Dog Days of Summer on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


dog-days-of-summer-clip-art-627565It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the dog days of summer continue on Sanibel/Captiva Islands with a big shower this morning. More rain is expected over the weekend and into early next week.

dog days of summerThe humidity is off the charts, but hopefully not for long.

Luckily not many vacationers will be disappointed about the weather, as I understand that beginning tomorrow, it really will be “off-season” with occupancy way down – for the first time since last year at this time. Happens every year when it’s nearly back-to-school time.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoSeveral of our listings had showings this week and we had another nice closing today – both sides (list and sell). Two of our listings got price reductions too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® had a Caravan meeting yesterday (first one in several weeks). Just two new listings were on tour (one of Sanibel, one Captiva), and just a couple of sales were announced which are described in the 7-day report from the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listings Service which follows a couple of news items below.

New Pavilion Constructed at SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve

sccfThis week, the “Island Sun” reported that one of the final remaining projects to be completed at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Bailey Homestead Preserve was the addition of a large open-air pavilion behind the main house.

Here's a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

Here’s a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate Lisa cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

It is nearly completed and “the foundation is looking at a November opening date for the Native Plant Nursery, which will relocate there from its current home along Sanibel-Captiva Road.

“The pavilion is planned as the site for SCCF’s Landscaping for Wildlife program, along with other activities hosted by the nursery….The Bailey Homestead had originally been a row farm, growing crops such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant and other vegetables, until the hurricane of 1926 ruined the island’s rich soil. Later, the site included citrus trees such as orange, grapefruit and lime. The property also includes what members of The Hammerheads call the “Honey House”. Built after the original structure, the small building is where workers would process the row crops and honey farmed onsite.

“Over the next few months, work to be completed at the Bailey Homestead Preserve includes adding final touches to the pavilion, grading of the properties’ pathways and parking areas, installing fencing and finishing the interior layout of the house itself….SCCF will announce the grand opening date for the Bailey Homestead Preserve in the future. For additional info, visit www.sccf.org.”

Lee County Day at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

bailey-mathews shell museum signAugust 20, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lee County adults get half-off museum admission and Lee County kids get in free.

For one day only and sponsored by LCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op), this is a great opportunity to see the WaterVentures Mobile Science Lab.

Yun Joins “Forbes” as Regular Contributor

ForbesAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, it was good news to read the following article about him in yesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, has become a regular contributor to Forbes.com, sharing his latest thoughts on the housing market. He will be posting two to four articles every month related to housing and the economy at Forbes.com.

“Yun’s columns will offer insights into the wide range of research activity he oversees at NAR, including NAR’s existing-home sales statistics, NAR’s Affordability Index, and the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. Yun regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends to NAR’s 1 million REALTOR® members as well as to media outlets across the country.

“In his first column at Forbes.com, Yun highlights the drop in the home ownership rate to a near 50-year low, and how that doesn’t necessarily mean the housing recovery is headed for trouble. “This does not mean that the housing market is in a funk,” Yun writes. “Rather it is quite the opposite, with home sales and home prices rising solidly in recent times. Existing-home sales were up eight% year-to-date to June from the same period a year ago, while new home sales were higher by 21%.”

“The home ownership rate has fallen because of the dwindling number of first-time home buyers and the tightening of mortgage underwriting standards in recent years, he says. The drop in first-time home buyers is the most alarming trend for the housing market, Yun writes.

“In 2014, the first-time home buyer share dropped to 33%, the lowest level in nearly three decades. What’s more, the tighter lending environment has prompted an estimated 1.2 million missing mortgages to would-be qualified borrowers based on historic norms, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute.

“Yun notes the drop in the home ownership rate has caused the country’s wealth distribution to become more unequal today — mostly because the drop in the home ownership rate is occurring at a time of rising home values. “Homeowners and property-owning investors are participating in the housing equity recovery but there are fewer in number,” Yun notes.”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sundial #R401 2/2 now $799K (our listing).

1 new sale: Sanddollar #A203 3/2 listed at $1.015M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $225K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

3 new listings: 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $1.275M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $1.495M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $3.75M.

2 price changes: 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $679.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3.5.5 now $1.35M (our listing).

4 new sales: 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 listed at $639K, 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 listed at $798K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed at $834.9K.

5 closed sales: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 $375K, 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 $510K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $607.5K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 $835K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.575M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $399K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3354 Barra Cir $295K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #A205 1/1 $259K, Captiva Shores #1A 3/2/2 $1.55M, Beach Homes #27 5/3 $2.599M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $1.86M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $3,999,999.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend! Here the turtles are still nesting & the baby sea turtles are still hatching! Cheers! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Mid-July Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


HybiscusIt was a week of reverse summer weather on the islands, mostly hot days but with daily showers in the mornings, rather than late afternoon. The only exception was yesterday when we had rain “off and on” pretty much all day. A similar summer forecast continues with humid 90-degree days, more showers, and high 70’s at night expected for the next week. The good news is the island is green and “blooming”.

Although the island is not as busy this week as during the two weeks either side of the July 4th holiday, our listings had more showings and our Multiple Listing Service reported a couple of sales. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS follows a couple of news items below, including a report about our July Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayThe SanibelSusan Team is busy finishing the annual update of our database. Since most of the “season” sales now are closed, we soon will be printing and mailing our island inventory list booklet.

This booklet is organized by island (Sanibel and Captiva), property type (condo, home, lot), and community or subdivision. It includes details on current inventory, as well as recent sales – good info whether you want to protect your investment, learn about the market, or if you are thinking of buying or selling. If you are not on our mailing list, but want to be, just give us a call or send us an email.

Though the last few weeks have been unusually slow, island inventory is low. Back in 2004, though that August was the month of several hurricanes, it also was one of my highest production months. Sometimes island real estate activity is driven by different outside elements including early fall weather somewhere or island-lovers remembering how the weather was back in their hometown the previous winter. Sales will pick up again so if you want to be up-to-date on the real estate happenings here, contact us now for your no-obligation copy of the booklet.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogo2015 Nominating Committee – Monday had me finishing up my obligations on the local 2015 Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee. We interviewed several applicants for two upcoming board vacancies and have submitted recommendations for officers and candidates to the current Board of Directors. Election will be at our October annual meeting.

July Membership Meeting – During the professional development portion of the July membership meeting yesterday were two speakers:

  • SCCF logoJenny Evans, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Native Plant Nursery Manager, updated us on the progress at the 28+acre Bailey Homestead Preserve property which SCCF acquired in 2011. She knew we have been wondering when it will open and what has been going on there. That is the parcel across the street from the Donax Street/Periwinkle Way intersection. The back 19 acres of the property, which go as far back as The Dunes subdivision, will be undeveloped for wildlife habitat, while the front 9 acres bordering Periwinkle and where the old homestead sits, will be open by this fall (they hope). This is where drivers-by have observed plenty of activity over the last few years.
  • SCCF native Plant nurseryJenny said that much of the land was covered with invasive exotics – not so much Brazilian pepper which has been mostly removed thanks to the island-wide City Brazilian Pepper Eradication Program enacted in 1996. But, rather, covered with what she called secondary exotics which had choked out the native vegetation and the resulting wildlife habitat. So, their focus has been on removing invasives, repairing the old homestead structure itself (thanks to the Sanibel Hammerhead carpenters), building a new rest room (was interesting that SCCF had the same permitting problems that others experience here when trying to improve older non-conforming structures), preparing the parking areas, and building/planting around a large pond. The Native Plant Nursery will eventually be completely moved to this location with their new site plan providing for a variety of sample garden areas followed by the plants for sale. There also will be an open pavilion for classes and presentations. Although the Bailey home will be open for viewing too, the focus of the preserve will be conservation.
  • Pond-Apple-Park-071614_largeEntrance to the property will be shared and is where Pond Apple Park parking area is. The interior Homestead Preserve road once inside the property runs parallel to Periwinkle Way, which is why observers have seen so much activity there. Already open is the Shipley Trail which connects two City parks, Roadside City Park on Periwinkle and Pond Apple Park/Trail which begins at the Chamber of Commerce. The trails are connected by the Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk which was built in partnership with SCCF and the City.
  • Jenny reminded our members that each new island property owner receives a free 1-year membership to SCCF. They can get a property visit from a Landscaping for Wildlife expert too, to help them join in SCCF’s mission.
  • Sanibelcityseal logoJames Evans, Sanibel’s Director of Natural Resources (& no relation to Jenny), further updated us on invasives and offered some excellent tips on what to look-out for when working with new Sanibel buyers. Unfortunately, his presentation was cut short because of time limits, so we hope to have him back again soon.

rpacRealtor® Political Action Committee – Our local Realtor® association was mentioned in the Florida Realtors® July PAC update which came out last week. Although state goals are based on a calendar year with a few months to go, it was great news to read the following:

“Another Milestone for Florida…Each year the Realtor community sets new goals and challenges for each other to surpass – 2015 is no different! This year, the Sanibel and Captiva Island Association of Realtors (SCIAR) has set a new standard by raising $41,875 for the PAC. While this may seem small to some of our larger boards around Florida it represents raising 1193% of their goal AND 100% participation of SCIAR membership; this is a first in Florida and potentially a first for the REALTOR community nationwide.

Congratulations to SCIAR on their success in 2015!”

Our Sanibel/Captiva Association believes in this PAC because we have seen direct results. Our contributions support cleaning waterways, beach renourishment, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, protecting against ordinances harmful to real estate, and electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights.

LCEC Reduces Rates Again

Lcec logoLCEC should put me on their payroll since I mention them so often, and it is always positive news. Here’s the latest from their July “News”.

“During the summer, electric costs can sometimes rise due to high temperatures and increased use of air conditioning. But for the second time this year, LCEC customers will see their bills going down thanks to a rate decrease that will go into effect July 1. LCEC is passing on savings from a reduction in the cost of power, resulting from a 2.1% rate decrease for residential customers. LCEC rates are the lowest amount electric cooperatives in Florida. LCEC rates fall 11.6% below the state average of all utilities.

“This is LCEC’s third rate reduction in the past 18 months. Last year, customers saw a reduction and earlier this year rates were reduced again. LCEC has not raised rates in the last seven years. We are committed to providing excellent service and continuing to maintain and upgrade the electric system while managing costs.”

Mayor Ruane Joins in Announcing Water Projects

Ruane & scottAs reported in the “Santiva Chronicle” yesterday:

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane joined Gov. Rick Scott in Bokeelia on Tuesday, July 14, to announce the funding of eight local projects within the Caloosahatchee watershed aimed at protecting and improving local water resources.

“Attending the announcement at the invitation of Gov. Scott, Ruane took note that watershed runoff accounts for more than 50% of the water volume that we receive annually and therefore is one of our greatest challenges to restoring the quality flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

““Our unprecedented collaborative efforts on all working together, State, local and regional governments has resulted in the funding of these important projects.” The $1.7 million in funding from the State of Florida for these projects will require a dollar to dollar match from Lee County.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Tennisplace E31 2/1.5 now $359K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $525K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #1B 2/2.5 now $650K.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed for $239K.

2 closed sales: Seascape #201 3/3 $1.705M, Seascape #205 3/3 $1.705M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 760 Windlass Way 3/2 $1.089M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/3 $3.795M.

2 price changes: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $450K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed for $495K, 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed for $625K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 listed for $779K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed for $999K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Sabal Sands Rd now $329K.

1 new sale: 1815 Ardsley Way listed for $197,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #161 3/3 $1.85M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 listed for $2.349M.

1 closed sale: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $8.6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17Until next week, keep the umbrella handy – or just wait a minute – that’s about how long it takes for the summer weather to change here on the islands!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan