September Weather Arrives on the Islands

It’s time for another SanibelSusan Friday update about Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It was a surprise on Tuesday afternoon when Sanibel’s electric service went out.

According to Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC), the outage was caused when an antenna atop a sailboat mast hit the main power line coming to the island. Thank you, LCEC for getting it back up and running in just an hour. With 90+degree temperatures that day, islanders did not want to be without AC for long. Most summers, there are a few minor outages, but this year, there have only been a handful.

Today’s surprise was a noticeable change in the weather. Local forecasters are joking that it is because fall begins on Monday. Little, if any, rain is expected in the upcoming week. With low humidity, temperatures today are expected to only hit 87 degrees F. That is a welcome change. It has been in the low 90’s for weeks.

On Monday, nighttime temperatures are expected to go down into the high 60’s/low 70’s. It has been many months since it has been that cool. Late September usually equates to snowbirds on the move. The SanibelSusan Team hopes that means more sales will follow.

September Island Updates

There is always a flurry of activity just before the snowbirds get back. Here are some changes that I noticed during my travels this week.

Casa Ybel Resort – The new entrance is almost done at Casa Ybel Resort. It was damaged two years ago during Hurricane Irma when their huge specimen tree on the bridge going into the resort came down. Over the last few weeks, landscaping crews have been there working on a new design. This week their new sign went up, work on the bridge and roadway completed, and the new landscaping went in. The design includes stonework with waterfalls now framing the entrance and many tropical plants and palms. What a special welcome it creates!




Dairy Queen – Has been closed and cordoned off with construction tape all week. No word on when it is reopening.

Mariner Pointe – Has a new fresh white sign at their entrance. It must be a temporary one, since their street number actually is “760”.

Saint Kilda – Community is getting water main replacement according to Island Water’s Fall 2019 “IWA Pipeline”. The project is upgrading the original developer-installed water main with higher strength pipe and new fire hydrants. Periodic IWA project updates may be found on their website under “Latest Capital Project”.

SCCF Nature Center Closed for Renovations – The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center is closed for educational programs until further notice due to ongoing interior renovations. The administrative offices remain open for meetings and other business activities. The trails behind the Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd., also will stay open for visitors. While renovations are underway, SCCF events and educational programs will be held at the Bailey Homestead Preserve.” Detailed information about the open trails at SCCF’s six public preserves may be found at SCCF’s Native Landscape and Garden Center is maintaining its regular retail schedule at the Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way. Call 239-472-1932 for additional information about the Garden Center’s operating hours and upcoming programs.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

In addition to the phones, roadways, beaches, and shops being super quiet, the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast yesterday, was lightly attended. Before the property announcements, attendees heard from the four candidates running for our three board vacancies. The election results will be announced at our annual meeting in October. Good luck to Realtors Greg Demaras, Pfeifer Realty Group; Mike McMurray, Royal Shell Real Estate; Liz Podolsky, McCallion & McCallion Realty; and Janka Varmuza, VIP Realty Group.

Meeting speaker was Angela Melvin, founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. Angela like her family before her, grew up in Fort Myers. Her mother, Valerie, died in a car accident in 1987 when Angela was just 10 years old, sparking her passion to find a place that could help children in similar situations. After college and working as a broadcast journalist around the country and then a Communications Director on Capitol Hill, Angela spent several years working for and sitting on boards for various non-profits including the Wendt Center for Grief and Loss in Washington, DC. She returned to Fort Myers in 2013 and shortly after, founded Valerie’s House.

Valerie’s House is the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. With locations now in Fort Myers, Naples, and Punta Gorda, Valerie’s House is a place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love. At Valerie’s House, children know others their own age, and they learn that loss doesn’t have to limit their dreams. In addition to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, Valerie’s House is a family of others grieving. More info at

Upcoming Event Reminders

International Coastal Cleanup is tomorrow, Saturday, Sept 21, from 9 a.m. until noon. Thirteen clean-up locations will participate throughout Lee County. The island Realtors® team will be working on Causeway Island B. Last year, the cleanup attracted 1,546 volunteers who removed 3,358 pounds of litter and debris from waterways. To participate, please register at

USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships for the 4th year will be at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, September 27-29. Age Divisions: Open, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, singles & doubles. Registration deadline is Sep 25 at using tournament ID 150046619.

Farmers Markets are beginning soon. Local Roots has updated their website with the market start dates. Wondering which is open when? Here’s a quick summary.

  • Sundays on Sanibel – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 6 to May 31 (including Easter Sunday) on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. This will be the 12th season for the Sanibel market. It has something for everyone: fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, honey, meats, cut flowers, prepared meals, mini-donuts, cupcakes, bagels, guacamole, pickles, cheeses, baked goods, native plants, artisan foods, local crafts, organics, and more. Shoppers are encouraged to bring dry and canned foods to the market booth. They are donated each week to F.I.S.H., the islands’ food pantry. The market is a plastic-straw-free zone, is a non-smoking area, and only service dogs are allowed in the vendor areas. New to the market this season, vendors will not use single-use plastic bags. Reasonably price reusable bags are for sale at the market booth or bring your own. Follow the signs for parking. All handicap parking is at City Hall. For more information on this and other SWFL Farmers Markets, go to
  • Mondays at Fenway South – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Jan 6 to Mar 30 at Jet Blue Stadium
  • Tuesdays on Captiva – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Nov 5 to Apr 28 at South Seas Island Resort
  • Wednesdays at Lakes Park – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 2 to Apr 29 at Lakes Regional Park
  • Thursdays at Coconut Point – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Oct 3 to Apr 30 at Coconut Point Mall
  • Thursdays at River District – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-‘round at Centennial Park
  • Fridays at Boca Grande Farm & Fish Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Dec 20 to Apr 24 at Wheeler Rd ball field
  • Fridays at Sanibel Outlets – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Dec 13 to Mar 27 at Sanibel Outlets
  • Saturdays in Bonita Springs – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Oct 5 to Apr 25 at The Promenade

Seems like yesterday when Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura started Local Roots and organized their first market in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens shopping center. Talk about success! What wonderful contributions they have made to us living in Southwest Florida. Did I mention, they are summer pickleball stars too!

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

As much as social media today keeps us connected, I swear sometimes it is our own worst enemy. There were so many differing reports about beach conditions following Hurricane Dorian and so many local reporters only talking about the bad stuff (ugh), that I did stops at a few beaches yesterday as I was on my real estate rounds. East-end and mid-island beaches were beautiful. This morning, I stopped at the bayside beach at the end of Bailey Road and it likewise is clear and breezy. Some of my photos below.

Beach at the Donax Street access on 9/19/19

Overlooking Sand Carlos Bay at the end of Bailey Rd on 9/20/19

To clear up misconception and confirm conditions often change, below is the report posted online yesterday by the City.

Large Sections of Sanibel Beaches Currently in Excellent to Very Good Conditions

Frank Spinuzza. 09/19/2019 05:58 pm

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

At this time large stretches of Sanibel beaches are in excellent to very good conditions.  Algae deposits continue to be dynamic and ephemeral, likely driven by wind conditions, currents, tides, and/or other factors.

Residents & visitors are reminded that paid beach parking meter receipts are not restricted to the beach parking lot in which purchased.  Paid, unexpired beach parking is transferrable to any other of the other City of Sanibel’s public beach parking lots.

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

City staff is currently compiling the results of the in-water algae removal pilot project conducted on Tuesday 9/10/19. The project, authorized for 4 days, was discontinued after 1 day due to insufficient algae at both permitted locations. Equipment remains staged on-island in the event conditions at one of the two currently permitted locations (Lighthouse Beach Park & Gulfside City Park) as warranted and are suitable to continue the pilot.

Results will be presented to City Council at a future meeting as well as the upcoming Tourism Development Commission meeting for reimbursement.

We are presently experiencing very dynamic changes to our beaches based upon changing wind directions, even the course of the same day, conditions earlier today were observed as:

  • Excellent conditions with little to no algae deposits are present at Sanibel’s east end beaches from Lighthouse Beach Park to Gulfside City Park and at Blind Pass Beach Park on Sanibel’s west end.
  • Light to moderate deposits are present Beach Accesses 1, 2,5 & 7 on West Gulf Drive.
  • Moderate to heavy deposits are present at Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Turner Beach (Captiva).

Even at locations with heavier algae deposits, little to no odor is currently present.

While shorebird nesting season is officially complete, numerous shorebirds are present and actively foraging in algae deposits.  Seabirds and wading birds are also present.

Sea turtle nesting season continues through Oct 31st.  As of 9/15/19, 60 active nests remain.

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

(The City report contains photos taken from various island locations, check them out at The City’s 9/19 report ends with the below info.)

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:

For more information on Sanibel and other Lee County beach conditions, click on these links:
Florida Healthy Beaches
Mote Marine Lab Beach Conditions Map


Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 13-20, 2019



No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #E108 3/2 now $1.275M, La Playa #1B 3/2 now $1.399M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I104 1/1 $456K (our buyer, under contract last week, closed this week), Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 $468K.

(Our Sundial buyer went under contract last week & closed this week. It’s not often that a closing can happen that quickly, but thanks to Stacy at Sundial West & Michelle at Barrier Island Title, it got it done! The SanibelSusan Team thanks them!)


2 new listings: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $550K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.579M.

1 price change: 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $755K.

3 new sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $429.9K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 listed at $675K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.59M.

4 closed sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $628.5K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $825K, 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.1065M, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.205M.


Nothing to report.



No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 now $377.9K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2426 2/2 listed at $537.5K.

1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.


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 a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Easter Blessings Abound On Sanibel

It’s SanibelSusan, reporting about another fun week on the islands. Many end-of-season events are wrapping things up and the spring weather here has been perfect – bright sunny warm breezy days, mostly in the 70’s, with gorgeous sunsets, followed by mild evenings.

Susan Yard 03-18-16


Lots of families and visitors are here on spring breaks and Easter vacations, so there has been lots of roadway traffic. Bike paths are busy too. Adding to that, Vice President Pence arrived yesterday and is expected to be here until next Friday enjoying Sanibel. (My lips are sealed as to which client’s home he is visiting.)

We’ve had plenty of action in the office too, with sales processing toward closings, others in-the-works, and our listings getting good action. After a few news items, below is the activity reported this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

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

Congressman Francis Rooney – It was standing room only at 8 a.m. yesterday at the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting. That’s because the speaker was Congressman Francis Rooney who came to update us on several important issues that affect our business.

arter rooney corace 03-30-18

Association affiliate member Dave Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, Congressman Rooney, & 2017 Association President Dustyn Corace

SanCap Mtg 03-29-18

Rooney is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 19th congressional district which covers parts of Lee and Collier counties. He lives in Naples where he and his family have a base of diversified international group of companies that have created many jobs and economic opportunities in SW Florida and throughout the U.S. He also served many years as an U.S. ambassador.

His down-to-earth presentation cut right to the chase, explaining how the fight for water quality continues with good progress made in recent legislation, but often without the necessary appropriations. Attendees including Realtors®, business affiliates, and local leaders were encouraged to push with property owners to also contact their congressional leaders, not just here, but in other states to likewise recognize the importance of this resource and what must be done and funded to ensure its continuity. Segments from his pitch were included in a TV report last night on “water quality” that appeared on Wink News.

Congressman Rooney also briefly mentioned how the Federal flood insurance program has been extended until July. But, since it is now out of the federal budget package, could be in jeopardy. (You can be sure that local, state, and national Realtors® organizations are closely following that too.)

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® Honor Society – At the same meeting, five members of the local association were recognized by Florida Realtors® for achieving 2017 Honor Society. I am one of the lucky five – recognized for making the achievement for the 19th year.

FishFood for F.I.S.H. – Realtors® and attendees were reminded that in April the Association is collecting non-perishable food items to help F.I.S.H. of San-Cap replenish their food pantry which often gets low when the island thins out. Snowbirds and owners heading home for the summer are reminded to drop items at F.I.S.H. or call your Realtor® or SanibelSusan Realty. We will gladly pick your items up and get them delivered to the food pantry – or drop them off here at 2242 Periwinkle Way, Suite 3.

Upcoming Eventseaster61

  • 24th Annual Spring Festival – tomorrow March 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. hosted by The Children’s Education Center of the Islands, held at the Community Park, across the street from SanibelSusan Realty.
  • Easter Egg Hunt – tomorrow March 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Church. In addition to the hunt – for 2,500 pre-filled eggs, there will be games, crafts, bounce house, storytelling, & free lunch.
  • 7th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza – tomorrow March 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Island Inn, both inside and outside activities (those inside at Traditions on the Beach).
  • BIG ARTS Chorus Spring Concerts – Wednesday April 4 and Thursday April 5 at 7 p.m. at Schein Performance Hall. It usually sells out, so get tickets at SanibelSusan is in the alto section.

Living Shoreline Approved Along Woodring Road

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel Planning Commission meeting, approval was given for a project between the City of Sanibel and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to create a living shoreline along the eroded section of Woodring Road right-of-way. According to a report in the “Island Sun”:

us fISH & WILDLIFE LOGO“The project seeks to rebuild approximately 170 linear feet of existing rip-rap and stabilize approximately 710 linear feet of existing vegetated shoreline by the installation of “living shoreline”, an erosion control structure comprised of rip-rap, concrete pipes and “reefballs” …which provide additional protection from wave energy created by wind, waves, and boat wakes…The City has budgeted $200,000 for the project, which will likely go out for bids in late April, then be brought before Sanibel City Council in May or June…once approved, the project would be completed this summer in 30 to 45 days….”

Great American Cleanup – Sanibel Canals

Here’s a little scoop from Facebook:

kEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL“Join Coastal Keepers and the Ocean Tribe Paddlers on Saturday, April 21st for The Great American Cleanup, an initiative created by Keep America Beautiful. This is a paddle-based cleanup, so we will travel through Sanibel’s east end canals via paddlecraft, gathering litter along the way. If you do not have a paddlecraft, Ocean Tribe Paddlers has a limited number of loaner paddleboards and kayaks available.

“We will meet at Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus at 8 AM for a briefing, then divide into small groups before driving to the Sanibel Boat Ramp to launch our vessels. Parking is available there for a small fee. All cleanup materials will be provided. After the event, participants are invited to return to Sanibel Sea School for refreshments.

“To register for The Great American Cleanup, please go to and choose Sanibel Canals as your location. We kindly ask that you register online in advance to help our friends at Keep Lee County Beautiful measure participation. To reserve a paddleboard or kayak, please contact before the event.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 23-30, 2018



2 new listings: Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $760K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $799K.

5 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $699K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $729K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 now $779K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 now $899K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.435M.

5 new sales: Seashells #42 2/2 listed at $379.9K, Sundial West #F306 1/1 listed at $465K, Sundial East #P204 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $968.5K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 listed at $1.045M.

5 closed sales: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $288K, Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $274K, Sanibel Seaview #C2 3/3 $920K, Loggerhead Cay #134 2/2 $935K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $1.295M.


5 new listings: 8991 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 $875K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 $895K, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 $1.38M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.699M, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.495M.

14 price changes: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $515K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $599K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $659K, 236 Hurricane Ln 2/3 now $689K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $699K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 now $879.5K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $949.9K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.099M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.145M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.155M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 now $1.159M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.649M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.894M.

11 new sales: 1438 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $379.9K, 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 listed at $469K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $609K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 727 Birdie View Pt 3/2 listed at $779K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 239 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $998K (our listing), 330 East Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.15M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $1.195M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 listed at $1.875M.

8 closed sales: 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $360K, 1425 Causey Ct 4/3 $660K, 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $675K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $830K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $885K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 $885K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 $875K, 4649 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 $2.45M.


2 new listing: 978 Main St $184.9K, 2288 Starfish Ln $549K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 6027 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $239.8K.

1 closed sale: 2998 Singing Wind Dr $150K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $399.9K.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #302 3/3 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $975K.

No closed sales.


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-easter4Happy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate & September on Island

It is SanibelSusan – the lone one at SanibelSusan Realty today following a week of September quiet and more summer-like weather. Gulf waters are warm and clear, shell mounds are big, and the boating had been amazing with the occasional summer showers staying mostly inland this week, or at least inland until after dark.

2016-09-23 CLouds.jpg

Long-time (20-year) visiting Swiss client friends were in my office earlier today remarking that they have photographed the most beautiful sunsets this week. They viewed their first-ever green flash too. I am still waiting to see one.


Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® New Member Orientation

Sanibel realtors logoI participated in the Association’s new member orientation on Tuesday, where our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs urged the newbies to get involved by joining committees and aspiring to become part of the leadership team. It is always interesting to hear what new Realtors® did pre-real estate. Usually several are seasoned sales associates who sold in other parts of the country before coming to SW Florida. This group included a recent college graduate, and several professionals who changed careers (like me) to get here before they are too old to enjoy it. Those have included an engineers, teachers, attorneys, nurses, and an occasional artist or musician.

Continuing Education

Wednesday and Thursday, I completed the 14-hours of continuing education required to renew my Florida real estate license. Years ago, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® worked with educators to prepare a class curriculum. It was approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission so sales associates and brokers here can complete these 2-year requirements without driving over the causeway or taking on-line classes. The class is revised and updated every two years.

Day 1, from 9-5, was instructed by Chuck Bonamer, and in three parts: Core Law; Security and Risk Management on the Internet; and Essentials of an Effective Web Presence. Thankfully Chuck Bonamer is one of the most in-demand instructors in Florida, one of those upbeat individuals who loves what he does and does it so well. He is a Realtor® Emeritus too (that’s 40 years plus). His active role in education at the state/national level and work in litigation, coupled with a son in the real estate internet business, keep him savvy, and his material relevant.

SCCF logoMy favorite part of our continuing ed is that Kristie Anders, Director of Education at SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), is a state-approved instructor for the environmental segment of the curriculum. If any of you have taken a profession’s continuing education, I bet many will agree that much of the material covered is stuff that you will rarely, if ever, use. In this environmental segment, we learn things we really use – and use frequently – things that make us better island ambassadors.

2016-09-22-survey-baileyDay 2, from 8-4, with Kristie, began at the 28-acre SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve. It was a great opportunity to peek back in history, see the latest restoration, tour the grounds and buildings, and hear about the process of its being.

A highlight is the windmill that operated the well that provided water to this Bailey family home that was built in the late 1800’s.

2016-09-22-windmillHard to believe that Mary Bailey moved here with just her three sons and without ever visiting the island. It was a full year before they had a home to live in. (Today, it is one of only ten historic buildings on the island.)

The Native Landscapes and Garden Center (formerly Native Plant Nursery) has moved to the Bailey Homestead Preserve, as has SCCF’s shop.

The gardens illustrate what is best grown in different environmental areas of the island. They offer free advice, sell plants and mulch (and deliver), and more.2016-09-22-garden-ctr

From the Homestead, we traveled to SCCF’s Board Room where their Natural Resource Policy Director, Rae Ann Wessel was in the audience to field questions on the latest federal, state, and local happenings regarding “clean” water and the Everglades restoration. If you haven’t signed the “Now or Neverglades” declaration, it is easy to do online at

2016-09-22-turtlesIn the Nature Center, we heard about the island’s water supply, where it comes from and how it is processed at Island Water. Then we got up close and personal with an endangered indigo black snake and some local tortoises when we ran into SCCF’s Wildlife and Habitat Management Director, Chris Lechowicz. He heads the Pine Island Sound Eastern Indigo Snake Project, Diamond Terrapin Project, and Box Turtle Project.

After some dip-netting along SCCF’s wetlands, we traveled to Captiva where we boarded “Playtime” which is a 45’ catamaran out of McCarthy’s Marina with Captiva Cruises. As we headed up the channel, we passed the J.N. “Ding” Darling cottage on pilings over the water. He loved it – not his wife!

2016-09-22-dingWith Dr. Rick Bartleson from SCCF’s Marine Lab on board, from there, we headed to RECON Station #39 which is out in Pine Island Sound off Redfish Pass.

2016-09-23-reconThere phone equipment sends data back to the lab every three hours (like “E.T., phone home”). It provides some of the best local weather info – way more accurate than the weather reported from news stations in tall buildings in downtown Ft Myers. Go to if you want to check it out.

Since our classwork is time-sensitive when we docked at Cayo Costa, we only had time to quickly cross the boardwalk to the beach and back.  The photo below is on Cayo Costa beach – likely how Sanibel used to be.


During the boat trip, Kristie covered life in the estuary, development on the islands, and more on island wildlife flora & fauna. So the next time, I am out showing property, you can be sure there will be talk of protecting the sea grasses; bald eagles, hawks, pelicans, and kites; sea turtle nests and coyotes; puffer fish, trigger fish, and other critters from our waterways. (Photo here showings the beautiful afternoon weather, looking toward Cabbage Key and Useppa Island.)


history-galleryThe class finished at the Captiva Historical Gallery which is within the Captiva Community Center, next to the library.

Constructed to resemble the inside of the old mail boat “Santiva”, viewing this mini-museum is fun and quick. Free too. Photo to the right shows the gallery.

The History of Sanibel’s CHR

Though I have lived full-time on Sanibel for over 24 years, I did not know the entire history of CHR (Community Housing & Resources) until I read it in their fall newsletter. I bet they don’t mind that I repeat it here. It’s a wonderful real estate story.

chr-logo_main“Beginning in 1978, a group of volunteers from Sanibel and Captiva formed with a goal to provide affordable housing in support of the growing island workforce. Community Housing and Resources was formed, and the organization became a 501(c)(3) in 1979.

“CHR’s first effort a providing housing was to secure an old cottage relocated to a lot on Sanibel Island. CHR held a lottery to select who got to live in the house. The chosen couple were obligated to care for the property and when it was sold, CHR would get 20% of the proceeds. The couple ended up living there for 17 years.

“In 1983, the City of Sanibel was working on their tactics to implement the affordable housing policies contained in the Land Use Plan that was written when Sanibel was incorporated. Thanks to very dedicated and persuasive CHR board members, CHR’s model program was developed and pitched to the City, who in response created a housing foundation and hired CHR to fulfill that function. CHR was also granted funding to hire their first executive director. They hired Dorothy Newman who had extensive experience in housing, especially in federal programs. That year she generously donated her entire salary back to CHR (approximately $20K).

“Under Newman’s leadership, the first project developed was land given to CHR by Sam and Francis Bailey. Local company Mariner Properties donated several cottages that were then rebuilt by local builders and turned into two duplexes and one single-family home. It is now known as Beach Road.

“The next property to be completed was at Sanibel Highlands on Whitehall Road, which was finished in 1990, the same year that the unit located at Rabbit Road was acquired. Quickly after, additional land across from the Casa Ybel Resort, a former airstrip, was proposed to be the home of a new golf course. When the City turned down this proposal, the land became zoned for houses and CHR was given a portion of the land to develop into family housing. This became known as Airport Way, which officially became home to residents in 1992.

“CHR then got to work on their next project, Mahogany Way. The land was purchased in 1991 from funds from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and a loan from the City secured by required contributions from the developers of The Sanctuary. Construction costs were financed by CHR’s consortium with seven local banks and Mahogany Way’s 14 units officially opened in Spring 1993. CHR also purchased its four units located in Lake Palms on Wooster Lane in 1992 and 1993 by means of a Community Development Block Grant.

“In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, CHR developed the portion of its program dedicated to serving long-time senior residents on the island, represented by the senior-only property of Casa Mariposa which was opened in 2001. This property is city-owned and backs up to protected preserve land.

“In 2003, CHR agreed on a debt for land swap with the City of Sanibel. CHR-owned properties, Beach Road, Sanibel Highlands, Airport Way and Mahogany Way, were traded ot the City to erase debt. The City now owns the land these properties are located on and CHR leases the land back.

“The Woodhaven property, which was sold to the city by a local land developer, is a 12-unit complex that was completed in 2005.

“CHR’s Riverview complex, which is a two-story, 10-unit building, was purchased in 2009. That same year, CHR acquired a single dwelling located at Algiers Beach as well as opened its complex of duplexes located at Centre Street. Centre Street is now home to eight of CHR’s Limited Equity Ownership (LEO) properties. The other LEO properties are located at Sanibel Highlands (Whitehall Road) and Beach Road.

“Continued funding from grants, private donors, and most significantly, resident rental income, has enabled CHR to continue to offer affordable housing options to the people of Sanibel for nearly 40 years.”

Note: “CHR’s LEO program allows qualified workers of Sanibel to purchase affordable housing on the island. The purchasers of LEO properties own their unit, but the land continues to be owned by CHR, similar to a condo purchase. When the owner is ready to sell, they must sell it back to CHR at a predesignated price.”

Go to for more info.

Sanibel Budget Approved

Sanibelcityseal logoOn Wednesday, City Council unanimously approved Sanibel’s new budget which was mentioned in last week’s update. As posted today online at the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“We are coming back from an historic low in 2013 while continuing to drop the millage rate,” said Finance Director Steven Chaipel regarding property values.

“Less than 15% (14.9%) of a Sanibel resident’s tax bill goes to Sanibel with Lee County accounting for 26.2%, Lee County Schools 45.2% and independent special districts 13.7%.

“Tied to the budget are recent ordinances raising the non-resident season beach parking decals 10%, modest increases in fees at the Recreation Center and a restoration of building and development permits that have been waived since the economic downturn of 2008. Also recently approved were 3% increases in sewer and water reclamation fees…

“Wednesday’s budget hearing and final vote was the last in a series of budget hearings and committee meetings that make up the annual budget process….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 16-23, 2016



1 new listing: Tennisplace #E33 2/1.1 $329.5K

1 price change: Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 now $624.9K (our listing, photos below)

No new or closed sales.


5 new listings: 970 Palm St 3/2 $525K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $629.9K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $899K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.299M, 1052 Whisperwood 3/3 $1.489M.

2 price changes: 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 now $589K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.88M.

3 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $369K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 listed at $699K, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 listed at $1.398M.

No closed sales.


No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 listed at $327K

No closed sales:


No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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


As the base of the windmill at SCCF’s Bailey Homestead Preserve

Enjoy your weekend…until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 100 Years Florida Realtors!

SanibelSusan here with some scoop from the Florida Realtors 100th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meetings in Orlando.


After some news, Elise, our SanibelSusan Team Listing Coordinator has added the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Teammate Dave is out in the field this afternoon, opening a listing for a viewing and then continuing to work with some prospects who started their home search with one of our listings yesterday. As our Closing Coodinator, he says all is on track this week with the progress on our sales in process. It sure works having a flexible well-versed team.

It was a week of activity during what is usually a quiet time on the islands.

Florida Realtors 2016 Convention & Trade Expo


With some pals from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc at last night’s concert featuring Party on the Moon

I participated in the Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee meeting this morning. There are changes coming for the 2017 FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar contract, mostly related to financing contingencies and when deposits go “hard”. Changes in Federal banking regulations have made this process more cumbersome, but Florida has made great strides in improving their contracts. I have seen a lot of good changes during my 18 years attending these meetings. Another takeaway is that so far this year, the “as is” contract, which allows a buyer to walk away, has been used more than 80% of the time. We see that contract used more in our area too.


Event co-chairs Nancy & Deborah with Jay Leno!

The General Session Keynote speaker today was Jay Leno. If possible, I think he is funnier in person. Entertained us for a solid hour plus just talking off the cuff. He ended by giving special recognition to the many charities in Florida that provide housing assistance. Offered a tour any time of his 250+vehicle auto collection in LA to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to these charities. When the bidding got up to $5K, he offered the same to anyone else at the same price. They had already raised $30K when I left the ballroom. Thank you, Jay Leno!
Tomorrow are Professional Standards Forum, Resort & 2nd Home Specialists Forum, and our District meetings in preparation for the Board of Directors meeting on Sunday morning.
Thanks to technology, we convention attendees also have an eye on the weather. Looks like the tropical disturbance between Cuba and the Bahamas has broken up some and is only going to bring rain to Southwest Florida, but conditions are right for redevelopment, so I will continue to follow it. Many of us will be driving home on Sunday so hope for good conditions.

Paul McCarthy – Captiva Cruises

imageWe were sadden this week to hear of the sudden passing of Captiva Cruises’s founder and island icon, Paul McCarthy. He instilled a desire to do more for the community in many, so his spirit lives on. His support toward furthering the education of island Realtors was quiet, but always appreciated. RIP, Paul.

Island Happening & Upcoming Events

Dunes Golf & Tennis Club – Recently reopened after a major summer renovation of the greens and bunkers. They are offering a $40 introductory rate for tee times until September 5.

BIG Arts Community Chorus – The music for fall/winter performances is in our singers hands – though it’s a little odd singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs in August. Dates for upcoming events are posted under the above “Upcoming Island Events” tab.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2016

No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: Sandpebble #3D 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 listed at $1.595M, Somerset #A302 3/2.5 listed at $1.951M.
4 closed sales: Colonnades #C8 1/1 $218.5K, Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $510K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 $915K.

3 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 $499K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $1.295M.
4 price changes: 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1429 Jamiaca Dr 3/3 now $749K, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $870K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.295M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 $433K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 $1.15M.

No new listings.
1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $299K.
No new or closed sales.

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 $327K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $619K.
No new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 $4.2M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.795M.
1 closed sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $3.299M.

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.)

Until next Friday…wishing good weather & clearing sailing to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Summer & Ospreys, oh my…

It is Susan reporting that it has been another “quiet” week on the islands. No Association of Realtors® caravan meeting yesterday, but the activity in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days follows a few news items below.

First a few photos  from our friend, Scott, who shares his pictures with us – for the blog. These ospreys love his dock! Thank you, Scott!

Sea Turtle Nests Break Record on East Sanibel

kemp turtleFollowing up on last week’s post about sea turtles, SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) blog on Wed, July 13, posted the following:

“Today SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program confirmed that Sanibel’s East End has broken the record for nest numbers since we began recording. We officially have 122 loggerhead nests on the East End.

“2015 was the previous record holder with 120 nests. Prior to that, the average for nests on the East end was 38 per year! We are having an excellent season!

“Here’s how you can ensure all those nests, hatchlings, and momma’s stay safe:

  • Respect all staked nests.
  • Turn off all lights – Nesting females and hatchlings primarily emerge after dark so remember to turn off all lights. Sea turtles use the brightest horizon to navigate towards the water. Any artificial lighting will cause confusion and steer turtles in the wrong direction. This includes beachfront lighting, flash lights, flash photography, and even iPhones.
  • Remove all beach furniture and toys – Clear everything off the beach from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. Obstacles on the beach can cause nesting females and hatchlings to become entangled.
  • Fill in all holes on the beach – if you dug a hole on the beach please fill it in. Nesting females and hatchlings can fall into holes, causing them to be vulnerable to predators.
  • Never approach a nesting sea turtle – if approached the sea turtle will likely abandon her nesting attempt

sea-turtle-eggsLoggerhead Sea Turtle Facts

  • Loggerheads are one of seven species of sea turtles in the world
  • Nesting/hatching season occurs from April 15 through October 31
  • Adult loggerheads can grow to more than 3-feet long and weight 200 to 350 lbs
  • A female loggerhead may nest around 3-6 times per season
  • Each nest contains 100 or more leathery ping-pong ball sized eggs
  • Incubation takes about 55 to 65 days depending on sand temperature
  • It may take 30 years or more for loggerhead hatchlings to reach maturity.”

2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate

realtor logoThe National Association of Realtors® (NAR) just issued the results of the annual survey by their Research Division which measures the share of U.S. residential real estate sales to international clients. The report divides those international or foreign clients into two types:

  • Non-resident foreigners who are non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the U.S. They typically purchase for investment, vacations, or other visits of less than six months.
  • Resident foreigners who also are non-U.S. citizens, but are recent immigrants (or in the country for less than two years) or temporary visa-holders residing for more than six months for professional, educational, or other reasons.

The report contains some interesting information. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “Amid slower economic growth in many countries and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, fewer non-resident foreigners purchased U.S. residential properties while resident foreigners stepped up their purchases. Meanwhile more U.S. domestic clients searched for properties abroad…
  • Foreign buyers purchase $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 – March 2016, a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period…
  • Non-resident foreigners accounted for 41% of foreign buyers while resident foreigners made up 59%. In past years, the number of foreign buyers was split almost evenly between resident and non-resident foreign buyers…
  • Foreign buyers typically purchase more expensive properties…
  • 45% of foreign buyers who purchased residential property came from China ($27B), Canada ($8.9B), India ($6.1B), the United Kingdom ($5.5B), and Mexico ($4.8B)…
  • Non-resident foreign buyers made up the bulk of buyers from Canada and the United Kingdom while resident foreign buyers came from China, India, and Mexico…
  • Although foreigners purchased property nationwide, five states accounted for 51% of total residential property purchases: Florida (22%), California (15%), Texas (10%), Arizona (4%), and New York (4%)…
  • 72% of non-resident foreigner buyers purchased the property as a vacation and/or residential rental property for investment while 21% of resident foreign buyers purchased the property for vacation and/or rental use…
  • 50% of reported transactions were all cash…
  • Previous client contacts and referrals accounted for 47%….”
  • Florida and Arizona attracted buyers from Latin America, Europe, and Canada who tend to purchase properties in warm climates for vacation purposes…
  • The outlook for international real estate activity in the U.S. remains positive. The decline in the value of the British Pound following Brexit is likely to mean fewer buyers from the United Kingdom. However, businesses and foreign real estate investors may choose to stay away from the United Kingdom, and the United States could become an attractive alternative.”

Corps to Cut Back Lake O Releases

SCCF logoAs reported on line yesterday (July 14) by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Some good news — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted the request made during this week’s Periodic Scientists Call to reduce flows from Lake Okeechobee to 2,800 cfs measured at the Franklin Lock from last week’s average 4,158 cfs. Flows to the St. Lucie will be reduced to 650 cfs.  There should be some improvement in water clarity because of the reduction — but that would also require that rainfall not be heavy enough to increase the amount of runoff from the Caloosahatchee’s own watershed.

“SCCF participates in a weekly conference call with the Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District as part of a local stakeholders group, which also includes J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the City of Sanibel, Lee County, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the City of Cape Coral.  As part of this process, the partners prepare a weekly Caloosahatchee Conditions Report.  During this week’s call, stakeholders requested a slowdown on the lake releases.

You can find the reports on our website.”

In other SCCF news, their Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel spoke at a congressional hearing yesterday in DC on the water quality crisis in Southwest Florida and St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties on Florida’s east coast. In part, she said:

“We need to recognize this is a national issue requiring science that informs and directs public policies to protect the natural resources in our backyard,” Wessel testified. “This is an economic crisis as well as an environmental one, with 47,000 jobs in our $3 billion tourism industry at stake. We must act now to stop the harmful algal blooms that extend over 35 miles of the Caloosahatchee as we speak. We ask four things of Congress today. Bring greater science to bear in seeking solutions. Pass WRRDA (The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2016). Continue the Tamiami Trail bridging. Accelerate the implementation of the CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) project to store water in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) south of Lake Okeechobee. These four actions will provide the greatest impacts for resolving the water quality crisis on Florida’s two coasts.”

The Interagency Working Group hearing was the start of “Lagoon-Gulf Action Day” on Capitol Hill. Participating agencies included:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 8-15, 2016



No new listings.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $515K, Sandpiper Beach #203 2/2 now $699K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.1479M.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1,299,999.

5 price changes: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $540K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 now $649K, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.395M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.929M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.895M.

3 new sales: 726 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $775K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

2 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 $330K, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 $1.075M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1242 Anhinga Ln listed at $525K.

1 closed sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd $799K.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 $317.5K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


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.)

Scott shared this sunset photo too! It’s a beauty!

Sunset 07-09-16

Thanks again, Scott ! Here’s hoping everyone’s weekend sunsets are beautiful too!

TGIF! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Labor Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Photo courtesy of Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Anderson, JMA Photography


It is Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan) reporting that it has been another quiet week on the Islands. We breathed a sigh of relief when Tropical Storm Erika dissipated last weekend and didn’t bring much rain to Sanibel and Captiva.

Weather for the long holiday weekend beginning today is expected to be typical of late summer with temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s and 20 to 40% chance of rain. The gorgeous summer sunsets continue, but island occupancy is down as it usually is in September.

Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® MLS over the last seven days.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThis week, several of our listings had showings, I met with owners about future listings, and we worked on several fall marketing projects.

Yesterday, we had an Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting. Attendance was light and only three properties were on caravan (one our new listing at Compass Point). No new listings were announced and no price reductions.

Much of the meeting chatter was about inventory. It has been another good year for island real estate sales, making some wonder if we will have enough real estate to sell this winter. Here is an update of that inventory:


  • Condos – just 76 for sale with 121 sold/closed this year & another 14 under contract. Average sale price up 5% over last year when 165 condos sold.
  • Homes – just 89 for sale with 188 sold/closed this year & another 26 under contract. Average sale price up 6% over last year when 206 homes sold.
  • Lots – 65 for sale with 34 sold/closed this year & another 4 under contract. Average sale price down 5% over last year when 27 lots sold.


  • Condos – just 38 for sale with 28 sold/closed this year & another one under contract. Average sale price up 45% (because most of the sales this year were high-end condos at Lands End Village). Last year 22 condos sold.
  • Homes – just 39 for sale with 19 sold/closed this year & another one under contract. Average sale price up 14% over last year when 23 homes sold.
  • Lots – just 3 for sale with 2 sold/closed this year & another 2 under contract. None sold last year.

(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.)

sancap GO MLS logoOne more Association of Realtors® meeting is scheduled in September, then two in October before we go back to the “season” schedule of every Thursday morning, with Caravans alternating between east-end and west-end properties. Listed properties are allowed on Caravan only once in a 6-month period.

Over 10-Year View, Home Sales Are Strong

realtor logoIt is not just here where inventory is down. The below article was posted Tuesday on-line at “Daily Real Estate News”:

“The National Association of REALTORS® finds that July 2015 existing-home sales are markedly higher than the 10-year July average. The 10-year average is an average of the data from the past 10 July months.

“Regionally, the Northeast was the only area of the country slightly below its 10-year average, while all other regions showed stronger sales. The Midwest and South were up above average by more than 15% and the West has risen 9%, according to NAR.

“The median home price is also higher than the 10-year average. In its 10-year review, NAR says home prices nationally began to drop in 2006 in some regions and 2007 nationally but did not see the biggest drop until around 2009.

“”The trend for median home prices turned around completely in 2012, all regions and the U.S. saw their lowest July median price in 2011,” NAR notes on its blog Economists’ Outlook. Since then, home prices have been on the rise.

“A shortage of homes for-sale continues to persist in the current market. There are fewer homes available for sale this July than the 10-year July average.

“”In 2005, the U.S. had the fastest pace of homes sold relative to the inventory taking 4.6 months,” NAR notes. “In 2010, the U.S. had the slowest pace taking 11.9 months to sell the supply of homes on the market.” The 10-year July average in supply is 7.7 compared to this July, which is at a 4.8-month supply.”

Another Annual Renovation Project – “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center

Ding Darling signRenovations begin on September 8 to the entrance and front-desk area of the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center. During the two weeks that it will take to complete the improvements, the Center will remain open with visitors redirected to another entrance.

NAR Survey: Realtors® Plan to Extend Closing Dates

Florida Realtors logoFollowing up on my blog posting last week about the upcoming federally-mandated changes regarding real estate closings for residential property with mortgages, the article below was posted on-line this week on FloridaRealtors®.

“A new National Association of Realtors® (NAR) survey finds that more than 50% of real estate agents plan to extend sales contracts and build in more time for closings due to the Oct. 3 implementation of new mortgage disclosures.

“Currently, the HUD-1 settlement form can be revised and delivered up to the day of settlement. By contrast, the new Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure (TRID) that goes into effect Oct. 3 must be finalized and in the borrower’s hands three days prior to closing.

“Failure to meet that deadline can result in a re-issuance of the closing disclosure and another three-day waiting period.

“”When asked about their plans to deal with the new TRID rules, 55.9% of Realtors plan to change their purchase agreements to reflect a longer timeline, while 31.2% will add contingencies to the contract,” says NAR based on the research.

“Florida Realtors plans to update its contracts on Sept. 28, 2015, in preparation for the October change. The association currently has the updated contracts posted online in a redline version that graphically shows the changes.

“The poll did not specifically ask how long a Realtor would extend a sales contract, and there appears to be no consensus on the issue. “Based on a handful of anecdotes, some (Realtors) are adding 15 days to a 30-day contract and others are opting for the 60-day contract,” says Ken Fears, NAR’s director of regional economics and housing finance. The NAR study also found that 82% of agents have taken some type of training to prepare for the TRID regime that takes effect Oct. 3….”

Good News About Lake O – Local Estuary Sitting at Good Levels

Everglades-Map-historical-WEBBelow is some positive news about the rainy season this year, as posted in the “Santiva Chronicle” on Wednesday:

“A little more rain is needed, but Lake Okeechobee is at an acceptable level right now, which is good news for Sanibel Island and its estuary.

““For the majority of this year’s rainy season flows have been within the optimal range for the estuary,” James Evans, Sanibel Natural Resources director, said regarding the balance between fresh and salt water.

Sanibelcityseal logoThis balance has been maintained although rainfall on the east side of the state has been much lower than in Southwest Florida. The Southwest Florida Water Management District, which oversees the water resources in the southern half of Florida in 16 counties from Orlando to the Keys, reported Tuesday, Sept. 1, that the remnants of tropical systems Danny and Erika helped lift August rainfall to near average in much of the district.

““The Army Corps of Engineers tries to maintain Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. Right now it’s at 13.08 feet. It has come up about a half-foot in the past week,” Evans said. “That’s a good thing,” he said. “The lake is 1.38 feet below where it was last year, but it is well within the management band that the Corps of Engineers would like to maintain.

““We would like to see the level of the lake come up a bit more before the end of the rainy season so that we have water for supplemental flows to the estuaries and to make sure that all the urban and agricultural needs can be met, but it is trending in the right direction.”

“Despite several days of rain at the end of the month, Martin, St. Lucie, Broward and Miami-Dade counties all got less than average rainfall in August.

sccf“Evans said the city and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation are watching flows coming into the local estuary from the Caloosahatchee watershed and those flows “are a bit higher than we would like to see.” “More rain out over the lake between now and October without an excess amount falling within the local watershed would be ideal,” Evans, who recently coauthored a comprehensive report on the Caloosahatchee watershed for the city, said.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 28-September 4



1 new listing: Village of Sanibel #R1 3/2.5 $449K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #H303 2/2 listed at $589K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 listed at $1.089M.

3 closed sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 $210K, Captains Walk #C7 1/1 $205K, Captains Walk #F3  2/1.5 $278K.


4 new listings: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 $330K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $895K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 $1.1M, 4428 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 $1.25M.

4 price changes: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $539K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex now $559.5K, 887 Casa Ybel Rd 4/3 duplex now $689K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $875K.

4 new sales: 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $479K, 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $547K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $679.9K, 1537 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 listed at $829K.

4 closed sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $585K, 0 Sea Pines 3/2 $849K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $915K, 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 $1.5M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 9232 Dimmick Dr now $235K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1815 Ardsley Way $185K.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 17050 Captiva Dr 3/3 $4.9M.

1 price change: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.9499M

No new or closed sales.


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.)

LaborDaySignHappy Labor Day Weekend!

Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

August Arrives – Summertime on Sanibel & Captiva Island

Redfish Pass between Captiva & North Captiva

Redfish Pass between Captiva & North Captiva

This week, the rainy weather experienced on the islands last week turned around, with hot sunny days in the low 90’s and just an occasional quick shower. If you are here on vacation this week, it’s a winner weather-wise!

school busFlorida schools go back early with teachers in Collier starting on Monday, Lee the following week, so it is pretty much a summer wind-down beginning here. Many condo fall projects already are beginning and restaurants/shop workers are talking about when they will be closing for their pre-season breaks.

Vacation rental bookings have dwindled down too and will continue for the next few weeks until we see the snowbirds start to come back, usually mid-October.

The good news is that although there is not much real estate activity now, the buyers who are here looking, generally are serious.

There was no Realtor® Caravan Meeting this week, but The SanibelSusan Team had a handful of showings and another closing. The activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, follows a couple of news items.

If you are on our mailing list, this week we mailed an island inventory booklet dated July 22, 2015. It is organized by island (Sanibel and Captiva) and property type (condos, homes, lots) and subdivision/complex. Included are the properties for sale and recent sales. If you want to be added to our mailing list, please call 888-603-0603 or 239-471-HOME (4663), or email

Where Do Buyers Come From?

Econ outlookThe following comes from the National Association of Realtors® Economists’ Outlook blog on July 15:

“Getting involved in your community once only meant volunteering for a civil group, joining a sports club, or running for local governance. People stayed connected through face to face interactions. In an industry like real estate that thrives on friendly interactions and personal connections, building online communities through websites, social media, and digital communication is now one of the most efficient ways that REALTORS® can build and expand their network to generate new business.

“The majority of business for real estate professionals comes from referrals and repeat business, which makes sense since the industry is built upon personal relationships. At first, the idea of expanding online communities to grow the real estate industry seems like a no-brainer. All businesses these days rely on digital connectivity or they get left behind. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)’s Research department flipped through its survey data to take a deep look at how its members value online communities for their business. Here is what the surveys said:

“The NAR 2015 Member Profile, an in-house survey that gathers demographic data on its 1 million real estate members, reports that:

  • 65% of REALTORS® use social media for their business.
  • 64% said that open houses brought no business.
  • 40% of business for younger agents are from referrals and repeat business and 64% for more experienced agents.

“Naturally, word of mouth remains the largest source of income for NAR members and only grows by the number of years REALTORS® stay in the game. What is interesting to note is that open houses are almost a dead avenue for REALTORS® – they brought two-thirds of NAR members no business. Websites do not appear to bring in new clients on their own. However, two-third of members said they actively use social media as a means to market their brand and showcase their listings.

“The NAR 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR’s profile of the buying and selling process, states that:

The first step in the home-buying process for 43% of home buyers was looking online for properties and 12% looked online for information about how to buy a home.

“Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process and 50% of buyers use a mobile website or application in their home search.

“Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 98% of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.

“Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001. As a frame of reference, in 1964, 61% of buyers contacted agents, 40% read newspaper ads, and seven percent drove around when looking for a home. In 2014, 43% looked for properties online. While the initial process may start online, when buyers seek to make a home purchase, they turn to the advice from a real estate agent that they connected with from a trusted friend or family member.”

Sanibel Considers Increases for Beach Parking, Rec Center Fees

From the “Santiva Chronicle” on Tuesday, August 4, 2015:

Sanibelcityseal logo“Beach parking prices and Recreation Center fees are about to go up on Sanibel. The Sanibel City Council will consider an ordinance at its September meeting that would raise the hourly fee for public beach parking from $3 to $4. Also to be considered at that meeting will be an ordinance that would raise fees for the various programs at the Sanibel Recreation Center in a range up to 20%.

“Both ordinances were proposed at the council’s meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4, as part of ongoing process of finalizing the 2016 fiscal year budget. “It’s important that taxpayers of Sanibel, the ones who are here all the time, not pay for increases in tourism on the island. The tourists should pay,” said Vice-Mayor Mick Denham, who moved to have the parking fee increase come before the council in September in the form of an ordinance. Beach parking fees pay for beach related expenses and Denham said the increase could be used to fund beach erosion projects, security cameras and other improvements.

““Beach parking pays for itself, but the beaches have other issues, like traffic and security,” Councilman Chauncey Goss said. He has advocated an increase in the parking fee since he came on the council this year.

“It’s a supply and demand issue,” Goss said. “If the beach parking lots are always full, then they may not be priced right.” “It’s a user fee, is what it is,” Councilman Marty Harrity said. “Let it pay for itself.” Denham urged that the council take Tuesday’s action in order to get the ordinance in front of the council in September for a first reading.

““Our population hasn’t changed. What’s changed is the number of visitors. It is reasonable to ask visitors to pay,” Denham said following the meeting. “We’ve already got $2.5 million going into our beaches, but that doesn’t pay for all of the expenses. We’ve got to live within our means.”

“Recreation Center – The council, at the urging of Mayor Kevin Ruane, sought ways of saving money at the Recreation Center and in response to that it received a report from Recreation Director Andrea Miller outlining ways to save $121,700. Among them is an across-the-board 10% increase in fees that would raise $60,000 more.

“Instead the council asked for an ordinance to be prepared that would evaluate programs at the Rec Center and determine appropriate increases in each up to 20%. “What programs are being heavily subsidized?” Goss asked. “We should identify those.”

“Presently the year individual rate for a resident is $157.50. A 10% increase would raise that to $173.25 and a 15% increase would take it to $181.13. “This gives us flexibility. Residents will still find that even with increases that our Rec Center is very competitive,” Ruane said.”

NAR Survey Finds Like-Kind Exchanges Promote Job, Economic Growth

realtor logoAccording to a recent press release: “Real estate like-kind exchanges are an important vehicle for disposing of and acquiring properties and support the nation’s financial growth, job creation and economy, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®.

“The Like-Kind Exchanges: Real Estate Market Perspectives 2015 survey of NAR’s commercial and residential members found that real estate investors and commercial property owners place a very high priority on current like-kind exchange tax rules; 40% indicated that transactions would not have occurred in the absence of the tax provision, and 56% said even if the project would have occurred it likely would have been smaller in scale.

“Realtors® are active participants in like-kind exchanges; 63% of Realtors® participated in a like-kind exchange transaction between 2011 and 2015. The survey found that like-kind exchanges in which Realtors® participated created between 10 and 35 new jobs, mostly resulting from spending on building improvements following acquisition.

“”Like-kind exchanges that allow investors and businesses to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of similar properties bring great advantages to investors, real estate markets and the economy,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Realtors® and their clients often look for better economic use of existing properties that are underutilized, which helps promote local economic development and increase the nation’s gross domestic product.”

“Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, a provision that has been in the tax code since 1924, provides individuals and businesses with critically needed tax deferment on gains after the disposition of a property as long as the proceeds are reinvested in a similar property through a like-kind exchange. Replacement properties must be identified in 45 days and the transaction completed within 180 days.

“Survey respondents said the primary reason that they or their clients participated in a like-kind property exchange, aside from the deferral of capital gains taxes, was for equity to acquire additional properties. Other reasons were for estate planning, portfolio diversification and completion of a development project.

The tax savings resulting from like-kind exchanges are also helping bring more capital into local markets. Eighty-six percent of respondents said the savings from tax deferment allowed them or their clients to invest additional capital and make improvement in their acquired properties; these investments are generally responsible for the creation of new jobs, such as in construction and property management.

“According to the survey, in 68% of like-kind transactions, Realtors® acted as a broker or agent, and 24% participated as an owner or investor in the transaction. A larger percentage of commercial members (76%) reported engaging in a like-kind exchange transaction compared to residential members (45%). Of the total, 40% participated in between 1 and 3 transactions, and 23% participated in 4 or more transactions.

Residential properties comprised the largest portion of recent deals, accounting for 27% of disposed properties and 24% of acquired properties, followed by apartments (17% of dispositions and 22% of acquisitions). Land assets accounted for 19% of dispositions and 17% of acquisitions; retail properties accounted for 8% of dispositions and 13% of acquisitions; and office buildings comprised 11% of dispositions and 10% of acquisitions.

“Investors tend to hold on to their properties for several years; 47% of respondents reported their holding period was between 5 and 9 years, and 27% indicated a holding period of 10 to 14 years.

“NAR believes like-kind exchange transactions are fundamental to the real estate investment sector, and repealing the tax provision would have negative effects across real estate markets and the industry.

“Like-kind exchanges help investors more efficiently allocate capital and resources with less borrowed money into new investments that drive economic activity in communities across the nation,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. “Any tax reform plan repealing like-kind exchanges would hurt investors and small businesses, increase financial leverage, weaken growth and the economy, and result in the loss of jobs.”

“Survey respondents indicated that repealing like-kind exchange tax provisions would reduce equity in real estate; 67% indicated repeal would lead to a large increase in financial leverage. Realtors® said the negative result would be reduced purchase money and new construction loans, and increased property holding periods. Ninety-six percent of Realtors® also said real estate values would decrease if like-kind exchange provisions were repealed….”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 31 to August 7



No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Inn #14 2/2 now $739K.

1 new sale: Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 listed at $310K.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #F6 2/2 $285K, Sunset South #9C 2/2 $425K (our listing), Sundial #R304 2/2 $735K.


1 new listing: 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $834.9K.

3 price changes: 999 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $547K; 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549,999; 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 now $899,555.

2 new sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 listed at $649K, 734 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.195M.

1 closed sale: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $520K.


1 new listing: 5821 Pine Tree Dr $599K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 4626 Buck Key Rd $178K.



No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 now $659.9K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.35M.


Nothing to report.


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.

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy NY

Summertime Real Estate Report from Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s SanibelSusan reporting the third week of “summer quiet” in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands real estate business. I have heard some interesting behind-the-scenes comments about how things have changed here this year. There definitely is a change in occupancy with accommodations mostly at capacity and the island busy, just busy having fun and not viewing or buying or listing real estate.

This week the “Periwinkle Way late-day traffic jam” reappeared. That usually is only during the winter months from about 3 to 7 p.m. when the islands are full and day workers are leaving. It is when traffic gets backed up at the 4-way stop. Typical late afternoon summer showers may have contributed to this extra summer traffic with more visitors on the road once the sun disappears.

The July 4th festivities last weekend were well attended, with a big turn-out at SanibelSusan Realty for the parade. Here are a few photos, some taken by my cell phone, but the good ones are credited to our pal, Scott Shew, who always is great about sharing his pictures. Thank you, Scott.

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As the week progressed, Scott shared a few more photos. These two at Ding Darling he said were taken when the no see-ums were out in full force so the bird in the second one might be dunking to avoid them.



Below are a few news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, there wasn’t much!

Heat Wave Sweeps Through Housing Market

realtor.comFrom Realtor®Mag’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“The housing market is getting hotter this summer, according to a preliminary analysis of June data from®. The median list price nationwide in June rose 7% year-over-year, reaching $233,000. The median days on the market is 66 days, also down 7% year-over-year. Also, inventories are growing faster – 4% higher in June over May, but still down over last year. (That’s the case nationally, but not on Sanibel and Captiva where inventory is very low.)

“”Our early read of real estate trends in June suggests good news ahead for the U.S. residential real estate market, especially in the hottest markets with healthy growth in supply,” says Jonathan Smoke,® Chief Economist. Traffic and searches on® continued to set new highs in June. Unique users for June are now on pace for at least a 40% growth year-over-year and visits and searches at® are expected to surge more than 50% and 30%, respectively, Smoke says.”

Economists Pinpoint Inventory Shortage Causes

wall street journalAs follow-up to the last article, this one based on The Wall Street Journal, June 26, has some answers:

“Inventories of homes for-sale remain low due to home owners staying put and homebuilders still keeping supplies tight, economists said during a panel discussion at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference.

“Homes listed for resale in May were at a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace. Most economists consider a supply of six to seven months to be balanced and healthy for the market.

NAR gray-logo“Economists at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference pointed to several factors that are preventing sellers from putting their homes up for sale. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, blamed the bulk of the inventory shortage on the lack of new construction. “We will still have an inventory shortage if builders won’t build,” Yun said. “It is just simple math.”

“Other economists during the panel also said the persistent lack of equity four years into the housing recovery for a large number of home owners continues to prevent many would-be sellers. About 5 million homes in the U.S. — or 10% — are underwater, valued at less than the mortgage.

“Also, some home owners may be reluctant to sell partly because they refinanced in recent years at interest rates of less than 4% and they don’t want to give up those low rates, says Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist.

“The economists also noted a significant increase in single-family homes being offered for rent that have dented the overall supply of homes for-sale too. Nothaft estimates that since the downturn investors have purchased 3 million single-family homes and converted them into rentals.

“Other economists at the session also noted that stringent mortgage standards, prohibitive land costs, and limited lending to small builders was also prompting a lower supply of homes for sale.”

Study: Biggest Opportunities in Boomer Market

We aren’t giving up on those baby boomers just yet. They definitely are the largest market segment on the islands. Here’s what “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” said about them last Wednesday:

House canary logo“Though the real estate industry has made it a mission to bring Millennials into home ownership in recent years, a new study by research firm HouseCanary suggests we not ignore an inconvenient truth: Baby boomers have the buying power.

“The study raises questions about how wise it is to focus on Millennial buyers, given their economic limitations. If interest rates — which are expected to keep ticking up this year — were to increase to 6%, more than one in three Millennials would no longer be able to afford a home at their current prices, HouseCanary found. Millennials are carrying high debt with limited savings, and their career growth has been slow.

But baby boomers have fueled the housing market for decades as the biggest drivers of growth in the entry-level market in the 1970s and ’80s, as well as the move-up market in the ’90s and 2000s. Boomers aren’t slowing down: They’re expected to continue to drive household growth over the next 20 years “due to significant wealth and high home ownership rates,” according to HouseCanary. Over the past year alone, baby boomers accounted for 244% of household growth annually.

“”The vast imbalances in wealth and home ownership among baby boomers and Millennials are resulting in wide disparities in the demand for home buying versus renting,” says HouseCanary President JP Ackerman. “Our analysis indicates that rising interest rates and home prices will exacerbate the situation, as the Millennials’ ability to purchase homes will be severely jeopardized as monthly payments get further out of reach.”

“HouseCanary CEO Jeremy Sicklick says his company’s research indicates greater opportunity for developers to target the aging population with for-sale inventory while targeting the younger generation for-rent inventory.”

New Fire Station on Captiva

new-Captiva fire stationThe grand opening of the new fire station on Captiva is scheduled for Sat, July 18, from 10 a.m. until noon. The public is invited. It also is the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Captiva Island Fire District. During that time, it has transformed from a volunteer bucket brigade to a squad of highly-trained professionals with equipment for not just fighting fires but also for advanced life support. Congratulations!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 3-10



3 new listings: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $239K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $650K, Nutmeg Village #309 2/2 $799K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Colonnades #15 1/1 listed for $225K.

3 closed sales: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $500K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $522.5K, Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $920K.


2 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 3402 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $539K.

1 closed sale: 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $695K.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2460 Library Way listed for $324.9K.

No closed sales.



2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $299.9K, Ventura Captiva #1B 2/2 $1.35M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 now $585K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

2 new sales: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.395M, 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex 3/3 listed for $2.0449M.

1 closed sale: 16512 Captiva Dr 7/5.5 $6.525M.


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.

Good weekend wishes to all. Little rain is expected here over the next few days, so no traffic jams expected! Here’s hoping the sunsets are as beautiful as this one. (Thanks, Melissa!)

Melissa Sunset 07-09-15

Cheers! Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

Happy Birthday, America! From Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Lots of families are vacationing on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but not much real estate action. The market here continues to improve, albeit it slowly now that most of the “in season” sales have closed and not many buyers are in town. Below is a sampling of the statistics today compared to prior year sales.

Only 263 properties currently are available for sale on Sanibel; 397 sold last year. Considering those under contract too, there are 350 Sanibel sales already this year, a record number with only half the year over. Once those snowbirds get back, this might turn into a banner year!

Before a report of the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, here is some other summer, holiday, and real estate news.

Celebrating July 4th on Sanibel

Here for the 4th? The City website posted the following special event permits:

  • 7 – 9 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast, Sanibel Community Church, 1740 Periwinkle Way, info (239) 472-2684
  • 9:30 a.m. – Independence Day Parade – “For the Fun of It” – Parade begins at Tarpon Bay Rd on Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Rd, info (239) 246-2981 (Good watching from SanibelSusan Realty if you are in the neighborhood.)
  • 10:30 a.m. Boy Scouts Independence Day Celebration (after parade), Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, water slide, food, & refreshments; info (239) 472-9300
  • 12 noon – San-Cap Optimist Club’s 36th Annual Road Rally, Timbers Restaurant, 703 Tarpon Bay Rd, info (239) 472-0836
  • 9:00 p.m. – Fireworks Display (rain or shine) – Sanibel & Captiva Islands’ Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this year. Fireworks will be launched from the north end terminus of Bailey Rd. Best viewing from Sanibel Causeway Islands and bay side of the island.
  • Holiday Sidewalk Sales – The following retailers and shopping centers obtained annual Retail Holiday Sidewalk Sales permits, so may be holding special sidewalk sales over the holiday:
  • Sanibel Square, 2200-2250 Periwinkle Way
  • Olde Sanibel Shoppes, 630 Tarpon Bay Road
  • Tahitian Gardens Shopping Center, 1975-2019 Periwinkle Way
  • The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way
  • Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, 2075 Periwinkle Way
  • Gene’s Books, 2365 Periwinkle Way
  • Palm Ridge Plaza, 2330 Palm Ridge Road #1
  • Ickle Pickle, 2427 Periwinkle Way
  • Bailey’s Center, 2477 Periwinkle Way

Weather Service Again Recognizes Sanibel as Storm Ready

2000px-US-NationalWeatherService-Logo_svgHere on the islands we don’t like to use the “h” word, but we also know it’s best to be prepared for those events. Posted on Monday on the “Santiva Chronicle” on-line”:

“The City of Sanibel has again been recognized by the National Weather Service as a “Storm Ready” community. This special recognition was first achieved in June 2009 and the City of Sanibel was the 8th community of the 410 Florida municipalities to be recognized as Storm Ready. Today, only 22 communities in Florida have received this designation.

“It is the goal of the National Weather Service to use the program to prepare communities for all dangerous weather. Storm Ready communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of hazardous weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.  Click here to see the notice received from the National Weather Service.

“”It is important to remember that this designation does not render us storm proof, but as a barrier Island in the sub-tropics it is important we prepare collectively for the worst Mother Nature can send us. There is no substitution for preparation and planning,” stated City Manager Judie Zimomra upon receiving notice of the designation.

“The City of Sanibel’s 2015 Hurricane Seminar can be viewed by clicking here.

Turn Out the Lights! Sea Turtles Starting to Hatch

Jewel JensenA great a photo posted on-line by Florida Atlantic University researcher Jake Lasala of Sanibel homeowner and SCCF Turtle Patrol volunteer, Jewel Jensen. It shows her checking a green sea turtle nest. Jewel and her hubby bought one of our listings a couple of years ago. Here’s the turtle news that was posted on the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Tuesday.

“Turn out the lights! It’s not because the party is over. It’s because the party is in full swing.

“The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reports that three of the reported 417 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and Captiva have hatched and in two of those nests hatchlings were disoriented by light and didn’t head into the Gulf of Mexico.

SCCF logo““Please observe Lights Out For Sea Turtles!” SCCF said in its weekly sea turtle report issued Monday, June 29, for the period ending Friday, June 26. “Three nests hatched last week but hatchlings from two of the three nests were disoriented.  Please shield lights on the beach; hatchlings head to the lightest horizon (which is normally the water).”

“The rest of SCCF’s report is good news. SCCF breaks down turtle nesting into three zones and all three showed healthy nesting activity in the past week for a total of 417 nests and false crawls approaching 1,000 for the season at 994. Here is the breakdown for the June 26 report, with the previous week’s statistics in parentheses:

  • Sanibel East: 82 (71) nests, 216 (176) false crawls
  • Sanibel West: 247 (193) nests, 617 (458) false crawls
  • Captiva: 88 (71) nests, 161 (110) false crawls
  • TOTAL:  417 (335) nests, 994 (744) false crawls

“Last year produced 535 nests, tied for second best since 1996 and just two off the record 537 recorded in 2000.

“SCCF also reports that 12 green sea turtle nests have been discovered, with 11 of them on Sanibel West and one on Captiva.

“SCCF continues to cover as many nests as possible to prevent raids by coyotes.”

The “Sanibel Plan” Now Available Electronically

Sanibelcityseal logoIf was great to read this news release on Tuesday from the City Planning Department:

The City of Sanibel’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, also known as the “Sanibel Plan,” is now available electronically in its entirety on the City of Sanibel webpage at . To access the Sanibel Plan Click here.

“The original Sanibel Plan was adopted in 1976. The plan was amended and extensively revised in 1985, 1989, 1997 and 2007. In 2007, the American Planning Association recognized the Sanibel Plan with the National Planning Landmark Award.

“In 2013, the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) for the Sanibel Plan was completed and adopted. This report concluded that the Plan is consistent with all State requirements including changes made to State Statutes contained in the Community Planning Act of 2011. In 2013, the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Community Development, issued a finding that the Sanibel Plan, as adopted by City of Sanibel Ordinance 12-010, is in compliance with Section 163.3184(4) of Florida Statutes.

Questions regarding the Sanibel Plan should be directed to City of Sanibel Planning Director James Jordan at or 239-472-4136.”

The second volume of the plan includes what is called the “Future Land Use Map Series”. Realtors often refer to several of these maps, so it is great news to find that they are now handy on-line. The maps include: Ecological Zone Maps (remember, Sanibel’s different zones allow different development and coverage), Commercial Zoning Map, Resort Housing District Map (showing areas where short-term rentals are allowed), Wetlands Conservation Lane Maps, Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation District Map, and Development Intensity Maps. All good stuff. Thank you, Sanibel, for making these so easily available.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 26-July 3



3 new listings: Colonnades #51 1/1 $219K, Sanibel Arms #B1 2/2 $525K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $859K.

5 new sales: Colonnades #51 1/1 listed for $219K, Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed for $250K (our listing & sale), Captains Walk #F3 2/1.5 listed for $289.9K, Sundial #H302 2/2 listed for $599K, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 listed for $1.745M.

At Spanish Cay

At Spanish Cay

2 closed sales: Seashells #27 2/2 $315,375, Pelicans Roost #101 2/2 $745K (our sale).



3 new listings: 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $625K, 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 $699K, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $1.995M.

1 price change: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $465K.

1 new sale: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 listed for $419K.

9 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 $272.5K, 982 Main St 3/2.5 $420K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $540K, 2220 Camino del Mar 3/3 $570K, 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $660K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4203 Dingman Dr 4/3 $2.8M, 2980 Wulfert Dr 4/6.5 $2.8M, 4525 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5K, $3.725M.


1 new listing: 2400 Blue Crab Ct $309K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.



1 new listing: 3117 Tennis Villas 1/1 $244K.

1 price change: 3131 Tennis Villas 2/2 now $415K.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #30 3/2 listed for $2.195M.

No closed sales.


No new listings or sales.

2 price changes: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 now $1.329M, 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.395M.

1 closed sale: 11513 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.64M


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

Best wishes from Susan & The SanibelSusan Team for a safe & happy 4th!

2003 BonneParade

Friday on Sanibel: Real Estate, Ospreys, Earth Day, GoMLS, & more

It is SanibelSusan reporting the end of another week of terrific Florida weather. Traffic on Sanibel and Captiva Islands has subsided a little, but the islands remain fairly busy. The good news is the locals again are talking about being able to get in at restaurants without much of a wait. It also appears that most of the buyers returning to view property now are serious! Yay!

I missed chatting with client/friends from California who stopped in at the office last Saturday while I was writing an offer. While they were talking to Lisa, Scott gave me the AOK to share his recent osprey photos in my blog. So thank you, Scott.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

The SanibelSusan Team and I are happy to report that we had a nice closing yesterday, one of those where we had to go find the property as none were for sale in that particular complex. Big shout-out to Arika at VIP for coming to our rescue on that one. Picture below of the view at Gulfside Place #318. GSP 318 cropped

Though it does not happen often at this time of the year, Dave, Elise, Lisa, and I have all been on listing presentations this week. Good to know that some fresh listings may be coming on the market this summer.

Over the last couple of days, I also have been negotiating several offers. Some are still cooking and one has been accepted verbally. They include offers coming in on our listings and a couple that I have written. That confirms, it has been a busy week!

With at least two new listings coming our way, all-in-all, it was yet another productive week for SanibelSusan Realty and good to see island good real estate action continuing during the time we often refer to as the “shoulder” period. More buyers are coming over the weekend too. Over the next few days, Dave and I both will be out showing property.

Good Multiple Listing Service activity was posted over the last seven days as shown below. First a couple of news items:


sancap GO MLS logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service has announced a new mobile app. “SanCapGoMLS”, designed for use on smart phones/tablets, zeroes in on the user’s location and identifies properties for sale in the surrounding area. It also can perform quick property searches for any listings in the MLS. The user specifies the search criteria and the results are immediate, mapped, and with all the photos.

If you’d like us to email you a link so you can install the app too, just send me a quick email ( or text message (239-565-3128). It’s free!

Fun to use too, if you are one of those folks who wonders about the details of a property when you see a “for sale” sign. Of course, the database also contains properties for sale in the communities that do not allow signs too. So get all the scoop about all the listings with SanCapGoMLS. It’s a great tool.

Celebrate Earth Day Tomorrow at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Ding Darling Society logoJoin in the celebration tomorrow at the “Ding” Darling Refuge where Wildlife Drive is FREE to hikers and bikers from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE bike rentals will be provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers (pick the bikes up at Tarpon Bay Explorers’ location). Earth Day mascot “Bagzilla” will make appearances throughout the earth-friendly day and free program. Click here for flier.

Real Estate Likely to Ride a 3-Year Wave

realtor logoHere’s a positive article from last Friday’s “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to “Urban Land Institute”:

“The real estate industry is expected to strengthen this year and continue to get stronger through 2017, according to a new report released from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, which is based on a survey of the industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Survey respondents said that the residential, single-family housing sector remains in recovery mode and economists predict that housing starts will rise from 647,000 in 2014 to 700,000 in 2015; to 815,000 in 2016; and 900,000 by the end of 2017.

“Economists predict that existing home prices will rise through 2017 — rising 5% this year; another 4% in 2016; and by 4% in 2017.

“”In summary, almost all U.S. real estate participants would be very pleased if the future unfolded as predicted by the ULI consensus forecast,” says ULI leader William Maher, director of North American strategy for LaSalle Investment Management in Baltimore. “The forecast represents almost the perfect combination of strong economic and property market fundamentals, combined with an orderly wind-down of monetary stimulus.”

“Although an economic downturn could throw off these predictions, as well as interest rate spikes or oversupplies, “real estate pros predict three more years of smooth sailing for U.S. real estate,” Maher adds.

Survey respondents were also upbeat with their forecasts for the commercial market, including:

  • Office sector: Respondents expect rental rates in office space to rise 4% this year, 4.1% in 2016, and 3.5% in 2017.
  • Apartments: Respondents expect rental rates continue to push upward, rising by 3.5% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.7% in 2017.
  • Retail: Analysts expect that rental rates in the retail sector to rise by 2% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.9% in 2017.
  • Industrial/warehouse: Analysts expect rental rates in the warehouse sector to rise by 4% this year, 3.8% in 2016, and 3.1% in 2017.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 10-17 



2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 $499K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $995K.

LC 353 View

View from Loggerhead Cay #353


5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $229.9K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 now $369.9K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 now $750K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $769K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $799K.

4 new sales: Sundial #F303 2/2 listed for $495K, Sundial #R304 2/2 listed for $799K, Dosinia #2B listed for $1.299M, Seascape #205 3/3 listed for $1.849M.

5 closed sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 $360K, Sanibel Arms West #L5 2/2 $500K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 $695K, Gulfside Place #318 2/2 $1.25M (our buyer), Beachcomber #C102 2/2 $1.5275M.


No new listings.

4 price changes: 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $449K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 now $619K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $899K, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.045M.

5 new sales: 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $579K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $849.9K, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.195M, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 listed for $1.695M.

8 closed sales: 2621 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $247K, 702 Donax St 2/2 $370K, 1712/1714 Sand Pebble Way 4/2 duplex $389K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $500K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 $665K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 $700K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $748K, 5721 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/3/2 $1.3M.


1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $299K.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $359,555.

1 new sale: 1336 Eagle Run Dr listed for $245K.

1 closed sale: 3792 Coquina Dr $305K.



No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #19 3/3 listed for $2.695M.

2 closed sales: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 $630K, Lands End Village #1606 3/3 $1.85M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.15M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.785M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16970 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

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

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, when I hope we have more good news to report,

Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)