Market Outlook – Here, There, Everywhere

Another Friday and SanibelSusan here with another island real estate report. First a photo of what it looks like here on a sunny Sanibel afternoon.

This week, the Saharan dust covering much of Florida has kept rain away from the islands. There have been a few showers, but nothing like usual peak storm season. Driving across the causeway, the hazy view over the water reminded me of growing up on the Maine seashore and how it looked before morning fog burned off. Now, that dust is moving away from Florida, so weather likely will return to a more typical September weather-pattern with daytime temps expected to be in the low- to mid-80’s with chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Now through the weekend, we also may see some wind from Hurricane Ida passing out in the Gulf, no real concern for SW Florida though.

Florida Realtors® Annual Convention

I sure hated to miss this event in-person again this year, but thankfully with new Covid-protocols still was able to participate electronically. Florida Realtors 2021 Convention and Trade Expo is being held August 24-28 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

Yesterday, in between classes, was the Annual Awards luncheon. It was great to hear that some friends were acknowledged and rewarded: Congratulations to 2021 Realtor® of the Year – Florida Realtors® 2020 President Barry Grooms from Bradenton, 2021 Humanitarian of the Year – Steven David from Broward, Palm Beaches, and St Lucie Realtors®, and to our 2021 District 5 VP – Ursula Weinkauff from Bonita Springs. They all excelled in a challenging year as they have for many years.

Today, our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Director of Education, Megan Rose, is sitting on the Florida Realtors® Audition Panel for the Professional Development Committee, evaluating candidates looking to teach state-approved classes. I sure enjoyed doing that for many years and know Megan will do a great job representing us. She will have a long tiring but fulfilling day. It is great process to ensure that Florida’s teachers are top-notch.

Tonight is the annual in-person Florida Realtors® 2021 PAC live auction. You-know-who has been bidding electronically all week on silent auction items. Tomorrow, the event wraps up with a Candidate Forum, Member Update, and the individual District meetings, followed by the Board of Directors Meeting.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

There was no caravan meeting this week for the islands Association of Realtors®, but some real estate activity still was posted in the local Multiple Listing Service. The action follows a coupe of news items below.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Happily, The SanibelSusan Team has two closings before the end of the month, so Dave and I will be busy with those over the weekend and early next week. We both remarked this morning about how little traffic is on the island now. At quitting time last night, I went home the back way (west on Periwinkle to Tarpon Bay Rd north to Gulf Dr to the east end to Periwinkle) and didn’t pass a single car going in either direction until I got to just before the turn-off to my street. Even then, only saw one work truck heading off-island. Dave said it was little later when he left Lighthouse Beach, to head off island. He also didn’t see other vehicles. Where is everyone? September usually is the quietest month on the islands, appears that late-August is getting ready.

The Market Outlook – Nationally & More

Tuesday, I attended a Zoom presentation given at the National Association Leadership Summit in Chicago by NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research, Lawrence Yun. As a long-time fan, it was interesting to hear his take on the pandemic, today’s housing shortage, and what he thinks the real estate future will bring.

He prefaced his speech saying that 99% of the country is experiencing a double-digit price change in their median priced home.

Then, he began with “when does this pandemic end?” He reiterated that though it has been over 100 years since the Spanish flu pandemic, through history pandemics have been a common phenomenon, a human experience. One that will not be done and over when this pandemic subsides. The Delta variant being a good example of that.

Looking at today’s statistics compared to recent history, one of his first slides showed that for the first time in decades, in the U.S., birth and death rates are equal. He referred to past forecasters who said that when the baby boomer generation starts dying out, U.S. population will decrease. That is looking to be true, though this data does not include those immigrating here and coming across borders illegally.

He then described how today’s housing shortage is a different kind from recent history when there were not enough actual homes for the housing demand. Today, rental prices are skyrocketing and expected to soar even higher. He gave examples where rental properties are getting multiple offers. Today, there is a historic shortage of rental vacancies, while the number of rental households is at an all-time high (mostly because those renters can’t compete with the offers from today’s buyers).

Existing homes sales (which traditionally are 90% of that market) are still above pre-pandemic levels, but not as frenzied as they were a few months ago. Newly-constructed-home sales (usually 10% of the market), now are just matching pre-pandemic levels.

Though interest rates still are historically low (less than 3%), mortgage applications from those looking to buy are below pre-pandemic levels. Why is this? It is because all-cash sales are elevated. Cash is king with cash sales ruling the market, essentially everywhere.

With most median home prices up over 20% in the last year, rental demand has gone up as most 1st-time buyers now are priced out of the market. Monthly mortgage payments are rising even at time when interest rates are at their lowest.

Though mortgage debt is at a record high, the record high property valuations should overwhelm any risk, so he says there is no worry of the market being over leveraged.

Comparing geographic areas, it was interesting to see where local market homeowner wealth gained over the last year. The highest equity gain was in the San Francisco Bay area where the average property increase was $160K. Unfortunately, this appreciation is not enjoyed across the population, as only 45% of San Francisco residents own. Like anywhere, homeownership rates vary across geographic areas, age groups, ethnicity, etc.

In comparing home occupant wealth, his slides showed how the average renter has a nest egg of only about $8K while the average property owner has $297K.

He made a point of mentioning of how the news media using old data does not help us understand the market – and how you cannot always believe what you hear. Particularly, considering the 2020 census numbers, that data does not reflect where people live and work today with so many fleeing cities to work in the suburbs or more preferred areas.

He had a slide showing the metro areas with the most net migration gains since the first of the year, and interestingly most of those are in vacation areas. For example, the places with the highest population increase year-to-date include Barnstable, MA (Cape Cod), Portland (ME), Myrtle Beach (SC), Asheville and Wilmington (NC), Huntsville (AL), Jacksonville (FL), and others. Another tidbit he mentioned was that Huntsville has the highest number of PhD’s in the nation. (Who knew?)

What will these vacation areas show for 2021? He said they all are experiencing a sizeable jump in sales, which is exactly what has happened here on Sanibel and Captiva.

What will the future bring? He said that housing demand should be compared to where people with jobs are doing their jobs.

As inflation increases the Fed will be forced sooner to make changes. When that happens, he expects that negative effects will occur from the Federal Reserve, who provides monetary policy, gradually increasing mortgage rates. He sees a tapering of purchases of mortgage-backed securities later this year, short-term rates rising next year, and an inevitable increase in G-fees to cover Congress’s infrastructure package. (A G-fee is the gurantee-fee to cover projected credit losses from borrower defaults over the life of loans, admin costs, and a return on capital.)

A positive effect will come from more first-time buyers qualifying for a mortgage as they have demonstrated financial capability from renting longer. (Big data also will help show their payment capability, with so many creating a financial trail through their use of Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.)

Inflation already is popping out and is not going to go away. He predicts high inflation will continue. Already many of us are seeing price increases in used cars, gas, airfares, appliances, and the like.

The Government says rents are rising at 1.9% annually, but he provided info from national rental organizations showing that increases are more like 6, 7, and 8%, probably an indication that the Government also is under estimating inflation.

As the pandemic wanes, sales to foreign buyers and immigrants will pick up.

In the commercial arena, office space usage is shaky, particularly in downtown areas where many cities, like New York and Chicago, have high vacancies.

Industrial spaces, on the other hand, are booming. Retail spaces are coming back as buying improves, while apartment spaces also are coming back strong.

In his wrap-up, he likened the economy internationally to the winners of the Olympic gold medals, showing how through history those with the most medals were the most economically strong. We might have received the most medals in the Olympics this year, but China is a close second. Followed by Japan, before Great Britain. There is a message in that. Stay tuned.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 20-27, 2021



3 new listings: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $630K, Sanibel Arms West #E3 2/2 $965K, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 $1.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 listed at $525K, Breakers West #C3 2/2 listed at $749K, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 listed at $1.1M.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695.1K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 $1.55M.


1 new listing: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $3.35M.

2 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $820K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.799M.

8 new sales: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex listed at $599.9K, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $1.325M, 4954 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.599M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $2.149M, 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.295M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 listed at $2.358M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $3.849M.

1 closed sale: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.55M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $369K.

1 new sale: 1272 Par View Dr listed at $459K.

No closed sales.



No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 $385K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1D 2/2 $1.032M.


Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Yes, You Can Buy Now… We Are Working & Ready to Help

It is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. The islands continue to reopen slowly with the toll booths still unmanned and the causeway islands sometimes packed, particularly on the weekend. (A sure sign that the gulf waters are clear and sparkling, and they are!)
SanibelSusan Realty is one of the few real estate offices physically open, but not much is happening. Yesterday, we got a couple of showing requests for the upcoming weekend/week and there has been some action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System. It is still an excellent time to buy!
The Association of Realtors® office remains closed, but many Realtors® have accepted the FISH Food Challenge and have donated groceries to their food pantry. Nearly 20 have donated just in the last week and the pantry continues to go through the food like crazy. Astounding but not surprising that there are so many hungry folks on the islands, with so many businesses closed, particularly those that cater to vacationers.
Below is an update on re-opening progress, after which is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System.

Latest City Proclamation Due to the Threat of COVID-19

Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, scheduled to discuss beach parking and short-term rentals/hotels, turned into a 6+hour event with plenty of public comment and differences of opinions on many items discussed. That meeting resulted in a new City proclamation dated Wednesday. There has been a lot of confusion about the changes, particularly as they apply to vacation rentals, so below, for clarification, are some excerpts from the actual Proclamation No. 20-028  (which may be read in its entirety on
“…on May 12,2020, the City Council met for a special set public meeting to discuss COVID-19, including consideration of temporary restrictions and prohibitions related to the declared State of Local Emergency; and … City Council voted in support of taking certain actions to reopen the local economy on a gradual basis and consistent with the Governor’s phased approach, including the following:
A. Allowing the current restrictions on accommodations rentals to expire, subject to emplacing a lessened restriction on vacation rentals which closely follows the Governor’s restriction… and allowing new rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares under restricted occupancy and conditions intended to mitigate any community spread of COVID-19; and
B. Extending certain public beach parking restrictions for an additional duration; and
C. Strongly encouraging the wearing of face masks by employees of places of public accommodations and by all members of the public who cannot properly socially distance; and
D. Raising parking fines to $200, is a result of the significant volume of parking violations particularly in and around beach access points.”
As further clarification, the proclamation says:
SECTION 2. Temporary restrictions on accommodation rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” identified in Attachment A…, which include all 37 “hotels”, “motels”, and “timeshare projects” on Sanibel … are subject to the following temporary restrictions, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council:
A. Occupancy is limited to 50% of the units within the public lodging establishment; and
B. No reservations or check-ins are permitted from anyone that resides in or is travelling from an area identified by the Governor of Florida to be a “hot spot” of substantial community spread of COVID-19, including Louisiana, the New York Tri-State rea (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida; and
C. All places of public accommodation are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, which can be found under SANCAP SAFE RESOURCES at; and
D. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restrictions nothing in this section restricts or otherwise affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 3. Temporary restrictions on accommodations rentals at vacation rentals. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” on Sanibel which are “vacation rentals”,… but not including the hotels, motels, and timeshare projects…, are subject to a temporary rental restriction of a minimum duration of 30 days, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council. For the purposes of this section, the rental restriction is application to anyone who is not an owner of the unit. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restriction, nothing in this section affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 4. Paid public beach parking restrictions. The paid public beach parking restrictions currently in place as extended by … which … are due to expire on May 15, 2020 are hereby extended to May 31, 2020 after which such restrictions will expire and public beach parking will reopen.
“SECTION 5. Wearing of face masks. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the wearing of face masks by all employees of retail shops, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation who interact with members of the public, as well as by all people in any public area where social distancing is not feasible or otherwise occurring is strongly encouraged.
SECTION 6. Parking fines. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020 fines for all parking violations are temporarily raised to $200.00…..”
So, in a nutshell, short-term vacation rentals including those in residential communities, condo complexes or resorts, not included on the 37-property list (of hotels, motels, and timeshares) cannot rent for a period of less than 30 days. This is in accordance with the Governor’s phased reopening and more related to how properties are defined by Florida Statute/Florida Department of Revenue classification, than by any desire to penalize rentals which typically are nightly, weekly, or biweekly.
The Proclamation may change as more state and county guidance is provided and new COVID-19 data evolves. The changes/restrictions are emergency measures taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
The number of Sanibel’s reported cases remains low at 11, but testing remains limited and the antibody test is not expected here until next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Readying Most of State to Enter Phase Two Reopening

An internet posting yesterday said that Jacksonville could host Friday’s official announcement by the Governor. When he addressed reporters in Doral yesterday, he said that a “good announcement” was coming Friday that would apply to most of the state. This announcement came just hours after Tampa Bay Times reporter Lawrence Mower tweeted a Florida Chamber email saying to expect a May 18 entrance into Phase Two. The Governor disclaimed any advance announcement in response to reporters’ questions, claiming to “march to the beat of [his] own drummer.”
In Phase Two, people from vulnerable populations would still be asked to self-isolate, groups of up to 50 would be permitted, albeit with social distancing still in play. Phase Two would also allow increased restaurant capacity, as well as the reopening of gyms, schools, and bars with social distancing and diminished occupancy. The Governor stressed these are modest changes.
Though South Florida may still be on a slower path, the Governor noted that Florida is a “diverse state,” and he won’t “sit here rolling back the entire state if there’s an outbreak in Hialeah.”

Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

This week was the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Legislative Meetings in Washington DC. This annual event usually brings Realtor® leaders from around the nation to the capitol. With COVID-19 interrupting those plans this year, committee meetings and conference sessions were held virtually.
This event also is when Realtors® who have achieved National Hall of Fame status are recognized. That also were done virtually. Congratulations to Florida’s 17 new Hall of Fame members. That boosts our state members in 2019 to 106. I am proud to be one of them. (I know my picture is old… I made the club for the first time in 2016.)
Below is an article written by Shannon McGahn. She is senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®.
“It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news.
“For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough.
“The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was up 8% from March 2019 as prices increased in every region.
“And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
“The pandemic also hasn’t stopped real estate transactions outright like in many other sectors. A recent survey of NAR members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new technology like remote notarization.
“Even those pausing their real estate transactions still plan to buy and sell once again within a few months.
“What’s more, NAR research unveiled earlier this year found that, since 2013, the median family net worth for all homeowners has increased by nearly 15%.
“Data from the study strongly suggests that “sustainable and affordable homeownership” remains the best opportunity “most households will ever have to improve their long-term net worth and financial security.”
“Property ownership is turning into a financial rock for many Americans during this crisis, and Congress has gone to great strides to help protect that investment.
“For those who can no longer pay their mortgage, new forbearance rules allow them to put off payments for up to a year without impacting their credit.
“Helping people struggling with rent and mortgage payments is a good thing, but we also do not want to spur another crisis down the line for property managers and owners who do not have relief from their obligations. Policymakers should take a comprehensive look and beware of unintended consequences.
“For REALTORS® who have seen a dramatic drop in their business (right as the crucial spring buying season arrived), new benefits like forgivable small business loans and unemployment assistance not normally available to the self-employed or independent contractors are helping them weather the storm.
“The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund were created so quickly that banks had a hard time keeping up with demand. Money ran out for the PPP in two weeks, and another round of replenishment sped through the legislative process. PPP and EIDL grants got billions more in funding and will help keep millions more employed. Congress deserves credit for responding in a bipartisan and lightning-fast way even if the rollout of those programs was less than perfect.
“We’ve heard from many REALTORS® around the country who have secured PPP loans and saved scores of jobs. People like Anthony Lamacchia of Waltham, Mass., who reports he can now keep all 47 of his employees on the payroll.
“The strength of the housing sector will be critical to our national recovery. After all, the real estate industry makes up nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and every two houses sold creates one American job.
“America has been experiencing a housing shortage for years as demand for homes has consistently outpaced supply in most major U.S. markets. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has stated his expectation that, once we get through the worst of this crisis, housing demand will reemerge quickly. Our economic recovery won’t be a slow-build like what followed the 2008 financial crisis.
“America’s financial and lending systems look vastly different today than they did before the Great Recession shook America’s economic core. Changes to strengthen lending standards and eliminate loose credit have pushed default and foreclosure rates toward record lows.
“It has never been more clear that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make.
“Economic downturns and public health crises—no matter how severe—will never change this fundamental fact.
“But what has become even more apparent is that during this crisis, home has become more important than ever.
If Congress continues to be a champion of the American people and protect homeownership, by all indicators, real estate can and will help get our economy going again.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 8-15, 2020


3 new listings: Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $685K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $868.5K.
5 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $265K, Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $357.9K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $479K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $539K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.095M.
1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 listed at $914.5K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #D310 1/1 $372K, Sundial #B308 1/1 $505K, High Tide #A101 2/2 $1.075M.
1 new listing: 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
3 price changes: 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $689.9K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $694.5K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $839K.
4 new sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $399.9K, 857 Rabbit Rd 1/1 listed at $489K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $659K.
1 closed sale: 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.7M.
1 new listing: 690 Birdie View Pt $369K.
1 price change: 1313 Par View Dr now $300K.
1 new sale: 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 now $1.425M.
1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 listed at $889K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 $6.495M.
1 price change: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $988K.
2 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 16221/16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.389M.
No closed sales.
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper.
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Real Estate is Selling on Sanibel Island

It’s been another fun and busy week of real estate action for The SanibelSusan Team. The glorious weather must have something to do with it!


Our listings again had good showing action. Several new buyers came in to chat about the purchasing process and to begin their property search. Dave accompanied five different inspections. Dave, Lisa, and I were out several days with different prospective buyers showing property, while Elise has been juggling showing appointments and follow-up on the feedback. But, even more importantly, more offers were negotiated. Another productive week here – what we wait for all year!

The 7-day activity report from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service below illustrates. I don’t remember when the island has had 12 condo sales in a single week (two our listings). We definitely want that business to continue. March usually is a good time for condo sales too. New month-long renters arrive tomorrow in addition to the typical weekly Saturday turn-over guests.

Here are a couple of quick news items, including an update on flood insurance (the subject on the minds of many), followed by that report.

House to Vote on Flood Insurance

realtor logoThe National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) posted on-line the below notice for its members this week.

“The House is scheduled to vote up-or-down on an amended version of H.R. 3370, the Flood Insurance Affordability Act, during the first week of March. The original bill text has been stripped and replaced by substitute language that considerably strengthens the bill. The substitute bill will be considered under an expedited set of “suspended rules” procedures that limits debate and amendments, and requires a 2/3 majority to pass. This is a critical vote on a top NAR member priority. We cannot predict the fall-out if this vote fails.

“The substitute bill to be considered differs significantly from the version that the Senate passed on Jan. 30:

  1. REPEALS (the Senate bill only delayed) the property-sales provision in the Biggert Waters law (sec. 205) that has triggered the most excessive and inaccurate premium increases over the past year.
  2. REFUNDS (the Senate bill would not refund) excessive premiums to those who have already seen an increase but were not warned by FEMA prior to purchasing the property.  (This would apply to ALL purchases of property including purchases of a second home or commercial property).
  3. RESTORES (the Senate bill only delayed) the grandfathering of lower rates when new flood maps are issued by repealing Section 207 of the law before any increases can be implemented.”

Annual Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleThe Sanibel-Captiva Art League’s annual sale is tomorrow (Saturday, March 1) across the street from SanibelSusan Realty and Sanibel Square at The Community House from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More info at

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 21-28, 2014

5 new listings: Tennisplace #E31 2/1 $325K, Blind Pass #G205 2/2 $439K, Sundial #G101 2/2 $445K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $515K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $869K.
6 price changes: Sundial #H107 1/1 now $299K, Tennisplace #B24 2/1 now $315K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 now $349K, Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 now $465K, Loggerhead Cay #411 now $529K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.395M.
12 new sales: Beach Road Villas #104 2/2 listed for $335K (our listing), Beach Road Villas #103 2/2 listed for $359.9K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 listed for $612K, Sundial #Q302 2/2 listed for $649K, Kings Crown #210 2/2 listed for $649K, Sundial #L202 2/2 listed for $695K, Surfside 12 #C3 3/2 listed for $749K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 listed for $839K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed for $895K, Gulfside Place #307 2/2 listed for $1.225M, Gulfside Place #319 3/2 listed for $1.295M (our listing), Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 listed for $2.22M.
No closed sales.

8 new listings: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $637,555; 1827 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $849K; 2538 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $850K; 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $879K; 791 Pen Shell Dr 4/3 $1.195M; 5612 Baltusrol Ct 4/3.5 $1.695M; 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.95M, 1470 Middle Gulf 4/5.5 $2.495M.
10 price changes: 490 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 now $399K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $580,555; 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex now $698.5K; 1340 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.148.5M; 1203 Isabel Dr 2/3 now $1.195M; 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 now $1.595M; 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.8M; 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 half-duplex now $1.895M; 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.999M; 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3 now $2.1M.
2 new sales: 617 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 5049 Joewood Dr 6/7.5 listed for $3.995M.
7 closed sales: 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $390K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 $461K, 4546 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $485K, 1342 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $550K, 1297 Par View Dr 3/2 $750K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.01M, 988 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $1.035M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 247 + 255 Robinwood Cir now $298K.
No new or closed sales.
3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $225K, Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/2 $829K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 $1.275M.
1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $739K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5132 1/2 $243.5K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #2B 2/2 $800K.

4 new listings: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.995M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7.995M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $17M.
1 price change: 4 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 now $2.375M.
1 new sale: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed for $1.65M.
1 closed sale: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/4.5 $2.35M.
Nothing to report.

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

IMG_0803copyeHere’s to another fun-filled weekend with roseate spoonbills & more real estate sales!


Chilly Weather, But Still Lots of Real Estate Happenings in Orlando & Sanibel Island

It’s SanibelSusan reporting from Orlando that it was 46 degrees both here and on Sanibel this morning. Most of us are ready for this cold weather to be gone. It looks like Sanibel finally could get into the low 70’s again by tomorrow, but another cool-front is on its way next Wed. Ugh! 

Yesterday, I finished up on the all-day audition panel for new real estate instructors and have been enjoying networking here with the Florida Realtors 2014 leadership team. Last night, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® again was recognized for their significant RPAC (REALTOR® Political Action Committee) contributions. This year, we took away four of the five awards presented to a small board, which is a new record for us.

L to R, from The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors: Shane Spring 2013 Realtor of the Year, SanibelSusan, Peggy Hummel CEO, Eric Pfeifer 2014 Prez-Elect, & Bill Robinson, MLS Director.

L to R, from The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors: Shane Spring 2013 Realtor of the Year, SanibelSusan, Peggy Hummel CEO, Eric Pfeifer 2014 Prez-Elect, & Bill Robinson, MLS Director.

With flood insurance and water quality being such important issues in island real estate sales and property values, our association benefits from every cent that we collect and contribute to political action. Last night after the awards ceremony, several of us met with a national association Washington staff member. He gave us his prognosis on what is happening with the related bills currently on the hill. More pressure is needed on both of these issues. 

At dinner last night, we also ran into one of the seven FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) members. FREC is the group that administers and enforces state real estate laws. We are hoping to get her to Sanibel this year for an educational event for our members.

Realtor logoSubcommittee meetings are today, followed by committee meetings and forums tomorrow. Then after the 2014 Officers are installed tomorrow night, the Florida REALTORS® Directors meet bright and early Sunday morning. If all goes well, I’ll be back in the office by early afternoon. Lots of progress has already been made here for our industry (and I’ve gotten some referral business too). I am excited that I was asked to be part of the new Professionalism group that meets for the first time this afternoon. Tomorrow is the big day with our Professional Standards skit and the Resort and 2nd Home Property Specialist Forum.  

Here are a couple of other news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days.  

Tarpon Bay Explorers Schedule

tarpon bay explorers logoA few folks recently have told me that they were not aware of the many activities available through Tarpon Bay Explorers. Here is an abbreviated schedule. Confirm the schedule at Reservations are needed for most events.

Kayak Trail Tour: Daily at 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.; 1 or 2:30 p.m.

Sunset Rookery Paddle: Daily 2 hours before sunset.

Standup Paddleboard Tour: Tues, Thur, Sat at 9 a.m.

Breakfast Cruise: Mon, Wed, Fri at 8:30 a.m.

Nature & Sea Life Cruise: Daily at 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Evening Cruise: Daily 2 hours before sunset

Aquarium & Touch Tank: Daily at 11 a.m. & 1:30 & 3 p.m.

Refuge Tram Tour: Daily (except Fri) hourly 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rentals & Fishing Charters: Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Feb 15.

 Loan Demand Back On the Upswing

wall street journalOn Wed, “Daily Real Estate News” sourced this article to “The Wall Street Journal”: 

“After reaching a 13-year low at the end of last year, mortgage applications were back on the rise last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. Mortgage applications, which include those for refinancing and home purchases, rose 4.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Jan 17. Broken out, demand for applications for refinancings increased 10% over the prior week, while applications for home purchases, viewed as a future gauge of home buying, dropped 4%, the MBA reports.

“The MBA’s mortgage application index had posted its lowest level in about 13 years at the end of last year, when the Federal Reserve announced it would be tapering its $85 billion per month bond-buying program in the new year. However, for the last two weeks, mortgage rates have been declining. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 4.66% to 4.57% last week, MBA reports.  That marks the lowest average for 30-year rates since this past November, according to the MBA.” 

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 17-24



10 new listings: Sundial #D207 1/1 $269K, Tennisplace #B24 2/1.5 $325K, Sundial #D304 1/1 $339K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 $595K, Kings Crown #210 2/2 $695K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 $929K, High Tide #A101 3/2 $1.199M, Pine Cove #302 2/2 $1.2M, Somerset #301 3/2.5 $1.899M, Sedgemoor #106 3/3.5 $2.935M.

5 price changes: Beach Road Villas #103 2/2 now $369K, Seawind #A102 2/2.5 now $397.9K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $547.9K, Pelicans Roost #101 2/2 now $775K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 now $854K.

3 new sales: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 listed for $289.9K, Blind Pass #C203 3/2 listed for $499K, Atrium #206 3/2 listed for $1.295M.

No closed sales. 


5 new listings: 972 Fitzhugh St 3/2 $379K, 490 Elizabeth Rd 2/2 $419.5K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $895K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.247M, 906 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $4.35M.

8 price changes: 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 now $484.7K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $569K, 617 E Rocks Dr 3/2 now $599.9K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $619K, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 now $799K, 1500 Angel Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 1480 Angel Dr 3/3 now $1.499M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.749M.

4 new sales: 1475 Court Pl 2/1 listed for $289K, 2529 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed for $725K, 1444 Causey Ct 4/4 listed for $1.1M, 4994 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.459M.

3 closed sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex 3/2.5 $395K, 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 $320K, 575 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 $1.25M.


2 new listings: 898 Rabbit Rd 299K, 218 Violet Dr $390K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1837 Buckthorn Ln listed for $349K.

No closed sales.



3 new listings: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 $685K, Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 $1.875M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 $2.675M.

No price changes, new or closed sales. 


2 new listings: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $1.995M, 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $10.75M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed for $1.695M.

3 closed sales: 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $1.55M, 15899 Captiva Dr 4/3 $2.71M, 16838 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 $4.5M.

Nothing to report.

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

flip flopsHere’s hoping it warms up sooner rather than later, my flip flop wearing feet are chilly! Happy weekend, SanibelSusan

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

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

Nick Adams Photography Lighthouse

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate & More

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

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

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

J.R. Evans Engineering Presentation to Realtors®

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

Upcoming Island Fun

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

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

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

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

Housing Moves Toward “Healthy Equilibrium”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakland, CA: 28 days

San Francisco: 45

Denver: 45

San Jose, CA: 45

Stockton-Lodi, CA: 45

Detroit: 48

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ: 50

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA: 52

Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: 52

Sacramento, CA: 52.”

Hit Pause Button on Law to Protect Florida’s Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

No closed sales.



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

No price changes or new sales.

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


No new sales.

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

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

Best wishes for a terrific pre-Halloween weekend!


Summer Weather Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

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

REALTOR® Caravan and Annual Meeting

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

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

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

The Peabody Ducks

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

More Good “Ding” Darling News

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

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

Support Public Land Funding 

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The campaign continues to need financial support.  If you can help, you can do so online at  or by mail or phone: 

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

Next Big Investment: A Million-Dollar Flip

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

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

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

More on Surge Protection

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

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

Finally a Quick Traffic Alert

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

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

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

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

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


Happy weekend to all, SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate Happenings & More

Activity is picking up albeit slowly on the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Early snowbirds are arriving and getting their nests ready for “season”.

Pointe Santo volley ball

Pointe Santo volley ball

Many of the temporarily-closed restaurants have reopened, this week it was Traders Cafe and Store. It has a new look inside and out, and has tweaked their menu too.

There also are some newbie establishments open for business. For example, a new restaurant called The Sangria Grill opened a few weeks ago at 2430 Periwinkle Way. It is touted to have an eclectic mix of international cuisine in addition to homemade sangria. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Real estate activity pretty much matched island traffic this week – hit or miss. We had just a couple of showings; however, the good news is that we got a condo offer from prospective buyers who viewed that unit several weeks ago. Goes to show that no matter how often you follow-up, an offer can be unexpected – but appreciated just the same. That sale will keep SanibelSusan’s at-least-a-sale-a-week roll continuing. With appointments made this week for showings with prospective buyers later in the month, plus listing presentations, we can tell that “season” is just around the corner. Hooray!

Realtor® Happenings

Big thank you to our SW Florida friends in DC this week.

Big thank you to our SW Florida friends, elected officials, & Realtors  in DC this week.

Our Thursday Realtor® meeting had light attendance, with some colleagues instead in Washington attending congressional subcommittee meetings on water quality and flood insurance. If you are interested in viewing an event that two Florida Representatives hosted in DC for state officials and constituents to discuss what can be done about the Lake Okeechobee freshwater releases, here is a link: (You may recognize Jim Hall, local Managing Broker of VIP, and on the board of The Ding Darling Wildlife Society. I think he got a chuckle when I texted, after spotting him in the audience.)

Pointe Santo Beach 09-28-13

Pointe Santo Beach 09-28-13

Teammates Lisa and Dave held our new listing at Pointe Santo open for the Thursday morning caravan, but only had a few Realtor® lookers. Usually these open houses attract some from the general public too, i.e. locals who know about our Thursday Caravans or vacation renters. But, none came yesterday, mostly likely because October is an off-month for island visitors.

While chatting yesterday after the meeting with David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, he got a phone “alert” message from Citizens Property Insurance Corp. advising that the state is currently under storm restrictions, meaning that no policies may be bound. That is the result of Tropical Storm Karen. Florida has had pretty easy going this year during hurricane season, so we all hope this storm fizzles out quickly and moves on, so that business may go back to usual. These alerts often affect areas that do not receive much but rain from a storm, so we always suggest that new buyers make arrangements to bind their insurance early. If buyers had a sale closing today, but had not yet arranged for wind coverage, they could be out of luck with the closing delayed until the restriction is lifted. That can get complicated if financing is involved, so always bind early in Florida, particularly in the summer/fall. It is always better to be safe!

Old Dog Learns New Tricks

RSPSLast weekend was very quiet in the office, so after clearing my desk and calling prospective buyers hoping to spark interest in some listings and talking to several fellow Realtors® about earlier showings, I decided to finish up the class work needed for my national RSPS (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist) certification. You may remember that I wrote and teach the class segment on this same subject for our local Sanibel and Captiva Islands Specialist Designation. I also have been appointed to the Florida Realtors® Resort and Second-Home Specialists Forum for the last two years, and was just reappointed for 2014.

Still, I had not completed all of the requirements needed personally for this national designation. Launched in 2006, the RSPS class work is time-consuming which may be why there are only ~1,700 certified RSPS members nationally (just five on Sanibel/Captiva). The networking and referral opportunities are worth the effort, however, as many affluent consumers own more than one vacation property. I often have worked with buyers who also own second homes or resort-type property in other areas, like in ski country, on boating/fishing lakes/rivers, golf communities, etc.

So, this old dog has learned a few new tricks. I have finished the last 6-hour class (I completed the others last summer/fall), watched three required webinars, and passed the required exams. Have submitted my application and expect that more alphabet soup will follow my name soon. It’s really all good and should result in more buyer referrals!

The Good News

realtor logoAfter all of the negative political news this week, I thought it was a good time to put out the word on some positive news. An article in the September/October 2013 “REALTOR®” magazine by NAR (National Association of Realtors®) President Gary Thomas was titled “Big Wins in a Tough Climate”. It says:

“We’re working through some of the toughest threats in our business right now, and it will be years before we have real clarity on many of the federal issues we’re dealing with. But your association has chalked up an array of impressive victories that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Our success this year has been thanks in no small measure to the power you show every time you write a letter to your members of Congress or meet your representative or senator in person, whether at home or in Washington.

“Let’s look at our latest victory: the qualified residential mortgage rule, which regulators released in late August. The rule largely tracks the qualified mortgage rule that regulators released last year. Both rules set parameters that lenders must follow to have their loans considered qualified. “Qualified” in the case of QRM (Qualified Residential Mortgages) means lenders don’t have to hold back 5% of the loan amount in capital reserves; in the case of QM (Qualified Mortgages), it means the loan is eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These standards seem like a simple matter. But had the rules not gone our way, they would have had enormous implications on the availability of affordable, long-term financing for your customers.

“The QRM rule, which applies to loans that are packaged into securities and sold on the secondary market to investors, adopts the reasonable QM approach that NAR sought. That represents a huge victory; the original proposed rule included a minimum down payment requirement, which could have been catastrophic for affordable mortgage availability. Although banking regulators left open the door for more feedback on the minimum down payment approach, that approach is unexpected to gain currency.

“Between the QM and QRM rules, we had another victory: the Basel III capital accords, which are international bank capital standards. Originally, the Basel III standards were going to impose what amounts to a surcharge on banks that make residential mortgage loans by requiring them to hold extra capital in reserve for those loans. But NAR and other organizations, including consumer groups, worked hard to show how problematic this approach would be, and when the U.S. version of the accords was released in July, the surcharge was taken out.

“In the months ahead, reforms of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA will be debated, and we can expect to have some tough fights. Likewise, the mortgage interest deduction remains a target for lawmakers pursing tax reform… It’s your involvement – all of us working together…that brings legislative and regulatory success for our industry.”

What Wealthy Buyers Want

CNBC_Logo_FlatWhat caught my eye in this article from CNBC last weekend was confirmation of what island buyers have been saying for many years – “We want open floor plans!” Republished on Monday in “Daily Real Estate News”, the article says:

“Wealthy home buyers rank open floor plans, smart technologies, and pools as top amenities in their home purchases. Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Luxury Institute recently surveyed home buyers who make more than $250,000 a year to find out what amenities they desire most in homes.
Here are their top-ranked amenities, according to the survey:

• “An open floor plan was cited by 39% as the No. 1 preferred amenity
• Fully automated/wired home system, which could encompass high-speed cable and integrated music systems, computerized lighting, and home monitoring systems
• Pool
• Outdoor kitchen
• Gym
• Home theater

“On the other hand, wealthy home buyers ranked the following amenities as “less important”: wine cellar, guest house, safe room, separate catering kitchen, tennis court, and staff quarters (which came in last on the list). The average home purchase for this wealthy segment of buyers was estimated at $1.6 million.”

2014 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits

PARKING-ON-SANIBEL-1-1024x791It’s that time of the year again. Sanibel residents and property owners may purchase their 2014 Sanibel Beach Parking Permits starting on Monday, October 14 at the Recreation Center, every day, during operating hours. Permits are valid through November 30, 2014. Permit fees are:

• A – Resident property owner permit – $12 (resident &/or Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner) (To qualify for an “A” permit, needed are: a valid registration for each vehicle and a state-issued identification card or driver’s license showing a Sanibel address or proof of Sanibel property ownership.)
• B – Non-resident permit – $90 (non-resident/non-Sanibel ad valorem taxpayer property owner)
• C – Restricted permit – $90 (resident & non-resident)
• A/C – Resident permit – $102
• B/C – Non-resident permit – $180
• Decal transfer or reissue fee – $3 (residential & restricted)

Wondering which lots require which permits?

• Lighthouse beach & fishing pier lots: A or B permits, or general parking at $2/hour.
• Boat ramp lot: C permit or general parking at $2/hour.
• Gulfside City Park (Algiers Beach): C permit at $2/hour.
• Trost Parking lot (for Tarpon Bay Beach): A or B permits, or general parking at $2/hour.
• Bowman’s Beach parking lot: A or B permits, or Lee County parking permit, or general parking at $2/hour.
• Blind Pass Beach parking lot: A or B permits, or general parking at $2/hour.
• Turner Beach parking lot: Lee County parking permit or general parking at $2/hour.
• West Gulf Dr, Buttonwood Ln, Seagrape Ln, East Gulf Dr at Colony Beach, Bay Dr, A permits only.
• Fulgur St, Donax St, Nerita St, Beach Rd, Bailey Rd, Dixie Beach, Sanctuary Overlook, A or B permits.

Sanibel Public Facilities Map 9-24-09 2[1]

Sanibel Building Permit Fees Further Reduced

Sanibelcityseal logoHere’s more news about some island fees. You’ve gotta love it when a City can do this!

As reported in the “Island Sun” today, “After reducing building permit fees by 25% in April, the Sanibel City Council made a further 25% cut on Tuesday. The multiplier for all building department fees is now reduced from 3/4 of a % of total cost to 1/2 of a % of total cost.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from September 27-October 4

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
2 closed sales: Sanddollar #C301 2/2 $967.5K, Plantation Village #212 3/2 $978K.

5 new listings: 9263 Kincaid Ct 3/2.5 $449K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 $628K, 4677 Rue Bayou 3/3 $645K, 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 $949K, 1277 Par View Dr 4/3.5 $995K.
3 price changes: 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 now $878K, 2543 Tropical Way 3/2.5 now $1.1M.
No new sales.
6 closed sales: 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $400K (short sale), 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $450K, 776 Conch Ct 3/2 $625K (short sale), 1566 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $650K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $760K, 488 Lighthouse Way $2M.

No new listings.
1 price change: 1898 Woodring Rd now $2.495M.
1 new sale: 3761 Coquina Dr listed for $350K.
No closed sales.

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $595K.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 now $299.9K.
No new or closed sales.

No new listings.
4 price changes: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.345M, 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.395K, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/4.5 now $2.45M, 16682 Captiva Dr 10/12.5 now $11.9M.
1 new sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 listed for $1.799M.
No 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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.)

Though expecting rain from Tropical Storm Karen, so far Sanibel has not seen a drop today. Here’s hoping the nice weather continues through the weekend here & wherever you are.


Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Last Sanibel Farmers Market Until Fall & Real Estate Scoop

It has been another week of glorious spring weather on the islands. The Gulf of Mexico is turning into that bright aqua color that we love to see in the summer!

Nutmeg106 View 04-26-13

Here are a few news items, followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Last Sanibel Farmers Market Until Fall

Talk about fresh! Here's market organizer, Jean Baer, with Brussel sprouts still on the stalk!

Talk about fresh! Here’s market organizer, Jean Baer, with Brussel sprouts still on the stalk! I sure hope they have more this week!

Expect to see Sanibel Farmers Market aficionados at the last one of the season on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. With 46 vendors this year, in addition to being a terrific source for fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, baked goods, other dining delights, and more, the Market is the go-to spot to mingle with neighbors and friends, and a favorite with vacationing visitors. After this weekend, many will be counting down until November when it starts up again. Thanks for another great season, Sanibel Farmers Market organizers!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

rpacAs another week comes to an end and high season winds down, our weekly Realtor® Caravan Meetings are changing from weekly to the summer schedule of every other Thursday morning. May also brings our annual end-of-season Realtor® fundraising event which still is often referred to as “The Over-the-Hump Party”. It includes a golf tournament plus social with RPAC auctions.

RPAC (or Realtors® Political Action Committee) is the voice of Realtors® on Capital Hill. Since 1969, RPAC has promoted the election of pro-personal-property-rights candidates across the U.S.  During the last federal election cycle alone, RPAC contributed more than $12 million, making it the number one trade association political action committee in the nation. On the local level our RPAC Committee is active both in Tallahassee and Lee County, involved in such issues as water quality, the home mortgage and appraisal processes, affordable housing, sales tax initiatives, and more.

For several years, The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has won the state award for raising the most funds by a small board. Our intention is to make it happen again in 2013! More to follow on how much SanibelSusan’s donation garners this year!

How About Some Mulch?

Playground, "Island Reporter" photo
Playground, “Island Reporter” photo

Another upcoming Realtor® event in May is one of our give-back-to-the-community efforts. On May 4, Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® members will spend the morning laying mulch at this new Community Housing playground on Mahogany Way. Thanks to our Communications and Public Relations Committee for making this happen!

Why Zillow Often Is Wrong

One of my favorite real estate educators, Melanie Jackson McLane from Williamsport, PA, posted the following on her ActiveRain blog this week. I couldn’t agree more. (Thanks for allowing me to share this with my readers too, Melanie!) Her article says:


“This blog was inspired by a cartoon which shows a couple sitting with a real estate agent. The agent says: “Based on comps, I suggest listing at $350K.” Wife: “But we paid $650,000 for it!” Husband: “And Zillow says it’s worth $675,000!” I found the cartoon on Facebook and reposted. The sad truth is that most consumers do not understand Zillow—or House Values, or even their county assessment office—all of which use Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) to price property.   The boring stuff first: AVMs use mathematical formulae, including multiple linear regression, to assign values to certain features of houses to come up with a value.  As with any program, GIGO applies (Garbage In, Garbage Out).  The AVMs out there for use today by consumers, of which Zillow is probably the best known, rely on reported and recorded sales data. This is why, if you live in one of the fourteen states in the US which does not record sales prices, the information you find may be sketchy, and derived from Multiple Listing Services (MLS).  You may be thinking: “Well, what’s better than that? A recorded sales price tells me what that house down the street sold for.”

“Well, yes and no. A recorded price will tell you the amount they put in the deed as the transfer amount. It will not tell you:

  • If there were any “side deals” or cash under the table
  • If the seller paid closing costs or other fees on behalf of the buyer, known as “seller concessions”
  • If it was an “arms-length sale”, or one under duress, or between related parties, or any other sale which an appraiser would not usually consider.

“This is where the AVMs fall apart.  As I always say when teaching pricing and valuation: “All comparables are sales; all sales are not comparables.” Here’s what I mean: in order for any real estate professional to use a comparable (“comp”) to compare to your home to establish a price or value, it needs to have sold.  Houses that are listed and don’t sell indicate what the market won’t pay. Houses that are listed and sold indicate what the market will pay.  However, not all sales are comparables. Here are some examples of houses I would not use for comps, as an appraiser:

  • The sale between two parties with the same last name, and it is verified that they are related by blood or marriage
  • The sale between two parties with different last names, but verification of the data revealed that the party selling the property was acting as executor of her mother’s estate, selling the 2/3 interest she and her sister had to their brother, who already owned a 1/3 interest
  • The property that did not sell at auction, and the next week the owner sold it for 20% below my appraised value to a neighbor, who was a friend
  • The property that sold for at least 20% higher than market, and upon verification, the buyer was not represented by an agent, was from out of town, and was unfamiliar with the market

“You will notice the same word in all four scenarios: “verification”. As an appraiser, I verify data. I’m required to. But any real estate professional who is good at his or her profession will verify data, and will only use data which is germane and pertains to the property. Zillow, and other AVMs, don’t verify data. They throw it all into the mix. Some is high, some is low, and some is just irrational.   So, before you decide to sell your house based on a “zestimate”, do yourself a favor and get an opinion from a qualified real estate professional.”

20th Annual Sam Bailey’s Island Night

BaseballWednesday, May 15 is the date for the 20th Annual Sam Bailey’s Island Night at the Lee County Sports Complex where the Ft. Myers Miracle will play the Dunedin Blue Jays. The gates are open at 5:30 p.m. The parades will start at 6:15 p.m. The Game begins at 7:05 p.m.

Free tickets are available at Bailey’s General Store, The Sanibel Rec Center, and sponsoring businesses.

‘Ding’ Darling To Celebrate “National Trails Day”
Ding Darling Society logoTake a hike, play Animal Olympics, and learn more about Refuge creatures and the “fingerprints” they leave on Refuge trails at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge during National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1. Indigo Trail and the Bailey Tract will be open all day free to hikers and bikers, who will be able to also experience the new Children’s Education Boardwalk trail. Wildlife Drive will remain closed for maintenance. Activities will include:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Animal Olympics: Test your abilities against the elite Olympians of the animal world. This fun, interactive program runs all day along the Indigo Trail.
10 a.m. Indigo Trail Hike: Join naturalists as they lead a one-hour tour identifying the ecosystem’s plants, animals, birds, reptiles, and more. Explore the Children’s Birding Trail and its two-story observation deck. Bring water and bus spray, and meet at the flagpole in front of the Education Center.
11 a.m. Reading in the Refuge: Oh Scat & Animal Tracks: Whose scat is that? Whose tracks are those? Learn about the wondrous world of animal tracking from a refuge naturalist in this fun, 30-minute interactive program in the Education Center Classroom.
1 p.m. Wildlife Wonders: What makes a bird a bird? Why is a manatee called a sea cow? Is that a crocodile or alligator? Find the answers to these questions and more as you join a naturalist in exploring the refuge’s unique ecosystem. The 30-minute program takes place in the Education Center Classroom.
The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge co-hosts the 2013 National Trails Day activities to educate about wildlife and opportunities on getting outdoors at the refuge.

Hard Working Water: Did You Know?

SCCF logoA news item that I read this week in the May-June SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Member Update is worth repeating:

“For every gallon of water used in an average household, five times more water (40,000 gallons each month) is used to provide that home with electricity via hydropower turbines and fossil fuel power plants.

You can get a conservation three-fer – healthier rivers, fewer greenhouse emissions and cleaner air – by redoubling your energy conservation efforts! April is Water Conservation Month, let’s conserve!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 19-26 

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $489K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $649K.
2 price changes: Coquina Beach #2E 2/2 now $599K, Tarpon Beach #203 2/2 now $675K.
6 new sales: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 listed for $213.9K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 listed for $449.5K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6-2 2/2.5 listed for $455K, Lighthouse Point #230 2/2 listed for $495K, Surfside 12 #B4 3/2 listed for $869K.
3 closed sales: Tennisplace #E33 2/1.5 $245.5K, Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $307K, Loggerhead Cay #521 2/2 $510K.

2 new listings: 720 Periwinkle Way 3/3.5 $1.429M, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.45M.
7 price changes: 5650 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $524K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $694K, 1225 Junonia St 3/2 now $699K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 now $769K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 now $945K, 5418 Osprey Ct 4/3.5 now $995K, 912 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.1M.
9 new sales: 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1E 3/3 half-duplex listed for $669K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 701 Heather Ln 4/3.5 listed for $750K, 1255 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed for $889K, 479 Lagoon Dr 3/3 listed for $1.0945M, 1694 Dixie Beach Bldv 3/2 listed for $1.095M, 2429 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed for $1.395M, 444 Lighthouse Way 5/4.5 listed for $2.395M, 3441 West Gulf Dr 5/4/2 listed for $4.9995M.
9 closed sales: 1639 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $360K, 1609 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $370K, 1414 Causey Ct 3/2 $499K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 4/2 $645K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 $669K, 1507 Angel Dr 3/2 $675K, 1230 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $657.5K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.475M, 2963 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.65M.

No new listings.
1 price change: 9426 Sage Ct now $229,555.
No new or closed sales.

No new listings.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3138 2/2 now $395K.
1 new sale: Marina Villas #903 2/2 listed for $620K.
No closed sales.

No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 16623 Captiva Dr 9/9 listed for $4.895M.
1 closed sale: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3 $979K.

Nothing to report.

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

Another weekend of terrific weather is expected here on sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Here’s hoping that it is sunny in your neck of the woods too!


Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It is SanibelSusan, once again posting the The SanibelSusan Team weekly report of the real estate activity on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. First here are a few photos taken by teammate, Dave, while he and Lisa were off viewing properties on Realtor® Caravan yesterday. They were taken from Beach Access #7 on West Gulf Drive.

w gulf dr sanibel beach path

w gulf dr sanibel beach with people

w gulf dr sanibel beach with more people

High season seems to be flying by. At our weekly Realtor® Meeting yesterday another flurry of sales were announced. Again, they were mostly Sanibel homes. (See below for the details.) I was out showing homes and condos again last weekend and put another condo under contract as a result.

In the real estate business, particularly in a resort/vacation home environment like Sanibel and Captiva Islands, it is not unusual to year-after-year show property to the same prospective buyers, before they eventually make a purchase. 2013 for me, so far has been the exception. Hooray for that!

Four weekends of showings have resulted in sales every weekend, some weekends more than one! Sure wish I had some lookers for this weekend too – or my streak may end. Teammate Dave was out looking for buyers Wednesday when he held an Open House at our canal-front listing on Beach Road in Shell Harbor (photo below). He had good traffic.


Just four weeks of high season remain, also illustrated by the number of price reductions posted in our local Multiple Listing Service this week (also in the report below). It is typical for us to see more price reductions as “season” winds down.

Tooting Our Own Horn

SANSLogoWhat a wonderful surprise this week to receive a letter from an island client who just completed his family’s fifth real estate transaction with me and The SanibelSusan Team. As a long-time broker himself in another state, it was especially meaningful to me for him to write:

“Seldom, if ever, have I experienced the level of professionalism, trust, and confidence that I have in you and your staff. Your knowledge of Sanibel real estate and the current market is unsurpassed. The dedication you provide to your clients is absolutely the pinnacle in the real estate industry…There is a specific set of core values that your firm demonstrates that is very comforting to clients such as ourselves…We also appreciate how your “team” is working so well together.”

Dave, Elise, Lisa, and I certainly appreciate his kindness. The letter definitely brightened our day. We are grateful for our clients. When they are happy, it makes us happy too!

76th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival

1stPrizeShellFairThe Sanibel Community House across the street and adjacent to SanibelSusan Realty Associates has been a beehive of activity this week, preparing for the 76th Annual Sanibel Shell Fair which began yesterday. Again this year, SanibelSusan sponsored the “Best Flower Exhibit” in the Professional Artistic Division.

If you are in town now, the festival runs through 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) with the exhibits available for viewing. It’s a terrific annual event, but be warned, traffic is heavy.

News from the “Sanctuary Sound”

The Sanctuary Sign2July08The March issue of The Sanctuary Golf Club newsletter says: “The Board of Governors of The Sanctuary Golf Club has approved an increase in the price of the Equity Membership to $110,000, effective July 1, 2013. If you join now as an Introductory Member and pay the $10,000 membership fee and annual dues, the advantages are plenty. The $100,000 membership fee will be locked in. You will have full access to the Club and its facilities, and save $10,000. If you were planning on joining The Sanctuary next fall, and will not be using the Club until then, considering paying the $10,000 Introductory fee now to lock in the $100,000 Equity membership price. Your membership will start on Oct 1, 2013. (There are a limited number of Equity and Social Memberships.)”

2013 ChorusAtFISHThis photo above was taken last week at the entrance to The Sanctuary Clubhouse. These are two of my pals from the BIG ARTS Community Chorus singers who performed at the F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here) Annual Membership Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. Love those orchids! Chorus got kudos for singing too!

Watch for Fake Cashier’s Checks

FLRealtors_newlogoThis is not the type of article I enjoy reading, but it has good info, nonetheless. It is from the March issue of “FloridaRealtor®”:

“A rash of fake cashier’s checks has closing agents now requiring closing funds to be paid by wire transfer or other “collected” funds. In the past, cashier’s checks carried limited risk, so a closing agent typically disbursed funds at closing based on receipt of a cashier’s check – even when the closing agent had not verified that the funds had been collected. Things have changed. Counterfeiters can now create excellent cashier’s checks, and these counterfeit checks are being presented for payment nationwide and internationally in connection with a variety of real estate scams.

“Recent frauds in Florida have involved fraudsters using the names of real doctors or other professionals living in the United Kingdom and other foreign countries. These fraudsters, posing as the professionals, contacted real estate brokers asking for assistance in buying properties. Then they entered into sale and purchase contracts and asked the brokers to put them in touch with real estate attorneys to assist with the transactions. The real estate brokers, who were not involved in the scam, put these “buyers” together with attorneys with whom they already had relationships. The fraudsters then sent larger-than-necessary sums via counterfeit checks and requested the excess funds be wired to a third party for contrived reasons, such as the purchase of furniture.

“Although attorneys were targeted, these types of scams result in real estate licensee’s wasting their time and energy on transactions that won’t close. What can you do? When dealing with an unknown foreign buyer, verify that the person with whom you are working is actually the person he or she claims to be.”

Fraud has happened on Sanibel too. Some months ago, I had a buyer for a vacant residential parcel that was listed for sale in our local Multiple Listing Service. The German Seller’s listing documents and my Buyer’s offer to purchase were all delivered and signed via e-mail through the listing company. Having recently heard of a listing scam with another foreign owner, I asked the title company, processing the closing, to call the European Seller. When they did, they found out that he had no intention of selling. It seems that the listing and sale documents were all signed by a fraud with a bogus e-mail address (that was surprisingly similar to the Seller’s name). If that call to the “real” Seller had not been made, my Buyer’s funds could have been wired to a scammer. Sometimes, intuition pays off. Through further investigation, I learned that this has happened often in Florida.

Finding Homeownership Tax Deductions

realtor logoFloridaRealtors® on-line posted the following on Wednesday:

“Tax season is underway, and homeowners gearing up to meet the April 15 filing deadline can find the tax tips and insights they need at, a consumer website created by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). An overview of the tax benefits of homeownership, HouseLogic’s Homeowner’s Guide to Taxes helps filers get a general understanding and avoid common home-related tax mistakes.

““From the mortgage interest deduction to energy tax credits, many homeowners can take advantage of a variety of tax strategies that can lower their tax bill,” says Pamela Kabati, NAR senior vice president of communications and HouseLogic spokesperson. “For example, a family who bought a home last year with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.”

“HouseLogic also offers tips to avoid unnecessary tax mistakes in 9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes, which identifies common errors, such as deducting the wrong year for property taxes, confusing the escrow amount for actual property taxes paid and neglecting to take the private mortgage insurance (PMI) deduction.

“Other possible deductions: Homeowners who make certain energy-efficient home improvements may be eligible for tax credits. Also, owners who had a portion of their mortgage forgiven as part of a workout plan, short sale or foreclosure don’t have to pay income tax on the forgiven debt, provided the mortgage was secured by a principal residence and the total amount of the outstanding debt is not more than the original purchase price plus improvements.

“Other HouseLogic articles:
How to Deduct PMI
How to Deduct Mortgage Interest and Equity Loan Costs
How to Amend Your Tax Return
How to Claim Your 2012 Energy Tax Credits

“Homeowners should consult a tax professional for specific advice about their own transactions or circumstances. Information on HouseLogic should not be relied on as tax or legal advice.”

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump

I got a chuckle from this quote, also from the March “FloridaRealtor®” magazine. It is by American businesswoman and daughter of real estate mogul Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump.

She said, “Real estate is my life. It is my day job, if you will. But it consumes my nights and weekends, too.”

We know the feeling, Ivanka; but it’s all good!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 1-8

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #G7 2/2 $499K, White Pelican #112 2/2 $850K.
7 price changes: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $264.9K, Sundial #L202 2/2 now $499K (short sale), Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $889K, White Pelican #111 2/2 now $899K, High Tide #A101 2/2 now $1.225M, Pine Cove #104 3/2 now $1.25M, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.595M.
5 new sales: Lake Palms #2 2/2.5 listed for $259K (our sale), Villa Sanibel #2H 2/2 listed for $520K, Sundial #J207 2/2 listed for $529K, Seascape #302 3/3.5 listed for $1.324M, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 listed for $1.395M.
2 closed sales: Heron at The Sanctuary #1A 2/2.5 $465K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $425K.

6 new listings: 1609 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $415K, 1290 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $449K, 9484 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 $639K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 $835K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $989K, 1444 Causey Ct 4/4 $1.199M, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1.55M.
12 price changes: 1639 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $399K, 945 Main St 3/3 now $435K (short sale), 2027 Sunrise Cir 4/4 duplex now $474.9K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 now $499K, 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 now $549K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 now $699K, 701 Heather Ln 4/3.5 now $750K, 1694 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $1.095M, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $1.165M, 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 now $2.25M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 now $2.649M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 5/4.5 now $3.195M.
10 new sales: 1394 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex listed for $449K, 1414 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $499K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 4/2 listed for $699K, 1066 Bailey Rd 3/3 listed for $824.5K (short sale), 1662 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 listed for $839K, 1141 Paper Fig Ct 3/3.5 listed for $1.495M, 413 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 listed for $1.849M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed for $2.495M, 5071 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed for $3.99M.
7 closed sales: 3344 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $490K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $532.5K, 3311 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $540K, 6138 Castaways Ln 3/2.5 $600K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $625K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $2.2M, 5035 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $3,322,625.

No new listings.
1 price change: 708 Durion Ct now $349K.
2 new sales: 1450 Tahiti Dr listed for $199,555; 6401 Pine Ave listed for $699K.
No closed sales.

No new listings.
3 price changes: Tennis Villas #3139 2/2 now $385K, Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 now $625K, Sunset Beach Villas #2338 3/3 now $850K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1609 2/2 $1.175M.

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

Happy Weekend, all.

If you are coming to Sanibel & Captiva Islands soon & are wondering about our March weather. High today is 77 degrees, with more of the same over the next five days (highs of 82 forecast for Monday & Tuesday). Sure beats snow & ice!

Happy February Florida Real Estate on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Islanders enjoyed a little Sanibel winter weather this week, with temps down into the 40’s/50’s at night and a couple of days in the high 60’s/low 70’s. It’s expected to be back up into the low 80’s by Wednesday. Here are a few photos that Dave and Lisa took yesterday while they were out previewing property on Realtor® Caravan, but first here’s the vehicle that just went by SanibelSusan Realty Associates. Is it a car? Is it a plane? It’s been making the rounds in Southwest Florida. Check it out on Heading down Periwinkle Way on Sanibel 02-01-2013 Heading down Periwinkle Way on Sanibel 02-01-2013

Pretty afternoon at the Bailey Tract, Tarpon Bay Rd, Sanibel, 01-31-2013

View from Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sanibel Island 01-31-2013

View from Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sanibel Island 01-31-2013

From Mariner Pointe looking toward the Sanibel Marina 01-31-2013

From Mariner Pointe looking toward the Sanibel Marina 01-31-2013

A pair of bald eagles, 01-31-2013

A pair of bald eagles, 01-31-2013


Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Each January, a lot gets accomplished in just a few days at the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando. This year was no exception.

Last Friday, I attended the Faculty Development Subcommittee meeting where I am a member, the Global Business Committee, and the Legislative and Political Forum. At this last event, Robin Smith-Wescott, Esq., who is the state Insurance Consumer Advocate ( updated us on recent insurance reform, including Wind Insurance changes. Regarding the National Flood Insurance Program, it was a bit disheartening to hear that Florida continues to provide 30% of the funding for this program, but receives only 13% in benefit. Florida Realtors® continue to pressure for more reform here.

Pam Blondi, Florida’s Attorney General, ( also spoke on the status of several state issues including foreclosure fraud and short sale management issues, and the monies Florida has available for foreclosure settlements. Her office handles a wide mix of problems including drugs and human trafficking, which she unfortunately mentioned are both on the rise.

Association Executive, Peggy Hummel, & President-Elect, David Schuldenfrei with some of the Sanibel/Captiva trophy collection 01-25-2013

Association Executive, Peggy Hummel, & President-Elect, David Schuldenfrei with some of the Sanibel/Captiva trophy collection 01-25-2013

On Friday night at the RPAC Jamboree, several Florida Realtor® organizations received recognition for their political action support. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association came home with three of the four major awards for “small boards” – quite an accomplishment for our little group and indicative of our active membership and their concern, contributions, and work in recent legislative and regulatory successes including the continued preservation of the mortgage interest deduction, tax relief benefiting the real estate industry, improving federal mortgage programs, and eliminating regulations that inhibit environmental quality and healthy real estate markets.

On Saturday, at the Professional Standards Forum, I received a script that will be presented later this year at an educational event locally. Later at the Resort and Second Home Forum Meeting, as members shared reports of the market in their area, it was good to hear that most Florida resort communities are rebounding. Interestingly, NAR (National Association of Realtors®) statistics now say that 60% of resort and second-home buyers are international. The East Coast associations, particularly Miami, advise that the percentage may be even higher there.

RSPS LogoWith only 1,700 Realtors® holding the RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) designation nationally, it is a tight group but with expansive networking opportunities. I received several new referrals while in Orlando and came back with more info to include in the Sanibel/Captiva designation RSPS class that I will teach for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® later this spring.

Showing Activity & Thursday Realtor® Caravan

realtor logoI was out showing property three days this week and so far have one finalized contract to show for it. Dave and Lisa were out showing yesterday. I will be out with folks tomorrow morning and another couple in the afternoon. Many colleagues are out showing too. We are hopeful that the next few weeks will be productive.

With only three new properties on Realtor caravan yesterday, the tide is changing. More new listings are needed to keep up with the current demand.

What’s The Best Season for Home Buying?

trulia-logoAn article posted on line at Florida Realtors® today, credits InformationInc and Trulia “Housing Wire”. It confirms that if true to history, February will most likely be busy with Florida sales.

“After the holidays, buyers tend to get more aggressive with their house hunting. Search activity usually peaks around March or April in most states, according to a new study of home searches from 2007 to 2012 conducted by Trulia. In September, searches slow down. By December, buyer searches ebb to their lowest point of the year. “Home-search activity swings with the seasons in every state,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist of Trulia. “Buyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage. Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.”

“Here are the months when online real estate searches peak in every U.S. state:
January: Hawaii
February: Florida
March: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
April: Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
May: Real estate activity does not peak in any state
June: Mississippi
July: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
August: Montana and Oregon
September-December: Real estate activity does not peak in any state.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Activity January 25 – February 1

5 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $329K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $695K, Sundial #L304 2/2 $1.049M, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1.095M, Tamarind #A101 2/2 $1.595M.
6 price changes: Sanibel Siesta #210 2/2 now $439K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $449K, Sundial #G401 2/2 now $479K, Shell Island Beach Club #5B 2/2 now $689K, Sundial #K203 2/2 now $744.9K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 now $997.5K.
2 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 listed for $549K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6-3 3/3 listed for $740K.
1 closed sale: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 $232.5K.

7 new listings: 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499K, 9228 Belding Dr 2/2.5 $550K, 600 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $579K, 1481 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $595K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 $839K, 5418 Osprey Ct 4/3.5 $999K, 200 Robinwood Cir 3/3.5 $1.268M.
4 price changes: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 now $529K; 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $599,555; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 now $799K.
3 new sales: 1809 Bowman’s Beach Rd 3/2 listed for $499K, 1660 Bunting Ln 4/3.5 listed for $945K (our buyer), 5035 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed for $3.595M.
1 closed sale: 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $820K.

3 new listings: 223 Robinwood Cir $287K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct $289K, 2323 Starfish Ln $549K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 $267.5K, Lands End Village #1609 2/2 $1.295M.
3 price changes: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 now $259K, Bayside Villas #5344 3/3 now $645K, Beach Villas #2533 2/2 now $699K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Marina Villas #603 2/2 $475K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $650K.

1 new listing: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.8M.
2 price changes: 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $2.495M, 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $12.4M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 16742 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.45M.

Nothing to report.

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