Just Another Happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that it is great to be back from Orlando to the warmth of Sanibel and Captiva Islands. How spoiled one becomes, especially in the winter, living in this tropical paradise. Like in past years, the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings ended with an uptick in real estate action at home.

With the arrival of February visitors this weekend, there is expected to be a big turnover tomorrow of not just vacation condos but also Sanibel seasonal-rental homes. Rental managers and hotels report few, if any vacancies, next month, so we also expect busy weeks ahead. A report of all that happened this week in the islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Lee County County Commissioner Approve Funding for Santiva Beach Erosion Project

At its January 21 Lee County Board of County Commissioners meeting, following recommendation from the Lee County Tourist Development Council, commissioners voted to approve funds for the entire cost of Sanibel’s emergency shore protection project along the north end of Sanibel-Captiva Road. The nearly $1.4 million funding request will use money from Tourist Development Tax reserve funds to protect against continued erosion south of Blind Pass in a critical erosion area.

Temporary protective measures were approved by Sanibel City Council in December and already are in place and working. This new permanent project went out for bid in early January, with this work expected to begin in early March and be completed by the start of turtle nesting season, May 1.

Two Florida Destinations Were Named on the 50 Most Beautiful Places in The World List

Posted on January 28 on www.OnlyInYourState.com in an article by Marisa Roman:

“Florida sure does have some breathtaking natural beauty. While it’s true that many visitors to Florida come for the magic of Orlando, or the sunny beaches of Miami, there are a few other hidden pockets of beauty that are a must-see. Recently, U.S. News Travel revealed their list of the 50 Most Beautiful Places In The World, and it’s no surprise that Florida has not one, but TWO islands that made the cut.

“According to U.S. News Travel, both Sanibel Island and Captiva Island made the list as two of the 50 most beautiful places in the world, and we couldn’t agree more. The two stunning islands are right off the coast of Florida but taking a trip to these gems can end up being the perfect tropical vacation.

“Together, Sanibel and Captiva have around 15 miles of stunning sandy beaches, plus there are no stoplights which makes any visit feel more like a secluded paradise. There are so many different ways to enjoy these islands, from collecting seashells to snorkeling to walking the shoreline with family. Sanibel Island is known for having the best seashell beach in America, with a variety of seashells in all different shapes, sizes, and color.

While Captiva has been known to have some crisp, clear views of the Milky Way from time-to-time.

“While the two islands in Florida may look like they are one giant area, each island has its own set of restaurants, beaches, and activities to partake in. But regardless of which island you choose to visit, you are likely going to get stunning sunsets and tropical vibes no matter what. Visit Sanibel Island & Captiva Island in Florida and see for yourself why they made the list for most beautiful places in the world.

“Have you ever been to either of these islands in Florida before? Share with us your experience in the comments section! Or if you’re looking for more reason as to why Sanibel Island is an absolute must-visit, then check out why it’s the best place in America to hunt for seashells.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service

Though attendance was average at the Association’s weekly caravan meeting yesterday, only a few new sales were announced. Earlier in the week, our MLS Director posted the below graphics of the islands’ 4th quarter 2019 sales statistics.

Island inventory today is plentiful. On Sanibel, there are more condos for sale than sold last year and about a year’s worth of home inventory. Though build-out is looming, there are 75 residential lots for sale on Sanibel, compared to 15 sales last year.

On Captiva, 40 condos, 43 homes, and 5 lots are for sale. Those numbers compare to 29 condos, 17 homes, and just 1 lot sold in all of 2019.

So, for prudent buyers there are plenty of choices. Our hope is that election year politics and water quality worries don’t prevent winter prospects from purchasing. Today, the water remains beautiful with no red tide reported anywhere in Florida. (Photo below taken yesterday (January 30, 2020) by Jim Szabo with SanCap Aerial Photography.)

Some ‘Luxury’ Home Features Becoming ‘Standard’

Posted this week on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“Builders say some the home elements that were considered upgrades only a few years ago are a standard element of most new home construction today – items such as laundry rooms, walk-in master closets and low-emissivity (low-e) windows.

“LAS VEGAS – First-time and repeat buyers say they’d rather have a smaller home with high-quality amenities than a bigger property with fewer such features, according to a survey the National Association of Home Builders released during the International Builders’ Show last week in Las Vegas.

“NAHB’s report, titled “What Home Buyers Really Want,” identified the following features as being most desired by both segments of buyers.

  • Laundry rooms
  • Energy Star–rated windows
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Walk-in pantries
  • Patios
  • Ceiling fans
  • Kitchen double sink

“Builders report that designers are including flexible spaces that add greater functionality to laundry rooms. They’re also creating more outdoor spaces to seamlessly integrate indoor and outdoor living. The survey also uncovered the most likely features that single-family homebuilders say is becoming standard in most new homes built today, including

  • walk-in master closets
  • low-emissivity (low-e) window
  • laundry rooms

“Builders say they’re also more likely to add energy efficient features, such as lighting, programmable thermostats and Energy Star-rated appliances.

“The open design concept, along with great rooms and 9-plus-foot ceilings on the first floor, is also becoming common in newly built homes, the survey finds.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 24-31, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 $548.5K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 $549K, Sanibel Arms West #B4 2/2 $559K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $645K, Pointe Santo #C2 2/2 $765K, Gulfside Place #214 2/2 $1.32M, High Tide #B302 3/2 $2.495M.

7 price changes: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 now $379K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 now $548.5K, Loggerhead Cay #324 2/2 now $569K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $570K, Compass Point #222 2/2 now $669K, Island Beach Club #220B 2/2 now $700K, Sundial #K402 2/2 now $1.1699M.

4 new sales: Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 listed at $539K (our buyer), Lighthouse Point #114 3/2 listed at $679K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 listed at $1.175M, La Playa #B1 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #C204 1/1 $460K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 $683K.

HOMES

9 new listings: 499 Peachtree Rd 2/2 $474K, 970 Palm St 3/2 $569K, 500 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $759.9K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $799K, 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $999K, 9019 Mockingbird Dr 4/4 $1.325M, 3851 Coquina Dr 3/2.5 $1.389M, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.395M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.195M.

13 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $419K, 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 now $549K, 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $564K, 743 Windlass Way 3/2 now $599K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $599K, 1717 Sand Pebble way 3/2 now $619K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $732.5K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 now $799K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $849.5K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $975K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $997.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $1.995M (our listing), 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 now $2.749M.

Mama & baby dolphin in the canal at 842 Limpet Dr

8 new sales: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 listed at $498K, 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 listed at $639K, 5672 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $715K, 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 listed at $799.9K, 1056 S.Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 911 S.Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.199M, 3757 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $6.499M.

2 closed sales: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $469K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9042 Mockingbird Dr $395K.

1 price change: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $148K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2510 Coconut Dr $668,666.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Tennis Villas #3119 1/1 now $294K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.184M, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.995M.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 listed at $1.245M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $630K.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $998K, 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.189M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.988M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, may your Superbowl favorite be a winner, & your February bright!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo, Tonight Is Sanibel Luminary


It is another happy Friday with holiday news from SanibelSusan. Tonight, being Sanibel Luminary, the island already is sparkling with lights and trimmings. With daytime temperatures this week in the 60’s and 70’s, perhaps it will be cool enough tonight to wear Christmas sweaters. It is always fun to see the luminary trail filled with folks in those, and shorts with flip flops. The luminary trail will be lit from 5:30 to 9 p.m., from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other.

Midweek, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, at Sanibel’s Community Park, we watched as City employees finalized decorations on the bike path there. The display begins with an archway at the playground entrance next to the Community House. Guarded by a nutcracker soldier, the delightful display continues through a tunnel of lights, ending with a “photo op” banner and bench which will be staffed tonight by City lifeguards and Recreation Department staff.

When I told the team that I thought they were installing life-size mechanical snowmen, teammates Dave and Elise corrected me saying these snowmen had faces and were really bending over and moving. Then, later when City Manager Judie Zimomra posted on social media about this upcoming photo op event and I shared my snowman story, she also corrected me – saying they really are snow-women.

Yesterday afternoon the display expanded when an igloo appeared – made by teens in the City’s Rec Center after school program – and using empty water jugs. According to a City post, it contains 422 1-gallon plastic jugs, 24 half-gallon jugs. It took a month to collect the jugs and about 18 hours to construct with 285 glue sticks. It’s 5’2” high and weights just over 42 pounds. Thanks to our City Manager for sharing her photos!

If you are in the neighborhood tonight, stop in and get your picture taken with the igloo which is framed by two blow-up snowmen. It and the live Sanibel snow-gals will be at the bench at the tunnel’s end until 9 p.m.

Looking for other holiday festivities? Info about a few more posted below, followed by some other island news and our weekly reports of the action with our listings and as posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Holiday Festivities, Shopping, & Helpers

  • 35th Annual Sanibel Holiday Luminary Stroll – From one end of Periwinkle to the other, tonight until 9 p.m. At 6 p.m. SanibelSusan and other BIG ARTS Chorus pals will be singing Christmas carols inside Bailey’s General Store. Come and join us! Sanibel Luminary Update from the City’s website: (mySanibel.com): This year there will be designated “Walk Your Bike” zones in the traditionally high traffic portions of the Shared Use Path.  ALL path users, pedestrians and cyclists, are reminded that all users should wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a light such as a flashlight at Luminary.  Please use caution and common sense at the event, including only crossing the road at designated crosswalks and carefully following all instructions of on-site law enforcement. The Sanibel Chief of Police reminds all cyclists that Florida’s bicycle law requires any bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500’ to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600’ to the rear.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Lions Christmas Tree Salenext to Island Cinema at the Bailey’s Center, Wed through Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., selling Michigan Fraser firs from 5’-10’, wreaths, & stands.
  • 10th Annual Golf Cart Parade Followed by 35th Annual Captiva Holiday Luminary Stroll – tomorrow, Saturday, 12/7. Golf cart parade beginning at 2 p.m. near the entrance of South Seas Island Resort. Judging at 2:30 p.m., then parade begins at 3:30 p.m., followed by luminary from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
  • South Seas Holiday Stroll – at the resort’s Yacht Harbour Marina & north end, Fri & Sat nights, 12/6 & 7, 12/13 & 14, 12/20 & 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring “ice” skating, entertainment, arts & crafts, treats, & more. Complimentary to resort guests, public entry with $10 donation to benefit Captains for Clean Water, children under 12 free. More info at SouthSeas.com
  • BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert – Tues, 12/10 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church as the new BIG ARTS performance hall is under construction. Tickets ($12, with children under 12 free) at the door or on-line at BIGARTS.org.
  • Art Under the Stars – Thur, 12/12 from 5 p.m. a collaboration between Hirdie-Girdie Gallery (2490 Library Way), Tower Gallery (751 Tarpon Bay Rd) & Suncatcher’s Dream (630 Tarpon Bay Rd, #2)
  • Captiva’s First Ever Blues on the Beach – Sat, 12/14 at 15951 Captiva Dr from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets on-line ($15) at Tween-Waters.com/shop or at the door ($20).
  • Friends Who CareRemember last month when island Realtors® collected toys and gift cards at their annual “Fall Into Christmas” event? These donations go to Friends Who Care who coordinates the annual Santa Run which delivers the gifts to needy island children and seniors on Dec 23. If you are available to help sort and wrap the many donations, sorting day is at The Community House on Wed 12/18 at 2 p.m., followed by wrapping on Thu 12/19 at 9 a.m. Adult volunteers are needed, please bring your own scissors on wrapping day.

Real Estate Happenings

Usually the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy with holiday preparations, but it also can be a good time for real estate. Just ten new listings were open for Realtor® Caravan yesterday morning, but Dave and Lisa were both out showing Captiva property yesterday afternoon and I have a full line-up of Sanibel homes and condos to show on Saturday. I always remind myself about the time I sold a house on Christmas Day. Sometimes the hype of the season helps spark the sale.

Sanibel Scoop

  • New Location for Center-4-Life – At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel City Council voted to purchase the commercial property at 2475 Library Way (currently Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank). It will be the future home of the City’s new Center-4-Life facility. More and updated space is needed for the expanded Island Seniors membership, programs, and activities. The sale is expected to finalize before the end of the year.
  • SCCF & Sanibel Sea School Join Forces – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Sanibel Sea School will begin 2020 as a united force to better conserve the coastal ecosystems. As announced this week, starting January 1, the Sanibel Sea School will become SCCF’s education department. The two organizations will become a single nonprofit with Dr. Bruce Neill of the Sea School becoming SCCF’s director of education. SCCF currently is renovating its former Nature Center on Sanibel-Captiva Rd into an education hub with an auditorium that will feature presentations and displays on SCCF’s varied programs. Coastal Watch, an island-based advocacy arm of the Sanibel Sea School, also will become part of SCCF. Dr Neill summed it up nicely, saying, “We can best support nature and serve our community with a single unified voice, broadcast across multiple wavelengths, to promote nature resources conservation.”

Changes at Island Eats

  • Cielo – was remodeled and renamed this summer (formerly Il Cielo). It reopened this week at 1244 Periwinkle Way with a new bar room featuring small plates and exotic drinks. More info at https://cielo-sanibel.com .
  • Sanibel Chocolate Shop & Patisserie – in the former location of Pinocchio’s at 362 Periwinkle Way, open daily 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving artisan sandwiches & fresh baked pastries, muffins, crumb cake, croissants, and quiche. Also, Norman Love confections and homemade ice cream.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 29-December 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #311 2/2 $599K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 $649K, Lighthouse Point #114 3/2 $679K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $995K, Sunward of Sanibel #201 3/2 $1.35M.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $585K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $679K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $609,906.

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-1 2/2.5 listed at $754.5K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #H307 1/1 $412.5K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 $489K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.425M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 half-duplex $499K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $665K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 3/3 $729K, 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $879K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 $949K, 2569 Coconut Dr 3/2 $989K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $995K.

10 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $491.5K; 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 now $575K; 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $589,995; 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $595K; 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $699K; 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $745K; 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $799K; 5835 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $844.5K; 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 now $875K; 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $879K.

5 new sale: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 listed at $475K; 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed at $519K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $729K; 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $719,007; 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $799K

1 closed sale: 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2002 Wild Lime Dr $319K; 0 Dixie Beach Blvd $525,555; 6419 Pine Ave $889K.

2 price changes: 2279 Wulfert Rd now $318K, 3945 West Gulf Dr now $3.495M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 898 Rabbit Rd $160K (our listing & sale).

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3137 2/2 $474K, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.245M.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $505K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.285M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

4 price changes: 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.3M, 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $1.995M, 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 now $2.6M, 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $4.595M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 11525 Murmound Ln now $795K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 13470 Palmflower Ln $1.375M.

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, may your holiday festivities also be fun!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Another Sunny Friday at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s another happy Friday, time for SanibelSusan’s weekly island report. After an overcast chilly weekend, those who complained that summer weather dragged on too long this year, were suddenly surprised with a day that didn’t get out of the 60’s (that was Sunday). Thankfully, the sun came out Monday morning as it warmed up to 71. Daytime temperatures stayed in the 70’s much of the week, which is below the islands’ November average which is 80 degrees F. Temperatures are expected to be back to the norm next week for the holiday, with Thanksgiving Day currently forecast to be a sunny 82 degrees F.

When the sun is out, the roads and bike paths continue to fill up with visitors. For those asking about upcoming holiday events and where they can get their Thanksgiving dinner, below is that info, followed by a couple of news items and a report of the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

The SanibelSusan Team wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Business is good. We are thankful for that and also ready for anyone looking for real estate here next week. The only day the office is officially closed is Thursday.

Upcoming Events

  • 18th Annual Community Thanksgiving Celebration – Sunday, Nov 24 at 6:30 p.m. at The Community House, with island-wide representation. Open to all, with food and monetary donations to benefit. F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva. Program participants will include representatives from local churches, City government, and BIG ARTS Community Chorus singers. See you there!
  • ‘Tween Waters Annual Tree Lighting Celebration – next Friday, Nov 29, from noon until 8 p.m.

Where On-Island to Dine or Get Fixin’s on Thanksgiving Day

The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce posts a list of establishments that are open and closed on Thanksgiving Day. Rather than provide the long list including those closed, below is their list abbreviated with just those open on Thanksgiving.

BUSINESS OPEN/CLOSED COMMENTS PHONE
Bailey’s General Store 7 am -12 pm (239) 472 1516
Bleu Rendez Vous French Bistro 5 – 8 pm Reservations only (239) 565 1608
Bubble Room 11:30 am – 3 pm

& 4:30 pm – 8 pm

Recommend Reservations (239) 472 5558
Captiva House 12 – 8 pm Buffet, reservations only (239) 472 5161 (#4)
Crow’s Nest 4 – 8 pm (239) 472 5161 (#4)
Dairy Queen 11 am – 8 pm (239) 472 1170
Dante’s Pizza 5 – 10 pm (239) 558 4429
Doc Ford’s – Captiva 11 am -10 pm (239) 312 4275
George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille 5 – 10 pm (239) 395 1263
Geppetto’s 8 am -10 pm (239) 472 6566
Gramma Dot’s 11:15 am – 8 pm (239) 472 8138
Huxter’s Market & Deli 6:30 am – 10 pm (239) 472 6988
Island Cow 7 am – 8 pm (239) 472 0606
Jerry’s Food Store 6 am – 3 pm (239) 472 9300
Jerry’s Restaurant 6 am – 12 pm (239) 472 9300
Keylime Bistro 8 am – 10 pm (239) 395 4000
Lighthouse Cafe 7 am – 2 pm (239) 472 0303
Normandie (West Wind Inn) 8 am – 2:30 pm &

4:30 pm – 7 pm

(239) 472 1541
Pecking Order Order pick up til noon (239) 472 2534
Pinocchio’s Ice Cream 8 am – 10 pm (239) 472 6566
RC Otter’s 8 am – 6 pm (239) 395 1142
Sand Dollar 8 – 11 am & 5 – 10 pm Buffet 8-11, Dinner 5-10 (239) 395 4101
Sanibel Cafe 7 am – 2 pm (239) 472 5323
Sanibel Grill 4 – 10 pm (239) 472 3128
Schnapper’s 11 am – 4 pm (239) 472 8686
Sea Breeze Cafe 7 – 11 am (239) 395 6017
Sunshine Seafood Cafe 4 – 9 pm (239) 472 6200
Thistle Lodge 11 am – 7 pm Buffet, Reservations (239) 472 9200
Timbers 4 – 8 pm (239) 472 3128
Traditions (Island Inn) 4 – 9 pm (239) 472 4559

 

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® November Membership Meeting

At the local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, breakfast sponsor, J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, Executive Director Birgie Miller told us about the recent National Fish and Wildlife Foundation award of a $5.309-million grant to the Refuge for restoring their newly-acquired 68-acre Wulfert Bayous area. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge partnered with them for a grant from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to restore bird population affected by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Grant monies will enhance this wetland habitat for roosting and nesting birds to attract species impacted by the spill, including roseate spoonbills, white ibises, brown pelicans, wood storks, and many egret/heron species.

Event speaker was Phillip G. Flood, Jr, Principal Regional Representative at the South Florida Water Management District. He updated us on the many water restoration projects underway in an area known as one of the world’s largest water management systems. It spans 16 counties, 18,000 square miles, with 8.1 million residents, 2,100 miles of canals, 2,100 miles of levees and berms, 600 water control structures, 625 project culverts, 70 pump stations, and 3,500 hydrological monitoring stations. With 23 multi-year projects underway, it may be several years before significant results are noticed here. The C-43 storage reservoir project is one of the projects closest to the islands. It is spread over 10,500 acres and divided into two reservoir cells and two pump stations. Though he complimented Sanibel for being proactive with its efforts to prevent pollution and overdevelopment, he acknowledged that the rest of the state needs to follow suit.

During the Caravan announcement segment of the meeting, only a handful of new sales and price reductions were mentioned. It’s the time of the year when the norm is more new listings. Our new listing at Lighthouse Point #211 was open for the Open House caravan that followed. (Some Lighthouse Point photos below.)

Gene’s Books

A couple of years ago, when Gene, from Gene’s Books was looking for a spot for a second store, it was teammate Dave that helped make it happen. Now both of Gene’s stores are open, the original at 2365 Periwinkle opposite Palm Ridge Rd and the new one, up and across the street at 2422 Periwinkle Way (formerly a shell shop). Book aficionados love Gene and his stores. Many a client has said, “if you need a book, Gene will find it.” Nice to see him recognized in the below article posted last week, Nov 13, 2019, at “Forbes” on-line by Travel Contributor Wendy Altschuler:

“Here Are The Best Bookshops In America For Bibliophiles – If you’ve ever lost track of the sunlight, because you were fused to a cushioned chair with a titillating title in your hand, then raise your proverbial glass in the air and celebrate the hospitable bookshop that allowed you to read for hours on end, uninterrupted. Spending time in bookstores is especially easy when the environment is welcoming, and the space is unique. Take one step inside Shakespeare and Company in Paris, Livaria Lello in Portugal, or Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice to understand the sentiment.

“America also has some pretty impressive bookstores, guilty of housing bookish fugitives. Read on to discover the most unique havens for bibliophiles because, after all, isn’t holding the binding of an actual book, where you can smell the pages and let the hardcover rest on your chest when you pause to ponder, better than the digital alternative?

            “Chicago: Women and Children First – Feminist bookstores in America are few and far between and Chicago’s Women and Children First is one of the largest feminist bookstores around, housing more than 30,000 titles by and about women. Visiting authors, book groups, and story time for children events have made this bookseller a staple in the Andersonville neighborhood.

            “Seattle: Secret Garden Books – It’s not easy to keep an independent bookstore up and running, especially with heavy competition online, however there are a number of booksellers that have managed to thrive for many years in The Emerald City. University Book Store, Eagle Harbor Book Co., and Island Books are community stalwarts. Secret Garden Books is also a standout because for over forty years, they have been dedicated to promoting literacy for children. After all, getting younger generations to develop a love of reading contributes to the success of an independent bookstore, decade after decade

Denver: Tattered Cover Book Store –Tattered Cover has been around since 1971 and even though it’s a relatively large independent book store, it still maintains that cozy lose-yourself-in-a-chair feel that bookworms crave. Chances are, if you have a favorite author on a book tour, you’ll be able to get your book signed and hear them read here. You can relish the experience at four different locations, including one inside of Union Station, and if you must go online, check out their Indie Next List for new titles.

San Francisco: City Lights Booksellers and Publishers – San Francisco is such a lovely walkable city, full of sensory delights, and a trip to City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, a landmark located on the edge of China Town, will not disappoint book lovers. Political and poetry books have long been the bread and butter of City Lights and the publishing arm still produces titles to this day. Beatniks, free thinkers, and artists were the clientele of the 50’s and it would appear that little has changed even to this day. City Lights co-founder and poet, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who turned 100 in March 2019, made headlines for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems in 1956, which was part of an obscenity trial. He faced jail time and a fine in order to endorse free speech. This bookshop is all about creating an indelible space for open minded readers, thinkers, and speakers.

            “Gene’s Books, Florida – There’s something about seeing stacks of books everywhere, lining the walls, topping each surface, stored in every nook and cranny, that creates a lived-in feel. Gene’s Books on Periwinkle Way in Sanibel, Florida, is such a place. The popularity of this gem has created a need for expansion—there’s a second building across the street. Both locations have a large selection of Florida-specific titles and visitors can often get discounts or receive free books.

“Visiting independent bookstores, anywhere across America, gives us the opportunity to learn about diverse communities and local vibes. Ask the bookseller for a recommendation, kick up your feet on a lounger—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand, and stay awhile. A book purchased and enjoyed from a special destination is one of the best mementos you can have.”

Florida’s Sunshine & Tax Benefits Beckon Billionaires

Article from the 11/11/19 “Wall Street Journal”: “While the president is the most famous rich person moving to Fla., he’s not alone. But it’s too soon to determine the impact of tax migrations on states’ budgets.

“NEW YORK – In addition to President Donald Trump, a number of high-profile financiers have ditched northeastern states for Florida’s warmer climate and lower taxes. David Tepper, Paul Tudor Jones and Barry Sternlicht are among prominent transplants who pulled up roots in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut and headed for the Sunshine State – and Carl Icahn says he’s moving his company from New York to Miami next year.

“The exodus of billionaires can put a damper on their previous states’ budgets, though New Jersey and Connecticut tax officials said it is too early for state revenue data to show whether the 2017 tax law imposing a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions has caused high earners to flee.

“The most recent tax data available covers 2017, and the SALT cap went into effect in 2018. Both Connecticut and New York have been losing residents; Connecticut’s population of 3.57 million in 2018 was down 22,000 since its last peak in 2013, according to Census figures, and New York’s population slipped to 19.54 million in 2018, a loss of about 119,000 from its last peak in 2015.

“Some of the reasons ultra-wealthy individuals give as reasons for moving to Florida include the 2017 tax law change, the high costs in New York compared with the greater purchasing power of a dollar in the Sunshine State, and the warmer weather. For many, it’s not a completely new beginning. Many of the transplants already owned vacation homes in Florida.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 5 – 22, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2F 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 $689K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $729K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 $914.5K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.195M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $385K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $579K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $734K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $849K.

3 new sales: Kimball Lodge #223 1/1.5 listed at $395K, Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 listed at $511K, Kings Crown #213 2/2 $799K.

3 closed sales: Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $650K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $720K, Pointe Santo #A46 2/2 $1.05M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $695K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $785K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/3.5 $949.5K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 $1.189M, 911 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.195M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 4/3.5 $1.299M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 $1.595M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $2.1M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $2.99M.

8 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $509K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 now $775K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 now $888.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $995K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $995K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.035M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.335M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.75M.

5 new sales: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 listed at $595K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $615K, 9440 Cotten Ct 3/2 listed at $650K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $975K.

6 closed sales: 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 $625K, 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 $650K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $675K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $777.5K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 $855K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 $1.25M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $229K, 667 Birdie View Pt $339K, 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.695M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 $915K.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 now $375K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 now $1.199M.

1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D listed at $900K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 $3.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed at $2.99M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your Thanksgiving! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

September Weather Arrives on the Islands


It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!

 

 

 

Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website www.IslandWater.com under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at http://www.sccf.org/preserves. SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at http://www.ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at www.USTA.com using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to BuyLocalLee.com
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at www.MySanibel.com. The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map

END”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)

HOMES

2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

If School Begins Monday, Is Summer Over? Noooo! Summer & Vacations Go On Forever Here!


It’s already another Friday with the islands quiet. When there is no traffic director at the Causeway Road 4-way stop at both noon and 5:30 p.m., you know Sanibel/Captiva traffic has slowed.

Though The SanibelSusan Team was short one teammate this week, we had some nice accomplishments – a great new listing, a nice price reduction on another, an offer in the works, a great turnout yesterday at our Isabel Dr listing on Realtor Caravan, and though our photographer has dealt with many rain and cloud interruptions, I think he will deliver some special marketing photos this weekend. The full team is back to work on Monday (the same day that Lee County schools are back in session). Yikes! Does that mean summer is over?

At our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday recognition was given to the donors and helpers that contributed to the 20,300 meals that were packed in record time at last Friday’s Meals of Hope benefit event. Thank-yous also went to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, his wife Doreen, and City Councilor Holly Smith for their hands-on help. It is fast fun work often with competition. Part of the giggles relate to the required hair coverings. If packers don’t bring a hat, they are blessed with a hairnet. I’m sure the Mayor loved that. (Two photos compliments of JMA Photography below: First the packers. 2nd photo has the Mayor rocking his hair net at the end of the table. That assembly-line begins with his wife Doreen (on left in baseball cap) & Councilor Holly Smith(on right).)

Only two properties, including our listing, were open for the Caravan that followed yesterday’s meeting. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System are after a couple of news items below.

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

Much of SanibelSusan’s business is with buyers who also own in another resort or 2nd home market area, usually one they visit in the summer. When owning here, if retired, they often claim Florida residency for the estate and tax benefits. Many island owners have properties in several resort & 2nd home market areas.

Holding the national RSPS (Resort & 2nd Home Specialist) designation, I follow our group newsletter for tidbits that will help not only in our business, but in the curriculum for the RSPS class that I teach each summer at our local Association of Realtors®. Here are some interesting excerpts from the July 2019 “RSPS Newsletter”. The article linked to http://www.IPX1031.com .

“Whether it’s a cabin in the woods or a beachside bungalow, vacation homes come in all shapes, sizes and locations. We took a closer look at vacation home destinations across the country to find which cities and towns have the most vacation homes. We also analyzed the overall percentage of vacation homes in every state. We researched vacation home data from more than 29,000 different census designated places across all 50 states and ranked the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state.

“Before we analyze the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state, let’s look at the overall percentage of vacation homes in each state. When you think of a popular vacation home hot spot, images of sandy beaches in Florida might come to mind. While Florida ranks high in terms of its number of vacation homes, it doesn’t beat out Maine, which is No. 1 in the country. Surprisingly, 19% of all homes in the Pine Tree State are vacation homes. Vermont and New Hampshire round out the top three states with 17% and 12%, respectively. Florida comes in at No. 6 with 10% of its homes categorized as vacation homes, according to the Census Bureau.

“Apparently, the Midwest isn’t a hot spot for vacation homes. Maybe it’s the brutally cold and long winters, but Midwest states rank low on our list. In fact, Illinois ranks dead last on our list with just 1% of its homes categorized as vacation homes. Other Midwest states like Ohio (1.1%), Iowa (1.6%), Indiana (1.7%) and Kansas (1.4%) are at the bottom of the list as well.

“However, there is one Midwest state that ranks within the top 10. With its more than 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a haven for fishing, boating and vacationing, which explains why the state ranks No. 8 among states with the most vacation homes.

“After we looked at the percentage of vacation homes in every state, we analyzed the top three places with the most vacation homes within those states. While familiar vacation locations such as Copper Mountain in Colorado and Fire Island in New York are among the top vacation home destinations, there are also smaller towns that make the list as well. For example, the top 3 destinations in California all have less than 300 vacation homes. However, every home within those three places are classified as vacation homes. Atlantic City and Boudurant, Wyoming as well as Yellow Pine, Idaho and McCarthy, Alaska are the only other locations on our list where every home is classified as a vacation home.”

After reading their article, I checked their infographic which shows by state what three towns/cities have the most vacation homes. If you are wondering what it reports for Florida. They are Captiva, Horseshoe Beach, and North Key Largo. (If you are like me, you now may be wondering, where is Horseshoe Beach? Google says, it’s on the Gulf, about 315 miles north of Sanibel and west of Gainesville. With an area of less than 2/10 of a mile, the population is only about 200.

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

As reported in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”, “The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

“Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the City of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline….The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it…The City has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District…The work is expected to take place in 2020. As the City manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The City is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.”

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

In the same “Sanibel-Captiva Islander” issue, it reports that “The City of Sanibel recently submitted applications for the design work and a request for financial assistance on the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road…” Once a Construction Control Line permit is issued by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, work there can begin, hopefully as soon as sea turtle nesting season is over at the end of October. In addition to the permit application, “the City submitted an application… for funds through the DEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests for beach projects…The City applied for just over $300,000 in state assistance as part of 50-50 cost share. It would cover the cost of the beach re-nourishment or fill placement and dune restoration…It would not include the structure itself – revetment, sheet piping, riprap – to protect the roadway…The total project may cost approximately $612,000. The City intends to request funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council to help cover the remaining costs of the project…The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the City deposits…That is why the City wants to get the project done by fall, early winter….”

“Earlier this year, the City had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on, at a City Council meeting, the firmed reported the following:

“”Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability…It is the intent of the City to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400’ section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.

“”The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400’ section of vulnerable highway….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 2-9, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $529K, Sundial West #K103 2/2 $920K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $589K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $759K.

3 new sales: Sundial West #I103 1/1 listed at $465.9K, Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 listed at $484K, By-the-Sea #C102 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $595K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $999K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $613.5K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $444K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $725K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.195M (our listing) (a few photos below, including mama & baby dolphin swimming by the 90′ dock)

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

4 new sales: 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

4 closed sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $335K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $485.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.35M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $299K (our listing) (some drone aerials below, it overlooks 9th fairway & has conservation land across the street), 3945 West Gulf Dr 3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 now $324K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,899,999.

No new sales.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Packing Food, Watching the Water, Island Scoop, Plus Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate


It’s an early Friday blog today as the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 Meals of Hope food packing event is this afternoon. Our Association-sponsored events have packed over 50,000 meals the last two summers and aim to add another 20,000 to the tally today.

There is no denying that the water woes of last summer affected island real estate sales, but as we carefully watch the weather, it is great to be able to report now that the view driving across the causeway is as good as I remember it this late in the summer. Here are some aerial photos taken for the City just three days ago.

With a rainy few days ahead, that sparkling blue may get stirred up this weekend, but it sure is different from a year ago at this time.

Below are the islands’ real estate statistics as of today (August 2, 2019). Inventory is low, with many island Realtors® looking for listings. Now really is the best to list for those wanting a sale during the upcoming “season”. (There are more closed sales last quarter and first quarter which often means contracts are written beginning in August so new owners will benefit from winter ownership.)

Sanibel Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 99 $820,294 145 $1,360,835 64 $657,673
Under Contract 11 $731,709 17 $987,647 4 $233,000
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 85 $662,618 147 $956,029 10 $419,900
Sold/Closed in 2018 155 $720,617 218 $1,112,748 21 $602,095
Sold/Closed in 2017 140 $728,793 186 $1,004,237 32 $327,229

 

Captiva Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 38 $1,115,343 34 $2,884,556 3 $1,929,667
Under Contract 6 $681,317 2 $2,112,500 0 N/A
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 14 $1,201,857 12 $3,181,963 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2018 27 $797,532 25 $2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2017 34 $671,551 22 $2,457,023 2 $2,312,500

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.

There was no Realtor® Caravan yesterday, but the changes in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service this week are after a few news items below.

Island Scoop

Lee County Emergency Management – AlertLee – The county recently released AlertLee which is an emergency notification system where the public can sign-up to receive notifications. This system replaces CodeRed.  Both the City of Sanibel and county use this popular tool to send targeted emergency alerts. You can receive alerts on multiple devices in your home and/or on your cell phones.  Even if you were enrolled in the old system, to continue receiving alerts YOU MUST SIGN-UP for alertLee.  Go to the city website mysanibel.com (in the Quick Links on the right side).

Noah’s Ark Annual Bag Day – is Friday, August 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bag day marks the end of summer season for the Ark which after this event closes for cleaning and repair – reopening on October 1. Deep price reductions lead up to the sale, when on Bag Day customers may buy marked bags in the parking lot for $4 each, fill them with store goods and walk away with as many items as the bags will carry. Any items not fitting in the bag are 80% off the regular price. Operated by the Women of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal for more than 50 years, Noah’s Ark offers all kinds of merchandise from clothing to housewares, to furnishings, and books. Proceeds go to local, regional, and global charities and agencies. (Note: Noah’s Ark begins accepting donations again on September 1.)

San-Cap Road Vegetation Trimming – from Rabbit Road to Bowman’s Beach Rd on the north side, now through August 7.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing Project – will begin August 5 with paving done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. The following streets are included in this project:

  • Wulfert Rd. (from Wildlife Dr. to Sanctuary Entrance)
  • West Rocks Dr.
  • Coquina Dr.
  • East Rocks Dr.
  • Emeril Ct.
  • Durion Ct.
  • Chert Ct.
  • Agate Ct.
  • Boulder Cir.
  • Palm Lake Dr.
  • Donax St (repairs to northbound lane)

Every year the City resurfaces selected roads based upon a time schedule and existing condition.  This year’s road resurfacing contract amount is $534,000 including full-width resurfacing of the ten streets above, and repairs to Donax Street.  The project is expected to be completed within 30 days.

SCCF’s Nature Center Closed for Minor Renovations – The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s administrative offices and trails remain open to the public, but the Nature Center on San-Cap Road is closed for two months – reopening September 16. During this time, the educational displays and exhibits will be updated,  new TV screens added, and videos will be replaced. The Nature Center will be turned into a multi-use space including an update of the education for the trail system. During the closure, the on-site trails and observation tower may be accessed from the parking lot rather than through the building. The trails are free and open to the public. The Bailey Homestead Preserve on Periwinkle Way remains open. More info at www.sccf.org.

Home Inspection Myths & Misconceptions

The August 2019 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine ends with a “share this” info graphic. It says:

“The inspection is pass/fail. Home inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails. They evaluate the condition of a home and report on defects. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether to buy the house.

Home Inspectors determine if a house is up to code. Inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.

The seller will repair every defect the home inspector finds. While the inspector’s report can be used as a negotiating tool, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an as-is contract. Note: If negotiating over repairs, focus on issues that could be costly to fix.

New construction homes don’t have to be inspected. New construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cuts corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed or workers simply make mistakes.

Home Inspectors determine the value of a house. The focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home; an appraiser determines a fair market value.

“Home Inspectors check for termites. In Florida, termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 26 – August 2, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $760K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $395.9K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 now $569K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $597K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 now $634K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $649K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $750K.

2 new sales: Seashells #12 2/2 listed at $395K, Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 listed at $625K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $230K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $470K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $565.4K, 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 $839K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

4 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $597K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1305 Eagle Run 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.049M.

5 new sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.499M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.539M.

6 closed sales: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $520K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $714K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $747K, 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $785K (our listing), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $840K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.245M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2431 Shop Rd $249.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #21 3/3 now $3M.

4 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 listed at $754.9K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 listed at $800K, Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 listed at $919K.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

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, Happy August!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop, Realtors Packing Meals, & Other Island Stuff


It’s quiet on the islands now – the usual annual lull before local schools begin again on August 12. Even after living on Sanibel for close to 30 years, I still shake my head when schools restart so much earlier here than up north. When the weather is like summer, seems only right that the kids are off enjoying it.

Below are some photos of our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours. Filmed Monday by JMA Photography, a close look will show that the new landscaping is in, with exterior almost complete. The final interior punch-list items are being finished now. Looking for a new owner for this bay-front beauty which has just undergone months of renovations! It includes a lot with dock and lift in the nearby boat basin too!

Next week at this time, island Realtors®, families, and friends will be participating in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 packing event for Meals of Hope. As one of the Super Sponsors, we helped the Association raise the $5K needed to buy the supplies, now the goal is to pack at least 20,000 meals in 3 hours. We have done it before (photo below from our event last year), so should be able to do it again.

This time of the year, the local food banks are low, yet the need is high. The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that we again can help! If you want to participate, just let us know. All helpers are welcome.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Also this week at the Association of Realtors®, our new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) went live. It will be run in parallel with the old system while final program kinks are worked out and our membership is fully trained. The final cut-over date is August 26. The new system has plenty of new bells and whistles, so the team and I are practicing with the new system and watching on-line webinars before some upcoming training sessions at the Association Office.

If you receive listing notifications through the old system’s automatic emails, those will continue, though beginning August 26 when the system cuts over, your saved listings will disappear. We are revisiting each prospect’s search criteria, so if your preferences have changed, please let me know. It’s a good time to update them.

Yesterday was the Association’s July Membership Meeting. Not a single new sale was announced and just five new listings were open during the 3-hour Caravan that followed. There were a handful of new sales though as detailed in the week’s MLS summary that follows some other news below.

The meeting speaker was Jeannine Joy, President & CEO of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee United Way. Here are some takeaways.

Each United Way organization is independent, so donations stay in the community. With this organization, 92.3% of each dollar donated is given to the 82 local agencies and 245 programs they support and provide. F.I.S.H. of SANCAP is one of these agencies. Mention was made of the additional emergency funding provided to F.I.S.H. after Hurricane Irma and again last summer after local water woes affected island business and livelihoods.

The United Way provides help from early childhood development through senior life. Below is info on a couple of their programs.

  • Dial 211 – United Way 211 is a free 24-hour non-emergency helpline for referral to health and social services that provide food, housing, child care, and veteran services in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties.
  • VITA – United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation by IRS certified volunteers for household incomes of $66,000 or less. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900 to schedule an appointment.

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

On Wednesday, the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association’s Florida Gulf Coast MLS emailed their June Market Report for the county. It reported that overall, Lee County sales slipped a bit in June. It further says: “June showed Medial Sale Prices were up slightly at 2.0% for Single Family, while Townhouses and Condos showed a decrease of -5.0%. Broken down by cities, Single Family in Pine Island (30.0%), North Fort Myers (29.2%), Fort Myers Beach (28.0%), and Estero (10.0%) had double-digit increases for June over 2018. There was a significant drop in sales for Sanibel/Captiva at -30.8% over 2018. All other cities showed slight increases or decreases for the month.”

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

I saw a blog posting this week by The Discoverer Blog. The actual posting title is “5 U.S. Beaches to Visit and 5 to Avoid”. It begins by saying:

“From the pristine sandy shores of Sanibel Island to the calm cool azure waters of Kapalua Bay, a trip to the beach is always a good idea. The United States has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. That doesn’t mean that all beaches are trip-worthy. There are some beaches around the country that are either overrated or just places you need to stay away from. So, we’ve put together a list of the five best beaches to add to your must-see list and five that you need to avoid like the plague.”

Since I prefer the positive, here are their five “best” beaches. Read their blog yourself to find the others.

  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  • Key West, Florida
  • La Jolla Beach, California
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Potential Title Insurance Pitfalls When Transferring Property into a Trust or LLC

In an email this week from the Legal Scoop Blog of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Hold, P.A. by Caleb Hinton on July 23, 2019:

“As a real estate attorney, one request I often receive from clients is to prepare a deed to transfer their real estate into either a trust (such as a revocable trust for estate planning purposes) or an LLC (for liability purposes). At first glance, this may appear to be a simple request with no adverse effects or consequences. However, depending on when the property was acquired, transferring your property may have adverse effects on your owner’s title policy that you received when you purchased the property.

“Florida Title Insurance Policy Forms – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“Florida OIR”) governs the title insurance industry in several ways, including the rates charged and the title insurance policy forms issued by attorneys and title agents to purchasers of real estate.

“In 2011, OIR approved a new title insurance policy form for both owner’s and lender’s policies that is known as the ALTA 2006 Form (“06 Form”). The 06 Form includes an expanded definition of “Insured” under the policy, including transfers by the Insured listed on Schedule A (“Named Insured”) of the policy into a trust if the grantee is a trustee or beneficiary of a trust created by a written instrument established by the Named Insured of the owner’s policy.

“The 06 Form also expands the definition of “Insured” under the 06 Form to include the grantee of the Named Insured if the Insured on Schedule A wholly owns the stock, shares, membership, or other equity interests of the grantee.

“Potential Pitfalls – Before 2011, title insurance agents were using the ALTA 1992 Form (“92 Form”) which contained a narrower definition of “Insured.” More specifically, the 92 Form defined “Insured” as the Insured on Schedule A of the owner’s policy (which is the name in which you took title) and those who succeeded to their interest by operation of law including heirs, distributees, devisees, personal representatives (of an estate), or corporate fiduciaries or successors. Simply stated, your title insurance coverage would pass to your heirs in the event of death.

“Under the 92 Form, the definition of “Insured” does not expressly include entities (such as LLCs) where the Named Insured on the policy conveys the property to an LLC of which they are the sole member. Also, the 92 Form does not expressly include transfers from the Named Insured to a trustee of trust such a revocable living trust used in traditional estate planning.

“Accordingly, if you took title to your property prior to 2011 and subsequently convey the property to your trust or a LLC, you may lose your coverage under your owner’s title policy.

“Take-Away – There are many factors to weigh when transferring real estate and it is essential to understand the consequences of any potential transfer being considered. It is important, therefore, to have an attorney review your individual situation, including whether or not any proposed transfer would potentially create coverage issues with the title insurance company that issued your owner’s policy. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact me at caleb.hinton@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1125.”

Help the Sea Turtles

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted this yesterday on Facebook:

“Early Sunday morning 7/21/19, a very familiar face visited Sanibel. Jane, a green sea turtle we first met in 2017, came ashore to nest. Our sea turtle team had already seen her six times this 2019 season, and Sunday marked our seventh encounter and her fifth nest!

“When she finished nesting, Jane attempted to return to the ocean but quickly became disoriented. Lost in the dune vegetation, Jane began to crawl in circles and away from the water, likely mistaking the light from nearby cities for her natural lighting cue of moonlight reflecting off the water. Our team stayed with Jane until she was able to safely find her way back to the beach and return to the sea.

“On Sanibel we are very fortunate to be designated a “dark beach” with ordinances focused on minimizing light pollution. Nevertheless, we are seeing an increase in sea turtle disorientation events every year.

“But how can sea turtles become disoriented if every place on the island has their lights off? Light from nearby cities that do not have lighting ordinances spills across the sky, brightening the horizon from inland, a phenomenon we call “skyglow”. Skyglow is the leading cause of disorientation for Sanibel’s nesting females and hatchlings. Sea turtles are born with the instinct to crawl towards the brightest light. Skyglow disorients turtles causing them to end up in dune vegetation, swimming pools or even roads where they are struck by vehicles.

“SCCF is reaching out to local governments to combat skyglow. Recently, a member of the Cape Coral City Council joined our nighttime survey to observe skyglow on Sanibel and learn about the effects on sea turtles.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 19-26, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $625K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Seashells #42 2/2 listed at $379.9K.

3 closed sales: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $220K, Sundial #C310 1/1 $442K, Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 $560K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $518.5K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $675K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $699K (our listing) (some aerial photos below), 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $750K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $899K, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.299M.

2 new sales: 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $3.699M.

2 closed sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $654.9K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 $835K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $439K, 5251 Indian Ct now $649K, 2510 Coconut Dr now $749.9K.

1 new sale: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd listed at $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $825K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,974,999.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2,316,055; 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $4.9M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $6M.

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, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


On normally-sunny Sanibel, this week has been one with several “off & on” showers from the storm developing north of us in the Gulf. Thankfully, most have been short-lived, though some arrived quickly.

We had a doozy yesterday, where suddenly it poured on Periwinkle in front of the office, with barely a drizzle in our back parking lot. Minutes later, it was over. Photo below from the gulf beach right after one of the passing storms.

The good news is the bunnies are happy with plenty of bright green juicy vegetation to munch, the windsurfers and kite-boarders enjoyed the storm-fueled breezes, and the shops and restaurants parking lots have been packed when the usual beach-goers are looking for other things to do.

Now we are thinking of those in the north central Gulf Coast area where Tropical Storm Barry is making landfall. May it dissipate quickly.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful to report a two-closing week and recognize that sometimes “it takes a village”. The crew at Barrier Island Title and their remote notary went above and beyond in providing the services needed for today’s closing. Kudos to them, my teammates, and Realtor Kerri Maw at Pfeifer Realty for their hard work in getting another SanibelSusan listing sold. Thanks also to Evan DuPont with John Naumann & Associates for bringing the buyer for our mid-week closing, also with Barrier Island Title. Some are easy, others challenging! We are grateful for them all.

Congratulations also to teammate, Dave, for a new off-island listing today.

The activity on the islands this week posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Just one Sanibel condo and one Sanibel home went under contract, no new sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

With some Realtors® on vacation, the Association’s Caravan meeting yesterday had a few empty seats. The Caravan that followed had just one property open for viewing.

During the off-season is when the Association makes good use of the downtime and holds some of its community service events.

  • “Love That Dress” Donations – Through the month of July, the Association is serving as a drop-off point for donations for the upcoming “Love That Dress” event which is an annual shopping spree to benefit the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. If you have any new or gently-loved dresses, shoes, handbags, or accessories, please drop them off this month at the Association Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 which is the 2nd floor over Finnimore’s Cycle Shop in the Winds Shopping Center. (Or give me a call, and I’ll pick them up.) The actual “Love That Dress” event will be held August 21 at Embassy Suites – Fort Myers/Estero. Tickets go on sale August 1.
  • “Meals of Hope” Food Packing – This year will be the Association’s third Meals-of-Hope food-packing event. This time, on Friday, August 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the supplies and then pack 20,000+meals that are later distributed to local food banks. Let me know if you want to join us or make a donation (checks made out to Meals-of-Hope). The meal packing is assembly-line-style, fast and fun. Again, thanks to The Sanibel Community Church for allowing us to hold the event in their Fellowship Hall. (It’s just impossible to get the supplies and equipment needed into our Association’s 2nd floor spaces.)
  • “Captains for Clean Water” Benefit – Then the next afternoon on Saturday, August 3, the Association is hosting its 2019 Corn-Hole Tournament to benefit Captains for Clean Water. Association members and spouses from our district (Marco Island, Bonita, Fort Myers & the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel-Captiva) will come together for a few hours of comradery and fun at Marlins Brewhouse. Here’s hoping that Sanibel-Captiva players come out ahead of our standings in the district softball and bowling tournaments.

Our local MLS Committee is working hard in preparation for the conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service in mid-August. Though we tend to get comfortable with old familiar systems, this new one has many new exciting features and will be more-user friendly for both MLS members and the public. The SanibelSusan Team is all signed up for their upcoming training, while as a member of the original task force reviewing system, I get access to the beta version next week.

Pricing a Listing?

Interesting tag line on an article in the Florida Realtors® July 2019 issue. It says: “Use the “Just Below” Pricing Strategy… you’ll get on average 2% more for your home than those who price it too high or just right. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics”.

Be Nice to Grandma

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, authored the following article in the July-August issue of “REALTOR®” magazine.

“First-time buyers have not fully returned to the market. So far in 2019, they’ve accounted for only 31% of all home sales, well below the historic market share of around 40%. That’s why home sales are still running at an annualized pace of 5 million, essentially unchanged since the year 2000 even though the U.S. population has grown by 45 million and the number of households by 20 million.

“Though affordability has been hurt in recent years by fast-rising home prices, it takes a smaller share of monthly income to own these days then it did two decades ago, when 30-year mortgage rates were in the 8% range.

“There are several reasons first-time buyers are struggling to get in the market. Student debt has tripled over the past decade, starter home listings are in short supply because home-builders have focused on expensive homes; many affordably priced condos are not FHA-certified; and credit score requirements to obtain a mortgage are tighter than historic norms.

“As the National Association of REALTORS® works to ensure access to mortgage credit for all qualified Americans, individuals can position themselves for home-ownership. For example, military veterans continue to benefit from the loan guaranty program that started 75 years ago. For some in college today, a “gap year” of military service or any full-time job can reduce their student debt.

“Then there’s family, NAR research shows that a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members, and that share is likely to grow. Many of those that lived through the Great Depression, or heard their parents’ survival stories, have benefited from decades of careful wealth accumulation. The average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800. The lesson for millennials: Be nice to grandma and grandpa. They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.”

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

Some good info in the June issue of “LCEC News” (Lee County Electric Cooperative):

“A little more than 730 LCEC cusomers have installed solar power systems at their home or business. The benefit of these systems is that panels convert solar energy into electric energy. Although users rely on the electric grid during evening and less-sunny periods, they may reduce their electric bill. And the good news is that all LCEC customers are using solar power in one way or another since LCEC delivers power from FPL, the largest generator of solar energy in Florida.

“There are safety considerations that should be examined when installing solar power systems. Prior to purchasing the system, contact a licensed qualified electrician to ensure your electrical system can support the technology. Before net metering or putting power back on the grid, LCEC must be notified and an application process must be completed. This keeps electric workers and neighbors safe and ensures property credit for shared power.

“Once installed, solar power system may present unique challenges for first responders and firefighters, so it is important to notify local officials about the type of panels that have been installed. This will help to protect firefighters and minimize damage to the building if a fire occurs.”

Call Before You Dig, 811

“Did you know that homeowners are required by law to call 811 or report online to sunshine811.com two FULL days before digging in any easement, right-of-way, or permitted-use area? The information reported is used to compare the desired digging site to the location of any underground utilities in the area. The area will either be declared clear or will be appropriately marked for any underground lines. Not only does unsafe digging pose a rich to underground lines, it is extremely dangerous causing injuries and deaths around the world annually.” (also from the June “LCEC News”)

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

  • Acquisition of Wulfert Bayous – You may have seen the sign on San-Cap Road near the entrance to The Sanctuary where the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has been trying to raise $3 million in private donations to complete the $9.5 million acquisition of Wulfert Bayous, the last large parcel of unprotected and undeveloped land on Sanibel. This week, they announced that their donations goal was reached. But as they await the Lee County Commissioners’ August decision to approve $6.5 million to complete the acquisition, they are continuing to accept donations in case the 20/20 funds don’t all come through. If they do receive the full $6.5 million, extra funding will be applied to a restoration project to remove invasive vegetation from the tract and create improved habitat for wading birds. Click HERE to watch their video about the Wulfert Bayous’ preservation campaign.
  • Tues, July 16 – World Snake Day – Join the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in celebrating World Snake Day with lots of fun events at the refuge:
  • 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. – free guided Indigo Trail Walk (meet at the flagpole at Refuge entrance)
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom
  • 12 p.m. – Movie “Invasion of the Giant Pythons in Auditorium B (60 minutes)
  • 12 to 2 p.m. – Snake crafts in the Education Classroom
  • 2:30 to 3 p.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom.

The Community House Shellcrafters

On TV this week, ABC News 7 reporter Kristen Clark on Monday covered everything you need to know about Shellcrafters and the different creations they make – flowers, animals, jewelry – all from shells found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. Shellcrafters meet at The Community House every Monday year-‘round (except major holidays). Class starts at 10 a.m. with doors open to view and purchase creations until 1 p.m. All ages are welcome, though children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No reservation required.

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

I hate to admit that I have eaten out three times this week, but since our restaurants always appreciate additional business from locals in the summer, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the three restaurants that created the following meals. Thanks also to my friend, Sheila, vacationing on Captiva.

On Wednesday night, we had dinner at Malia Island Fusion Cuisine. I saw three other tables of locals too. That night, I enjoyed this dish “Diver Scallop & Shrimp Curry”.

Not wanting to miss out on a meal with Christian and Mari at Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro before they close for their summer vacation, last night my dinner there was this yummy dish called “Filet – Frites”, the onion soup gratinee first, and the creme brulee after were equally yummy. Bleu Rendez-Vous will be back open in October. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Then today after our closing, teammate Dave and I stopped for lunch at T2, bringing back lunch for teammate Elise. I’m a huge fan of their spinach salad (which is even better with blackened shrimp), but today I tried their shrimp tacos. It is another winner.

The service at all three restaurants was outstanding. It really is hard to go wrong dining anywhere on Sanibel or Captiva, but this week Malia, Bleu Rendez-Vous, and T2 all get a special thumbs up from SanibelSusan. Now I need to walk a few thousand extra steps over the weekend.

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 5-12, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Snug Harbor #312 3/2 $658K, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 $1.3M.

1 price change: Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $591.5K.

1 new sale: Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 listed at $1.49M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $379K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $649K.

9 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $519.9K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3.2 now $569K, 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $599K,  9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $649K (our listing), 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $665K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $735K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $900K, 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $924K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.474M.

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

1 new sale: 1550 Centre St 3/2 listed at $599K.

7 closed sales: 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 $485K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $530K, 1555 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $766.4K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $940K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.177M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 half-duplex $1.35M (our listing).

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $404K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9270 Kincaid Ct $138K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 $1.439M.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D 2/2 now $900K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $3.7M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.4M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you a rain-free weekend and happy days!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Let’s Continue to Celebrate the U.S.A.


It was another wonderful July 4th on sunny Sanibel. Or at least sunny most of the day. We had a big turnout at the office at 9 a.m., ready for parade viewing.

Then 12 hours later, right at 9 p.m., as scheduled, the City fireworks show over San Carlos Bay was spectacular. How they coordinated it between downpours was amazing. Thanks to all who made it such a special island holiday!

Here’s hoping yours also was a fun festive one.

Sanibel Susan Realty Associates

A holiday week sometimes means it’s a slow one for island real estate and this was no exception. Beyond the holiday festivities, there is not much local news to report, but since it is beyond the ½-year mark, it is a good time to revisit the Sanibel and Captiva real estate market. Off-island, the local news stations and papers have been reporting what the county Tax Assessor expects for annual appreciation in each city. I shake my head every July when this occurs, because what happens in the first half of the year doesn’t always reflect what will happen in the 2nd. Last year was a good example of that.

Another twist with island sales, is that more high-end closings usually occur early in the year, just a factor in their usually being two to three times more qualified buyers here all winter than during the summer.

This year sales lagged a little in getting started, but with gulf and bay waters still glistening and many clean water initiatives underway, my crystal ball says 2019 will turn out better than 2018. With the economy strong and plenty of nice inventory available, I predict good sales all summer. At SanibelSusan Realty, our June and July closings already far exceed the first five months of the year.

Below is a snapshot of the today’s Sanibel and Captiva inventory, compared to sales during the same period last year. The statistics also are shown comparing sales year-over-year. (Info from Sanibel/Captiva MLS, disclosure below applies.)

Average Sanibel sale prices lag 2018 for condos, homes, and lots. The number of Sanibel condo and home sales also are less than last year.

On Captiva, average condo and home prices are up, but the samplings are small, with fewer Captiva condos and homes sold than during the same time last year.

 

Property Type

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 107 815,088 168 1,351,489 68 647,077 44 1,026,318 37 2,890,240 3 1,929,667
Under contract 15 654,837 28 870,916 1 149,000 1 469,000 6 3,360,832 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2019 78 683,609 125 983,314 9 451,222 14 1,201,557 8 3,002,188 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2018 96 743,571 158 1,214,614 9 478,556 17 912,933 12 2,163,442 0 N/A
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
Sold 2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095 22 873,636 27 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

50th Anniversary of RPAC

As the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), their biggest supporters were recognized with a surprise to represent their commitment to promoting and protecting real estate ownership and this milestone in NAR’s history.

In Washington, DC, in May for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, their special guest speaker Phil Hansen unveiled an incredible piece of artwork that showcases all of the nation’s 2018 RPAC Major Investors – within the iconic image of the NAR building in DC overlooking the U.S. Capitol.

You too can see the image at https://realtorparty.realtor/rpac50#art. It was an honor in 2017 to be the first island Realtor® inducted to NAR’s Hall of Fame (those plagues are atop the same NAR building in DC). To then find my name on this amazing piece of art is exciting too. Either search for my name or zoom into frame “H3” and you will find it.

Commitment to RPAC equates to caring about real estate, personal property rights, and home ownership. Congratulations RPAC on your 50th anniversary.

Sanibel Bunnies

The July/August 2019 issue of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) member update includes info about island rabbits. Since last summer, their population here has increased dramatically. At Sanibel Square, I see at least two each evening when I close up and often make a game of counting how many I see driving home at night. My record count for that short drive (less than 3 miles) is 54 bunnies. At home in the evening just before sunset, at least one is munching my grass. They sure are cute! Below are some excerpts from SCCF’s article:

“The marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) is a native species in Florida and can be found throughout the state. Throughout most of their range they are considered a species of least concern for conservation purposes, but the Florida Keys subspecies, the Lower Keys rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is both state and federally endangered. Though they are from the same family as cottontails, marsh rabbits lack the signature white fluffy tail of their relatives.

“Marsh rabbits are strong swimmers and tend to walk using all four legs rather than hop like most rabbits. Their predators include alligators, owls, hawks, bobcats, and coyotes. In addition to threats from predators, flooding and hurricanes can take a toll on rabbit populations by flooding out their nesting habitat.

“Rabbits breed year-‘round in south Florida, but the peak of breeding takes place between December and June. The marsh rabbit’s preferred home is in wetland habitat, especially freshwater marshes. Over time, the landscape of Sanibel has changed significantly, leaving much less acreage of freshwater marshes and cordgrass swales. In the absence of natural fire regimes, many of these marshes have begun to fill in with hardwoods like buttonwood. Our freshwater marshes are not only important for our rabbits, but also for our only endemic animal species: the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli). Both of these small mammals are also important prey species for our native hawks and owls, who also suffer the loss of this important habitat type.

“SCCF and other agencies on the island conduct occasional prescribed burns to maintain healthy marshes and swales for the benefit of all our native wildlife. In addition to prescribed burns, SCCF mows some of these areas during the dry season and engages in mechanical removal of buttonwood.

“As our city’s vision statement says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” Our native rabbit population is currently experiencing a natural boom, which will eventually subside. Below is a list of plants for your landscaping consideration. If you have questions about landscaping to attract or to naturally deter rabbits, please stop by our Native Landscapes and Garden Center at the Bailey Homestead Preserve….”

Plants that rabbits like to eat:

  • Firebush (Hamelia patens)
  • Gaillardia/Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Dune Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Grasses-Muhley Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), Dwarf Fakahatchee (Tripsacum floridanum)
  • Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) • Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)

“Plants that rabbits don’t like to eat:

  • Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)
  • Southern River Sage (Salvia misella)
  • Bahama Cassia (Senna mexicana var. chapmanii)
  • Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
  • Coontie (Zamia pumila)
  • Quailberry (Crossopetalum ilicifolium)
  • Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
  • Several aqautics: Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica), Canna Lily (Canna flaccida), Lizard’s Tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
  • Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 28-July 5, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #12 2/2 $395K, Sundial West #I405 1/1 $435K, Sundial West #J201 1/1 $550K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 now $511K, Pine Cove #202 3/2 now $1.4M.

1 new sale: White Caps #5 1/1 listed at $499.9K.

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #F4 1/1 $315K (our listing).

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $499K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 $800K.

3 price changes: 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $725K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $750K, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $738K, 6406 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 5313 Punta Caloosa 4/3 listed at $899K.

2 closed sales: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $875K, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.085M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2486 Wulfert Rd $139K, 933 Strangler Fig Ln $495K.

2 price changes: 0 Island Inn Rd now $750K, 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.695M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5618 Baltusrol Ct $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $510K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.25M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

May your holiday fun continue right through the weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan