What’s Hot in the Sanibel Island Real Estate World

It is time to wrap up a week of iffy weather on Sanibel & Captiva. Several days have been cloudy and chilly (nights in the 50’s, days in the 60’s/low 70’s), with short shower interruptions as several cold fronts passed SW FL. (Coming from Maine, it still gives me a chuckle that 50 degrees is considered a cold front.)  The forecast says, chilly days will continue until it is fully sunny again on Tuesday, followed by a warm-up next week. We are ready!

Like the weather, the red tide reports change daily. Though the news seems to report that the sky is falling, the red tide readings this week have been minimal. Here is the link again for the NOAA site that tracks those measurements in the Gulf of Mexico, https://habforecast.gcoos.org/ Most of the high readings, have been south of the islands, with Lighthouse Beach sometimes affected.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, the team has been keeping things moving with both our listings and sales. We also have a new listing, Kings Crown #104. A bit tough to get a property sold during a pandemic when there is a paying guest, meaning one cannot get in. This renter is there until the end of the month. Makes it challenging to view a property, get professional photos, and market without having access; but we like challenges. Even sight-unseen buyers like to see what the inside looks like, but the beach there is fantastic. See below!

Beach in front of Kings Crown

Our listings had more showings this week and more action was reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Our closing late last Friday also has been posted. That info follows a few news items below.

What’s Hot & What’s Not

First, it always makes sense to look at the larger complexes and communities. For example, at Sundial Beach & Golf Resort, 26 units sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. Today, five units are under contract and just three are for sale. Safe to say that community is hot!

Likewise, at The Dunes, 39 homes sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. There, four homes are under contract and just two are available.

Canal-front homes like in Sanibel Estates and Shell Harbor also sold well last year. In 2020, 37 sold, compared to 20 in 2019. There, three homes are under contract, while eight are for sale. More inventory here is somewhat indicative of what has been happening with the high-end product.

Last year on Sanibel, 503 residential properties (condos, homes, lots) sold, median price was $700,000. In 2019, 353 sold, with the same median price ($700,000). Comparing that to today’s Sanibel inventory: there are 192 properties for sale, median asking price is $859,000.

Of the 192 Sanibel properties for sale today, 26 are over $2M. Of the 503 that sold last year, only 26 were over $2M – perhaps illustrating that there is a year’s worth of high-end available.

With homes being the hottest commodity during the pandemic lockdown months, it was interesting to see lots moving once the more-affordable island homes started disappearing. Last year, 23 Sanibel vacant residential lots sold. In 2019, that number was 15. Today, 18 already have sold or are under contract.

Condo sales which were a little sluggish during the lockdown are moving well now too. First quarter, when the most condo visitors are in town, is generally when we sell the most condos. This year should be no exception, however, just 84 Sanibel condos are available, compared to 192 sales in 2020, 127 in 2019, 29 under contract.

Florida Realtors®

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings have begun. This is when the state committees meet (via Zoom, this year) and the annual installation of officers occurs. Wed morning, I attended the Forms Content Committee meeting. Next week, I’ll be Zooming in at the Realtor® Town Hall, Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees, and Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 19, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 14 is 176 cases. Locals are trying to stay calm, but that is 19 cases in seven days. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.

Plenty of Reasons for Optimism

Below are excerpts from an article in the January/February 2021 issue of “REALTOR®”, by National Association of Realtors® Economist, Lawrence Yun.

“The housing market was a spectacular surprise in 2020 – and the positive trend will continue this year. Home sales in 2021 are expected to rise by around 10%. Home prices will also climb, but I expect more moderate increases than we’ve seen, a break for staying at or near historic lows of 3% on average. The labor market will strengthen, especially as vaccines become widely available and life moves toward normal.

“Around 4 million net jobs could be added, a gradual rebound from the net loss of roughly 7 million during the pandemic year of 2020. The unemployment rate by the year’s end could be at 5.5%, a great improvement from 14.7% in April 2020 when the nation was under a strict lockdown, but still a few notches up from the generational low of 3.5% right before the pandemic.

Low mortgage rates have been the key reason for the housing market’s strong performance in the midst of the pandemic and high employment…. While mortgage rates are highly influential, they’re not the only factor affecting home sales. Given the substantial commitment and financial dollars at stake, consumer confidence and life-cycle events such as marriage, changes to family size, and retirement all play a role. During the pandemic, we learned that most people who work in offices could be just as productive at home, and this new reality will help fuel home sales in the post-pandemic economy. Already, big tech companies are allowing greater work-from-home flexibility. Other organizations will no doubt follow in some hybrid fashion. Perhaps the work-from-home trend was inevitable as internet speed and software improved. The pandemic just accelerated the timeline in a flash.

Owners who were content with their home before the pandemic are thinking about the benefits of another bedroom to use as a dedicated home office or are considering relocating to the countryside, knowing that commuting to downtown offices every day has become a thing of the past. Some consumers are turning to vacation properties as an appealing work-from-home option….

“The encouraging news on the home front contrasts drastically with the specter of newly empty office buildings. Those with leases are still mostly paying rent even though office spaces are not being used, and businesses with leases that are terminating are clearly reevaluating their space needs. In the second and third quarter of 2020, office usage dropped by a combined 74 million square feet. The situation will not improve until the middle of year; even then, the normal relationship between office job creation and net new leasing will not align as many companies will reevaluate and rejigger their office space needs. Downtown retail shops and eateries will also undergo a harsh transition from the reduced foot traffic….

“The housing market is facing an acute inventory shortage. Adding more demand without addressing the supply will push up home prices at an even faster clip. That is why it’s critical to turn raw land into developable lots so that homebuilders can increase production. But Biden’s proposal to remove 1031 like-kind exchanges from the tax code would hinder land sales and pile more negative pressure onto commercial real estate. Without serious reconsideration of this tax incentive, home prices could take off and essentially negate the benefit of federally supported down payment assistance programs.

“The Biden administration is also likely to appoint Federal Reserve governors who will be more tolerant of higher inflation in order to quickly bring down the unemployment rate. That means printing more money. Don’t be surprised if, over time, prices for a tangible asset like real estate consistently outpace overall consumer price inflation. Even bitcoin, with its limited supply, may attract investors.

“Finally, under a Biden presidency, overall government spending is likely to rise. The goal: Fix the economy before worrying about the deficit. Spending on programs such as high-speed internet access for rural communities and improved rail transportation to distant suburbs will have a positive impact, since demand will continue to increase outside of city centers. Land is plentiful and relatively cheap, making it easier for homebuilders to construct homes. Only when the supply of new homes is growing does stimulating additional demand make sense.

Looking to File for a Florida Homestead Exemption?

This Homestead Exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption removed from the assessed value of your property. It is granted to those applicants who possess title to real property and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home on January 1. Documentation that proves you were a resident at the homestead property is required.

Rental of the Homestead Property – Property owners who receive the homestead exemption on their residence need to be aware that personally renting their property or renting through home-sharing or collaborative consumption companies may constitute abandonment and, therefore, loss of the homestead tax exemption. Renting typically means exclusive use by a tenant on a temporary, seasonal, or annual basis. If you plan to rent, please contact the appropriate legal advisers to be sure that you do not jeopardize your homestead exemption. Relinquishing your homestead exemption will increase your property taxes.

Value Limitations (caps) – Properties granted homestead exemption automatically receive the “Save Our Homes” benefit. This is a constitutional benefit approved by the Florida voters in 1992. It places a limitation of 3% on annual assessment increase on homestead properties beginning with the 1995 tax year. For properties granted homestead exemption in the prior years, that assessed value will be the base value for the implementation of “Save Our Homes”. Thereafter, the assessed value will not increase more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Exceptions to that limitation include new additions or construction that escaped taxation in the past. When a homestead property sells, the assessed value returns to fair market value in the year following the sale. That value assessment then becomes the new owner/homestead applicant’s base value for “Save Our Homes” purposes.

When to File – Florida law requires that application for a new Florida Homestead Exemption be made by March 1st to be eligible for up to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption. Only new applicants or those who had a change of residence need apply. Automatic renewals are mailed in January each year. The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office offers on-line filing for Homestead Exemption is at www.LeePA.org.

There are two ways to apply, depending on certain criteria. If you meet ALL of the criteria below, application may be made online using the “Quick Apply Form”:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption ONLY
  • You are applying for yourself or you and your spouse
  • You have a valid Florid Drivers License for both you and your spouse (if applying together), and the Drivers License shows the address of the property you would like to apply for
  • You resided in the home prior to January 1, 2021.

If ANY of the criteria below apply, use their Homestead Online form:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption AND Portability
  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption for owners other than you and your spouse
  • You are married and your spouse is NOT applying
  • You have a partial interest in the property that you are applying for.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 8-15, 2021



4 new listings: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $299.9K, Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 $529K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $569K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $899K.

7 price changes: Sundial #F108 1/1 now $435K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 now $569K, Cottage Colony West #125 1/1 now $599K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 now $609K, Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 now $698K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $789K, Sundial #P402 2/2 now $1.189M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 listed at $490K, Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 listed at $775K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 listed at $815K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #1-5 2/2.5 listed at $999K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

3 closed sales: Beach Road Villas #105 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 $484.9K (our listing), Breakers West #B5 2/2 $560K.

View from Mariner Pointe #522


9 new listings: 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $679K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 3/2.5 $868K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $899.5K, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 $1.595M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.595M, 3910 Coquina Dr 6/4 $1.95M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $2.895M.

1 price change: 1430 Sanderling Cir 3.5 now $799K.

10 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 listed at $879.9K, 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 listed at $1.549M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 listed at $1.795M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 listed at $1.8M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.929M, 2336 Starfish Ln 3/2.5 listed at $2.195M.

5 closed sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 $545K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $595K, 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $740K, 482 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $780K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 $815K.


1 new listing: 9042 Mockingbird Dr $395K.

2 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $249.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd now $349K.

1 new sale: 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $269,555.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $300K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $2.879M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3136 1/1 listed at $340K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 listed at $1.995M.

No closed sales.


2 new listings: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.55M.

2 price changes: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 now $2.25M, 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.289M.

3 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.589M, 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 listed at $3.699M, 1119 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $5.975M.

1 closed sale: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.275M.


Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, stay warm, safe, & smiling! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s A Tropical Kinda Friday!

SanibelSusan here reporting another happy Friday! (Those are especially nice on weeks with closings.) There have been bright blue skies here so-far today, after a soggy Thursday afternoon. Now that the rainy season has settled in and the first of the tropical storms have developed in the gulf, showers have become more frequent and sometimes heavy.

Sanibel Square lost electricity for a short time yesterday. (A notice from the City said that 2000 island customers were affected.) Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC) continues to respond quickly. Go to http://www.lcec.net to download their “Smart Hub” app to report outages and to access your account. LCEC’s outage management map is a good resource too.

A plus with these showers is the islands are back to their lush tropical summer look, vegetation is a brilliant green and growing like crazy. Here are a few photos of the things blooming in my yard today. The gardenia bush is flowering for the third time this year – that’s a first.

These recent rains also have resulted in a lot of skeeters! There are almost enough to help carry in the mail. Though Lee County Mosquito Control (LCMC) has been working hard to keep them in check, population now is expanding faster than the island marsh bunnies – and that is booming. (Seriously, LCMC does a great job keeping those pesky biters in check during “mosquito season”, May through October. Mosquito activity increases, particularly after heavy rains that produce large areas of standing water. With the islands, mangroves, wetlands, and salt marshes, Sanibel is a prime breeding ground, so contact LCMC if you have a large number in your island neighborhood.)

At SanibelSusan Realty

Once again, our listings got some action this week. No offers, but some inquiries and showings. The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Plenty of real estate sales are occurring here. If you are interested in an updated Sanibel/Captiva inventory list, contact The SanibelSusan Team. We are happy to mail or email you one anytime.

Much of the local news, probably like where you are, is about COVID-19 and when schools will begin. Lee County’s School Board met yesterday and have decided to delay the opening here from August 10 to August 31.

The “Real Estate” State of the State

Below is the June 2020 – Florida Housing Report from Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors Chief Economist:

“The June 2020 statistics from Florida Realtors have just been released, and they erase any remaining doubts that Florida’s housing market is in the midst of a large-scale recovery. This isn’t to say that every segment of the market is performing well, but on the whole, things are looking better than they have in several months.

“Let’s start by looking at the statewide statistics for existing single-family home sales. For the first time since March, closed sales were up year-over-year, rising by 1.3%. Remember in April and May, closings were down about 21 and 36%, respectively. But thanks to this nice recovery in June, plus the unusually strong sales growth we had ahead of the pandemic in January and February, here at the mid-point of 2020, closings are only down a little over 7% for the year compared to the first half of 2019. At our current trajectory, in fact, it’s possible that we may end the year with more closed single-family home sales statewide than we had last year.

“Of course, if you’ve been following the numbers with us over the past couple of months, you likely saw all of this coming. After all, new pending sales of single-family homes were up 2.3% in May. And if we assume new pending sales trends will continue to provide reliable forecasts of closings in the months to come, then based on the latest numbers from June, we can expect a very good summer. Why? Because in June, statewide new pending sales of single-family homes were up over 23%, year-over-year.

“Several factors are playing into this renewed demand for housing, but by far, the most important factors are record-low mortgage interest rates and the release of all the pent-up demand from our derailed spring buying season. Of course, we can’t expect this supercharged level of sales growth to last forever, since at some point, we will burn through all of this pent-up demand. But interest rates are not expected to rise any time soon, and they still have some room to go lower, so we have every reason to be optimistic about sales over the coming months, barring additional negative shocks to the economy.

“Over in the condo and townhouse category, existing home sales continue to lag those from the single-family category, but they still show significant improvement. Closed sales in this category were down nearly 11% year-over-year in June, but keep in mind, they were down over 50% in May. Still, the best signal that condos and townhouses are making a comeback comes from probably the most surprising number we saw this month, which is the nearly 20% increase in new contracts compared to the same month last year.

“Over on the supply side of the market, inventory remains scarce and one of our most immediate areas of concern, particularly in the single-family home category. As of the end of June, there were over 27 percent fewer single-family homes listed for sale in Florida’s MLSs than at this time a year ago. Looking at it another way, in three months’ time, we have gone from nearly 84,000 statewide single-family listings at the end of March to under 66,000 listings here at the mid-point of 2020. Fortunately, the condo and townhouse category has fared better, with inventory being down only about 6% compared to a year ago.

“The one positive aspect of this reduction in the supply of available housing is that it counteracted the temporary drop in home sales activity we saw in the first couple months in the pandemic, thereby keeping home values relatively stable. But now that demand has come roaring back, we are starting to see rising prices again. The median sale price for closed single-family home sales in June was $282,000, a 4.4% increase from a year ago. Over in the condo and townhouse category, the median sale price was up 7.7%, to $210,000. As we continue on through 2020, our biggest concern remains the inventory shortage, which could eventually put a cap on the number of possible transactions. But home values should remain stable.

“Now, I’ve covered the state as a whole, but every local market has its own trends….”

The Market on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Looking more specifically at the island market, the below graphic provides the statistics through 2020’s 2nd quarter, provided by the islands Association of Realtors®.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® office remains closed for meetings including caravans, but members are looking forward to our first “virtual” membership meeting on August 13 where the guest speaker is Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice president of Research at the National Association of Realtors®.

He will discuss today’s economic climate, current housing trends, the outlook on resort and 2nd home markets like ours, and his projections for the end of 2020 and beyond. (You may remember from my past blogs that I am a huge fan of his conservative outlooks. If anyone has a question that you would like me to pose to him, just let me know.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24, 2020



2 new listings: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/2 $1.895M.

4 price changes: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 now $357K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $699K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.225M, Sunward #201 3/2 now $1.259M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 listed at $245K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 listed at $549K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 listed at $838K, Somerset #C302 3/2 listed at $1.65M, High Tide #A301 3/2 listed at $1.989M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #C3 1/1 $250K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $775K.


5 new listings: 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $599K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $869K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $889K, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.175M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $4.65M.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $580K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 now $695K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $995K.

10 new sales: 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $460K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $549.4K, 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $590K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $595K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $677K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $770K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $819K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.375M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $583.5K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $658K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $700K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $725K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $750K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $760K (our listing), 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 $865K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $900K, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 $1.4M.


No new listings or price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 6411 Pine Ave $290K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $922K.



1 new listing: Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 listed at $354.9K.

No closed sales.


No new listings.

2 price changes: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 now $2.395M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.938M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

From Orlando to Sanibel Island

Below is an update from the leadership team meetings I attended this week at Florida Realtors®, followed by an article with info about seniors, and then the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday.

SanibelSusan’s Report from Florida Realtors®

It has been a busy three days in Orlando with the Florida Realtors® leadership team at the Renaissance at Sea World.

Wednesday was the all-day instructor auditions where 57 prospective instructors tried out before seven rooms of panelists. First a teacher must be approved to become a member of Florida Realtors® faculty. Then, they must audition again for each class they want to instruct. With this many, it was a long, but productive day. Serving as a panelist is rewarding, in many ways.

That night, Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors won three state RPAC awards.

Yesterday, at the 2020 Florida Real Estate Trends presentation, I heard Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr Brad O’Connor and Dr Sean Snaith who is Director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting. If you are thinking that these statistical guys were boring, think again. Not only did they make looking at numbers fun, their outlooks for Florida are bright.

Dr Snaith’s big concern is the $23+trillion national debt. 27% of that debt is in intra government holdings including Social Security’s trust fund and the Federal Reserve Bank. The Social Security fund has surplus right now because so many baby boomers are still working and paying in. This surplus will go away, likely meaning that $5 trillion in debt will need to be absorbed by the government.

Comparing U.S. debt to other countries, remember the Greek crisis in 2010, that is still felt there today? Their total debt was $380 billion. (Ours in a single quarter is greater than that.)

Now for the good news. Business stimulus from the Trump administration has boosted investment, which boosts productivity, which boosts wages and salaries. Regulation relief also has reduced GDP an average of 2% a year. The regulations in the 70’s doubled GDP then. We all know regulations are needed, but consideration is needed on how they affect the economy and their unintended consequences. Dr Snaith said, “the secret sauce to economic growth is productivity” which increases with less regulation.

Regarding trade, he said, “though it had been the longest recovery in U.S. economic history, any way you look at it, our labor market is strong.” He expects no Federal rate change in 2020, while U.S. economy continues to grow. The momentum is strong with Florida’s economy better than the national average since 2012.

Unemployment here is just 3.3% with Florida business expected to continue to grow, particularly in areas of professional and business, hospitality, and health services.

Fastest growing area in the nation is The Villages (in Florida). The Ft Myers area is 7th fastest growing in the country. Naples/Marco Island area is 19th.

Nation wide, real estate sales to foreign buyers is down 30%, but domestic buyers are picking up the slack. Overall, the economists expect 2020 to be very good to Florida.

Last night was the installation of 2020 officers and inaugural banquet.

At Florida Realtors, so far today, I attended the Professional Development Committee meeting (where our new instructors and classes were officially approved) and the Legal & Professional Update by Florida Realtors attorneys.

Next up are our District meeting and RPAC Jamboree. 

No Place Like Home

Seniors have lots of options to adapt their homes without a major remodel. The following was extracted from the January-February 2020 issue of “Realtor®” magazine:

“A lot of older adults aren’t going anywhere. Even the pools, gyms, coffee bars, and cooking classes at many senior living communities can’t persuade some to sell the house where they raised their families and accumulated a lifetime of memories and possessions. A full 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they want to remain at home throughout their golden years according to an AARP survey. So what are the smartest decisions people can make in pursuit of that goal?

“Most experts say anyone 55 years and older should plan their future living situation long before they have difficulty climbing stairs or stepping into a bathtub. Too often, people make changes in where they live only after a crisis like a serious fall or stroke – which compounds the stress on them and their family. A new category of home auditors can help clients analyze which modifications can be the most helpful. Daniel Edwards, owner of the Handyman Connection in Hanover, Pass., is developing a program to train people to conduct an aging-in-place analysis that includes a checklist of options.

“The movement to age is place is gaining attention from real estate practitioners and a bevy of other professionals, from designers and architects to health care advisors schooled in accessible design…. There are now “living laboratory” homes that allow people to see possibilities first-hand…. 

Design Modifications – Better Living design in Asheville, NC, and architect Jeffrey DeMure, author of Livable Design, recommend four steps to improve existing homes: putting essential spaces on a main level, including a first-floor bedroom; creating a zero-step entry; ensuring good interior air circulation; and improving kitchens and bathrooms….

Home Products – Apart from architectural and design changes, new products can make most facets of life easier for older homeowners. A stair or chair lift provides a relatively easy, affordable way to get to a 2nd or 3rd floor in a multilevel home or apartment…. And although remodeling a bathroom can become expensive… switching out a tub for a curbless shower with a bench is affordable and helps “avoid an accident waiting to happen”…. A heat lamp in a bathroom helps older adults cope with the common problem of feeling cold…. The latest technology – robotic vacuums and lawnmowers, security systems, and smart-home devices that control lighting and temperature – are also assets for coping with aging’s challenges….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 17-24, 2020



4 new listings: Spanish Cay #H6 2/2 $549K, Loggerhead Cay 2/2 #542 $739K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $770K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 $1.099M (our listing).

5 price changes: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 now $379K, Sandpebble #2F 2/2 now $439K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $537K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $597K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $875K.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #311 2/2 listed at $599K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 listed at $679K, Sundial #K103 2/2 listed are $889K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 listed at $1.44M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #H211 1/1 $360K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $468.5K, Sanibel Moorings #821 2/2 $575K, Compass Point #181 2/3 $1.175M.


9 new listings: 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $460K, 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 $489K, 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 $599K, 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 $675K, 4455 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $738K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $949K, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.05M, 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 $1.449M, 6014 White Heron Ln 3/3.5 $1.749M.

13 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $474K, 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $569K, 1717 Sand Pebble way 3/2 now $629K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $675K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 now $724K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $755K, 822 Beach Rd 4/4 duplex now $819K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $849K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $859K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $865.5K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $949K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $1.185M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.424M.

4 new sales: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $559K, 1348 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $998K, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.25M, 5250 Caloosa End Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.389M.

2 closed sales: 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $970K, 707 Anchor Dr 3/2.5 $1.15M.


2 new listings: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd $223K, 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd $267,555.

3 price changes: 5847 Pine Tree Dr now $339K, 602 Boulder Dr now $399K, 4995 Joewood Dr now $2.6M.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings.

2 price changes: Marina Villas #606 2/2 now $736K, Lands End Village #1629 2/2 now $1.3945M.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #9 3/2 listed at $1.795M.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.1M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16596 Captiva Dr 6/8.5 $5.15M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 16151/16155 Captiva Dr now $5.9M.

No new or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Florida REALTORS & Sanibel/Captiva Scoop

Today, SanibelSusan is in Orlando finishing up at the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Here’s hoping this week’s blog doesn’t look too different – I am producing it using my iPhone and iPad. Gotta love this on-the-road technology!

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association’s leadership team was excited Wednesday night to make a clean sweep of the Florida PAC awards for a small board. Below is our 2018 President Dustyn Corace with the first of the trophies. Congratulation to our 2017 RPAC Committee co-chairs Realtor Tina DiCharia and Dave Arter (at left of Dustyn in photo) for leading the charge, and to our entire island membership for their participation and support! Also shown, in addition to the old gray-haired gal next to Dustyn, are our President-Elect soon-to-be-Mom Kasey Albright and her tall husband Realtor Brendan Albright, plus our Association Executive and CEO Bill Robinson.


My teammates have kept the office running smoothly the couple of days I have been here. Tuesday morning, I attended a preliminary closing just before heading out of town, while teammate Dave handled two others later in the week. The details on those, plus teammate Elise’s report of the week’s action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

East Rocks Main Replacement

Island Water logoHere’s some scoop about The Rocks from the Winter “IWA Pipeline”.

“The East Rocks water main replacement, a portion of which was planned for completion in 2017, will now be started and completed beginning in the Spring of 2018. Since a majority of the country’s raw material for manufacturing PVC and HDPE pipe originates in the Texas area, Hurricane Harvey put a serious dent in the supply and price of this commodity. The portion of East Rocks Drive that was planned for 2017 was put off until 2018 when it will be completed along with the rest of the project.

“East Rocks had some streets partially upgraded years ago when fire hydrants were installed. This current project will remove all of the remaining thin-walled pipe and add a fire hydrant on Durion Court. As with the Brine Sump Replacement Project, this project will be paid for out of our reserves, with no assessments to members. This project has a budget of $280K.”

Home Water Treatment Systems

island waterMore about Sanibel’s water from the same “IWA Pipeline”.

“It has recently come to our attention that plumbing companies are attempting to sell our members expensive whole-home water treatment/softener systems. There is simply no need to install such a system to treat our water. The mineral content of our water is very low. In fact, after running through the Reverse Osmosis membranes, there are no minerals in the water. We have to add minerals in the form of a small amount of raw water back into our water to bring the total hardness up to between 30 to 60, depending on which wells we use. The state considers a total hardness of between 80-120 to be optimal. Anything below 100 is considered soft. Do not let a water treatment sales person try to tell you our water is hard.

“If the issue is chlorine residual, which is required by law, buy yourself a charcoal filter for the kitchen faucet or refrigerator water line for drinking water and ice. If you buy a whole-house charcoal filter, you will be removing the disinfectant from your house plumbing, which could lead to bacterial growth in your piping.

“If you would like your water tested, bring in a sample in a clean plastic or glass bottle, and we can test for chlorine residual and hardness. It should be at least a pint, at room temperature, and brought here as soon as possible. Chlorine degrades over time.”

Sanibel Library Update

sanibel-library-logoThe latest issue of the Sanibel Library newsletter had some interesting info too:

“Sanibel Public Library was recognized with a 2017 “Four Star” rating by “Library Journal”, the fourth time Sanibel has earned this national award. In statewide rankings of Florida public libraries, Sanibel Public Library ranked:

#1 for Material Available Per Capita: 13.11 (statewide average 1.86) Books, Movies, Music, Magazines
#1 for Public Computers Available Per 1,000: 4.6 (statewide average 0.82)
#1 for public space (square feet)
#2 for Circulation Per Borrower: 21.65 (statewide average 11.04)
#2 for Program Attendance Per Capita: 7 (statewide average 0.23)
#3 for Library Visits Per Capita: 18.51 (statewide average 3.79).”

Wondering what’s happening at the Library now?

“The award-winning Sanibel Public Library is a community anchor that encourages discovery, enrichment, and lifelong learning. The Library began with volunteers in the 1960s and is currently in its fifth home, which opened in 1994. In 2004 the building was expanded to its current size. Both the appearance and the quality of the structure are outstanding, but the infrastructure – HVAC, fire suppression, plumbing, lighting, technology, and flooring – are being upgraded for greater efficiency and sustainable design.

“As we take care of the infrastructure, we looked at the current use of the building, and how that use has changed over the past several years and how it will change in the future. Your Library Board of Commissioners is responding to these ever-changing needs while maintaining what is good about the last 50 years of library service on Sanibel, with a focus on fresh, new, dynamic services and programs.

“Reconfiguring the interior includes a user-centered service design with flexible, multi-purpose spaces for reading and research, collaboration, multiple technology access points, children’s story-time space, and more. The Sanibel Public Library will be positioned for the next decade of exemplary, innovative, and responsive library service.

“Your Library Reimagined has been in the planning since early 2015. The Library Board set a budget of $5.9 million, which is being covered by Library reserves, grants, and gifts. The project is currently in Phase I, half the Library is open to the public during the remodel. Phase I is nearing completion, and Phase II is expected to begin in February, with full completion expected by September 2018.”

2018 Florida Real Estate Trends

97C7F585-3EEB-4DE8-9BFE-5F821247F52BHere are a few notes from the session I attended yesterday at the Florida Realtors Governance Meetings. This one included presentations by:

● Dr. Tony Villamil, who was Governor Bush’s first Director for Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Previously, he was President George Bush’s U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. Today, he is the founder and principal advisor at The Washington Economics Group, Inc.

● Kevin Foreman who leads INDRIX Big Data and GeoAnalytics. He is the General Manager of GeoAnalytics.

● Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida REALTORS Chief Economist.

The following snippets are from Dr. Villamil’s presentation: “National & Florida Economic Outlook”. Next week’s update will include info from the other speakers’ presentations: “How Self-Driving Cars Will Impact Real Estate” and “Florida Residential Resale Market Update”. All were interesting, and confirm the real estate business continues to evolve – in a good way!

According to Dr. Villamil, the overall international business climate will not change significantly in 2018.

Positive factors in Florida’s economy include the state being pro-growth with increasing population and growing employment. Global economy is expanding at a moderate pace and the U.S. economy also will grow this year at a good clip.

His 2018 economic outlook has U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) up 3% and world output globally up 3.5%. Canada is doing well. The economy is expected to be up India (under new prime minister (democracy)) and China. Brazil is expected to be back in action too, but there is mixed outlook for Latin America.

In financial markets, inflation may be up 2%, but household net worths are doing very well, consumers will continue to buy, and real estate will remain in demand.

Much of Florida’s economy depends on open global markets. Watch for the modernization of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), and U.S./global markets going to “sunshine”.

Florida’s employment is growing faster than the rest of the nation. That should continue in 2018. Florida’s real GDP which is top among states also should continue to increase too and pass $1 trillion in 2018!

Dr. Villamil expects a positive environment for Florida’s 2018 real estate markets with the strong economic expansion to continue; population, employment, and visitor growth to be more than 2017; positive tax changes for Florida residents; and international visitors and foreign investment to increase.

Economic factors that need to be monitored include the Fed being less accommodating, inflation expectations, “hard” Brexit, the U.S. dollar exchange rate, trade/immigration policy, and 2018 national and state elections.

So overall, it should be another outstanding year for Florida business. Exciting changes are coming though. More info on that next week.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 19-26, 2018

3 new listings: Donax Village #9 2/2 $499K, Pointe Santo #E35 2/2 $1.295M, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.379M.
8 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $274K (our listing), Sand Pointe #122 2/2 now $649K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 now $999K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.175M, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.198M, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 now $1.398M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 now $1.225M, Poinciana #3C 3/2 now $1.725M.
5 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 listed at $765K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 listed at $799K, Sundial West #E208 2/2 listed at $1.15M, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 listed at $1.745M.
2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #109 2/2 $665K, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 $1M (our buyer).

12 new listings: 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $639K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $645K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $689K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $725K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $849K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $849K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $979K, 542 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $989K, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.198M, 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.199M, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 $1.299M.
13 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $549K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $599,995; 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $639K; 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $644K; 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $689K; 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $787K; 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $849K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 now $849K; 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $879K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.195M; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 now $1.395M; 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 now $3.195M; 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $3.299M.
5 new sales: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 listed at $499K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $920K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 4641 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 listed at $3.295M.
5 closed sales: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 $385K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $585K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $685K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.71M, 1149 Paper Fig Ct 4/3 $2.179M.

1 new listing: 1550 Centre St $225K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Lot 27, Leisure Acres listed at $59K.
No closed sales.

3 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $620K; Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.648M; Seabreeze #1253 3/3 $1,999,999.
1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.
1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.195M.
1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 $1.3745M.

1 new listing: 16177/179 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.75M.
2 price changes: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.395M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.695M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.725M.

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 week! Enjoy your weekends wherever you are & please contact the SanibelSusan Team for your real estate needs. We are always ready to help you!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A January Island Friday With Sunshine

cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17This week the Sanibel/Captiva weather improved, even saw a little sunshine, before it deteriorated again midweek. With a record 12″ of rain this month, compared to the average January when there are only 2”, those here on vacation probably are not happy campers.

There also was gridlock traffic on both Sunday morning and Monday evening when accidents on the causeway brought incoming and outgoing vehicles to a standstill. The Monday event had both main and secondary roadways at a crawl for hours.

There now is a lake in the parking lot behind the office, but clearing is expected today. The rain sure beats the white stuff stacking up in much of the country and the dry spell out west. Mother Nature and her friend El Nino get the attention of all of us!

Unfortunately with bad weather, island real estate action has slowed down. After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week – just a handful of sales.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors® leadership team and state committees meet twice a year in Orlando, now and again in late August. I was appointed to two this year and should make it to Orlando in time to attend the Major Investors RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) Reception tonight, followed by the annual RPAC Jamboree where the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® should clean up with several awards. After dying my hair pink last May as part of the challenge to raise a few more dollars, I sure hope we come home with trophies.

government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeIsland property owners may not know it, but the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® has put plenty of RPAC dollars to good use here. They have helped in beach re-nourishment, the eventual passing of the City’s build-back ordinance, and more recently to pay for the study that convinced local and state politicians that poor water quality negatively affects property values. Water quality issues have been in the forefront for our association for the last 20-some years with the fight continuing at the state meeting today when representatives from Sanibel report about what is happening with the water around Southwest Florida at the Florida Realtors® Land Use, Property Rights, and Sustainable Development Subcommittee Meeting.

Saturday I take part in the Florida Realtors® Professional Standards Forum, followed by the Resort & Second Home Specialists Forum. Saturday night is the Inaugural Banquet, then I’ll be back on the road first thing Sunday morning heading back to Sanibel.


Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

The new Japanese steakhouse & sushi bar at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is opening Feb 2. Called “Shima”. Make reservations at www.SundialResort.com/eat

AT&T Breaks Silence by Applying for Donax Tower Permits

AT&T_logo_svgSince I live on the east-end where AT&T service is non-existent without a booster cell in my house, I was excited to read the below article posted on line yesterday by the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“AT&T has applied for permits to install its equipment on Sanibel, a move that would improve cell reception and put an end to the impasse between the city and the communications giant.

“The application was made Wednesday, Jan. 27, just days after the mayor involved the island’s citizenry, but months after the island thought it would happen. The installation is expected in the second quarter of this year and Mayor Kevin Ruane said the city will do all it can to make it happen as soon as possible.

“The development and building permits applied for Wednesday by a third-party contractor will allow AT&T to install its equipment on the Donax Road cell tower already occupied by Verizon. The installation will significantly boost the wireless reception on a big part of Sanibel Island for AT&T customers.

“Ruane turned the city loose on AT&T last week. In appearances around the island, he gave citizens phone numbers and the e-mail address of AT&T’s Maria Johnson, the area representative, and urged all to contact her. The Chamber of Commerce transmitted the mayor’s message.

“All that came after months of inactivity that followed the sudden withdrawal last summer of permits to put up the equipment. The City Council discussed it in August and the resulting story in the Santiva Chronicle caught the eye of someone who introduced Ruane to Johnson.

“Then things went silent, according to Ruane. On Wednesday he found out why – Johnson left her position with AT&T in November. Ruane spoke Wednesday with Don Sadler, a new representative from AT&T, who told him the permits had been applied for and work would be completed no later than the second quarter. “We don’t have an exact time frame, but no later than the second quarter,” Ruane said.

“Ruane said he learned Wednesday that the tower isn’t owned by wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, but by a third party and that the tower recently changed hands. The AT&T representative told him the sale required an engineering study and that has slowed progress. “I told him how frustrated the island is,” Ruane said. “He sensed my frustration.”

“That frustration has been building since the end of last year following his September meeting with Johnson.

“We had a face-to-face meeting,” Ruane said. “She told me this could take a long time, and I told her that, in all due respect, we have been waiting three years. She said she would try to get it moved up to the fourth quarter in 2015. “I took her at her word,” Ruane said. “Around the holidays I reached out to her, and her voice mail said the best way to reach her was to send a text. I sent text messages, and after three or four of not getting anywhere I started talking to groups and telling them what they can look forward to. I told them I have no update because nobody is communicating.”

“Ruane said Sadler told him correspondence to Johnson had been rolling into a central bank and Ruane surmised that the recent glut of contacts from Sanibel caught AT&T’s eye.

“In relating the news that the permits had been applied for, City Manager Judie Zimomra said that processing the permits will be a high priority.”

The Proper Home Seller Etiquette

Realtor.com logosSome good reminders here, from the Jan 26, 2016 “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“What unwritten etiquette rules should home sellers follow to show their home to potential buyers? Realtor.com® recently highlighted a few of these must-follow etiquette tips…

  • Don’t stay for showings. Home owners who lurk during an open house or showing can unnerve buyers. “Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move,” says Nicholas Kensington, a real estate professional with Scottsdale Real Estate. “Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.”
  • Keep your car out of the way. “Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home,” Kensington notes. “No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.”
  • Take the pets with you when you go. Not everyone likes pets. What’s more, some home buyers will have allergies and your pet could make them sick. “Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone,” says Brenda Hayward, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Keep out important documents. “Leaving necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot isn’t just good for selling, it’s also good selling etiquette,” says Kensington. “Put out the home inspection report, appraisal, home warranty, monthly bill information — gas, oil, electric — and proof of any major repairs are all good things to let people look through when they are considering buying your home.”
  • Have some refreshments available. “Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Don’t be stubborn. Sellers who are unwilling to negotiate will likely see their home linger on the market. “Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but greed can lead to disaster,” Josh Myler, a real estate professional with The Agency, told realtor.com®. “Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Generosity will lead you to your promised land.””

See the full list of tips at realtor.com®.

Source: “8 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Seller Should Know,” realtor.com® (Jan. 25, 2016)

Trends That Will Influence Homes in 2016

realtor logoAs Realtors® part of the job includes helping buyers and sellers learn what is new to meet their own needs as well as the desires of future buyers. The following article is a long one, so I shortened it up some – but right-on. Written by Barbara Ballinger, it came from the Tuesday on-line edition of RealtorMag®.

“Design changes, as does architecture. Trends don’t emerge as rapidly here as they do in say, food or fashion, but the economy, the environment, and demographics all spur shifts in the choices of materials, designs, layouts, and construction methods for single- and multifamily dwellings.

“These 12 trends reflect ways to cope with environmental challenges, incorporate new building materials and methods, and alter the looks and functionality of our homes. Hear top designers and architects explain why these emerging trends are important and how they’ll influence real estate choices in the near future.

“1. More Resilient, Sustainable Homes – Mounting climate change pressures mean buildings need to better withstand natural disasters. Similarly, because our natural resources are dwindling, it’s increasingly important that structures be designed and built sustainably. Industry professionals are finding materials and construction techniques to meet both challenges. The Fortified Home Certification standard—created by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and Architectural Testing Inc.—represents engineering and building levels that provide sturdier structural envelopes that are more resilient against the worst weather conditions than those found in most current building codes. And the trends of making better use of natural resources and generating energy on site—for a double win of more energy and less money spent—will continue into 2016… Increased durability means more lives and buildings will be saved, costs to rebuild will be pared, and insurance premiums will be lowered. The trend is happening nationwide, not just in hurricane-prone locales like Florida….

“2. Classics, Made More Affordable – More home owners want quality, luxurious materials, but the finest choices aren’t always in the budget,…  With construction and material costs increasing, the need has emerged for less expensive options that still look luxe and hold up well. For example, instead of solid stone facades, architects may opt for stone veneer on studs and drywall instead of plaster inside. Or, rather than go with terra-cotta, a timeless but expensive material, they can select a handsome thin terra-cotta veneer applied to manufactured panels….

“3. Drought Awareness – Droughts continue to affect large areas of the U.S., making water more expensive and decreasing its availability, especially in the Southwest and California. Water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and showerheads have become standard—even mandated—in many areas…. Water conservation will become as important as energy conservation, and homes that collect as much water as they consume will be as popular with buyers as Net-Zero–energy homes now are… with more demand for water-saving measures such as water-smart irrigation sensors, composting toilets, gray-water recycling systems, and rainwater harvesting.

“4. Digitized Manufacturing – Sustainable materials such as glass, in conjunction with new manufacturing technologies, are expanding the choice of colors, textures, and sizes of materials available for home design. At the same time, 3-D manufacturing, what some call the third industrial revolution, has created a new panoply of readily available, prefabricated materials as an alternative to more expensive custom choices…. The glass-and-LED combination is just one new technique that can result in a product that incorporates a sustainable material into a sturdy, practical, energy-efficient, and glamorous new surface for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Such choices greatly personalize rooms much more than another granite, laminate, or Corian top might do, and help to distinguish listings in a crowded market.

“5. Reclaimed Wood Floors – Many home owners crave authenticity, no matter how durable, affordable, and convincing the imitations may be. A case in point: the increased demand for reclaimed wood boards, which wear well, show the patina of age, and reveal visual character….The type of wood flooring found in many homes will take on greater importance for many segments of the home-buying population, and it may be that soon not just any wood will do. The crème de la crème of wood flooring —reclaimed boards—may become the equivalent of once sought after granite and now quartz or marble….

“6. Softening Modern Severity – With so many home owners now favoring modern design, yet not wanting a harsh, laboratory look, designers search for alternatives….

“7. The Tiny House Movement on Wheels – Downsizing is big, reflected in part by the growth of the tiny house movement. But flexibility and mobility are also sought after, and many desire a hipper method of attaining this than RVs can offer…. The design profession keeps looking for options beyond traditional, stick-built houses, hence the uptick in prefabricated, manufactured housing. This brand-new example offers shelter to those who are keen on smaller houses, but don’t like the idea of always staying put,… It also offers other possibilities for the real estate industry. It allows some home owners to “test drive” small-scale living. And if the trend continues to expand, landowners may find empty lots in vacation areas to be the perfect spot to rent out to these home owners on wheels.

“8. Walk-In, Universal Design Pantries – Currently there are 78 million baby boomers and the aging population is increasing — in fact, it’s expected to rise by 50% between 2010 and 2020, according to Aging in Place, a state survey of livability policies and practices. A deep, wide walk-in pantry allows a walker or wheelchair to maneuver through easily….

“9. Better Integration of Indoors and Outdoors – Screened porches once were the prime quasi-outdoor space in a home that could protect occupants from bad weather yet offer a feeling of the outdoors. But many porches block daylight and views, and they can only be used part of the year in some climates. Now, well-designed, large-scale door panels that fold up like garage doors or open into a home’s walls via big pocket doors are becoming more readily available at affordable prices,…  Some have highly functional, retractable insect screens, too… These new bigger openings permit better views of the outdoors, greater enjoyment, and easier access between indoors and outdoors….

“10. Softer, Layered Color Palettes – Color trendsetter Pantone typically debuts only one superstar color of the year. But in 2016, two are taking center stage: “rose quartz” and “serenity.” Both reflect the rise of softer colors, along with the continued use of whites and creams. Some designers think this color direction and its layered palettes lead to a more personalized, sophisticated design….Time will tell if a non-election year and fewer terrorism threats may inspire a return to bolder hues…. These new colors are already turning up inside homes in countertops and backsplashes….

“11. Copper Chic Surges (Even More) – The old standby of copper—think of those pots your parents, grandparents, or Julia Child used—started its re-emergence last year. And the reason that it’s becoming a more widespread alternative to stainless steel, wood, and other materials isn’t all surface. Yes, copper can add sheen, sparkle, and a 1940s Hollywood glamour. But an equally big impetus is that it reduces more than 99.9% of bacteria in between routine cleanings, important because antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise…. This shiny gold-like hue will become more prevalent in homes as concern grows about buying healthy houses without mold, toxins, and bacteria. To help, U.S. manufacturers are producing more options in copper than just refrigerator, oven, and other appliance fronts, the developments that initially helped revive the trend. Throughout homes, buyers can add copper sinks, door handles, light switches, and trim. To enhance its appeal, manufacturers are also expanding the types of hues available. Already, there’s a copper-penny color, brushed nickel, yellow brassiness, and bronze on the market.

“12. Enhancing Entertainment Space with Niches and “Back Kitchens” – Living keeps getting more casual, and this is certainly the case in the kitchen. “Everything happens in the kitchen, and people don’t want to be closed away from interaction with their families,”…Consequently, they’re willing to put more into their kitchens — more space (500 square feet is not uncommon, he says), bigger budgets, better design, more windows and light, and the types of detailing, like moldings and beams, once reserved for more formal spaces…. As open plans that incorporate more important kitchen space become commonplace, finding ways to keep the workspace neat becomes key, too. This may mean more niches and elements that hide small appliances built into the main kitchen. Home owners with more room and a bigger budget might consider adding a “back kitchen,” where preparations take place and small appliances like toasters and coffee makers are stored. To maintain the interflowing social feel, the spaces remain open to one another. A growing number of home buyers may be willing to forgo a dining room….”

The Top States for Retirees in 2016

Florida the sunshine state“Those in the 65-plus bracket may find their money will go further and their quality of life will be better in certain areas of the country. To help figure out which ones are best, WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 metrics to determine the most retirement-friendly states:

  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Pennsylvania

Check out the full list, linked below, to see where your state landed.”

Source: “2016’s Best and Worst States to Retire,” WalletHub (January 2016)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 22-29, 2016

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


6 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $599K, Surfside 12 #A2 3/2 $799K, Sundial East $M301 2/2 $799K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $849K, Atrium #302 2/2 $1.645M, High Tide #B101 2/2.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 now $639K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #2-2 3/3 now $739K, St.Croix #4 2/2.5 now $935K, Island Beach Club #350D 2/2 now $1.1M, West Shore #3 3/3 now $1.699M, Tigua Quay #487 3/3.5 now $1.989M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 listed at $375K.

1 closed sale: Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 $795K.


1 new listing: 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

7 price changes: 847 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 now $410K, 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $515K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $765K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $799.9K, 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.19M, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 now $1.259M, 911 Strangler Fig Ln 4/3 now $2.85M.

3 new sales: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 listed at $684.9K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 listed at $1.275M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 listed at $6.975M.

2 closed sales: 1429 Sandpiper Cir 3/3 half-duplex $415K, 5436 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $950K.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $199,555; 2626 Coconut Dr now $317K; 9066 Mockingbird Dr now $380K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $559K.

No new or closed sales.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $4.85M.

5 price changes: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.495M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.895M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.925M, 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $2.345M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $3.75M.

1 new sale: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $1.7M, 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.15M.


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.)

Bring on the sunshine, Florida is ready for it!

Happy weekend all, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan



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



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).


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.


No new listings.

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

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3354 Barra Cir $295K.



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.


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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.


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

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News from Orlando to the Islands

Fl Realtors Mid-Winter 2015 logoIt’s a group effort today. I (Susan) am in Orlando at the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings, while David and Elise are in the office minding the store.
Several of our listings had showings this week and island traffic picked up appreciably again over the holiday weekend, though many of those here on Monday seemed to be day-trippers.
I was out showing canal-front property both Saturday and Sunday and teammate Dave has been fielding several inquiries both last week and this from several entry-level buyers.
Open house signAnother cooperative group Open House is scheduled at The Sanctuary on the afternoon of February 4. We will have our listing at 5743 Balstusrol Court open then as The SanibelSusan Team continues to host open houses there and at other vacant listings as they are available.
After a few news items below is the action posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Florida Realtors® 2015 Mid-Winter Meetings
Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Meetings in Orlando each January are when the state leadership team sets the stage for the year. I arrived in time for Wednesday’s Economic Summit where the future of the economy internationally and nationally, was further broken down to the state level, then by county.
Indications are that 2015 will be a good one for real estate sales in most of Florida. Lee County is one of the top areas experiencing a growth spurt again.
The profile of the prospective Florida buyer still varies greatly from east to west coast with little activity here from Asian and South America buyers which are a huge component on the east coast. Florida’s terrific weather, low gas prices, Panama Canal expansion, consumer confidence, general increased savings by the population, and pent-up demand are the biggest contributors to the bright outlook for future sales here.
(Interestingly, as we were preparing this update, teammate Dave pointed out the recent reports by Reuter and others about the weakening of the euro against the dollar and how that likely will affect European business which plays a key role in the economy of South Florida (both coasts). Additionally, with other recent reports this week of Russians looking to back out of U.S. sales contracts because of the fall of the ruble, it will be interesting to see how the year advances. The SanibelSusan Team’s business with international buyers has increased over the years, sometimes because of referrals through our sphere of influence, networking, and memberships in international real estate organizations. These economic snapshots are just that, so important to watch, and ever changing.)
SanCap2015RPAC awardsLast night, The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® again took home four of five state awards for RPAC contributions. We keep trying to win that 5th one too. Maybe next year!
government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeSanibel & Captiva continually earn the state prize for highest-percentage participation over goal mostly because our members recognize how important those contributions are. Realtor associations® get state and national support and monies back when they are needed for issues that affect real estate and property rights locally.
In past years, the islands have benefited from these dollars in efforts to improve water quality, promote beach re-nourishment, and ensure build-back.
realtor logoLater today, I am participating in a Professionalism Forum which is covering a new Ombudsman Program that has been mandated nationally for all local associations to adopt by 2016. This program averts the filing of ethics complaints through enhanced communication and problem-solving techniques.
SanCapAssnLogoAs the 2015 Chairman of Sanibel/Captiva’s Grievance Committee, this new program on the islands likely will make my job easy. Fortunately, the islands association rarely gets complaints from either the public or Realtors, but we are prepared just the same. More importantly we educate our members that strong ethics and the doing business by the golden rule are key.
Tomorrow, the Professional Development Committee meeting in the morning will cover motions from the Curriculum Subcommittee, Faculty Subcommittee, and Faculty and Program Development Subcommittee. This Committee is the group that handles all of the education for our members. No work for me on the Audition Panel this time, I have been appointment as a full committee member.
Late morning, I will play a role at the Professional Standards Forum where new national Core Standards including Citation Programs will be presented in a series of short vignettes. No costumes this year as these standards are serious changes. Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association has already adopted a Citation Program too. For a small association, we are very pro-active.
RSPS LogoIn the afternoon, I am a member of the Resort and Second-Home Specialists Forum where in addition to the information shared, it results in networking that brings The SanibelSusan Team business. Owners of real estate in resort areas often purchase more than one property. This state exposure, keeps in the minds of colleagues around the state who similarly work the resort and second-home market.
Tomorrow night after the District meetings (our District also covers Naples, Marco Island, Bonita/Estero, Fort Myers & The Beach, and Cape Coral), I will attend the Inaugural Banquet featuring the installation of the Florida Realtors® 2015 Officers, District Vice Presidents, and Presidents of Florida’s Chapters of National Association of Realtors® Institutes, Societies, and Councils.
Wondering how this convention-type stuff helps business? I am a firm believer that volunteering time and giving back to your profession brings rewards. It has worked so far and it keeps us ahead of the curve in industry happenings. I am pleased to be appointed to these state committees and happy to bring back all of the news and handouts to share with our local association members.
Sunday morning will have me on the road heading back to the island where I likely will be in the office by mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, teammates Elise and Dave are in the office today, with Lisa and Dave covering tomorrow, and Sunday morning. (Of course, I have been doing some wheeling and dealing by email/phone while here too.)
LCEC Rate Decrease
Lcec logoGood news from Lee County Electric Co-op. In their January newsletter, it says “While many utilities are increasing electric rates, LCEC is reducing rates for the second year in a row. 2015 begins the seventh year LCEC has not raised electric rates….The LCEC Board of Trustees approved a decrease in the PCA from $16.65 per 1,000 kWh to $14.60 per 1,000 kWh….”
In the same newsletter were some reminders of some no-cost ways to help keep even more money in your pocket:
  • “Manage your thermostat – no lower than 78 degrees in summer; no higher than 68 degrees in winter.
  • Use ceiling fans only when you are in the room..
  • Turn lights off when you aren’t in the room.
  • Clean fridge coils regularly.
  • Only run dishwasher/clothes washer when they are full.
  • Use microwave, toaster oven, crock pot more often.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 16-23 
3 new listings: Sundial #O201 2/2 $749K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $940K, Kinzie Island #A 4/3.5 $2.495M.
2 price changes: Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 now $669K, Sand Pointe #214 2/2 now $729K
7 new sales: Captains Walk #E5 2/2 listed for $299K, Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 listed for $575K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 listed for $664K, Loggerhead Cay #522 2/2 listed for $695K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 listed for $799K, Gulfside Place #125 2/2 listed for $1.17M, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed for $1.369K.
2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 $495K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 $650K.
9 new listings: 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 $399K, 9475 Bunting Ln 3/2 $547.9K, 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $549K, 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 $585K, 1460 Court Pl 6/5.5 (multi-family) $699K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 $799K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 $880K, 461 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.995M, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.995M.
8 price changes: 702 Donax St 2/2 now $415K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $459K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $615K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $629K (short sale), 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $1.05M, 1990 Sunrise Cir 4/3.5 now $1.295M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.595M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.575M.
14 new sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $359K, 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed for $399K, 938 Palm St 3/2 listed for $425K, 315 East Gulf 3/2 half-duplex listed for $449K, 317 East Gulf 3/2 half-duplex listed for $449K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 listed for $579K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 listed for $589K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 listed for $789K, 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 listed for $799K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed for $999.9K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 listed for $1.098M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed for $1.595M, 561 Lighthouse Way 5/4 listed for $1.895M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed for $2.995M.
5 closed sales: 589 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $435K; 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $460K; 4599 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2/2 $520K; 1710 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $691,675; 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $864K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Beverly Ln (Lot 19) listed for $196K.
No closed sales.
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 $299K, Lands End Village #1601 2/2 $1.259M, Captiva Bay Villas #D 3/3.5 $3.595M.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 listed for $499K, Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed for $2.675M.
No closed sales.
2 new listings: 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.34M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $5.495M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 15301 Captiva Dr listed for $2.249M.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd $2.5M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

The Forecast Missed…It’s Another Gorgeous Day on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It is another sunny Friday afternoon on Sanibel Island. The weathermen forecast a high today of only the mid-60’s so some of us are wearing turtle necks, longs sleeves, and scarves with their flip flops. Ha, they were wrong again. It’s a bright 70 degrees mid-afternoon with blue skies and temperatures rising! January can be funny here though, we could still see a few days of island winter.

Pool to golfBelow are a couple of real estate news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week. Several of our listings were shown and David/Elise hosted our Realtor Caravan Open House yesterday from 9 a.m. until noon in The Sanctuary. Since they were getting good walk-in traffic, Dave continued the Open House until 4 p.m. and got some good walk-in activity then too.

Though the roadway and bike paths were busy again this week, just 11 new sales were announced on Sanibel, one on Captiva (a big one).

Our friends in the accommodations business describe this week as setting records for reservations. That probably means that February and March will be standing room only on the islands. We can expect more sales then.

2015 Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors Installation & Awards Banquet

Program Pg 2Last Saturday night, this annual event was a success and well attended with the banquet room full and the sunset spectacular from Sundial Beach Resort’s new open deck. It’s great to see the resort bounce back following its recent renovations.

This year the theme was “Carnival”, so attendees were asked to dress in white.

As the evening’s emcee again, it was fun to present the awards to this year’s winners:

Administrative Support award to Jessica Elliott with VIP, Rookie of the Year to Chris Johnson with Pfeifer Realty, Affiliate of the Year to Nanci Berlin with Barrier Island Title, Community Service award to Shane Spring with VIP, and Realtor of the Year to Dave Schuldenfrei also with VIP. Both Shane and David worked hard in the association’s continuing goals to help to improve water quality and keep flood insurance affordable.

Chris HeidrickDavid, also 2014 President, gave a special award to Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Company Insurance. Chris, also a Sanibel Planning Commissioner, is Chairman of the National Flood Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, and he sits on the Flood Insurance Producers National Committee which is an advisory committee to FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program.

Congratulations to all on their awards!

2015 Florida Realtors Mid-Year Business Meetings

Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando begin next Wednesday with Florida’s Economic Summit. Here is the write-up posted on Florida Realtors yesterday about the upcoming summit:

“The real estate market plays a vital role in Florida’s economy, and figuring out what lies ahead in 2015 is key to policymakers, residents and Realtors®. Several respected economists will share their insights on the state’s business climate and economy at Florida Realtors®2015 Economic Summit on Jan. 21, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m….The summit kicks off Florida Realtors’ Mid-Winter Business Meetings, which take place Jan. 21-25, 2015.

“”We anticipate the positive trends that developed last year to continue into 2015,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Florida’s economy is producing significant numbers of jobs, in-migration is strong and the housing market will benefit. Florida Realtors expects home sales to increase by about 10% in 2015, and values to move upward at the historical average rate of 4.5-5%. Because of inventory shortages at the lower price levels of the market, measured median and average prices will rise by 10-15% – about the same as their performance in 2014.

“”Both the economy and real estate will benefit from lower gas prices, which are expected to continue through the first half of the year,” he adds. “This will give consumers more spendable income, but will also allow them to consider buying homes farther from metropolitan centers, where home prices are lower. Florida’s economy also will benefit from both the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will bring new trade and employment opportunities to Florida, and from numerous transportation projects that are now underway or planned around the state.”

“Summit speakers include Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Ted Jones, chief economist and senior vice president, Stewart Title Guaranty Company; and Dr. John Tuccillo, Florida Realtors chief economist. Attendees also will hear a discussion of regional development and economic trends from a panel of civic and business leaders….”

Loan Demand Posts Biggest Leap in 6 Years

CNBC_Logo_FlatAlthough most Sanibel & Captiva Island sales are cash transactions, it was encouraging to read about the uptick in the mortgage activity this week. The below article was posted Wednesday on “Daily Real Estate News” and sourced to CNBC. Whenever there is good news like this, it has positive impact throughout the market.

“Plunging mortgage rates sent mortgage applications skyrocketing last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports in its weekly survey released Wednesday.

“Mortgage application volume reflecting demand for home purchases and refinances soared 49.1% in the week ending January 9, compared to the previous week, the MBA reports. Most of that jump was attributed to a 66% seasonally adjusted increase in applications to refinance. Refinance applications are now at the highest level since July 2013.

“Applications for home purchases, viewed as a gauge of future home-buying activity, rose to a seasonally adjusted 24% from the previous week. Applications for home purchases are now 2% higher than they were a year ago. The MBA said a new 3 percent down payment option for qualified buyers at Fannie Mae contributed to the gain. “Purchase application volume was at its highest level since September 2013 … and notably increased across most loan size categories, particularly for the conforming, middle of the market loan segments that had been weak for much of the past year,” says Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s chief economist.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to a 3.89% average last week, its lowest level since May 2013. “In addition to the drop in rates, and news of improvement in the job market, there was additional positive news for prospective home buyers with evidence that credit availability has increased somewhat, and with the FHA’s announcement of a decrease in their mortgage insurance premiums,” Fratantoni said.”

“Sanctuary Sound”

The Sanctuary club aerialYesterday’s email brought the January issue of the “Sanctuary Sound” from Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership and Marketing at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Here is an excerpt:

The Sanctuary Sign2July08“What an amazing beginning to 2015! We are selling Equity Memberships like crazy. There is a Waiting List for the Social Memberships, but an Application will secure a spot on the Waiting List. The number of inquiries has doubled from last year.”

Sheryl plays an important role in getting our prospective Sanctuary clients on the golf course, tennis court, or dinner, so it is always good news when she shares what is happening in her office.

Sanctuary membership categories are: Equity Membership – $110,000; Introductory Membership – $10,000; Temporary Membership – $5,000 for 1 month or $7,000 for 2 months; Social Membership: $15,000.

Below is an aerial photos of our listing at 5743 Baltusrol Court in The Sanctuary. The lot next door is available too. Click the tabs above to access a full-page of information about each of our listings – streaming videos too!


Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 9-16 



5 new listings: Captains Walk #E5 2/2 $299K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 $509K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 $769K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $999.9K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.089M.

1 price change: White Pelican #123 2/2 now $799.9K.

2 new sales: Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 listed for $575K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 listed for $624.9K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D307 1/1 $225K, Sandpebble #E 2/2 $410K.


1 new listing: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $559K.

5 price changes: 1380 Jamaica Dr 3/2 now $599.9K; 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 now $599,999; 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $689K; 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 now $1.2945M; 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.995M.

8 new sales: 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 listed for $424K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 listed for $449K (short sale), 1717 Windward Way 3/2 listed for $649K, 1710 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 251 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $809K, 749 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed for $1.225M, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed for $1.295M, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 listed for $1.495M.

2 closed sales: 660 Durion Ct 2/2 $540K, 1674 Sabal Palm Dr 3/3 $790K.


1 new listing: 1301 Par View Dr $249.555.

3 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $209K, 6486 Pine Ave now $359.9K, 3723 West Gulf Dr now $3.089M.

1 new sale: 2562 Coconut Dr listed for $349K.

1 closed sale: 218 Violet Dr $325K.



3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 $499K, Bayside Villas #5324 3/3 $595K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 1.685M.

No price changes, new sales or closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed for $14.85M.

No closed sales.


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.

Until next week, here is another favorite Sanibel beach photo.

Many visitors here this winter are saying the beach looks better than ever!

The SanibelSusan Team agrees!

Pointe Santo beach

Florida Realtors® & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Happenings

Florida Realtors logoSanibelSusan is writing this from the Florida Realtors® 2014 Conference & Trade Expo in Orlando which is a terrific annual event with the leadership team’s subcommittee, committee and business meetings, plus plenty of Realtor® camaraderie.

This year I am happy to be serving on several including: the Audition Panel for new instructors; the Professional Development Committee’s Curriculum Subcommittee; the Professional Subcommittee; the Professional Standards Forum; and the Resort and Second-Home Specialist Forum.

2014 conventionSometimes I think that when I am out of town, the SanibelSusan Team performs at their finest. It certainly seems to work in bringing us new business. I’ve only been here a couple of days and already the team has serviced an unexpected new listing at Pointe Santo, and teammate Dave is all set to show property tonight and in the morning to some last-minute buyers flying in later today for a quick 2-day home/condo buying trip. Dave is on a roll after putting an off-island property under contract earlier in the week. So much for August being a quiet month in Southwest Florida!

View from our new listing at Pointe Santo

View from our new listing at Pointe Santo

Here are a few more news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days.

“Homeless to Harvard”

breaking-night-liz-murrayMany island real estate colleagues also are in Orlando, soaking up the educational sessions, networking, and finalizing our 2014 committee work. Yesterday at the annual Keynote Awards Luncheon, the speaker was Liz Murray. As a homeless child of cocaine-addicted parents in Brooklyn to becoming a Harvard graduate on scholarship, her story is awe-inspiring.

She authored the book “Breaking Night” and the made-for-TV movie “From Homeless to Harvard” is based on her life. I have attended many conventions and events with nationally-known speakers, but this gal is second to none. With nary a dry eye in the house, we all left the room with huge motivation. If you have a chance to hear her, do it!

A Fast Ten Years

charley-track-mapIslanders all breathed a silent sigh of relief on Wednesday which was the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Charley. Though that storm brought out the best in island leaders and demonstrated amazing island spirit and neighbors helping neighbors, I think we are all very thankful that we have had pretty easy summer weather over the last few years.

2013 StarsThis August anniversary also means that right-around-the-corner is the 10-year anniversary of SanibelSusan Realty’s office opening in Sanibel Square. Those ten years have flown by.

Sanibel Luminary night 2014 (Dec 5) will officially mark the anniversary of our grand opening. Stay tuned for something special then!

Changing the Game

reading-bookAnother interesting convention speaker and co-author of the book that has many Realtors® abuzz is Steve Murray (no relation to Liz Murray above). His book “Game Changers” was the basis of a local Association task force that I served on recently.

Game-Changers-CoverThis book about the “unfounded fears and future prosperity of the residential real estate industry” describes through extensive industry research how the real estate business is changing and what the future may hold. You undoubtedly have heard of Zillow, Trulia, and various money-driven 3rd party listing portals eager to get their hands on Realtor® listing information. This book tackles not only issues like that but also agent ratings, MLS consolidations, and more.

realtor logoAs a firm believer that change is inevitable and usually for the good, I also personally think that the Realtor® needs to remain at the center of real estate transactions to best serve sellers and buyers, particularly when the market is a unique vacation-type destination like Sanibel and Captiva Islands where the clients often are absentee. It’s still all about service to me which sometimes conflicts with the theory that “bigger is better!” The greatest compliment that my team and I receive after a successful transaction is “your service is the best we have ever received from a Realtor®.” The industry remaining service-driven needs to continue for our business and profession to thrive!

What’s Happening With Real Estate in the Rest of the World?

TRC LOGOThrough SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certification), I often receive information about the real estate market in other countries. Here is an excerpt from the July TRC newsletter with details from ICREA (the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations).

“With the first half of 2014 coming to a close,…quick round-the-world snapshot of key residential markets, based on news from member associations and other credible sources. …all real estate is local, but having a big picture sense of market conditions is good….

“One of the few markets to emerge largely unscathed from the global financial crisis, CANADA was well into recover by 2010. Its recession was the shortest and mildest among advanced economies. Since then the market has remained steady with slowly rising home sales. In most months about half of all local housing markets report gains. The metro Vancouver and Toronto markets tend to skew median home prices upward. Canada’s central bank has maintained its low 1% overnight lending rate for the past four years with no increase expected until 2015.

“On of the much-watched BRIC countries, BRAZIL is Lat America’s largest economy. Its housing market witnessed an economic boom thanks to low interest rates and credit expansion, raising cries of a housing bubble. Debate continues on the bubble, but the market has remained strong, supported by a growing middle class that buys for personal use. Its recent place on the world (Cup) stage, and selection as host country for the 2016 Olympics, is viewed by some as a mixed blessing with foreign investor eyes on the market but local money being redirected. Economic growth has slowed…perhaps a good sign for those fearing the bubble.

“High prices are twarting firtst-time buyers in the UNITED KINGDOM, in spite of the government’s “Help to Buy” program. Compounding the problem is a lack of inventory, which neared a 10-year low this spring. The UK’s NAEA views the Help to Buy program as a good temporary measure, but has called on the government to take action on the “unfair and hugely expensive” Stamp Duty, seen as a barrier to access and upward mobility on the housing ladder. London prices remain high and rising although the strong pound is prohibitive for some foreign investors.

“While the newly instituted property law “ALUR” in FRANCE is much-debated among industry professionals a recent FNAIM survey found a minority of citizens aware of or do not understand the law. Among those who do, few deem it effective. The law brings a raft of measures impacting the housing market, including for owners who rent their homes to tourists. While FNAIM supports efforts that protect consumers and promotes professionalism, it cites a number of shortcomings and overly burdensome elements of the law that will slow or complicate sales. Overall, the housing market remains weak, hurt by high employment, although prices are edging up in some markets. Paris and Cote d’Azur prices (particularly luxury housing) have largely remained strong.

“The newly elected Narendra Modi-led NDA government bodes well for INDIA‘s property market with many believing the government will help revive the market and address housing affordability issues. Ongoing urbanization and migration to cities coupled with increasing levels of education and healthcare will drive future demand. The market has been facing a slowdown in recent years due to high interest rates on home loans and lower economic growth. A Real Estate Regulation bill (long in development) is expected to pass this year which will support greater transparency and protect buyers’ interests.

“Housing news from China is less about housing in CHINA than about the impact of Chinese foreign buyers–primarily in the luxury market. A number of overheating local markets point to Chinese investors as pushing up home prices; often out of reach of local buyers. Markets attracting large numbers of Chinese buyers include Sydney, Mumbai, London, Paris, Singapore, NYC, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Chinese tend to buy where they have business interests, or buy for their children or to secure residency (a growing trend worldwide). Local response is mixed between those selling at record high prices and those priced out of the market. Some view the trend as dangerous to the local economy while others see it as a natural outgrowth of globalization.

“The resort market in MEXICO took a hit with the US economic recession (due to the many American expats buyers) but is now recovering with some notable success stories such as Veracruz. A positive sign is the government reforms being instituted to encourage business growth and investment. Sector actions include debt guarantees for construction companies and increased subsidies for homebuyers. The two government lenders reported a 14% credit increase in 1Q 2014 with increased participation by small and medium-sized homebuilders. Real estate trade group AMPI is doing its part by continuing its push for strong industry regulations and professionalism.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 8-15



3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 $599K, Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $675K, Pointe Santo #D45 2/2 $799K (our listing).

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $480K.

3 new sales: Sundial #H407 1/1 listed for $399K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 listed for $475K, Sundial #E108 2/2 listed for $799K.

1 closed sale: Island Beach Club #320D 2/2 $824K.

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $758K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $898K.

3 new sales: 1661 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $290K (foreclosure), 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $469K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $599K (short sale).

6 closed sales: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 $280K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $450K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 $865K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 $1.05M, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 $1.2M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.4375M.


Nothing to report.



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $689.9K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 now $2.395M.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 15295 Captiva Dr $850K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Happy weekend to all! Susan


Wrapping Up the June 2014 Real Estate Action on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Florida Realtors® “Believe”

Elise & SusanIt is SanibelSusan reporting that Elise and I enjoyed being part of the FloridaRealtors® “Believe” event last Friday afternoon. This event which encouraged Realtor® work toward helping the homeless was part of a state-wide tour where the FloridaRealtors® leadership team visited every Florida district.

Elise and I were part of the Sanibel & Captiva group who, along with other local association members, packaged meals. It was an inspiring cooperation, where 100+ local association members and the leadership team were arranged in assembly-line fashion under the direction of Meals of Hope.

meals_of_hope(1)In just one hour, we assembled 21,760 meals (each will feed a family of five) which will be distributed to families of homeless children in Lee and Collier counties. Astoundingly, our state leaders told us that there are more than 63,000 children here that qualify for free breakfast and lunch during the school year. Often, those were their only meals of the day. Since these children don’t get the meals now that schools are out for the summer, Meals of Hope will distribute the packaged meals to the same families.

Island Weather & More


It has been another week of wonderful summer weather on Sanibel with a few afternoon showers that resulted in fabulous sunsets.

Sunset South Bldg 8 at 8:30 a.m. 06-27-14

Sunset South Bldg 8 at 8:30 a.m. 06-27-14

Unfortunately the later thunder-buster last night, just after sunset, resulted in a lightning strike in Bldg 8 at Sunset South condominiums. That is one of the riverside buildings. Sanibel’s finest extinguished the fire quickly but several units were damaged. Thankfully, there were no occupants at the time.

We saw the early arrival of some July 4th holiday vacationers this week. Tomorrow many check-ins are expected with the Sanibel and South Seas expected to be near-capacity next week.

The activity from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week follows a few more news items below.

Association of Realtors® June Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® June breakfast membership meeting was yesterday.

Sanibelcityseal logoDuring the educational segment of the agenda, Jim Jordan, Sanibel’s Director of Planning, updated members on recent happenings at City Hall. He also reminded attendees about Sanibel permit requirements. Here is some of that info:

  • Development Permits are required whenever the appearance or use of a structure is changed, a structure will be demolished or impermeable coverage or developed area is going to be added.
  • Building Permits are required when a structure is constructed, enlarged, altered, remodeled or repaired if the labor and materials exceeds $750 in market value. A building permit also is required when a building is moved, demolished, or when replacing windows or doors. Non-permanent improvements like painting, carpeting, and appliances are not included in the calculation.
  • Sometimes a development permit is required but no building permit is needed, like when building a fence not related to a swimming pool.
  • In other situations, a building permit may be required, but no development permit is necessary, i.e. for work such as interior repairs or remodeling, exterior siding replacement, or adding a concrete slab under an existing structure. See more details, forms, and a list of approved contractors on www.MySanibel.com.

During “questions & answers”, Realtors® quizzed Jim about some issues recently affecting island sales and closings, i.e. improvements to non-conforming structures and the 50% rule, and open permits discovered before a closing,

Jim reminded members that the 50% rule covers a 5-year time period, so at the end of that time the process may begin again.

Jim also advised that the City is adding software to their computer system this summer/fall which will improve tracking of permits. He said that permit information including history on all properties will eventually be on-line and accessible to the public. Since closing open permits is a requirement of some Florida sales contracts and permit information currently is not readily available on-line to property owners (and Realtors®), that news was well received.

Florida Realtors® Honor Society

Florida Realtors logoAt the same meeting, four Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® were recognized for earning Florida Realtors® Honor Society membership for their recent work for the state association; their activity locally and nationally in the Realtor® organization, in national institutes, societies, and councils; for designations earned; educational activities; and political involvement.

SanibelSusan was awarded her 15th-year Florida Honor Society pin, while three VIP colleagues also were recognized: Jim Hall (19 yrs), Dave Schuldenfrei (9 yrs), and Shane Spring (1 yr).

Caloosahatchee Water Project To Begin

Caloosahatchee RiverA construction project that should improve water quality in Southwest Florida area has been approved. The Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Project which is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan is slated to begin in October. This is a cost-shared project between the federal government and the state of Florida. The President officially signed off on the project June 10.

This project is just one step toward improving water quality on both coasts of Florida by reducing polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee to local waterways. The idea is to pull water out of the Caloosahatchee River during the rainy season when there is too much water flowing. Stored water in a newly constructed reservoir would then be released during the dry season to provide sufficient fresh water to keep the salinities at healthy level within the estuary.

This project is just a small part of the many solutions needed to improve water supply and water quality in the estuary, but definitely a move in the right direction!

Sundial Resort Announces Phase II Renovations

sundial-logoThe 2nd phase of the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa’s multi-million dollar renovation program is scheduled to begin in August, with completion expected in early November. It will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, pizza kitchen, on-site market and deli, and new soft tennis courts. The Sundial Buddies Kid’s Camp and Sanibel’s Sea Camp for Kids also will be launched. The pool bar and main pool deck area will be upgraded too. During the renovation period, Sundial’s four other condo association pools will be available, Sea Breeze Cafe will be open with live entertainment and full bar offerings, and resort amenities will be available to guests including the activities center, bikes, kayaks, and the new spa and boutique. The meeting rooms and reception areas also will be operational. More details at www.sundialresort.com.

Certified Master Chef at The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Sign2July08This posting came from the June 2014 issue of the “Sanctuary Sound”. No wonder there are so many raves about the great food at The Sanctuary.

“This past March, Daniel Scannell, Certified Master Chef (CMC) one of 66 in the country that successfully obtained the Certified Master Chefs examination joined the Management Team at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Administered by the American Culinary Federation and the Culinary Institute of America, the title Certified Master Chef (CMC) represents the most rigorous culinary test for a professional chef. “Chef Daniel is coming from Oak Hill where the 2013 PGA Championship was held with over 200,000 people attending the event. His education is impeccable, the awards and accolades numerous, and his passion for food is contagious. In Ireland he won The Jean Conil Perpetual Trophy for International Chefs, has been inducted into The Epicurean World Master Chefs’ Society in London, and been a member of the Culinary Olympic Team USA 2000, 2004, and 2008, to name a few achievements. We are very excited to have him on the team,” stated Ken Kouril, General Manager of The Sanctuary Golf Club.”

If you are interested in a property at The Sanctuary, whether it be a condo, home, or lot, please give SanibelSusan a call, she can arrange for you to try out the golf course/tennis courts and dine in the restaurant as part of your due diligence.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 20-27


No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #E31 2/1 $325K, Sundial #D304 1/1 listed for $339K, Coquina Beach #5G 2/2 listed for $415K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K, Sundial #O307 2/2 listed for $975K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #I304 1/1 $360K, Blind Pass #G204 3/2 $485K, Sundial #L202 2/2 $629.5K.


6 new listings: 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $499K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 $599K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2 $729K, 667 Nerita St 3/2 $739K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $849K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 $1.695M.

8 price changes: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $299K, 490 Christine Rd 2/2 now $599K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 now $699.95K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 now $789K, 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 now $949K, 3400 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.149M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/3 now $1.395M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $1.695M.

5 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $449K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed for $459.5K, 236 Hurricane Ln 3/3 listed for $549K, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 listed for $1.695M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 listed for $2.85M.

3 closed sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $290K, 966 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $385K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $800K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1304 Eagle Run Dr now $249K.

1 new sale: 5407 Osprey Ct listed for $499,555.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 $309K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas 3229 1/1 $215K, Beach Homes #6 3/3 $1.7M

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 $3.45M.


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.

Until SanibelSusan’s next blog posting on July 4th, happy summer to all…& remember it’s a great time to buy property on the islands! It is always easier to view during the summer.