Things are Happening on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

What’s Happening at SanibelSusan Realty

Mariner Pointe

Mariner Pointe

It has been another productive week for the SanibelSusan Team.

Though the weekend was quiet, and Mon not much better, on Tues we received a terrific new listing at Mariner Pointe. This condo has cottage-style decor and island sophistication – could be in a magazine. Jim Anderson, our professional photographer, is filming it today and we will have it open for Realtor Caravan next Thurs morning.

Beach at Loggerhead Cay

Beach at Loggerhead Cay

Also on Tues, I showed our Loggerhead Cay listing to a prospective buyer, a Midwest Realtor® familiar with the island, but just starting to think about buying. Always amazes me that folks often do that just before they are leaving to go home.

It always pays to go to these last-minute showings armed with info.

Beach at Island Beach Club

Beach at Island Beach Club

On Wed, the paperwork was finalized for an Island Beach Club listing that went under contract. With a new kitchen and excellent income, it was priced right so got lots of showings.

Yesterday and today, I worked with buyers looking at homes in Gumbo Limbo. That community has seen a lot of activity this year. With eleven homes already sold/closed in 2013 and just eight available, it shows how Sanibel homes are moving – or certainly better than any other time in the last five-plus years. More inventory is needed, so if you know of anyone thinking of selling, I hope you will recommend us.

Late yesterday, I opened our Sanibel Shores listing for a positive viewing too. With several other listings also shown this week, you will notice below that we saw increased action in the Multiple Listing Service this week. First, some additional island and real estate scoop.

Wondering About the Island Weather?

Weather11-08-13How about dry and sunny for the last week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, with more of the same expected at least until Wed.

The forecast says highs of 84 and lows of 64 through the holiday weekend and Tues.

Then on Wed, it may only go up to 75 degrees F – and into the high 50’s at night – just the way we like it in the fall on Sanibel and Captiva!

Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel

Blue CoyoteAs follow-up to our report last Fri about the new restaurant in Beachview Estates opening this week, Dave and I tried it on opening day for lunch, while Elise and I went yesterday. Little staff treat that I try to fit in occasionally so we can recommend new island businesses (or not).

Both days we saw lots of islanders there, likewise giving it a try. We definitely will go back! The new decor is fresh and quite interesting, service quick and attentive, and food well presented and delish. Probably their biggest hurdle will be getting those of us who have dined here over the last 20+years, retrained to go in through the new central entrance. You may want to give it a try too.

Lots of Events This Weekend on Sanibel Island

RoseateQuartetWhen the islands pick up for “season”, there are so many fun things happening that visitors and locals have trouble selecting which to attend. If you are planning in advance, you can always check our website (http://sanibelsusan.com/island-events-calendar/). Meanwhile, here’s a summary of some events this weekend:

Tonite       5th Annual Cracker Fest, The Bait Box, 6-10 p.m.

                 “Remembering the USO” Dance Party, Sanibel Community House, 7-10 p.m.

Sat, 11/9   2nd Annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby, Causeway Island “A”, 8:30 a.m.-noon

                  5th Annual Esperanza Woodring Memorial Cast Net Rodeo, The Bait Box, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

                  8th Annual Beach Ball Fundraiser (for The Sanibel School), Sundial Beach Resort, 5-9 p.m.

                  SCCF’s Wines in the Wild, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, 6-8 p.m.

Sun, 11/10 Sanibel Farmer’s Market, City Hall Grounds, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

                   CROW’s 32nd Annual Taste of the Islands,The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Mon, 11/11 Annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony, Sanibel City Hall Flagpole, 10:30 a.m.-noon

                   “Free Meal for Veterans”, American Legion Post 123, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

How Men & Women Differ on Home Buying

Pool home for sale in Sanibel Shores ($449K)

Pool home for sale in Sanibel Shores ($449K)

Here a repeat of an article I read on Tues on “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Men are from Mars, women are from Venus — and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to home buying. According to Prudential Real Estate’s third-quarter Consumer Outlook Survey, men and women are quite different when it comes to what they value most about home ownership and the process of buying and selling.

“Women enjoy the home search more than men, with 87% of women versus 77% of men saying they like looking at homes, the survey finds. More women associate home ownership with “pride,” “accomplishment,” or “independence,” while men tend to associate it with “control over living space” and “more space for my family.”

“”As the real estate market strengthens and household formation grows, men and women approach the buying-selling process from different angles,” says Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate. “What’s most interesting is the dynamic that exists among couples and the role that agents play in balancing couples’ real estate objectives.”

“Agents may often find themselves stuck in the middle, but both sexes say they trust their agent to be the voice of reason and settle any disagreements among couples. Eighty-three% of survey respondents say their real estate agent was helpful in moderating an agreement, and 86% value the agent’s point of view as much as — or more than — their partner’s, according to the survey. Both sexes cited “honesty” and “knowledgeable” as the most important traits in a real estate agent. 

“Men and women tend to take on different responsibilities when it comes to home buying, the survey finds. Men take on more of the financial aspects, while women tended to take the lead on planning aspects, such as neighborhood research. Nearly 40% of men said they researched banks and secured the mortgage; 42% of women said it was their responsibility to manage appointments, and 34% took the lead in researching neighborhoods.

“When it comes to the most important home features, men and women are mostly in agreement. Both genders ranked “safe neighborhood”, “overall condition of home”, and “number of bedrooms” the highest.”

Economy Good or Bad? “Yes”

realtor logoLawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS® recently posted on-line:

“Amidst contradictory economic news, homeowners’ wealth is rising.

“The spectacle of our federal government this fall struggling to fund its operations and pay its bills is only the latest bit of strangeness in what has been a strange time for our country.

“The economy has been statistically out of recession for more than four years, yet a majority of households say we are still in a downturn. The Consumer Confidence Index has been rebounding from a low of 45 at the depth of the recession to a figure of 80. But 100 is the point at which more than half of the population says the country is heading in the right direction.

“The August unemployment rate of 7.3% is an improvement from the rate of nearly 10% a few years ago, with 7 million jobs added in the past three years. Still, the economy shed 8 million jobs during the downturn and even today, the employment rate remains stuck at a low of 59%.

“The housing market and stocks have been among the bright spots. Rising home prices have pushed up net equity holdings by $2 trillion in the past couple of years and stock gains have helped push total household worth to an all-time high, although that wealth is heavily concentrated in a small percentage of the population. 

“The most telling evidence of the contradictory nature of our times is reflected in the net worth of home owners versus renters. On average, home owners have a median worth of nearly $200,000, while renters are essentially living paycheck to paycheck, with only $4,000 in net worth on average. And renters as a share of households are growing; their ranks having risen by 6 million from a decade ago.

“So, we are living in the strangest of times. Let’s see if 2014 brings us more of the same or something different.”

8 Kitchen Trends for Remodelers

HGTV photo

HGTV photo

Several clients recently have asked “What’s “in” with kitchen remodels?” – so this recent article in “Home Trends, Realtor®Mag” is timely:

“Home buyers love kitchens, so what trends are cooking up lately? The remodeling website Houzz surveyed 7,812 home owners about their kitchen remodeling plans this fall. Here are the big trends that emerged from the survey:

“1. Bigger isn’t better: Home owners don’t mind a small kitchen, but they do want a feeling of space, the survey found. One way they’re achieving is that is by adding kitchen islands.

“2. Wide open: 77% of home owners say they plan during their remodel to have their kitchen open to other rooms.

“3. A love for granite: Granite continues its reign as the most popular countertop (favored by 50% of those surveyed), but quartz is following up behind at 36%.

“4. Mix and match: Mixing materials is becoming a more popular fad in the kitchen. For example, home owners are mixing stainless steel appliances with appliances in other finishes, like white or appliances integrated with cabinetry. Also, they’re mixing countertops, such as opting for a different choice for the kitchen island than the other countertops.

“5. Conservative with color: Conservative color schemes are the most popular, with 75% of home owners say they’re choosing soft and neutral colors for their kitchen walls and decor compared to 14% who are opting for bright, colorful selections.

“6. Style varies by age: Younger home owners show a stronger preference toward contemporary and modern kitchens while over 55’s tend to favor a more traditional look in the kitchen.

“7. Flooring favorites: Top flooring choices in kitchen are hardwood floors (with 35%), but followed closely behind tile flooring (32%).

“8. Being green: Nearly 50% of home owners say having eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important to them.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from Nov 1 – 8

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #812 2/2 $499K (our listing), Oceans Reach #4C1 2/2 $825K.
3 price changes: Tarpon Beach #203 2/2 now $668K, Bougainvillea #4 3/3 now $999K, Golden Beach 32 3/2.5 now $1.1M.
2 new sales: Island Beach Club #310C 2/2 listed for $549K (our listing), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3 3/3 listed for $699K.
2 closed sales: Atrium #307 2/2 $1.05M, Shorewood #3 3/3 $1.5M.
 
HOMES
7 new listings: 4724 Rue Belle Mer 2/2 $629K, 3808 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $699K, 1658 Sabal Palm Dr 2/2 $875K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 $939.5K, 340 Cowry Ct 5/3.5 $1.079M, 991 Whelk Dr 4/3 $1.195M, 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 $1.75M
6 price changes: 420 Lighthouse Way 3/2 now $549K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 now $624.5K, 426 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659.9K, 750 Sand Dollar 2/2 now $799K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 now $1.199M, 2980 Wulfert Rd 5/5 now $1.199M.
7 new sales: 747 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $549K, 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $549K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed for $569K, 4570 Bowen Bayou Rd 2/2 listed for $599K, 1860 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed for $629K, 720 Periwinkle Way 3/3.5 listed for $1.379M, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3.5 listed for $2.995M.
No closed sales.
 
LOTS
2 new listings: Bowman’s Beach Rd $199K, 1325 Eagle Run Dr $499,555.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #101 2/2 listed for $869K.
No closed sales.
 
HOMES
2 new listings: 15899 Captiva Dr 4/3 $2.895, 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.59M.
No price changes, 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 Best wishes from SanibelSusan for wonderful weekend.

 P.S. If you are on the island & want to look at property, please give me a call at 239-472-HOME (4663). If your goal is to own by “season”, the time to buy is NOW!

November Real Estate Scoop (& more) from Sanibel & Captiva Islands

BObcat10-3-13In addition to some good real estate action on the islands over the last few days, SanibelSusan Realty had a bobcat sighting yesterday at the City Park across the street from our office. Here are a few news items followed by a report of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan & Other Island Events 

realtor logoYesterday, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Caravan meeting was packed and the tour increased to 17 properties – another indication that “season” is just around the corner. These meetings convert next week back to the winter every-week schedule where the property permitted on caravan will rotate between East and West ends so viewers have time to see them all during the 9 a.m. to noon timeframe.

coastal_living_3346Another announcement from a Captiva colleague was that “Coastal Living” magazine is doing a segment on the island for their holiday edition. It will include a chance to win a Captiva vacation and cover the upcoming happenings at the Holiday Village.

Speaking of upcoming events here are a few in the days ahead:

Nov 2 – ‘Tween Waters Annual Halloween Bash (for adults); theme this year is “Twisted Circus”.

New Farmers MarketNov 3 – Sanibel Farmers Market reopens for “season”, every Sunday until Apr 27 on the grounds of City Hall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Nov 8 – SanCap Cracker Fest by The Sanibel-Captiva chapter of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, Inc. (START) returns to The Bait Box. Only 300 tickets are available, email Start@SanibelSeaSchool.org.

Nov 9 – 2nd Annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby on the causeway.

Taste Dunes 2013Nov 10 – 32nd Taste of the Islands to benefit CROW at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club.

http://tastesanibelcaptiva.com

Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel

Blue Coyote Supper Club logoWithin Beachview Country Club Estates at 1100 Par View Drive, islanders are looking forward to the opening of this newly remodeled restaurant, new owners and menu. (Those who have dined at the original Blue Coyote, a private supper club inside Caloosa Yacht and Racquet Club in Fort Myers know their food is fabulous!) The Sanibel location, called Blue Coyote Supper Club Sanibel, is expected to open for lunch on Nov 4 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and for dinner on Nov 5. Lunch hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday and dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tues through Thurs, and 5 to 10 p.m. Fri and Sat.

What’s The Year-to-Year Market Like on the Islands? 

ASSOC LogoAs we roll in the last quarter each year, I like to compare the market to the same timeframe in previous years. As Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales move into recovery mode, here is a quick look at what has sold from Jan through Oct each year since the heydays of 2006. For good measure, I added current inventory too, which leads into the second article below.

 

                        SANIBEL ISLAND

                        CONDOS                      HOMES                        LOTS               

                        #          Avg $                #          Avg $                #          Avg $

For sale            133       715,234         165       1,282,251          82         695,543

Closed Sales from January through October:       

 2013                144       556,859         180       923,007           21         460,193

 2012                136       560,907         158       791,569           28         401,582

 2011                129       608,908         153       839,400           16         407,366

 2010                106       589,225         108       774,391           19         347,368

 2009                69         661,543         123       757,268           9          336,667

 2008                80         731,004         132       950,901           10         406,056

 2007                76         789,211         126       1,024,913        16         889,791

 2006                128       870,546         145       1,113,918        17         524,735

                        CAPTIVA ISLAND

                        CONDOS                      HOMES                        LOTS               

                        #          Avg $                #          Avg $                #          Avg $

For sale            33         788,158         35         3,379,143        6          2,049,833

Closed Sales from January through October:

 2013                32         686,990         16         2,579,500        1          650,000

 2012                31         842,242         24         1,534,854        3          1,221,667

 2011                22         762,323         19         1,924,095        1          485,000

 2010                18         645,800         7          1,852,500         2          2,850,000

 2009                20         777,175         14         2,417,643        3          2,241,667

 2008                18         872,514         13         3,465,385        4          3,251,250

 2007                11         795,227         19         3,270,300        1          3,575,000

 2006                18         1,246,222       7          2,551,429        3          2,658,333

Study: Higher Home Prices Lead to More Sales 

PrintThis article has an interesting spin. It was posted in RealtorMag “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday, Oct 28th:

“If home prices edge higher, the housing market will see higher home sales, according to a new paper by two senior economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The economists note that it’s not that the higher prices entice buyers as much as the higher prices entice owners to sell their homes, thereby helping to alleviate current inventory shortages. 

“Many sellers are still waiting out the market until home prices rise more, economists William Hedberg and John Krainer write in an article in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Letter titled “Why Are Housing Inventories Low?” In the past year, existing-home prices have edged up 11.7 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®

“Still, despite rising appreciation, some sellers are underwater on their mortgage or do not have enough equity yet to motivate them to sell. Research has shown that counties with a high share of underwater mortgages tend to have the smallest for-sale inventories.

“The economists say that a distinct pattern exists in housing inventories, with the number of homes for sale rising in good times and falling in bad times. Some of it can be explained by credit, they say. Lenders tend to ease credit restrictions during good economic times, which help more buyers enter the market. 

But the economists say that the level of home prices and changes in employment are by far the variables that most influences the inventory of homes for sale. “Once these are accounted for other variables, such as changes in the for-rent inventory, the underwater share, or local price-rent ratios, do little to explain the inventory of houses for sale,” Mortgage News Daily reports on the study. “Thus, current home owners may be making a rational choice to postpone selling in the hope that prices will rise further. However, this behavior tends to be short run. In the longer run, the link between the level of house prices and for-sale inventories is strong. If prices continue to rise, inventories for sale should eventually rise too.”

“The housing markets that have seen the strongest house price appreciation and job growth are the ones that are seeing for-sale inventories rise the most, the economists note.”

Four Emotional Mistakes Sellers Make

For sale signThis article directed to real estate professionals contains info worth sharing with sellers and prospective sellers. It was posted Oct 28th on “TruliaProBlog”:

“Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment, then wished for weeks later you could reel those words back in? The truth is, all of us commit emotion-driven mistakes in some areas of our lives. But when it comes to selling their homes (read: cashing out their most valuable assets) the stakes are simply too, too high to allow your sellers and their transactions to fall prey to predictable emotional pitfalls.

Fortunately, when it comes to emotion, what’s predictable is avoidable. Over the years, I’ve found that sellers can and often will check themselves before they wreck themselves if you can help them predict the specific emotions they are likely to experience at various points in their transactions.

“This list will help you predict—and help you help them avoid—some common seller decision traps driven by emotions.

“1. Price reduction paralysis

“Wikipedia defines panic as “a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.” But there’s a real estate-specific reaction to panic that the infinitely wise Wiki editors left out: freezing up entirely.

“In cases of overpricing, many sellers start out as overconfident in their home’s prospects on the current market. But as the days on the market turn into weeks, or even months, that overconfidence morphs into panic: panic that the place will only get a lowball offer, panic that the place won’t ever sell, panic that the seller will be stuck in the property, panic that the seller’s future life or career plans will be ruined. This is a panic that snowballs into increasingly disastrous hypothetical scenarios, and fast.

“Unfortunately, this panic is often accompanied by a fear that reducing the home’s list price will kick off this snowball effect. As you and I know, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When a home is dramatically overpriced, cutting the price is the only way to fix the scenario and render the home more compelling to buyers. If you’ve been around the business for awhile, I’m sure you’ve even seen cases in which a price reduction causes a listing to hit a sweet spot where it receives multiple offers and sells somewhere between the reduced price and the original list price.

“But sellers who cannot manage their fear and panic often end up paralyzed, unable to cut the list price.  And this begins the snowball effect of more and more days on the market, which aggressive buyers watch until they believe the seller’s desperation will make them amenable to a lowball offer.

“The best way to help neutralize this panic is to work with your seller to put a price adjustment action plan and timeline in place before it ever arises. If you’re taking a listing you believe is overpriced, tell your client that, brief them on local DOM data and get them to agree up front to set up a timeline for making price reductions, if the home stays on the market significantly longer than average DOM.

“2. Excessive attachment.

“If you sell dozens of homes a year, each client may be special to you, but it’s easy to see their homes as commodities. To them, though this is the place where her daughter took her first steps, the place he carried his bride over the threshold, maybe even the place their parents built with their bare hands. So, take care as you do this, but have a conversation with your sellers to help them mentally transition their home. Gently walk them through the truth that, at the moment they made the decision to sell it, their family’s precious place became an asset which, like any other good one would sell in the course of business, must be wisely marketed and priced and transacted for.

“Sellers who are excessively attached to a home are likely to:

  • overprice it
  • ignore market data, like the recent sales prices of comparable homes nearby
  • disregard their agent’s staging advice
  • improperly prepare their home for the market, failing to update or neutralize the decor
  • be irrational in negotiations around price or repairs
  • refuse to respond appropriately to market feedback, like no showings or offers even after it’s been on the market for weeks or months.

“If you continue to run into challenges with a seller who is overly emotionally attached to their home, make these points: “Buyers don’t know the emotional value your home holds for you. Nor do they care—and they certainly have no interest or intention to pay for it. If you want to stay attached to your home, keep it—no harm, no foul. But if you truly want to sell it, you must release yourself from your emotional attachment to it.””

“3. Celebrating too soon.

“An old friend of mine who happened to be a former pro athlete would often shake his head when a baseball team on TV went wild over a mid-game rally. His mantra: “Don’t celebrate too soon.” In sports, some say that celebrating too soon can cause you to relax and play less aggressively or less defensively for the rest of the game, giving your opponent a chance to make a last minute comeback.

“And the same is true in real estate. Multiple offers and above-asking sales prices happen frequently on today’s market, but some sellers assume their home will be in that number way before they even sign the listing agreement. Sellers who “celebrate too soon,” so to speak, can put themselves at a disadvantage in a number of ways, like:

  • Cheaping out on staging, failing to do all the items on their property prep list
  • Overpricing their homes, assuming the demand-supply imbalance will automatically swing in their favor
  • Getting sloppy in how they maintain their homes on a daily basis, while they are still on the market, and
  • Making large purchases or spending their house proceeds “in advance,” while the buyer’s loan and inspections are still pending.

“Even in today’s market, deals sometimes fall out of escrow because a buyer has a change in their life, their job or their family, or because they simply turn out not to qualify for the loan they were pre-approved to receive. Smart agents advise smart sellers to stay vigilant and keep their houses meticulous and their finances in good shape throughout the entire time frame from property preparation through close of escrow. It’s also essential to keep your client’s mortgage broker in close contact to help time the purchase of their next home in a way that makes sense vis-a-vis their current home’s listing and sale.

“4. Price confusion.

“Some sellers have a confused understanding of the mechanics of determining the fair market value of a home and setting a list price. This leaves them vulnerable to the trap of letting their financial self-interest and fantasies for the future get in the way of setting a smart list price.

“As you know, a home’s fair market value is defined by what a qualified buyer will pay for it at a given moment in time. Yet some sellers are so emotional about their plans for the next stage of their life that they convince themselves to base the list price for their current home not on its fair market value or marketing considerations, but based on how much money they need to fund their next home purchase or their move to Malaysia. (I’ve been watching too much House Hunters International—don’t mind me.)

“This is the quickest, most lethal route to pricing a property so high no one comes to see it and it lags on the market. And that road usually ends in no offers at all, or very low ones. Make sure your sellers understand that overpricing actually endangers their vision of moving forward with their lives, rather than somehow magically financing it. Help your sellers combat this tendency toward price confusion and take the interpersonal tension out of making low pricing recommendations by constantly referencing comparable sales data and market feedback like low buyer traffic, comments from buyers broker’s and a listing DOM much greater than the average in your area.”

REALTORS® Collecting for F.I.S.H.

Canned_FoodsWhile emptying your annual hurricane box or preparing your pantry for the upcoming holidays, please consider donating non-perishable food items to replenish the F.I.S.H. food pantry. F.I.S.H. of Sanibel, Inc. is a local nonprofit non-sectarian human services organization focused on “neighbors helping neighbors” on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – those who live here, work here, or visit here. Between now and Nov 21, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® is collecting food items and they will be delivering them to F.I.S.H. in time for Thanksgiving. If you want to donate, please drop them off at the Association Office (2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201, that’s behind Wings and above Finnimores Cycle Shop), at SanibelSusan Realty (2242 Periwinkle Way, Suite 3, across from The Community Center City Park), or give us a call (239-472-HOME (4663)) and we’ll pick them up.

County Launches Flood Insurance Info Website

logo Lee CountyLike the rest of us, Lee County is working to gain federal legislators’ support in delaying implementation of a federal flood insurance rate increase so that the required affordability study can be done. Learn more about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 at http://www.lee-county.com/dcd under “What’s New”.

Sanibel Civic Core Presentation 

Sanibelcityseal logo

There is a presentation at Tuesday’s upcoming City Council meeting on progress toward creating an expanded and cooperative Civic Core area on Sanibel. Check it out on the attached agenda, where you can click on the presentation:

http://www.mysanibel.com/City-Council/Agendas-Minutes-Audio/2013-Council-Agendas/Tuesday-November-05-2013

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from Oct 25-Nov 1

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Seashells #21 2/2 $345K, Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #304 2/2 $699.9K, Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $1.35M.
1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now $386K.
2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #C8 2/2 listed for $429K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed for $484.9K.
1 closed sale: Lighthouse Point #125 2/2 $480K.
 
 HOMES
4 new listings: 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $369.9K, 5284 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $525K, 1759 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 $995K, 5795 SanCap Rd 3/3 $1.079.9M.
5 price changes: 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $525K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 now $599K, 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $795K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 now $997K, 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 now $1.15M.
No new or closed sales.
 
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 1637 Sabal Sands Rd listed for $295K.
1 closed sale: 1503 San Carlos Bay Dr $1.05M.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #5132 1/2 now $273.9K.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $245K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 $596.67K.
 
HOMES
3 new listings: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 $995K, 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.995M, 1133 Longifolia Ct 3/3 $3.65M.
1 price change: 1119 Schefflera 4/3.5 now $4.695M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 $1.638M.
 
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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 

If you are lucky enough to be on the islands Sunday a cool front is expected with highs that day expected to only go to 81 degrees F!

Otherwise know as “Island perfect”!

P.S. If you are a fan of the art & photos displayed at SanibelSusan Realty Associates. This week we have a new addition. Painted by the hubby of one of our favorite managers (Kim) at Doc Ford’s on Sanibel, it reminds me of driving on the island. I call it “Diving Bombing Pelican”. Artist is Jerry McGreens who often is found painting at the Franklin Shops in downtown Ft. Myers. His work makes me smile! http://jkmcgreens.com/

PelicanPix

Happy weekend to all from SanibelSusan

The Pre-Halloween Real Estate Scoop on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Yesterday, Florida had a noticeable cool down in both temperature and humidity. Fall has finally arrived!

Nick Adams Photography Lighthouse

Island photographer Nick Adams posted this photo (& others) on-line this week. Taken while the light in the Sanibel Lighthouse was being serviced. See more of his work at http://www.Octohawk.com. Pretty cool how the camera takes pix like this!

Our listing at 1311 Sand Castle Rd looking over lake & golf course to San Carlos Bay & the causeway. Photo by Jim Anderson.

Our listing at 1311 Sand Castle Rd looking over lake & golf course to San Carlos Bay & the causeway. Photo by Jim Anderson.

Here are a few real estate news items, followed by the action reported over the past seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate & More

SanibelSusan showed a few homes mid-week (to an office walk-in) and I expect to show another home to them on the weekend. We also had a Sundial closing on Wednesday and understand that an offer on another condo listing is “in the works”. Teammate Dave held a condo open on Thursday morning, which unfortunately had no lookers. We haven’t had as many showings over the last few days, as we did with holiday visitors in town last week, but overall things are picking up with road traffic continuing to increase as more seasonal residents return.

Doc Fords SanibelI stopped into Doc Ford’s last night after work (5:30-ish) and they were already on a wait! Wow, that’s a real indicator of more folks here!

Contractors are really scurrying to finish up summer projects too. On Sanibel, the east-end bike path expansion work continues. While on Captiva, the beach renourishment project is well underway with work this week concentrated in the Andy Rosse Lane area. Target completion for this shoreline protection project remains Nov 26.

J.R. Evans Engineering Presentation to Realtors®

JR Evanslogo_smSo many Realtors® turned out Monday at the engineering presentation held in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® meeting room, that it was “standing room only”. J.R. Evans Engineering company owners and professional engineers, Josh Evans and Elizabeth Fountain, who also is a Certified Floodplain Manager, described to attendees the differences between a LOMC (Letter of Map Change), LOMR (Letter of Map Revision) and LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment). Evans Engineering specializes in revisions to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps which establish flood insurance premiums. With a 100% approval rate, their work can result in substantially reducing flood insurance premiums and in come cases has eliminated the need for flood insurance completely. The latter is doubtful on the islands, but attendees were all ears in learning how the process works, and the engineering work and costs involved in getting flood zone changes approved. A preliminary assessment to determine if a property is a viable candidate is FREE. Many Realtors® including SanibelSusan signed up. More info on this company is available at www.JREvansEngineering.com.

Upcoming Island Fun

Ding Darling DaysSat, Oct 26 – Last of the 2013 “Ding” Darling Days Events: Conservation Art Day, at the Refuge 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with FREE bags made from recycled T-shirts and art kits to the first 200 kids, FREE admission to Wildlife Drive, FREE snacks and drinks, FREE wildlife cartoon portraits for first 50 guests (by Dave Horton), FREE Federal and State duck stamp winner presentations, FREE wildlife sketching workshop, FREE guided nature walk on Indigo Trail, and FREE nature photography tram tour (with Theresa Baldwin). Also today and Saturday, as part of “Ding” Darling Days, Tarpon Bay Explorers is offering 25% discounts on tram, paddling, boat tours, and equipment rentals.

Bailey's merchant assocSun, Oct 27 – 28th BaileyFest at the shopping center, noon to 4 p.m. Free and open to the public, this is lots of hometown fun and features the crowning of the BaileyFest King and Queen (winners of 5th grade essay contest), games, food/refreshments, and plenty of entertainment by the BIG ARTS Community Chorus, Irish dancers, cloggers, the Sanibel School Band, and other local musicians/entertainers.

Community House logoThurs, Oct 31 – 10th Family Fall Carnival at the Sanibel Community House, 5 to 7 p.m., with candy, games, prizes, crafts, food/dining area, and Billy’s Hay Ride. Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes (kids, adults, volunteers). Admission is one bag of Halloween candy per family.

Farmer MarketSunday, Nov 3 – Sanibel Farmers Market reopens for its 6th season at Sanibel City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is open every Sunday from Nov through Apr 27.

Housing Moves Toward “Healthy Equilibrium”

Realtor logoREALTOR®Mag’s “Daily Real Estate News” posted the following article that I would like to correlate to Sanibel and Captiva statistics too. Here is the article from Oct 17 with info about Sanibel and Captiva added in (italics & parentheses):

“The housing market is finding its center again, showing signs of greater balance, according to realtor.com’s latest National Housing Trend Report. The analysis finds year-over-year trends revealing strong gains in median list prices and declines in days on the market. “Our September data on inventory counts, median list prices, and median time on market has shown another month of steady leveling, but the recovery certainly remains uneven in some pockets,” says Errol Samuelson, president of realtor.com. “Some of the more industrial-based markets clearly continue to struggle, yet others are showing significant price gains over this time last year. While we are pleased to see a continued trend toward a healthy market balance, imminent economic factors could pose a significant threat to these improvements.”

“The report highlights some of the following progress on four main indicators for the housing market:

“List prices: The median list price for homes in September dropped slightly but remained 6.4% higher than a year ago. More than 20% of the 146 markets that the realtor.com report covers posted year-over-year gains in listing prices of 12% or more.” (Likewise, Sanibel homes gain this year is 12%, while Captiva’s is a whopping 72%.)

“Home sales: Sales of single-family homes, condos, and townhomes fell 1.68% in September, after six consecutive months of gradual rises.” (The island market is so seasonal that month-to-month comparisons make no sense. However, the number of new September 2013 sales exceed those in September 2012 by 13%.)

“Inventory levels: Inventories were 2.04% less in September than year ago levels—“signaling a greater balance between supply and demand,” realtor.com’s report notes.” (On Sanibel and Captiva, the same numbers of lots (or vacant land) are for sale today as a year ago. However with homes and condos, inventory is WAY down. There are 42% fewer Sanibel condos for sale now than last year, 37% fewer Sanibel homes, 55% fewer Captiva condos, and 42% fewer Captiva homes.)

“Days on market: The median age of inventory increased from 92 days to 93 days in September. However, it has fallen by 10.58% in the past year, which indicates that homes are selling more quickly, according to the report.” (With the seasonality of island sales, days-on-market here are significantly longer. Last year it took 407 days to sell a Sanibel condo, now it’s down to 339 days. Sanibel home sales last year took 289 days, today that number is a tad higher at 292 days. The big change was noticed on Captiva, where the number of sales is smaller, so the swing can be greater. Captiva condos took 381 days to sell last year, but more time now, 438 days in 2013. Captiva homes that sold last year were on the market 609 days, while finally that number dropped to under a year this year, 320 days.)

“The report reveals the following metros with the shortest median days on the market in September:

Oakland, CA: 28 days

San Francisco: 45

Denver: 45

San Jose, CA: 45

Stockton-Lodi, CA: 45

Detroit: 48

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ: 50

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA: 52

Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: 52

Sacramento, CA: 52.”

Hit Pause Button on Law to Protect Florida’s Economy

Dean asherThe following article by Florida Realtors® 2013 President and guest columnist Dean Asher appeared today in the “Orlando Sentinel”:

“The Biggert-Waters Act passed by Congress last year resulted in unintended consequences so severe when they took effect on Oct. 1 that one of the bill sponsors asked her Congressional colleagues to delay implementation. Florida REALTORS® supports this effort from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat.

“Hitting the pause button on legislation that is negatively impacting hundreds of thousands of property owners nationwide — and disrupting the housing recovery — is necessary for several reasons:

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the National Flood Insurance Program, must complete an affordability study required by the act. FEMA allowed the Biggert-Waters law to take effect without even starting the study and making the required report to Congress.
  • Biggert-Waters requires that FEMA issue the most accurate maps on which to base premiums. To date, FEMA has only remapped the East Coast. Yet property owners along thousands of miles of U.S. coastline are receiving notices of substantial premium increases.
  • FEMA waited nearly nine months after Biggert-Waters was passed in July 2012 before eliminating rate subsidies for properties purchased after that date. Then the agency retroactively applied it — adding another layer of complexity to an already complicated law, and in effect, changing the rules in the middle of the game for many who bought their home over the past year.

“The Biggert-Waters Act was an attempt to shore up the flood insurance program by moving it toward risk-based pricing. Nationwide, we all have a vested interest in stabilizing NFIP and keeping it solvent so the program can continue to help vulnerable homeowners during a catastrophe. Realtors and those who work closely with homeowners understand that, for this program to continue long-term, all property owners would eventually have to pay rates that adequately cover the flood risk on their properties, as long as the risk was accurately identified and fairly assessed on property owners.

“But the subsidy phase-outs for existing policyholders were supposedly designed to be gradual and spread out over four to five years, if not longer, to minimize the impacts on homeowners. Yet that’s not what some Florida homeowners are experiencing — many are facing immediate, severe repercussions from the act’s unintended consequences.

“Some long-term owners of modest properties in flood zones are worried the sharply higher premiums — up to 3,000 percent in some cases — will force them into foreclosure. Some current homeowners fear being “locked into” their property, unable to sell it in the future, because no one will be able to afford to buy it after learning what their new flood insurance premium would be.

“While Congress considers delaying the Biggert-Waters Act, FEMA can take action to ease the effects on homeowners and offer rate relief by:

  • Allowing for larger deductibles;
  • Allowing property owners to opt out of contents coverage.

“Florida lawmakers and officials also can act to help citizens by:

  • Urging the Division of Emergency Management to clarify the re-mapping process for each community in Florida and put the preliminary maps online;
  • Urging the state insurance commissioner to research any legal or regulatory issues that may keep private insurers from developing solutions.
  • Urging the Florida Cabinet to explore the feasibility of Florida opting out of NFIP.

“The growing real estate market is driving Florida’s economic recovery. To keep the momentum going, something must be done to redress the unintended consequences of Biggert-Waters. If not, Florida’s homeowners, residents and economy will suffer.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from October 18-25

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 $499K, Sundial #J407 2/2 $539K, Sayana #103 2/2 $759K.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now $386K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 listed for $395K, Tamarind #B301 2/2 listed for $1.779M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I101 1/1 $327K (our listing), Sunset South #3B 2/2 $545K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $339K, 1826 Ardlsey Way 4/3 $498.5K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $539K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $549K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $719K, 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $795K, 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.149M, 1066 Bailey Rd 3/3 $1.55M.

5 price changes: 735 Donax St now $469K, 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $798K, 228 Violet Dr 3/2/2 now $995K, 2367 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 now $1.188M, 2380 Troon Ct 4/5 now $2.38M.

1 new sale: 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed for $1.145M.

2 closed sales:  1778 Windward Way 4/2 $420K, 2695 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.1M.

LOTS

3 new listings: Lot 7 West Gulf Dr $1.4M,  4405 West Gulf Dr $3.5M, 4407 West Gulf Dr $3.5M.

2 price changes: 2502 Wulfert Rd now $239.9K, 6081 Henderson Rd now $274K.

No new sale: 1637 Sabal Sands Rd listed for $295K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2634 3/3 $840K.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Beach Villas #2611 2/2 $595K, Sunset Beach Villas #2238 3/3 $755K, Captiva Bay Villas #A 3/3.5 $1.82M.

HOMES

No new sales.

1 price change: 16645 Captiva Dr 9/2 now $3.495M.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Best wishes for a terrific pre-Halloween weekend!

Susan

Summer Weather Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Our listings saw good activity this week with viewings by several holiday vacationers. Midweek REALTOR® teammate David held open houses for a couple of days in vacant gulf-front condos hoping to attract some interest. Though most of the unsolicited lookers were renters staying in the complexes, he did also get viewings by other REALTORS® and their clients. With glorious summer-like weather continuing on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, most visitors are out enjoying the great outdoors (daily temps of 84 degrees F & higher are expected until at least Wed).

REALTOR® Caravan and Annual Meeting

realtor logoA good sprinkling of new listings and new sales were announced at our biweekly Association of REALTORS® Caravan Meeting yesterday. Because of this pre-season additional activity, these caravans are expected to return to a weekly Thursday schedule in November. See report below for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity over the last seven days.

Yesterday during REALTOR® caravan, REALTOR® teammate Lisa and I previewed several new listings including the waterfront home of renowned photographer Charlie McCullough. Visiting this property was like taking a step back in time. Built originally at the turn of the century as a fishing camp, this quaint three-bedroom is on two acres surrounded by preserved lands. Inside it has an old brick fireplace and antique fixtures including claw-foot tub. Overlooking panoramic views of the bay are a wonderful big wrap screened porch (minus most of the screens), dock and boat lift. Some of the most well-known historic Sanibel photos were taken from this very home, including those of Esperanza Woodring throwing her infamous cast nets. Priced at just under $2M, this property offers a wonderful opportunity for someone to restore a true island gem. The expansive water views are amazing. Here are a few photos including of the dolphins frolicking near the dock. You may have to look carefully to spot them. The one from the dock looking back at the home shows its interesting architectural lines.

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Last night was our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Annual Meeting. As 2013 Professional Development Committee Chair and Nominating Committee Chair, my association duties are winding down. Our next event is Monday morning when we host an educational session with Certified Floodplain Managers J.R. Evans Engineering. Hopefully then, our REALTORS® will learn about some island areas that have been identified as candidates for flood map changes that could ultimately reduce flood insurance premiums. Rumor has it that part of my street (among others) is on the list! News worth sharing will be posted next work.

The Peabody Ducks

Peabody DucksFlorida REALTORs® involved in our state association’s leadership team attend mid-year and annual business meetings each January and August in Orlando. Handy to the Orange County Convention Center which sometimes hosts the National Association of REALTORS® annual meeting too, is The Peabody Orlando Hotel. The Peabody is famous for its ducks which perform a traditional red-carpet march every day from to/from their upper floor boarding area and the lobby fountain/pond. I stayed there a handful of times and always enjoyed watching the duck march. Having recently heard that The Peabody sold, it was a surprise to read about the ducks in the October “”Ding” on the Wing” (“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society newsletter). It seems that these famous birds visited “Ding” Darling for the opening of the Visitors Education Center many years ago. The article says: “Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently purchased The Peabody Orlando Hotel. As a result of the rebranding, The Peabody’s famous ducks, who visited “Ding” Darling for the opening of the Visitors Education Center many years ago, were retired at a party on September 30, 2013, in Orlando. At the party, as a gesture to the tradition and community, Hyatt Regency Orlando donated $5,000 to the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society to benefit the Refuge….”

More Good “Ding” Darling News

Ding Darling Society logoWhile passing out hotel kudos, it also was nice to read about another kind gesture: “When the Refuge was forced to shut down, due to the legislative impasse, it left the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society “homeless”.  Society staff turned to Candlewood Suites Fort Myers-Sanibel Gateway” who gave them a great rate on office space rental.

Ding Darling DaysThe good news yesterday was that the Refuge and Wildlife Drive reopened in the morning, while the free Visitor/Education Center reopened yesterday afternoon. Tarpon Bay Explorers also is open and began running its tram tours again on Thursday too. The remaining 24th Annual “Ding” Darling Days will continue with all scheduled activities beginning Monday. That is one of the most important events at the Refuge each year. Thankfully visitors arriving for those festivities next week will not be disappointed.

Support Public Land Funding 

SCCF logoThis is a reprint of an email received this week from SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). Please take action, if you can.

“Thanks to everyone who has signed the Florida Water & Land Legacy petition to secure a funding source for Florida’s conservation lands and parks.  As you may know for 20 years the Florida legislature has allocated 33% of existing doc stamp tax revenue (the taxes paid on real estate transactions) to fund Florida’s amazing parks and land acquisition programs.  However for the past five years the legislature has redirected 95% of those funds.  This year the legislature passed a bill that required the state to sell existing conservation lands in order to fund new land purchases.  

“We need a dedicated funding source to preserve Florida’s heritage.  This amendment  will designate 33% of existing doc stamp taxes to a dedicated fund for conservation purposes, such as acquiring conservation and recreation lands, managing existing lands, protecting lands that are critical for water supply and restoring degraded natural systems.

“SCCF strongly supports this statewide conservation initiative, which is being spearheaded by the Florida Water & Land Legacy . As a like-minded organization, SCCF has contributed $5000 towards the petition drive expenses in addition to the countless hours our staff, board of trustees and volunteers have spent manning clipboards to educate the public about the petition and obtain signatures from registered Florida voters.

“At this point, all the volunteer organizations working on this have obtained 184,469 of the 459,973 signatures gathered to date. To get this initiative on the 2014 ballot an additional 220,027 signatures are needed (680,000 total) by November 30, 2013.   If you are a registered Florida voter and have not yet signed the petition, you can still do so by stopping by SCCFs Nature Center or going online and downloading the form at:  http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/pages/168/important-instructions-for-downloading-the-petition/.  

“Many, many hours have gone into this drive so far, let’s not fall short of the goal when we are so close.   For additional information you can access the FWLL website and Frequently asked Questions at : http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/pages/12/frequently-asked-questions/

“The campaign continues to need financial support.  If you can help, you can do so online at https://secure.blueutopia.com/floridawaterlandlegacy/contribute/  or by mail or phone: 

Florida’s Water and Land Legacy  
316 Williams Street     
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
(850) 629-4656″

Next Big Investment: A Million-Dollar Flip

wall street journalThis “Daily Real Estate News” article on Monday sourced “The Wall Street Journal”. If this trend starts on Sanibel and Captiva, we won’t have enough inventory for resident buyers. Island inventory already is very low, particularly for high-end homes.

“Some investors are betting that renovating and flipping million-dollar properties is the next big opportunity in the housing market. Investors had been mostly focused on foreclosed and distressed properties, buying them on the cheap and turning them into rental properties. But as foreclosures have dried up in many markets and competition has increased, some investment companies are turning to flipping more expensive properties, particularly in California, where limited inventories are available. 

“Unlike the flippers of the housing bubble, who bought homes with little or no money down, those investors today often have to make all-cash purchases, which has reduced the pool of potential buyers,” The Wall Street Journal reports. For example, American Coastal Properties LLC is buying up properties with what it considers “lot value”: homes with no curb appeal but that are located in exclusive neighborhoods in Southern California. ACP is spending between 50% to 100% of the purchase price in redesigning — and, in some cases, rebuilding — the homes, says ACP owner Nick Sinatra. “It’s a land trade,” Sinatra says. “We’re essentially higher-end home builders in highly desirable neighborhoods that, even in bad times, don’t suffer.” After ACP bought a Venice, Calif., home last year for $900,000, the company sold it in June for $2.065 million. It had spent nearly $600,000 on renovations. Sinatra told the Journal that he believes flipping luxury homes offers better returns because the market for turning less-expensive homes into rentals or flips has grown “overcrowded.” “There are fewer competitors in this space because it’s more difficult,” he says.”

More on Surge Protection

Lcec logoWhen I got my LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) bill this week, it made me think of the islanders who remarked this summer about power surges that blew electronics and appliances during storms. The bill contained a nice tidbit of information: “About 60% of surges occur inside the home from microwave ovens or air conditioning motors. Even turning lights off and on can result in a power surge. Surges caused from within or outside your home can cause costly damage to your appliances if left unprotected. LCEC surgeSENSE Protection is $5.95 plus tax per month.” More info at www.lcec.net

Speaking of LCEC, they will have “no rate increase for 2014”. LCEC has not raised their rates since 2008! Gotta love a well run non-profit!

Finally a Quick Traffic Alert

If you are on the island in the morning (Saturday, Oct 19), the F.I.S.H. 10K race will result in the following road closures. (Please note that the end times are approximate and depend on the length of time needed for runners and walkers to clear the area.)

6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Tarpon Bay Rd from Periwinkle Way to West Gulf Dr, & Island Inn Rd from Tarpon Bay Rd to West Gulf Dr, & Southbound Casa Ybel Rd from Periwinkle Way to Tarpon Bay Rd.

6:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. – Eastbound Periwinkle Way from the Sanibel Community House to Casa Ybel Rd.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from October 11-18

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Oceans Reach 4C2 2/2 $825K, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 $2.55M.
4 price changes: Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 now $379K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 now $492.5K, Sandalfoot #1A1 2/2 now $699K, Tamarind #B301 2/2 now $1.779M.
3 new sales: Colonnades #13 1/1 listed for $169K (short sale), Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed for $379K, Sunward #301 3/2 listed for $1.895M.
3 closed sales: Lake Palms #10 2/2.5 220K (short sale), Mariner Pointe #1042 2/2 $400K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Arms West #L3 2/2 $453,750.
 
HOMES
5 new listings: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $439K, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 $695K, 750 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $970K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.049M, 1824 Woodring Rd 4/4 $1.449M.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: 6467 Pine Ave 3/3 $410K, 200 Robinwood Cir 3/3.5 $1.187M.
 
LOTS
Nothing to report.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 $298K, Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 $525K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $725K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $775K.
1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $1.997.5M.
No new or closed sales.
 
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $1.895M.
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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 

Happy weekend to all, SanibelSusan

Real Estate Continues to Move on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Happy Friday from SanibelSusan! Sanibel and Captiva Islands remain busy. The real estate activity here this week resulted in several new sales as described in the report from the local Multiple Listing Service at the end of this posting.

View east from our new listing at Mariner Pointe

View east from our new listing at Mariner Pointe

My showings last weekend brought SanibelSusan Realty another home sale on Monday. With two closings this week, as well as a terrific new bay-front condo listing, it was a good few days for me and my team. I will be out with more lookers this weekend – the fourth weekend in a row – all different buyers. The last three weekends brought sales. I hope this one does too!

One of my favorite photos by our pal, Jim Anderson. These are yellow-crowned night herons.

One of my favorite photos by our pal, Jim Anderson. These are yellow-crowned night herons.

There have been a few complaints the last few days about the weather and the beach. Another cool front is just arriving which has meant a few cloudy days in Southwest Florida. The retail establishments and restaurants are packed on overcast days though, so there are smiles here even when the sun is not out.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Sales Year-to-Date

Sunset-cropped

Sanibel home sales continue to be the hot item, with 68 already sold or under contract this year, compared to 43 condos, and three lots.

Captiva’s numbers are:  seven homes, eight condos, and one lot. With just another few weeks until Easter, local Realtors® are busy and hopeful that the buyers stay active beyond “high season”.

Island Happenings in March

Clients often ask, what is happening while I am in town this week? The below events are scheduled over the next two weeks. Many days there are several special event choices.

Notes:

BIG ARTS = Barrier Island Group for the Arts, www.bigarts.org

CROW = Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, www.crowclinic.org

“Ding” Darling = J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, www.dingdarlingsociety.org

FISH = “Friends in Service Here” of Sanibel, www.fishofsanibel.com

SCA = Sanibel Community Association at Sanibel Community House, www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net

SCCF = Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, www.sccf.org

1st     “Why Wild Animals Come to CROW”, CROW; Butterflies of Florida, SCCF;         Lecture: “The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America” by authors Don & Lillian Stokes, “Ding” Darling

1st to 23rd “The Marvelous Wonderettes”, BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater

2nd    “Florida Felines”, CROW; “Trio Cavatina”, www.SanibelMusicFestival.org

3rd & 10th “Charles Lindbergh: The Lone Eagle”, BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater

3rd     Island Jazz at Boler Garden, BIG ARTS; The Forum Lecture: Rami George Khouri, Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS

4th     “Diamondback Terrapin in Pine Island Sound“, SCCF; BIG ARTS Sanibel Oscar Night

5th     “Something Special”, CROW; Beach Walk at The Island Inn, SCCF; “Tank Talk”, SCCF; “Gould Trio with Robert Plane, Clarinet, www.SanibelMusicFestival.org

6th     “Rescues & Releases of CROW’s Patients”, CROW; “Coyote & Bear Tales”, SCCF; “The City That Almost Wasn’t & The Sanibel Plan”, SCCF

7th     “Clinic Rounds”, CROW; “Turtle Tracks”, SCCF; “Goat Dairy & Hydroponic Farm Field Trip”, SCCF

7th to 9th 76th Annual Sanibel Shell Fair & Show, SCA

8th     “Why Wild Animals Come to CROW”, CROW; “The Engangered Eastern Indigo Snake”, SCCF; Lecture: “How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach” by author Tonya Clayton, “Ding” Darling; Fred Hersch Trio, BIG ARTS

9th     “Sanibel Shorebirds”, CROW; “The Arabesque Winds with Cherry Tsang, Piano”, www.SanibelMusicFestival.org

10th   Caloosahatchee Oxbow & Riverlore Cruise, SCCF; “Charles Lindbergh: The Lone Eagle”, BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater; The Forum Lecture: Frank Verrastro, Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS; Island Jazz at Boler Garden, BIG ARTS

11th   Birding at the Preserves (Sanibel Gardens), SCCF; Bike Club Meeting, SCA;        Film Night, Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS

12th   Garden Club Meeting, SCA; Fishing Club Meeting, SCA; “CROW’s Aquatic Patients: Fresh Water & Sea Turtles”, CROW; “Ariet Quartet”, www.SanibelMusicFestival.org

13th   “Rescues & Releases of CROW’s Patients”, CROW; Film: “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling, “Ding” Darling; Concert: Southwest Florida Symphony, Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS

14th   Art League Pot Luck, SCA; “The Alien Invasion”, SCCF; “Clinic Rounds”, CROW; “Snowy Plovers”, SCCF; “Sunset, Moonlight, & Wading Birds Cruise”, SCCF        Community Collaborations: Spring Writers Read, Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS

15th   “Meet Animal Ambassador, Trouper Lee”, CROW; “Photos: Candids by Bill Heyd”, SCCF; Lectures: “Bringing Environmental Education to Russia: by supervisory refuge manager Toni Westland & “Mission to China” by refuge manager Paul Tritaik, “Ding” Darling; Swamp House Party at The Sanibel Community House, SCA; Cinema Toast, BIG ARTS

What’s Happening With Real Estate in the United Kingdom

TRC LOGOAs a Transnational Referral Certified (TRC) Realtor®, SanibelSusan closely follows the real estate markets in the countries that often bring buyers to Sanibel and Captiva too. I read an interesting post this week from a UK colleague who said, “TRC’s interested in the UK market will be happy to hear 2013 has started on a good note with the number of house hunters rising in January to its highest level in 5 years, according to NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents).”

UK flagNAEA is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel, being part of a group representing 13,000 members who practice across all aspects of property services both in the UK and overseas. These include residential and commercial sales and lettings, property management, business transfer, auctioneering and land.

Florida, including Sanibel and Captiva Islands, has always had many vacation-home buyers from the UK. With their recession changing too, the trend should continue.

Osprey Cam

The osprey cam at Ocean’s Reach condominiums on Sanibel’s Camino del Mar Drive, in partnership with the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, is focused now on a mama osprey hatching three eggs.

The eggs were laid several days apart in early February and take about 35 days to hatch. Fun to watch the progress at http://www.oceansreach.com/osprey-cam.cfm

Island Wildlife Last Week

Another fun posting each week by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society is a list of the wildlife sighted in the Refuge on Wildlife Drive and on The Bailey Tract (off Tarpon Bay Road).

Bailey Tract

Bailey Tract

The list for the week ending Tues, February 23, 2013 includes many varieties:  71 different birds, 7 different butterflies, 6 different snakes, 3 different frogs, 3 different turtles, 3 different crabs, 2 different lizards, American alligators, 9-banded armadillos, bobcats, coyotes, Virginia opossums, river otters, marsh rabbits, diamond-backed terrapins, gopher tortoises, and Southern five-lined skinks. The full list is posted at   http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/

Another JMA Photography photo

Another JMA Photography photo

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 22-March 1

Sanibel
CONDOS
6 new listings: Sundial #H102 2/2 $498K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 $549K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 $669K, Nutmeg Village #101 2/2 $919K, Gulfside Place #209 2/2 $955K, Sedgemoor #105 3/3.5 $2.425M.
7 price changes: Seawind #A102 2/2.5 now $424.9K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 now $610K, Sunset South #3B 2/2 now $639K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $891K, Seascape #302 3/3.5 now $1.329M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 now $1.495M, Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 now $2.22M.
4 new sales: Colonnades #C18 1/1 listed for $129K, Captains Walk #E5 2/2 listed for $224.5K, Sundial #Q301 2/2 listed for $595K. La Playa #3B 3/2 listed for $1.45M.
3 closed sales: Sundial #G106 1/1 $270K, Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 $383K, Gulf Beach #205 2/2 $685K.

HOMES
5 new listings: 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/3 $760K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $849K; 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $989K; 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 $1.159M; 2507 Blind Pass Ct 4/3 $1,225,555.
13 price changes: 1125 Captains Walk St 2/2 now $499.9K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 now $519K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 now $539K, 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $574.9K, 9203 Dimmick Dr 3/3 now $619K, 696 Durion Ct 3/2.5 now $635K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 4/2 now $699K, 6009 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $836K, 804 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.089M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $1.145M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.631M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $2.495M, 2980 Wulfert Rd 5/5 now $3.495M. 
6 new sales: 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 listed for $479K, 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed for $589K, 2631 SanCap Rd 2/2 listed for $699K, 1216 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 4518 Bowen Bayou Rd 4/4 listed for $725K (our sale), 214 Palm Lake Dr 3/2.5 listed for $749K, 4164 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed for $1.995M, 3635 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed for $4.199M.
8 closed sales: 4057 Coquina Dr 2/2 $301K (foreclosure), 3311 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $540K, 1449 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $550K, 525 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $550K, 928 Pepper Tree Place 2/2 $600K, 1441 Causey Ct 3/2 $671K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $785K (our buyer), 1660 Bunting Ln 4/3.5 $910K (our buyer).

LOTS
1 new listing: 860 Birdie View Pt $389K.
1 price changes: 708 Durion Ct now $359K.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5308 3/3 listed for $560K.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $5.995M.
4 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $879K, 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.549M, 15127 Captiva Dr 8/6.5 duplex now $2.025M (short sale), 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $12.2M.
1 new sale: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 listed for $669K.
1 closed sale: 11551 Paige Ct 5/6/2 $4.735M.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 

Best wishes for another great week!

 SanibelSusan & The SanibelSusan Team – Dave, Elise, & Lisa

Yippee…It’s Already Like Summer on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

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Here are a few news items from SanibelSusan, followed by the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System since last Friday. You will notice from the tidbits below that it has a been a big week (or at least “big” for the island) for animal sightings. So thanks to our pal and photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, above are some of the animals that he has photographed on the islands. My favorite is the yellow-crowned night heron with baby. (Isn’t it amazing how such ugly chicks can turn into such beautiful birds?) Giant grasshoppers, like the one Jim filmed, are hopping in my garden now too. But another signal that spring/summer weather is here!

Memorial Holiday Week

The islands were fairly busy this week, but mostly with families and visitors enjoying the great outdoors and our wonderful “like-summer” weather. We had a few listings shown, though not as many as we hoped. One bit of good news was a “heads up” call yesterday that an offer is on its way for one of our listings. This was an off-week for Realtor® Caravan; the next one will be Thursday coming.

“The SanibelScoop with Captiva Chatter”

The office team again this week has been updating our database in preparation for our first newsletter mailing in several months. We try to stay green, particularly by urging folks to read this blog, but many continue to ask us about them and like to hold that piece of paper, so we occasionally will prepare and bulk mail a “The Sanibel Scoop with Captiva Chatter”. We do not want to miss an opportunity to get our listings sold, so a June issue soon will be mailed to all island property owners as well as our prospective-buyer contacts. It goes to the printer today! All listings with photos will be included. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive this mailing, please give me a call at 888-666-0603 or 472-HOME (4663) or send an e-mail to Susan@SanibelSusan.com.

Education Boardwalk Update

I received the following news this week from the Ding Darling Wildlife Society (DDWS):

“The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge reports steady progress on the new Children’s Education Boardwalk project between the Sanibel School and Indigo Trail within the Refuge. The City of Sanibel has approved the site, and architect Amy Nowacki is working on the design. Refuge rangers met with teams of teachers to solicit their ideas for the boardwalk. One suggested that an observation tower be added to the boardwalk, and the Refuge is currently considering that option. DDWS is planning on reprising fundraising efforts to pay for the addition. Other teachers requested easy access to water to facilitate taking water samples…The boardwalk will cross a brackish wetland currently inaccessible to the public en route to the refuge’s Indigo Trail. It will give school children and visitors up-close views of alligators, wading birds, and an opportunity to learn more about the importance of water in our lives. The walkway will meander through mangroves and expand into an in-the-round venue to accommodate up to 25 students and other groups….Plans to break ground are estimated to be September 1, 2012.”

Rare Smalltooth Sawfish

In other news from the Refuge, a rare smalltooth sawfish was seen at “Ding” on Tuesday in Tarpon Bay. The little 2-foot pup was probably born only a few weeks ago, which is good news for this critically endangered fish.

Sanibel Bear

As a Facebook follower, it was of interest mid-week to read about several sightings of the Sanibel bear. It was first spotted on the island last July, but recently has wandered away from the Refuge and seen walking down Dixie Beach Blvd near Sanibel Isles, Water Shadows, and The Dunes. News crews even picked up it, with announcements yesterday and today on the local TV stations. As a protective measure, Sanibel’s finest should be advised of sightings. Islanders are reminded to keep their trash “in” until the morning of pick-up.

Florida Perceived as Having a Competitive Business Tax

This article was posted Wednesday in the Orlando Business Journal on-line:

“A survey of corporate leaders gives high marks to Florida’s business tax structure. The survey run by a New York based tax consulting firm, Alvarez & Marsal, polled a cross-section of chief financial officers across the country and found that Florida is one of the top three states perceived as offering a favorable business tax policy, reported the Associated Press. Florida has one of the nation’s lowest corporate income tax rates at 5.5%. However, owing to exemptions, some businesses pay much less. They have the full backing of Gov. Rick Scott who has pushed to end corporate tax over time and has allowed tax exemptions to increase in number, the AP reported.”

Federal Flood Insurance Program Gets 60-Day Extension

An AP article posted yesterday says:

“Congress has given itself two more months to come up with long-term solutions for the debt-burdened federal program that provides insurance for homes and businesses in areas subject to flooding. A voice vote in the House Wednesday extended the life of the National Flood Insurance Program for 60 days, assuring that people in flood-risk areas will continue to have access to the flood insurance they need to close on mortgages or obtain refinancing. The program was slated to expire today.

“The last full-scale reauthorization of the NFIP, a wing of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, occurred in 2004. Since 2008, the insurance provider has stayed alive through a series of 16 short-term extensions while lawmakers debate how to restore its fiscal soundness. The NFIP was largely self-financing until it was overwhelmed by claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. It now owes nearly $18 billion to the Treasury.

“Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., chair of the House Financial Services subcommittee on insurance, said she hoped Wednesday’s 17th stopgap measure would be the last, “because this program is too important to let lapse, and too in-debt to continue without reform.” She said Senate leaders had given public and private assurances that they would vote on a long-term extension in June.

“The House last year passed a five-year extension that allowed for increased premiums and ended some subsidies, but the Senate has been unable to get a companion bill to the floor for a vote. The Senate last week passed the 60-day extension after adding a provision by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would gradually eliminate premium rate subsidies for people buying second homes and vacation homes in flood-prone areas. Coburn said that could save the program $2.7 billion over 10 years.

“The NFIP was created in 1969, partly to fill the gap left by the unwillingness of private insurers to provide flood insurance. It now covers some 5.6 million policyholders in 21,000 flood-prone communities.” (including Sanibel & Captiva)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 25 – June 1:

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Blind Pass #A204 2/2 $369.5K, Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $699.9K.

3 price changes: Seashells #6 2/2 $335K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $935K, Cyprina Beach #1 2/2.5 $1.295M.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1412 1/1 listed for $269,962; Seashells #26 2/2 listed for $274K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-2 3/3 listed for $450K.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D2 1/1 $224K, Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 $290K (our listing), Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 $520K, Sand Pointe #132 2/2 $570K, Tarpon Beach #101 2/2 $600K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 701 Nerita St 3/2 $519K, 9007 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $1.2M.

3 price changes: 1274 Par View Dr 3/3 now $644K, 760 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $849K (short sale), 2367 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 now $1.094M.

1 new sale: 1663 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $344K (short sale).

3 closed sales: 3940 Coquina Dr 3/2 $450K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 4/3 $450K, 1570 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $876.2K (short sale).

LOTS

1 new listing: 1310 Par View Dr $369K.

2 price changes: 545 Rabbit Rd now $179K (our listing), 837 Limpet Dr now $899K (our listing).

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $1.925M.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1664 3/3 listed for $1,597,900.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2517 1/1 $415K. 

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 now $4.199M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11521 Wightman Ln 4/3 $1.45M.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Hooray, It’s Almost October

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One of my favorite months on Sanibel & Captiva Islands is October. That is when the weather is usually as good as it gets, with humidity down and temperatures dropping into the 60’s at night. Traffic is light. Shops and restaurants that were closed for vacations and refurbishment reopen. Snowbirds begin arriving with big smiles on their faces. Schedules are posted with upcoming fall and winter activities, holiday sensations begin. In the real estate business, it is also when we get our new listings for the upcoming “high season” and when we like to adjust any existing listings so that they are well positioned for “season” too. October is just that month when things start hoppin’ on the islands again.

This year is no exception. According to local weather reports, two cool fronts are on their way to SW Florida with our forecast for the weekend and beyond, “perfect”.

When Dave went out this afternoon to do his periodic listing checks, I asked him to snap a few photos which are posted in the slide-show above. They include the playground at Bowman’s Beach, an osprey nest on Tarpon Bay, and the new bike path which was just paved in front of our office. That path now connects most of the town center area including Sanibel’s Community House, Sanibel Square (home of Nanny’s Children’s Shoppe, SanibelSusan Realty, Island Therapy Center, Norm Ziegler’s Fly Shop, BIG ARTS on Periwinkle, Molnar Electric, Nave Plumbing, Sanibel Rental Service, Sanibel Design Center, and Sanibel Bean), Sanibel Library, City Hall, BIG ARTS & the playhouse, the Sanibel Museum & more. How cool is that?

One more tidbit, a new tab has been added above for those wanting to search for Sanibel & Captiva property. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have figured out how to post more details on each my listings too. In the meantime, the above tab will bring you to the information that is shared cooperatively through our island Multiple Listing Service and the Internet Data Exchange. A full-page of info on each of my listings, including streaming videos and aerials, can be found today at www.SanibelSusan.com 

Ready to Invest in Homes Again

Those who read these blogs probably have figured out that I am a big fan of Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®. Here is what he had to say in the October issue of “Realtor®” magazine. It is a good summary of the status of the economy.

“Americans socked away $250 billion in each of the ten years prior to 2008 – before the onset of the financial crisis. The savings rate was a low 2% to 3% of disposable income. Starting in 2008, consumers became more careful about spending and are now saving some $600 billion a year.

“The adjustments were certainly warranted. But the rise in savings has not affected all sectors of the economy equally. Spending on food, clothing, utilities, and health care has hit new highs. The growing population is fueling these areas, so where are the increased savings coming from?

“Vehicle sales have fallen to about 12 million units a year over the past three years, well below the 16 million to 17 million unit sales pace typical before the slowdown. Then there are home sales. New- and existing-home sales hit $1.2 million and $7.1 million, respectively, in 2005. The comparable figures are now $300,000 and $5 million.

“This process of saving more and reducing debt is known as deleveraging, and it’s not just households doing it. Businesses, banks, and state and local governments are doing it, too.

“Only the federal government has been moving in the opposite direction: spending more using borrowed money. But this trend is likely to reverse soon. The debt ceiling bill enacted in early August all but ensures federal borrowing will slow because it creates a mechanism for $1.5 trillion in spending cuts if Congress fails to act on the recommendations of a new super committee of lawmakers charged with identifying cuts.

“Meanwhile, we can expect deleveraging to slow among businesses and consumers. There isn’t a perfect straight-line path in economics. Deleveraging is big now, but tomorrow will be different. Despite major hurdles in the housing market, there are also signs sales and prices have reached the bottom.”

What’s New at “Ding” Darling Refuge

An e-mail received this week from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, said that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service thought of “Ding” Darling Refuge when deciding where to debut one of three new traveling Climate Change interpretive exhibits. Newly arrived at the Refuge’s free Education Center, the exhibit will be at the Refuge through “Ding” Darling Days in Oct and at least until the end of Jan when it will help to kick off the Refuge’s winter lecture series. The background of the climate change exhibit displays a map of coastal refuges, including “Ding” Darling, that are at risk due to climate change, rising sea levels, loss of wetlands and other habitat, flooding and drought. For the complete 2012 Lecture Series Schedule.

Sanibel MLS Activity – September 23-30

Sanibel

CONDOS
4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M7 2/2 $399.9K (our listing), Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $479K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 $749K, Lantana #202 4/3.5 $1.899M.

3 price changes: Sundial #B402 1/1 now $395K, Lighthouse Point #318 3/2 now $449K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Mariner Pointe #1062 2/2 listed for $299K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D6 1/1 $180K, Loggerhead Cay #544 2/2 $525K (our listing).

HOMES
1 new listing: 955 S Yachtsman 3/2 $649.9K.
5 price changes: 1214 Par View 2/2 now $499K (our listing), 5657 SanCap 3/2 now $545K, 1284 Par View 2/2 now $549K, 935 Lindgren 3/2 now $624.9K, 5035 Joewood 4/4.5 now $3.75M.
3 new sales: 1672 Atlanta Plaza 2/1 listed for $350K, 617 East Rocks 3/2 listed for $545K, 618 N Yachtsman 3/2 listed for $772.5K(short sale).
2 closed sales:  965 Main 4/2 $216K, 4248 Old Banyan 3/2 $430K.

LOTS
No new listings.
3 price changes: 1299 Par View now $215K, 9056 Mockingbird now $299K, 3411 West Gulf now $3.74M.
No new sales.
No closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4319 3/3 $559K, 4306 Bayside Villas 3/3 now $625K, Lands End #1628 3/3 $1.799M.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #4306 3/3 now $625K.

1 new sale: Lands End #1640 listed for $1.899M.

1 closed sale: Lands End #1639 2/2 $1.075M.

HOMES
No new listings.

1 price change: 16585 Captiva 5/4.5 now $2.2M.
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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 

Until next week, best weekend wishes & Happy October.

Here’s to the beginning of a wonderful fall & winter “season” on the islands!