Island October = Great Shelling, Snowbirds Returning, Calendars Filling Up


shells a bunch

It has been another interesting week on Sanibel Island.

West Wind MichaelExtra high tides and winds from Hurricane Michael passing west of the islands on Tuesday made for some big waves and minor flooding in a few locations.

(Pictures taken Tues afternoon. First a beach path at West Wind Inn.

2nd is Dixie Beach Blvd looking from Royal Poinciana to the bay.)Dixie Beach

Like with most summer showers, the water disbursed quickly and now beachgoers are enjoying good shelling.

Boating, however, is discouraged until this weekend when the winds are expected to die down.

Concerning red tide, the daily status reports posted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that samples on the west coast of Florida are pretty much free of red tide. No evidence at all now on Sanibel and Captiva. That is a huge relief! We sure hope it stays that way.

An area around St Petersburg/Tampa still shows medium to high readings. On Florida’s East Coast, there are low red tide readings reported from Miami north through Boca Raton, the Palm Beaches, and Port St. Lucie. Today, there also were a few low readings just off the coast of Key West. Here’s the link, if you want to see for yourself: http://myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide/

Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund

Florida Realtors logoAs the team and I watched the news unfold of the damage from Hurricane Michael, Florida Realtors® sent reminders out about the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund which is available to Realtors®, including their real estate employees, Realtor® Boards and Associations and their staff in the event of devastation caused by a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, just a few weeks ago, after Hurricane Florence made a $25K donation to the National Realtors® Relief Foundation which similarly helps colleagues throughout the U.S. Our hearts are with disaster victims as they recover.

2018 Water Resources Development Act

Capitol Bldg DCGood news on Wednesday when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan, comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation-in the federal water bill-that authorizes the EAA Reservoir! The President signed it yesterday.

This 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Bill moves forward a critical and fundamental Everglades restoration and estuaries enhancement project that will enable excess water to be directed south out of Lake Okeechobee instead of west and east to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie rivers and estuaries.  The project is designed to move water from Lake Okeechobee through 6,500 acres of filter marshes to clean the water and store it in a 10,500-acre reservoir. The reservoir is estimated to cost about $1.3 billion, which will be split evenly between the federal government and the state.

US army corps logoThe bill also directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement a five-year harmful algal bloom technology development program to identify and develop improved strategies for prevention and management techniques, early detection and procedures to reduce harmful algal blooms.

This is a great step forward, but we all must stay attuned to the new Florida administration and getting the project started. You can be sure that your local Realtors® and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will stay “on it”.

Member of Realtor® Family Makes Movie Premier

Buttons the movieLike many Florida Realtors® colleagues, I have watched the progress of our state President, Christine Hanson’s granddaughter Noelle Parker as she has evolved over the last few years from a photogenic toddler to becoming a child actress. Like her grandmother, Nicolle’s Mom is a Realtor® too. Noelle was an adorable speaker at Christine’s installation in January.

This week, Noelle’s Realtor® family announced that she is making her movie debut in the release of “Buttons” which is a new Tim Janis musical fairy tale film on a journey to discover that sometimes believing can be the greatest adventure of all. During a time of robber barons, mills, and rising industry, two orphaned children meet two unexpected visitors (Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury) who turn the tide of events and change their lives forever. Narrated by Robert Redford and Kate Winslet, the film also features some other big names including Jane Seymour and Roma Downey, plus a new song by “Nova” written by Sir Paul McCartney. Advance tickets go on sale today, with the movie premiering in theaters on December 8. Noelle is the little blonde girl dressed in white under the pix of Dick Van Dyke in their trailer photo (https://www.buttonsthemovie.com )

Plus a Young Local Talent on Broadway – Liam Hutt

Liam ElfMany islanders patronize La-Te-Da Salon and Spa on Cypress Lake Dr in Fort Myers. Both Elise and I get our hair cut there. The owners’ son, Liam Hutt, who we have followed since he was born, also is an amazing young talent, often seen singing, dancing, and acting in local and state theatrical productions. Yesterday, they announced that he will be joining the Broadway cast of “Elf” on their national traveling tour, from Nov 7 to Dec 30. Performing from state-to-state from one side of the country to the other, their performance schedule is staggering. Maybe he’ll be in your area. – https://elfthemusicaltour.com

Island Events

big arts logoThe roadways are getting busier and island activities are beginning. Rehearsals start next week for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. There are just nine rehearsals this session (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tues nights in Phillips Gallery). All ages and singing abilities welcome. Performances this session include the island Thanksgiving Celebration on Sun, Nov 18; caroling for Luminary on Fri, Dec 7; and our holiday concert on Wed Dec 12 in Schein Performance Hall.

International Coastal Cleanup – tomorrow Sat Oct 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. After being postponed for a month due to red tide, the islands’ cleanup is coordinated by Keep Lee County Beautiful and hosted by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Check-in will be set up on Island B, closest to Sanibel. Participants should register at www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html.

30th Annual “Ding” Darling Days –today through Sun Oct 14. Today is Free “Let’s Get Outside Day”, Sat is FREE “Conservation Art Day”, & Sun is FREE “Family Fun Day”. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roast– Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.

33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.

14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.

10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House.

Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church

Sanibel Blues & Jazz Festival– Sun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The IslandsSun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

Island Real Estate News

It was another quiet week for Sanibel/Captiva real estate business. This is the off-week with Realtor® Caravan and not much activity was posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. The action since last Friday is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 5-12, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $299K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 $720K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $729K.

4 price changes: Seashells #43 2/2 now $329K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 now $405K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $475K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 now $649K (our listing).

Image 3.jpg

Sunset South – from river to gulf with clubhouse & pool overlooking courtyard.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $565K, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $640K, 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 $969K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.549M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $3.195M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $420K, 849 Beach Rd 4/4 now $595K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $879K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $899K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $1.995M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $479K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $528.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $665K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $789K.

2 closed sales: 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $667.5K, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1817 Longpoint Ln $348.5K.

2 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $149K, 2486 Wulfert Rd now $159K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $379,999.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 $6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

Veterans Day Weekend on Sanibel


Today On Island 11-10-17

It’s Susan with your Friday news from The SanibelSusan Team. After recent reports about the weather up north, you may not want to hear that it has been another week of wonderful weather here. (Photo above taken today. It doesn’t get much prettier!) Temperatures topping out in the low 80’s and cooling into the 60’s at night is near- perfect to many locals. We hope it continues.

The roadways and bike paths continue to fill up, so though we are not quite into “season”, it is getting close. I heard the first “the traffic is awful” comment this week. That very well may be the norm this winter. With so many resort areas in Southern Florida and the Caribbean recovering from the summer storms, I bet Sanibel and Captiva are more popular than ever this winter. Many vacation rental properties already report that they are “fully booked” for season.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoWed evening from 5 to 7 p.m., the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® “Fall Into Christmas” benefit for Friends Who Care was a huge success. Member attendees and their families and guests came with unwrapped toys, gift cards, and check/cash donations. With close to $3,000 collected as well as a tree full of toys, these contributions will be delivered to this local non-profit before their toy sorting and wrapping event at The Community House on Dec 19. Deliveries then will be made by Kiwanis Santas on Dec 23.

It sure was fun and rewarding to spearhead such an event. Thank you to event sponsors: American Momentum Bank, Barrier Island Title, Dorado Property Management, Florida Community Bank, Private Client Insurance Services, Rosier Insurance, Seacoast Cottage Company, Superior Title, and Tru-Clean Carpet and Tile Care.

Thanks too to Danny Morgan who provided the music and Jim Anderson the photos, while many Realtors and affiliate business partners helped behind the scenes, especially our hardworking committee members, aka Santa’s elves.

Fall Into Christmas

Yesterday was the first “east end” Caravan of the now-weekly schedule. Thirteen new listings were open for viewing, with several other new listings announced too, but only a handful of new sales.

Next week is “west end” caravan, followed by Thanksgiving, so the next “east end” caravan is not until Nov 30. We will have our new Anchor Drive listing open then.

A weekly report after a few news items below, covers the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Upcoming Events

Memorial Day Eagle FlagVeterans Day Ceremony – Tomorrow, Saturday, Nov 11, on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall at 10:45 a.m.

Taste of the Islands – CROW’s 36th annual fundraiser, this year called “A Taste of CROW at Taste” is Sunday, Nov 12, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House and Park, right across the street from our office. The new twist this year is the opportunity to attend programs and visit some of the animal ambassadors. Bring your lawn chairs, but no pets, as wildlife will be there this year. Tickets are $7 for adults. Free for children up to 12. The trolley starts at 11 a.m. with parking available at Bank of the Islands, Sanibel-Captiva Trust Company, and the Post Office. Starting at 1 p.m., parking also is available at the three near-by churches.

crow 36th tasteInside the Community House, at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., CROW will have animal ambassador presentations with Bashful (a Virginia opossum), Sheldon (the gopher tortoise), Lola (an American Kestrel), and Violet (an Eastern Indigo snake). Also at The Community House, attendees may purchase from the popular Adopt-A-Species program. Some of the species offered for adoption include a bald eagle, sea turtle and gopher tortoise. A silent auction in The Community House will be ongoing until 4:30 p.m.

Outside, fourteen restaurants are participating in the event and looking for your votes. Dishes will range in price from $1 to $6 and can be purchased with CROW bucks. Beer, wine, and margaritas will be available, plus a variety of music by LCEC Killa-Watts will entertain all afternoon.

give-thanksAnnual Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration – Sunday, Nov 19, at 6:45 p.m. at The Community House. Free admission. A non-denominational program with music and song by the BIG ARTS Community Chorus and Sanibel School’s Seahorse Chorale. Following the celebration, cookies and apple cider donated by Bailey’s General Store and Jerry’s Foods. Guests are encouraged to bring a donation for FISH of San-Cap.

To Addendum Or Not to Addendum?

Florida Realtors logoThose of you who know me well, know that I am conservative and a stickler for detail. Some good examples are offered in the below article posted on-line Nov 6 at FloridaRealtors®.org. It is by Meredith Caruso, Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors®.

“In an ideal world, after a buyer and seller execute a contract, things proceed seamlessly, no issues arise at all, and the parties close on their agreed-upon closing date.

“The reality: While that can occur in your transactions, many times it just isn’t the case. One thing or another pops up along the way, and the parties need to change their current agreement, whether that’s an extension of a closing date or amending the contract to add a new term. Before you race to grab an addendum, though, first consider whether or not it’s actually needed. Depending on the details, it’s entirely possible you don’t need to do anything. This article considers a few different scenarios that can occur and whether or not an addendum is needed. (For purposes of this article, the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar (“FR/Bar”) contract is referenced).

“Scenario 1 – The title company handling the closing finds a lien on the property that the seller didn’t realize was there. The seller says he’ll handle it, but it probably can’t be settled on time for the agreed-upon contract closing date. Do the parties need to sign an extension for the closing date? In short, no.

“Per Standard 18A of the FR/Bar contract, the buyer is supposed to notify the seller, in writing, of any defect in the title commitment within five days after receiving it. The seller then has 30 days after receiving this notice, defined as the seller’s Cure Period, to “take reasonable diligent efforts” to remove the defect. Assuming the seller is able to fix the defect within the Cure Period, the seller needs to notify the buyer in writing, along with proof of the cure acceptable to the buyer, and the parties should proceed to closing.

If the closing date has passed during the 30-day cure period, the closing is to take place “within 10 days after buyer’s receipt of seller’s notice.” In this example, there’s no need for the parties to sign an extension since the contract already addresses how the closing should proceed in the event of a title defect.

“Scenario 2 – The buyer and seller have an “As-Is” version of the FR/Bar contract. The buyer performs her inspection and decides she wants to ask the seller for repairs. The buyer’s agent emails the listing agent to ask about the seller’s willingness to make repairs. The seller verbally indicates he is willing to fix the some of the items the buyer is asking about – but not all. Is an addendum needed? In short, it probably is.

“It could be an addendum extending the inspection period so the parties can further negotiate the repairs, or it could be an addendum to address the agreed upon repairs. In either case, the parties should have something in writing. It’s not a good idea to rely on verbal representations about a party’s willingness to make repairs; and it’s not a good idea to think that simply inquiring about repairs provides more time or an automatic extension of the inspection period. The seller could refuse to honor the repairs later and the buyer likely would have little recourse.

“Additionally, there is no “pause button” on your inspection period clock. Even if the parties are negotiating repairs, the clock is still ticking. If the buyer can’t get an agreement in writing with the seller about the repairs or an extension for the inspection period, she will need to decide whether to cancel the contract before the inspection period ends or her deposit could be at risk.

“Scenario 3 – A hurricane sweeps across Florida. While the property isn’t damaged, power is out around the state and the title company doesn’t have any power to conduct a closing on the agreed-upon contract closing date. Do the parties need to get an addendum to extend the closing date? In short, no.

“Standard 18G addresses this scenario and states, in sum, that neither party will be required to perform any obligations under the contract when the non-performance is due to Force Majeure. All time periods will be extended “a reasonable time up to 7 days after” such Force Majeure no longer prevents performance. So, in this example, the parties should close within 7 days after the title company regains power and can process the closing. No addendum is necessary since the contract already addresses what happens when a defined Force Majeure event prevents performance.

“Note: It’s important to keep in mind that all contracts are different, and the above examples are specific to just one contract. In general, when in doubt over whether an addendum is necessary or not, look to the contract provision that covers the issue. Many times, these types of “what if” scenarios are considered by the contract terms and can save the agent from taking additional – and possibly unnecessary – steps.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 3-10, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $449K, Sundial West #G206 1/1 $509.5K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $529K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.498M.

5 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 now $629K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 now $654.9K, Cottage Colony West #108 1/1 now $654.9K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $672.5K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 now $875K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 listed at $399K, Sundial West #H409 1/1 listed at $465K, Blind Pass #B207 2/2.5 listed at $499,997.

3 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 $420K, Sunset South #6D 2/2 $470K (our listing), Cottage Colony West #138 1/1 $570K (our sale).

HOMES

9 new listings: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $472K, 1057 Seahawk Ln 3/2.5 $699K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 $725K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $839K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $895K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $999K (our listing), 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.3959M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.595M, 3757 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $7.595M.

Dock c

Dock at 734 Anchor Dr

 

6 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $499K; 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $599K; 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $688,888; 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $724K; 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 now $1.199M; 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.445M.

1 new sale: 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 listed at $8.495M.

5 closed sales: 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 $670K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $797.5K, 6081 Henderson Rd 3/2 $740K, 2628 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.2245M, 5639 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.695M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 461 Lake Murex Cir listed at $349K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

2 new listings: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $865K, 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 now $5.995M.

1 new sale: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 listed at $929K.

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.

Always Remember… Veterans… on Veterans Day & every day!flag-p-sm

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Island Life After Irma


2017-09-11 beach2.jpg

Beach looking good 9/12/2017

 

SanibelSusan Team members were all back at their posts Monday morning and island life is returning to normal. Thanks to quick service by Dan from Tru-Clean, Inc. Carpet & Tile Care, our office carpet now looks better than it did pre-storm. 2017-09-19 TruClean

Local schools still don’t go back until Monday, with county education leaders now altering the school calendar to make up the 2+weeks lost. Both the Sanibel Recreation Center and the Sanibel Sea School provided free childcare programs this week for families working and assisting in recovery efforts.

As of the City’s Hurricane Irma report last night, just one reported property remains without power, while debris pickup continues. Roadside collections by claw trucks will be seven days a week beginning at 7 a.m. until all is removed. Some of the piles are huge, many reappearing as soon as debris is removed. Care, caution, and patience are needed traveling roadways and bike paths (most paths are not passable).

The Thurs City report also indicates that inspections of the public canals have been completed. The private canals are next, as the City finalizes plans for removing canal storm debris. They are thinking of everything.

If any good comes from an event like this, it’s the amazing comradery – neighbors helping neighbors & helping strangers too. We all owe a debt of gratitude to City workers, utility crews, and the many contractors that have come from near and far to assist in making homes and businesses livable again. The lessons learned from Hurricane Charley probably assisted in making this recovery smooth.

Thank you, Mayor Ruane, City Council, City Manager Zimomra and staff. With power back on and us again able to watch the news, many areas in Florida are not as fortunate as Sanibel. I sure am glad I live here.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

2017-09-12 Office

Open & ready for business 09/12/17

Here at the office, we still are working on getting a sale closed that was scheduled on the Friday before the storm. Fingers crossed that it happens on Monday. The two offers that were in negotiations pre-storm didn’t make it, but I’m hoping to fan some life into them as recovery here continues.

 

Our new listing at Sunset South was open yesterday morning for Realtor® Caravan and we have had a few inquiries and showings this week too. The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since Sept 1 are posted after a couple of news items below.

(Note this activity covers a 3-week period, since we were without internet service the last two Fridays. Pretty slow real estate market during those weeks, just one new sale, a Sanibel condo. No sales on Captiva.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday morning was the September Membership Meeting for the islands Association of Realtors®. Plenty of affiliates, sales associates, and brokers were in attendance to share post-Irma experiences and to hear guest speaker, Maggi Feiner, President and CEO of F.I.S.H. of SanCap.

2017-09-21 Maggi

Maggi Feiner speaking at the Assoc 09/21/17

F.I.S.H. is a unique comprehensive human-services organization focused for over 30 years on “neighbors helping neighbors” on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Their mission is to lend a helping hand to those who live, work, and visit here. Their vision is to enrich the lives of those on the islands through an array of food programs, island-based workshops, and social services. Their many different programs, services, and workshops, are supported by full-time social workers, administrative professionals, and a team of volunteers.

 

Maggi shared some F.I.S.H. statistics from 2016 when they had 14,399 requests for help and provided assistance to 2,272 individuals. Most island needs or the individuals most at-risk and needing help are youth and seniors. The F.I.S.H. backpack program operates not just when schools are in session, but 52 weeks a year. They also offer after-school education, and one-on-one tutoring. They help with those needing eyeglasses too and their partnership with Sanibel Rec offers summer assistance.

Maggi advised that 53% of F.I.S.H. funding comes from individual donations, 27% comes from grants. She thanked Association members for their continued contributions, food donations, our recent Meals-of-Hope food-packaging event, their support for the annual “10K Race 4 F.I.S.H.” (coming up Oct 18) and F.I.S.H. Celebration, and for volunteering.

Toiletries for Hurricane Irma Victims

 Yesterday afternoon Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® staff and members of my Communications/Public Relations Committee bagged up donations that the Assoc had collected pre-Irma. We prepared 130+individual gallon zip-lock bags each with an assortment of toiletries, hair and shaving products, flashlights/batteries, socks, first aid and sewing kits, & more. In combination with food, water, and paper goods, also collected by off-island Realtors® and their friends, it all will be delivered to Hurricane Irma victims.

2017-09-21 Assoc.jpg

Big thank you to all who contributed and Realtor® helpers Deb Gleason, Kelly Huguenin, and Cathy Lewis, our Assoc Executive/CEO Bill Robinson and MLS Director Matt Alston. Realtor® Jay LaGace with LaGace Partners, ReMax Realty Team, Cape Coral coordinated efforts and provided a drop-off point with multiple vehicles and trailers to deliver the goods.

Hurricane Irma Strikes Refuge

ding darling goose logoThe following two articles are from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter dated Sep 14, 2017:

“Hurricane Irma struck a lighter blow (reported winds of up to 80 mph) than expected to Sanibel Island on September 10. Extensive vegetation damage on Wildlife Drive and Calusa Shell Mound Trail will keep the

Refuge closed for an undetermined length of time, reports Supervisory Refuge Ranger Toni Westland. “It will take days with our limited staff, but it will make us stronger,” she said.

“Toni added that the storm seems to have had little impact on Refuge wildlife. “Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon, and wildlife has adapted,” she said. “Habitat and animals typically rebound quickly, and nature reconstructs in a hurricane’s aftermath. However, research is showing that as storms continue to increase in intensity, it will affect wildlife’s ability to bounce back.”

“She noted that the damage was much lighter and the recovery quicker at the Refuge and island than with Hurricane Charley in 2004. “That’s thanks to the removal of Australian pines and other exotics after Charley,” Toni said. “That’s why it’s so important to preserve mangroves and plant other native vegetation built to weather hurricanes.”

“For updates on the Refuge’s recovery progress, please monitor the official Refuge Facebook page.”

ding-ddlogo16“Ding” Darling Days STILL On – October 15-21, 2017

The Refuge plans to keep its annual “Ding” Darling Days eco-festival on track for October 15-21. CLICK HERE for a calendar and other details.

“Did you know? Mangroves have the potential to reduce wave and wind energy by 50%-75%. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuges is home to one of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems. Mangroves not only ‘anchor’ an island down (and prevent erosion) during storms and high waves, but they also provide a safe place to shelter for many different species of wildlife. Natural and wild places are critical for communities to recover after a hurricane so that flooding can be absorbed by nature.”

Re-openings, Temporary Closings & More

Funny how fast September flew by this year. Already some of the places that closed for summer breaks, employee vacations, deep cleans, remodeling, etc. are reopening. Here’s a partial list…

Island Cow – had kitchen roof damage. Working on repairs now.

Island Pizza – continuing with their planned remodeling, so temporarily closed.

Open signOver Easy Café – reopened today. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch.

The Pecking Order – stayed open through the storm & will continue their lunch special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. all of Sept.

Sanibel Farmers Market – still scheduled to reopen on Oct 1 on the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For info on the other eight markets reopening in the Lee County, go to www.BuyLocalLee.com.

Sanibel Fresh – serving breakfast 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Traditions on the Beach – is open this month, Mon through Sat from 4 p.m. until late.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 1-22, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #K105 2/2 $897.5K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5 2/2.5 listed at $699K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

5 new listings: 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $575K, 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 $695K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $797.5K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.295M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.499M.

4 price changes: 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $698K, 698 Spartina Ct 3/2 now $770K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $850K, 789 Pyrula Ave 3/3 now $1.095M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 982 Main St 3/2.4 $465K, 519 Lagoon Dr 4/2 $800K, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $1.5925M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 761 Donax St $279.9K

No price changes, new, or closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $310K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

2017-09-11 Beach.jpg

The welcoming committee – ibis trio – at the Fulgar St beach access on 9/12/17

 

Until next Friday, let’s not hear about any more hurricanes!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Counting Down to Christmas on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report. Sanibel and Captiva are festive and the roadways, beaches, and bike paths are filling with holiday visitors as the weather has stayed sunny and bright until today.

As I write this some needed rain is said to be bringing a brief cool front which will only last through Sunday when the highs only expected to be in the 70’s.

Back to the low 80’s by Sunday and through next week. Santa better wear his shorts!

Sanibel snowman

A Sanibel snowman – Dec 2015

 

Below, following some news items, is info on the real estate activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Not many new sales are reported – none on Captiva and just three on Sanibel (two condos and a lot).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the final Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting of the year.

DunesEntry2Held at the recently-remodeled clubhouse at The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, the meeting included presentation of the Association’s 2015 Honor Society awards. It was rewarding to see several members receive the award for the first time, but sure made me feel old to get it for the 23rd year. Given in recognition of professionalism through education, participation, and service, 25 Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® from our 298 members received the award this year.

ASSOC LogoFourteen Realtor® SCIS (Sanibel-Captiva Islands Specialist) designations also were awarded at the meeting. Many of these were attendees at the class that I taught this summer (on Resorts & Second-Homes). To achieve this designation, members must complete 12-class curriculum requirements during a multi-year period. Since the program began, over 80 island Realtors® have become island specialists. These classes provide education specifically about buying and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva.

Upcoming Open Houses at The Sanctuary

sanctuary golf club logoThe Sanctuary Homeowners Association again is allowing open houses in the community once a month this winter, through April. The first one will be Wednesday, January 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. Others also are scheduled on Wednesdays – February 3, March 2, and April 6. These are easy opportunities to see all of the properties for sale in The Sanctuary during a single afternoon. Our listing at 5743 Baltusrol Court will be open – unless it sells first!

What’s Happening at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club

DunesYesterday’s membership meeting was the first opportunity many Realtors® had to visit The Dunes recently-remodeled clubhouse. The buffet breakfast was outstanding too.

The Dunes Club events include tennis and golf clinics, round robins, tournaments and league events, plus such social events as fine and casual dining, trivia nights, dinner with DJs, comedy nights, and other competitive sporting events.

Dunes logoIf you are wondering what the 2016 costs are to belong to the club at The Dunes, here is some information from their handout.

  • Full Club Membership – $7,450 (family) or $4,450 (single)
  • Senior Full Club Membership (over 80) – $3,750 (family) or $2,250 (single)
  • Associate Full Membership (45 & under) – $3,750 (family) or $2,250 (single)
  • 30-Day Golf Membership – Nov 1 to Apr 31 – $1,399 (family) or $899 (single)
  • 30-Day Golf Membership – May 1 to Oct 31 – $499 (family) or $299 (single)
  • Tennis, Sports & Social Membership – $2,525 (family) or $1,875 (single)
  • 30-Day Tennis Membership – Nov 1 to Apr 31 – $399 (family) or $299 (single)
  • 30-Day Tennis Membership – May 1 to Oct 31 – $199 (family) or $99 (single)
  • Sports & Social Membership – $1,325 (family) or $1,025 (single)
  • Social Membership – $650 (family) or $550 (single).

Captiva Landmarks Join National Register of Historic Places

Capitiva-Chapel-Outside-1024x768@2xLast week (as reported in the “Island Sun”), a pair of plaques, honoring two island landmarks – The Captiva School & Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea and the Historic Captiva Cemetery – were unveiled to the public for the first time, two years after they were officially dedicated as part of the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the National Register of Historic Places website, The Captiva School & Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea historic district is “significant at the local level under Criterion A in the areas of Exploration/Settlement and Social History”.

The one-room schoolhouse, built in 1901, also served as the primary place of religious worship for the early settlers of Captiva until it was converted into a Methodist mission church in 1921. The Captiva Civic Association, by agreement with the Methodist Church, took over operation of the building in 1947. The Methodist church deeded the property in 1954 to Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea.

Prior to the entrance of the chapel property, the two-acre historic cemetery – founded in 1897 – includes a number of the early settlers of Captiva. The first interment of the cemetery was the unnamed stillborn daughter of Herbert and Hattie Brainerd, whose daughter, Ann, purchased the parcel in 1900 for a single gold coin. One year later, Ann died from tetanus from stepping on a rusty nail. Hattie Brainerd retained ownership until she deeded it to the Methodist church in 1936.

These landmarks join the ‘Tween Waters Historic District as the island’s representatives on the National Register of Historic Places.

Baby Boomers Blamed for Clog in Housing

baby boomersPosted on line on Dec 7 on “Daily Real Estate News”, here is an interesting take on low inventory.

“Some economists say the baby boomers aren’t selling their homes like previous generations did and not downsizing fast enough, which is leading to shortages of homes for sale and rising prices.

“Baby boomers are “clogging up the whole chain of home sales,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac. “They appear to be staying in the family home longer than previous generations, and the imbalance between housing demand and supply continues to boost prices.”

“Baby boomers are big players in real estate. In 2013, people age 55 and older controlled two-thirds of all home equity, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances.

“In previous generations, once the kids have moved out of the house, empty nesters tended to downsize and move to smaller homes or rent apartments. But so far, boomers haven’t made a move.

““Economists say boomers’ slower-than-expected rate of downsizing and selling is playing a contributing role in supply, demand and pricing imbalances in local markets — not creating those imbalances,” The Washington Post reports.

“Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, told The Washington Post that the lingering effects of the housing crisis and the Great Recession may be the reason why more baby boomers are postponing their moves. From 2008 to 2011, home owners of all ages lost lots of equity and many home owners may still be rebuilding equity to allow them to sell and move without having to bring money to closing, Yun says.

“But Fannie Mae’s Patrick Simmons, an economics and strategic research group director, says that the clog in the real estate pipeline from baby boomers not moving will not likely hold for much longer. “Boomers will not inhabit this vast inventory [32 million homes] forever,” he says. Their circumstances will inevitably change with age and they will move, and “their actions will reverberate through the housing market.””

Upcoming Island Events

Today & Tomorrow – Dec 18th & 19thOrchid & Bromeliad Show & Sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Village Shopping Center.

Sunday – Dec 20thSanibel Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., City Hall Grounds (every Sunday thru Apr)

Sanibel LighthouseChristmas Eve – Dec 24th – Annual Christmas Eve Beach Service at Lighthouse Beach at 5 p.m. featuring candle lighting and carol singing, with offering to benefit FISH (Friends in Service Here) and the Salvation Army. (Note: a special bike corral will be set up at the end of the bike path leading to Lighthouse Beach. Vehicle parking available at the Chamber of Commerce with trolley service to the beach.)

Saturday thru Tuesday – Dec 26th thru 29th 21st Annual Holiday Mini-Golf, 18-hole indoor golf course with prizes awarded daily, at the Sanibel Community House, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Real Estate’s Impact From Spending & Tax Deal

Florida Realtors logoPosted on-line yesterday (Dec 17th) by FloridaRealtors®:

“The U.S. House and Senate have come to an agreement on a massive spending and tax bill – the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill – that will be voted on today. Passage is expected, and President Obama said he will sign it.

“A number of provisions – and excluded amendments – touch on Florida real estate interests.

  • Florida families will permanently gain the ability to deduct sales taxes from their federal income taxes under the bill. The benefit applies only to states without an income tax and has applied in recent tax years. However, the temporary benefit becomes permanent when the new bill becomes law.
  • Several business tax breaks will be extended, including one for the purchase of small business equipment. The bill also extends a tax deduction for “bonus” depreciation of business property purchases, along with television and film production.
  • Green energy gets a boost from a tax break extension for energy from renewable sources – solar, wind and geothermal, for example – and biodiesel fuels and electric cars.
  • The bill creates new rules for the visa waiver program. Under the program, citizens of 38 countries can travel freely to the U.S. with only a passport; but after the new bill becomes law, citizens from these countries who have visited terrorist-identified countries such a Syria or Iraq in the past five years will be denied a visa waiver.
  • The EB-5 visa won’t be affected. In early versions of the omnibus bill, lawmakers considered changes to a visa program popular in some areas of Florida – the EB-5. Under the program, foreigners may obtain a U.S. green card if they invest $500,000 in projects that create American jobs. However, the FBI noted some problems with the program. In the end, though, a proposal to change the EB-5 visa was backed out of the bill.
  • The bill creates a new REIT provision. After passage, companies in most cases won’t be allowed to spin off property they own into a real estate investment trust (REIT).
  • More money goes to low-income housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) praised the bill, saying funds still remain “wholly inadequate to meet the housing needs of low-income Americans,” but “the bill does not raid the National Housing Trust Fund … This will allow HUD to implement the National Housing Trust Fund in 2016 with funds from a modest assessment on the annual volume of business of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • The bill prohibits disposition of taxpayer-owned stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for two years. That timeframe will give Congress more time to consider housing finance reform.”

What the Fed’s Decision Means for Housing

Federal Reserve logoGood write-up here from “Daily Real Estate News” yesterday, Dec 17th, regarding the small uptick in interest rates.

“Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has kept a zero-interest rate policy in place. But on Wednesday, in a largely anticipated move, they voted to bring an end to that era and increased its benchmark short-term interest rate by 25 basis points from near zero.

“The Fed made clear that it’s going to issue a gradual tightening cycle over the coming months. That likely means mortgage rates will inch slowly upward, though most economists are predicting that it shouldn’t unnerve the housing recovery.

““The interest rate is still low compared to historical standards,” Kevin Young, an analyst at IBISWorld in Los Angeles, told The New York Times.

“The Fed controls the federal funds rate – also known as the short-term interest rate – that banks use to borrow money. That rate inadvertently ends up being passed on to consumers.

“So what does the Fed’s latest move mean for the housing market?

“Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, says that an uptick in short-term rates shouldn’t have a big effect on those looking to borrow in 2016. With rates going up by such a small amount, the Fed’s move actually could serve as a stimulant to the economy, he says.

“”The raising of short-term rates could be more of a confidence play to the market — it provides a signal that the economy is strengthening, and to the degree that the Federal Reserve is providing [that signal] and the lenders believe that, it may actually provide more lending opportunity for the banks,” Yun says. “As a borrower, even for the short-term borrower, what difference does it really make whether one is borrowing at 0.1% or 0.2%, when the Fed Funds Rate is historically at 3.3% or 3.5%?”’

“Some economists are predicting the Fed to raise short-term rates incrementally about four times by the end of next year.

““But we don’t expect mortgage rates to track the short-term policy rates directly,” writes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®. “In fact, we’re likely to see mortgage rates increase by only half or two-thirds as much.” Mortgage rates tend to track trends in long-term bonds.

“According to realtor.com®’s 2016 forecast, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will likely average 4.65% by the end of next year. Last week, it averaged 3.93%, according to Freddie Mac.

“Still, Smoke says rates will likely be volatile day-to-day and week-to-week in the year ahead as the financial markets try to anticipate the timing of the Fed’s policy changes.

““On the positive side, the massive amount of news coverage on the Fed’s move will finally hit consumers to realize that we are at the end of the low-rate era and that rates are now on the move up,” Smoke writes. “We think this will influence fence-sitting buyers – and, more important, fence-sitting sellers who intend to buy as well – to act before rates get much higher.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 11-18

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #325 2/2 $889K, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 $1.385M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial West #H411 1/1 listed at $269.9K, Kings Crown #118 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sale: Tennisplace #E31 2/1.5 $315K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $559K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $899K.

2 price changes: 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $499K, 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $799K.

No new sales.

8 closed sales: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $492K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $525K, 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $550K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $579K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 $639K, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 $1.1M, 4241 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $3.65M, 1220 Morningside Pl 5/5 multi-family $1.024M.

LOTS

5 new listings: 2356 Wulfert Rd $195K, 1305 Seaspray Ln $752K, 6519 Pine Ave $995K, 6505 Pine Ave $995K, 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct $1.598M.

2 price changes: 5121 SanibelCapiva Rd now $219,555; 2462 Wulfert Rd now $224.9K.

1 new sale: 1820 Farm Trail listed at $229K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $299K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 now $879K.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Starfish santaUntil next week, when I’ll blog earlier than Friday, Merry almost-Christmas! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

It’s Another Fabulous Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Although it was a fairly quiet holiday on Monday, this week flew by. While on our rounds today, Dave and I stopped in at Tarpon Bay Explorers. Below are a few photos snapped from their observation deck.

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoWe are happy campers at SanibelSusan Realty. Some of the team had the holiday off (actually Dave and Lisa were in the office with me over the weekend). Then, Dave put an off-island property under contract on Monday. Then, we had a big closing on Wednesday, plus received a nice new condo listing that day too.

Though island real estate activity has slowed down, some buyers are here and others coming.

The action posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Summertime Means Summer Storms

Lcec logoLast Saturday, we had our first good summer thunder buster which caused a short power outage. As part of the normal routine here in the summer, it’s a good time to be reminded that LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) is known for its reliability. Not to mention that they have reduced their rates for the past two years and not had a rate increase in seven years. Their May newsletter mentioned that their rates are the lowest among Florida cooperatives.

EcoBrokerOriginalCertifiedLogo150pThat newsletter included the following reminder which also gets the approval of this certified Eco-Broker:

energy starYou can be an energy star! Energy is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to help you save money. An Energy Star label means the product or appliance will deliver great service and use less energy. This will not only reduce your electric bill, but it will also help the environment.

  • Energy Star air conditioners are 15% more efficient.
  • Energy Star televisions are 25% more energy efficient.
  • Energy Star refrigerators can save as much as $300 on energy costs over their lifetime.
  • Energy Star clothes dryers use 20% less energy.”

NOAA Predicts Below-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season

wall street journalWe love it when clients send us ideas for our weekly updates. Thanks to Scott, here’s a repeat of an article that was posted online Wednesday by “The Wall Street Journal”:

Weather agency predicts 3-6 hurricanes from June 1 through Nov. 30

Noaa“A below-normal Atlantic hurricane season is likely this year, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. For the hurricane season spanning June 1 through Nov. 30, NOAA predicts in its latest report a 70% likelihood of six to 11 named storms—of which three to six could become hurricanes and up to two may become major hurricanes.

“Named storms have winds of at least 39 miles an hour and become hurricanes when winds reach 74 mph. At 111 mph, a hurricane is designated category three or higher.

““A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.

“El Niño is the main factor expected to suppress hurricane season this year, according to Ms. Sullivan. NOAA also said it expects sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be near normal. Warmer waters support storm development.

“NOAA said it would issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, ahead of the historical peak of the season.

“For the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA predicts a 70% chance of an above-average hurricane season with seven to 12 hurricanes including five to eight major hurricanes. The Central Pacific hurricane basin is expected to see an above-normal five to eight tropical cyclones this year, the agency said.”

REALTORS® Upbeat on Housing Outlook

A Realtor®Mag article posted on-line yesterday offered the following from “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

Map 12 month increases expected

realtor logo “REALTORS® remain mostly confident in the next six months of the real estate market, thanks to 30-year fixed rates still below 4%, continued job growth, and recent measures that have made credit more accessible and cheaper, according to the April 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, which is based on responses from more than 1,000 REALTORS® about their latest transactions.

“Across all property types (single family, townhomes, and condos), the number of respondents indicating the market as “strong” outnumbered those who viewed the market as “weak.”

“With stronger buyer demand and tight supplies, homes continue to sell relatively quickly, typically within 39 days in April, according to the survey. Also, REALTORS® increased their price expectations last month. Those surveyed expect prices to increase at a faster pace in the next 12 months with the median expected price growth to be 3.9% (up from 3.5% expectation in March’s survey). REALTORS® in Colorado were the most upbeat about price increases in the U.S., with median expected price growth at 6 percent, followed by the District of Columbia at 5%.

“REALTORS® also cited recent measures to open the credit box as having a profound impact on the housing market, such as with the Federal Housing Administration to lower its mortgage insurance premiums and the re-introduction from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back 3% down payment loans.

“REALTORS® are the most upbeat about the overall housing market in states like North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, according to the survey.

“Also, REALTORS® outlook over the townhome and condo markets remained highest in Colorado.

“For-sale inventories remain tight in many states but seller traffic was reported as improving in many areas, particularly Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.

“While real estate professionals remain generally optimistic about housing’s outlook for the next six months, real estate professionals’ continued to have the following concerns about the market:

  • Tight inventory in most states especially for move-in ready and “affordable” units;
  • Financing issues, such as qualifying for a mortgage still remains tough and the underwriting process is slow, leading to delayed closings;
  • Appraisal valuation concerns and delays due to “questionable” comps, particularly for FHA/VA loans, use of “out-of-town appraisers”, and second appraisal requirements;
  • Impact of the new mortgage procedures (RESPA-TILA) on closings;
  • Negative impact of low oil prices in states with oil/gas production;
  • Slowing demand from international buyers (e.g., Canadians) due to strong US dollar;
  • Uncertainties associated with flood insurance rates;
  • Impact of upcoming interest rate increase on demand.”

Window Costs Likely to Spike After June

This article in The “Island Reporter” this week caught my eye. Did you know about the new Florida Energy code?

island reporter

“The Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code is a title not known by many, but it is something which will affect anyone with a house or business come June 30.

“It’s the new energy cost savings for Florida, which resulted after the state updated its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law, and it’s significant.

“”We are pulling permits now for our jobs in September and October,” said Kevin Munden, owner of Sanibel Glass and Mirror, Inc. “There is zero information out there about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code and if we don’t have our permits secured by July 1, the price of glass is going up.

“So how much will windows be going up after June 30?

“Try a 56% increase, due to the addition of insulated windows, which will be triple-silver-glazed, along with the already required high-impact glass.

“All this goes back eight years, when they passed a law which was going to reduce the consumption of energy in Florida,” said Dennis Chappell, who is Munden’s window contractor with Chappell Sales, LLC. “All homes need to get a certain number in a rating system, which involved air conditioning, insulation, etc. Each one is assigned a number. It is driven by the federal government to help reduce carbon emissions.”

““The ultimate goal is getting down to zero energy used in the home.”

“The new insulated glass which will be required after June 30, is the highest-priced which can go into windows. The new windows, will have a mirror-like look to it, which results from the triple-silver-glazed glass.

“That will be placed on the outside to reflect the sun and heat from entering the house, and goes along with the single high impact glass, which is already required of homes and commercial businesses.

“It’s been a code which has been in the making since 2010, but there have been postponements over the years delaying its enactment.”

“After June 30, all new construction will need to implement the high-energy efficient windows, which will force a rise in costs. But new construction is not where the problems will start popping up in the Fifth Edition Energy Code.

“Even if a window needs to be replaced in a current home or business, it needs to go through the property permitting process. That means, after June 30, to obtain a permit, the new energy efficient insulated windows will have to be used.

“It makes 100% perfect sense for new construction,” Munden said. “But the code also pertains to retro-fitting, meaning changing windows already installed in the house or business. It’s not going to be a cheap thing to change and could mean up to a 25% increase in a project.”

“For example, if a homeowner is deciding to replace their dozen windows in their home, they will need to replace them with the much more energy efficient insulated ones, which leads to another potential lurking problem – illegal installation.

“What this is going to create are illegal installations,” Munden said. “Unlicensed installers don’t have the property testing, the property installation and they don’t pull permits.”

“If a home or business owner cuts the corner and doesn’t properly obtain the permits to install windows, they will not be covered by insurance companies, which require the documentation before a claim can be settled.

“Now, if we get a hurricane, and those windows are not properly permitted, they will be denied their claim,” Munden added. “Claims will be denied without property permits.”

“The only way to gain the proper permits again, is to install the new insulated windows required by the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code.

“”We are having to give double proposals now, the first being the current price before June 30, and the other estimate post-June 30,” Munden said. “As long as you get your permit before June 30, you are fine.”

“There are some leeways the state is giving and that is the code is subject to authority having jurisdiction by the local building department.

“Sanibel Building Department’s Harold Law, couldn’t comment about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code, because officials are still learning about it, but he did say June 30 is the current deadline for the enactment of it.

“Which, of course with government, that isn’t a certain even.

“The Legislature of Florida went home already and the Builder’s Association submitted a bill to postpone implementation of the code for a year,” said Chappell, who has attended every association meeting about the new code this past year. “It wasn’t voted on and it looked dead. But now, the Governor has called a special session, and there is a possibility this bill could pass. It’s not likely, but a possibility.”

““They could extend it one year, if that bill passes. The reality is, though, until the session is over with, we don’t know when the code will be enacted.”

“Another big problem which could occur if the code is enacted June 30, deals with condominiums. With condo associations almost always requiring a uniform exterior, when the different windows start being put in, that will upset those rules.

“”Sanibel has a couple thousand units and they are stringent on outside appearance of building,” Munden said. “Ninety-percent of them have tinted glass, which is gray in appearance. With the new windows, the glass will look entirely different. The state is telling them they can use only one kind of glass. Now, you’ll see all of these windows which are going to be gray, and this new glass will be mirrored. It’s going to create a lot of problems with association, because the glass won’t be matching now.”

“With Chappel being Sanibel Glass and Mirror’s window salesman and informing his clients of the change, Munden said he has been preparing for it, when it comes. The permits he has been pulling now for his September and October jobs, can be extended for another six months, so his company should be prepared.

“”I just want people to be aware of this,” Munden said. “There isn’t a lot of information out there about it.”

“To learn more about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code go to https://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states/florida.” or here’s the code: shop.iccsafe.org/media/wysiwyg/material/5681L14-TOC.pdf

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22 

Sanibel

CONDOS

View of Sanibel River from Sunset South #9C

View of Sanibel River from Sunset South #9C

4 new listings: Sunset South #9C 2/2 $449K (our listing), Sundial #F103 2/2 $465K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $549K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 $2.395M.

2 price changes: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $675K, Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 now $720K.

3 new sales: Sundial #C207 1/1 listed for $429K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 listed for $535K, Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 listed for $649K.

3 closed sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 $378K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-4 2/2.5 $650K, Seascape #104 3/3 $1.9M (our sale).

Seascape Boardwalk

Seascape boardwalk

 

HOMES

1 new listing: 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $489K.

5 price changes: 5131 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $499K, 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $598.65K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $695K (short sale), 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $699K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $1.149M.

8 new sales: 982 Main St 3/2.5 listed for $439K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 listed for $565K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $579K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed for $619K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 listed for $825K, 0 Sea Pines 3/2 listed for $849K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 listed for $899K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 listed for $3.795M.

8 closed sales: 766 Donax St 2/2 duplex $385K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $400K, 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 $520K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/3 $570K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 $675K, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 $1.23M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 $1.5M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $1.575M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sales: without contingencies: 915 Main St listed for $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1611 2/2 $1.275M.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 now $284.5K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4114 1/2 listed for $265K, Beach Homes #3 3/2 listed for $1.879M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 now $3.99M.

3 new sales: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed for $2.345M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 listed for $3.595M, 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 listed for $3.69M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 11545 Wightman Ln now $1.245M.

No new or closed sales.

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

In addition to wishing you all a great weekend, remember SanibelSusan will be in the office if you want to buy or sell any island real estate.

In the meantime, please enjoy this adorable photo of a baby blue heron – looks like a baby dinosaur.

(Pix borrowed from a Facebook posting by Eric Weiss, who is Executive Producer at “Better Living”.)

Baby blue heron - Eric Weiss -