Just Another Fabulously Sunny Friday on Sanibel Island

Photo by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, taken in front of Compass Point

Photo by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, taken in front of Compass Point

It is another sunny Friday on Sanibel Island with more local temporary closings, vacations, and construction projects ongoing. Everyone is getting ready for “season”. We are ready NOW.

Sanibel realtors logoThe Association of Realtors® did not have a Caravan meeting yesterday, but next Thursday is our monthly membership meeting and it will be at Sundial Resort.

sundial-logoA good time for me to remind attendees about our listings there.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It was a slow week, with just three sales on Sanibel (a condo, a home, a lot) and none on Captiva.

Island Scuttlebutt

Center 4 Life Maintenance Closure – It’s that time of the year. The Center 4 Life will be closed from September 14 through 18 to complete numerous maintenance projects.

clam-bake-logoClam Shack on Sanibel – Many original northerners (like me) looking for authentic New England seafood make the occasional summer off-island road trip to The Clam Bake which is a hidden gem down Rte 41 in Island Park Shopping Center. Recent news is that they will be opening a sister restaurant on Sanibel called The Clam Shack at 2407 Periwinkle Way (former location of Greenhouse Grill). Fingers crossed here that the menu includes fried clams with bellies!

Farmers Market Brussels Sprouts

Market organizer Jean Baer with Brussell sprouts on the vine

Sanibel Farmers MktFarmers’ Market Reopening October 4 – “It’s the Best Thing Growing” – Going into its 8th year, island gals Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura advise that the Sanibel Farmers’ Market will reopen on Sunday October 4 and continue weekly from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. through April 24 on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. It’s hard to believe that the market started as a trial at Tahitian Gardens in 2008 with just 20-some vendors and has now expanded to about 50 vendors. It definitely is the place to visit with neighbors and stock up for the week! Jean and Betsy’s company “Local Roots LLC” now has other market locations too. Wednesdays at Fenway South Jet Blue Stadium in Fort Myers, Thursdays at Coconut Point in Estero, Fridays at Lakes Park in Fort Myers, plus two Saturday locations at The Promenade in Bonita Springs and Florida Southwestern Campus in Fort Myers. Each market offers a unique opportunity for local vendors to sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, nursery stock, and other commodities. Some of the markets also showcase local crafters products. See more info at www.BuyLocalLee.com.

Pointe Santo Beach ChairsPointe Santo – Rumor has it that the spalling work in progress at Pointe Santo’s gulf-front “E” building has expanded into several balconies, requiring their complete removal, so the building maintenance block has been extended from the end of Sept to early Nov. That is causing a bit of an inconvenience for the rental managers with tenants booked then. Once the “E” building work is done, the contractor is moving on to the other gulf-front building “A”. Fingers crossed that the condition there is better.

aerial_sanibel_boat_ramp_300x222Sanibel Public Boat Ramp on Sextant Drive – is getting some routine maintenance, but one half of the dock will remain open during the construction period. Work should be complete by September 18.

SCCF Oyster Restoration – Did you know that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab recycles oyster shells from three local restaurants, The Fish House, The Lazy Flamingo II, and Timbers? Since they began recycling almost a year ago, over 24,000 pounds of shell have been kept out of landfills going back into the bay.sccf marine lab headerFour Things You Should Never Do To Your Home

sanibel air logoThe below article was posted in today’s edition of the “Island Sun”. It was written by Sanibel air conditioning contractor, Bryan Hayes (Sanibel Air), who also co-owns an island electric business with his brother, Todd. The article is a tad tongue-in-cheek, but actually offers some good advice.

“There are four things I suggest that you should never do to your home. They are:

  1. Work On Your Own Plumbing – First off, because I absolutely hate plumbing work, I can work on A/C and electrical all day long, but ask me to change the smallest plumbing thing and I’m at the hardware store 15 times before I even start. Not to mention the disaster that could result. Trust me, it’s cheaper to hire a plumber.
  2. Don’t Do Your Own Electrical – This might sound like it’s self-serving, but think about it this way. Think about what you do or did for a living. Now, imagine the average person trying to do what you did. Let’s say you were a boat mechanic. Would you go out on a boat that the average Joe repaired, with little or no experience? Again, it’s usually always better and safer to hire the right professional.
  3. Don’t Do Your Own A/C Repair – Please change your filters, but when it comes to the rest, see 1 and 2 above.
  4. Don’t Leave Your Home for More Than a Day Without Turning the Water Off – If you are going away, turn your water off. The damage that can result from leaking pipes is incredible. I was at a home that the occupants had left for a long weekend; a pipe had burst on the 3rd floor, and the damage to this home looked like a bomb went off.

“So, I covered four things to never do to your home. But please, for the sake of your family, check your smoke detectors on a monthly basis. Smoke detectors save lives, but only when they are working. A good way to remember is to check them is every time you pay your electric bill.”

Properties Listed by Experienced Agents

Florida Realtors logoHere’s an interesting statistic that was posted in “Florida Realtor®” September magazine:

“Properties listed by veteran agents (10 years or more experience) sell for approximately 2% more and do so 32% faster than those listed by new agents. Source: “The Impact of Agent Experience on the Real Estate Transaction,” Bennie D. Waller & Ali Jubran, Journal of Housing Research”

I’ve been licensed for 26 years and my team and I have been together since 1999. Elise also became licensed in 2003, Lisa in 2007, and Dave in 2012. We’ve got a lot of experience together and hope we too get the job done better and sooner.

About Zillow and Trulia

BradfordZillowCartoonSince April, Zillow and Trulia are no longer receiving direct feeds of real estate listings from ListHub. Prior to April, ListHub had been a primary source of listing syndication. (Syndication commonly refers to an agreement between a broker and a 3rd-party to advertise the broker’s listings on non-MLS web sites.)

Zillow Group has been in discussion with Florida MLS’s (Multiple Listing Services) to identify ways listings may or may not continue to be sent to Zillow and Trulia. Some agreements will result in data continuing to be supplied to the Zillow Group sites; however, each agreement is different.

The Sanibel and Captiva Association of Realtors® (where I am a primary member) and their MLS do NOT syndicate or sell their data, so island property searches and calculations performed through Zillow and Trulia often are erroneous.

Because of my secondary membership with the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and The Beach, SanibelSusan Realty listings may be syndicated through them and they are, unless a Seller advises that they do not want their property advertised by a third party.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 4-11



3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 $499K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $535K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 $679K.

1 price change: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $624.9K.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #B101 2/2 listed at $449K.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 $720K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 $790K.


1 new listing: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $599K.

1 price change: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549,749.

1 new sale: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $330K.

3 closed sales: 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $600K, 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $705K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 $800K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Sabal Sands Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 2142 Starfish Ln listed at $399K.

1 closed sale: 1429 Albatross Rd $234.5K.



1 new listing: Marina Villas #904 2/2 $665K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.


2 new listings: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.195M, 16560 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 $7M.

1 price change: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $5.9M.

No new or closed sales.


Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes for a sunny weekend to all! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel sunset 2011

Florida Realtors® & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Happenings

Florida Realtors logoSanibelSusan is writing this from the Florida Realtors® 2014 Conference & Trade Expo in Orlando which is a terrific annual event with the leadership team’s subcommittee, committee and business meetings, plus plenty of Realtor® camaraderie.

This year I am happy to be serving on several including: the Audition Panel for new instructors; the Professional Development Committee’s Curriculum Subcommittee; the Professional Subcommittee; the Professional Standards Forum; and the Resort and Second-Home Specialist Forum.

2014 conventionSometimes I think that when I am out of town, the SanibelSusan Team performs at their finest. It certainly seems to work in bringing us new business. I’ve only been here a couple of days and already the team has serviced an unexpected new listing at Pointe Santo, and teammate Dave is all set to show property tonight and in the morning to some last-minute buyers flying in later today for a quick 2-day home/condo buying trip. Dave is on a roll after putting an off-island property under contract earlier in the week. So much for August being a quiet month in Southwest Florida!

View from our new listing at Pointe Santo

View from our new listing at Pointe Santo

Here are a few more news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days.

“Homeless to Harvard”

breaking-night-liz-murrayMany island real estate colleagues also are in Orlando, soaking up the educational sessions, networking, and finalizing our 2014 committee work. Yesterday at the annual Keynote Awards Luncheon, the speaker was Liz Murray. As a homeless child of cocaine-addicted parents in Brooklyn to becoming a Harvard graduate on scholarship, her story is awe-inspiring.

She authored the book “Breaking Night” and the made-for-TV movie “From Homeless to Harvard” is based on her life. I have attended many conventions and events with nationally-known speakers, but this gal is second to none. With nary a dry eye in the house, we all left the room with huge motivation. If you have a chance to hear her, do it!

A Fast Ten Years

charley-track-mapIslanders all breathed a silent sigh of relief on Wednesday which was the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Charley. Though that storm brought out the best in island leaders and demonstrated amazing island spirit and neighbors helping neighbors, I think we are all very thankful that we have had pretty easy summer weather over the last few years.

2013 StarsThis August anniversary also means that right-around-the-corner is the 10-year anniversary of SanibelSusan Realty’s office opening in Sanibel Square. Those ten years have flown by.

Sanibel Luminary night 2014 (Dec 5) will officially mark the anniversary of our grand opening. Stay tuned for something special then!

Changing the Game

reading-bookAnother interesting convention speaker and co-author of the book that has many Realtors® abuzz is Steve Murray (no relation to Liz Murray above). His book “Game Changers” was the basis of a local Association task force that I served on recently.

Game-Changers-CoverThis book about the “unfounded fears and future prosperity of the residential real estate industry” describes through extensive industry research how the real estate business is changing and what the future may hold. You undoubtedly have heard of Zillow, Trulia, and various money-driven 3rd party listing portals eager to get their hands on Realtor® listing information. This book tackles not only issues like that but also agent ratings, MLS consolidations, and more.

realtor logoAs a firm believer that change is inevitable and usually for the good, I also personally think that the Realtor® needs to remain at the center of real estate transactions to best serve sellers and buyers, particularly when the market is a unique vacation-type destination like Sanibel and Captiva Islands where the clients often are absentee. It’s still all about service to me which sometimes conflicts with the theory that “bigger is better!” The greatest compliment that my team and I receive after a successful transaction is “your service is the best we have ever received from a Realtor®.” The industry remaining service-driven needs to continue for our business and profession to thrive!

What’s Happening With Real Estate in the Rest of the World?

TRC LOGOThrough SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certification), I often receive information about the real estate market in other countries. Here is an excerpt from the July TRC newsletter with details from ICREA (the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations).

“With the first half of 2014 coming to a close,…quick round-the-world snapshot of key residential markets, based on news from member associations and other credible sources. …all real estate is local, but having a big picture sense of market conditions is good….

“One of the few markets to emerge largely unscathed from the global financial crisis, CANADA was well into recover by 2010. Its recession was the shortest and mildest among advanced economies. Since then the market has remained steady with slowly rising home sales. In most months about half of all local housing markets report gains. The metro Vancouver and Toronto markets tend to skew median home prices upward. Canada’s central bank has maintained its low 1% overnight lending rate for the past four years with no increase expected until 2015.

“On of the much-watched BRIC countries, BRAZIL is Lat America’s largest economy. Its housing market witnessed an economic boom thanks to low interest rates and credit expansion, raising cries of a housing bubble. Debate continues on the bubble, but the market has remained strong, supported by a growing middle class that buys for personal use. Its recent place on the world (Cup) stage, and selection as host country for the 2016 Olympics, is viewed by some as a mixed blessing with foreign investor eyes on the market but local money being redirected. Economic growth has slowed…perhaps a good sign for those fearing the bubble.

“High prices are twarting firtst-time buyers in the UNITED KINGDOM, in spite of the government’s “Help to Buy” program. Compounding the problem is a lack of inventory, which neared a 10-year low this spring. The UK’s NAEA views the Help to Buy program as a good temporary measure, but has called on the government to take action on the “unfair and hugely expensive” Stamp Duty, seen as a barrier to access and upward mobility on the housing ladder. London prices remain high and rising although the strong pound is prohibitive for some foreign investors.

“While the newly instituted property law “ALUR” in FRANCE is much-debated among industry professionals a recent FNAIM survey found a minority of citizens aware of or do not understand the law. Among those who do, few deem it effective. The law brings a raft of measures impacting the housing market, including for owners who rent their homes to tourists. While FNAIM supports efforts that protect consumers and promotes professionalism, it cites a number of shortcomings and overly burdensome elements of the law that will slow or complicate sales. Overall, the housing market remains weak, hurt by high employment, although prices are edging up in some markets. Paris and Cote d’Azur prices (particularly luxury housing) have largely remained strong.

“The newly elected Narendra Modi-led NDA government bodes well for INDIA‘s property market with many believing the government will help revive the market and address housing affordability issues. Ongoing urbanization and migration to cities coupled with increasing levels of education and healthcare will drive future demand. The market has been facing a slowdown in recent years due to high interest rates on home loans and lower economic growth. A Real Estate Regulation bill (long in development) is expected to pass this year which will support greater transparency and protect buyers’ interests.

“Housing news from China is less about housing in CHINA than about the impact of Chinese foreign buyers–primarily in the luxury market. A number of overheating local markets point to Chinese investors as pushing up home prices; often out of reach of local buyers. Markets attracting large numbers of Chinese buyers include Sydney, Mumbai, London, Paris, Singapore, NYC, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Chinese tend to buy where they have business interests, or buy for their children or to secure residency (a growing trend worldwide). Local response is mixed between those selling at record high prices and those priced out of the market. Some view the trend as dangerous to the local economy while others see it as a natural outgrowth of globalization.

“The resort market in MEXICO took a hit with the US economic recession (due to the many American expats buyers) but is now recovering with some notable success stories such as Veracruz. A positive sign is the government reforms being instituted to encourage business growth and investment. Sector actions include debt guarantees for construction companies and increased subsidies for homebuyers. The two government lenders reported a 14% credit increase in 1Q 2014 with increased participation by small and medium-sized homebuilders. Real estate trade group AMPI is doing its part by continuing its push for strong industry regulations and professionalism.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 8-15



3 new listings: Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 $599K, Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $675K, Pointe Santo #D45 2/2 $799K (our listing).

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $480K.

3 new sales: Sundial #H407 1/1 listed for $399K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 listed for $475K, Sundial #E108 2/2 listed for $799K.

1 closed sale: Island Beach Club #320D 2/2 $824K.

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 now $758K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $898K.

3 new sales: 1661 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $290K (foreclosure), 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $469K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $599K (short sale).

6 closed sales: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 $280K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $450K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 $865K, 1817 Buckthorn Ln 4/3.5 $1.05M, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 $1.2M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.4375M.


Nothing to report.



No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $689.9K.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 now $2.395M.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listing: 15295 Captiva Dr $850K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Happy weekend to all! Susan