us how access to the gulf there is regulated. She described how beach access and use by the public is limited to only the areas of “wet” sand, with security guards sometimes patrolling to ensure that non-property owners don’t settle their chairs or blankets in dry areas. Wow!

Next week, I will be attending a “Florida Real Estate Trends” update by Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. He is scheduled to update policymakers, residents, and Realtors® on what is ahead in 2022. Real estate drives Florida’s economy and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its second year, it sure would be nice to know what lies ahead.

Also on the agenda next week are the Forms Content Committee meeting, and Legal and Professional Standards Update – also good stuff to stay up on.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Tuesday was the first 2022 meeting of the local Association’s Professional Development Committee. Many educational classes for members already are scheduled with the focus of this meeting speakers for the upcoming monthly membership meetings. The first of those is February 24.

Our annual Realtors® lnstallation and Awards Breakfast was early yesterday at The Community House. Attendance was lighter than in normal times, but it was great to see many familiar faces in-person for the first time in more than two years.

Congratulations to the incoming Board of Directors and Officers (shown in the Association photo above) and the many “of the year” awards including 2021 Honor Society recipients (my 29th year).

Though 2021 was a record one for island sales, we all hope that 2022 will be safer, less stressful – and that there will be more product to sell. The details on the activity posted since last Friday in the islands MLS are below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 7‑14, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #G104 2/2 $875K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 now $759K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 now $1.095M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.095M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd 4/4 now $2.995M.

9 new sales: 804 Rabbit Rd 2/1 listed at $499K, 458 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $925K, 1133 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $945K, 1251 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 listed at $1.05M, 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $1.6M, 719 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed at $1.895M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 listed at $2.295M, 5415 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $2.495M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $1.526M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 845 Pyrula Ave 525K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $640K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Land End Village #1659 2/2 now $1.345M.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2236 2/2 listed at $1.3M.

1 closed sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2122 2/2 $1.075M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 listed at $1.399M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Almost 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

As the sun gets ready to set on another year, why is it always a surprise when the islands are snarled with traffic during Christmas/New Year week? With mostly delightful weather (sunny with daytime temperatures high-70’s to mid-80’s), the causeway has been a slow crawl in the mornings from before the toll booth coming onto the island through the 4-way stop and down Periwinkle Way.

About 3 p.m., the same crawl begins in reverse making it a fun ride home in the evening. It sure appears that more folks have been enjoying things on-island this year.

Today, with holiday closings, there is less traffic and it started out foggy – an unusual occurrence here. It burned off about noon, but more fog is expected tomorrow morning with a cool front forecast to pass through Florida Monday. (That probably means daytime temperatures then will only go into the low 70’s that day.) Otherwise, the next ten days are expected to be sunny and warm.

A summary of the week’s real estate activity is after a couple of news items below. There have been a few more year-end closings so first an updated island inventory table. (Data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of 12/31/21.)

Hard to believe that there are only 19 Sanibel condos/homes for sale and that nearly 700 have gone under contract/sold this year.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 14 1,160,628 15 2,922,733 19 630,210 4 2,684,750 8 6,248,000 0 N/A
Under contract 27 900,883 31 1,662,258 7 676,840 5 905,600 3 5,361,333 0 N/A
Sold 2021 284 877,655 355 1,341,881 68 703,830 62 1,161,369 44 2,988,520 2 2,950,000

New Year Weekend Happenings

  • San-Cap Motor Club Cars and Coffee Cruise-in – Sat, Jan 1 at Periwinkle Place – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society Bird Walk – Sat, Jan 1 on Wildlife Dr at J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge at 9 a.m. Meet in overflow parking lot on left as you enter the Refuge. On a side note, the Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count conducted Sun, Dec 18, with 108 participants counted a total of 10,869 birds comprised of 96 different species. The results of the San-Cap count are reported to the National Audubon Society and will become part of the 122nd Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The overall count was below average. Warm temperatures up north may have delayed migrations could have played a part.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Polar Bear Plunge 2022 – Sat, Jan 1 at northside of Sanibel Causeway Island B. (Island closest to Sanibel). Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. At “crack of noon”, swimmers will plunge into the “frigid” (70 degree) water to kick off the new year!
  • Community House Arts & Crafts Show – Sun, Jan 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Lending Rules Threaten Some Condo Sales

By Kerry Smith, the below article was posted Dec 22 on FloridaRealtors®:

“Fannie and Freddie tighten condo-lending rules. Details vary, but they generally won’t back single-unit condo loans if a building has deferred maintenance issues.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – In response to the Surfside tragedy, Freddie Mac announced last week that it would immediately start taking a closer look at a condo development’s maintenance issues before approving individual loans. The change follows a similar announcement made earlier by Fannie Mae. The two mortgage giants back over half of all U.S. loans.

“The new requirements can be complex – Freddie Mac posted its announcement online – but they will generally deny condo and co-op unit loans if the building has deferred maintenance issues, special assessments to fix deferred issues or other problems.

“All changes announced in Freddie Mac’s bulletin “will be effective for Mortgages with Settlement Dates on or after Feb. 28, 2022.” Fannie Mae’s earlier bulletin says its rules will be “effective for whole loans purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2022, and for loans delivered into MBS pools with issue dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.”

“Both policies “remain in effect until further notice.”

“As part of the process, Fannie Mae lenders will send condo managers a five-page form that must be completely filled out. Under the section that covers insurance types and amounts, it even includes instructions, such as “Do NOT enter ‘contact agent.’” The regulations apply to all condominiums with five or more units, even if that complex is otherwise exempt from review.

“While individual condo buyers may immediately face hurdles getting a loan approved, the tighter policies could have a longer-term impact on entire condominium complexes. Even condo associations without concerning maintenance issues could find that unit owners – without the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – will have a harder time selling their property if the new paperwork isn’t filled out correctly and returned promptly.

““Loans secured by units in condo and co-op projects with significant deferred maintenance or in projects that have received a directive from a regulatory authority or inspection agency to make repairs due to unsafe conditions are not eligible for purchase,” Fannie Mae states in its Oct. 13 announcement. And those projects “will remain ineligible until the required repairs have been made and documented.”

Fannie Mae considers acceptable documentation to be “a satisfactory engineering or inspection report, certificate of occupancy, or other substantially similar documentation that shows the repairs have been completed in a manner that resolves the building’s safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability concerns.”

“While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s changes apply nationwide, Florida may feel a greater impact due to the number of condo buildings across the state. In addition, condo complexes that have deferred maintenance issues or one of the other problems noted won’t be approved for Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed loans until those issues have been fixed.”

Updated Captiva Land Development Code & Regulations

Realtors® were noticed this week (see letter below) following amendment approvals to Captiva’s land development code by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners. The new code revisions are shown below in red while some rule reminders are included too:

“CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

P.O. Box 72, Captiva, FL 33924-0072

“Dear Captiva Property Owners and Companies Doing Business on Captiva:

“The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has just approved amendments to the Captiva land development code. These changes were recommended by the Captiva Community Panel and they will keep our Village beaches pristine at the end of each day, protect our dark skies and reduce unnecessary light trespass onto neighboring properties, protect our bicyclists and pedestrians from dangerous conditions caused by overgrown vegetation on Captiva Drive, and reduce the number of contractor, design professional and real estate signs on our islands.

“It is important that all of us who live and work on Captiva review these new updates to the code as well as existing provisions which protect and preserve our fragile barrier island. The Panel believes in the power of community and in voluntary compliance with our codes and ordinances. Enforcement on Captiva should be necessary only as a last resort.

“To assist us, the Panel has summarized the new code provisions (in red) and reminds everyone of some of the existing regulations that apply to Captiva (in black). Please remember that Captiva is an unincorporated part of the Lee County and that many Lee County regulations (in addition to the Captiva-specific rules) apply to Captiva. We ask everyone to comply with them all.

Beach Furniture and Equipment

All beach furniture and equipment when not in use and unoccupied must be removed from the beach between 9:00 p.m. and 8 a.m. at all times of the year between Alison Hagerup Park and the south end of Wiles Drive. Beach furniture and equipment not removed shall be considered abandoned property and subject to removal.

Remember: A similar rule applies to the rest of Captiva’s beaches during turtle season – from May 1 to October 31.

Outdoor Lighting

            All new outdoor lighting, including landscape spotlights, must be hooded or shielded so that the light source is masked, and does not shine beyond or above the structure, property or highest foliage to be illuminated or spill onto adjacent property. Fixtures attached to poles, trees or buildings must also be hooded or shielded, shall be no more than 15 feet above grade, and directed downward. No new or existing lights may be aimed, directed, focused onto adjacent property, or allowed to cause direct light or glare to be projected onto adjacent property. Seasonal decorations are permitted for up to 60 days per year.

“Captiva Drive Landscaping

No vegetation shall be allowed to grow on Captiva Drive or its paved shoulder. A setback of at least 2 feet from the edge of the pavement must be maintained at all times for all vegetation below the height of 8 feet.

“Signs on Captiva

            All residential identification signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. Remember: The height of these signs may not exceed 4 feet above grade. If illuminated, the lights must shine downward and wattage may not exceed 36 watts per sign. Uplighting is prohibited and approval for electric hookup to illuminate a new sign must be obtained from Lee County.

All contractor, subcontractor, or design professional signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. There may be no more than 2 signs per property and they must be removed within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. Remember: Any design professional, landscaper or contractor signs not located at a work site under construction are prohibited and must be removed.

All real estate signs advertising a property for sale or rent in a residential neighborhood may not exceed 2 square feet in size with the bottom edge of the sign no more than 12 inches above the ground. A property is limited to one real estate sign at any given time.

Remember: Sandwich signs, banner signs, pennants, flying signs and neon signs are prohibited on Captiva. (There are some exceptions for short-term special events.)

“DON’T FORGET

            Rentals: Residential dwelling units cannot be rented for less than a week on Captiva. The one-week minimum does not apply to rooms in hotels and motels.

Golf Carts: Golf carts can operate between South Seas and ‘Tween Waters, and at night with the required lights and equipment. But no one can operate a golf cart on Captiva without a valid driver’s license.

Parking: Parking on all Captiva streets is prohibited.

Littering: It is unlawful for any person to place litter on a street, beach, or waterway on Captiva. Litter includes cans, bottles, boxes, straws, paper, and cigarette butts.

Open Containers: It is illegal to carry an open alcoholic beverage or drink any alcoholic beverage on a street, sidewalk, beach, or parking lot on Captiva. It is also illegal to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage while a passenger in a car or on a golf cart.

Dunes: No person may harm or destroy a dune or dune vegetation on Captiva, or harass, molest or disturb wildlife. And no one may light or maintain any open fire on the beach.

Building Height Restrictions: Captiva has very strict building height restrictions and requirements from which no variances or deviations can be permitted. Anyone planning construction should review these regulations carefully.

“Please remember: This letter only summarizes the new regulations – and only lists some of the existing ones. If any of them apply to you, it is important to review the full text of the regulation. Amendments to our Noise, Fertilizer, Parking, Golf Cart and Septic regulations have been presented to the County for future adoption.

“2021 CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

Members: Ann Brady – Jay Brown – Ken Gill – John Jensen – Mike Kelly – Linda Laird

Mike Lanigan – Tony Lapi – R. Bruce McDonald – David Mintz – Bob Walter”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 24-31, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D41 2/2 $1.45M.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.789M.

3 new sales: Blind Pass #D102 2/2 listed at $625K, Sanibel Moorings #1132 2/2 listed at $799K, Pointe Santo #D37 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $510K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $769.9K, Sedgemoor #205 3/4 $4.27M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 $769K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: 9217 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $865K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $1.498M, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 listed at $1.595M.

9 closed sales:  1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $650K, 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $680K, 4226 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $852K, 2539 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.1M, 1585 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.2M, 1410 Sanderling Cir 3/2 $1.2M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.9M, 807 Limpet Dr 3/2 $2.15M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $2.9M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $1M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.989M, 11548 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 listed at $7.5M.

1 closed sale: 15300 Captiva Dr 9/7 $6.19M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy New Year! Wishing your good health & safety, happiness & colorful sunsets in 2022!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The SanibelSusan Team is Grateful! Another Listing Sold Christmas Eve Morning!

After a couple of breezy days earlier in the week, the cool front now has passed through Florida. It caused more winter-like temperatures with lows into the 60’s both Tues and Wed nights, while daytime temps barely got into the 70’s. Low humidity too, which is a welcome change.

The forecasters say that today through Christmas and the days after, island temperatures again will reach into the 80’s. I just drove up Periwinkle and my car says it’s 75 degrees at 1 p.m. Christmas Eve. Great weather for a tropical holiday! Guess, we can save our holiday sweaters for another year.

This week and next, there are no Realtor® meetings/caravans scheduled, but teammate Dave held another Open House at our Sealoft Village listing just before it went under contract Tues. It was a busy week for all of our listings, with a nice closing on Monday and multiple offers on the others.

By this morning all of them are under contract. One condo sold by a Sanibel Realtor®, another by one from Ft. Myers, while I was the lucky one to put our last listing under contract. What a great Christmas Eve Day! We are thankful

It looks like this sale surge will continue into 2022. Supply and demand are in control with demand high and supply so limited. The SanibelSusan Team doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. Prospective buyers on the sidelines waiting for the market to normalize, may find that this is the new normal. We just hope we can find enough new listings to satisfy their needs.

The week’s details about the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. First another update of island inventory today based on data from the islands MLS.

On Sanibel, just 53 properties (including condos, homes, & lots) are for sale,15 on Captiva. Year-to-date, 695 Sanibel properties have sold/closed, 106 on Captiva, plus another 69 are under contract on Sanibel, 7 on Captiva. Never, ever has the market been like this!

 

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 16 1,103,050 18 2,644.111 19 630,210 4 2,684,750 11 6,247,545 0 N/A
Under contract 26 1,011,144 36 1,691,027 7 676,840 6 913,000 1 3,595,000 0 N/A
Sold to 12/24/21 281 867,274 346 1,340,276 68 703,830 61 1,164,014 43 2,914,067 2 2,950,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2005 232 758,507 260 1,028,584 68 496,726 45 863,642 31 2,309,758 0 N/A

Shell Museum Announces New Classes

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum recently announced a new 2022 class lineup for adults. Taught by museum Curator and Science Director Dr Jose H. Leal, senior marine biologist Rebecca Mensch, and professor of drawing with Florida Gulf Coast university Ehren Gerhard, the spring lineup includes:

  • Feb 10 – Fantastic Shells & Where to Find Them
  • Mar 2 – San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Marine Biology & Field Lab
  • Mar 17 – Biodiversity & Taxonomy of Molusks
  • Mar 31 – Drawing & Illustrating Shells
  • Apr 13 – Shell Morphology: Understanding Shell Descriptions

Also, on the 4th Tues of each month January through June, beginning at 5:30 p.m. after the museum, closes, they are offering “After Hours in the Aquariums” which will enable participants to experience the aquariums and marine life of the Living Gallery in an interactive program. Program tickets will include admission, tour, snacks, choice of beverage, and one museum pass redeemable for a future visit. Maximum capacity per event is 15 attendees, registration required at www.ShelMuseum.org/after-hours. Or for the classes, register at www.ShellMuseum.org/classes.

Living Shoreline Structure Completed on Woodring Rd

In their Wed, e-mail update, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted a link to this article:

“Mangrove wetland habitats lining Southwest Florida’s coastlines are highly effective in diminishing wave action and damage from high winds. They also trap pollutants and provide crucial habitat for a host of sea life, including the endangered small-tooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). When biologists notice areas of mangrove-covered shorelines disappearing from erosion, it is a cause for serious concern.

“Nearly 18 months ago, a Dutch marine biologist contacted SCCF about designing, funding, and installing a pilot project on Sanibel to protect mangroves threatened by erosion. This project, completely funded by the Dutch government, will provide an alternative to concrete and riprap, which often lead to additional mangrove loss.

“The Netherlands-based company, BESE Products, uses a biodegradable habitat restoration structure made from the production waste of potato chips and french fries. The waste is collected in the Netherlands and sent to Germany, where it is manufactured into a 3D lattice that helps deposit sediment and can protect mangrove seedlings along high-energy shorelines, such as those along Woodring Road. The goal of this project is to protect the mangroves along Woodring Road, a stretch of Sanibel’s shoreline that has been gradually disappearing over the past few decades.

“SCCF Coastal Watch volunteers spent several hours helping prepare these elements for installation. Hundreds of biodegradable sheets needed to be snapped together to form the completed structures. Volunteers also attached thousands of oyster shells to the structures to promote oyster attachment and growth. Volunteers handily completed this tedious task.

“On installation day, Dec. 20, the BESE structures were placed with rebar just off the shoreline along Woodring Road. With the assistance of 15 volunteers planting mangroves, hammering rebar, and transporting the material to the project site, the installation was completed in two hours. The newly installed temporary structures will allow a surface for oysters to start forming a reef and protect the mangroves from high wave action. The BESE structures are expected to last up to five years and leave behind an established oyster and mangrove habitat. If successful, this will be a positive alternative for future restoration projects.”

Florida. Grand Jury Recommends More Condo Inspections

Posted last weekend by Florida Realtors® and sourced to The Associated Press:

“A Grand Jury tasked with recommending Fla. condo law changes in the wake of the Surfside collapse wants more inspections, less corrosion and faster reporting.

“MIAMI (AP) – A Florida grand jury issued a lengthy list of recommendations Wednesday aimed at preventing another condominium collapse like the one that killed 98 people in June, including earlier and more frequent inspections, and better waterproofing.

“In its report on the Surfside collapse, the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury called on state and local officials to require condominium towers to have an initial recertification inspection by an engineer between 10 and 15 years after their construction and every 10 years thereafter. Currently, Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward County require inspections at 40 years. Other Florida counties have no requirement.

“Champlain Towers South, built in 1981, collapsed June 24 as its 40-year recertification was due. No cause of the collapse has been determined, but records show the building had significant structural damage in its underground parking garage. An engineer had already concluded that $15 million of repairs would be required to bring it up to code. Some of the damage at the oceanside building is believed to have come from saltwater in the air.

“The grand jury report laments that the state repealed a requirement imposed in 2008 requiring that all condo towers bigger than three stories be inspected every five years. The requirement was repealed two years after it was imposed because it was deemed too costly. “In hindsight, it would appear the Legislature’s repeal of that statute was a huge mistake!” the report says.

“Other recommendations include:

  • Requiring that condo towers be repainted and waterproofed every 10 years to prevent corrosion.
  • Having local governments increase the size of their building departments, including by hiring more inspectors.
  • Suspending for at least a year the licenses of engineers and architects who submit false or misleading recertification reports and barring their employers from doing such inspections for the same period. Requiring that a second offense result in a license revocation.
  • Requiring architects and engineers who find severe structural damage during an inspection to report it to local officials within 24 hours and not just to the condo board.
  • Requiring condo board owners to take courses on their role in overseeing building maintenance and effectively managing a building’s finances.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 17-24, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #1132 2/2 $799K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $875K, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 $1.099M, Pointe Santo #D37 2/2 $1.395M.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #210 2/2 now $1.5999M.

7 new sales: Duggers #1 1/1 listed at $475K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A101 2/2 listed at $665K, Donax Village #7 2/2 listed at $699K (our listing), Donax Village #9 2/2 listed at $750K, Sanibel Surfside #213 2/2 listed at $899K, Sealoft Village #109 2/2 listed at $899K (our listing), Tarpon Beach #106 2/2 listed at $1.095M.

2 closed sales: Donax Village #10 1 /2 $555.5K, Atrium #106 2/2 $1.71M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 543 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $3.5M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 644 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $869K, 3702 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $899K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 listed at $1.795M.

3 closed sales: 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $995K, 375 East Gulf Dr 5/5 $2.9M (our listing), 1320 Seaspray Ln 3/4.5 $3.765M.

Resort-like pool at 375 East Gulf Dr

LOTS

No new listings, price changes.

1 new sale: 860 Lindgren Blvd listed at $1.2M (our listing & sale).

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2635 3/3 $1.6M.

No price changes, new or closed.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

The team and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and safe/healthy 2022. Though the office will be closed tomorrow and New Year’s Day, we will be on our electronic devices and look forward to another successful year. We appreciate our readers and look forward to their business!

Happy holidays!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Post Thanksgiving Update from Sunny Sanibel Island

Susan here reporting that the island has had nice holiday weather with mostly blue skies since Wednesday. Though temperatures have dipped into the 50’s a couple of nights and are expected to do the same over the weekend, the mostly sunny daytime temperatures in the mid to high 70’s are delightful.

Christmas holiday decorations are starting to go up in a few locations. Islanders are excited to again experience more traditional local luminary festivities this year. Sanibel Luminary, always the first Friday evening in December, is next Friday Dec 3, followed by Captiva’s, the next evening, on the first Saturday or Dec 4. These celebrations are 5 to 9 p.m. when bike paths and roadways are lined with luminary candles and shops/businesses are open offering holiday cheer, special sales, and family events. Below are some upcoming special happenings on and around the islands:

Upcoming Events

Tween Waters 2021 Tree Lighting Celebration – is today, Friday, Nov 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. following the tree lighting at 4:30 p.m.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates 46th Annual “Holiday Nights” – celebration kicks off tonight, Nov 26 with tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Holidays Under the Stars”, incorporating elements of nature & the outdoors. Holiday Nights will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, but closed Christmas Day. Through Jan 2, guided Holiday Tradition Tours will be offered at 6 and 7 p.m. every night, or attendees may meander at their own pace on a self-guided tour. Guided Inside-the-Homes tours will be offered on Dec 1, 8, and 15 at 6:30 p.m. To view the complete schedule of events, visit http://www.Edison-Ford.org.

Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale – begins tomorrow, Saturday Nov 27, and runs through Sunday, Dec 19 (or until they run out). Located at the old gas station in Bailey’s Shopping Center, sales are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wed through Sun, offering fresh Michigan Frasier Fir trees, tree stands, & wreaths.

Pre-Luminary Open House at Sanibel Historical Village – featuring “Trees, Timelines, & Special Memories”, village admission is free from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec 3.

Luminary at Sanibel Community Church – Friday, Dec 3, Holly & Ivy Bazaar & Silent Auction from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the out-door events from 5 to 9 p.m. They include live nativity, music, petting zoo, kids snowball play area, Christmas carol sing-along, food, & fun.

Luminary at Jerry’s Center – Friday, Dec 3 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Their celebration includes photos with Santa, Girl Scouts serving hot dogs & soda, live music, wine & food tastings, & more.

Luminary at Olde Sanibel Shoppes – Friday, Dec 3 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Island Brass is playing at the Over Easy Café outdoor patio. Join their sing-along at 8.

Sentimental Journey by Captiva Historical Society – This salute to the WWI years on Captiva through imagery, narrative, & song is Tuesday, Dec 7 at 7 p.m. in the South Seas Island Resort ballroom. Complimentary tickets for WWII veterans & spouses, others $12/person through EventBrite.com.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Update

It is that time of the year when more listings pop on the market as owners return to get their properties ready for “season”. Some are selling quickly, others taking a little longer. The large ones, particularly on the beach, continue to move best.

The post-pandemic pent-up demand includes many buyers wanting not just a reprieve from winter weather, but a place where they can spend more time, often working remotely.

Below is an update with data from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of today, Nov 26. Unbelievable that there are just 58 properties for sale on Sanibel and 12 on Captiva when this quarter and next are usually when there are the most island sales.

Year-to-date on Sanibel, a whopping 656 properties have sold, 98 on Captiva. Another 75 on Sanibel are under contract, 14 on Captiva. It certainly is a year for the record books in many ways. Inventory today, sales this year, and comparisons to 2020 and 2005 (when there were the most sales) are shown.

Also, this week, The Blue Dolphin Cottages, a commercial property at 4227 West Gulf Dr closing was posted for $5,300,000.

If you are thinking of selling or buying, please contact us. Now more than ever, it is important to have a well-connected island Realtor® in your corner. This one celebrates her 30th year here in January. Time flies!

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 17 1,035,282 21 2,764,285 20 686,450 4 2,709,750 8 5,627,375 0 N/A
Under contract 29 1,006,408 39 1,686,769 7 530,982 7 732,000 7 4,062,571 0 N/A
Sold to 11/26/21 263 857,884 326 1,321,737 67 707,619 58 1,199,912 38 2,874,865 2 2,950,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Most Sold 2005 232 758,507 260 1,028,584 68 496,726 45 863,642 31 2,309,758 0 N/A

Next is all the island action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 19-26, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Donax Village #7 2/2 $699K (our listing).

Donax Village #7, 732 Donax St

4 price changes: Sandalfoot #5B1 1/1 now $768K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 now $1.095M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 now $1.459M, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 now $1.649M.

8 new sales: Donax Village #10 1/2 listed at $539K, Blind Pass #A202 2/2 listed at $629K, Donax Village #17 2/2 listed at $719K, Sanibel Inn #3421 2/2 listed at $899K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 listed at $1.095M, Compass Point #141 3/2 listed at $1.407M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 listed at $1,459M, Sedgemoor #205 3/4 listed at $4.295M.

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 $636K, Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 $817K; Pointe Santo #B36 2/2 $1,389,100; Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 $1.395M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9217 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $699K, 1356 Eagle Run Dr 5/5.5 $2.295M, 807 Limpet Dr 3/2 $2.295M.

1 price change: 1320 Seapray Ln 3/4.5 now $4.195M.

3 new sales: 6429 Pine Ave 3/2 listed at $869K, 1410 Sanderling Cir 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 listed at $2,999,999.

2 closed sales: 700 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $850K, 5298 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $985K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 223 Robinwood Cir $425K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $520K.

1 price change: 4767 Tradewinds Dr now $2.149M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5633 Baltusrol Ct $365K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 listed at $480K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $549K, Lands End Village #1663 2/2 $1.35M.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Counting Down to Labor Day at SanibelSusan Realty

Thanks to friends Doris & Hans for this photo of Roseate Spoonbills. Love that pink!

It has been seven quiet days on the islands with little affects noticed here when Hurricane Ida passed out in the Gulf last weekend. Now our thoughts are with those from Louisiana into New England that have been ravaged by that far-reaching storm.

Here the haze-causing Saharan dust still is noticeable when crossing the causeway. The news says it has caused some discomfort to those with allergies, but it has worked in keeping tropical storms away from SW FL. So far, 2021 has been a lucky one for us at least as far as hurricanes are concerned.

Our first “cold front” arrived yesterday. With heavy rain much of that day and again this morning, the daytime temperatures got down into the mid-70’s. High temperatures only the mid-80’s are expected for the next seven to ten days. Maybe fall is arriving early!

SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave and I have been covering the office this week. We had closings both Monday and Tuesday; then on Wednesday, Dave put his Estero listing under contract. Another of our Sanibel listings is scheduled to close after the holiday too. We like weeks like these, particularly in the off-season! The team and I continue to look for new listings as there still Is little inventory.

After a couple of news items below is the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. First, a summary of Sanibel and Captiva residential inventory today (Sep 3, 2021) with data from islands MLS. Though, September is usually the slowest month, it sure would be great for more properties to become available. We have buyers and colleagues do too!

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 15 905,793 23 2,926,654 16 587,875 3 1,496,666 12 5,827,249 0 N/A
Under contract 25 795,556 40 1,553,047 8 478,929 6 2,211,500 3 2,479,666 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 215 870,579 274 1,310,921 59 747,110 43 1,046,916 35 2,807,868 2 2,950,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500

Temporary Closings

As in past Septembers, several island restaurants are taking time off, some for vacations, some for deep-cleans and annual maintenance. Here are the ones we have heard about:

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place – closed Sep 7-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Blue Giraffe 2 at Beachview Estates – closed Sep 5-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Mad Hatter – closed Sep 6-30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – closed Sep 6-13, reopens Sep 14.
  • Rosie’s Café & Grill – closed Sep 6-13, reopens Sep 14.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Spoondrift Island Bowls – closed thru Sep 6, reopens Sep 7.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – closed Sep 5-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed Sep 4 thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.
  • Traditions on the Beach – closed Sep 5-23, reopens Sep 24.

CROW Visitor Education Center will be closed Sep 6 thru 10 for fall cleaning. They will reopen Sep 13 and are offering some new presentations. Tours are available Monday thru Friday at 11 a.m. with masks required. Each tour is limited to eight people (over the age of 13) and advance registration is required. More info at http://www.CROWClinic.org.

J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge – Wildlife Drive, Bailey Tract, and Tarpon Bay Explorers will be open on Labor Day, while the Visitor & Education Center, the Nature Store, and all administrative offices will be closed Monday. Reminder: The Visitor & Education Center and Refuge Nature Store currently are closed every Friday and Sunday because of staff shortages due to the pandemic. Wildlife Drive closes every Friday throughout the year. Restrooms remain open.

COVID-19 Update

Florida continues to report a record-number of COVID-19 cases. Locally, the Lee Health System is maxed out with a temporary suspension of elective hospital procedures that require an overnight stay. They also have temporary restrictions on hospital visitations. On a more positive note, Lee Health is making its Lee Telehealth service free until further notice. It connects patients with a physician or advanced provider and is available 24/7. The COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment offered locally also is beginning to show good results and is expected to keep the number of hospitalizations down.

According to Lee Health’s website, quarantine is recommended for those who have a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. During quarantine, you should stay home, away from other people, except for medical care or basic necessities. If you must take care of a family member, they also must quarantine. Quarantine lasts for 14 days – this allows enough time to develop an infection from exposure. Sometimes you may be requested to test during this time, BUT a negative test at any point does not end quarantine sooner,

Isolation is recommended for those who have a suspected COVID infection or receive a 1st positive test for COVID. You should stay away from people except for medical care or basic necessities. If a family member must take care of you, they will need to quarantine after you are well (or after their last exposure to you while you are on isolation.)  Isolation lasts for at least 10 days. These 10 days begin with your first symptom or positive test (if asymptomatic). This means if you become sick while on quarantine, your 10 days starts at that time – not at the beginning of the quarantine. If you improve and have no fever at the end of the 10 days, isolation may stop. Repeat testing is not recommended.

Here is their COVID-19 update from yesterday, Sept 2, 2021:

“As of today, Lee Health has:

– 596 COVID-19 patients isolated in our hospitals (inpatient).

– Of these patients, 12 of them are children being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

– Yesterday, we had 60 new COVID-19 hospital admissions and 64 COVID-19 discharges.

– 50% of our ventilators and 3% of our ICU rooms are available for use. We have 86 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 113 in the intensive care unit.

– This morning, census was at 101% of staffed operational bed capacity.

“OTHER UPDATES:

“For just the second time in the last month, Lee Health has discharged more COVID-19 patients than we’ve admitted over the last 24 hours, and this is the fewest number of COVID-19 patients we are treating since August 20. We hope that this slight downturn will accelerate and continue over the next few weeks.

“While this is promising, we are still not out of the woods. Lee Health hospitals are still at capacity, and we are seeing more patients than ever. This is why it remains as important as ever to get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Widespread vaccination in our community can help prevent another surge like the one we are currently experiencing, especially as we move closer to our seasonal months.

“Lee Health offers COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 12 and older at its walk-in Community Vaccination Clinic, located inside Gulf Coast Medical Center. It’s open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and there is no cost for the vaccine.”

Nearly 1000 People Moving to Florida Every Day

A Fox 4 post by Cindy Preszler this week says: “We never have to deal with ice or snow. Extreme cold is foreign to us. This is SWFL. The weather is one of the reasons so many people are moving to our state, there are other reasons too but you just can’t beat this stuff.

“The latest stats from snntv.com indicate that nearly 1000 people move here every day and many are coming from northern states like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. According to move.org, Florida was the most moved to state in 2020.

“And why not? Chick out the weather/climate stats for Fort Myers. The average annual high is 85, and the low is 65… not too hot, not too cool.

“July and August are the hottest months with an average high of 92… it’s rare to see temps in the upper 90’s. Ad when most folks are shivering in January, highs are typically in the 70’s down here.

“Our wettest month is August with almost ten and a half inches on average. But in February and November… oh it’s so beautiful… not even two inches typically falls.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 27-September 3, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Breakers West #C2 2/2 $749K, Breakers West #C4 2/2 $749K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Blind Pass #C110 2/2 listed at $539K, Sundial #C308 1/1 listed at $575K.

View from Gulf Beach #106

6 closed sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 $500K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $620K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 $685K,  Gulf Beach #106 2/2 $893K (our listing), Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #D202 3/2 $1.7M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.025M, 5880 San-Cap Rd 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 2480 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.9645M.

2 price changes: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 now $2.99M, 1146 Golden Olive 5/4 now $2,999,999.

2 new sales: 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $1.799M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 listed at $4.295M

3 closed sales: 1702 Bunting Ln 4/3 $749.5K, 565 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $899K, 2367 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.85M (our sale).

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Raindrops Are Just Part of Living in Paradise!

Susan here from soggy Sanibel Island. The rainy season has arrived, vegetation is greening up, and when the periodic showers sprinkle the island, the shopping centers and restaurants are busy with beach and boat-loving vacationers looking for other things to do. The showers really are only occasional and in-between, it often is sunny and tropical. There are a few visitor grumblings about the clouds, no-see-ums, and humidity, but we locals appreciate when showers keep daytime temperatures down into the 80’s. Similar weather is expected next week.

Here in the office our new Gulfside Place listing sold in record time at a record price. Now we are hustling to find a single-family home for these clients. As of this afternoon, there are just 28 for sale on Sanibel, compared to 270 already sold this year.

Yesterday, in chatting with David Wright, Sr VP and head of lending at The Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, we shared experiences in this new world of real estate. He said the bank is already $100 million ahead of 2019, which also was a good year. We both wondered what will happen when inventory is gone, but we both expect that real estate, particularly in SW Florida, will continue to boom. We all know that it is more than just nice weather on Sanibel and Captiva!

Annual Sam Bailey’s Islands Night Is Back in the Ballpark

The following update was posted on-line Wed by The Santiva Chronicle: “The highly anticipated Sam Bailey’s Annual Islands Night is back in the ballpark for the 27th year after a season off the diamond. “Sam Bailey’s Islands Night is one of the greatest traditions our franchise has,” Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Director Chris Peters said. “This night has a very special place with us. Islands Night is always greatly anticipated by everyone in the Mussels family.”

“Since its establishment, the Annual Islands Night serves as a day for businesses and individuals to celebrate Sanibel and Captiva. The event was originally scheduled for June 16, but was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday, June 30 at Hammond Stadium with a game between the Lakeland Flying Tigers and the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Its comeback will follow suit of prior years with the exception of the parade which will not be taking place. There are COVID protocols in place at the field preventing it from happening, but is expected to return in future years, Peters said. The parade usually showcases floats designed by the vendors. Although the parade is benched for the season, attendees can expect the activities they have enjoyed previously. In between innings there will be a shoe scramble, a dance off, a t-shirt toss, and more.

“Attendees can also enjoy $1 hot dogs, cold beverages, but most importantly an entertaining night. “It’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot of energy,” Peters said. “It’s just the atmosphere, you have to experience it, it’s hard to kind of put in the words.” It’s a night to sit back and enjoy a ballgame while also contributing to the community.

“Established years ago by Sam Bailey, it has since evolved and now sponsorships contribute to scholarships for island students, Sponsor Calli Johnson explained. The money raised at the event goes into the Sam Bailey Scholarship Fund which helps islanders continue their education. Interested applicants can apply by contacting Kiwanis, Johnson said.

“As it has grown, it has forged its spot as tradition in the community, staying strong 27 years later. “This event is an important community gathering where islanders can enjoy each other after the traditional end of the business season and the start of summer,” Johnson said. “The spirit of Sam and Francis Bailey certainly lend to the sense of community that keeps the event alive.” Peters and the Mighty Mussels in particular, enjoy playing a part in the ongoing tradition. “It’s as rewarding as anything seeing people have smiles on their faces,” Peters said. “Just coming out to the ballpark. That’s what the reward is for us to see in people having fun at our ballpark.”

In previous years, the event has held 2,000 to 3,000 attendees, now it is time to see what this year holds. Masks are encouraged but will not be required at the event.”

Tickets are free and available throughout the island including at Bailey’s General Store.

Responding to Offers

With many island buyers and sellers coming from states other than Florida, where their real estate practices may be different, it is important for those involved in Florida transactions to know how it works here. The below question and answer were posted in the June 2021 “Florida Realtor” magazine under the “Talk to An Attorney” section:

“COMMISSIONS

I have a listing that was only on the market a couple of days when three offers came in from three buyers. The seller accepted one of the offers. Now, the broker who represented the buyer whose offer arrived first claims my seller had an obligation to negotiate with his buyer because his offer was presented to the seller first. Is this true?

No. there is no Florida law that would require the seller to respond to any offer. Additionally, there is no Florida law that requires the seller to negotiate with each buyer in the order in which the offers were received. Therefore, it’s ultimately up to the seller how to negotiate with each of these three buyers. In this case, the seller opted to simply accept one of the three offers without giving the other two a chance to amend their offers.”

Florida Realtors® Clean Up Florida Waters

For the entire month of July, thousands of Florida Realtors® and community partners are coming together to clean up our lakes, rivers, streams, retention ponds, bays, intracoastal waterway, gulf and ocean. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® will join in the cleanup on Wed, July 14, at 6 p.m. on the causeway (Span B). Gloves and trash bags provided. Come to work and enjoy sunset too!

7 Winning Tips for Buyers

It’s true, even Realtors® in the business for decades like us are shaking their heads at some of the sales occurring these days. Here are some buyer tips from the June 2021 issue of “Florida Realtor®””

  1. “Encourage your agent to reach out to the listing agent to find out what the seller is looking for, such as quick close, an above asking-price offer or a waived contingency. This will help you and your agent craft a competitive offer.
  2. Make a cash offer. If you’re not in a position to pay cash, get preapproved for a mortgage and have your preapproval letter in hand.
  3. Pay attention to the listing agent’s request. Many times, they will have you submit your highest and best offer. Ask your agent for some strategies on handling this type of offer.
  4. Consider waiving contingencies if you are financing, check with your lender.
  5. Figure out where you can be flexible. You’ll need to move quickly, so know your must-haves versus your nice-to-haves before you start our search.
  6. Don’t get emotional. Trust your agent to walk you through each step in the buying process.
  7. Be available. Respond to inquiries quickly and ask your real estate agent to check in regularly with the listing agent to monitor the seller’s progress.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 18-25, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 $735K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 listed at $799K, Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 listed at $919,999, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 listed at $1.995M (our listing).

14 closed sales: Sundial #F106 1/1 $435K, Spanish Cay #D6 2/2 $549K, Blind Pass #E104 2/2 $549.9K, Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 $570K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $571.5K, Sanibel Arms West #I8 2/2 $624K, Island Beach Club #330A 2/2 $730K, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 $800K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 $875K, Gulfside Place #107 2/2 $1.2M, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 $1.225M, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.3M, Gulfside Place #320 2/2 $1.349M, Sanddollar #C103 3/2 $1.4M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex $599.9K, 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $899K, 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $1.049M, 4020 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.795M.

2 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $865K, 633 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 now $1.235M.

7 new sales: 565 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 listed at $979.9K, 915 Palm St 3/2 listed at $995K, 5300 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $1.19M, 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.55M, 718 Gopher Walk 4/3 listed at $1.599M, 852 Birdie View Pt 4/3 listed at $1.699M.

10 closed sales: 5859 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 $755K, 555 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $765K, 1550 Center St 3/2 $768K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $1.01M, 604 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $1.022M, 2755 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.038M, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.648M, Plantation Village #103 4/3 $1.875M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 $3.3M, 1020 Bayview Dr 5/5.5 $4.5M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5398 Osprey Ct listed at $299K.

2 closed sales: 2299 Starfish Ln $554K, 461 Sawgrass Pl $675K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Cottages #1423 2/2 $1.16M, Lands End #1635 2/2 $1.434M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $3.595M, 952 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/4.5 $4.349M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 $1.875M, 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.36M.

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, enjoy your week!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan