Another Bright Sunny Friday on Sanibel & Captiva

As the SanibelSusan Team and I maneuvered through another week of wonderful sunny island weather (low humidity, yet day-time temperatures in the 80’s), we occasionally had to remind ourselves to be patient. Easter always is the busiest week until Christmas, so it was not unusual for complaints about heavy roadway traffic, busy bike paths, and full lots at the public beaches. We try to take the temporary inconveniences in stride – hoping that some buyers are in the visitor mix – particularly ones that want to purchase our listings.

Beach in front of our listing at White Sands

Each day as soon as causeway traffic exceeded 5,500 vehicles (usually before noon), The City website, www.MySanibel.com, posted warnings of heavy off-going afternoon/evening traffic. Lee County commissioners (who regulate the bridge tolls) met this week and discussed keeping the toll booth unmanned, while raising the fee from $6 to $8 to cover the additional costs associated with that change. No decision was made, but it could be an omen of things to come.

Weather Changing

Southwest Florida needs rain with many lawns and vegetation turning yellow and crunchy. Less than an inch of rain was accumulated last month, so water is needed. The rainy season usually does not start until May, but forecasters are saying that we may get brief scattered showers both Sunday afternoon and Monday.

Last week, I posted a couple of pix of the first two gardenia blooms on the bush by my front door. I guess, those plants don’t need a lot of water, as this week, the bush has exploded. Wish you could smell it – it’s heavenly!

When the rainy season begins, usually hurricane season is not far behind (Jun 1 through Nov 30). After the historic tropical storms of 2020, meteorologists predict 2021 could be another busy hurricane season, with between 16 to 20 named storms expected for the Atlantic area.

SanibelSusan Realty

This week at SanibelSusan Realty, we had another nice closing, a couple of walk-ins and several listing and showing inquiries. Unfortunately, once again, most Realtors® wanting to show our condo listings that are booked solid, have buyers departing before, or arriving after, the short Saturday window between when guests leave and new ones arrive.

Teammate Dave was out showing and has been sleuthing for properties that meet buyers’ requirements. We have done that a lot lately. We continue to search for new listings, particularly in communities where we have buyers “waiting”.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Now it has been more than a year since our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has met in person for Caravan and Membership meetings. We hope that changes soon. The next Open Caravan Zoom meeting is Apr 15.

Wondering about inventory today? It remains super low. Below is an update from the islands Multiple Listing Service as of Apr 9.

CONDOS:

On Sanibel, 46 for sale, average asking price $821,267.

On Captiva, eight for sale, average asking price $1,740,312.

HOMES:

On Sanibel, 39 for sale, average asking price $2,208,638.

On Captiva, 15 for sale, average asking price $4,280,599.

What about sales, year-to-date?

CONDOS:

On Sanibel, 148 sold/under contract, average asking price $866,941.

On Captiva, 33 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,112,239.

HOMES:

On Sanibel, 185 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,416,986.

On Captiva, 30 sold/under contract, average asking price $3,120,616.

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

Update on COVID-19

The mask mandate remains in effect for Sanibel businesses, with the City State of Emergency extended by the Mayor until Apr 13.

FISH (Friends in Service Here of San-Cap) was notified this week that they would get another 300 vaccine doses which were administered today (by appointment) at The Community House.

Today’s Housing Market? ‘Not the Time for Amateurs’

Posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®:

“It may be possible to buy a home without the help of a Realtor – but it’s hard to see how given today’s multiple bid competitions for a limited number of homes.

“NEW YORK – Real estate agents agree: Even though the spring housing market is hot, many are desperate to find listings – and this is not the market for amateurs. Nationally, there are about half as many listings not under contract right now than there were a year ago, according to realtor.com The typical home also is now selling a week faster than last year.

“By the numbers, there are now about twice as many working real estate agents as there are listings. Spring is the traditional time of year when the most listings come on the market, but this past March saw 20% fewer homes listed than last March.

“Potential sellers have several concerns, the largest being that they’re afraid they won’t be able to find or afford another home. Not only are home prices incredibly hot – up over 11% year over year, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index – but rents are also rising fast.

““The uptick in mortgage rates is likely fueling more bidding wars in the short term because house hunters are rushing to buy homes before rates rise even further,” says Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

“Supply has been tightest on the low end of the market, but the higher end is now slimming as well. Moreover, real estate agents are relying on their networks to find homes for clients no longer constrained by location thanks to remote work. Source: CNBC (04/05/21) Olick, Diana © Copyright 2021 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688”

Island Spring Things

SCCF Sea Turtle Program – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle volunteers are trained and ready to begin surveying the islands during turtle nesting season, from Apr 15 through Oct. Nearly 100 volunteers take part in this program, conducting the surveys designed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, with a defined number of positions. Today, the wait list is more than the number of active volunteers with only a few positions opening each season.

Snowy Plovers – Tues, SCCF posted the following: “We are excited to report that we just roped off our first snowy plover nest of the season! Our shorebird biologist and volunteers found a one-egg nest on the East End of Sanibel this morning and roped it off immediately. The volunteers named the snowy plover … “Pale Male.” He’s shading the egg while his mate was off feeding to get energy to lay the next egg. We also have another area posted on the East End where our snowy plovers usually nest. There are two pairs that will likely nest there. Click here to learn how to protect these precious shorebirds! sancaplifesavers.org

Lake Okeechobee Releases Reduced

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District reported that it would reduce Lake Okeechobee release to coastal estuaries beginning April 3 to slow the lake recession rate. Releases to the Caloosahatchee River are reduced to 1,200 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam and to 300 cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. The releases are being continued as part of a planned deviation which was approved in Sept to reduce the risk of lake releases when harmful algal blooms are more likely present (in the summer). Since it began in Feb, the deviation has released about 80,500 acre feet of additional water from the lake.

One of the requirements for using the Harmful Algal Bloom deviation is for the Army Corps to maintain a recession rate of no more than 0.5 feet per month to avoid harm to nesting birds. As of Apr 2, the lake stage was at 14.44’. The lake had fallen 0.87’ in the past 30 days, but still was 2.61’ higher than it was one year ago and 2.58’ higher than two years ago. The releases regularly will be reevaluated as conditions change. Recent satellite images show conditions on Lake O remain poor for development of large harmful algal blooms. Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection tracks water samples. Operators continue daily monitoring.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 2-9, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #D203 2/2 $459K, Blind Pass #E104 2/2 $549.9K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 $599K, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M.

No price changes.

9 new sales: Sundial #F106 1/1 listed at $465K, Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 listed at $570K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 listed at $629K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 listed at $729K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 listed at $955K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 listed at $995K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 listed at $1.1M, Compass Point #102 2/2 listed at $1.375M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

7 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $466K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $575K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 $640K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 $658.5K, Mariner Pointe #112 2/2 $675 (our listing), Sandals #A 3/3.5 $1.825M.

Dockage at Mariner Pointe

HOMES

6 new listings: 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 $729K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $795K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $894K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 $998K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.399M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $3.299M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $649K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.345M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.55M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.55M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $3.849M.

10 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $643K, 5859 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 listed at $749.9K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $825K, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 listed at $1.995M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $2.149M, 880 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 listed at $2.5M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 5/5.5 listed at $6.995M.

11 closed sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $575K, 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $699K, 1985 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/2 $790K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 $935K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1M, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 $1.05M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.165M, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 $1.175M, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $1.65M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $2.65M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 6141 Starling Way now $897K.

2 new sales: 971 Main St listed at $205K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr listed at $395K.

3 closed sales: 1820 Ardsley Way $170K, 1303 Par View Dr $300K, 3354 Barra Cir $350K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M, Lands End Village #1662 3/3 listed at $1.99M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.125M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Sun shining, breeze blowing, islanders smiling

Susan here, reporting that The SanibelSusan Team is beating the bushes looking for listings. With island sales brisk, it is a first for us to only have two available properties in February. Our other listings are all under contract as we work through the sale milestones associated with those purchase contracts.

If you know anyone looking to sell, please tell them that the market is in their favor and the SanibelSusan Team would be happy to help them.

Below is an update of the island sales stats. The number of sales in 2020 was higher than in decades, but the year-to-date sales are even more remarkable. Remember, The Sanibel Susan Team updates our island-wide inventory lists every weekend. If you would like a new one, they easily are e-mailed or snail mailed, just let us know.

# of

Properties

For Sale 2/19/2021 Under Contract 2/19/2021 Sold/Closed 2021 to 2/19 Sold/Closed 2020 Sold/Closed 2019
SANIBEL
Condos 67 57 27 192 127
Homes 53 73 46 288 211
Lots 31 30 8 23 15
CAPTIVA
Condos 14 14 5 47 29
Homes 22 15 7 27 17
Lots 3 0 0 4 1

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

At SanibelSusan Realty

My favorite tree at home, which was leafless after the storm in Oct, is popping with color today (2-19-2021)!

I was out showing property again over the weekend. One showing was at a home new to the market which already had an offer and four showings lined up. Another property the prospects wanted to view was seller occupied and they would not allow a showing until after the holiday weekend. That can be tough when a buyer is flying home before they will let them in. Too bad, they would have been a good candidate for that property.

There are challenges even in a hot market. Buyers needing financing find their island competition tough, since so many buyers write “cash” offers. Some buyers will not buy sight-unseen, though they often compete with offers where buyers do not need to personally view a property. Couple that with offices often closed on weekends, it pays to have built strong relationships with colleagues. Thankfully, we work hard to keep our relationships positive.

Before showing property, it always makes sense to thoroughly discuss with the prospect how the sale process works here. It is not only the Florida sales contracts that are different. But on-island, deposits are much higher than on the mainland. The basic contract most often used also is not the norm. Add to that the extra time needed in a “hot market” to accomplish inspections, appraisals, and surveys. These also are opportunities where it pays to have strong vendor relationships. The “golden rule” goes a long way in this real estate business.

At The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the local Realtor® Association February membership meeting. Meeting via Zoom sure ain’t like in person, but the monthly meeting is when we have a speaker, so always interesting.

SCCF – This month’s speaker was Ryan Orgera, CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) with an update on what is happening there. One phrase he used that I thought was particularly apropos to Sanibel’s mission statement, The Sanibel Plan, and SCCF’s mission is “balance over unfettered development”.

A couple of changes at SCCF is their new logo which was recently launched, illustrating their evolution and based on the three elements inspired by their work to protect land, water, and wildlife. The logo features sawgrass which is an iconic wetland plant, water (representing water quality, marine life, and sea-level rise), and a royal tern representing shorebirds and the monitoring and research SCCF performs with various species of wildlife.

Another SCCF change is their new magazine called “Connecting You to Nature” which will be published three times a year. The first issue is arriving now in mailboxes. It reflects on SCCF’s progress since 1967, including projects completed, underway, and in planning.

One project just announced is SCCF’s Periwinkle Wetlands Campaign which a 12+acre parcel at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Purdy Drive. It includes 525’ along the Periwinkle Way shared-use path between Purdy and Martha’s Lane. It extends inland 1,800’ back into the wetlands toward the Sanibel Slough. With a campaign goal to raise $2.4M before October 31, 2021, the acquisition of these lands for conservation protects them from development. Pending City approval, the nearly two acres along the roadway are earmarked as community green space with native landscaping, a shell trail, and educational area sharing everyone’s role in protecting and nurturing SW Florida’s coastal ecosystems.

Some other SCCF projects that Ryan mentioned included their help in the relocation of 300 Florida box turtles discovered from a nearby poaching ring. It was a surprise to hear that 40% of China families have a pet turtle because of the animal’s religious significance in Buddhism. He asked that everyone report to the police any suspicious activity with any wildlife – not just turtles. He also mentioned that poachers often are involved in other serious crimes, like human and drug smuggling. Who knew?

At the SCCF Marine Lab and Research Lab, Ryan mentioned their work through an EPA grant. While oyster restoration of 25 acres in the sound is another project underway. These oyster bed areas were disturbed/destroyed when the causeway islands were created.

Following up on the Sanibel Sea School, it became wholly part of SCCF in January 2020. One of their new endeavors is a scholarship program called “Girls in Science” (with Florida Gulf Coast University) whereby girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education may take advantage of SCCF’s program which brings them to the island. He mentioned girls living within five miles of Sanibel that have never been here to experience the water, wildlife, environment.

Concerning Florida’s legislative session which begins March 2 (same day as our City Council election), Ryan encouraged everyone to pay particular attention to the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. He said the full weight of the community may be needed to push this project forward with full funding. Watch SCCF’s alerts for action and please support them.

He also encouraged members to attend Coastal Watch Focus 2021 which is an annual Everglades update. To tune in, go to SCCF’s website (SCCF.org) on Wednesday, February 24, from 6-8 p.m.

RPAC Awards – The Association of Realtors® RPAC Committee again thanked members for their continued contributions to RPAC. In 2020, The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association won four state awards and two national awards, including the Triple Crown. Local RPAC contributions placed our association within the top 15 in the nation.

Easter Donations for F.I.S.H. – The Association’s Communication & Public Relations Committee is spearheading efforts to provide donations to F.I.S.H. for Easter. Between now and March 19, members and the public are asked to drop of contributions at the Association Office. Items needed for children’s Easter baskets and holiday dinners include the baskets themselves and basket filler, plus children’s books, toys, candy, plastic eggs, etc. and such canned/packaged food items as corn, peas, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.

Recent Commercial Sales

Jensen’s Twin-Palm Cottages & Marina – Posted this week in the local MLS was the sale of Jensen’s on Captiva. Including both business and real estate, the sale included over an acre on the bayside of Captiva with 14 historic rental cottages, 35 marina slips, fuel dock, boat fleet, ship store, and offices. On the market off-&-on since late 2017, the sale price of $11M was significantly less than the original ask ($19,850,000). Purchaser was Roberts Development Corp.

The Green Flash – Another recent sale was this Captiva restaurant. The new owners are Captiva Hospitality Restaurant Group (owned by Tim and Julie McGowan). The sale included both the real estate and restaurant. The McGowan’s have already expanded the outdoor patio seating and initiated dinner service to the dockside tables at The Green Flash, which has 15 dock slips so diners may arrive by boat.

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 23, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 17 is 226 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first 17 days in February, 23 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner Canceled

Understandable with COVID concerns, but still disappointing, to hear that this Kiwanis event is canceled this year. Realtor® pal Mary Lou Bailey and I have attended the spaghetti dinner for many years, though not quite for the three-plus decades that this February dinner has been enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors. It is an island tradition and the longest-running community event.

As one of the club’s major fundraisers, the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner supports scholarships for local youths and grants to island non-profits for youth recreation and educational activities. We still can support the scholarships and activities by participating in their Silent Auction and Raffle which will be in a virtual format online with details coming soon.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 12-19, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #D408 1/1 $529.9K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 $819K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 $955K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.1M.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 now $714.5K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $724.5K.

11 new sales: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 listed at $299.9K, Captains Walk #B5 2/1 listed at $392K, Sanibel Arms West #C5 2/2 listed at $450K, Sundial #F307 1/1 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 listed at $657K, Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 listed at $719K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 listed at $789K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 listed at $949K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 listed at $999.5K, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 listed at $1.95M, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

6 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 $343K, Sundial #G406 1/1 $490K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $979K, Atrium #103 2/2 $1.095M, Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #D302 3/2.5 $1.63M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $569K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 $895K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $949K.

4 price changes: 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.435M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 now $1.895M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.99M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.395M.

13 new sales: 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 listed at $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1753 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $725K, 888 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $895K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 listed at $935K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.089M, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.295M, 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.329M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $1.644M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $3.399M.

8 closed sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $487K, 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $570K, 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 $649K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $675K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $700K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $980K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.049M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.7M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 255 Hurricane Ln now $368K.

6 new sales: 1820 Ardsley Way listed at $179.9K; 355 Cowry Ct listed at $295K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd listed at $469,555; 217 Violet Dr listed at $549K; 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $629K; 1028 Bayview Dr listed at $2.195M.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $310K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $350K.

2 price changes: Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $2.095M, Lands End Village #1634 3/3 now $2.32M.

1 new sale: Captiva Cove #2A 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

4 new sales: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $2.15M, 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.495M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed at $2.79M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s & President’s Day Weekend on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & Flip Flops on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sure Doesn’t Feel Like January on Sunny Sanibel

Sea Oats

Another Friday has arrived. Since last week, the weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands has continued to be summer-like. Days have been in the mid-to-high 70’s and low 80’s with plenty of sunshine and a few intermittent clouds. That is expected to change on Monday when a cool front arrives. Being originally from Maine, it still cracks me up when they say a cool-front is daytime temperatures in the 60’s – in January. That coolness may be short-lived though. Temperatures are expected to be back into the 70’s by Thursday.

Most years, island business picks up after January 15th, particularly when the snow is flying somewhere. This year there already has been good real estate action here. The changes reported since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service are after a couple of news items below. (First a picture from our friend, Scott, who shares his wonderful island photos.)

 

SZ6A6936

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Installation of 2020 Officers & Awards Breakfast

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the annual Islands Association of Realtors® installation of officers and awards breakfast at The Sanctuary. Florida Realtors® Director of Local Association Services, Anne Cockayne was the installing officer. Past-President Joel Goodman emceed, and I presented pal Mary Lou Bailey with her Realtor® Emeritus pin (She’s our third island Realtor® to reach this status – 40 years and an active leader.)

2020 BODOur local Honor Society recognized 25 members for their professionalism through education, participation, and community service (my 27th year), while six members completed the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist program, earning their SCIS designation. Congratulations to all.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayThis week, SanibelSusan teammate Dave held several Open Houses and saw a noticeable increase in visitors. We also had some good listing inquiries and have future showings scheduled. Elise got a big post card mailing out and will process two more next week. I showed property last weekend, Dave is showing this weekend, and we also had a nice 2-sided closing Tuesday, which was the last island sale in 2019. Big thanks to Simmons Law for getting the needed court motion processed in time for the 14-day closing.

Outside-the-Box Mortgage Solutions

One of our long-time Association of Realtors® Affiliate Members, Dan Royal, sent an e-mail this week that caught my eye. Dan is a Mortgage Loan Originator with American Momentum Bank. He has been financing island real estate for as long as I can remember. Did a loan for my husband and I when we first moved to Sanibel – long before our first sale here. Here are excerpts from Dan’s email:

American_Momentum_Bank_Logo“$860,000 Sundial Resort Condo mortgage just funded! Non-warrantable condos welcome here. Fannie Mae has “in the box” strict guidelines. Our Portfolio Loans are “outside the box”:

 

 

  • 5% down to $1 million primary home purchase
  • Non-warrantable/resort condo 15% down
  • 0% down new professionals
  • Construction loans to $5 million
  • Foreign borrower loans to $3 million
  • Investor loans to $3 million.

“Please contact me if you need some out of the box mortgage solutions.”

Reach Dan at DRoyal@AmericanMomentum.Bank or toll free at 866-530-2265.

Joanna Gaines: Keep These Tacky Items Out Of The House

BridesBlushlogo_v2I saw this article on-line a few weeks ago but saved it for sharing after the holidays. It is long but has some interesting, sometimes funny, points. Written by JJ Foster, posted 11/26/19 on www.BridesBlush.com:

tacky-houses-joanna-101“The Fixer Upper Has Spoken – If there’s one person who knows what it takes to put together an awesome living room, then it’s Joanna Gaines. The reality TV personality has spent the last few years hosting the show Fixer Upper with her husband Chip. Together, they renovate and redecorate people’s homes and have helped take “Farmhouse-chic” to another level of popularity. However, with an eye for great decoration, Gaines also knows what interior designers should avoid doing. The living room is a place for play, relaxation and family time, and Gaines has shared some of the tackiest things that homeowners should keep out of their living rooms.

Fake Plants – Sure, real plants might attract a few creepy crawlies here and there, but there’s something about them that adds a whole lot of life to the living room. More often than not though, fake plants can stick out like a sore thumb and it’s clear that they are definitely not real. As far as Joanna Gaines is concerned, you’re better off having a living room without plants than one with fake ones. She thinks they are lifeless and extremely tacky.

Chintz Wallpaper – Chintz is a form of textiles that can trace its origins all the way back to India. However, the design, which consists of flowery patterns, is recognized these days for being used in the rooms of many bed and breakfasts, especially in the New England area. Joanna Gaines certainly doesn’t want people making their living rooms resemble anything like this. In fact, it’s more likely to look like the kind of building that contains a tomb from the 1500s.

Ruffled Furniture Skirts – While skirts are a perfectly acceptable clothing item for certain individuals to wear, furniture isn’t one of them. Anything that doesn’t have a heartbeat and is designed to be sat on in a living room shouldn’t be wearing a skirt. We’re looking at you, sofa, table, chairs and armchair. Ruffled skirts make a modern living room feel like it’s stuck in a much older era. Either expose those furniture legs or at the very least, give them a straight skirt instead.

Plastic Storage – So many families use plastic storage as a more affordable option of putting away stationary appliances, clothes and virtually anything else. However, there is something about seeing these structures in a living room that screams out, “I shouldn’t be here.” If it’s a child’s living room, then it might make a bit more sense. But if your kids are fully grown and you want a living room that blends luxury with sophistication, then this is not the way to go.

Bold-Colored Walls – Joanna Gaines can’t stand it when she walks into a living room and the walls have been painted in a really bold color. As a child, she remembered that the home her family moved into had the worst-looking walls imaginable and they needed to give them a completely new coat. Not only was the living room a disgusting lime-green color, but the dining room was in her words, “cherry-red.” If you’re living room looks like Sonic’s drive-thru menu, you know you’ve got problems.

“Bookcase Wallpaper – Joanna Gaines has lost count of the number of homes she has walked into and seen this kind of decoration plastered all over the back wall of the living room. Seriously, who are these people trying to fool? It is obviously not a real bookcase. If you want to show the world that you’re educated, get some shelves and put some books on them! The irony is that those who have this wallpaper probably don’t read that many books.

“Matching the Couch With Curtains – Joanna Gaines is a firm believer that curtains and couches shouldn’t be made from the same fabric – it just shouldn’t happen. However, this will be forgiven as long as they don’t share the exact same color or pattern. It’s important to diversify the living room, finding a balance between furniture that compliments each other, while also serving its own unique, aesthetic purpose. As far as the Fixer Upper is concerned, the living room should have a motif, not a uniform.

Mandala Tapestries – While many young people decorate their homes with mandalas, they don’t necessarily know the spiritual symbolism of this Eastern pattern. Then, there are people who discover the pattern later on in life and decide it’s a nice thing to display on one of the walls in their living room. Joanna Gaines thinks that if you don’t share the philosophy that the mandala is connected to, then it’s best to move on and decorate your living room with something a bit more understated.

White Rooms – While a white motif can be pleasant, you should never decorate your living room in just white. Fine, white walls can work, but think of it as a canvas in which you can add various other colors to it. At the end of the day, purely white rooms remind us too much of sterile hospitals, a place where people are often struggling to stay alive. Let’s not try to remind people of that in our living room. Also, it makes un-cleanable stains look so much more obvious.

Weird Lamps – If your living room lamp has more arms than your fake plant has branches, then you need to watch some episodes of Fixer Upper as soon as possible! It is very easy to get carried away with the design of a lamp. If your lamp resembles the Burj al-Arab or some other uniquely designed skyscraper, then something’s seriously wrong. Definitely avoid the lamps that have multiple bulbs with different colored light filters. Just go with a traditional lamp with a shade.

Cliché Art – While it’s perfectly normal to hang up art in the living room, Joanna Gaines hates it when people go for one of the most famous paintings and treats it like some sort of cool ornamental idea. If you are planning on hanging up a copy of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in your living room, then that’s a bad omen for the room in general. Why not go for a more obscure work of art by a famous artist? Stay original, folks.

Mounted Animal Heads – While many hunters hang animal skulls on their walls like some sort of bragging rights, many people who are not hunters buy them and hang them too. However, Joanna Gaines has her own thoughts on the matter. Whoever’s hanging these in the living room obviously has no idea what they are doing. If you are responsible for that skull, at least put it somewhere where it is not going to upset anyone. The Fixer Upper has spoken!

Futons – Unless you are between the age of 13 and 18 and frequently having friends over for slumber parties, a futon is no longer the way to go. By the time you have graduated from college and are out there in the real world, you should have enough funds to afford something a bit more elaborate than a futon. As we get older, it is our duty to outgrow certain things and futons should be, at the very least, the top five in that list.

Temporary Furniture – While the aim of temporary furniture is to make it look like something that is cool but also a work in progress, Joanna Gaines has zero-tolerance for the concept. As far as she’s concerned, this kind of furniture has no place in the living room and homeowners should just go with traditional furniture instead. She believes that temporary furniture only looks cool for a couple of days, that’s until it breaks for one reason or another – it’s too fragile!

Cluttered Cables – In the age of technology in which we live, it makes perfect sense to have a plethora of devices that have wires and cables hanging from them. This takes nothing away from the fact though that a pile of cluttered cables looks ugly on the eyes. A perfectionist like Joanna Gaines would never stand for such chaos in her living room, let alone anyone else’s. At the very least, hide those cables behind the TV table, away from visitors’ eyes.

Cheesy Photo & Picture Frames – There are so many accessories out there that people use to display family photos on. More often than not, the frame itself can distract the person away from what matters the most – the photo. With tons of cheesy imagery and buzz words on either side of the photo, these tend to just get in the way. At the end of the day, a photo needs a frame, not a dramatic canvas that might be telling a completely different story. Stick to a frame – plain and simple.

Plastic Couch Covers – People put plastic covers on their couches for a variety of reasons. While some apply them to prevent pets from causing damage to them, others use them so that they don’t spill something on them. Either way, a plastic couch cover is always for practical reasons, not aesthetic ones. It’s less to do with the fact that it looks tacky – it just looks terrible in any situation. At the very best, it looks like the scene of a crime.

Shot Glass Collections – Whether it be stamps, coins or Coca-Cola cans, everyone seems to have something they love to collect. However, we’d never advise hanging your collection up in the living room. Joanna Gaines especially detests it when people decide to show off their shot glass collection as some sort of living room ornament. While it may have impressed your friends back during the college years, it just looks kind of sad by the time you reach your mid-30s. Collect something new and hide it somewhere!

Gold Fixtures – There was a time that gold fixtures were a standard “fixture” in pretty much every other house, and that was back in the ’80s. For some reason, there are families who have hung onto those gold fixtures for the last 30 years and, unsurprisingly, they have weathered and no longer look as shiny and glorious as they used to. Maybe one piece of gold furniture here and there is acceptable, but gold motif for the living room is unacceptable unless you are a Saudi prince.

Pallet Coffee Tables – A trend that has been floating around the world of interior design is DIY pallet furniture. Better known for being used to transport large objects on forklifts, interior designs are now making pieces of furniture out of these wooden structures. One of the examples is the coffee tables which is made out of pallet. While some families might like their living rooms looking like a pile of lumber, Joanna Gaines wouldn’t be seen dead with this type of coffee table in her home.

Shag Carpeting – While some people might like the cosy feel that shag carpeting provides, Joanna Gaines is certainly not a fan. She believes that this design trend should have stayed in the ’70s where it belongs. She compared the texture and the appearance of shag carpeting to that of wigs. Moreover, she believes it would have the same effect if you laid some hairpieces on the living room floor instead. While it might be a matter of taste, this is not Gaines’ “cup of tea.”

Wood Paneling – There is something about wood paneling that just screams out a 1980s thriller, with the likelihood of someone in the family going on a violent rampage at some stage. Joanna Gaines believes that this style goes against what a living room represents – relaxation, fun and family time. Unless you actually live in a cabin in the woods, wood paneling is extremely dated and should have no place in any part of your home whatsoever, never mind your living room!

Curtain-less Windows – Seeing that we are encouraged to avoid using so much electricity and resort to natural lighting, you’d think that it would be recommended to refrain from applying curtains to your living room windows. A bit of natural lighting could do your home the world of good, right? Well, gone are the days that you can kick back with a tub of ice cream in private, people are always going to see what you’re doing as they walk past.

Blanket Ladders – If you want to have a living room that looks rustic, at least don’t make it look as if you’re trying so hard to be. One tacky design choice that is indicative of this is a blanket ladder. While these were more commonplace back in the 1800s or in one of the stories from Little House on the Prairie, some have decided to bring a ladder back and use it to hang blankets on in their living room. What’s wrong with just leaving them on the sofa?

Barn Doors – Our only theory for this one is that someone who was having way too much fun one night ended up trespassing on someone’s farm, stole a couple of barn doors and then woke up the next day with them leaning on the wall of their living room. While Pinterest has undoubtedly built up the hype of having barn doors in our homes, and Joanna Gaines is a farmhouse chic specialist, we have no interest. If it’s not being used in a barn, it shouldn’t be used.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 10-17, 2020

realtor-mlsSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Arms #A7 1/1 $359K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 $549K, Loggerhead Cay #514 2/2 $1.045M, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 $1.199M.

6 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 now $725K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 now $739K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $749K, Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 now $894.9K, Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.225M, La Playa #B1 3/2 now $1.299M.

4 new sales: Sandpebble #1A 2/2 listed at $439K, Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 listed at $445K, Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 listed at $459K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 listed at $739K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2.5 $439K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $540K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $659K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $759K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $948K, 5633 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.949M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 5/5.5 $6.995M.

13 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $489.5K; 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $547K; 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $588,595; 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $629K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $649K; 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $799K; 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $800K; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $997K; 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.199M; 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 now $1.249M; 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.269M; 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $2.595M; 5145 Joewood Dr 5/4.5 now $2.75M.

6 new sales: 1458 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $489.9K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 668 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $958.5K, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.375M, 228 Violet Dr 4/2/2 listed at $1.749M, 5618 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/2 listed at $2.195M.

7 closed sales: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 412.5K; 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K (our listing & sale); 238 Daniel Dr 3/2 $747,126; 245 Christofer Ct 3/2 $750K; 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $985K; 526 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $995K; 572 Kinzie Island Ct 5/5 $2.15M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1331 Par View Dr $349K.

1 price change: 1837 Buckthorn Ln now $599K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.189M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 $345K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.325M, 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 $2.295M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 $2.85M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.325M, 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 $4.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

istockphoto-512459044-612x612Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

From Sanibel to Orlando

The Sanibel weather has been great this week, although hot and with a few quick afternoon rain showers. With news reporting dangerous heatwaves in other parts of the country, I hope you have been staying cool where you are.

1C69D697-8D51-416F-97DB-DF1EF4EC55CAThe SanibelSusan Team has been manning the office all week, while I am in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors 2019 Convention, Trade Expo, and Annual Meetings.C55AE7AA-E304-4086-86BC-8FAF51E87A34

The convention educational sessions and expo have wrapped up, with committee meetings today and tomorrow. The highlight today was at the Capital Club annual luncheon with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It was so inspiring to hear the many positive initiatives underway, thanks to his leadership, including in water quality. As he said, it’s all about “Florida first”. He is without a doubt, smart, energized, and working hard for our state.

240E8040-E5F3-4B47-94D6-475F102AF94A

Below are a few local news items from the Sanibel team, before a summary of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity this week.

County Approves Wulfert Bayous Acquisition

Ding FundraiserAs reported in this week’s “Island Sun”: On August 20, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of supporting the acquisition of the 68-acre Wulfert Bayous parcel. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge have been working with the county on the collaboration for more than a year to make the acquisition a reality.

Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program will fund $6.5 million of the total $9.5 million cost to purchase the property. DDWS has raised the additional $3 million through private donations. The refuge, for its part in the collaboration, will manage the property as part of its complex.

The city of Sanibel had already approved development of the land with up to 28 new homes. To preserve the tract from such development, DDWS, in February 2019, kicked of its public campaign to preserve the acreage.

Located along Wulfert Road and Sanibel-Captiva Road and adjacent to refuge boundaries, the property is home to a number of species that would be seriously threatened by development of the habitat. The preserved acreage will also help protect water quality as a natural filter.

The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will forward the goals and objectives of the Gulf of Mexico and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration plans. In addition to 16 acres of existing mangroves, Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons, while serving as a natural water filter.

If you would like to help restore Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres, contact DDWS at 472-1100 ext 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

2019 “Ding” Darling Day

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 20, in preparation for the Refuge’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, this year’s “Ding” Darling Day is full of the best traditions and it’s FREE. Here’s a summary:

TOURS:

8 a.m.   Birding with a biologist

9 a.m.   Biking at the Refuge (4 miles)

10 a.m. Birding Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10-4     Tram tours on Wildlife Drive (every hour) sign up at the Tram Booth

ACTIVITIES

10 a.m. Nature sketching on Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10 a.m. Wildlife yoga (in classroom)

11 a.m. iPhone photography walk (meet at flagpole)

12 p.m. Wildlife origami (in classroom)

1 p.m.   Canvas painting (in classroom) limited to 1st 25

2 p.m.   Wildlife cartoons with Dave Horton (in Visitor & Education Center)

PRESENTATIONS

10 a.m. “Ding” Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest (in classroom)

10 a.m. & 3 p.m. Live animals with C.R.O.W. (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. Python talk (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Puppet show (in classroom)

12 p.m. Cartoon content award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

1-3 p.m. Federal & Junior Duck Stamp award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

2 p.m.   Snakes Alive (under the Big Top tent)

ON-GOING

Exhibitor booths, face painting, live music, nature crafts, archery, chalk drawing, hot dogs, butterfly house, fly-fish demos, art demos, plein-air artists, fire equipment demos

ON-GOING AT TARPON BAY EXPLORERS

Touch tank, stand-up paddle-boarding.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 16-23, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $450K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $605K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $437K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $499.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $599.5K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.189M.

4 new sales: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $549.9K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 listed at $800K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $899K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $134.9K, 9345 Dimmick Dr now $359K.

1 new sale: 933 Strangler Fig Ln listed at $495K.

1 closed sale: 1817 Longpoint Ln $269K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listing or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

To those asking about the gulf waters, though not taken personally, here is a photo posted yesterday afternoon on Facebook’s “Beautiful Sanibel” page, from a West Gulf Dr beach. With a storm now stalled out over the Atlantic off the east coast, a rainy weekend is expected. Let’s hope it still looks like this next week! Enjoy your weekends!

77D7B743-2CCC-4AAD-AC86-8F953A54A987.jpeg

Until next Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

February Flowers & Sanibel/Captiva Happenings

It’s another Friday and another month almost over, as Sanibel/Captiva weather continues to be summer-like. It has been another week with temperatures in the high 70’s/low 80’s, with more of the same expected over the next few days.

February Bougainvillea

The bougainvillea & roses in my yard always get happy in February!

Now that it’s really “season”, getting from one end of Periwinkle to the other has been challenging, sometimes in both directions, but particularly on Presidents’ Day and most days as workers head off-island (from about 3 to 6 p.m.)

SSRA with flagHere in the office, SanibelSusan listings had some action this week, with a sale, a price reduction, a new listing, and a home inspection.

The complete action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days, follow a few news items below.

February Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday morning was the island Realtors® monthly membership meeting. It brought a standing-room only crowd which is typical for February which usually is when business here is best. Surprisingly during the Caravan portion of the meeting, when new sales are announced, there was only one – a condo unit at Loggerhead Cay

During the educational portion of the meeting, speakers from the Sanibel School updated members with info we can use in presenting the school to prospective buyers. Assistant Principal Jamie Reed provided a school history, explaining how the school expanded a few years ago from K through 5, to K through 8. She also said that today school enrollment is down. The school has capacity for 354 students, with enrollment today at 270.sanibel school

With school funding based on the number of students, that also is down, but strong community financial support contributes to the school’s success. The Sanibel School Fund, for example, which is a group of education-minded citizens and parents raised the money needed to hire the school’s Spanish teacher, providing that foreign language training to all grades. The school’s PTA and close relationships with local organizations like the Wildlife Refuge, BIG ARTS, and the Conservation Foundation, also provide School support.

Classroom sizes at The Sanibel School include two classes in each of the lower grades with no more than 18 students per class. Grades 6 through 8 each have one class with up to 22 students in each. This family-like network of students and teachers provide a nurturing environment contributing to the school’s academic success rate, with grades continually ranking in the top 5-6% of the state.

Donna Marks, Sanibel School Registrar and Information Specialist, is available to provide school tours and explain what is needed for school enrollment. It no longer is a requirement that their students live on Sanibel/Captiva or have parents who work on the islands. More info at https://sbl.leeschools.net/our_families/registration__enroll_my_student

2019 Lee County Market Report – January

FL gulf coast mls logoThis morning, the following report was released by the Florida Gulf Coast MLS:

For the fourth straight month Single Family Homes shows a decrease

“Lee County’s Single Family housing market saw a decrease for the fourth straight month in January, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®. Year-over-year, sales were down for both by double digits, but Townhouses and Condos are holding steady over the last four months.

“January showed a -18.7% decrease in the number of Closed Sales for Single Family Homes, and a -10.4% decrease for Townhouses and Condos, compared to the same time last year. Sale prices were up slightly for Single Family, while townhouse and Condos remain steady. Inventory is on the rise for Single Family showing 6.5% Months Supply of Inventory and 7.5 for Townhouses and Condos. The number of Active Listings jumped up again for a fifth straight month at 18.9% for Single Family Homes and 12.5% for Townhouses and Condos compared to 2018….

“Broken down by cities, Single Family sales in Bonita Springs, Pine Island and North Fort Myers saw an increase in number of Closed Sales, year over year. All remaining cities saw a decrease over last year. With Sanibel having a -60% and Fort Myers Beach having a -58.2% showing the largest decrease over 2018….”

Note: The numbers reported represent sales by all members of Florida Realtors®/SWFLA Matrix for Lee County, FL. Statistics released each month may be revised in the future as new data is released.

What Do Home Inspectors Usually Find?

Florida Realtors logoWith Florida being a full-disclosure state, Sellers and their representatives are required by Florida law to disclose defects that may materially affect the value of the real estate being sold. With many island properties owned by snowbirds, part-time visitors, and investors, in recent years it has been common to see Sanibel and Captiva property sold using the Florida Realtors® “As Is” contract.

Under the terms of the “As Is” contract, the Buyer accepts the property in its physical condition and the Seller is not responsible for any repairs. That contract also includes an “Inspection/Cancellation” period when the Buyer may perform due diligence, usually having the property professionally inspected.

The SanibelSusan Team always suggests a home inspection. A good one considers all the physical elements of a property and provides the age, service life, and condition of all mechanical items. Regardless of a property’s end use, it makes sense that a Buyer handle any repairs needed to ensure that they are done to their standards and satisfaction.

The below article posted on-line Wednesday by Florida Realtors® contains the same suggestion. Repair credits are not typical with the “as is” contract. That applies to the older Florida purchase agreement where a Buyer also may have a property inspected during a certain time period, but with that agreement, the Seller is advised of defects found and required to fix them by closing. With the “as is” contract, no Seller repairs or credits are required.

“LAS VEGAS – Feb. 20, 2019 – A study of 50,000 home inspections by Repair Pricer, a company that estimates repair costs for items cited in home inspection reports – found that some repair costs tend to appear more often.

“Nearly 55% of home inspections nationally cited doors that needed adjusting, for example; and 54% lacked exterior caulking and sealant, which could leave the home susceptible to extensive water damage. And about 48% of homes lacked GFCI protection to minimize the risk of electrocution in areas like the kitchen or bathroom. The most expensive home defects ranged in repair prices from slightly more than $1,000 to less than $10,000:

“Top 10 common home defects – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Doors need adjusting/servicing: 54.9% of reports – $254 to repair
  • Faucets and heads need servicing: 54.8% of reports – $273 to repair
  • Exterior caulking/sealant missing: 54.5% of reports – $310 to repair
  • Outlets or switches with deficiencies: 53.7% of reports – $248 to repair
  • No GFCI protection: 48.0% of reports – $433 to repair
  • Absence of or defective smoke alarms: 45.06% of reports – $378 to repair
  • Cosmetic sheetrock cracks or nail pops: 45.02% of reports – $545 to repair
  • Fixtures and/or bulb deficiencies: 40.5% of reports – $209 to repair
  • Caulking, grout and sealer are missing interior: 33.9% of reports – $353 to repair
  • Service panel deficiencies: 33.7% of reports – $298 to repair

“While expensive repairs are less common, one in 10 inspections cite a roof nearing the end of its useful life as the most expensive common repair generally noted. However, one in five reports find a problem with window seals, which can cost over $1,000 to repair.

“5 most expensive repairs found – percentage of homes – price to repair

  • Roof nearing end of its serviceable life: 9.6% of reports – $9,948 to repair
  • Coil and condenser at end of serviceable life: 10.7% of reports – $5,818 to repair
  • Heating unit exceeded serviceable life: 10% of reports – $3,798 to repair
  • Water heater may need replaced: 10% of reports – $1,259 to repair
  • Window seals failed or fogged: 20.8% of reports – $1,026 to repair

“What should buyers do with inspection report information? Repair Pricer says buyers’ first instinct is often to ask sellers to make repairs, but “this tactic can frequently backfire. Even if the seller agrees … they’re under no obligation to implement quality repairs and frequently execute the cheapest option or fix, potentially leaving the buyer with substandard work, no transferable warranty and no recourse.” Seller repairs can also give buyers a “false sense of security, believing their agents have negotiated and built a home warranty into their contracts.”

The best tactic, according to Home Repair, is to ask the seller for a repair credit if appropriate under the contract and hire a contractor after closing to complete the repairs to the buyer’s standards – not the seller’s.”

Update on Water Issues by SCCF and Everglades Foundation

SCCF logoAn important update sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is scheduled next week. Here’s their announcement:

“Historically, nearly all the water from Lake O flowed south. Now, over 70% flows to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. Don’t miss the chance to get the latest updates on the status of water management projects impacting the Caloosahatchee and the Everglades. After the devastating impacts of the 2018 Red Tide and the recent promising actions by Governor DeSantis, real improvements are now possible.

“Join us for “New Opportunities to Advance Water Quality Improvement and Everglades Restoration!” on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The event is free and registration is not required. Doors open at 6:30 and light refreshments will be served.

SCCF Water flows

“Some key indicators of current conditions:

  • Current Lake O levels are lower than they have been in recent years. A weak El Niño may bring higher than normal rainfall in the next few months.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is beginning work on a new water management schedule for Lake O releases.
  • And Governor DeSantis has asked the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to expedite work on the EAA Reservoir, the keystone project that will reduce harmful flows to the estuary by 40-60%.

“ALL of us will need to stay engaged to make sure that this emerging leadership vision is successful. Learn the latest from SCCF and the Everglades Foundation on recent progress, ongoing challenges and what you can do to help. For more info, call 472-2329.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 15-22, 2019

Sanibelsancap GO MLS logo

CONDOS

8 new listings: Sundial #G405 1/1 $439,555; Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 $605.9K; Villa Sanibel #2G 2/2 $685K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 $769K; Sundial #J204 2/2 $769K; Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $889K; Sanibel Moorings #111 2/2 $999.99K; High Tide #A301 2/2 $2.149M.

7 price changes: Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 now $595K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 now $699K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 now $725K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $824K, Sundial #K103 2/2 now $920K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $944K, Pointe Santo #E35 2/2 now $1.35M.

3 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $239K (our listing & sale), Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial #B407 1/1 listed at $529K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $305K, Sundial #F206 1/1 $420K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $595K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $949K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $999K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.089M, 911 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.499M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 $2.374M, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 $2.495M (our listing), 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.25M.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0791.JPG

Our new listing at 842 Limpet Dr

21 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $528K; 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $529K; 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $669K; 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $674K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $769.9K; 697 Birdie View Ct 3/2 now $774K; 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 now $799K; 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $799.9K; 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $824.9K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $849K; 686 East Gulf Dr 3/2 now $849K; 1056 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $879K; 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $899K; 501 Lagoon Dr 3/2 now $949K; 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 now $950K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $989K; 3832 Coquina Dr 3/4 now $995K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $999,995; 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.095M; 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.395M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C 3/3 now $1.549M (our listing).

Image 8 c.jpg

Home just reduced at 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, Moonshadows #2C

5 new sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $415K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 listed at $739K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M.

3 closed sales: 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $725K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $900K, 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $997K.

1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $194K.

1 new sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $379K.

1 closed sale: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $185K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3124 1/1 $370K, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.279M, Lands End Village #1635 2/2 $1.429M.

2 price changes: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 now $889K, Lands End Village #1602 3/3 now $2.15M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 now $2.4M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.799M, 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M, 952 S Seas Plantation Rd 6/5.5 now $4.15M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you warm sunny beach-like weather too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Nice beach shot

Things Are Looking Up on Sunny Sanibel

It is Friday again and the islands are getting busier as more winter residents return. Beaches and local waterways continue to recover. During off-island jaunts, it is great to again see cars on the causeway with folks picnicking and enjoying sunsets, while boaters head up and down the intra-coastal and out into the gulf, and fish-hunting pelicans skim the bay alongside the bridges. Love it when those birds abruptly dive down to grab dinner.

junonia 05-25-17Visitors report that Sanibel’s shelling has been excellent too – probably the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew stirring things up in the gulf. There have even been a few photos in the local paper of finders with cherished junonia shells. After 30+years searching, I’m still looking for a whole one.

10-19-2018Fishermen are back too, with plenty of videos posted on social media including tarpon jumping, following baitfish pools.

Now if the summer temperatures and humidity would subside, it would really feel like fall here. That’s expected to happen on Monday when a mini-cool front is expected to arrive. (Mini means staying in the 80’s during the day!)

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoOn the real estate front, it again was a week with just a handful of new island sales: on Sanibel – two condos and two homes, and just one home on Captiva. Those details follow a couple of news items below.

Sometimes when taking to property owners thinking of selling, we must tell them that their property may not be worth what they think. That’s not fun.

Here is some info that can help convince them. Lee County property taxes are paid in arrears each year with the taxable value based on a percentage of comparable property sales the preceding year. A property’s taxable value is not the same as the sale value, but it does provide a way to correlate it.LeePALogo

This is probably a generalization, but most Sanibel properties are worth less now than they were if they were if purchased between 2002 and 2009, or even last year. To check the assessed value of any Lee County property, go to the appraiser’s website at www.LeePa.org. Click the “database search” button in the left-hand menu. Then click “property data search”, then enter the address or the owner’s name. When the record pops up, click on the blue “parcel details” link on the right. When the property data page comes up, on the left-hand side under the legal information is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Under that heading is what the county appraiser determined as the property value for 2018 taxes.

Just to the right of the heading is a little icon that looks like a stack of papers (it has a red/blue/yellow graph on it). Click on that icon and up comes the property value history, all the way back to 1992. If it was purchased after that, you can pinpoint what the taxable value was in the year that it was purchased. Comparing that to its taxable value today, offers a way to calculate what the 2018 sale value may be.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was our last off-season Thursday morning Caravan Meeting. Beginning Nov 1, those will be every week until spring. These events are an opportunity for our members to announce new listings and price reductions, congratulate colleagues on sales, and then visit as many as 20 new listings held open by the listing agents so that Realtors® can learn about the special features of each specific property in advance of showing it.

As homeowners and condominium associations have their annual meetings and their fees/special assessments and/or amenities change, Caravan also is when listing agents advise of that info. It then is posted by the Realtor® Association in our resource material which is available to all agents.

So, if you are out-and-about on a Thursday morning from 9 a.m. until noon on any given week, there are Open House signs and listings to preview – often they are new to the market.

Island Events

  • 4th Annual Pigs In Paradise Roastceci logoTomorrow, Sat Oct 20, hosted & to benefit Children’s Education Center of the Islands (CECI) at the preschool (350 Casa Ybel Rd) from 4 to 7 p.m. The school opened in 1974 & is a nonprofit parent co-op that serves families who live or work on Sanibel and Captiva. It is open to children ages 12 months to 5 years.
  • 33rd Annual BaileyFest – Sun Oct 21 in Bailey’s Shopping Center from noon to 4-p.m.Bailey fest 2018.jpg
  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.howl-o-ween 2018
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins & ends early at The Community House. SanibelSusan is the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!fish 10K 2018.jpg
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Churchflip flop scavenger hunt 2018
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-506081633792018 sanibel jazz festival.jpg
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islandstaste of the islands 2018
  • The Launch – Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at http://www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launchthe launch 2018

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 12-19, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 $440K, Seashells #3 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 $849K, Sanibel Arms West #E2 2/2 $874K (our listing, pictured below).

ViewExt Back aBeach WalkBeach Walk bBeachExt Back b

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2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $389.9K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.69M.

2 new sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 listed at $475K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

8 new listings: 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $649K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $650K, 256 Daniel Dr 2/2 $799K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $1.189M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.279M, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.299M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.335M.

10 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $525K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 749 Cardium St 2/2 now $729K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $848K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.749M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $2.59M (foreclosure), 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.875M.

2 new sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $585K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr (Moonshadows #2F) 3/3 half-duplex listed at $849K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2994 Island Inn Rd $209.9K, 539 Sea Oats Dr $495K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $350K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1B 2/2 $895K.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 now $639K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.995M.

1 new sale: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday! Enjoy your week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Island Beaches Sooo Much Better…

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

Beach

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

Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re-Openings & Temporary Closings

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

Sandalfoot Kudos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

View b

View from Sunset South #6D

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

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

A bldg stairs + river

Spanish Cay Bldg A

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0497.JPG

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

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 412 Tiree Cir $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

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

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

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

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Question: What do I need?

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

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

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

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

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

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

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

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

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

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

“Question: What are the rules?

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

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

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

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

“Question: Should I shop around?

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

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

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

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

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan