Island Beaches Sooo Much Better…


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report from sunny Sanibel Island.

Beach

The beaches here are looking much better this week thanks to the wind from Tropical Storm Gordon blowing the long-lingering red tide away from shore. The islands still are not getting many beach-goers but the water and beach improvement are obvious.

Beach

Unfortunately, putting a damper on that improvement is an article published Wednesday in “The News-Press” headlined “Red tide causing dead zone conditions in Gulf of Mexico”. In this write-up is a description of what local scientists saw this week on the ocean floor miles off-shore. Here’s a link to that sad article, if you’d like to read it.

One of the local experts quoted in the article is Dr. Rick Bartleson, a water-quality scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and their lead red tide investigator. Both he and his research assistant will be sharing their knowledge with local Realtors® during our continuing education classes next week.

More positive water news is that the vehicles and boats that, for weeks, have been cleaning local beaches and waterways were spotted leaving the island.

Causeway drivers and beach visitors all report that birds and fish are returning and dolphins jumping again. You know we all hope that the improvement continues.

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

bananasThe SanibelSusan Team is lucky and thankful that we had half of Sanibel’s new condo listings and condo sales this week. We had one of the three home closings too. We have always said that activity in this business happens in bunches – like bananas. We are ready for another bunch next week!

Re-Openings & Temporary Closings

  • Bailey Tract – has reopened (following a 3-month marsh habitat restoration project).
  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold Aug 13. A new restaurant called “Malia” is expected to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopens Sep 14.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – closes Sep 10 & reopens Sep 17.
  • Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – closed for maintenance Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – closed for vacation, reopening Sep 12.
  • Tarpon Bay Boat Ramp – has reopened (following closure for nearly 2 years during construction of SSCF’s new marine lab, replacement of seawalls, and a boat dock).
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

Sandalfoot Kudos

Sandalfoot.jpgThrough the years, we have had listings and sales at Sandalfoot condominiums. One was especially memorable when Hurricane Charley seriously damaged a top-floor beach-front unit there that had just gone under contract a few weeks before the storm arrived. Their on-site staff have always been helpful, often going above-and-beyond, so it was great to see that their long-time employee Domingo Nieves was recognized recently at The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s 18th Annual Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards. It’s wonderful to see him recognized. Here’s the write-up from their website.

“Lee County’s EAwards were held August 30th to announce Outstanding Service Awards in the hospitality industry. The awards acknowledge excellence through extraordinary customer service and dedication to tourism throughout Lee County. The “Superheroes” themed Awards were presented by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Fort Myers News Press.

“The awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs and celebrated local customer service professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. More than 670 nominations were received from residents and visitors from around the world recognizing the exceptional service and caring offered to visitors who come to Lee County.

“Sandalfoot Condominium is beyond proud to announce that one of its own, Domingo Nieves, was honored with the top award, the Honor of Distinction. Winners of this award exhibit exemplary service, leadership, work ethic, job knowledge, performance skills, familiarity with the destination and assistance during an emergency.

Domingo received a number of nominations for this award. One nominator described him as “one in a million.” Another described him as “tireless, self-sacrificing, humble, compassionate and an all-around exceptional human being.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico last year, Domingo was quick to respond. As a native to the island, Domingo sent six generators, at his own expense, to help people in his uncle’s neighborhood.

“Another nominee says he visited a guest in a local hospital every other day for a month while they were on Sanibel and he frequently cuts fresh flowers for guests’ special occasions. Domingo assists elderly guests with getting around on the property and attending special events held here. He gives guests rides to the grocery store if they don’t have a car and lends his own fishing equipment for guests’ enjoyment. Domingo also helped people living on Sanibel prepare for Hurricane Irma and helped clean up after the storm.

“Anyone who knows Domingo is aware that this award is richly deserved. We at Sandalfoot are honored to share this information and honored to know Domingo. He truly is a caring, compassionate individual who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of his own. Congratulations Domingo!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 31- Sep 7, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #6D 2/2 $699K (our listing), Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 $759K.

View b

View from Sunset South #6D

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $499K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 listed at $259K (our listing), Sandy Bend #4 2/2 listed at $738K.

A bldg stairs + river

Spanish Cay Bldg A

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $470K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 $487K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 $520K, Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 $569K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $825K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $1.075M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.125M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.249M.

2 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $445K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $539.9K.

1 new sale: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, $5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $700K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $850K (our listing).

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0497.JPG

734 Anchor Drive to Sanibel Marina & San Carlos Bay & beyond

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 412 Tiree Cir $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $605K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 listed at $1.794M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Dolphin 11-6-15Until next Friday, here’s to more clear water, diving pelicans, & jumping dolphins!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade


It’s getting harder to make lemonade out of the lemons, but here is some island news. It’s not all good, but it’s real – followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Red Tide Numbers Stay High in Southwest Florida; Bloom Extends About 130 Miles

http___m.myfwc 08-21-18The follow article is from the “Fort Myers News-Press. It was posted on-line and updated on Wednesday. The picture shown here was downloaded from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“A strong red tide that’s lingered in the region since October is still producing high levels of toxins along the coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its latest red tide report Wednesday. Counts in Southwest Florida have upwards of 1 million cells per liter and more in the past two months and are still matching or exceeding that level in many areas.

“The bloom now extends about 130 miles, from south Tampa Bay area to Marco Island and can be detected from space. The National Weather Service extended a beach hazard advisory for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties through Thursday evening. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday issued a breathing advisory for Southwest Florida that says irritation will be intense for the public in coastal Lee, Charlotte, and northern Collier counties.

“Some experts have said the red tide may last until winter when cold fronts from the mainland and windy conditions often break up the blooms. Red tide season typically runs from October to January or February, but this bloom has lasted for 10 months and has shown no sign of dissipation.

“Counts along Southwest Florida have ranged from background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher. Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to FWC. This bloom has become much stronger along the coast since the first of June. Millions of pounds of fish and marine wildlife have been collected from Lee County beaches just this month. Hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida from the bloom, so have manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

“High counts extend at least 15 miles offshore, according to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“The University of South Florida’s college of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will move to the south and toward the Naples area over the next three days.”

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

I bet some of you also are fans of local author (and Realtor®) Charlie Sobczak. He has written some terrific books including “Living Sanibel” which The SanibelSusan Team often gives as one of our closing gifts. Another of his, that I especially enjoy, is “Six Mornings on Sanibel” (published in 1999, but still available on Amazon). It takes place at the fishing pier. “Way Under Contract” is great too – particularly if you like real estate stories. If you read this one, you may think some of the characters are real islanders.

Charlie Pix 08-23-18Charlie is also a pretty serious fisherman so it was good late yesterday to see his below Facebook post. This is his pix too.

“While I seldom post fish pics I felt that since all we are seeing on Facebook these days are images of horrid, decaying fish it might be refreshing to see that the offshore waters are still untouched by this massive red tide and algae bloom. We had perfect conditions yesterday, August 22nd, 2018, when we headed out 32 miles west of Redfish pass with Captain Nate Buffam and crew. The water is crystal clear blue out there and the fishing was fantastic. The dirty water stretches from shore to about 15-18 miles then, after that, we saw “live” loggerhead turtles, dozens of bottle nose dolphins, flying fish, jellyfish, frigate birds and bait. Not everything is lost but if we continue to allow this unabated dumping of toxic water I fear the worst in the years to come. Please support the Captain’s for Clean Water Fundraiser on Saturday afternoon at the Clam Shack on Sanibel.”Clam Shack Flier

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

I know you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, but if it comes from folks you know and it includes videos, it’d pretty hard to beat it.

Last night after work, Royal Shell Vacation’s Kris Slagle posted: “Just saw two bait pods on the West side of the Sanibel Causeway C span, and birds feeding on them! NOT saying it’s all perfect, but saying it’s some positive news! And hundreds of birds feeding on the mud flats!”

Then, early this morning Sanibel Holiday’s General Manager, Rebecca Cosentino posted a video of her walk down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Loggerhead Cay condominiums. She said that they have several check-ins there scheduled tomorrow so a personal visit was the best way to report the conditions. Though she said she is sensitive to red tide, she noticed no smell and had no eye or throat irritation. The video was early 7:45 a.m., but she wasn’t alone. The video showed some folks in the water and a few joggers and shellers. Unfortunately, it also showed a few dead fish – several puffer fish, baitfish, and a couple of eels. With winds blowing onshore that isn’t surprising, particularly after reading Charlie’s posting from the day before.

Then a couple of hours later, Select Vacation Properties’ Patience Rodriguez posted a similar video of her beach walk taken today in front of Sundial Resort. The water here showing better color and looking clearer than it has recently. She said that she is asthmatic, but similarly noticed no smell and had no breathing difficulties. A couple of small pufferfish were along the waterline here too, but very few. She encouraged listeners to Text MYSANIBEL to 52886 to participate in the call-to-action to stop the Lake O discharges (which have started up again).

So, it’s probably safe to say that the beaches continue to look better, but we aren’t out of the woods. We all need to keep the pressure on and respond to each and every call to action.

After seeing these gals’ gulf-side videos, about 1 p.m. I checked the bayside beach near the lighthouse and fishing pier. It’s looking good there too – likewise no smell and I saw no dead fish or wildlife – just one lone fisherman on the fishing pier and a handful of beachgoers at Lighthouse Beach.

Yet, it’s a gorgeous day and we all hope that it only continues to get better.

Stopped at my house on the way back to the office to be sure the canal there is looking good. Taken today, this is sooo much better than just a week ago. Sure hope it continues.

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

LeePALogoLee County property owners recently were mailed their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices. In compliance with Florida Statutes, this document is required to advise of the property’s valuation as of January 1, 2018 and its proposed ad valorem taxes for the year. Ad valorem taxes are based on the value of the property with taxing authorities determining the tax rate, or millage, based on the money needed to fund their budgets.

If property owners have questions about their valuation, exemptions, classification or characteristics of their property, they are encouraged to contact the Lee County Property Appraisers Office (www.LeePA.org) at 239-533-6100. If unable to resolve a matter as to market value, classification, or an exemption, a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board may be filed. Online filing is available, but petitions must be filed on or before September 10, 2018.

Hurricane Season Peaks in Sept. – Got the Right Insurance?

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiWhile most of us are counting down to the end of hurricane season (Nov), Florida Realtors® posts reminders that the peak time is coming up.

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted in their on-line news on Tuesday.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2018 – Keeping up with property insurance coverage in hurricane-prone Florida can be tricky, to say the least.

“To help sort things out as summer and the storm season heat up, we spoke with Locke Burt of Ormond Beach-based insurer Security First and Doug Iannarelli of travel club AAA’s insurance division.

“Question: What do I need?

“After many hurricanes, including Matthew and Irma in the past two years, insurers said they saw claims filed under homeowners’ policies that could only have been covered under flood policies. Rising water that makes it into your home will only be covered if you have flood insurance, Burt said.

“But if a tree limb or other debris hit your house and creates a hole through which rainfall could enter, that likely would fall under windstorm coverage.

“Also, weigh the amount of coverage you need – and how low you need your deductible to be, given the savings or credit limit you would have available if an emergency hits.

“Although few studies have shown a strong link between hurricanes and increase in number of births nine months later, labor and delivery nurses say the phenomenon is the real thing.

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

“Alternatives to the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program are increasing. More than two dozen insurers are issuing private flood coverage – which might save you money or might simply make it easier to file claims if a storm causes wind and water damage. Security First is among a few insurers that add flood coverage as an option, called an endorsement, on homeowners’ policies rather than require it as a separate policy.

“New mapping technology that breaks down the entire country into blocks about the size of a tiny house makes flood maps obsolete, Burt said, and enables private insurers to issue a flood-coverage quote more accurately and easily. The private policies are an expansion of those that traditionally have been written on $1 million-plus homes.

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

“Whether buying down the deductible of your existing homeowner and windstorm coverage or seeking another policy to plug that potential financial gap, you can reduce the financial risk storm damage can pose.

“New policies called parametric coverage can use mapping technology to determine the storm conditions that hit your location and quickly pay a flat amount directly to you. This can spare the trouble of waiting for an adjuster before getting a check, but it also is designed to just provide enough coverage to make up for your deductible. “StormPeace and Cat4Home are two such providers mentioned in a recent Sun-Sentinel story.

“Question: What are the rules?

“Keep in mind: Your property damage will most likely be your own claim. Unless you can prove the tree limb that blew over from someone else’s yard is sitting on your living room floor because your neighbor was negligent, you’ll be filing that claim on your own policy.

“Deductibles can be set for the calendar year, much like health insurance. So even if your deductible is $7,500 and one storm causes $6,000 in damage, get it on the record in case you have another claim later in the year.

Get claims filed quickly, as you might have only a few weeks to submit damage to your insurer. Check with your agent on the amount of time your policy allows – then don’t let busy signals or Internet outages deter you.

“You can’t buy insurance at the last minute. Whether you’re comparing rates or looking for coverage you’ve never had before, insurers have the right to wait until after a storm passes (or misses the area) once it’s coming close to Florida.

“Question: Should I shop around?

“Yes. Innovative policies, such as those mentioned above – or new insurers, such as Farmers which plans an August debut for Florida homeowners, according to its website – can help you save money.

“Use ratings companies such as A.M. Best or Demotech to see how financially stable the insurer is. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation has this resource and others posted on its website.”

Copyright © 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

construction-site-clipart-7914449-under-constructionPre-Season Closings & Late Summer Projects

  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Pointe Santo – Pointe Santo’s building concrete restoration project Is underway. Buildings A and B were done last year. This year, from Aug 11 to Oct 19, Buildings D and E will be done. Building C is scheduled for 2019.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sundial West – Sundial West has had several projects underway since Jul. Completion is expected mid-Nov. Some buildings are being painted, pavers are being installed in parking areas, and electrical and elevator work are being performed. Also, their pool is scheduled to be closed Sep 24 to Oct 5, but owners/guests may use the resort pool then.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Is closing Sun, Aug 26, for their annual break. They plan to reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – Is already closed and reopening Wed, Oct 3.

Upcoming Events

crow-logoSat Aug 25 – CROW’s Walk on the Wild Side at Lakes Regional Park at 7330 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness about the organization and continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Admission & activities free, fees for city parking. In the amphitheater: Wildlife Rescue 1012 at 10:30 a.m. and again at noon; Turtles of Florida at 11 a.m.; Owls of Florida at 11:30 a.m. Three pavilions will be set up with activities and info on different kinds of wildlife. CROW’s tent will offer info on volunteering and student programs. More info at www.CROWClinic.org .

Sat Aug 25 – Fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water at The Clam Shack on Sanibel from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring entertainment by local musicians, 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Captains for Clean Water is a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality. More info about them online at www.captainsforcleanwater.org .

sundial-logoSep 28-30 – USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships will be at Sundial Beach Resort. This is their 3rd year hosting the event. The tournament includes a Saturday evening party and trophies. Players can register online at www.tennislink.usta.com , using tournament ID No. 150046618. Deadline is Sep 26.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was off and only three properties (including our new Pointe Santo listing) were open for Realtor® Caravan following yesterday’s Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting.

lee schools logoWe got good information, though, about the upcoming Lee County School Board’s Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum that is on the Nov 6 ballot. Speakers were the county’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory Adkins and School Board Member (& Florida Gulf Coast University adjunct professor) Chris Pattricca. Here are my take-aways, with some interesting tidbits:

  • Lee County is the 9th largest school district in Florida, also the 32nd largest in the U.S. It has 95,000 students
  • In 1886, there was just one school in SW Florida (with 56 students) and it burned to the ground. This area then was part of Monroe County so when students began running amok, a group of parents got together and went to Key West asking for a new school to be built. Their request was denied. Lee County was incorporated in 1887 with the need for a school being the driving force for that action.
  • Today, Lee County has 96 schools, 121 counting Charter Schools. There are 12,000 school employees (closer to 14K when counting substitutes).
  • School population is growing at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 students per year.
  • Florida is 50th in the nation in dollars spent on education.
  • Today 40% of Lee County’s students have English as their 2nd language.
  • When school money comes from real estate taxes, often a disproportionate amount is received from high-end communities, so their schools are better. Here, the county spends $7,700 per year per child which ranks us 47th in the nation.
  • Though enrollment has increased since 2006/2007 from 70K students to 95K, capital funding has gone down from over $300M to just over $100M.
  • This proposed amendment is to increase the sales tax in Lee County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% per dollar, to fund school capital projects. The proposal calls for a limit of 10 years with the tax expiring December 31, 2028. Approximately $59 million annually would be raised, paid for by everyone who purchases taxable goods. Exempt items like groceries and medications would not be taxed, and the additional half-percentage tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 for large purchases.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of the revenue generated would come from tourists.
  • The money from this sales tax will be used strictly for capital expenditures to build two new elementary and middle schools, one new high school, rebuild an elementary and middle school, to install school camera systems, hearing-impaired lock-down lights, fire alarm systems, and HVAC systems. It cannot be used to fund salaries, benefits, and training for faculty/staff/administrators, classroom materials, district and school services, administrative technology, or charter school buildings, repairs or improvements.

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 17-24, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial West #H209 1/1 $545K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $869K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Atrium #201 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $440K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $449K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $455.5K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $725K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $979K, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.442M.

2 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $759.5K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.598M.

2 closed sales: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $399.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $284K, Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $535K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.499M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s hoping for more good news next week!sanibel-island-sunset.jpg

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Beach Improvement & Pre-Season Scoop


SanibelSusan here reporting another quiet Friday on sunny Sanibel, with the red tide situation at the beaches improving and the islands settling into a more typical pre-season pattern.

Upper Deck

Roof-top view today at our new listing at Pointe Santo C43

Social media is encouraging the public to support local establishments, but it has been disheartening to hear of hotels, shops, and restaurants with little or no business. During my travels this week, I heard of zero occupancy at one West Gulf Drive hotel. The Island Store on Captiva is now closed through September and even Periwinkle Way traffic is limited. From fishing guides, to stores, to real estate, it all has been affected.

I ran into Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra this afternoon and she said that that though beach and waterway clean-ups continue, the need is diminishing, and she may soon be ending her daily reports. (Kudos to her, the Mayor, City Councilors, and the many employees and contractors that have worked so hard and proactively to mitigate the fall-out from the recent area water issues.)

The Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales activity since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention & 2018 Business Meetings

787F5943-78D3-4D18-83D4-94D153CE1F38The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had good member participation last week at the state convention, tradeshow, educational sessions, and business meetings. From newbies to old-timers, many remarked that the educational sessions and speakers were the best yet.

Florida Realtors logoOne of my favorite appointments is to serve on the state Professional Development Committee. I have participated many times on their audition panel which evaluates prospective Florida Realtors® instructors looking to become new faculty members or to add additional state/nationally-approved classes to their curriculum. The panels hear a full day of oral presentations at both the January Mid-Winter Business Meetings and these meetings in August.

Each auditionee goes through a pre-screening process (which we handle through evaluations, and phone interviews during the year) and then is assigned to make a 45-minute presentation in front of a panel. Panelists are made up of current faculty members, association education directors, as well as brokers, agents, trainers and leaders from associations across the state. This time, with a record number of applicants (nearly 50), we had 40 panelists divided between five panel rooms running simultaneously all day.

2018 Pro dev CommitteePanel recommendations go forward to the Faculty Subcommittee and then the Professional Development Committee for approval. Congratulations to the 14 new faculty members and the 14 existing faculty members who were approved to add courses to the list of those they are authorized to teach. These classes cover the gamut from those required of new agents, to continuing education, to property management, construction, marketing, contracts, and the classes needed to become a graduate of the Realtor® Institute. Classes continually are added and updated both at the state and national level.

SanibelSusan also serves on the 2018 Program Development Subcommittee, Forms Content Committee (where we make recommendations to the state contracts), Legislative Think Tank, and Resort & Second-Home Specialist Breakout Group. Good progress was made at all the meetings. I got to serve as an education ambassador at several of the education sessions too – a good way for an old dog to pick up a few new tricks!

2018 clean waterAt the meetings, there was emphasis on water quality, rental restrictions, and flood insurance (which thankfully passed the Senate last week).

That National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) legislation had passed the House earlier and allows NFIP to continue renewing or issuing new flood insurance policies for four more months. It does not change NFIP operations, but simply extends the current guidelines to give Congress more time to work on a comprehensive package that deals with the complex issues of affordability with a program that is deeply in debt. Although the program is now extended through November 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term. The National Association of Realtors® continues to fight for these reforms.

Please Help Pass Amendment 2 – Vote “Yes”

amendment 2 logoAn important property tax amendment is on the ballot this November that is good for everyone in Florida. The 10% cap on non-homestead property taxes will expire in January unless voters pass Amendment 2. This cap helps sustain Florida’s communities by preventing big tax spikes for businesses and property owners who claim their primary residence elsewhere. Here are some highlights.

  • What is Amendment 2? It makes permanent the existing 10% cap on annual assessment increases for any non-homesteaded property. This affects all rental residential property, all commercial property, all undeveloped land, and residential property not claimed as a primary residence. The 10% cap (which currently expires in January 2019) is the only mechanism today that is protecting 5.6 million Florida properties from rapid tax assessment increases.
  • Amendment 2 requires 60% of the vote to pass. Please vote “yes” (or don’t vote at all).
  • If Amendment 2 fails, 2.2 million properties face an immediate tax increase in 2019 of up to $700 million (This is not money that the jurisdictions already are receiving from other sources. This is new money that will go to them and likely be used to create new or expand existing government programs. It will be difficult to stop or later reverse if this happens.)
  • If Amendment 2 fails, it will have widespread negative impact on business owners, renters, shoppers, jobs, and Florida’s economy.
  • According to Florida TaxWatch (www.FloridaTaxWatch.org), without extending the 10% cap, non-homesteaded residential property could quickly increase as much as 151% while commercial property could jump 85%. These new taxes could exceed $1 Billion and will affect everybody in Florida.

Scientists Unsure Why Red Tide Exists, How to Fix Problem

Here’s an interesting twist on the subject of red tide. It was posted Monday on sarasota herald tribune logoFloridaRealtors® on line. Copyright © 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla., Carlos R. Munoz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“SARASOTA, Fla. – Aug. 14, 2018 – While U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan discussed an $8 million grant to combat red tide at Mote Marine Laboratory on Monday, a senior Mote scientist just down the hall questioned whether the toxic algae paralyzing Southwest Florida beaches actually might be an important part of the ecosystem.

“Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sponsored the bipartisan legislation that was signed into law earlier this year. The funding was distributed to NOAA and will be dispersed to southern Florida researchers.

Mote scientists are expected to get a large chunk of the grant money, Buchanan said.

“The money will be used to research possible mitigation efforts, such as a field test of a newly developed method for destroying red tide using ozone, patented by Mote scientists. The device will be field tested in a Boca Grande canal this week. The patented technology was first used to clean water for sea turtles in a 25,000-gallon tank and has been scaled up to process at least 500,000 gallons of canal water.

“Is red tide necessary? Mote scientist Dr. Vincent Lovko, who works with Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology program, says there isn’t enough research to determine what would happen if red tide was eradicated or suppressed from the Gulf. Researchers must consider three factors when dealing with an aquatic toxin: prevention, control and mitigation, according to Lovko.

“”The control (in Lake Okeechobee) is straightforward,” he said. “You reduce the nutrients, and you reduce those (blue-green) algae blooms.”

“The same can’t be said for the Gulf, where a Karenia brevis bloom currently stretches for 150 miles from Manatee County south to Collier County. Any mitigation system would have to treat 1.5 trillion gallons of water to be effective. “You might not even get it all if you do that,” said Lovko, who pointed out that Mote doesn’t have permission to treat the bloom. “There is no literature to suggest what the ecological function of red tide might be,” Lovko said.

“Single-cell red tide is a protist cell that takes three days to divide. It consumes organic and inorganic nutrients and has flagella that help it move around. The cell is animal-like in nature but photosynthesizes plants and other algae. “They can actually swim; they are capable of movement,” Lovko said. “They can move up and down through the water column (to the sea bed).”

“Similar to a forest fire? One hypothesis suggests that red tide’s destructive nature could be similar to the effects of a forest fire, which cleans out underbrush and is somewhat restorative to a forest ecosystem. But it’s difficult to see what the ecological function of the toxic algae might be.

“There is little information to determine where Karenia brevis ranks on the algal evolutionary scale. There are about 12 known nutrient sources for the harmful algae blooms, which vary based on their location along the southern Florida coastline.

“Even if science can identify a course of action that would destroy red tide, there are fears that the death of the organism could release toxins into the water and cause a large-scale marine animal die-off. A similar incident occurred in Chesapeake Bay, where a nuisance bloom was suppressed with copper sulfate. Toxins released by the dead algal bloom poisoned the water and killed fish.

“Lovko says there is only one way to find out what can be done to mitigate red tides effects – research. “Whether or not trying to control red tide would create a dead zone, probably not, that’s something that happens over a long period of time,” Lovko said. “It’s an interesting thought. All those things we have to consider when we’re messing with the ecosystem. We do it all the time. We cure diseases … We do a lot of things that are otherwise natural but are a bother to us or a danger to us. There’s no reason not to pursue it, but there has to be realistic expectations.””

Trees Now Block My Ocean View. What Can I Do?

Sun sentinelThis subject comes up here often, particularly when Florida vegetation grows like crazy during the summer rainy season in front of gulf-front condos. The below article was posted Monday on Florida Realtors® on line.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Aug. 13, 2018 – Question: I own an oceanfront condo. When I bought it, I had an unobstructed view of the ocean. Palm trees are now causing a 90% view obstruction. Do I have any recourse? – Dorothy

palm tree.jpg“Answer: Questions about views are always complicated and involve many factors. The general rule is that no one is allowed to block your direct view. However, if it can be shown that the trees serve a useful purpose to the community or were pre-planned to grow in front of your unit, you may be stuck with them.

“To see if you have any recourse, you will need to review your condominium documents and the ordinances of your municipality. Many beachfront towns and cities have enacted rules protecting their residents’ ocean views. These palm trees may be a code violation best addressed by your city. If this is not the case where you live, check your condo documents since many oceanfront condominiums have rules regulating their landscaping and protecting their constituents’ views of the beach.

“Typically, view laws are designed to protect people whose property extends all the way to the high-water mark. Condominiums present a particular problem because while you own your unit, your entire community owns the land that reaches to the water. It may be further complicated because the unit owners below you in your building now have a better view than when the trees were shorter that they would want to protect.

“If it turns out that your local government will not be able to assist you, then your best bet would be to appeal to your condo board to come up with a solution that leaves everyone with a better view.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.

“Copyright © 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 10-17, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $269.9K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 $649K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.295M (our listing, photos below).

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $265K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $550K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $534K, Sundial West #K105 2/2 listed at $897.5K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1 $314K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $415K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 $480K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $585K, Sundial N403 2/2 $812.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $597K, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M.

1 new sale: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K.

3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $539.5K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $595K, 849 Birdie View Pt 4/4.5 $1.61M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1026 Fish Crow Rd $439K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1036 Bayview Dr $3.55M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $369K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $600K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $1.049M.

1 closed sale: 16575 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.45M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes for a great weekend!weekend clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Scoop on July 27, 2018


It’s SanibelSusan reporting just another sunny Friday afternoon on Sanibel – also another quiet week in the world of island real estate sales.

Teammate Dave and I checked a few properties this afternoon which took us out to Sanibel’s west end with a stop in Santiva and another near The Green Flash on Captiva. Here are a couple of photos overlooking Roosevelt Channel.

Green Flash 07-27-18 2Green Flash 07-27-18 1

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Our local Association of Realtors® makes good use of summer downtime, which is when our members promote and support several charities and non-profits.

Meals of Hope Pix 2018

Our “Meals of Hope” food packing event on Tuesday raised $7,455 and had 80+ volunteers (including Association staff, Realtors®, affiliates, friends and families) working together to pack over 20,000 meals – in less than three hours. Those meals go to local food banks and pantries which are low on food this time of the year.

Yesterday at our Association’s July membership meeting, colleague Anita Colletti from Naples told the group about “Silent Angels” which is a quiet behind-the-scenes non-profit that began in Florida to help Realtor® families in time of emergency.

guardian1Next month, the Association again will be collecting new twin and crib sheets for “Bedz for Kidz”, a non-profit started in 2001 by Realtor® friend, Cynthia Shafer, who through the course of her advocacy with the local Guardian ad Litem Foundation, recognized the need for beds/bedding when vulnerable children are moved by Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit. Cynthia and her husband often spend their Saturdays delivering beds and bedding to these needy kids. Though their identification is never disclosed, it is humbling to hear her stories of how the kids’ eyes light up when they get their own “stuff”. The Shafers travel our 5-county area and have assembled and provided thousands of beds. I got a message from her yesterday, that they are off to provide another eleven tomorrow. Donations and more sheets, bedding, backpacks, and small suitcases are always welcome.

What’s Happening With The Water

Big “thank yous” again this week go to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, Councilwoman Holly Smith, and City Director of Natural Resources James Evans who were in DC in back-to-back meetings with members of the Senate, Congress, and others.

07-24-18 Ruane Evans Holly Rooney

L to R: Mayor Ruane, Director Evans, Councilor Smith, & Congressman Rooney (pix from Congressman Rooney’s Facebook page)

 

Mayor Ruane also gave a presentation to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force about the conditions of Southwest Florida waterways. He asked committee members to maintain Lake “O” flows at or below 3,000 cfs for the remainder of the rainy season; accelerate critical CERP projects (the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, C-43 reservoir & Lake “O” Watershed project), and to use maximum operational flexibility to move additional water south. “We are at a critical state right now with regard to the health and safety of our coastal communities, the ecology of our estuaries, our quality of life, and our local economy,” he said.

Solutions to water quality problems are complicated, many, and some long-term. We all must continue to keep the pressure on. You can be sure the Realtors® on Sanibel and Captiva are, another fundraiser with proceeds to benefit water quality efforts at SCCF is scheduled next month.

Lee County Tax Appraiser Posts 2018 Property Values

LeePALogoIt usually is not until mid-August, that Lee County property owners receive the year’s TRIM notices (notices of proposed properties taxes) which are based on their new annual property valuation. The 2018 property values, however, already have been posted on the site. They are dated July 16, 2018.

If you are wondering about the change in a Lee County property value, go to www.leepa.org. Click on Database Search, then click on Property Data Search. Fill in either an owner’s name (last name first) or address, click search and up comes the data page for that parcel. Once you find the property, click on the blue link on the right called “Parcel Details”. Once on the property page, to the left of the photo is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Click on the little “colorful book” icon to the right of the words and up will come “Property Value History” showing by taxable year the assessed values for each year, including taxable values. If you want just the details on the 2018 value, further down on the data page is an expandable menu under “Values (2018 Preliminary)”. Click the plus sign and you will see the details of the 2018 assessment.

If a property owner disagrees with a value, the time to take that up with the county Tax Appraiser is just after the TRIM notice is received in August.

Upcoming Island Events & Closures

From tomorrow, Saturday July 28 to Sunday August 5 – Sanibel Recreation Closed – for annual maintenance projects including resurfacing of the gym floor, replacement of the pool heating and cooling system, and others.

Tuesday, July 31 – 1st Islander Wine Dinner Fundraiser – to benefit The Community House and at The Community House presented by Sanibel Catering Company (Bailey’s and Talbott Vineyards). Tickets at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

Friday, August 10 – Bag Day at Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop. This is their annual end-of-season sale. From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. shoppers can buy a bag for $4 and fill it with as much as they can. Any items that don’t fit in the bag are 80% off. Shoppers can buy as many bags as they want for $4 each. Proceeds go to more than 25 local, regional, and global charities and agencies. From August 10 to September 1, the Ark does not take donations. On October 2, Noah’s Ark reopens for business on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In November, the winter season full schedule resumes – open weekdays and the first Saturday of each month from 9: 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity July 20-27, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/1 $535K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $825K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 listed at $329.9K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 listed at $512.5K.

2 closed sales: Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 $670K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $705K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $995K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 $997.5K.

4 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $695K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $729K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $899K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $3.295M.

3 new sales: 9028 Mockingbird Ln 4/3 listed at $799K, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed at $1.69M.

2 closed sales: 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 $825K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lot 27, Leisure Acres $35K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 $1.429M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 listed at $325K, Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2,999,999.

1 price change: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $999K.

1 new sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $2.05M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 1st Friday in July 2018!


It’s SanibelSusan with the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It follows a couple of news items below.

Lots of folks have been asking about the water, so there is more about that below too. Here’s a photo taken just before the holiday, the further west you go, the better it looks!

Beach 06-28

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Parade 2018 beginningThe 28th annual island Independence Day parade Wednesday morning was terrific.

2018 parade judgesWith the judges set up right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, we got to see the 50+ entries at their best.

The parade photo album posted on my personal Facebook page is available for public viewing (at Susan Andrews).

Later, following a huge early evening thunderstorm with heavy rain, the City was forced to cancel the fireworks.2018 Ding parade

Many boaters and causeway hold-outs were disappointed, as it is advertised as “rain or shine”.

The below follow-up notice was posted the next day on www.MySanibel.com.

“Please read this important news release regarding the status of the City’s 2018 Fireworks Display.

“Unfortunately, an early evening storm last night inundated the electrical components that are an essential element of the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks display, which is typically launched rain or shine.

“This morning, all unexploded fireworks were safely removed from the Island by 4 a.m.  Prior to last evening, the City had paid the vendor 50% of the cost of the $20,000 contract.  This afternoon, the City worked with the vendor who has agreed to credit the entire $10,000 down payment towards the City’s 2019 fireworks display.

This scenario eliminates the risk of a second cancellation due to weather during the rainy season as well as the additional labor expenses of a re-scheduled fireworks display.  The City of Sanibel again apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from last evening’s failure to launch.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoNo caravan of new listings this week, but next Thursday morning will be “open” Caravan.

Also next week, I will be working with the Association’s Communications & Public Relations Committee as they finalize plans for our upcoming “Meals of Hope” food packaging event on July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.

meals_of_hope(1)Last year, we hosted our 1st event like this and packed 28,000 meals in less than two hours. It’s fun, fast, furious, and for such a good cause. The meals are distributed by Meals of Hope to local food banks, including F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva food pantry. Our goal this year is again to pack at least 20,000 meals. That requires 50 volunteers and $5,000 to defray the food cost. Teammate Elise and I have already contributed and signed up to help. If you’d like to participate too, contact Megan at the Association Office, 239-472-9353, megan@SanibelRealtors.com.

Island Summer Projects Underway

  • Bailey Tract still is closed with the restoration project which began in early June. Work was scheduled to be completed in four to six weeks, so should be done soon.
  • New Pavers at Spanish Cay – The west half of the parking lot is done, looks terrific. A nice improvement over the black hard-top.
  • Roadway Trimming continues along Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.
  • Temporary Library Closure The Sanibel Public Library will be closed for a few weeks beginning Monday, July 9. As part of the next phase of “Your Library Reimagined” project, this interruption is to complete utility work and relocate library materials. The Library’s eShelf for eBooks and downloadable movies, music, and magazine, will be available during this time, however the children’s special events on July 10 and 24 have been moved to the Community House. More info on the Library’s calendar at www.sanlib.org. No definite reopening date yet.

2018 Hurricane Season May Not Be So Busy After All

USATodayLOGOThis morning, FloridaRealtors® posted on-line the below article from USATODAY.com. Good news!

“Some good news from top hurricane forecasters: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season should be quieter than normal, according to a new prediction this week.

“Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University – regarded as the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters – predict 10 named tropical storms will form, of which four will become hurricanes.

“That is a sharp decrease from their forecast in April, when they said seven hurricanes would form. One system, Subtropical Storm Alberto, already formed in May.

“If the forecast comes to fruition, 2018 will be a welcome relief after the 2017 season, which saw monsters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear paths of death and destruction across the Caribbean and the U.S.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to develop and strengthen.

“El Nino is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, which tends to suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes. During an El Nino, strong upper-level winds roar across the Caribbean and Atlantic, tearing apart developing tropical storms.

“In its most recent forecast, the Climate Prediction Center gave a 50% chance of an El Nino forming in late summer or early fall.

“”With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well,” Colorado State said. The probability of direct hit on the U.S. coast from a major hurricane – classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale – is down to 39% from 63%.

Sanibel’s “Sweet Melissa” Going to New Orleans

sweet-melissa-sHere is a notice for island foodies. Sanibel’s Melissa Donahue-Talmage, owner/chef of Sweet Melissa’s Café was just announced as one of the eight chefs participating in the 2018 Chef’s Taste Challenge on September 7 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Tickets go on sale next week for this one-night culinary clash called the “Battle-of-the-Gulf Edition” which is a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and culinary experience. Participating chefs include:

Wondering About the Water?

Sanibelcityseal logoBelow are links to the panoramic aerials taken on July 4th, posted on the City’s website. The reduced water releases from Lake “O” are helping in clarity of the water, but the news of algae up in the Caloosahatchee River is disheartening, so we must continue to keep the pressure on.

Thanks to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and others for leading the charge. More details on www.mySanibel.com.

Lighthouse Beach Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Lighthouse Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Gulfside City Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Gulfside City Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Bowman’s Beach Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Bowman’s Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 29-July 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #H108 1/1 $475K

No price changes.

2 new sales: St Croix #4 2/2.5 listed at $995K, By-the-Sea #C102 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $215K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $538K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $815K, Sundial #Q404 2/2 $897K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $775K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 $879K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $989K.

6 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $569K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 now $629K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $797K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.369M.

2 new sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $569K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $899K (our listing).

7 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $400K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 $400K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $465K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $815K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $845K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $900K, 1316 Eagle Run Blvd 4/3 $1.23M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $299K, 5170 Sea Belle Rd $334.9K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5.5.5 now $3.5M.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

No closed sales:

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Nitty Gritty


It’s Susan, reporting another Friday and another beautiful one on sunny Sanibel Island. Following a somewhat blustery rainy Memorial Day weekend, the last few days progressed with only a few showers. Chance of rain is now down to only 10-20%, with daytime temperatures in the low 80’s – pretty nice by island standards.

sunset carinteriordesign(Of course, as soon as I was ready to push the “publish” button on this post, it starting raining. It’s about 3:30 p.m. and looks to be just a quick shower! Maybe with some lingering clouds there will be another one of these gorgeous sunsets tonight.)

 

The action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. It’s quiet now on-island, but even so Sanibel had six new sales (two condos, four homes). No sales on Captiva.sancap GO MLS logo

With today being the first day of hurricane season, it’s a good time to buy – properties generally are easier to view than during the busy winter months and sometimes sellers more negotiable. Inventory remains low, however, so if you want a particular property type or community or have special requirements, it pays to have someone on the lookout for you. Realtors® here often get a heads-up before a new listing hits the market – the beauty of living and working on a small island – and The SanibelSusan Team has good radar!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoCommunications & Public Relations Committee Meeting at our Wednesday morning meeting, the Committee finalized plans for some summer community and fundraising projects:

  • FishFISH of Sanibel-Captiva – As our spring food drive for non-perishable items wrapped up, items collected were delivered yesterday to the food pantry.
  • Sanibel Heritage Trail – Within the next month, now that the rainy season has begun, and with help from SCCF’s Native Plant Nursery, Realtors® hope to add plants to stops along the recently completed Heritage Trail. Funds are already raised and earmarked.
  • meals_of_hope(1)Meals of Hope – The Association is hosting another meal-packing event on Tuesday, July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church. Last summer, we packed over 20,000 meals in less than 2 hours. We hope to pack another 20,000. First, we need to raise $5,000 to cover the food cost. The Association is collecting donations (checks made out to Meals of Hope) and looking for volunteers to help pack during the 2-hour event. Neighbors, family, friends, and children needing community service credits are welcome. Call your Realtor® or the Association (472-9353) for more info. More about the mission of Meals of Hope is at www.mealsofhope.org.
  • Bedz for Kidz – In August, we will be collecting twin and crib bed sheets and children’s luggage/backpacks for this local charity that provides beds and bedding for children as part of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of the 20th Judicial Circuit “Voices for Kids”.
  • New ACT logoACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Center) – In September/October, we are collecting pillows and fresh linens for this Fort Myers facility.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan at yesterday’s Caravan Meeting, only two new sales were announced and just three properties were open for Realtor® Caravan. The meeting was well attended though, with plenty of announcements about educational opportunities this summer and a final financial report from our recent End-of-Season Golf Outing & Auction to benefit water quality.SCCF logo

Association Affiliate and event Chairman, David Arter announced that the event raised more than $14K which will be presented soon to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

RPAC raffle tickets also were sold at the event. These sales helped the Association again surpass their annual national goal. (RPAC stands for Realtor Political government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeAction Committee. RPAC was created in 1969 and raises funds voluntarily from members of local Associations for use in issues, campaigns and contributions to political candidates at federal, state and local levels. RPAC funds have been used here for a variety of issues affecting island real estate and property rights (including water quality, redevelopment, flood insurance, etc.))

Historical Village To Hold Free Admission Day

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumAs reported this week in the “Santiva Chronicle”: “The Sanibel Historical Village will offer free admission for all visitors on Saturday, June 16, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

““We decided to hold Free Admission Days because sometimes Sanibel residents tell us they have never been to the village,” said Executive Director Emilie Alfino. “I suppose it’s the same syndrome that causes New Yorkers to ignore the Empire State Building! With our mission to share and celebrate Sanibel’s history, we wanted to do something to entice more people to explore the village. Once they do, we know they’ll love it and return many times and bring family and friends.”

“The free day is not aimed at just locals but is open to all visitors.

“The Sanibel Historical Museum & Village tells the story of Sanibel from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. It tells of warriors, adventurers, fishermen, farmers and proprietors. The island’s way of life is recreated in a village of nine structures that have been relocated from their original sites, restored and preserved. Visitors trace the footsteps of the island’s past as they meander along a handicapped-accessible path lined with buildings that represent “old Sanibel,” as Sam Bailey used to say. Visitors can tour a pioneer home, fishing cottage, post office, schoolhouse, tea room, general store, and more.

“Learn more at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A full guided tour takes place at 10:30 a.m. at no additional charge, depending on the availability of a docent. The museum closes for the summer on August 1 and re-opens October 16.”

Floridians’ Outlook Improves – Second Month in a Row

Florida Realtors logoAs posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®, sourced to Gainesville:

“Consumer sentiment among Floridians increased 2.6 points in May to 100.6 – an increase from a revised figure of 98 in April. Among the five components that make up the index, three increased and two decreased. It’s the second reading over 100 since March 2002, the first being January of this year….

UF logo“Overall, Floridians are more optimistic, and the gain in May’s confidence came mainly from consumers’ future expectations about the national economy in the medium- and long-run. Notably, these expectations are shared by all Floridians regardless of their age or socioeconomic status,” Sandoval said. (Hector H. Sandoval is director of the Economic Analysis Program at University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.)

“Economic activity in Florida continues to expand with more jobs added every month. In April, 178,400 more jobs were added statewide compared with a year ago, an increase of 2.1%. Among all industries, professional and business services gained the most jobs, followed by construction, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

“The Florida unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 3.9% for the past eight months. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product in Florida increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The real estate and rental and leasing industry and the construction industry contributed the most to the increase.

“”Despite the ups and downs, consumer sentiment has been very favorable over the year and has remained quite stable since the beginning of 2018. Looking forward, we anticipate consumer sentiment to remain high in the months to come,” Sandoval says.”

Update on Bailey Tract Closing

ding darling goose logoRefuge Manager, Paul Tritaik issued the following press release this week: “J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be closing the Bailey Tract for four to six weeks starting the afternoon of Sunday, June 3, 2018. This closure is for a planned hydrologic restoration project, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), commencing in the morning of Monday, June 4, 2018. To avoid public safety concerns, the Bailey Tract will be closed to all public access for the duration of the restoration project…. This restoration is intended to enhance the hydrology of a portion of the Bailey Tract to benefit a suite of species dependent on the historic cordgrass marsh habitat of Sanibel Island. The restoration will partly restore the hydrology of the affected area by helping to increase groundwater levels, improve surface water capacity, extend the hydroperiod of the marsh, and ultimately restore the freshwater marsh habitat in the affected area.”

Summer/Fall Shell Shows For Travelers

odd shellAs a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, I recently got an email which included info on a variety of upcoming shell shows. If you are traveling to any of these locations this summer, you may want to add a show to your itinerary – or plan a trip around a show. (If you’d like more contact info for any of the events, let me know, and I’ll send you the details.)

  • Shanghai Shell Show, Shanghail, China – July 27-29
  • Chatsworth Shell Fayre, Derbyshire, UK – August 18
  • 3rd West Coast Shell Show, San Diego, CA – August 25 & 26
  • Conchologists of America Annual Convention, San Digeo, CA – August 30 to September 3
  • Oregon Shell Show, Salem, OR – August 24 to September 4
  • Annual German Shell Fair – Oehringen, Germany – September 22 & 23
  • North Carolina Shell Show, Wilmington, NC – September 28 to 30
  • XXIII Prague International Shell Show, Prague, Czech Republic, October 20 & 21
  • British Shell Collector’s Club Convention, Essex, England – October 27
  • Sydney Shell Show, Sydney, Australia – October 27
  • Philadelphia Shell Show, Philadelphia, PA – October 27 & 28.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 25 to June 1, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $229K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $560K.

3 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $799K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $875K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $950K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #D4 2/2 listed at $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 listed at $549K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $525K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 $525K.

HOMES

No new listings.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $445K; 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $579,975; 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $595K; 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $798.9K; 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $799K; 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $849K; 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $875K; 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.095M; 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.238M; 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.69M.

4 new sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $439K, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $768.9K, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $2.199M.

4 closed sales: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $557K, 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $624K, 727 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $774K, 3320 Saint Kilda Rd 4/2.5 $1M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $575K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

2 price changes: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 now $919K, Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 now $1.149M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.499M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

SanCap Aerial 05-19-2018

Photo by Jim Szabo, SanCap Aerials, & borrowed from the City’s website. Taken May 19, 2018 before the islands’ surrounding waters were stirred up from recent rains. Lake “O” water releases are expected to begin soon, if not today. They are just part of the summer routine here. See more info & photos at www.mySanibel.com

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Memorial Day 2018 on Sanibel Island


SanibelSusan was ready to report another Friday with fantastic island weather until the rain began about 2 p.m. It’s still beautiful, just with a few raindrops. Since yesterday, the team and I have been getting our annual 7000-piece mailing post-office ready. If you are on our mailing list, you will get an island inventory/recent sale booklet soon. If you want to be added to the mailing list, just let us know.

The forecast isn’t what we want for a holiday weekend, with Tropical Storm Alberto likely to bring more heavy rain beginning tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed that maybe some holiday visitors will decide to look at real estate, instead of beaching, boating, and biking.

In anticipation of a rainy weekend, yesterday I took the long route from home to office to snag a few photos of some of the wonderful flowering spring vegetation before the raindrops pelted them. Here they are, beginning with a pink hibiscus at my house, followed by a late-blooming Royal Poinciana tree at Captain’s Walk, my favorite flowering trees at Sanibel Moorings, a fragrant frangipani in Sanibel Shores, and the wonderful butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.

2015-05-24 Hibiscus2018-05-24 Poinciana2018-05-24 Pink Moorings2018-05-24 Yellow2018-05-24 Frangi2018-05-24 West W

Below are a couple of news articles followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. It illustrates, “it’s quiet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThere was no Realtor Caravan yesterday. It’s the off week in the summer biweekly schedule, but the Sanibel Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been hosting their annual classes for the Islands Specialist designation. To earn the designation, Realtors® must attend all 12 module classes which cover all aspects of listing and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva. Since this program began in 2006, close to 100 local Realtors® have earned the designation.

On Wednesday, I again taught the Resort & 2nd Homes module which I authored and update each year. It’s good to know that the “beach” remains the top location for all vacation and 2nd home sales. Florida also continues to hold its place as one of the top four states for resort and 2nd home buyers. (The other states are California, Texas, and Michigan.) Here’s a photo of the attendees after my pop quiz which earned them funny resort wear.

RSPS class 2018

Island Projects Underway

During my drive-around yesterday, I noticed that several building projects are underway. Several new homes are going up, including a big one on Limpet Drive and another big home in Butterknife. I was surprised to see a cute little often-admired beach cottage taken down on East Gulf Drive near Olde Sanibel. Probably a new larger home soon to go up there too.

paperfig kitchen logoConstruction continues on the new building at the site of the former Sanibel Steak House, and remodeling continues at the former Jacaranda Restaurant.

Remodeling also is ongoing at another new eats spot in Tahitian Gardens, called “Paper Fig Kitchen”. It’s scheduled to open in June providing catering and take-along. Check them out at http:/www.PaperFigKitchen.com.

Best 25 Places People Moving To in 2018

News Press logoAs published in the May 21, 2018 Fort Myers “News-Press”, Lee County is among the best places people are moving. It says:

“A new report from U.S. News & World Report ranks Lee County 2nd nationwide on its list of “The Best 25 Places People Are Moving to in 2018.”

“The county’s population spiked more than 14% from 2012 to 2016, behind only Myrtle Beach, S.C. (The report refers to Fort Myers, but the data reflects the entire county.)

“Florida locations dominate the list, including Sarasota at No. 3, Port St. Lucie at No. 6 and Melbourne at No. 10.

“This begs questions: Is so much growth good or bad? What is the impact? Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, said there are many ways to look at such a ranking.

“Demographically, the Baby Boomers have been planning to move to Florida for 25 years and now they’re doing that, hence Florida’s outsized presence on this list,” he said. “That’s a big factor.” It’s important, Westley said, for elected leaders and others to consider the implications of such growth 20 years from now, when that generation’s migration is over. “Then what will Florida look like?” he pondered.

“Florida’s population is over 21.3 million, according to the latest estimate based on U.S. Census Bureau data. It will exceed 22 million in 2020, based on trends, and could hit 26 million in 2030. The last Census estimate for Lee County, in July 2017, says the population is nearly 740,000, so it’s likely over 750,000 today.

“The largest future growth areas in the county include Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, where there is plenty of space to develop. The Cape’s population, estimated at 180,000, is expected to reach 400,000 at buildout.

“This “Best 25” list is based on the “Best Places to Live” ranking, which looks at the 125 most populous metro areas in the nation. Lee County, again listed as Fort Myers, ranks No. 41 on that list. Collier County’s population, estimated to be almost 373,000 in July 2017, is slightly too small to be included.

“Eric Berglund, executive director of the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance, said workers are a critical piece of the growth equation. “Jobs attract people and having more people here gives us a more diversified and qualified workforce,” he said. That’s important because site selectors — those examining where to locate businesses — look at more than just population when making decisions. “They’re asking, ‘What skill sets does the workforce have?’” Berglund said. “They’re saying, ‘If I can’t get the talent to work for me, the location won’t work.'”

“Workers, too, are evaluating a community when determining whether to relocate. That’s one reason issues like attainable housing and transportation are important. “You need to make sure workers have somewhere to live and that the infrastructure is adequate to get them around,” he said.

“Those concerns have sparked more conversations around attainable housing in Lee and Collier counties.

“Everybody is saying, ‘If we have such a robust tourism industry, we need to make sure our workers have a place to live,’” Berglund said. “It’s critically important.”

“Brian West, a spokesman for Lakeland-based Publix, said many variables are involved in the company’s site selection process, which relies on market research. “The population in an area is one of the considerations, along with projected growth,” he said. “Most of our growth continues to be right here in Florida.”

“The Great Recession, Berglund said, changed the budget realities for policymakers, forcing them to reprioritize spending. That’s changed in recent years, through the rebound. “With the tax base increasing, they’re able to come in and start to make some of those investments with infrastructure that got delayed,” he said.

“On a longer-term scale, Westley wondered: “How many municipalities’ operational strategies are based on income from continued in migration and how will that change once the demographic trends change?”

“Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais was at an all-day meeting Monday and unavailable for comment, said Betsy Clayton, county spokeswoman, in an email. The county, she wrote, has a “continuation budget,” which is the cost to provide the exact same level of services from one year to the next. “If population growth impacts service levels, that is factored into the development” of this budget, she wrote. “The county’s 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan also contemplates the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate growth.”

“More population can strain resources, from roads and schools to water and health care if it’s not addressed adequately.“These are things that have to be taken into consideration as the region grows,” Westley said.

“Most of the same cities appear on such “best places” lists because they are appealing destinations and many are in states — like Florida — with no income tax.

While growth affects Florida cities and counties differently, partly based on their reliance on tourism, there are many other communities nationwide — from Seattle to Key West — struggling with such issues due to wage differences in the workforce. “When you attract higher income through in migration, you also create a demand for more of the trades as a result of them being here, whether it’s health care or restaurants,” Westley said.

“Moving forward, elected officials in Lee and Collier counties will continue to look to the state’s more developed east coast for lessons. “What did they do wrong? What did they do right and what can we learn from their experience?” Westley said. “Our area is in the process of turning a corner right now.”

us news & world report logo“Florida metro areas on ‘Best Places People Are Moving’ list

No. 2: Fort Myers

No. 3: Sarasota

No. 5: Orlando

No. 6: Port St. Lucie

No. 7: Daytona Beach

No. 9: Lakeland

No. 10: Melbourne

No. 12: Tampa

No. 21: Jacksonville

Source: U.S. News & World Report”

What to Consider Before Downsizing

Florida Realtors logoPosted online today at FloridaRealtors®, this article is sourced to USA Today:

“Tim and Tracey Kerin knew it was time to downsize soon after their grandson Maximus was born. “We started to re-evaluate what’s important to us at this stage in life and decided that our health and family were more important than a larger home with a big backyard and pool,” says Tim, 58, who along with Tracey, 59, operates a commercial cleaning and construction business.

USATodayLOGO“Last December, the Kerins packed up a two-story colonial replete with a beautifully landscaped garden in Damascus, Md., and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., near their sons Justin, 35, and Jason, 33, and their families. And of course, they get to see Maximus, now 2. “We usually see Max a couple of times a week, and he spends one night every weekend, which we look forward to,” Tim says.

“The Kerins are not alone in their quest for a simple life centered on happiness. According to a recent TD Ameritrade Survey, 42% of pre-retirees are likely to downsize if they haven’t done so already. Some 25% of respondents are moving to a warmer climate, and 17% are moving closer to loved ones.

“Another critical consideration is cost. “Retiring with a lower mortgage payment, (lower) property tax bill, (and) smaller place to clean and maintain can be attractive,” says Dennis LaVoy, CFP of Telos Financial in Plymouth, Mich.

“Before downsizing, homeowners should run the numbers to make sure it makes financial sense. “Look at costs associated with selling the primary home, such as preparing the house for sale, agent’s commission, moving and buying a smaller home to get an idea of the fixed costs to relocate,” says Aaron Galileo, senior loan officer at Investors Home Mortgage in Howell, N.J.

“Once a person decides to downsize, he or she must keep lifestyle in mind. “You need to save as much as you can for retirement to keep your lifestyle intact,” says Jeff White, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. “If you can lower your monthly mortgage payment from $2,500 for the big home to $1,200 per month for a nice condo that fits you and your spouse, why not leap and invest the extra $1,300 into your retirement plan?”

“The amount of space you have may also influence your decision to scale down. “If the kids have moved out and you’re an empty-nester, do you need all of that space?” asks Brian Graves, co-founder of Everything But the House, an online estate sale marketplace. He says factor in how much space you need based on your family dynamic and the frequency of out-of-town guests.

“For some homeowners, maintaining a property, especially an older one, is no longer attractive. That was the case for Sean Dougherty, age 51, and his wife, Juliana Atinaja-Dougherty, 56. In February, they moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Manhattan after living for more than 20 years in the 2,000-square-foot single-family ranch house in Clifton, N.J., where his wife grew up. “The house was run down in small but noticeable ways, and we kind of lost the emotional energy to fix it up for sale, so we priced it to sell,” says Sean, a senior vice president at a public relations firm, and Juliana, an attorney. “Plus, we always wanted to move back to New York at some point and having reached a point where we are more financially comfortable, it made sense.”

“Part of their decision was doing the math and figuring out they could afford to do it, especially given that the move to New York would increase their cost-of-living expenses substantially thanks to the rent they now pay. The other part was wanting to enjoy the entertainment and cultural experiences of big-city living.

“In my case, I wanted to do more in New York like seeing friends, taking in a Broadway show or going to a book reading without worrying about the frustrating commute back to New Jersey,” Sean says. Even still, they are happy with the move. “I put a ceiling on what we could afford, and I could still keep my job as my wife plans to retire soon,” Sean says. His best advice for those thinking about downsizing: “Don’t wait too long. It’s easy to live in the status quo of your life, but then you deny yourself other experiences.”

“While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when it’s time to downsize, keeping these factors in mind will help pre-retirees and retirees make a smooth transition.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 18-25, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $549K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $899K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #Q404 2/2 listed at $929.9K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $950K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.059M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $459K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $629K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $739K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $995K.

5 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $465K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $515K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $639K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $899K (our listing – photos below).

6 new sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $449K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $450K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 listed at $898K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 $487.5K; 1145 Shell Basket Ln 2/2 $639,875; 1137 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $700K; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $2.8M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 9226 Kincaid Ct now $129K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #22 2/2 $1.791M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.495M.

2 price changes: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $1.875M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $8.475M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

memorial-day-clipart-Memorial-day-clip-art-5-2Especially on Monday, we honor those who served. Here’s hoping you have a nice weekend too.

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Beach at Noon Today, Friday the 13th (April 2018)


 

Wondering how the beach looks? SanibelSusan made a quick stop, just after noon today, at the beach access at the end of Donax Street on Sanibel’s almost east end. As the above photos show, the beach is looking great and being enjoyed. My car said the outside temperature then was 83 degrees F. With a brisk breeze, it was perfect beach weather.

My team and I are continuing to enjoy the change in traffic pattern this week as the islands slow down. The trouble is once Periwinkle Way eases up, so do the real estate phone calls and inquiries. That’s too bad, as now is when it’s often easiest to gain access to the properties that have been occupied all winter.

Sanibel realtors logoAt yesterday’s local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, in addition to many new price reductions, a large number of new listings were announced. It was a full caravan, too.

That’s a bit of an oddity for this time of the year when business typically slows down a little. Hopefully this year with winter weather continuing in many areas, Florida will be more attractive to future prospective property owners.

Shown after a couple of news items below is our weekly report showing the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Florida House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – What Are The Facts?

State of FL SealThere have been rumblings the last couple of weeks over House Bill 631/Senate Bill 804 – Possession of Real Property (commonly known as customary use), signed by Governor Scott on March 23. Some folks believe that this bill restricts access to Florida’s beaches. That is not true.

Florida’s Constitution provides that all land seaward of the mean high-tide line belongs to the public. No government entity or private individual or property owner can deny access to it.

Florida Realtors logoPosted on-line yesterday, April 12, Florida Realtors® provided a good explanation of customary use and the beach access issue with the following questions and answers:

“Question: What is “customary use”?

Answer: “Customary use” is a common law term referring to public access to private beachfront property. Generally speaking, beachfront property owners in Florida own the “dry sand” area leading down to the mean high tide line – the line of intersection of the land with the water’s surface at the maximum height reached by a rising tide. The land seaward of that, commonly known as the “wet sand” area, is held by the state in trust for the public.

The process known as customary use allows a local government to adopt an ordinance that allows public access to the private dry sand area of beachfront property where the use has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption and free from dispute. (1974 City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama, 294 So.2d 73 (Fla. 1974)

“Question: Are customary use ordinances new?

Answer: No. The public trust doctrine is embodied in Art. 10, s. 11 of the state’s Constitution. Further, the customary use process has existed in Florida for many decades.

“Question: If customary use is not new, then what does this new law (HB 631) that was passed actually do?

Answer: The previous process for adopting a customary use ordinance was not structured in a way that encouraged active dialogue about the issue between property owners and the local government. The intent of the new law is to allow customary use practices to continue, but in a way that is more transparent, efficient and economical, while requiring active dialogue between local governments and private property owners on the front end to avoid costly legal challenges.

“Question: What was the old customary use process and how does it work now?

Answer: Simply put, prior to this law a local government would evaluate its public beach needs and previous public use, draft a customary use ordinance to address the issues they found, and then vote to adopt that ordinance. Property owners affected by the new ordinance could then pursue a legal challenge if they wished to.

Under the new law, the local government must first hold a public hearing to make the public aware of the new customary use ordinance they want to adopt. They also need to notify every affected property owner of the proposed ordinance in writing, as well as identify the use they are seeking and show evidence of the need of that use. They will then bring the proposed ordinance forward for a judicial determination and must notify affected property owners that they have 45 days from receipt of the notice to intervene in the legal proceedings….

“Question: Is public access to Florida’s beaches cut off under this new law?

Answer: No. The law only changes the process by which a local government would follow to adopt a customary use ordinance.

“Question: I live in a county that has an engineered beach/erosion control line. Does this issue affect me?

Answer: There are 35 coastal counties in Florida. A total of 26 coastal counties have an engineered beach/erosion control line – a jurisdictional boundary established in beach re-nourishment project areas. If you live in one of these counties, then customary use ordinances are highly unlikely for your area.

Nine counties don’t have an engineered beach/erosion control line. These counties are: Walton, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Volusia and Flagler.”

Reducing Your Flood Insurance Cost

femaThe cost of flood insurance often is a consideration to a prospective buyer. Some flood policies allow a new owner to assume the seller’s policy, so it is common for Realtors to ask owners about their insurance costs and the contact information for their insurance carrier. Sometimes we have info about how you may be able to reduce your insurance costs too.

Several years ago, the local Association of Realtors® brought in speakers from a local engineering firm that specializes in services related to flood zone mapping and analysis, flood protection analysis and flood proofing services. Sometimes that engineering work results in a document called LOMR (Letter of Map Revision). To fully understand what a LOMR is, it helps to know about the City’s evolution and how it relates to flood insurance.

Sanibelcityseal logoHere is some background from Sanibel’s on-line 2017 Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan. (Read the full document at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/Comprehensive-Floodplain-Management-Plan )

“The City of Sanibel is a barrier island, located on southern Florida’s Gulf coast. In 1974, the City was in a grassroots effort to gain local control over land development so that the fragile and unique environment of the Island could be preserved and enhanced…. Development within the City is regulated to coexist with nature.

“One of the City’s initial tasks following incorporation was the adoption of the Sanibel Plan (a comprehensive land use plan), which uses the ‘carrying capacity’ concept of land use management to determine the development intensity permitted on the island: the more sensitive the land is to human activity, the less development is permitted. In the City’s very fragile and vulnerable Gulf Beach, Bay Beach and Mangrove Forest Zones, little or no development is allowed. On the higher and less environmentally sensitive ridge areas of the Island, more intense development is permitted.

“Prior to incorporation, Sanibel Island was zoned for the development of over 30,000 dwelling units. After the City was established and the initial Sanibel Plan was adopted in 1976, the projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island dropped to approximately 7,800. After subsequent lawsuits and Plan amendments, the current projected number of dwelling units to be permitted on the Island has been adjusted to approximately 9,000.

“Not only did the City significantly decrease the amount of development permitted on the Island, but the City’s new zoning regulations severely restrained and, in some cases, prohibited development in the Island’s most environmentally sensitive and flood prone areas such as the Bay and Gulf Beach Zones, the Mangrove Forest Zones and the Interior Wetlands Conservation District. By restricting or limiting development in these sensitive and vulnerable areas, the City took a giant step to protect the public health, safety and welfare from flood damage.

“When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the Community Rating System (CRS) in 1990, the City of Sanibel was one of the first to apply. Due to its historic proactive floodplain management efforts, the City is currently recognized as a Class 5 community by the CRS. Through the CRS program, the City has made a commitment to further improve and enhance its proactive floodplain management efforts through the evaluation and updating of its comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan (FMP).

“The purpose of the Sanibel FMP is to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from flood hazard and has been developed to meet CRS criteria for such planning documents and incorporates the primary goals of the CRS to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings, and promote the awareness of flood insurance. The plan includes existing and new mitigation activities, to prioritize mitigation activities and on-going activities to meet the City’s floodplain management goals. The City of Sanibel has implemented its Comprehensive Floodplain Management Plan since the initial adoption of that plan in 1995. This 2005 Floodplain Management Plan assesses updates and clarifies that plan and provides direction for future actions. On May 3rd, 2016, the Sanibel City Council established a City of Sanibel Floodplain Management Planning and Mitigation Advisory Committee to the City of Sanibel to organize and prepare the Floodplain Management Plan. Under the Community Rating System (CRS), there is an incentive for communities to do more than regulate new construction. The CRS provides a reduction in flood insurance premiums to reflect activities that reduce flood damage to existing buildings, protect new buildings beyond the minimum NFIP protection level, and help residents obtain flood insurance.

“…The largest potential impact in hazard assessment of the 100-year storm is Base Flood Elevation (BFE) requirements from the FEMA maps. In November 2014, FEMA notified the City of Sanibel that it is analyzing coastal wave action in the Gulf of Mexico as part of its Risk Mapping, Assessment & Planning (Risk MAP) program. This analysis will be used to create new elevation data for Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Preliminary maps are anticipated to be distributed in 2018. Previous maps included Zone VE, where the flood elevations include wave heights equal or greater than 3 feet; and Zone AE, where the flood elevation includes wave heights less than 3 feet….

“By joining the NFIP in 1979 and requiring new construction to be built above the Program’s base flood elevation, development that has occurred on Sanibel since that time is relatively safe from flood damage in all but the very worst-case storm events….”

So how does this relate to a LOMR? In floodplain lingo, a Letter of Map Revision or LOMR is FEMA’s modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM) or both.

Why do you want your property to be included in a LOMR? Because it may mean that your property is now located in a flood zone that is less likely to flood, so less costly to insure. The property didn’t move, but the likelihood of flooding occurring may have lessened because of nearby construction, shift in the land, and changes in the weather, that could affect wind and wave action.

In recent years, many island condo complexes and communities have hired engineering firms to determine if their locations could be candidates for LOMRs. The process can be costly and lengthy, but in many cases has achieved great results – and huge savings in flood insurance. Posted at on the City’s website at http://www.mysanibel.com/Flood-Information/LOMR-Letters-of-Map-Revision are recent revisions.

If your property is near one of these locations, particularly if it is landward of one of them, go to the link for that LOMR. There, you will see the letter that FEMA sent to the City identifying the area of change. The last page(s) of each document list by STRAP numbers & owners names, all of the properties affected by the that document. If yours is included, it may be worth a phone call to your insurance provider, as they may not be aware of the change. The LOMRs currently posted on the City’s site are:

  • West Wind Inn – 3345 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachcomber condo – 635 East Gulf Dr
  • 1243 Par View Dr
  • Pointe Santo condo – 2445 West Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Seaview condo – 727 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Beach Club condo – 2265 West Gulf Dr
  • Beachview Cottages – 3325 West Gulf Dr
  • Dosinia condo – 3339 West Gulf Dr
  • Sandalfoot condo – 671 East Gulf Dr
  • Island Inn – 3111 West Gulf Dr
  • Loggerhead Cay condo – 679 East Gulf Dr
  • Sanibel Arms West condo – 827 East Gulf Dr
  • Casa Ybel Resort – 2255 West Gulf Dr
  • Tanglewood condo – 1101 to 1104 Seagrape Ln
  • Sunset Beach hotel – 3287 West Gulf Dr
  • Gulfside Place condo – 1605 Middle Gulf Dr
  • 5125 Joewood Dr
  • Sundial East condo – 1401 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sunset South condo – 1341 Middle Gulf Dr
  • Sundial of Sanibel Bldg E & K – 1501 Middle Gulf Dr

To find your property’s FEMA map location, go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search

2018 Hurricane Seminar

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiThe same day last week as the City seminar about the 2018 hurricane season, forecasters projected that the upcoming 2018 season may be busier than usual. As a fan of the City’s official weather consultant, Dave Roberts, it was interesting to read that he said hurricanes can happen during any month of the year when certain conditions are present. One of those is that water temperatures need to be about 80 degrees. (Right now, the gulf is about 77, 78 degrees.) According to Roberts, due to La Nina weather conditions, Atlantic Ocean water temperatures currently are one degree above average. “That’s something to be worried about,” he said.

Roberts also stressed the importance of heeding calls for an evacuation especially when powerful storm surges are expected. “I can tell you that a 15’ storm surge is very unlikely, but a 3’ to 5’ storm surge can happen. Believe me, you don’t want to get caught in that because one foot of standing water can move an SUV….”

Here’s hoping that if we are prepared, no storms will come.

Upcoming Events

ding darling48th Earth Day Celebration at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge, Saturday, April 21:

  • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Wildlife Drive free to bikers/hikers, $5 per motor vehicle
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free bike rentals at Tarpon Bay Explorers
  • 9:30 a.m. – Bike refuge tour (4 miles)
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Earth-friendly crafts in Refuge Visitor & Education Center
  • 1 p.m. – See free film STRAWS

Sanibel School Fund Blue Ribbon Golf Classic at The Sanctuary, Saturday, May 12. Call Christian at 917-763-6824 for more info/tickets.

Reminder About Watering

Lee County_logoAfter experiencing below-average rainfall from November through March, residents and visitors are reminded of Lee County’s year-‘round water conservation ordinance. It prohibits irrigation between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Irrigation outside of these hours is limited to Thursdays and Sundays for even-numbered addresses and Wednesdays and Saturdays for odd-numbered addresses

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 6-13, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 $339.9K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $849K.

8 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $450K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 now $499K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $569K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 now $599K, Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 now $719K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 now $745K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $749.9K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.249M.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 listed at $549K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 listed at $729K, Kings Crown #312 2/2 listed at $799K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 listed at $799K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $819K, High Tide #C201 2/2 listed at $989K.

7 closed sales: Tennisplace #E33 2/1 $285K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $615K, Sundial West #J307 2/2 $738K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $795K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $845K, High Tide #C101 2/2 $885K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-6 3/3 $968.5K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex 3/2 $565K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $599K, 223 Daniel Dr 3/3 $898K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.149M, 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.849M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.149M.

16 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $455K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $699K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $739K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $759.5K, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex now $885K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $878K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $1.099M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.145M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.249M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.495M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.65M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $2.1495M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.795M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.374M.

9 new sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex listed at $399K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 listed at $525K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $575K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 listed at $689K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $829K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.22M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $515K, 1625 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $575K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $655K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 $875K, 748 Windlass Way 3/3 $1.1M, 2629 Coconut 2/3 $1.15M, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 $1.275M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 $3.675M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 976 Whelk Dr now $679K, 6000 White Heron Ln now $749K, 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.849M.

1 new sale: 2401 Blue Crab Ct listed at $679K.

1 closed sale: 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd $215K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $545K.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 now $640K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 now $1.794M; 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1,999,999; 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.499M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next week, here’s hoping your Friday the 13th has been lucky & you get to the beach this weekend!

Here’s one more photo from today. TGIF!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusanIMG_5541

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Gulf/Bay Waters & 1st Quarter Real Estate Stats


SusanSusan here reporting the end of another week of gorgeous weather with the island thinning out a little as snowbirds continue to depart and “season” activities wrap up. Many locals and visitors have noticed this week that the water around the islands is beautiful, both gulf and bay side – a brilliant clear teal blue. Seeing the water like that in the spring makes one wish the summer rainy season would stay away, but it’s an inevitable part of the Florida weather cycle.

Beach

In another few weeks, regular afternoon showers will begin with the first of the afternoon puffy popcorn-like clouds already appearing occasionally, though mostly inland.

chateau 8 07-17

 

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate

Now that first quarter is over, I always like to compare the activity from one year to the next to confirm that what the market seems to be indicating is true. Below is this year’s real estate action, compared to 2016 and 2017:

Sold/Closed Sales 1st Quarter
2016 2017 2018
 

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM
SANIBEL
Condos 38 709,628 190 32 732,686 219 34 765,668 118
Homes 44 966,872 191 58 1,047,638 138 63 1,263,989 160
Lots 6 365,333 269 11 389,074 354 3 247,333 238
CAPTIVA
Condos 4 831,125 285 10 432,600 214 11 911,783 190
Homes 8 4,096,250 309 6 2,161,667 116 9 2,462,500 169
Lots 1 1,549,000 386 1 1,925,000 294 0 N/A N/A

DOM = days on market

On Sanibel, closings indicate that homes continue to be the predominate product, with both condo and home prices on the rise. With the winter months being when the most high-end buyers are on island, it makes sense that larger more-luxurious more-expensive properties sell then.

This year, it may be surprising to see the jump in the number of closings that are posted this month and in May, since sales activity didn’t pick up until later than usual this year. Perhaps that’s related to the stock market, new tax laws, or something else. Those in the real estate business are happy that it did improve, now we hope that it doesn’t trickle off with folks leaving.

As a listing agent, an important consideration always is remaining inventory or the competition. It can provide insight into how long it may take for listings to sell, particularly at this time of the year when the next wave of prospective buyers is expected to be those who may think they can get a great deal buying post-season and before hurricane season. The below table shows the same details as the table above, but this one shows the properties currently for sale and under contract, on both Sanibel & Captiva.

Inventory as of April 6, 2018
Under Contract Without Contingencies, Awaiting Closing Under Contract With Contingencies Available

For Sale

 

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  

#

Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM
SANIBEL
Condos 5 1,056,100 85 25 759,076 193 104 804,055 181
Homes 19 2,016,526 125 37 1,100,088 109 192 1,431,145 168
Lots 1 239,800 278 1 59,000 413 67 646,683 363
CAPTIVA
Condos 1 2,095,000 182 0 N/A N/A 38 1,414,843 199
Homes 0 N/A N/A 3 2,696,000 418 47 3,209,702 249
Lots 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A 3 4,264,667 117

Again, the data confirms that Sanibel homes are the hot commodity and indicates that it is the pricier larger ones that are moving. Many of us have buyers just waiting for the right gulf-front pool home. There haven’t been many of those for sale. Not of enough of those exist on Sanibel, which probably is what has caused the bay-front pool home market to get lots of action in the last few weeks. With 192 Sanibel homes for sale, 63 closing first quarter, and another 56 under contract, there still are a lot of homes for sale – probably better than a year’s worth of inventory in my estimation.

With Sanibel condos having 34 sales first quarter and another 30 under contract, seeing 104 on the market, probably means that’s close to a year’s worth of inventory too. I bet we see fewer condo sales than we usually do this summer, but I hope I’m wrong.

The time to move island lots and Captiva properties are tough to guess-timate because those markets are so small, specialized, and varying in price. Captiva condo statistics can be skewed too, because the 33 gulf-front Beach Home properties (priced as high as $4+million) and 68 units Land’s End Village units within South Seas Resort are home-like but are in condo associations.

So, our hopes are that brisk sales continue. Many of our winter listings have sold or are under contract, so we are looking for new listings and working hard to get our remaining listings sold. Our focus shifts to getting showings at the properties that could not be viewed “in season” due to paying guests and promoting them to agents who have not shown them, as well as reminding those who have shown previously that they still are available.

Teammate Dave held several Open Houses this week, unfortunately with little traffic, probably because of the beautiful weather. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week follows a couple of news items below.

Leaving LIBOR, Say Hello to SOFR

miami herald logoAn interesting article was posted on-line by the “Miami Herald” last Friday, March 30, 2018. It’s by Tom Hudson who hosts “The Sunshine Economy” on WLRN-FM; @HudsonsView.

“If you have a home equity line of credit, private student loan, commercial mortgage or business loan, your payment may be tied to LIBOR. The London Interbank Offered Rate serves as the starting point for figuring out how much borrowers owe. But the interest rate underpinning trillions of dollars of loans will be changing.

“In the week ahead, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York begins publishing the SOFR. The Secured Overnight Financing Rate aims to be more reliable and less contrived. It also begins a new chapter in the massive move away from LIBOR and its lock as a fundamental price of borrowed funds.

“Deep inside most variable interest rate loan documents is LIBOR. Since the 1980s, lenders have leaned on LIBOR as the gauge to set other market interest rates. As LIBOR moves, so moves repayment costs. But it is an imperfect reflection of the cost of cash.

“LIBOR isn’t based on actual borrowing. It is a daily poll of banks, asking them what they think would be the cost to borrow from each other without using any collateral. Those are unsecured loans, and fewer banks are conducting business like that. So, the poll has become less accurate. And since it’s a survey of expected costs, not actual costs, the poll is vulnerable to manipulation. A dozen banks have paid billions of dollars in fines for rigging LIBOR rates.

“LIBOR lied. The benchmark is broken.

“Over the past four years a group of bankers, financiers and American regulators have been working toward a new reference rate. That rate, the SOFR, makes its debut Tuesday morning. It differs from LIBOR in two significant ways; It will be based on actual lending rates between banks, and it will be based on loans using US Treasuries as collateral — a more common practice than LIBOR’s unsecured loans.

“The introduction of what may become the new benchmark is far from complete. Whereas LIBOR rates include different durations ranging from overnight loans to those lasting one year, the SOFR is solely short-term money — one day.

“New variable interest rate loans likely will include references to SOFR as the new standard. Other loans may include fallback language allowing them to swap the old benchmark for a new one.

“This may seem like an arcane action by the financial industrial complex, but with trillions of dollars of consumer and business loans tethered to LIBOR, a smooth and orderly transition to a new interest rate benchmark is vital for the American economy.”

Is A Seller’s Disclosure Required?

Florida Realtors logoHaving served on the state Contract and Forms Content Committees many times, I often find that I can be too close to this question. The following article was posted on-line this week by Attorney Joel Maxson who is Director of Member Legal Services at Florida Realtors®. Joel also manages the Realtors’ Legal Hotline.

Florida is a full-disclosure state, but I have found that often when a property is not the primary residence of the seller or is a rental investment property, the seller does not always know of the property defects. Here is Joel’s posting from April 2, 2018:

“Based on what we hear on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, most residential sellers are content to complete the Florida Realtors Seller’s Property Disclosure – Residential form (SPDR) around the same time they enter into a listing agreement. However, every now and then, a seller will balk at the idea of completing this form, prompting a member to ask what Florida law requires regarding disclosures.

“Although sellers aren’t required to complete this specific SPDR form, a residential seller does have to comply with the rule established in Johnson v. Davis. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court held that “where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” These material facts are sometimes referred to as latent defects.

“In addition, in Rayner vs. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee, the First District Court of Appeal provided that this same disclosure requirement applies to residential properties that are being sold as is.

“Sellers can make this disclosure in writing or verbally, although Florida Realtors attorneys recommend that it be made in writing.

“Realtors should note that the SPDR contains safeguards to ensure the seller completes the form – not the associate or broker. As a reminder to all parties, the first line of the SPDR provides “Notice to Licensee and Seller: Only the Seller should fill out this form.”

“As a separate but related issue, some brokerage companies may require that certain documents (like a seller’s property disclosure) be maintained in a file, so associates should always ensure they understand and comply with any specific requirements their company may have.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 30 – April 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

12 new listings: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 $379K, Sundial #F205 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $549K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $599.5K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 $759K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $799K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 $889.5K, Compass Point #102 3/2 $1.295M, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.299M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $399K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $524.9K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 now $1.298M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 listed at $535K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Tamarind #B302 2/2 listed at $1.789M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 $415K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 $580K (our listing), Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $790K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 $835K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.05M (our sale).

GSP 222 view 2018-04

Gulfside Place #222 view

HOMES

7 new listings: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 $629K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex $679K, 247 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $939K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $1.125M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.155M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.849M, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.899M.

9 price changes: 317 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $565K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $595,995; 1357 Tahiti Dr 2/3 duplex now $629K; 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $695K; 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 now $749K; 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.279M; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.629M; 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex now $2.075M.

8 new sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 listed at $598K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $625K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 listed at $645K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 listed at $649K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 listed at $1.159M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.549M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 listed at $3.999M.

6 closed sales: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $485K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $659.9K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 $975K, 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 $1M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1312 Eagle Run Dr $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $950K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $370K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 2/2 now $5.5M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

happy weekendUntil next Friday, enjoy your week…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Another Friday On Sanibel


A steady increase in traffic is noticeable here on the island, which we expect to continue through Easter. The weather has been great this week, but an additional cold front is expected to arrive this weekend and is due to stay around all next week. Wednesday morning low looks to be in the 30’s.

Sanibelcityseal logoBoat Ramp Rehabilitation Project Complete

The City of Sanibel Boat Ramp Rehabilitation project is complete and now open to the public. The project consisted of removal and replacement of the deteriorated concrete boat ramp. The completed boat ramp includes modified slopes for improved boating access and a new v-groove pattern for added vehicle traction. The dock walkways were widened and a railing added for safety. Parking at the boat ramp is available as paid hourly or through a valid Sanibel “C” parking pass.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 5-12, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #J307 2/2 $759K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $849K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 $1.249M.

6 price changes: Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 now $450K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 now $475K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 now $499K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $589.9K (our listing), High Tide #C101 2/2 now $939K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.248M.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 listed at $419K.

4 closed sales: Sundial West #G105 1/1 $425.1K, Loggerhead Cay #153 2/2 $870K, Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 $965K, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $489K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $679K, 1550 Centre St 4/3 $725K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $875K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $1.195M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.395M (our listing), 4641 Belle Mer 3/2.5 $3.295M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $5.795M.

6 price changes: 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $625K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $874.5K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $920K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.025M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.975M.

8 new sales: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 listed at $489K, 5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $649K, 1513 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $689K, 1314 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $800K, 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $845K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $1.7495M, 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.789M.

4 closed sales: 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 $685K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 $675K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.15M, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $7.8M.

LOTS

7 new listings: 1313 Par View Dr $365,555; 809 Pyrula Ave $475K; 217 Violet Dr $575K; 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $699K; 6000 White Heron Ln $169K; 0 Sawgrass Pl $949K; 1321 Seaspray Ln $995K.

3 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $169K, 0 Island Inn Rd now $279K, 5251 Indian Ct now $729K.

No new or closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listings: Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $650K.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 $830K, Beach Homes #7 2/2 $1.4M, Beach Homes #8 4/3 $2.35M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $989K.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $2.149M.

2 new sales: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 listed at $1.495M, 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sales: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 $850K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Have a Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team