Another Weekend of Beautiful Weather Expected

All’s well again this week on sunny Sanibel Island. After days of seemingly summer-like weather, Wednesday brought the first shower of the rainy season. After much-needed downpours for most of the afternoon, a low-humidity cool front arrived which resulted yesterday in plenty of sun, but temperatures into the low 70’s with a nice breeze. Today temps crept back up to the high 70’s, then it likely will bump back up into the low 80’s for the weekend, which should be perfect for those here celebrating Mothers’ Day.

Both phone and island traffic were light this week. With the end of the school spring breaks, visitor traffic likely will be off until these same schools are out for summer breaks. The locals look at this as the perfect time to again enjoy The Over Easy Café, Gramma Dot’s, and other island eateries that can have long lines “in season”.

Many agree that May and October are their favorite months – little hustle bustle and the best weather.

This week at SanibelSusan Realty, several of our listings had showings, with a few more scheduled this weekend, and we had two closings. Some post-season celebratory events are happening now too. A few tidbits about them and some news items are below, followed by a report of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

“Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament

Ding-Darling-Doc-Fords-Tarpon-Tourney-5th-anniversaryTonight and tomorrow are the 5th annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament. The weather couldn’t be better and the water quality is good, so hopefully the first tarpon of the season have arrived.

The event begins with a captains’ meeting, anglers’ dinner, and auction tonight (5-9 p.m.) with the actual fishing tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. All sponsorships and gifts go to the “Ding” Darling Wildllife Society, while 100% of the entry fees go to tournament winners. Last year, it netted more than $50K for conservation and education at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

We have several friends and clients participating in the tournament. Here’s hoping that this year’s event brings more success and that our pals catch winners. (Note this is a “catch, release, & care” tournament. Tarpon weight/size is estimated by photo or video only, with all tarpon immediately released.)

Ding Darling Society logoFifty boats participate, with four to six anglers per boat. These anglers come from all over.

This year, there again are a couple of teams from the UK, including one called “Fish & Chips” and some of the local teams advertise their sponsors in their team names, like “RS Walsh Landscaping”, “Florida Weekly”, and “Diversified Yacht Services”.

Jensen-logoJensen’s Marina/Operation Open Arms always dedicates their team to veterans.

Then, there is the team of gals, called “Fishin’ Divas”. Follow the tourney and their results at http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/tarpon-tourney.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

rpacYesterday afternoon/evening was the 21st annual local association of Realtors® “after season” celebration which this year included a golf scramble, Cinco de Mayo party, and auction, all benefitting RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee).

Often held at The Sanctuary, this year because of their ongoing clubhouse remodel, it was moved to The Dunes where attendees, golfers particularly, were thankful that the deluge was the day before. It was a great day for golf – even with the cooling breezes.

RPAC 2016

A few colorful pals exiting RPAC event last night. L to R: Past-President of Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Bruce Cochrane & his wife Lisa (also affiliate member); 2016 Association President Lori Pierot, & Realtor Marlene Donaldson.

The total amount raised has not been announced yet, but the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® takes great pride in garnering awards each year from Florida Realtors® for their RPAC participation.

 

RPAC Lobsters 2016RPAC contributions by island Realtors® are high as we have seen the results of these dollars used close-to-home to support Realtor®- friendly legislators who protect property rights, to protect against ordinances which could harm real estate and promote those with positive influence (like build-back), to clean waterways, to provide competitive/affordable flood insurance, to protect the environment, and for beach re-nourishment. Another grant currently is in the works for another water quality study too. We love to see RPAC dollars at work!

For the auction, SanibelSusan Realty donated a jumbo Maine lobster bake dinner for six (gotta honor those Maine roots). It sold for a pretty penny and I purchased a couple of items too, both at the live and silent auctions.

DunesEntrySignAll-in-all, it was a fun time – super nice way to celebrate the end of “season”, and for a cause that helps us all.

The Dunes, our local RPAC committee, and our Association of Realtors staff, all did an excellent job.

Thanks to everyone involved, including fellow contributors!

Summer Hours at Sanibel Historical Village

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumSummer hours have begun at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it will close from July 30 until October 18th when it will reopen again with full-time hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Wonder why? These buildings go back to pioneer days and are not air conditioned.

The Museum and Village were founded in 1984 to preserve, share, and celebrate Sanibel history. Its buildings and thousands of artifacts tell the story of the island from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on Sanibel in the 1800s.

Nine historic buildings have been moved from their original island sites and brought to the village with each building restored to its original state. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Current Events Will Meet Through Summer

Island Sun logoAs posted in today’s “Island Sun”:

“For more than 34 years, men and women of Sanibel and Southwest Florida have met weekly to enjoy civil discourse on domestic and international news. The group meets every Monday year-‘round for two hours in Phillips Gallery at BIG ARTS starting at 10 a.m. Current Events will continue to meet during the summer months….”

City May Eliminate Cost Accumulation & 50% Restrictions

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported in the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Wednesday:

“Sanibel took a step Tuesday, May 3, toward removing a pair of restrictions that will allow property owners to more easily make repairs without losing the city’s rating for flood insurance.

“The City Council directed the Planning Department to draft an ordinance that would remove the five-year cost accumulation period for improvements and what is known as the 50% rule for substantial improvements.

“The council sent the matter to the Planning Commission with a view toward an ordinance returning to the council for a first reading at the June 7 meeting followed by a public hearing and vote at one of two meetings in late July.

“Both the five-year cost accumulation period and the 50% rule were once part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for flood insurance, which Sanibel has been a part of since 1979. Both have been removed and the city’s consultant has advised the city that it will not lose its Class 5 flood insurance rating with FEMA if it removes both restrictions.

““We anticipate that this will help homeowners in projects such as impact windows, shutters and other things to make structures more sound,” Planning Director Jim Jordan told the council. “It removes a lot of the obstacles for homeowners to make improvements.”

“Mayor Kevin Ruane made the motion to send the ordinance to the Planning Commission with the “enhancements” of removing the restrictions.”

Causeway Traffic Numbers About the Same As Last Year

Although we all did plenty of complaining about traffic this winter, the numbers published this week in the local papers say that causeway traffic was not much more than 2015. Here are a few excerpts from today’s “Santiva-Chronicle”:

sanibel causeway“March is Sanibel’s busiest month, the month when the traffic is at its peak. It’s the month when, all else being equal, Sanibel can gauge how well it got through with its traffic campaign. The city has to like what it sees from the Sanibel Causeway.

“The causeway is a leading traffic indicator and numbers from Lee County for March show that traffic on the bridge during the busiest month showed only a slight increase over 2015. The numbers show that 356,633 vehicles used the causeway in March compared to 355,695 in March 2015. That’s an increase of 938 vehicles, a miniscule 0.26%.

“The three-month totals show a less than 1% increase in traffic for the year. Through three months last year, the causeway total was 963,446 and through March of this year it’s 965,586, an increase of 2,140 vehicles.

“Sanibel has taken several steps to calm the traffic on the island during the peak season. As it regards the causeway, the most important steps were the city’s messages to day-tripping tourists. Instead of coming here and driving around, come get a bicycle and stay awhile has been the crux of the city’s plea. It was delivered in a variety of ways, including a video with Mayor Kevin Ruane. The city also mounted three live traffic cameras that can be viewed at www.mysanibel.com.  One of them is on the causeway.

“The causeway numbers aren’t perfect indicators through three months. January was plagued with 16” of rain and that put a damper on tourism on several days. Causeway traffic fell 2.53% in January. The numbers show 299,519 vehicles went through the toll plaza in January and that’s down from 307,302 in January, 2015. It was the first time in 22 months causeway traffic fell. But city officials were hesitant to celebrate that number because of all the rain.

“Figures from Lee County show that 309,434 vehicles used the causeway in February. That’s up 8,985 vehicles from 2015 and technically goes down as an increase of almost 3%. But 2016 is a leap year and the 29th day skews the numbers.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 29-May 6, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial West #F105 1/1 $399K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A302 2/2 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $549K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $745K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $950K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 $1.495M.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $589K.

2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #E2 1/1 listed at $375K, Lighthouse Point #325 listed at 2/2 $830K.

10 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 $410K, Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 $425K, Sundial West #B207 1/1 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $525K, Compass Point #203 2/2 $651K, Cottage Colony West #126 1/1 $620K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Village I #2-2 3/3 $650K, Nutmeg Village #309 2/2 $765K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 $900K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $970K.

 

CCW 126

Cottage Colony West #126

 

HOMES

10 new listings: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $489K; 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 $499,994; 3927 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599,995; 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $599K; 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 multi-family $639.9K; 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $669K; 726 Cardium St 3/3 $795K; 8995 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 $990K; 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.3M; 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $2.295M.

5 price changes: 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $529.5K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $699K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 1326 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $2.395M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.5M.

4 new sales: 1717 Sand Pebble 3/2 listed at $449K, 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $498K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at 599K, 1658 Sabal Palm 2/2 listed at $875K.

14 closed sales: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $400K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $560K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 $590K, 1475 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $725K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 $745K, 577 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $755K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $845K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 $885K, 460 East Gulf Dr 2/2.5 $1.289M, 907 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.95M, 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1018 Whisperwood Way 3/5 $2.2M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $2.59M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $294.9K, 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $299,555.

No new sales.

NewStraight

View from 837 Limpet Dr

2 closed sales: 6159 Starling Way $608K, 837 Limpet Dr $725K (our listing).

 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 now $599K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 $280K, Lands End Village #1641 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 multi-family now $1.85M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.395M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $8.8M.

1 new sales: 15 Seascape 3/2.5 listed at $995K.

1 closed sale: 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.225M.

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.)

Dave & Mom 08-1976

When Dave & I were a lot younger, 1976

’til next week…Happy Mothers’ Day!

 

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

mothers-day-border-clip-art-5

Sanibel Weekend Weather Forecast in Degrees F – Saturday 75 & Sunday 79 – WhoooHooo

SanibelSusan is back at her post this week where it is always great to get home and back to business even after a wonderful fun-filled vacation. Island traffic is noticeably heavier now than it was three weeks ago, while the weather remains mostly the same – sunny and picture perfect, unlike those nasty photos we are seeing on the news with snow and cold weather elsewhere.

Now through Easter is always a great time to be enjoying winter in Southwest Florida. I had lunch today with a colleague in the vacation rental business and he said that their phones are ringing off the hook with folks looking for last-minute holiday reservations.

Our listings had a few showings this week and our local Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan meetings have changed to the “season” schedule of every week. Following a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

On teammate David’s travels this week he took the following bird photos. I thought you might enjoy them too – from osprey to sandpiper to eagle. (Bet you notice the mono-filament line wrapped around the osprey too. It’s a good reminder to always be careful with that stuff.)

osprey fishing line

 

Sandpiper

Eagle

On the real estate front, the number of units available still is down, though business is picking up, albeit is slowly. Homes and larger-sized condos continue to be in most demand. All indications are that it will be a terrific winter with prices continuing to rebound – we sure hope so!

Island Sales Stat Summary

Sanibel                         Condos                        Homes                         Lots

                                     #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price

For sale                        112      708,608           149      1,308,066         90        503,335

Closings pending         16        634,519           21         948,452           5          305,180

2014 sold thru 11/12    145      661,379           183      823,155           22         453,957

2013                             161      573,557           197      910,321           26         416,502

2012                             151      551,244           183      823,598           33         487,687

Upcoming Island Events

Shell MuseumNov 16 – tomorrow – Sat – 19th Birthday The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum – so free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.shellmuseum.org

taste of the island logo_2014Nov 16 – Sun – 33rd Annual “Taste of the Islands” at The Dunes from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. (postponed from last week)

BIG Arts logoNov 21 – Fri – BIG ARTS Strauss Theater reopens for the 2014/2015 season with “Divas” which includes hits by some of the most successful female vocalists including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, & Whitney Houston. “Divas” runs until Dec 4, www.bigarts.org/theater

Sanibel Community HouseNov 23 – Sun – Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House at 6:45 p.m. The BIG ARTS Community Chorus (& your favorite (I hope) alto) will be performing.

Luminary SantaDec 5 – Fri – 30th Annual Sanibel Luminary from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. (rumor has it that there will be another flash mob at Bailey’s this year)

Dec 6 – Sat – Captiva Luminary from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Captiva Boat paradeDec 13 – Sat – Captiva Holiday Village 5th Annual Lighted Boat Parade at 6 p.m.

 

 

It’s Final: News Corp Acquires Realtor.com®

Realtor.com logosToday’s announcement from “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“Media giant News Corp has officially completed its acquisition of Move, Inc., firming up its stake in the online real estate arena and tying its name to the REALTOR® brand. Move, Inc. is a leading provider of online real estate services and the operator of realtor.com®. News Corp says the merger will extend the media company’s global and digital operations as well as “bolster the real estate pillar of its business.”

“In partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® and its one million members, we look forward to turbo-charging realtor.com® and making it the most popular and profitable property site in America,” Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said in a statement.

“News Corp, a media and publishing business of which Rupert Murdoch serves as the executive chairman, owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. It also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website. The Move network of websites reaches more than 30 million online visitors per month.

““We provide people with the information, tools and professional expertise they need to make the best and most informed real estate decisions, and we work to uphold the indispensable role of the professional in the real estate experience,” Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move, told REALTOR® Magazine in late September after the merger was announced.   “News Corp shares our vision, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such good news for our customers, consumers, and the industry as a whole.”

“National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron praised the deal.  “The National Association of REALTORS® is excited about NewsCorp’s successful acquisition of Move, Inc.,” Polychron said in a statement released this morning. “REALTORS® are about making consumers’ real estate dreams a reality, and the unique strengths of News Corp, Move, and our REALTOR® members will enhance our ability to do that. NAR looks forward to its new partnership with News Corp and is committed to working with both companies to seek and develop new opportunities that help REALTORS® and consumers flourish in today’s real estate marketplace.””

The Next Big Home Feature Buyers Want?

Here’s some info from Wednesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on-line:

houses-clipartfree-christian-clip-art--image-of-a-house-a-home---cropped-image-xoshp3ls“Home owners are showing a bigger appetite for smart home technology. Nearly half of consumers — 46% — say it’s important their current home or the next home they purchase have smart home technology, according to a survey conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV of nearly 2,500 consumers who recently participated in an HGTV national focus group on smart home technology.

“Home owners and buyers say they see the value in smart home technology for comfort, safety, and cost savings, and 51% surveyed say they would consider installing smart home technology in their home to make their home more marketable to future home buyers.

“The younger segment of the millennial generation is the most likely age group to spend money on smart home technology — 10 times more likely than the percentage of generation X members who say they’d consider adding smart home technology to their homes, the survey reported. “While still a growing trend, smart home enhancements have the potential to increase savings, safety, and resale value,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “As we have seen through this survey and our one-on-one interactions with buyers and sellers, a smart home is one that is well positioned for the future and aligns with a growing reliance on mobile technology.”

“Indeed, 70% of millennials say it’s important that smart home technology integrate with their smartphone.

While smart home technology has often been thought to be driven by mainly security, survey researchers did not find security as the main motivation for adding smart home technology. Instead, home owners say they’re using or wanting smart home technology mainly because of the money-saving potential, such as through automated climate control, energy management, remote home monitoring, and lighting control systems. What’s more, consumers of all generations said they’d automate their thermostats before their lighting or security systems, and one in 10 Americans say they’d automate their TV over their lighting or security systems.”

Life Doesn’t Rise or Fall With Interest Rates

realtor logoAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, here is his article from the November “Realtor®Mag”:

“Housing market can weather the effects of expected mortgage spikes.

“Mortgage rates haven’t budged, remaining at historic lows throughout the year amid economic growth that has generated 2.5 million net new jobs over the past 12 months and a record high stock market. But uncertainty looms in light of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s announcement that the economic stimulus program known as “quantitative easing” will halt by year’s end. Moreover, an increase in the short-term Fed funds rate is expected by the middle of 2015. The course of U.S. monetary policy, in short, will be less accommodating going forward.

“In the meantime, perhaps because of geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Ukraine, or because of weaker economic conditions in Europe, a plentiful amount of money has flowed into the safe U.S. bond market, thereby holding interest rates down. Inflation has been low so far, too, rising only by 2%, another factor behind the low rates.

“Sooner or later, though, interest rates will have to rise. From the low 4% rate that prevailed for most of this year, the average mortgage rate will likely cross over the 5% threshold sometime in 2015 and probably rise to near 6% by 2016. Such a change makes homes less affordable, a clear negative for residential sales. But job creation and the accompanying rise in consumer confidence, along with some loosening of underwriting standards, might more than compensate for the rising rates.

“But what will be the impact on home owners who have locked in super low rates? How resistant will they be to giving those up? That’s something we’ll be tracking. But if past behavior is a guide, most home owners won’t stay put just to hang onto a low mortgage rate.

“Our own research supports this. Nearly half of recent buyers indicated the desire to have a different-sized home or live in a different neighborhood as the key reason for moving. Having kids and selecting a school district they like makes people move. Another third of recent movers cited changes in a job or ­marital status. Retirement was a factor for ­others. Only 3% mentioned changes in mortgage costs as a reason for moving.

“Low interest-rate lock-ins seem to matter far less than life cycle events. Even as rates move up, life moves on.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 7-14

Sanibel
CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 $379K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $520K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $795K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 $895K.

4 price changes: Colonnades #51 1/1 now $179K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $459K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 now $694K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $849K.

3 new sale: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #301 2/2 listed for $449K, Sayana #103 2/2 listed for $715K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 $314K, Pointe Santo #B45 2/2 $710K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 548 Chert Ct 2/2 $585K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $589K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 now $649.9K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.589M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 now $4.395M.

2 new sales: 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 4/3 listed for $829K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $999.9K.

1 closed sale: 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $975K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 707 Emeril Ct $319K; 5633 Baltusrol Ct $349,555; 4334 West Gulf Dr $959,959.

3 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $335K, 6486 Pine Ave now $399.9K (foreclosure), 4988 Joewood Dr now $529K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 listed for $309K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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.

Whether selling or buying, please call The SanibelSusan Team.

Susan, David, Elise, and Lisa are island experts and ready to help you!

SANSLogo