Rain, Rain Went Away, But Probably Not For Long

It’s Susan with another Friday report from now-sunny Sanibel. This time of the year, it’s hard to know when a shower may surprise us. As they say in Florida during the summer, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Here’s more info.

The Rainy Season Is Here

sun & rainNo doubt about it this week, the rainy season has begun and we have the mosquitoes to prove it. With serious showers over much of the state this week, the rain has put the Caloosahatchee and the estuary in a good place and given water managers a bit of relief. Local papers are reporting that Sanibel’s Director of Natural Resources, James Evans said, “The near-term perspective is very good.”

During the last 18 months, the Caloosahatchee estuary, San Carlos Bay, and the islands’ gulf beaches have seen both ends of the spectrum. From the heavy rains in January 2016, estuaries on both coasts were negatively affected when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released high flows of water from Lake Okeechobee.

Then it stopped raining, Lake O’s water level dropped, and water releases from the lake were less than enough to keep proper salinity in the local estuary. The low flows also have had the effect of excellent water clarity in the bay and beaches evidenced all over social media the last couple of weeks, with photos posted of glistening clear water – better some say than they ever remember seeing it.

Early June West wind beach

As Director Evans recently reported to City Council, “Water clarity is good at this time as a result of the reduced flows,” he said. “With the rain, we will see flows increase and we probably will get more water than we want. Low flows are not great for salinity levels, but they are great for water clarity.”

“When the lake falls to a low level, it becomes a water supply issue,” Evans told City Council. Water releases down the Caloosahatchee River, on this coast, and St. Lucie River, on the Atlantic side, are at the bottom of the release food chain. The water district controls lake releases for agricultural, commercial and residential interests. After those are met, it is decided how much water the Corps of Engineers will allow down the two rivers.

With the lake still low and rainy season just beginning, both the water district and the Corps of Engineers may soon have enough flexibility to take care of all interests, including the estuaries. But this opportunity is rare, which is why it is important to continue to push to establish water storage areas on all sides of Lake Okeechobee. Storage areas would allow water to be held in rainy times and released in dry times.

mosquito-clip-art-mosquito-clipart-6In the meantime, locals are looking forward to tonight when evening flyovers by Lee County Mosquito Control are scheduled.

As posted yesterday on the City’s web site: “If you are experiencing a high number of mosquitoes at your residence, please make a service request by clicking on this link http://www.angwatechnology.com/lee_devel/PublicServiceRequest/ or contact the LCMCD directly at (239) 694-2174.  If the LCMCD receives complaints from a specific area or neighborhood, the District dispatches personnel to conduct a mosquito count and if warranted, will fog or spray the area.

“For additional information regarding mosquito control on Sanibel, please visit the Lee County Mosquito Control District’s website at http://www.lcmcd.com

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayAt the office, in addition to all of us playing post-season catch-up, Dave and I both have been working toward some new sales and checking off the boxes on some contracts that are in the pipeline. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few other news items below.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

SanCapAssnLogoThough we had no local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, this week my Communications and Public Relations Committee got the arrangements worked out and Board approval for an Association-sponsored meal-packaging event – as part of our 2017 “Working Together To Make A Difference Campaign.”.

Over the next few weeks, our goals are to raise the $5,000 and get the manpower needed to package 20,000 nourishing healthy meals for donation to those in need.

meals of hope logoTo be held at Sanibel’s Community House on July 28 from 3 to 5 p.m., island Realtors®, business partners, and their families will man the assembly lines where the direction, supplies, and equipment will be provided by Meals of Hope, who then will distribute the meals to local food pantries.

Teammate Elise and I have participated in these meal packaging events before. Not only are they fast-paced and fun, they are a great way to give back. Food needs are especially high in the summer when schools are out, so please let me know if you would like to contribute or participate – or check out other events at www.Meals-of-Hope.org. (All donations are tax deductible.)

How to Keep Hackers Out

emailAn article posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on line on Wed, offered some advice good for not just Realtors®, but the public too.

“The FBI reports that email phishing accounts for 95% of cybersecurity threats. That’s why client communications are a key component of “cyber hygiene,” legal and law enforcement experts said during the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s Cybersecurity Conference in Chicago, which focused on threats to the real estate industry.”

The typical advice to employ complicated passwords and change them often isn’t enough to thwart hackers, according to the FBI special agent, who leads a team of cybercrime watchdogs at the agency’s Chicago field office. He also said that email hacking has become so pervasive that cybercrime now ranks as the FBI’s third-highest priority after terrorism and counterintelligence.

A common practice involves cybercriminals hacking into practitioners’ email accounts and sending fraudulent wire-transfer instructions to their clients. That’s why having a strong email password is so important. Longer passwords are suggested—at least 26 characters—and more secure than making them overly complicated with capital letters and symbols.

Frequently changing passwords also isn’t the best prevention against cybersecurity threats. If you use a pattern that’s easy to guess to update your passwords more frequently, it may give hackers an in to breach your email.

Recommended is using a password management system to store passwords; then you can ensure each one meets security standards without worrying about forgetting them.

Shells – Shells – & More Shells

sundial-logoI had lunch Wednesday at Sundial Resort where the huge waves were crashing on the beach – a sight not often seen in the gulf. It certainly wasn’t good beach weather for sunbathers here on vacation, but a prelude to the continued reports of superb shelling this week. Some long-time island shell-aholics dropped in at the office yesterday and described Sanibel shelling over the last couple of days as “superb”.

It’s not just mosquitoes and “green” grass that have resulted from the recent rain storms, the number of Junonia-finders has increased too.

Sanibel-shells-from-storm-windsThere are five different photos this week in the “Island Sun” alone. Some of us have been looking decades for one of those shells. From Lighthouse Beach to Blind Pass to Clam Bayou, reports are there are more perfect empty shells of many varieties rolling in every day.

Good shelling often is the best part about the rainy season.

Upcoming Events – Planning Ahead

Sat, June 17 – Free Admission Day at Sanibel Historical Village & Museum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with full guided tour at 10:30 a.m.

4th-of-july-clip-artTues, July 4 – 27th Annual Sanibel Independence Day Parade at 9:30 a.m. Now is the time for entries to sign up. 2017 Parade T-Shirts are available at Bank of the Islands.

Tues July 4 – 38th Annual Road Rally at noon starting/ending at Timbers Restaurant parking lot. More info at http://www.SanCapOptimist.org

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 2-9, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial West #F306 1/1 $465K.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 now $479.5K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 now $559.9K.

1 new sale: Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 listed at $629K.

3 closed sales: Sundial East #L401 2/2 $714K, Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $750K, Sundial West #K403 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9113 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 $649,999; 765 Conch Ct 5/4 $939K.

9 price changes: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 now $559K, 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $569K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $599K, 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 now $695K, 485 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $1.075M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 now $1.75M, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 now $2.395M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.727M.

3 new sales: 769 Pyrula 3/2 listed at $599K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1032 Lindgren Blvd 3/2.5 listed at $895K.

8 closed sales: 1596 Bunting Ln 2/2 $490K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $534K, 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $542.5K, 3152 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $635K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $659K, 276 Ferry Landing Dr 4/3 $880K, 9019 Mockingbird Dr 4/4 $1.125M, 1757 Venus Dr 4/2.5 $1.74M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 540 East Lake Rd now $169K, 1820 Ardsley Way now $185K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $315K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $512K, Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 $590K.

HOMES

No new listings & price changes.

2 new sales: 14980 Binder Dr 4/3 listed at $1.198M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 listed at $6.245M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16950 Captiva Dr $2.7M.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

It’s Another Happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan here, with the first report in a long time of a cloudy Friday. Following a picture-perfect holiday weekend when the causeway and beaches were busy with families and vacationers, it has been a nice, though quiet week.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Not as busy as we’d like it though at SanibelSusan Realty. Good weather often keeps phones from ringing, but our listings did get a few showings. teammate Dave accompanied a couple of home inspections, and I showed homes most of Wednesday, while yesterday following our Association of Realtors® meeting, Dave and Elise covered our Caravan Open House, I chaired a meeting at the Association office, we had a good closing, and then Dave was out showing condos too, including our new listing. This afternoon, Dave’s back to holding another Open House, while Elise’s weekly report of the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few news items below. You’ll probably notice, there was no real estate action on Captiva. That’s unusual.

We had a surprise visit this morning from a family here on vacation. They bought their home through us five years ago and it is always such a treat when we get an update from them. Dad Scott is a terrific photographer and follows my blog. It was great to get his reminder that I may always share the pictures he posts on-line. Their bay-front home has probably one of the most active osprey nests on the island and he said that the last of the three fledglings in the nest this year was hesitant to make its first flight. As a result, he got some terrific close-up shots before it finally used its wings. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

SanCapAssnLogoThough attendance was light at our Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, our new CEO was given a rousing applause. Bill Robinson who joined our Association in 2012 and been promoted to MLS Director and Chief Operating Officer, was announced as our new Chief Executive Officer, replacing Peggy Hummel who will retire at the end of August.

A handful of new sales were announced. I got a thank you for bringing the buyer for Anchor Pointe #C and I gave a thank you to the Realtor® bringing the buyer to Lighthouse Point #129. Just seven properties were on the Caravan that followed, including our new listing at The Sanctuary, Ibis #B102. (Photos of Ibis #B102 below.)

CEO’s Bill and Peggy both later participated in our Communications & Public Relations Committee meeting. Big props to Bill for getting my press release in the “Santiva-Chronicle” within hours of submission. Check out our June 1 progress report on this year’s “Association of Realtors® Working Together to Make A Difference” campaign at http://santivachronicle.com/Content/Business-News/Business/Article/Realtors-Members-Made-a-Difference-in-May/13/32/6604

Here Comes The Rainy Season

Sanibelcityseal logoThe rainy season finally is here, with occasional showers expected for a least the next seven days. Though we need the water, it’s always a bit of downer when clear bay and gulf waters get stirred up by storms. We also are always hoping that we don’t get too much rain or water quality can be affected.

To illustrate, Jim Szabo with SanCap Aerial Photography has been taking aerials of the island for many months. On Memorial Day, his Facebook posting next to a stunning post-card like photo, said “Our water around Sanibel is amazingly beautiful. I take weekly 360° interactive panoramic images exclusively for the City of Sanibel.” Then he described that the one posted was taken around 12:30 p.m. at 350 feet above the lighthouse using his airborne camera system.

His message further says, “The City of Sanibel does this to show the current conditions, good or bad, for almost the last year. Toward the end of June, we will be able to compare current conditions to a year ago. Big thanks to the City of Sanibel for doing this.”

His images can be seen at http://www.mysanibel.com/Departments/Natural-Resources/Protecting-Our-Water-Quality/Sanibel-H2O-Matters. Scroll down when you get to that page and you will see links to weekly panoramic aerials taken at Lighthouse Beach Park going back to June 28, 2016. (Check out the difference between early and late June last year, it’s amazing.) There also are some taken from Gulfside City Park, Blind Pass, Clam Bayou, and the Causeway.

20 Questions To Ask When Buying a Condo

Buying or selling, it’s good to be aware of these questions and how they apply to a property.This provided courtesy of FloridaRealtors®.

20 QUESTIONS WHEN BUYING A CONDO.jpg

Sanibel School Tops District on State Test

sanibel schoolMany of us wish we’d found Sanibel when our families were young. The Sanibel School is one of the reasons why.

As reported in this week’s “Islander”, “The Sanibel School was one of two schools in the district that had 97% of its third-grade students score a three or higher on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) English Language Arts test.” This is an increase from last year’s 94%. The state percentage was 58%, compared to 54% last year. This is the third year that students in the county have taken the FSA. Although the Sanibel School tied with Pine Island Elementary School, their overall score was highest at 325, compared to their 318.

Congratulations to The Sanibel School for focusing on lots of reading. The school has offered a reading roundup for kids who were struggling, by offering more reading time during the school day. F.I.S.H. also sponsored after school tutoring to any student needing extra help.

The local district ranked third out of 10 mega districts in the State of Florida based on this last English Language Arts test.

Shell Mueum to Hold Bunche Beach Clean-Up

bailey-mathews shell museum signThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum will celebrate World Oceans Day on Wed, June 8 from 7 to 9 a.m. when museum staff and their Shell Ambassadors will hold a clean-up at Bunche Beach (at 18201 John Morris Rd). The public is invited to participate.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. uses 380 billion plastic bags per year and only 3% of that is recycled. This is the first time that the Museum has participated in World Oceans Day, but not the first time they have held a clean-up at Bunche Beach. It was selected instead of Sanibel because it seems to be more of a hotspot for trash and debris. If you can help with the clean-up, please register with Stefanie at SWolf@shellmuseum.org. Their tips for cutting down on plastic:

  • Use a reusable bag.
  • Use a reusable water bottle.
  • Say no to straws.
  • Bring your own containers for take-out/leftover food.
  • Stop chewing gum (it contains a molecule that is used in making plastic).
  • Shop local farmer’s markets.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 26-June 2, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.149M, Sanddollar #A303 3/2 $1.349M.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #371 2/2 now $529K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 now $629K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 now $1.315M, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.495M.

No new sales.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #D403 1/1 $420K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $725K, Beachcomber #A102 2/2 $1.25M (our listing), Tamarind #A102 2/2 $1.495M, Somerset #E202 3/2.5 $1.54M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $599K, 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $649K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $729K.

5 price changes: 3008 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 now $449K; 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 now $449.9K; 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $679K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $768,885; 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 now $685K.

4 new sales: 986 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $529K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $729K, 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 listed at $799.9K, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.649M.

5 closed sales: 770 Donax St 2/2 $422.5K; 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 $490,723; 1210 Par View Dr 4/2 $680K; 1028 Demere Ln 3/2 $892.5K; 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $1.81M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2998 Singing Wind Dr now $189K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5121 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $180K.

Captiva

No activity to report.

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

Until next Friday,happy friday

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan