Families Love Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Sanibel weather this week has been terrific, though nearing summertime temperatures. All of a sudden, we have seen a huge drop-off in traffic and phone calls. Other offices report the same and our friends in the vacation-rental business said that rental inquires have dropped off to almost nothing this week. It is pretty typical for this time of the year with school years finishing up, graduations etc. Activity should pick up some over the Memorial Day weekend and then more as summer vacations begin.

There was light turn-out at our first off-season biweekly Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Only a handful of new listings were “open” for viewing, mostly properties that could not be viewed during high-season because of heavy rentals.

Here are a few island news items, followed by a report of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity over the past seven days. To especially honor all the Moms, included are some fun postings for families.

Happy Mothers’ Day weekend to all!

Family-Friendly Destination

Below is an excerpt from an article posted Monday on a Canadian site called “Just the Facts Kid”. (www.justthefactskid.com/) It says:

Parents would be hard-pressed to find a more family-friendly destination than Sanibel Island, Florida.

“It’s convenient…Located on the Gulf Coast side of Florida. Sanibel Island is just 45 minutes from the Fort Myers airport.

“It’s the perfect combination of nature and fun…Sanibel Island is just 12 miles long and five miles wide. More than 60% of the island is protected wildlife reserve and its white sand beaches go on for miles and miles. There is little to do besides swim, relax, play in the sand and hunt for seashells. (Sanibel boasts over 250 varieties!)

“It will make you feel like you’re in the islands…with all the American conveniences just a three-mile causeway ride away.”

Summer Happenings for the Kiddos

Every year it seems that there are more and more offerings on Sanibel and Captiva in the off-season for children. Here is a summary of some of the camps and special summer programs coming up:

BIG ARTS Summer Arts Camp – BIG ARTS is now accepting camper enrolments for its weekly “creative” sessions beginning in June. Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning June 4 and running through July 27. Activities include acrylic painting, ceramics, dance, glass fusing, photography, puppetry, improvisational acting, music appreciation, film editing, folk art, and general arts and crafts. Middle and high school students have the option to attend camp solely as a student or select to participate in the fine arts apprentice program, spending half day as a student and the other half assisting instructors of K-5 classes. Tuition assistance is available too. For more info, stop by BIG ARTS at 900 Dunlop Road, call 395-0900, email info@BIGARTS.org, or log on at www.BIGARTS.org.

“Ding” Darling Brings Back Family Programs – June 4 through August 15 the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel has free, fun programs designed especially for families. With support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS), the refuge is offering five free education programs this year. No pre-registration is necessary:

  • Natural Wonders, held every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1 p.m. – What makes a bird a bird? Why is a manatee called a “sea cow”? Is it a crocodile or alligator? Find the answers to these questions and more by joining a naturalist in exploring the refuge’s unique eco-system. Geared for adults and children, this 30-minute program meets in the Education Center Lab.
  • Indigo Trail Hike, held every Tuesday at 10 a.m. – Join refuge naturalists as they lead a one-hour tour identifying and discussing the eco-system’s plants, animals, birds, and reptiles. Fun for adults and children alike. Bring water and bug spray. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Education Center.
  • Refuge Caravan Tour, held every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Ride along on a car caravan tour of the refuge’s Wildlife Drive. This 90-minute tour highlights the natural wonders of the unique mangrove ecosystem and the wildlife that call it home. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Education Center.
  •  Family Beach Walk, held every Thursday at 9 a.m. Back by popular demand and in partnership with the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, the program convenes at Gulfside City Park for a one-hour exploration of the refuge’s gulf-front Perry Tract. (City parking fees apply.)

For more info on the refuge summer programs, call 472-1100 or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org.

Summer Day Camp at Sanibel Recreation Center – Summer day camp at the City of Sanibel Recreation Center begins on May 29. This year, the camp has 10 one-week sessions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Children who are entering first through eighth grade may attend one week or more. More info at www.mysanibel.com/Departments/City-Manager-s-Office/News/Sign-Up-Now-For-Sanibel-Recreation-Department-Youth-Summer-Day-Camp.

Junior Sailing Camp at Captiva Island Yacht Club – Registration is now open for the 3rd season of the Junior Sailing Camp to be held at the Captiva Yacht Club. The program is open to children ages 8 to 18 of all experience levels. At the end of each 2-week session students will be able to sail a boat single-handedly, be certified in powerboat safety, if they choose, and properly handle a kayak. The 1st session is from July 9 to 20 and will be geared toward the beginning sailor. The 2nd session is July 16 to 27 and will be geared toward sailors who have had an introduction to sailing and want to learn more about racing and tuning the boat for speed. Each Friday, the program will have “Fun Fridays” including paddle boarding, kayaking, and a sailing outing. At the conclusion of each session, students will demonstrate their new skills at a Parents’ and Friends’ Day Luncheon held at the Club. Get more info, including qualifications, at 472-9627 or www.CaptivaIYC.net.

Florida in Top Five for Home Price Appreciation

An article posted on Florida Realtors® today, says:

“Tighter housing inventories are starting to lift home prices, says Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s CEO. CoreLogic’s latest home price index, which includes distressed sales, shows a slight month-over-month nationwide increase of 0.6% in home prices from February to March. But some markets are seeing much more of a price boost this spring, including Florida, which ranked No. 5 overall for home price increases. “This spring, the housing market is responding to an improving balance between real estate supply and demand, which is causing stabilization in house prices,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist. “Although this has been the case in each of the last two years, the difference this year is that stabilization is occurring without the support of tax credits and in spite of a declining share of REO sales.”
States with highest appreciation – According to CoreLogic, the following states had the highest appreciation in March (this includes distressed sales):
• Wyoming: +5.9%
• West Virginia: +5.3%
• Arizona: +5.1%
• North Dakota: +4.7%
• Florida: +4.5%
States with biggest depreciation – Meanwhile, the states with the greatest depreciation, when also figuring in distressed sales, are:
• Delaware: -10.6%
• Illinois: -8.3%
• Alabama: -8%
• Georgia: -7.3%
• Nevada: -5.8%”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 4-11

No new listings.
7 price changes: Sundial #D412 1/1 now $315K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 now $494K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 now $496K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 now $655K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 now $679K, Oceans Reach #2D2 2/2 now $749K, Beachcomber #A101 2/2 now $1.495M.
4 new sales:. Captains Walk #D3 1/1 listed for $140K, Sundial #F407 1/1 listed for $297.5K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 listed for $879K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4 3/3 listed for $948K.
5 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $300K, Coquina Beach #4G 2/2 $385K, Tarpon Beach #104 2/2 $645K, Sayana #202 2/2 $825K, Sundial #T306 3/2 $900K.

3 new listings: 1809 Bowman’s Beach Rd 3/2 $600K, 1405 Jamaica Dr 3/2.5 $659K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 $995K.
2 price changes: 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $659.5K, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $2.464M.
5 new sales: 1657 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 half-duplex listed for $349K, 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed for $499.5K, 740 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $599K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 listed for $858.9K, 926 Whelk 4/3 listed for $1.295M.
6 closed sales:  3812 Coquina Dr 3/2 $405K; 1417 Causey Ct 3/2 $525K; 215 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $590K; 231 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $725K; 1735 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $747,757; 440 East Gulf Dr 3/2 $885K.

No new listings.
1 price change: 133 Butterknife Pl now $339K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 555 Piedmont Rd $140K (our listing), 1326 Junonia St $267K.

No new listings.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2116 1/1 now $439K.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed for $315K.
No closed sales.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 11512 Andy Rosse Ln 2/2 listed for $945K.
2 closed sales:  14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $824K, 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $1.35M.

Nothing to report.

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

It’s a Happy Day on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

View from one of the open terraces at Lighthouse Point #332 on 10-14-11

It is yet another beautiful Friday on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. David took this photo this afternoon when he went to check the new paint and carpet at our Lighthouse Point condo listing. This is the view from one of the terraces at that condo. It overlooks the community lagoon and bird rookery to the San Carlos Bay beach. In another few hours this terrace will also have magnificent sunset views!

Southwest Florida had a cool front pass by us last night which resulted in reduced humidity and ideal temperatures today – low 70’s this morning and low 80’s now. The same is expected right through the weekend with skies forecasted to be clear to party cloudy – perfect for some of upcoming events mentioned below.

Weekend Happenings

It is going to be a busy one on Sanibel:

  • Saturday, 10/15, is the FISH (Friends in Service Here) 10K Race. This main fundraiser for FISH starts at 7:30 a.m. (and ends) at The Sanibel Community House with more than 450 runners expected.
  • Sunday, 10/16, is the beginning of “Ding” Darling Days, which is a week-long celebration honoring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It kicks off with “Free Family Fun Day” on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each subsequent day through the week events are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. with the following themes: Monday – “Technology in the Outdoors Day”, Tuesday – “Animal Investigation Day”, Wednesday – “Celebrate Calusa Day”, Thursday – “Refuge Discovery Day”, Friday – “Get Outdoors Day”. More free events are offered on the last day, Saturday, 10/22, which will be “Conservation Art Day”. For a full schedule of events go to http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org where we are getting good publicity as a sponsor.

Future Events Announced

  • Taste of the Islands will be celebrated this year on Sunday, November 13, from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. right across the street from our office at Sanibel Community Park. This is the Taste’s 30th event with 20 local restaurants already signed up. The festivities include featured dishes from these island restaurants with celebrity chef judges, a server relay race island style, as well as an island chef challenge cook-off (with the three ingredients yet to be announced). Rumor has it that music will be provided by Marty Stokes (fellow Realtor) and The Captiva Band. It’s always a fun afternoon. As the annual fundraiser for CROW (The Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife), it benefits a terrific cause. For more info go to www.tastesanibelcaptiva.com.
  • Dancing With the Islands’ Stars recently had their kick-off party, so the word is out on the locals who will participate in this now annual event which is The Sanibel Community House major fundraiser. Usually sold out for both dress rehearsal and the main event nights, tickets go on sale December 5. Dress rehearsal is January 27 and the main production is the next night, the 28th. More info is available at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

SanibelSusan’s Friday Blogs

This blog continues to get more subscribers. Though it started as a public expansion of the Friday updates we send to our sellers reporting the weekly island real estate activity, it has recently turned into more. The newly added property search tab above that links to our islands Multiple Listing Service through a cooperative Internet Data Exchange agreement has brought good response, so this week, I added a separate tab for each of SanibelSusan’s home and condo listings. These individual postings already are getting “lookers” too. Please click on the “listing” tabs above to check out them out.

We typically go into high season (the winter months) with 30-35 listings, or about 10 to 12 each of condos, homes, and lots. However, with homes moving well this year, we are down to just two home listings, so we are particularly looking for home listings. If you are an island property owner thinking of selling, please contact SanibelSusan Realty at 888-603-0603 or 239-472-HOME (4663), Ext. 1 or email to Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

How to Prevent Mold Using a Humidistat

We recently had a condo listing where the air conditioning system broke down and the seller did not want to put any more money into the property. The buyers who decided to purchase it “as is” then asked, after their inspection period, but before the closing, if the seller would permit them to install a portable dehumidifier as a means of mold control. The seller gladly complied. While going through this exercise, Dave found the following article posted on the internet by Florida Power and Light. It has good info particularly if you own property in Florida and only live here in the winter or are away for long periods. This was excerpted from a column on September 1, 2011, by Craig Muccio, called “Ask the Energy Expert”.
Mold can begin to take root inside your home when the relative humidity (RH) exceeds about 68%. A humidistat, which directly controls indoor relative humidity, is one way to prevent mold. Dehumidifiers and some central air conditioners have a built-in humidistat that tells the system to dehumidify the air to a desired point. Set the controls of your humidistats and dehumidifiers to 58% RH to maintain acceptable humidity, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points.
If you don’t have a humidistat, another way to control mold while you are away is by programming the A/C to run at 72 degrees for two hours before sunrise and at 88 degrees the rest of the day.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, set the A/C at 77 degrees for condos or apartments and 80 degrees for single-family homes and townhouses. (Remember to have the fan switch set to auto.)

If you live in Florida seasonally or leave for extended periods of time, the most economical way to prevent mold in a vacant home is by using stand-alone dehumidifiers instead of A/C. Use one for every 1,000 square feet. The expert also recommends repairing any leaks around doors, windows and in your A/C ductwork, which will help minimize the amount of moisture getting into your home.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity October 7-14

4 new listings: Tennisplace #C33 2/1.5 $260K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $499K, Sundial $T207 2/2 $949K, Sunward #203 3/2 $1.195M.
6 price changes: Ibis at The Sanctuary #A102 2/2 now $420K; Tarpon Beach #110 2/2 now $639K; Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 now $644.5K; Sand Pointe #211 2/2 now $649K; Cyprina Beach #9 3/2.5 now $649,946; Island Beach Club #P1E 2/2 now $699.5K.
1 new sale: Loggerhead Cay #333 2/2 listed for $419K.
3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1012 2/2 $230K (our listing), Spanish Cay #B1 2/2 $289K, Sundial #O302 2/2 $450K.
9 new listings: 683 Emeril Ct 2/2 $449K, 458 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $459K, 3940 Coquina Dr 3/2 $475K, 6467 Pine Ave 3/3 $549K, 1345 Junonia St 2/2 $565K, 244 Daniel Dr 3/3 $799K, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.695M, 615 Lighthouse Way 3/4.5 $2.495M, 4449 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $3.9M.
9 price changes: 978 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex now $359.5K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 4/3 duplex now $399K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $599K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $749K, 5750 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 now $879K, 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4 now $1.325M, 1314 Isabel Dr 4/3.5 now $2.295M, 829 Tulip Ln 5/4.5 now $2.495M, 1191 Bird Ln 4/3 now $2.95M (short sale).
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 1751 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1.25M.
2 new listings: 5618 Baltusrol Ct $299K, 2423 Blue Crab Ct $399K.
1 price change: 4077 Coquina Dr now $250K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 971 Main St $100K (foreclosure).
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4208 1/2 $325K, Bayside Villas #5236 1/2 $329K, Tennis Villas #2324 2/2 $575K.
1 price change: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 now $659K.
1 new sale: Beach Villas #5330 3/3 listed for $629.5K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing:  15891 Captiva Dr 7/5 $3.399M.
2 price changes: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $2.59M, 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $3.15M.
2 new sales: 16891 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed for $1.19M, 11550 Laika Ln 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M.
1 closed sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 $1.275M.
Nothing to report.

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