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

Sanibel Beach Improvement & Pre-Season Scoop


SanibelSusan here reporting another quiet Friday on sunny Sanibel, with the red tide situation at the beaches improving and the islands settling into a more typical pre-season pattern.

Upper Deck

Roof-top view today at our new listing at Pointe Santo C43

Social media is encouraging the public to support local establishments, but it has been disheartening to hear of hotels, shops, and restaurants with little or no business. During my travels this week, I heard of zero occupancy at one West Gulf Drive hotel. The Island Store on Captiva is now closed through September and even Periwinkle Way traffic is limited. From fishing guides, to stores, to real estate, it all has been affected.

I ran into Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra this afternoon and she said that that though beach and waterway clean-ups continue, the need is diminishing, and she may soon be ending her daily reports. (Kudos to her, the Mayor, City Councilors, and the many employees and contractors that have worked so hard and proactively to mitigate the fall-out from the recent area water issues.)

The Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales activity since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention & 2018 Business Meetings

787F5943-78D3-4D18-83D4-94D153CE1F38The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had good member participation last week at the state convention, tradeshow, educational sessions, and business meetings. From newbies to old-timers, many remarked that the educational sessions and speakers were the best yet.

Florida Realtors logoOne of my favorite appointments is to serve on the state Professional Development Committee. I have participated many times on their audition panel which evaluates prospective Florida Realtors® instructors looking to become new faculty members or to add additional state/nationally-approved classes to their curriculum. The panels hear a full day of oral presentations at both the January Mid-Winter Business Meetings and these meetings in August.

Each auditionee goes through a pre-screening process (which we handle through evaluations, and phone interviews during the year) and then is assigned to make a 45-minute presentation in front of a panel. Panelists are made up of current faculty members, association education directors, as well as brokers, agents, trainers and leaders from associations across the state. This time, with a record number of applicants (nearly 50), we had 40 panelists divided between five panel rooms running simultaneously all day.

2018 Pro dev CommitteePanel recommendations go forward to the Faculty Subcommittee and then the Professional Development Committee for approval. Congratulations to the 14 new faculty members and the 14 existing faculty members who were approved to add courses to the list of those they are authorized to teach. These classes cover the gamut from those required of new agents, to continuing education, to property management, construction, marketing, contracts, and the classes needed to become a graduate of the Realtor® Institute. Classes continually are added and updated both at the state and national level.

SanibelSusan also serves on the 2018 Program Development Subcommittee, Forms Content Committee (where we make recommendations to the state contracts), Legislative Think Tank, and Resort & Second-Home Specialist Breakout Group. Good progress was made at all the meetings. I got to serve as an education ambassador at several of the education sessions too – a good way for an old dog to pick up a few new tricks!

2018 clean waterAt the meetings, there was emphasis on water quality, rental restrictions, and flood insurance (which thankfully passed the Senate last week).

That National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) legislation had passed the House earlier and allows NFIP to continue renewing or issuing new flood insurance policies for four more months. It does not change NFIP operations, but simply extends the current guidelines to give Congress more time to work on a comprehensive package that deals with the complex issues of affordability with a program that is deeply in debt. Although the program is now extended through November 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term. The National Association of Realtors® continues to fight for these reforms.

Please Help Pass Amendment 2 – Vote “Yes”

amendment 2 logoAn important property tax amendment is on the ballot this November that is good for everyone in Florida. The 10% cap on non-homestead property taxes will expire in January unless voters pass Amendment 2. This cap helps sustain Florida’s communities by preventing big tax spikes for businesses and property owners who claim their primary residence elsewhere. Here are some highlights.

  • What is Amendment 2? It makes permanent the existing 10% cap on annual assessment increases for any non-homesteaded property. This affects all rental residential property, all commercial property, all undeveloped land, and residential property not claimed as a primary residence. The 10% cap (which currently expires in January 2019) is the only mechanism today that is protecting 5.6 million Florida properties from rapid tax assessment increases.
  • Amendment 2 requires 60% of the vote to pass. Please vote “yes” (or don’t vote at all).
  • If Amendment 2 fails, 2.2 million properties face an immediate tax increase in 2019 of up to $700 million (This is not money that the jurisdictions already are receiving from other sources. This is new money that will go to them and likely be used to create new or expand existing government programs. It will be difficult to stop or later reverse if this happens.)
  • If Amendment 2 fails, it will have widespread negative impact on business owners, renters, shoppers, jobs, and Florida’s economy.
  • According to Florida TaxWatch (www.FloridaTaxWatch.org), without extending the 10% cap, non-homesteaded residential property could quickly increase as much as 151% while commercial property could jump 85%. These new taxes could exceed $1 Billion and will affect everybody in Florida.

Scientists Unsure Why Red Tide Exists, How to Fix Problem

Here’s an interesting twist on the subject of red tide. It was posted Monday on sarasota herald tribune logoFloridaRealtors® on line. Copyright © 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla., Carlos R. Munoz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“SARASOTA, Fla. – Aug. 14, 2018 – While U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan discussed an $8 million grant to combat red tide at Mote Marine Laboratory on Monday, a senior Mote scientist just down the hall questioned whether the toxic algae paralyzing Southwest Florida beaches actually might be an important part of the ecosystem.

“Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sponsored the bipartisan legislation that was signed into law earlier this year. The funding was distributed to NOAA and will be dispersed to southern Florida researchers.

Mote scientists are expected to get a large chunk of the grant money, Buchanan said.

“The money will be used to research possible mitigation efforts, such as a field test of a newly developed method for destroying red tide using ozone, patented by Mote scientists. The device will be field tested in a Boca Grande canal this week. The patented technology was first used to clean water for sea turtles in a 25,000-gallon tank and has been scaled up to process at least 500,000 gallons of canal water.

“Is red tide necessary? Mote scientist Dr. Vincent Lovko, who works with Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology program, says there isn’t enough research to determine what would happen if red tide was eradicated or suppressed from the Gulf. Researchers must consider three factors when dealing with an aquatic toxin: prevention, control and mitigation, according to Lovko.

“”The control (in Lake Okeechobee) is straightforward,” he said. “You reduce the nutrients, and you reduce those (blue-green) algae blooms.”

“The same can’t be said for the Gulf, where a Karenia brevis bloom currently stretches for 150 miles from Manatee County south to Collier County. Any mitigation system would have to treat 1.5 trillion gallons of water to be effective. “You might not even get it all if you do that,” said Lovko, who pointed out that Mote doesn’t have permission to treat the bloom. “There is no literature to suggest what the ecological function of red tide might be,” Lovko said.

“Single-cell red tide is a protist cell that takes three days to divide. It consumes organic and inorganic nutrients and has flagella that help it move around. The cell is animal-like in nature but photosynthesizes plants and other algae. “They can actually swim; they are capable of movement,” Lovko said. “They can move up and down through the water column (to the sea bed).”

“Similar to a forest fire? One hypothesis suggests that red tide’s destructive nature could be similar to the effects of a forest fire, which cleans out underbrush and is somewhat restorative to a forest ecosystem. But it’s difficult to see what the ecological function of the toxic algae might be.

“There is little information to determine where Karenia brevis ranks on the algal evolutionary scale. There are about 12 known nutrient sources for the harmful algae blooms, which vary based on their location along the southern Florida coastline.

“Even if science can identify a course of action that would destroy red tide, there are fears that the death of the organism could release toxins into the water and cause a large-scale marine animal die-off. A similar incident occurred in Chesapeake Bay, where a nuisance bloom was suppressed with copper sulfate. Toxins released by the dead algal bloom poisoned the water and killed fish.

“Lovko says there is only one way to find out what can be done to mitigate red tides effects – research. “Whether or not trying to control red tide would create a dead zone, probably not, that’s something that happens over a long period of time,” Lovko said. “It’s an interesting thought. All those things we have to consider when we’re messing with the ecosystem. We do it all the time. We cure diseases … We do a lot of things that are otherwise natural but are a bother to us or a danger to us. There’s no reason not to pursue it, but there has to be realistic expectations.””

Trees Now Block My Ocean View. What Can I Do?

Sun sentinelThis subject comes up here often, particularly when Florida vegetation grows like crazy during the summer rainy season in front of gulf-front condos. The below article was posted Monday on Florida Realtors® on line.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Aug. 13, 2018 – Question: I own an oceanfront condo. When I bought it, I had an unobstructed view of the ocean. Palm trees are now causing a 90% view obstruction. Do I have any recourse? – Dorothy

palm tree.jpg“Answer: Questions about views are always complicated and involve many factors. The general rule is that no one is allowed to block your direct view. However, if it can be shown that the trees serve a useful purpose to the community or were pre-planned to grow in front of your unit, you may be stuck with them.

“To see if you have any recourse, you will need to review your condominium documents and the ordinances of your municipality. Many beachfront towns and cities have enacted rules protecting their residents’ ocean views. These palm trees may be a code violation best addressed by your city. If this is not the case where you live, check your condo documents since many oceanfront condominiums have rules regulating their landscaping and protecting their constituents’ views of the beach.

“Typically, view laws are designed to protect people whose property extends all the way to the high-water mark. Condominiums present a particular problem because while you own your unit, your entire community owns the land that reaches to the water. It may be further complicated because the unit owners below you in your building now have a better view than when the trees were shorter that they would want to protect.

“If it turns out that your local government will not be able to assist you, then your best bet would be to appeal to your condo board to come up with a solution that leaves everyone with a better view.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.

“Copyright © 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 10-17, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $269.9K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 $649K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.295M (our listing, photos below).

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $265K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $550K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $534K, Sundial West #K105 2/2 listed at $897.5K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1 $314K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $415K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 $480K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $585K, Sundial N403 2/2 $812.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $597K, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M.

1 new sale: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K.

3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $539.5K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $595K, 849 Birdie View Pt 4/4.5 $1.61M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1026 Fish Crow Rd $439K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1036 Bayview Dr $3.55M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $369K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $600K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $1.049M.

1 closed sale: 16575 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.45M.

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.

Best wishes for a great weekend!weekend clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Memorial Day 2018 on Sanibel Island


SanibelSusan was ready to report another Friday with fantastic island weather until the rain began about 2 p.m. It’s still beautiful, just with a few raindrops. Since yesterday, the team and I have been getting our annual 7000-piece mailing post-office ready. If you are on our mailing list, you will get an island inventory/recent sale booklet soon. If you want to be added to the mailing list, just let us know.

The forecast isn’t what we want for a holiday weekend, with Tropical Storm Alberto likely to bring more heavy rain beginning tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed that maybe some holiday visitors will decide to look at real estate, instead of beaching, boating, and biking.

In anticipation of a rainy weekend, yesterday I took the long route from home to office to snag a few photos of some of the wonderful flowering spring vegetation before the raindrops pelted them. Here they are, beginning with a pink hibiscus at my house, followed by a late-blooming Royal Poinciana tree at Captain’s Walk, my favorite flowering trees at Sanibel Moorings, a fragrant frangipani in Sanibel Shores, and the wonderful butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.

2015-05-24 Hibiscus2018-05-24 Poinciana2018-05-24 Pink Moorings2018-05-24 Yellow2018-05-24 Frangi2018-05-24 West W

Below are a couple of news articles followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. It illustrates, “it’s quiet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThere was no Realtor Caravan yesterday. It’s the off week in the summer biweekly schedule, but the Sanibel Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has been hosting their annual classes for the Islands Specialist designation. To earn the designation, Realtors® must attend all 12 module classes which cover all aspects of listing and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva. Since this program began in 2006, close to 100 local Realtors® have earned the designation.

On Wednesday, I again taught the Resort & 2nd Homes module which I authored and update each year. It’s good to know that the “beach” remains the top location for all vacation and 2nd home sales. Florida also continues to hold its place as one of the top four states for resort and 2nd home buyers. (The other states are California, Texas, and Michigan.) Here’s a photo of the attendees after my pop quiz which earned them funny resort wear.

RSPS class 2018

Island Projects Underway

During my drive-around yesterday, I noticed that several building projects are underway. Several new homes are going up, including a big one on Limpet Drive and another big home in Butterknife. I was surprised to see a cute little often-admired beach cottage taken down on East Gulf Drive near Olde Sanibel. Probably a new larger home soon to go up there too.

paperfig kitchen logoConstruction continues on the new building at the site of the former Sanibel Steak House, and remodeling continues at the former Jacaranda Restaurant.

Remodeling also is ongoing at another new eats spot in Tahitian Gardens, called “Paper Fig Kitchen”. It’s scheduled to open in June providing catering and take-along. Check them out at http:/www.PaperFigKitchen.com.

Best 25 Places People Moving To in 2018

News Press logoAs published in the May 21, 2018 Fort Myers “News-Press”, Lee County is among the best places people are moving. It says:

“A new report from U.S. News & World Report ranks Lee County 2nd nationwide on its list of “The Best 25 Places People Are Moving to in 2018.”

“The county’s population spiked more than 14% from 2012 to 2016, behind only Myrtle Beach, S.C. (The report refers to Fort Myers, but the data reflects the entire county.)

“Florida locations dominate the list, including Sarasota at No. 3, Port St. Lucie at No. 6 and Melbourne at No. 10.

“This begs questions: Is so much growth good or bad? What is the impact? Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, said there are many ways to look at such a ranking.

“Demographically, the Baby Boomers have been planning to move to Florida for 25 years and now they’re doing that, hence Florida’s outsized presence on this list,” he said. “That’s a big factor.” It’s important, Westley said, for elected leaders and others to consider the implications of such growth 20 years from now, when that generation’s migration is over. “Then what will Florida look like?” he pondered.

“Florida’s population is over 21.3 million, according to the latest estimate based on U.S. Census Bureau data. It will exceed 22 million in 2020, based on trends, and could hit 26 million in 2030. The last Census estimate for Lee County, in July 2017, says the population is nearly 740,000, so it’s likely over 750,000 today.

“The largest future growth areas in the county include Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, where there is plenty of space to develop. The Cape’s population, estimated at 180,000, is expected to reach 400,000 at buildout.

“This “Best 25” list is based on the “Best Places to Live” ranking, which looks at the 125 most populous metro areas in the nation. Lee County, again listed as Fort Myers, ranks No. 41 on that list. Collier County’s population, estimated to be almost 373,000 in July 2017, is slightly too small to be included.

“Eric Berglund, executive director of the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance, said workers are a critical piece of the growth equation. “Jobs attract people and having more people here gives us a more diversified and qualified workforce,” he said. That’s important because site selectors — those examining where to locate businesses — look at more than just population when making decisions. “They’re asking, ‘What skill sets does the workforce have?’” Berglund said. “They’re saying, ‘If I can’t get the talent to work for me, the location won’t work.'”

“Workers, too, are evaluating a community when determining whether to relocate. That’s one reason issues like attainable housing and transportation are important. “You need to make sure workers have somewhere to live and that the infrastructure is adequate to get them around,” he said.

“Those concerns have sparked more conversations around attainable housing in Lee and Collier counties.

“Everybody is saying, ‘If we have such a robust tourism industry, we need to make sure our workers have a place to live,’” Berglund said. “It’s critically important.”

“Brian West, a spokesman for Lakeland-based Publix, said many variables are involved in the company’s site selection process, which relies on market research. “The population in an area is one of the considerations, along with projected growth,” he said. “Most of our growth continues to be right here in Florida.”

“The Great Recession, Berglund said, changed the budget realities for policymakers, forcing them to reprioritize spending. That’s changed in recent years, through the rebound. “With the tax base increasing, they’re able to come in and start to make some of those investments with infrastructure that got delayed,” he said.

“On a longer-term scale, Westley wondered: “How many municipalities’ operational strategies are based on income from continued in migration and how will that change once the demographic trends change?”

“Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais was at an all-day meeting Monday and unavailable for comment, said Betsy Clayton, county spokeswoman, in an email. The county, she wrote, has a “continuation budget,” which is the cost to provide the exact same level of services from one year to the next. “If population growth impacts service levels, that is factored into the development” of this budget, she wrote. “The county’s 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan also contemplates the infrastructure that will be needed to accommodate growth.”

“More population can strain resources, from roads and schools to water and health care if it’s not addressed adequately.“These are things that have to be taken into consideration as the region grows,” Westley said.

“Most of the same cities appear on such “best places” lists because they are appealing destinations and many are in states — like Florida — with no income tax.

While growth affects Florida cities and counties differently, partly based on their reliance on tourism, there are many other communities nationwide — from Seattle to Key West — struggling with such issues due to wage differences in the workforce. “When you attract higher income through in migration, you also create a demand for more of the trades as a result of them being here, whether it’s health care or restaurants,” Westley said.

“Moving forward, elected officials in Lee and Collier counties will continue to look to the state’s more developed east coast for lessons. “What did they do wrong? What did they do right and what can we learn from their experience?” Westley said. “Our area is in the process of turning a corner right now.”

us news & world report logo“Florida metro areas on ‘Best Places People Are Moving’ list

No. 2: Fort Myers

No. 3: Sarasota

No. 5: Orlando

No. 6: Port St. Lucie

No. 7: Daytona Beach

No. 9: Lakeland

No. 10: Melbourne

No. 12: Tampa

No. 21: Jacksonville

Source: U.S. News & World Report”

What to Consider Before Downsizing

Florida Realtors logoPosted online today at FloridaRealtors®, this article is sourced to USA Today:

“Tim and Tracey Kerin knew it was time to downsize soon after their grandson Maximus was born. “We started to re-evaluate what’s important to us at this stage in life and decided that our health and family were more important than a larger home with a big backyard and pool,” says Tim, 58, who along with Tracey, 59, operates a commercial cleaning and construction business.

USATodayLOGO“Last December, the Kerins packed up a two-story colonial replete with a beautifully landscaped garden in Damascus, Md., and moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla., near their sons Justin, 35, and Jason, 33, and their families. And of course, they get to see Maximus, now 2. “We usually see Max a couple of times a week, and he spends one night every weekend, which we look forward to,” Tim says.

“The Kerins are not alone in their quest for a simple life centered on happiness. According to a recent TD Ameritrade Survey, 42% of pre-retirees are likely to downsize if they haven’t done so already. Some 25% of respondents are moving to a warmer climate, and 17% are moving closer to loved ones.

“Another critical consideration is cost. “Retiring with a lower mortgage payment, (lower) property tax bill, (and) smaller place to clean and maintain can be attractive,” says Dennis LaVoy, CFP of Telos Financial in Plymouth, Mich.

“Before downsizing, homeowners should run the numbers to make sure it makes financial sense. “Look at costs associated with selling the primary home, such as preparing the house for sale, agent’s commission, moving and buying a smaller home to get an idea of the fixed costs to relocate,” says Aaron Galileo, senior loan officer at Investors Home Mortgage in Howell, N.J.

“Once a person decides to downsize, he or she must keep lifestyle in mind. “You need to save as much as you can for retirement to keep your lifestyle intact,” says Jeff White, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. “If you can lower your monthly mortgage payment from $2,500 for the big home to $1,200 per month for a nice condo that fits you and your spouse, why not leap and invest the extra $1,300 into your retirement plan?”

“The amount of space you have may also influence your decision to scale down. “If the kids have moved out and you’re an empty-nester, do you need all of that space?” asks Brian Graves, co-founder of Everything But the House, an online estate sale marketplace. He says factor in how much space you need based on your family dynamic and the frequency of out-of-town guests.

“For some homeowners, maintaining a property, especially an older one, is no longer attractive. That was the case for Sean Dougherty, age 51, and his wife, Juliana Atinaja-Dougherty, 56. In February, they moved into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Manhattan after living for more than 20 years in the 2,000-square-foot single-family ranch house in Clifton, N.J., where his wife grew up. “The house was run down in small but noticeable ways, and we kind of lost the emotional energy to fix it up for sale, so we priced it to sell,” says Sean, a senior vice president at a public relations firm, and Juliana, an attorney. “Plus, we always wanted to move back to New York at some point and having reached a point where we are more financially comfortable, it made sense.”

“Part of their decision was doing the math and figuring out they could afford to do it, especially given that the move to New York would increase their cost-of-living expenses substantially thanks to the rent they now pay. The other part was wanting to enjoy the entertainment and cultural experiences of big-city living.

“In my case, I wanted to do more in New York like seeing friends, taking in a Broadway show or going to a book reading without worrying about the frustrating commute back to New Jersey,” Sean says. Even still, they are happy with the move. “I put a ceiling on what we could afford, and I could still keep my job as my wife plans to retire soon,” Sean says. His best advice for those thinking about downsizing: “Don’t wait too long. It’s easy to live in the status quo of your life, but then you deny yourself other experiences.”

“While there is no one-size-fits-all answer for when it’s time to downsize, keeping these factors in mind will help pre-retirees and retirees make a smooth transition.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 18-25, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $549K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $899K.

2 new sales: Sundial East #Q404 2/2 listed at $929.9K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $950K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.059M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex $459K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $629K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $739K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $995K.

5 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $465K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $515K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $639K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $899K (our listing – photos below).

6 new sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $449K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $450K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 listed at $898K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 $487.5K; 1145 Shell Basket Ln 2/2 $639,875; 1137 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $700K; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $2.8M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 9226 Kincaid Ct now $129K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #22 2/2 $1.791M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.495M.

2 price changes: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $1.875M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $8.475M.

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.

memorial-day-clipart-Memorial-day-clip-art-5-2Especially on Monday, we honor those who served. Here’s hoping you have a nice weekend too.

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Happy New Year From Sanibel


We have enjoyed another week of nice weather here on Sanibel. Today and into the New Year we are expecting a “cool front” with morning lows in the 50’s (later next week to be in the 40’s) & the afternoons warming to the mid 60’s, low 70’s. Lots of people this week, walking, biking, & filling up the roads. Here at the office we know when it is 3:30, as the cars are stopped on the road out front.

polar bear plungeNew Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge

On Monday, January 1, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will hold its 18th annual meeting at “the crack of noon” at Tarpon Bay Beach (the south/gulf end of Tarpon Bay Road). The meeting will begin with the singing of the traditional Polar Bear anthem by the Cubbies (first-timers), Juveniles (one-time previous dippers) and seasoned Adult bears (those who took the plunge in previous years). Following the anthem, the Polar Bears will enter the “icy” gulf waters. Everyone is welcome. Chairs and coolers are optional.

Sanibel Library Earns Award

sanibel libraryThis year marks the fourth time the Sanibel public library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country by Library Journal. The rating is based on the number of people walking through the library’s doors, number of program attendees and the number of books checked out. The rating is also based on electronic material.

“Ding” Darling Announces 2018 Film Series

ding darlingThe sixth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series kicks off its bi-weekly showings this winter with a schedule of seven films that explore natural facets from pollinators and coral to wild Florida and the war on coal. It runs Jan. 10 through April 4.“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the free film showings in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center with sponsorship from Sanibel-Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.

Below are the season’s scheduled films. All films begin at 1 p.m. except the Jan. 24 film, which airs at 10a.m. A short discussion will follow each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched. For full descriptions of the films, please visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org

Jan. 10 – Wings of Life

Jan. 24 – Tapped

Feb. 7 – From the Ashes

Feb. 21 – Chasing Coral

March 7 – The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida

Mach 21 – Mission Blue

April 4 – STRAWS

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 22-29, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #F308 1/1 $439K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, White Sands #32 2/2.5 listed at $1.095M, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 listed at $1.299M (our Buyer).

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #A8 2/2 $347K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5299 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $539K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $699K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 now $898K.

3 new sales: 1394 Middle Gulf Dr half-duplex listed at $524.9K, 1943 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $649.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $430K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $635K, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $605K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 $1.25M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 $1.49M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $258K, 1817 Long Point Ln $399,555.

2 price changes: 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K, 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $169.5K.

No new or closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.085M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2.795M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $4.3M, 15867 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $4.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex listed at $1.749M.

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.

happy new year

Happy New Year!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

Veterans Day Weekend on Sanibel


Today On Island 11-10-17

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

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

At the Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

Fall Into Christmas

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

To Addendum Or Not to Addendum?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

Dock c

Dock at 734 Anchor Dr

 

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Getting Back to Normal on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that as we wrap up another work week, I am happy to report that Sanibel is “getting back to normal.” Plenty of storm debris remains piled roadsides, particularly on side streets, but steady removal continues – seven days a week – with area landscape looking better and better day-by-day. Many of the bike paths are cleared now too.

Below are before and after photos of the enormous tree that came down at the entrance of Casa Ybel Resort during Hurricane Irma. The 1st was taken September 12, the 2nd taken this morning, September 29. It’s great to see that they were able to salvage this beauty!

The huge tree and vegetation collection area on Island Inn Road is converting much of it to mulch which soon will be offered to the public. The City continues to post post-Irma progress reports on www.mySanibel.com. It’s worth mentioning again that City efforts and their communications both before, during, and after the storm have been remarkable.

A few snowbirds and away residents have returned early to personally access their properties. Luckily, little damage, other than tree/vegetation loss, has been reported.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoHere at the office, my closing that was delayed because of the storm, closed this week. I continue to work on resuscitating offers that were in the works during the hurricanes and was happy to be out showing a couple of condos this morning.

Teammate Dave held an Open House yesterday at Loggerhead Cay, usually a busy complex even in late summer/early fall, but it was very quiet there.

Thanks to everyone for their patience as the island recovers from Irma. Thankful we are that storms like this occur in the slow time of the year. Even so, we had good listing activity this week and see things picking up.

sancap GO MLS logoOverall inventory is low. The below table shows the statistics today from the island MLS. Prices are holding their own and increasing in many products. I bet the combination of early arrivals and northern weather already turning contributes to an early boost in “season” sales. The highest number of island sales traditionally are last quarter, followed by first quarter – or right around the corner. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

                                          Sanibel                           Captiva

No,      Avg $ Price         No.    Avg $ Price

CONDOS        

For sale 9/29                   80         704,202               19      1,278,361

Under contract               11          858,036              5        812,000

Sold 2017 thru 9/29       104      747,663                 27     624,933

Sold 2016                         143      717,768                 22      873,636

HOMES

For sale 9/29/17               110      1,453,940             28      3,551,940

Under contract                22        1,129,191             2        3,647,500

Sold 2017 thru 9/29         151      1,015,454            20       2,565,475

Sold 2016                           181      979,576               27       3,195,000

LOTS

For sale 9/29/17                 54       472,741                1        2,195,000

Under contract                  2         419,000                0        N/A

Sold 2017 thru 9/29          26       321,608                2        2,312,500

Sold 2016                            25       487,095               2        3,150,000

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoNo Caravan meeting this week at the Association of Realtors® as the summer every-other-week schedule continues until our Annual Meeting on Oct 26. Then, it reverts to every Thursday and continues through “season”.

The “Totes of Hope” packaged last Thursday were delivered and well-received in hard-hit areas in South Florida and the Keys over the weekend. Next week, the Communications and Public Relations Committee will finalize plans for an upcoming early November fundraiser for “Friends Who Care” as the Association continues their “Working Together to Make a Difference” campaign.

Re-openings

bleu rendezBleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro – Reopens for dinner at 5 p.m. on Thursday Oct 5.

Island Cow – Reopened this morning.

Sanibel Farmers Market – reopen for its 10th season on Sunday Oct 1 and will continue every Sunday through the winter from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s on the grounds of Sanibel’s City Hall and has grown to about 40 vendors. This year, Local Roots LLC, has added a 9th market to their busy schedule. This one will be at Captiva’s South Seas Resort every Tuesday from December 19 through April 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They expect to have 20 vendors at that market. Go to www.BuyLocalLee.com for a complete schedule of all their markets.

Traders Store & CafeTrader’s Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – reopens Monday Oct 1 for the annual Shell Museum Island Dinner fundraiser, this year called a “Cephaloparty” (A cephalopod is any mollusk of the class Cephalopoda, having tentacles attached to the head, including the cuttlefish, squid, nautilus, and octopus.) Tip your favorite celebrity at www.ShellMuseum.org.

Planning Ahead – Pickleball Classic

Pickelball classicThe 1st annual Sundial Beach Resort & Spa Pickleball Classic will be on the resort’s 12 new state-of-the-art courts on November 3-5. It will include men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles with skill and age-level placement. Contact the resort for more details https://sundialresort.com/play/pickleball-classic/

Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged: 30-year at 3.83%

associated-press-logoGood news for those needing a mortgage. The below article was posted yesterday by the Associated Press and reposted by Florida Realtors® on-line:

“Long-term mortgage rates were unchanged this week: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 3.83%; the 15-year home loan, popular among homeowners who refinance their mortgages, stayed at 3.13%, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.

“Rates on long-term home loans typically track the yield on 10-year Treasury notes, which barely budged this week.

“Two weeks ago, the 30-year mortgage hit a low for the year before bouncing back up last week. So far this year, the 30-year rate is running above last year’s average of 3.65%.

“Freddie Mac says the rate on adjustable five-year mortgages blipped up to 3.20%, from 3.17%. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

“The average fee for a 30-year mortgage rose to 0.6 point from 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year home loans remained at 0.5 point. The fee on an adjustable five-year mortgage rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 22-29, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sundial West #C306 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 $59K, Sanibel Moorings #612 2/2 $565K.

4 price changes: Seashells #40 2/2 now $354.9K, Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $589K (our listing)Sand Pointe #122 2/2 now $699K (our listing), Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 now $1.69M.

View 2.jpg

View from Pointe Santo #C34

 

3 new sales: Donax Village #3 2/2 listed at $438.5K, Blind Pass #F108 3/2 listed at $594.9K, Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 listed at $749K.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #F106 2/2 $385K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $683K.

HOMES

No new listings:

4 price changes: 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $499K, 714 Durion Ct 3/2 now $609K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $659K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.35M.

4 new sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $489K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 listed at $797.5K, 485 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $1.075M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 listed at $2.395M.

1 closed sale215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $630K (our Buyer).

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $975K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $620K.

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.

2017-09-22 Pink clouds2017-09-23 Sanibel morning

Until next Friday, wishing you happy days, nice weather, & fabulous sunrises, sunsets, & all times in-between.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Happy June on Sanibel/Captiva


sun & rainIt’s SanibelSusan reporting that in typical fashion, the islands’ 23rd Annual Sam Bailey Islander Night at Hammond Stadium Wednesday night again was rained out. After several weeks of beautiful weather, it should have been no surprise when the first big downpour of the rainy season began just as the parade was scheduled to start. It has happened many times before and June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season.

Continuing the summer trend, more showers are expected later today and through the weekend with all of us watching the tropical storm expected to develop in the gulf early next week. That certainly will not make next week’s vacationers happy, but may result in good shelling and more folks wanting to view property.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Activity-wise in the office, it has been quiet. Even the holiday weekend was very quiet, probably weather-related, as all days were fabulous for the beach. A few listings shown and some phone/email inquiries, but not many – certainly nothing like when it’s snowing somewhere!

Yesterday, The SanibelSusan Team was happy to receive a new listing at Beachcomber (gulf-front ~2600 sq. ft.) which will be posted in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service as soon as we receive a couple of clarifications from the sellers.

View 3.JPG

View from our new listing at Beachcomber #A102

 

May is always an in-between month here, post “high” season, but pre “summer” season. A quick snapshot of the islands’ May real estate sales show that it was not a month with much real estate action.

May Sanibel Sales

In May, were just five new Sanibel home sales with no contingencies (three inland priced under $530K, one on a deep-water canal (asking price $1.545M) and one bay-front in Ferry Landing (asking price $1.995M)).

Another 13 Sanibel homes went under contract with contingencies (four inland priced under $535K, five near the beach (priced from $569K to $600K), one in Beachview (asking $1.195M), one in Gulf Pines (asking $1.479M), one deep-water canal (asking $1.548M), and a unique one across the street from the beach (asking $1.595M)).

In May, Sanibel condos did not have as much action as homes. Just two Sanibel condos went under contract with no contingencies: a 1-bedroom at Sundial (asking $299K) and a recently-remodeled Lighthouse Point bay-front unit (asking $830K).

Another four condos went under contract with contingencies: a Seashells unit (asking $379K), a 1st floor Sanibel Moorings 2 bedrm with peek of gulf (asking $449K), a 3-bedrm Heron-model at The Sanctuary (asking $665K), and a beach-front 2-bedroom at Sanddollar (asking $870K).

During the same time, in May, just two Sanibel lots went under contract: one near beach (asking $244.9K) and one on the bayou (asking $1.295M). Both contracts have contingencies.

May Captiva Sales

In May on Captiva, four homes went under contract with contingencies (two at Sunset Captiva asking $885K and $995K, one gulf-front asking $3.998M, and one on Roosevelt Channel asking $4.8M).

Also in May, three Captiva condos in South Seas Plantation went under contract, all with contingencies. Asking prices ranging from a 1-bedroom Bayside Villas for $289K to a 2-bedroom Tennis Villas for $405K, to a Bayside Villas 3 bedroom for $629.9K

A Captiva gulf-front lot went under contract (with contingencies) in May too, asking price $4.999M.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation

ASSOC LogoWednesday, for the fifth year, SanibelSusan taught the Resort & Second-Home module to those Realtors® training to receive their Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist designation. This designation is a 12-part educational series, offered each summer by the local Association of Realtors. The coursework needs to be completed over a 2-year period and provides instruction to those looking to specialize in working the Sanibel/Captiva market.

2016 Resort ClassI authored the module that I teach, update it each year, and always enjoy the teaching experience – getting as much in return as I give. It was especially fun this year since my students ranged from some new Realtors® to those with many years of real estate experience, but in other parts of the country.

Here are my students adorned in the funny resort-wear they earned for answering questions correctly in my pop quiz.

1st National Seashell Day

As reported in Monday’s “Santiva-Chronicle”:

2016 National Seashell Day“As the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau said, it’s official. June 20 has been proclaimed National Seashell Day. The news is also out that the first National Seashell Day will be on Good Morning America.

“The VCB (Visitors Convention Bureau) already has a National Seashell Day page on its website. Visitors to the page can enter the “Shell Yeah! Sweepstakes,” for which the grand prize is three nights for four at Sanibel Inn, a Captiva Cruises shelling cruise to Cayo Costa and the chance to go shelling with Pam Rambo. The grand prize is enough to make any Sanibel sheller nod with approval.

“Rambo had the news about Good Morning America on her amazing blog iloveshelling.com. The blog says Ginger Zee, Good Morning America and ABC’s chief meteorologist, will be here on June 20. We don’t know the exact details yet other than it will be in the morning….

“The VCB’s idea for National Seashell Day will get the word out to people of all places about the wonders of shells on our beaches, which is good for anything having to do with shells. The VCB also hopes it will be a driver for tourism….”

Fishing Pier Rehab Project

sanibel fishing pier.jpgOn Tuesday next week (June 6), the Sanibel Fishing Pier at Lighthouse Beach Park will be closed temporarily due to a necessary rehabilitation project. Construction is expected to continue through August 2016.

Top 10 Outdoor Features, Where Most Are, & What They’ll Pay

realtor.comPosted in Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”, you will see Naples, FL on the list below. Buyers all over Southwest Florida like outdoor kitchens!

“As temperatures heat up, more home owners and buyers are taking a closer look at their home’s outdoor features. Realtor.com®’s research team took a look at 10 popular outdoor home features to find the premium that owners will pay. They also identified the regions of the country that are most likely to feature these popular outdoor amenities.

Amenity                        Premium           Where You’ll Most Likely Find Them

Tree houses                     5.2%                Asheville, N.C.

Gazebo                              7.6%                McAllen, Texas

Putting green                 11.4%               Phoenix

Hot tub                             11.8%               Bend, Ore.

Tiki bar                             13.8%               Key West, Fla.

Tennis court                   14.6%               Los Angeles

Outdoor fireplace           21.5%               Dallas, Texas

Outdoor kitchen             26.2%               Naples, Fla.

Private dock                     44.7%               Traverse City, Mich.

Infinity pool                      56%                 Kahului, Hawaii”

Red-Hot South Florida Home Prices Are Cooling Off

miami herald logoMuch like island Realtors® often look to activity in larger complexes and communities here as bellwethers of the local market, we also look to bigger East Coast communities to foretell what may be in the future. The below article is from the May 31 “Miami Herald”.

“So far in 2016, South Florida home prices are growing at the slowest pace since the real-estate market began to recover four years ago.

“Home prices in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties rose 6.2% between March 2015 and March 2016, according to the closely watched S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices. They grew 8.7% between March 2014 and March 2015, and at a double-digit clip for much of 2013 and 2014, fueled mainly by red-hot demand from foreign investors. But a strong dollar and troubled economies abroad have stymied the flow of cash into local real estate.

“Residential home sales fell in Miami-Dade in April, according to Realtors’ data. Weak demand could help make homes more affordable for locals — if wage growth keeps picking up and developers start building more units for the lower tiers of the market.

“The nation’s hottest housing markets are in Portland (12.3%), Seattle (10.8%), Denver (10%), San Francisco (8.5%) and Dallas (8.5%). Home prices in the Tampa area (7.6%) also grew faster than they did in Miami in March.”

Sanibel Prescribed Burns Begin Today

Sanibelcityseal logoAs described in an earlier update, Sanibel will have prescribed burns in six different areas this summer, so if you are on the island today do not be surprised if you smell smoke.

SCCF logoSCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the City of Sanibel are scheduled to perform a prescribed burn of about 19 acres of the Sanibel Gardens Preserve today. (That’s just west of Tarpon Bay Rd. on Island Inn Rd.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 27-June 3, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #8 1/1 $229K, Sandalfoot #5A1 2/2 $799K.

1 price change: Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1,163,999.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 listed at $399K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #E2 1/1 $347.5K, Loggerhead Cay #474 2/2 $489.9K, Donax Village #14 2/2 $505K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 732 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $1.395M.

5 price changes: 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $679K, 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 now $729K, 232 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.195M, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.449M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.75M.

3 new sales: 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 listed at $598K, 1245 Isabel Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.548M, 4257 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.495M

9 closed sales: 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $410K, 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 $475K, 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 1380 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $570K, 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $622K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $750K, 595 Birdsong Pl 4/2 $835K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.675M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 9426 Sage Ct $287K, 223 Robinwood Cir $299K, 2288 Starfish Ln $499K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $244.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3231 2/2 listed at $405K, Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 listed at $629.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

3 closed sales: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $855K, 15 Seascape Ct 3/2.5 $985K, 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 $4.225M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

rain‘til next Friday, here’s hoping the raindrops stay away & the sunsets continue like the one below!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

sanibel sunset pinterest.jpg

Mid-July Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


HybiscusIt was a week of reverse summer weather on the islands, mostly hot days but with daily showers in the mornings, rather than late afternoon. The only exception was yesterday when we had rain “off and on” pretty much all day. A similar summer forecast continues with humid 90-degree days, more showers, and high 70’s at night expected for the next week. The good news is the island is green and “blooming”.

Although the island is not as busy this week as during the two weeks either side of the July 4th holiday, our listings had more showings and our Multiple Listing Service reported a couple of sales. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS follows a couple of news items below, including a report about our July Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayThe SanibelSusan Team is busy finishing the annual update of our database. Since most of the “season” sales now are closed, we soon will be printing and mailing our island inventory list booklet.

This booklet is organized by island (Sanibel and Captiva), property type (condo, home, lot), and community or subdivision. It includes details on current inventory, as well as recent sales – good info whether you want to protect your investment, learn about the market, or if you are thinking of buying or selling. If you are not on our mailing list, but want to be, just give us a call or send us an email.

Though the last few weeks have been unusually slow, island inventory is low. Back in 2004, though that August was the month of several hurricanes, it also was one of my highest production months. Sometimes island real estate activity is driven by different outside elements including early fall weather somewhere or island-lovers remembering how the weather was back in their hometown the previous winter. Sales will pick up again so if you want to be up-to-date on the real estate happenings here, contact us now for your no-obligation copy of the booklet.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogo2015 Nominating Committee – Monday had me finishing up my obligations on the local 2015 Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee. We interviewed several applicants for two upcoming board vacancies and have submitted recommendations for officers and candidates to the current Board of Directors. Election will be at our October annual meeting.

July Membership Meeting – During the professional development portion of the July membership meeting yesterday were two speakers:

  • SCCF logoJenny Evans, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Native Plant Nursery Manager, updated us on the progress at the 28+acre Bailey Homestead Preserve property which SCCF acquired in 2011. She knew we have been wondering when it will open and what has been going on there. That is the parcel across the street from the Donax Street/Periwinkle Way intersection. The back 19 acres of the property, which go as far back as The Dunes subdivision, will be undeveloped for wildlife habitat, while the front 9 acres bordering Periwinkle and where the old homestead sits, will be open by this fall (they hope). This is where drivers-by have observed plenty of activity over the last few years.
  • SCCF native Plant nurseryJenny said that much of the land was covered with invasive exotics – not so much Brazilian pepper which has been mostly removed thanks to the island-wide City Brazilian Pepper Eradication Program enacted in 1996. But, rather, covered with what she called secondary exotics which had choked out the native vegetation and the resulting wildlife habitat. So, their focus has been on removing invasives, repairing the old homestead structure itself (thanks to the Sanibel Hammerhead carpenters), building a new rest room (was interesting that SCCF had the same permitting problems that others experience here when trying to improve older non-conforming structures), preparing the parking areas, and building/planting around a large pond. The Native Plant Nursery will eventually be completely moved to this location with their new site plan providing for a variety of sample garden areas followed by the plants for sale. There also will be an open pavilion for classes and presentations. Although the Bailey home will be open for viewing too, the focus of the preserve will be conservation.
  • Pond-Apple-Park-071614_largeEntrance to the property will be shared and is where Pond Apple Park parking area is. The interior Homestead Preserve road once inside the property runs parallel to Periwinkle Way, which is why observers have seen so much activity there. Already open is the Shipley Trail which connects two City parks, Roadside City Park on Periwinkle and Pond Apple Park/Trail which begins at the Chamber of Commerce. The trails are connected by the Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk which was built in partnership with SCCF and the City.
  • Jenny reminded our members that each new island property owner receives a free 1-year membership to SCCF. They can get a property visit from a Landscaping for Wildlife expert too, to help them join in SCCF’s mission.
  • Sanibelcityseal logoJames Evans, Sanibel’s Director of Natural Resources (& no relation to Jenny), further updated us on invasives and offered some excellent tips on what to look-out for when working with new Sanibel buyers. Unfortunately, his presentation was cut short because of time limits, so we hope to have him back again soon.

rpacRealtor® Political Action Committee – Our local Realtor® association was mentioned in the Florida Realtors® July PAC update which came out last week. Although state goals are based on a calendar year with a few months to go, it was great news to read the following:

“Another Milestone for Florida…Each year the Realtor community sets new goals and challenges for each other to surpass – 2015 is no different! This year, the Sanibel and Captiva Island Association of Realtors (SCIAR) has set a new standard by raising $41,875 for the PAC. While this may seem small to some of our larger boards around Florida it represents raising 1193% of their goal AND 100% participation of SCIAR membership; this is a first in Florida and potentially a first for the REALTOR community nationwide.

Congratulations to SCIAR on their success in 2015!”

Our Sanibel/Captiva Association believes in this PAC because we have seen direct results. Our contributions support cleaning waterways, beach renourishment, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, protecting against ordinances harmful to real estate, and electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights.

LCEC Reduces Rates Again

Lcec logoLCEC should put me on their payroll since I mention them so often, and it is always positive news. Here’s the latest from their July “News”.

“During the summer, electric costs can sometimes rise due to high temperatures and increased use of air conditioning. But for the second time this year, LCEC customers will see their bills going down thanks to a rate decrease that will go into effect July 1. LCEC is passing on savings from a reduction in the cost of power, resulting from a 2.1% rate decrease for residential customers. LCEC rates are the lowest amount electric cooperatives in Florida. LCEC rates fall 11.6% below the state average of all utilities.

“This is LCEC’s third rate reduction in the past 18 months. Last year, customers saw a reduction and earlier this year rates were reduced again. LCEC has not raised rates in the last seven years. We are committed to providing excellent service and continuing to maintain and upgrade the electric system while managing costs.”

Mayor Ruane Joins in Announcing Water Projects

Ruane & scottAs reported in the “Santiva Chronicle” yesterday:

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane joined Gov. Rick Scott in Bokeelia on Tuesday, July 14, to announce the funding of eight local projects within the Caloosahatchee watershed aimed at protecting and improving local water resources.

“Attending the announcement at the invitation of Gov. Scott, Ruane took note that watershed runoff accounts for more than 50% of the water volume that we receive annually and therefore is one of our greatest challenges to restoring the quality flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

““Our unprecedented collaborative efforts on all working together, State, local and regional governments has resulted in the funding of these important projects.” The $1.7 million in funding from the State of Florida for these projects will require a dollar to dollar match from Lee County.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Tennisplace E31 2/1.5 now $359K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $525K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #1B 2/2.5 now $650K.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed for $239K.

2 closed sales: Seascape #201 3/3 $1.705M, Seascape #205 3/3 $1.705M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 760 Windlass Way 3/2 $1.089M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/3 $3.795M.

2 price changes: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $450K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed for $495K, 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed for $625K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 listed for $779K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed for $999K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Sabal Sands Rd now $329K.

1 new sale: 1815 Ardsley Way listed for $197,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #161 3/3 $1.85M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 listed for $2.349M.

1 closed sale: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $8.6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17Until next week, keep the umbrella handy – or just wait a minute – that’s about how long it takes for the summer weather to change here on the islands!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan