Another Sunny Sanibel Friday With Temps in Mid-70’s


210.JPGIt seems that SanibelSusan’s Friday island updates often begin with weather and traffic reports. Why should this week be any different? So, I’ve had my heat on at home at night for almost a week now and we often have kicked it on at the office first thing in the morning to take the chill off. Temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s are hardly a chill, particularly when looking at the national weather forecast and the snow expected to hit New England and the Midwest this weekend. We hope that those affected stay warm and safe.

scotch bonnet shell 01-15-19Usually those winter snowstorms affect Florida weather in some way, sometimes resulting in good shelling. Those doing the Sanibel Stoop continued to find special shells this week. Here’s a jumbo Scotch Bonnet collected on January 15th.

Here, the forecast for next week shows day-time temperatures in the mid-60’s to mid-70’s. With a low in the 40’s expected Sunday night (that could be our lowest of the year so far).

Island roadway traffic and business are still off compared to previous January’s. Today, traffic past the office is a little heavier with an Arts & Crafts Fair going on at The Community House. It’s going on there tomorrow too. Real estate business usually picks up in February, with the islands are at their busiest.

At the local Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday only a couple of sales were announced, but there were plenty of new listings and price reductions. A full caravan followed including our new listing at Lighthouse Point which got good feedback by both Realtors® and neighbors/island visitors. It’s great value, priced to sell quickly if you are interested in a beach-front 3-bedroom on the bay. (photos below)

The details on all of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service action since last Friday follow a few news items below.

Tonight is the Association’s annual Installation & Awards Banquet at The Sanctuary.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Year Business Meetings

header_midwinter_2.jpgNext week are the Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando where state leaders kick off the year. With that trip in mind, I’ve been watching Orlando forecasts too. Their forecast shows their daytime temperatures expected to be higher than here (80 degrees Saturday and 78 degrees Wed). But their nights are regularly into the 40’s.

Teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa will be covering on-island while I’m away. The meeting schedule is consolidated this year, so I’ll be back on island Saturday. Wednesday, I again am sitting on the Audition Panel for Florida Realtors® instructors. We have a record number of 48 auditions scheduled during our all-day session. Thursday morning the Legislative Think Tank meets, as well as the Resort & 2nd Home Forum (where water quality and short-term rentals are on the agenda). Thursday afternoon, I have a Curriculum Subcommittee meeting in preparation for Friday’s Professional Development Committee meeting. With multiple meetings and events happening simultaneously, it’s always a productive invigorating time including great networking. Hard to believe this will be my 21st year serving. Today’s technology sure makes participating and doing business from afar easier now.

Florida Brokers Use New Tax Law as a Marketing Tool

bloomberg logoFrom Monday’s Florida Realtors® on-line:

“MIAMI – Jan. 14, 2019 – Florida real estate professionals are pitching the state’s tax benefits in places like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – states where homeowners were hit the hardest by a sweeping tax law that capped deductions on state and local taxes since they have some of the highest income and property taxes. “What we’ve done is kind of double down on the Northeast because of the tax incentives,” says Daniel de la Vega, president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami.

“Under the tax law, deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes, are limited to $10,000. According to Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Florida operations, “If you’re looking at an ultra-high net worth individual or a very high-income employee, if they can make the move, there are real benefits.”

“The efforts appear to be gaining traction, with Redfin reporting an average 5% gain in sales prices for Florida luxury homes on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter. Moreover, Florida luxury home prices have outperformed the national average for four consecutive quarters. Over the same year-over-year period, luxury home sales in Florida edged up 6%, but declined 0.7% nationally.

“Cristobal Young, a Cornell University sociologist and author of “The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters to the Rich,” says that if you strip Florida out of the national data, evidence of rich people moving from high- to low-tax states essentially disappears.”

Source: Bloomberg (01/11/19) Levin, Jonathan

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

2018 Was 3rd Year For Above-Average Catastrophes

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors posted the below article on-line yesterday:

“CoreLogic’s annual Natural Hazard Report, which addresses the recent wildfires in California and severe rainfall- and hurricane-induced flooding throughout the nation, as the leading catastrophes in 2018.core logic logo

“Much like 2017, last year was an above-average year for hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and severe winds, the report concludes. It’s the 3rd year in a row for increased damage from disasters, which property insurance companies consider when requesting rate increases.

“The annual report analyzes hazard activity in the U.S. including events for Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes, flooding, wind, wildfire, earthquake and volcano, hail and tornado, as well as several international events including typhoons and cyclones in Japan, Oman, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

“”In 2018, the U.S. continued to experience damaging weather and natural catastrophes in high exposure areas, and in some instances, in regions that had been impacted in less than a year prior,” says Howard Botts, chief scientist, CoreLogic. “Hazards will always pose a real threat to homes and businesses and knowing exactly what that risk entails is critical to helping ensure sufficient protection from the financial catastrophes that so often follow natural disasters.”

“Report highlights

Flooding

In 2018, there were over 1,600 significant flood events that occurred in the U.S., 59% of which were flash flood-related.

“Residential and commercial flood damage in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia from Hurricane Florence is estimated at $19 billion to $28.5 billion, of which roughly 85% of residential flood losses were uninsured.

“Multiple states, including Texas, North and South Carolina, Maryland and Wisconsin, experienced 1,000-year floods; several 2018 floods occurred less than two years after an earlier problem, even though they’re considered 1,000-year flood events.

“Six percent of properties nationwide are within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), and approximately one-third of those have flood insurance policies.

Atlantic hurricanes

“The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season saw 15 named storms, eight of which were hurricanes. Two of these, Hurricanes Florence (Category 1) and Michael (Category 4), made landfall along the U.S., making 2018 the third back-to-back season of above-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic.

“Approximately 700,000 residential and commercial properties experienced catastrophic flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Florence, which is estimated to have caused between $20 to $30 billion in insured and uninsured loss.

“Michael is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1900 and the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. It’s estimated to have caused $2.5 to $4 billion in residential and commercial insured loss from wind and storm surge.

Wildfire

“The number of acres burned in 2018 is the eighth highest in U.S. history as reported through Nov. 30, 2018.

A total of 11 western states had at least one wildfire that exceeded 50,000 burned acres; the leading states were California and Oregon, each with seven fires that burned more than 50,000 acres.

“The November 2018 Camp Fire in Northern California destroyed nearly the entire city of Paradise and brought damage or destruction to 18,804 structures.

“The Woolsey wildfire in the coastal community of Malibu destroyed more than 1,600 structures.

CoreLogic estimates that the combined total insured and uninsured loss for these two wildfires is between $15 billion and $19 billion.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 11-18, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Donax Village #10 1/1.5 $379K, Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 $689K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $785K, Tarpon Beach #112 2/2 $1.149M, Atrium #207 2/2 $1.55M.

5 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $235K, Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 now $309K, Sundial #H108 1/1 now $459K, Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $699K, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.49M.

1 new sale: Bayview Village #2A 3/3 listed at $749K.

1 closed sale: Compass Point #232 2/2 $585K (our buyer).

compass point from beach

Compass Point from the beach

HOMES

5 new listings: 4755 Ruelle 3/3 $785K; 2441 Los Colony Rd 4/2.5 $898,997; 3351 Saint Kilda Rd 3/3 $1.25M; 5407 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.595M; 4143 West Gulf Dr 4/3.5 $6.795M.

14 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $499K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 now $630K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $699K, 721 Cardium St 3/2 now $745K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $748.9K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $799K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 now $829K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $895K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 now $959K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $989K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.495M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.499M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.789M.

7 new sales: 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $597K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 listed at $679K, 678 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $799K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 listed at $874.9K, 1127 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 listed at $925K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 listed at $999K, 1230 Ferry Rd 3/4 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 5847 Pine Ave now $349,555; 0 Island Inn Rd now $849,555; 4767 Tradewinds Dr now $1.595M.

1 new sale: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd listed at $189.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2112 1/1 $517.9K.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1,799,999.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 listed at $635K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $389K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $2.395M, 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $4.15M, 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4.5M.

3 price changes: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.849M, 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.395M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.6M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

dsc01361

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

1st Weekend of 2019… Sanibel Shelling Still Amazing


As the new year begins, island roadways and bike paths continue to be busy – a noticeable increase from before Christmas with plenty of holiday visitors here enjoying the warm temperatures and sunshine. Temperatures got up into the mid 80’s on Wednesday, but that is expected to change a little when a mini-cool front arrives tomorrow dropping nighttime temps into the 50’s. After that, sunny but low-70-degree days may be the norm for the foreseeable future.

If you follow Sanibel Shell Seekers on Facebook, you likely have seen that the number and sizes of the shells found since the storms pre-Christmas are phenomenal. Here are a couple of their pix posted there: lightening whelks by Michael Gillmore and sharks eyes by Marci Canty. Aren’t the colors amazing!

michael gillmore sanibel shell seekersmarci canty sanibel shell seekers

Those here, please remember, that “in season”, it’s smart to plan travel around the heavier traffic coming on-island in the morning and off-island late afternoon.

Also, in typical winter fashion, as soon as condo listings are occupied, we get showing requests. It’s always challenging to sell properties that are in rental programs where the property managers do not allow showings during guest stays. That’s when encouraging Realtors® to walk the complex, point out the location/view, and professional photography/colored fliers become more important. Serious buyers understand. This week, we were fortunate when a cooperative owner guest allowed several showings. At another property, where a long-term guest had just arrived, we weren’t as lucky.

Wondering if the islands have any sales action here during the short New Year’s week? The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity since last Friday is after a few news items below.

Annual Meetings, Fee Changes, & More

Sanibel realtors logoMany Southwest Florida condominium and homeowner associations hold their annual meetings in the winter when more owners are in town. We work hard to keep info about our listings up-to-date. Local Realtors® and our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® are smart about sharing any new info about planned projects, changes in fees or special assessments, or even talk about upcoming maintenance events.

At yesterday morning’s Realtor® Caravan Meeting, a colleague announced that the City has approved Sandy Bend condominium putting in a swimming pool. Sharing info like this is an important part of making sure that everyone involved in a transaction knows what is happening at the property.

2019 Economic Outlook: Mostly Strong

gulfshore business logoFrom December 2018 issue of “Gulfshore Business” magazine:

“Local experts forecast how our key business sectors will fare next year.

“Southwest Florida has been bombarded with a lot of unwanted “color” in 2018 – red tide, blue-green algae, citrus greening. The question for 2019: Will our economy be in the red or in the black?

“”Gulfshore Business” gathered data from economists and industry experts who forecast the health of our local markets for real estate, tourism, agriculture, finance and health care for the new year.

“It looks to shape up like another good year for Florida,” says Jerry Parrish, chief economist and director of research at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Over the past five years, Florida produced one out of 11 new jobs in the U.S.”

“Parrish says the probability of a recession over the next nine months, barring a “black swan” unexpected event, is very low. “People are moving here, taking jobs, building homes, buying because there’s opportunity,” he says. “I see that continuing for next year. Even if the economy softens a little bit, Florida’s still going to be strong.”

“The Southwest Florida region tends to overheat during boom periods and overcorrect during busts, says Chris Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute and professor of economics at the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

“Gross domestic product data show the region’s economic activity bounced back from the 2008 recession in 2014 and remained strong until 2017 (the most recent numbers available). “Then it began to slow down considerably,” Westley says, noting overall GDP for Collier County in 2017 was 1.2%, the first time it dipped below 3% in five years. Lee County was at 1.5%.

“Westley blames the decline on the slow growth of construction. “A lot of that is explained by Hurricane Irma. A lot of construction projects were put on hold,” he says. But construction employment rebounded in September 2018, increasing year over year in Collier County by 27.5% and in Lee County by 20%.

“”As long as the expansion continues, we can expect our region to exceed the state, and the state to exceed the country,” he says. However, Westley says many economists – who weren’t prepared for 2008 – believe a correction will happen in 2020. “If the economy continues to expand through next summer, we will be in the longest expansion in U.S. history. But, it’s been a pretty weak expansion. It’s possible that weak expansions last long. It’s possible we could fall into a recession next year or in 2021. It’s going to turn on a dime.”

“Real Estate and Development

ls-logo“Randy Thibaut, CEO of Land Solutions in Fort Myers, says we are not in a depression or in a recession. “We think we’re in a market correction and expect that to continue into 2020,” he says.

“He says factors that led to the market crash in 2008 are not happening today, such as runaway speculation and financing, and overbuilding of single-family homes. Although, he says, the potential does exist for overbuilding of assisted living and apartment construction.

“Thibaut says the combination of rising interest rates, prices becoming too expensive for most homebuyers, tariffs increasing the cost of building new homes, and increasing government fees all equate to a softening of the market.

“Interest rates are expected to rise to 5.8 or 6% by 2020. “In and of itself, 6 to 8% interest rates are not a scary thing,” he says. However, for every 1% the interest rate goes up, buyers average $20,000 less in borrowing power. That makes it more difficult for 1st time homebuyers to find affordable homes, with prices already higher in response to increases in labor, materials, concrete and land over the past five years. Now, he says, tack on an expected extra $9,000 per new home because of new tariffs on imported materials.

“Westley says many homebuyers in Southwest Florida have been saving up equity for 30 years and don’t need to take out a mortgage. Parrish says most international buyers are cash buyers as well. “They’re less sensitive to the interest rate, but sensitive to the U.S. dollar,” he says. “As they raise interest rates, the U.S. dollar will get stronger, too.”

“Thibaut says over the next several years, a great deal of building materials and labor will be redirected to northern Florida to assist with rebuilding after this year’s Hurricane Michael. “We’re mostly recovered from Hurricane Irma, but there are still signs of people waiting for roofs to be replaced,” he says. “It’s definitely added greatly to our labor shortage and cost of materials.”

“Despite all of that, Thibaut sees a stable market. “We have a tone of new millennial buyers and a stable stream of baby boomers continuing to make purchases in Southwest Florida,” he says. “They’re just a little more value-conscious than they were before.”

“Parrish says a greater number of people from high-tax states in the Northeast are moving to Florida, and even more are inquiring about housing and business relocation. He says rising interest rates are spurring some buyers to speed up their purchases, not delay them. “People with the means are moving to Florida,” he says. “We are going to see a big population bump.”

Tourism and Hospitality

sancap-logo-ylw-200px-1“John Lai, president and CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, says 2018 started off with record growth, but there was no playbook to prepare the region for the impact of red tide and blue-green algae.

“He says it led to a disastrous third quarter that was expected to rebound in the fourth quarter. “We were dealt an ecological disaster we weren’t expecting,” Lai says.

“Lee County bed tax collections were down 16.4% in August 2018 over last year. “That equates to $5.66 million,” Lai says. “Collier and Pinellas were both up. (Visitors) checked out and went to one of our competing drive markets.”

Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Islands, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, says red tide exposure in Collier County was limited to the northern beaches. “Most water-related tour companies felt declines in business, but not necessarily the hotels,” he says.

“Wert says 2018’s water quality issue is causing them to take a conservative outlook for 2019, expecting a 2% increase in visits. “We need to reassure people it’s OK to come,” he says.

“Group meeting reservations for the first three months of 2019 are already on pace in Collier County. “It’s a positive outlook,” Wert says. “Meeting planners are booking business, and we’re anticipating the leisure market will still be strong.”

Lai says the first quarter of 2019 in Lee County is expected to meet or exceed early 2018’s pace as well. He is hopeful that 2019’s weather will be helpful because of El Nino, which is expected to bring much wetter and colder weather to the Northeast. “We are seeing that travelers are very forgiving, and memories of disasters both manmade and ecological are staring to shorten,” he says. “We’re optimistic that 2019 will be the year that 2018 was shaping up to be.”

“The focus on Southwest Florida tourism isn’t just on the beaches. Wert says about eight hotels are in various stages of planning for inland Collier County, with two expected to open in 2019 in East Naples near the new Collier County Sports Complex. That facility will open its first phase in December 2019 for amateur sports tournaments. “Sports tourism will continue to grow,” Wert says. “That is driving some of that hotel development.”

“Lai echoes that sentiment, noting three new inland hotels will be opening in Lee County in 2019. “The demand is so strong,” he says, expecting amateur sports tournaments to continue boasting the local economy during the off-season. “Amateur sports have taken a leading role. I expect that to continue to grow in 2019.”

“The international market is also expected to be strong in 2019, despite a strengthening U.S. dollar that makes their travel more expensive. Wert says Canadian visits likely will be down, but strong demand from the U.K. and Germany persists. “A Collier County advantage is that most of our travels are upscale,” he says. “Fluctuations in the exchange rates don’t seem to affect their travel.”

While tourism focuses on out-of-town visitors, hospitality takes into account locals who partake in the area’s shopping, dining and entertainment. “Incomes are growing at near the rate before the last recession,” Parish says. “The outlook for hospitality is stronger than for tourism in general.”…”.

How To Prepare For a Home Inspection

Florida Realtors logoFrom the November/December 2018 issue of “FloridaRealtor®”

  • “If home is empty, leave utilities on and pilot lights lit.
  • Make sure electrical sockets, light fixtures, switches, and fans work.
  • Confirm smoke and carbon monoxide detectors operate.
  • Check that faucets and toilets run properly and don’t leak.
  • Clean stove and oven so they won’t smoke and set off alarm when tested.
  • Verify doors and windows open and close and all hardware works.
  • Clear obstructions around furnace (HVAC equipment), water heaters and attic access.
  • Leave keys for outbuildings and exterior electrical boxes.
  • Remove brush and debris from exterior inspection points.
  • Gather documentation for renovations or repairs that have been made.
  • Provide sketch showing location of septic tank and week.
  • Remove or crate pets.
  • Plan to be away for three hours minimum.
  • Consider having home pre-inspected so you can fix problems before the official inspection.”

What Buyers Should Ask After a Home Inspection

realtor logoI’ve been saving this article from “Realtor®” magazine of October 9, 2018. It seems appropriate now, after the above article.

“After an inspector has finished a home report, buyers may feel overwhelmed by any flaws that might have been found. That’s why it’s important they take the opportunity to learn more so that they can move forward confidently in the transaction.

“A recent article at realtor.com® recommends home buyers ask their inspector clarifying questions like: “I don’t understand this; what does it mean?” or “Is this a major or minor problem?” and “Do I need to call in another expert for a follow-up?”

“Home inspectors are bound to uncover something in a home; no home is perfect. But the majority of the problems they uncover will likely be minor. Have the home inspector clarify which problems fall within the “minor” or “major” categories.

“Keep in mind: “The inspector can’t tell you, ‘Make sure the seller pays for this,’ so be sure you understand what needs to be done,” Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, told realtor.com®.

“If the inspector identifies a potentially major problem, consumers will want to follow up whether they should call an additional expert in to investigate further. For example, consumers may need to bring in an electrician to take a closer look at potential electrical issues that were flagged or a roofer if a roofing problem is suspected. Those specialists can then give an idea of the cost to fix it, which the real estate agent can take to the seller to request a concession, if the seller doesn’t want to fix it prior to the sale.

“Also, Lesh says that the list of items a home inspector identifies are issues the new buyer may need to address as soon as they move in. He says it’s like a “to-do list” for those items that did not get repaired by the seller prior to the sale.”

Weather Changes Due to El Nino

island-water-logoInteresting forecast in the Winter 2018 issue of “IWA Pipeline”: “As noted in the fall Pipeline, Southwest Florida is likely to experience an El Nino winter in 2019. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a 70-75% chance of El Nino conditions this winter. El Nino is predicted to materialize in late December or early January.

“El Nino is a warming of surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. That warming changes where the thunderstorms form in the Pacific so that the jet stream goes over Florida instead of north of Florida. An El Nino winter typically means a wetter and lightly cooler winter for Southwest Florida. NOAA is predicting above average rainfall between now and May 2019. Many Sanibel and Captiva residents remember the last El Nino winter in 2015-16 that brought record rainfall and caused our rivers to be inundated with freshwater. Ecological damage with blue-green algae blooms followed. The predictions for this El Nino are not as severe as 2015-16, but the need for landscaping irrigation should be decreased in the upcoming winter months.

“Now is the time to check your rain sensor to make sure it has been installed correctly and that it is working. If you don’t have a rain sensor tied to your irrigation system, by Florida law, you are required to have one installed if you have an automatic irrigation system. Having a properly working rain sensor should save you money during the usually dry winter months if, in fact, we experience an El Nino winter in Southwest Florida.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity Dec 28, 2018 – Jan 4, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sundial #I103 1/1 $489K, Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 $595K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 $699K.

6 price changes: Sundial #G206 1/1 now $464.9K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $499.9K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $668K, Signal Inn #3 2/1.5 now $695K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $784.9K, White Sands #13 2/2 now $919K.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 listed at $449K, Sundial #G206 1/1 listed at $464.9K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 listed at $699K.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 $430K, Sundial #T301 2/2 $700K.

HOMES

9 new listings: 724 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $645K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 $799K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 $815K; 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 $994K; 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.295M; 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 $1.325M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.795M; 550 Lighthouse Way 3/4.5 $2,999,999; 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.795M.

5 price changes: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $519K, 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 now $674K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $995K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.085M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 now $1.089M.

2 new sales: 849 Beach Rd 4/4 duplex listed at $595K, 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 listed at $1.35M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $377,555; 3869 West Gulf Dr $3.895M.

1 price change: 602 Boulder Dr now $439K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

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.

2018-06-13Until next Friday, enjoy your first weekend in 2019.

(Pix above of view from West Wind’s pool bar, which also serves chow from their Normandie Seaside Café. Open to the public too.)

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Paradise-Style Winter Weather Wonderland


weather 12-28-18As The SanibelSusan Team looks forward to an island New Year, I am happy to report that Christmas week weather here has been wonderful. Today’s forecast says there will be warmer-than-usual days and nights until next week at this time.

Sunset-croppedThat means Sanibel temperatures in the mid- to high-70’s to low-80’s during the day, mid- to high-60’s at night. The weather folks also say that by next Friday, there may be a few showers and another cool-front arriving with lower temps (mid-60’s’ days, mid-50’s nights). Even so, SW Florida winter weather is the best!

Shelling12-21-18 Blind PassWith outstanding shelling still reported as a result of the storms last week, I think there are more shellers than usual on the beaches too. Long-time neighbors say it’s the best shelling in “50 years”. Wow!

There was no Realtor® Caravan yesterday, but the team has been hosting Open Houses hoping to attract buyers. The first heavy “season” traffic has resulted in cars backed up past the office from about 3 p.m. on every day since Christmas. There typically is an influx of day-trippers after holidays with both bike paths and roadways super busy.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. There were no Sanibel/Captiva new sales this week. Though one condo and one home sale were posted in MLS, both were from earlier contracts.

Best wishes from all of us at The Sanibel Susan Team for a Happy New Year!

 

Mud Bugs Cajun Kitchen Now Open

mudbugs logoRestaurant choices on island again expanded recently with the opening of Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen at the former location of Sanibel Steakhouse at 1472 Periwinkle Way (across the street from Bill’s Bikes). The newly-renovated New Orleans-style eatery seats up to 150 people including 18 outdoor seats.

mudbugsServing both lunch and dinner, there are Cajun meals for every palate. Part-owner is long-time island restaurateur Larry Thompson known for his other eateries – the Lazy Flamingos, Sunset Grill, and Sanibel Fresh.

Florida Realtors® News: Top Real Estate Stories Of 2018

2018_Hanging_Decoration_PNG_Clip_Art_ImagePosted on-line at FloridaRealtors® on December 21, 2018: “Hurricanes hit, insurance rates rose, team ad rules got an update, and a real estate market marked by rising prices and tight inventory showed the first potential signs of change.

“Michael throws a boat ashore – On Oct. 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael slammed Florida’s Panhandle as the eye crossed near Mexico Beach. The category 4 storm was the first to target Northwest Florida and will forever impact future planning for the area – building codes, insurance rates and safety – after residents suddenly realized that their area faces just as much risk from deadly storms as the seemingly more vulnerable Florida cities to the south. The day after the storm, Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund started accepting applications for aid and donations from Realtors throughout the state who wanted to help. A short while later, the national association’s Realtors Relief Fund (RRF) announced $400,000 in housing assistance for storm victims. Realtors, association staff, families and neighbors need so much. Any help you can offer is most appreciated.

“Insurance woes, from flood to AOB – The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) needs a major update but Congress keeps kicking the issue down the road. NFIP is deeply in debt but relied on by homeowners who need or want coverage. 2018 ended up where it started without a long-term solution, even though Realtors had a massive Call for Action before an expiration in September. On the property insurance side, coverage keeps getting more expensive, thanks in part to assignment of benefits (AOB) rules. Change is difficult without action by the Florida Legislature, and the problem could get worse as unscrupulous third parties over-charge for their work and then demand reimbursement from insurance companies, which may then pass increased costs on to their policyholders.

“What’s the word I’m looking for? – For some Florida Realtor teams, a Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) rule update may be the biggest story of 2018. While new team ad rule requirements became official last summer, they give teams a full-year to prepare because, for some, it could mean a new name and major overhaul in every advertisement where it appears. FREC then opened the door to changes in individual ad rules, with a specific eye on the size of licensee names compared to broker names. The discussion will continue in 2019.

“Did you feel that? The market shifted – In the years leading up to 2018, a seller’s market dominated most areas of Florida. During the first half of 2018, a tight supply of for-sale homes frustrated buyers as median prices and interest rates moved higher and higher. As a result, buyers started to drop out, more sellers lowered asking prices, and bidding wars thinned out. By the second half of the year, quickly rising home prices became slowly rising home prices. Will all of this lead to a balanced market of buyers and sellers in 2019? Maybe. And when will the normal real estate cycle shift again to a buyers’ market? Stay tuned.

“The ‘higher mortgage rates’ prediction finally came true – For five years, experts’ end-of-year predictions called for higher mortgage rates in the new year – and for five years they’ve been wrong. But that changed in 2018. While rates continue to hover below 5%, which is still historically low, they ended the year about a full percentage point higher than when the year began. In part that’s because the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates four times in 2018 and plans a couple more next year. The Fed’s interest rate increases immediately raise the cost of adjustable-rate mortgages and indirectly put pressure on fixed-rate loans.

“A tip o’ the hat to the cap – Florida voters passed Amendment 2 in November, which made permanent a 10% cap on non-homestead property assessments each year. Florida Realtors advocated strongly for passage and celebrated the win after 66% of voters agreed. A permanent constitutional cap now gives the state’s small businesses some assurance they wouldn’t be priced out of the market on Jan. 1 of each year simply because property values went up.

“Another cut to the business rent tax – Florida businesses will save $31 million dollars each year thanks to the Florida Legislature, which cut the state’s business rent tax again. The new rent-tax rate on commercial leases drops to 5.7% on Jan. 1, 2019. After the final gavel fell on the 2018 session of the Florida Legislature, Florida Realtors President Christine Hansen said that Realtors knew it was going to be a rough session given the state’s tight finances, but “with the help of our members, we managed to keep the momentum going to further reduce the Business Rent Tax.”

“Does a non-Realtor business model have legs? – iBuyers – Opendoor, Offerpad, etc. – purchase homes directly from owners without an MLS or Realtor. Survey after survey finds that buyers and sellers want a trusted advisor to help them through a stressful transaction, but is there a chance iBuyers could eventually take over a significant share of the real estate market? Realtors find it hard to believe, and the data, so far, isn’t impressive. However, Wall Street is heavily backing these new iBuyers: Opendoor alone had raised $325 million by September, and an ATTOM survey found that institutional investors have shown an increasing interest in iBuyer-owned properties. It remains to be seen if these new models will crash and burn like many tech stocks or if they start to take over the business.

“Blockchain could unblock closings – Blockchain technology is often associated with Bitcoin, but as a tool, it essentially takes a complex, multi-user transaction and makes it safer. Instead of the data sitting on a single server that all participants tap into, it replicates the data on everyone’s computer, making it harder for any single participant to fudge the figures. However, this additional safety and spread of data could also cut the paperwork time to closing in half – or more – if every necessary piece of data becomes instantly available to agents, title companies, lenders, etc. While change always takes time, it could lead to a system where a contract signed on Saturday can close by Thursday.

“Builders can’t catch a break – The nation needs more new homes – but the cost for new construction keeps moving higher. There’s not enough vacant land; impact fees (a development charge by local governments to pay for increased city services) are going up; supplies cost more (in part due to Canadian lumber tariffs); there aren’t enough workers – and if there are, they don’t have the necessary skills. New home construction, once seen as the solution to a tight housing inventory, did not appear in 2018 – and it doesn’t seem to be on the horizon for 2019 either.

Environmental Groups Sue Feds Over Lake “O” Discharges

Calusa_Waterkeeper_Logo_1701.pngInteresting read in this week’s “Island Reporter” (dated December 26, 2018):

“Conservation groups on December 19 filed a notice of intent to sue three federal agencies for failing to assess harm to Florida’s endangered species before approving the ongoing release of polluted waters from Lake Okeechobee.

“The suit naming the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service alleges that the discharges likely help drive the catastrophic red tide algae blooms killing Florida’s coastal wildlife.

“The groups specifically challenge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to extend the discharges through 2015 from the lake into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers….

“The notices give the agencies 60 days to respond ot the claims submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, Calusa Waterkeeper, and Waterkeeper Alliance…

“According to the release, the Corps updated its plan for managing the discharges in 2008 with the goal of lowering the risk of damage to the Herbert Hoover Dam, which retains the lake. The plan was supposed to be reconfigured within three years to incorporate the impacts of structural improvements to the dike and water quality upgrades projected to come form the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

“”The dike repairs are behind schedule, the Everglades plan has not been completed and toxic algae blooms continue to kill countless marine animals,” the Calusa Waterkeeper release states. “Meanwhile the Corps has opted to simply extend the current water-management plan through 2025 without assessing the harm to protected wildlife and water quality.”

Kick Out Clause or Right of First Refusal?

Florida Realtors logoMore good info from Florida Realtors®, this article by Meredith Caruso. She is Manager of Member Legal Communications, answering calls Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline and she also keeps the Forms Content Committee on track.

“Legal Hotline calls suggest that there’s some confusion over what Right of First Refusal and Kick Out Clause mean, and they’re often used interchangeably. Some calls start with “I’m looking for a Right of First Refusal rider”. Usually, however, this member is actually lookin for the Kick Out Clause rider but is confused over terminology.

What is Right of First Refusal? How does that differ from the Kick Out Clause rider? Here is what you need to know.

Right of First Refusal: In general, a Right of First Refusal is an interest granted to a person or entity to purchase property before another third party can do so. A commonly seen example is a property association’s right of first refusal. Normally recorded within the community’s documents, this right allows the property association to purchase a property before another buyer can.

“In this case, the association has the right to review the contract between a seller and a buyer within a certain timeframe (i.e. 10 days) so the association can decide whether or not to exercise its right to purchase. If the association chooses to do so, it then “stands in the shoes” of the buyer in the contract, meaning that the terms of the contract remain the same, pending renegotiation, and the association can’t make the seller change a term, such as the purchase price.

“Another common scenario that might have a Right of First Refusal is in a landlord/tenant relationship. Some tenants might incorporate a Right of First Refusal into their leases, stating that they have the right to buy the home before another buyer does, should the landlord want to sell that property one day. The Florida Supreme Court-approved leases don’t contain such language, so tenants who may want a right of first refusal in this context should consult their attorney for the appropriate language to add to their lease.

Kick Out Clause: The language in kick-out clauses could vary depending on the contract used, but in the Florida Realtors®/Florida Bar Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase (FR/Bar), the Kick Out Clause language is in a rider.

“Adding Rider X to the Florida Realtors®/Florida Bar contracts clarifies that the seller can continue to show the property and enter into bona fide back-up contracts. Any back-up contract with a third-party is, of course, subject to termination of the primary contract.

“Upon entering into a back-up contract, the seller must share a copy of said contract with the primary contract buyer, though with certain information, like price, redacted.

“This puts the ball in the buyer’s court, and the buyer must make a decision: either place an additional deposit down with the designated escrow agent and, in doing so, waive contingencies for financing and sale of buyer’s property (if any) or don’t place the additional deposit in the timeframe required, thereby terminating the contract. In the case of termination, the buyer would receive any initial deposit back and both parties would be released from further obligations under the contract.

“Once terminated, the seller then notifies that back-up contract buyer that that contract is in primary position.

When might a seller want to use this rider?

“A common use is when the buyer’s offer contains a contingency for the sale of a property the buyer currently owns. A seller may want to counter the buyer’s offer with this rider added to retain the ability to go with an entirely different contract with a subsequent buyer should they choose.

“In sum, a Right of First Refusal is granted to a party via a separate legal document (i.e. a declaration of association or a lease) to purchase property before another third-party. On the other hand, a Kick Out Clause rider to the Florida Realtors®/Florida Bar contract gives the seller the potential opportunity to proceed with a back-up contract….”

Question About “As Is” Contract

clip-art-of-contracts-being-signed-clipart-1The following question and answer are from the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of “FloridaRealtor®” magazine under “Talk to An Attorney” Advice from the Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline:

“Question: “The buyer and seller executed a Florida Realtors®/Florida Bar “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase. The buyer submitted a proposed amendment during the Inspection Period, requesting a reduction in the purchase price based on issues revealed during the buyer’s home inspection. The seller is offended by the request and wants to cancel the contract. Does the buyer’s proposed contract amendment give the seller the right to cancel the contract?

“No. After a contract is signed, either side is welcome to propose amendments to the other side. The side receiving the proposed amendment in this case, the seller, is welcome to accept, reject, counter, or even ignore the proposed amendment. If the seller and buyer don’t end up agreeing to this proposed amendment, then the existing contract continues forward on the terms the parties already agreed upon.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 21-28, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Kings Crown #309 2/2 $879K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 listed at $949K.

1 closed sale: Sundial #H309 1/1 $447.9K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2E (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $895K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.495M, 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 $1.595M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/3.5 $2.599M.

5 price changes: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 now $569.9K, 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $625K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $989K, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.179M, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.345M.

1 new sale: 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $895K.

4 closed sales: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $545K, 4436 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $675K, 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $799K, 8991 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $830K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1032 Sand Castle Rd $399,880.

1 price change: 2987 Wulfert Rd now $450K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 595 Piedmont Rd $190K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1602 3/3 $2.3M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

happy new year coloring book.jpgUntil next week, here’s to the last Friday in 2018!

Happy New Year!

See ya next year!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Seashell Kinda Christmas! Merry! Merry!


Before embarking on today’s weather report, here is a little shell art. The gingerbread man was in front of Coquina Beach condos earlier this week. Probably washed away by now. The others from past years, but fitting for the holiday season.

sanibel shell art 2 12-18-18.jpg

As The SanibelSusan Team counts down to the Christmas holiday and hopefully more real estate action, it has been interesting to have a winter storm pass through Florida. I liken it to a northern snowstorm, but without the white stuff and the cold. With westerly winds blowing on shore off the gulf beginning about noon yesterday, early flooding was reported at The Castaways cottages (the Santiva area) as I read email warnings from my local landscaper and the City, about the expected high wind, waves, erosion, and possible tornadoes in the forecast – all of this while the air conditioning still on at the office.

Santa looking for junoniaToday temperatures haven’t gotten out of the 70’s. The rain has become sporadic, but the heavy wind continues with palms down and debris reported in some beachside locations. Social media has shown videos of gulf waters crashing through some beach access paths along West Gulf Dr. I hope it is rolling in junonias.

Teammate Elise just saw it posted that electricity is out in Naples and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay is closed (following reported 78 mph winds). Yikes!

SanibelSusan Realty

With the team off on extended holiday both Monday and Tuesday, Elise today is busy printing extra fliers and checking listing occupancies so we are ready for arriving visitors looking to make a last minute Christmas real estate purchase.

santa kiting 2015Teammate Dave, on the other hand, has already scooted out and is busy networking with his kiteboarding buddies on the causeway, I expect we’ll see them on the evening news later, as wind like today hasn’t happened here in a very long time.

Teammate Lisa will be in the office tomorrow, while I am covering Sunday and Monday. As I make showing appointments for next Wednesday morning, it seems that many island offices will be closed for the long weekend. Here’s wishing them all and you a very Merry Christmas!

Below are a couple of news items before the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Real Estate in a Digital Age

Having been involved in the islands’ transition of real estate listing info from the old 3”x5” index cards, to listing books, and then to the internet, it was fun to participate in the task force that just picked a new MLS provider for our Association of Realtors®. Technology changes always take time and training, so won’t be occurring until after “season”, later in 2019. Since the details about our new provider haven’t been issued to our members yet, suffice it to say that the new features and capabilities of what is coming will blow the socks off anything you have seen or used before. Users both consumers and Realtors® will be “wowed”. With that in mind, an email today from the National Association of Realtors® with the below article, seemed timely:

“The world we live in today is a digital one and searching for a home is no different. Buyers now have apps that let them search by location and neighborhoods. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer connects with a real estate agent.

“In the Real Estate in a Digital Age report, we examine the process home buyers go through in the initial online search and how REALTORS® are connecting with customers in the digital space.

“In 2018, buyers worked with an agent 87% of the time to find their home, so trust in a REALTOR® is still king. While the initial process may start online, home buyers turn to the advice from a trusted real estate agent.

In addition to the home buying process, REALTORS® also utilize technology in their everyday business practices. Staying up to date with new technology is important, but also cited as one of the biggest challenges for firms in the next two years.

“Over 90% of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on their websites were property listings.

“Along with web use, REALTORS® are also using their mobile devices for a multitude of different activities, with the primary being to communicate with their clients.”

Condo Boards Don’t Always Understand Florida Law

This below article posted on-line Dec 17 by Florida Realtors® has a few disclosures, but also contains some interesting information. Here is the article in total:

“By Richard D. DeBoest

“Dec. 17, 2018 – Question: I am an owner in a condominium. I have made a request to see the individual unit owner assessment ledgers for owners who are delinquent in the payment of assessments. The board has denied my request and they claim I am not allowed to see this information. Is this true? – J.B., Hutchinson Island

Answer: No, it is not true. You are legally entitled to this information. The individual assessment ledgers of all owners are official records of the association. Both Statutes 718 (Condominium Associations) and 720 (Homeowner Associations) provide that most official records of the association must be made available for inspection and copying within 10 working days of a written request.

There are certain official records that are not allowed to be given to owners. These records include medical records, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and social security numbers, but there is no exception for individual owner assessment ledgers. If an association intentionally fails to provide access to the records within the time provided, the owner is entitled to $50 a day up to $500 a penalty.

“Question: I wanted to organize a “meet the candidates” night in our condominium clubhouse for local political candidates in the area. When I talked to the board about this, I was told this is illegal because the association common elements cannot be used for political purposes. Is this true? – S.F., Vero Beach

“Answer: No, it is not true. Section 718.123, Florida Statutes expressly provides that “no entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any unit owner’s right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in the common elements, common areas and recreational facilities.” If the board violates this law, you could sue the association to enforce your rights.

“Question: If the association sends information out to owners via e-mail, am I entitled to copies of the other owners’ e-mail addresses? Also, can I refuse to receive information via e-mail and, if I do, does the association have to send the information to me in the traditional way? – K.J., Palm City

“Answer: An association’s use of e-mail to communicate with homeowners is common, but very often the use of electronic transmission is not done in accordance with the law.

“First, and foremost, it is important to understand that while both the Florida Condominium Act (Chapter 718 Florida Statutes) and the Homeowners Association Act (Chapter 720 Florida Statutes) allow associations to send official communication to the owners via electronic transmission, it may only do so if the owner chooses to receive official communications electronically.

“Second, if some owners elect electronic transmission and some do not, the association must send official communication in two different forms. Thus, it becomes cumbersome to keep track of each owner’s preference.

Most associations use e-mail for “casual” communication about the goings on of the association but still use regular mail for things with legal implications such as notice of meetings, election ballots, notice of covenant violations, warning letters and the like. This, however, presents another problem when dealing with an official records request made by an owner.

“All e-mail addresses kept by the association are official records BUT only the e-mail addresses kept for those owners who have chosen e-mail as their official form of communication are available to other owners who make an official records request. All other e-mail addresses are not to be made available to owners who make official records requests. As such, if the association keeps e-mail addresses in the official records, it must segregate the e-mail addresses between those persons who have chosen e-mail as the official form of communication and those that have not.

“Finally, if the association does use e-mail for “un-official” casual communication with the owners, I believe an owner who does not have or use e-mail could complain that he or she is being treated differently and unfairly. Although I know of no condominium arbitration cases or other rulings on this issue, I suspect that a court or an arbitrator would rule in favor of the unit owner on this issue.

“The bottom line is that for all official communication and communication that has legal significance, the association should use the traditional U.S. mail. For lesser items, e-mail and posting on the association’s website is, for now, acceptable.

“Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

“The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

“Editor’s note: Attorneys at Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC., respond to questions about Florida community association law. The firm represents community associations throughout Florida and focuses on condominium and homeowner association law, real estate law, litigation, estate planning and business law.

© 2018 Journal Media Group, Richard D. DeBoest”

Christmas Dining on The Islands

It’s getting pretty last minute, but visitors continue to ask what island restaurants are open on Christmas. Here’s a short list, but please call to be sure there is room for you if you don’t already have a reservation:

  • Bubble Room
  • Captiva House (in Wakefield Room) (buffet 11:30 a.m. to 8: p.m.)
  • Crow’s Nest at Tween Waters
  • Doc Ford’s Captiva (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Island Cow (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Island Pizza ( 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Keylime Bistro (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Normandie at West Wind Inn (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 to 7 p.m.)
  • R C Otters (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Sand Dollar at Sanibel Island Beach Resort (7 to 11 a.m. breakfast buffet, 5 to 9 p.m. dinner)
  • Sanibel Café (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Sanibel Grill (4 to 11 p.m.)
  • Sea Breeze Café at Sundial (7 to 11 a.m., buffet dinner seatings at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., & 7 p.m.
  • Thistle Lodge (holiday buffet 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
  • Timbers (4 to 8 p.m.)
  • Traditions

For quick eats, the following also will be open on Christmas:

  • Dairy Queen
  • Gepetto’s (2 to 9 p.m.)
  • Huxter’s Market & Deli
  • Joey’s Custart (5 to 9 p.m.)
  • Pinocchio’s (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sanibel Sprout (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 14-21, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

10 new listings: Sundial #F206 1/1 $429K, Blind Pass #D205 2/2 $490K, Sundial #B407 1/1 $529K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $719K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 $799K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $825K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 $829K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $935K, Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $949K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.695M.

2 price changes: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $825K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.035M (our listing, view below).

Roof Deck View a

1 new sale: Sundial #H309 1/1 listed at $455K.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #C102 2/2 $455K, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

11 new listings: 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $625K, 945 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $649K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 $695K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 $779K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 $849.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Ln 4/3.5 $945K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $1.295M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.495M, 5145 Joewood Dr 5/4.5 $2.997M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.495M (our listing, views below), 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $6.395M.

SA 12-6-18 toward Pine IslandSA 12-6-18 toward causeway

 

11 price changes: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $552K, 659 Donax St 2/2 now $585K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 now $647K, 721 Cardium St 3/2 now $795K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $879K, 205 Hurricane Ln 3/2 now $1.089M, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.149M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.25M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.394M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.575M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.499M.

5 new sales: 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 1433 Sanderling Cir 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.099M, 6412 Pine Ave listed at $1.175M, 4689 Rue Belle Mer 5/6.5 listed at $6.995M.

4 closed sales: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $558K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.025M, 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 $1.22M, 3790 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.5M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2319 Wulfert Rd $199K, 3013 Poinciana Cir $249K, 1219 Par View Dr $374.9K.

2 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $199K, 5170 Sea Bell Rd now $324.9K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.849M, 16405 Captiva Dr 8/7/2 $6.2M.

3 price changes: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $1.028, 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 now $2.695M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $3.9M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Merry Christmas from Sanibel Islands!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. I sold a house once on Christmas Day & would love it do it again, just please make it after brunch. I’ve got the family coming for that! Enjoy your holiday!

Christmas Lighthouse cropped

Sanibel lighthouse 2018

Counting Down to Christmas Island-Style


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another fun week on sunny, though at times chilly, Sanibel and Captiva Islands. This is the time of the year when it’s always fun to see what folks are wearing. When the temperatures dip down into the 50’s and 60’s at night, locals are happy the next morning to dig out their rarely-used jackets, sweaters, shawls, scarves, and boots, while vacationing visitors in tank tops, shorts, and flip flops also are smiling broadly. It’s easy to pick out the tourists! This afternoon, it’s a breezy 77 degrees!

Luminary 2018 bannerThe many palm trees festooned with twinkling lights add to the holiday happiness too. This year, the City expanded their tunnel of lights along the bike path across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. Adding a bench seat and 2018 Luminary sign has made it a popular photo op spot. It’s really festive and quite striking to stroll through after dark.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday, was the local Association of Realtors® monthly membership breakfast – a little earlier than usual thanks to the holidays. Our Association’s Administrative Assistant, Megan Rose, posted some outstanding sunset pix this week. She said I could borrow some to post here. (I hope you enjoy them too. Thanks, Megan.)

Causeway sunset dec 2018 2causeway sunset dec 2018

What’s Happening At CROW

crow-logoThe speaker was Dr. Heather W. Barron, DVM, Medical & Research Director at CROW (The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife). CROW is a teaching hospital and visitor education center dedicated to saving wildlife through veterinary care, research, education and conservation medicine. Each year, CROW cares for thousands of wildlife patients including hundreds of species of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in its veterinary hospital, which is one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory wildlife. They also offer educational fellowships and externship programs for undergraduate students, and internship programs for veterinarian graduates.

As you can probably imagine, this has been an unusually busy year for CROW. We are so lucky to have them here, educating us and visitors, as well as taking care of wildlife and supporting conservation and research. Here is one thing that Dr. Heather mentioned that really stuck in my mind. We all need to do our part, because “there is no Planet “B”.”

Bear in mind that CROW has been around since the late 60’s and Dr. Heather is a no-nonsense mother of three who has worked practicing and teaching wildlife medicine for over 20 years. She is a board-certified avian specialist and a licensed wildlife and sea turtle rehabilitator, and she tells it like it is. Some other tidbits:

Animal population around the world, the U.S. and Florida is changing. “Pythons have been documented as close as Estero.” Research also shows that there probably are somewhere between “35 and 60 coyotes on the island.” They don’t always stay here, but probably swim back and forth from the mainland and Pine Island.

Iguana population also is up here, as is that of the marsh bunnies. Most of us like the cute little bunnies, but Dr. Heather said that probably means that next year the population of hawks and other animals that prey on rabbits will be up.

She also said, “Personally, I wouldn’t eat any local seafood.” Though Sanibel is one of the most pro-environment conservation-conscious communities in the country – being downstream of areas that are not, really hurts us. The long-lasting effects of red tide and blue-green algae are just now being evaluated. We cannot depend on local, state, or federal governments or health departments to advise us of what they don’t know. We all need to be part of the solutions!

Caravan

Following the speaker, in typical December fashion, the Caravan property announcements included plenty of new listings and some price reductions. The details on those (or the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week) follow a couple of news items below. I probably don’t need to share that we all groaned when not a single new sale was announced. We know it’s the holidays, but it’s always positive news when we hear of colleagues’ successes.

Our new listing at 1050 White Ibis Dr (photos below) was one of the 15 properties that was open for viewing after the Caravan meeting. My teammates took inventory while there then. We want to be ready when the right buyer comes along.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Thank goodness, we are a flexible team. With seven BIG ARTS Chorus singing gigs since last Friday, it has been a whirlwind week for me. Part of the fun of this business is not knowing what will happen next, regardless of whether it’s from a phone call or a walk-in.

Short Term Rentals

henderson-franklinWith so much in the news lately about Airbnb rentals, it was interesting to learn that at a recent Sanibel City Council meeting three issues were added to the Department of Community Services’ planning goals. Those issues are: transportation, political signage, and short-term vacations rentals.

Then I saw the below article posted online this week by Kaylee Tuck of Henderson Franklin Attorneys. Betcha the same applies to Sanibel’s 28-day rental minimum for residential communities.

“Limited Vacancy: Florida Appeals Court Rules in Favor of the City of Miami’s Airbnb Rental Ban

“Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal handed down a win for local governments on Wednesday when the Court reversed a previous Circuit Court injunction that barred the City of Miami from enforcing a ban on short-term rentals in residential areas of the City.

“Background – In 2017, the City of Miami adopted a resolution that affirmed the City’s zoning regulations “as they pertain to short-term/vacation rentals,” and stated that neighborhoods zoned as T3 were limited to permanent residential use, which precluded rental accommodations per night, week, or anything less than one month.

“Notably, the T3 zone encompassed most of the City’s single-family houses and duplexes. When residents who had been using Airbnb to rent their properties spoke against the resolution, residents were directed to state their name and address for the record, and the City Manager made the comment that the City was “now on notice” of those who spoke against the City’s code and that he would direct his staff to enforce the City code.

“Airbnb took the issue to the Circuit Court, claiming that the 2017 resolution was preempted by a 2011 state law that prevents cities and counties from passing ordinances prohibiting or unduly regulating vacation rentals.

“Airbnb and individual residents also filed for an injunction to stop the City from enforcing the resolution against the residents who spoke out against it at the City Commission meeting.

“After hearing arguments, the Circuit Court issued a temporary injunction against the City which stopped the City from enforcing its vacation rental ban, as well as prevented the City from requiring residents to give their name and address if they wished to speak during the public comment portion of a City Commission meetings, stating that the requirement had a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

Holding – Fast forward to December 5, 2018, and the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the Circuit Court’s orders.

“In reversing the Circuit Court, the 3rd DCA stated that the injunction halting the City’s vacation rental ban was overbroad and not preempted by state law because, although Miami’s land use code was updated in 2016 and the resolution passed in 2017, the material provisions of the code were adopted in 2009 and, therefore, were not preempted by the 2011 state statute. Simply stated, this decision means the City of Miami may now enforce its zoning regulations on short term vacation rentals.

“The 3rd DCA also reversed the injunction that stopped the City from requiring speakers at public hearings to give their names and addresses. The 3rd DCA stated that preventing the City from requiring speakers to give their name and address at any public hearing was overbroad, and that the City has a legitimate interest in knowing the speaker’s name and address for various purposes, such as whether the speaker is actually a resident of the City.

Take-Away – Airbnb and short-term vacation rentals have been long contested by hotels, neighbors, city officials, and many others. This ruling may be the first in a long line of litigation stemming from municipal and county enforcement against such short-term rentals. Therefore, residents and homeowners are encouraged to know the laws of their jurisdiction before renting out their home through Airbnb in order to avoid fines, citations, or any other remedy a city or county has authority to pursue under local law. If you have any questions regarding short term vacation rentals, please feel free to contact me at kaylee.tuck@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1164.”                 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 7-14, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $649K, Loggerhead Cay #282 2/2 $695K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $699K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $775K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $1.449M.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #C32 2/1.5 now $310K, Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 now $329K.

2 new sales: Sundial #J401 1/1 listed at $589,985, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

11 new listings: 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex $539K; 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $597K; 9444 Cotten Ct 3/2.5 $725K; 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 $729,927; 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $749K; 743 Windlass Way 3/2 $765K; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 $839K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 $899K (our listing); 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $1.059M; 1230 Ferry Rd 3/4 $1.095M; 927 Strangler Fig Ln 3/3.5 $1.215M.

4 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $548K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $665K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $874.9K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.05M.

2 new sales: 4436 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 listed at $729K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

4 closed sales: 746 Nerita St 3/2 $717K, 718 Oliva St 3/2 $725K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.15M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 $1.255M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9056 Mockingbird Ln $399K.

1 price change: 1817 Long Point Ln now $323K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #11 4/3 $2.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1114 Schefflera 4/3.5 $2.65M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $3.395M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.4M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your holiday festivities wherever you are.

How about this shell tree?

shell tree 2018

Or my favorite mailboxes which are always decorated for the holidays, across the street from each other – the dolphin & the manatee!

dolphin 2018Manatee 2018

Gotta love Sanibel at Christmas! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Time for Island Luminary 2018


Lighthouse with christmas bowsSusanSusan here reporting another sunny week on Sanibel, though another little taste of winter arrived on Wednesday night when the temperatures dipped down into the 50’s. That gave everyone a chance to dig out their jackets Thursday morning, but it is back into the high 70’s today. Not exactly Luminary weather, but we’ll take it. The local Santa probably will be wearing shorts tonight.

A repeat of the weekend and upcoming holiday events is posted below, followed by some news items, and the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Teammates Dave and Elise are holding down the fort this afternoon at the office while SanibelSusan is involved in three singing gigs today/tonight and another on Sunday night, followed by the BIG ARTS Chorus holiday concert next week. Island Christmas events are always early since many owners and snowbirds head north to spend holidays with family.

There were no sales announced at the Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, though you will notice that a couple of sales posted in the MLS report below. The only Sanibel condo sale was by teammate Dave. He handles our off-island listings and sometimes hears from former island owners who miss Sanibel and want to come back. This was one of those and we certainly can understand folks wanting to be here, particularly this time of the year when island weather is so grand!

Weekend Holiday Events & Upcoming Concerts

  • Christmas flamingos34th Annual Sanibel Luminary, today, Dec 7, begins with “A Sanibel 70’s Christmas” at the Historical Village from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Then from 5:30 to 9 p.m. from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other, churches, shopping centers, and businesses will be open for holiday shopping, music, and good cheer.
  • 34th Annual Captiva Luminary, Saturday, Dec 8, similar to Sanibel’s event. The business and shopping areas of Captiva will be lined with lights and open for holiday fun, refreshments, and shopping.
  • Tween waters at christmas 20166th Annual Captiva Holiday Stroll, at South Seas Island Resort, on both Friday and Saturday evenings from Dec 7 through 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. where there will be holiday treats; skating; live music; arts and crafts; entertainment including face painting, stilt walking, juggling and balloon artists; holiday movies; photos with Santa; and food and beverages. Tickets are $10 (for non-resort guests), children under 12 are free. Proceeds to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • Captiva Chapel By The Sea CarolsCaptiva Christmas Carol Sing, at Chapel-By-The-Sea, Sunday, Dec 9 at 6 p.m. Seating both inside and on the sand under the holiday lights.
  • BIG ARTS Holiday Concerts, Band concert is Saturday, Dec 8. Chorus concert is Wednesday, Dec 12. (I am front row alto section, if you attend. It’s my 25th year singing with this group which began the year I moved to Sanibel.) Both are at Schein Performance Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children free) at www.bigarts.org.

Sanibel Library Earns National Star Award

sanibel-library-logoFor the 5th time, Sanibel Public Library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the U.S.A. The “star” awards by “Library Journal” are based on a library’s performance measuring such statistics as library visits, program attendance, circulation, and computer usage. This year, more than seven thousand libraries were scored with just 257 receiving stars. Sanibel Library was the first in Florida to offer laptops for use in the library. With online language learning tools, downloadable magazines and songs, streaming video services, loanable cooking kits, and advanced referencing, stop in to see the first phase of the “Your Library Reimagined” program which is almost complete. It has been in the planning since 2015, has a budget of $5.9M which is being covered by library reserves, grants, and gifts.

SCCF Earns Stars Too

sccfSanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, which is America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the 3rd time that SCCF has earned this distinction. Based on strong financial health and transparency, the foundation is one of only four conservation nonprofits in Florida to earn this rating.

Flood Insurance Extended to December 21

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrAs posted at Florida Realtors® on-line yesterday, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) no longer expires tonight at midnight, but Congress extended the program for only two weeks – until December 21, 2018, at midnight. As the article describes, “a number of high-profile issues now come to a head only a few days before the Christmas holiday.

“Congress also postponed a decision on government funding until December 21, and President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if Congress doesn’t include money in that funding to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. If lawmakers have trouble finding common ground on the higher-profile funding issue, it’s unclear what might happen to NFIP.

“However, a bipartisan group of senators from states that rely on flood insurance also filed a bill Wednesday for a 10-month NFIP extension. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill, S. 3703, to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 10 months – through Sept. 30, 2019.

“Should Congress pass the bill after flood insurance expires on Dec. 21, the S. 3703 includes a provision that would make flood coverage retroactive in the event of a program lapse. However, it’s not yet clear whether the bill will pass in favor of more shorter-term extensions.

“”While I am frustrated with the continued need for extensions, it has become clear that we need additional time to come to a consensus on bipartisan and bicameral reforms to the NFIP,” Rubio says. “Floridians who rely on this program cannot afford this uncertainty when we enter the 2019 hurricane season. I urge my colleagues to pass this important extension as soon as possible.”

“”More than five million Americans depend on the National Flood Insurance Program,” Kennedy says. “For those of us who live along the Gulf Coast, the NFIP means we don’t have to worry every time it rains.”

“”It’s critical that we prevent a lapse that would disrupt the real estate market and leave thousands of families uninsured and vulnerable,” adds Menendez. “This (10-month) extension will give Congress time to pass a long-term reauthorization with real, meaningful reforms in line with my SAFE NFIP Act, which is the most bipartisan flood insurance bill in the Senate.””

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_The below article came from a November on-line article from REALTOR® Magazine. The SanibelSusan Team strives to have good communications. It sure can be key in keeping unforeseen obstacles away. That communication is a 2-way street. Here’s what Sam Silverstein said in the article:

“Sellers who won’t budge on the price they want for their homes. Buyers who can’t decide what they’re looking for in a property. Other real estate professionals involved in a transaction who just won’t cooperate. You can raise your chances of avoiding these common problems by setting the proper expectations before you invest any time in working with someone, Greg Glosson, ABR, CRS, managing broker at Fast Track Realty in Memphis, Tenn., said Sunday at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Boston.

“Broker Greg Glosson told attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo that building trust at the beginning of any business relationship is key to avoiding setbacks in a transaction. The key is to build trust with clients and colleagues at the start of a working relationship, which will give you the credibility and authority to stay on top of the deals you manage, Glosson said. By laying out how you do business in advance, you’ll be in a better position to keep things moving as a transaction proceeds. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with people and let them know how you operate. “Say, ‘I’m going to be available for you, and I’d like you to be available for me,’” Glosson said.

“When you have an initial consultation with a prospective buyer, emphasize that they need to know what they are looking for in a home, so they are prepared to decide quickly if they want to make an offer on a property you show them, Glosson said. In addition, make it clear that you won’t invest time in working with them unless they are preapproved for a mortgage or are planning to pay cash.

“Also, be sure that spouses or other co-buyers are in agreement about their goals and that no one has unrealistic expectations that could cause them to balk when time is of the essence, he said. “If you sleep on it, you won’t sleep in it.” Keep in mind that you may have to help people understand that what they’ve heard about the homebuying process may not be realistic, he added.

“It’s also important to be clear with sellers about what they need to do before you agree to list their property, and look for signs that they aren’t prepared to cooperate, Glosson said. This will help you avoid clients who won’t declutter their homes, insist on being there during showings, refuse to follow your advice on counteroffers, or otherwise impede your ability to find a buyer for their property, he said. “Some listings are not worth it. … It all goes back to the seller consultation process.”

“You should also establish ground rules when a deal goes under contract, and you have to work with the agent on the other side of the transaction, Glosson said. Make sure you agree upfront about how you will communicate, understand how the other agent interacts with their client, and ask about potential obstacles that could come up later.

“Unlike potential clients who pose red flags, however, you may not be able to avoid other real estate professionals you’d rather not work with on a transaction. For these situations, Glosson has a simple piece of advice: “Sometimes, you just have to get it done.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 30-Dec 7, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $399K; Sundial #H210 1/1 $405K; Sundial #I104 1/1 $469K; Sundial #J401 1/1 $589,985; Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 $799K; Kings Crown #311 3/2 $999K; Gulfside Place #305 2/2 $1.295M.

1 price change: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 now $264K.

1 new sale: Compass Point #232 2/2 listed at $659K (our buyer) (community aerial below).Compass Pointe 2

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #4 2/2 $710K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 $1.1415M, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 $1.69M.

HOMES

9 new listings: 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 $679K, 1978 Roseate Ln 749K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $874.9K, 225 Violet Dr 3/3 $965K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 $1.05M, 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 $1.35M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.65M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.795M, 925 Whelk Dr 3/3.5 $2.375M.

8 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 now $599K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $619K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $789K, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $995K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.029M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.094M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex now $1.595M (our listing) (beachfront home location shown below).

Image 8 c.jpg

2 new sales: 4290 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $595K, 8991 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $875K.

3 closed sales: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $621K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $820K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2279 Wulfert Rd $324K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 595 Piedmont Rd listed at $209.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 $658K, Marina Villas #703 2/2 $759K, Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $995K.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $899K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed at $399K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16596 Captiva Dr 5/5/2 now $6.99M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, may your holiday fun continue too! shell christmas trees

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Post Thanksgiving 2018 on Sunny Sanibel


It is another Sanibel Friday and The SanibelSusan Team and I hope that you all had a nice holiday yesterday. Here the beaches, bike paths, and roadways are busy with families enjoying the continued almost-summer-like weather, while Christmas decorations already are popping up in some locations as the islands quickly jump from one holiday to the next.

First a couple of pix of the cute mailboxes across the street from each other on Sanibel’s east end. Remember how cute they were for Valentines’ Day? Here they are: the pilgrim dolphin & the Indian manatee. I’ll be watching for their Christmas look next.

 

A report of the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Though a day-short workweek, it was a good one for The SanibelSusan Team. We had an unexpected “big” sale on Monday and on Wednesday received a beautiful new listing (just off-island in Gulf Harbour). Good wishes from all of us for a continued weekend of thankfulness.

Christmas Trees For Sale on Sanibel

Christmas palm treeStarting today, the Sanibel-Captiva Lion Club again is selling Christmas trees from in front of the old gas station at Bailey’s Shopping Center, 2477 Periwinkle Way. This annual holiday tradition fundraiser features premium Frasier firms freshly-cut and shipped on refrigerated trucks from Michigan. About 210 trees from 5’ to 10’ high are being delivered and available for purchase seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Christmas Eve or until all are sold. Proceeds from the sales go to Lions Club charities. The local Lions Club meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at The Community House, where the club was charted in 1967. More info at www.sanibelcaptivalions.com .

Holiday Shopping at The Refuge on Nov 27

Ding Darling holiday shopping 2018The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society will keep the Refuge Nature Store open two extra hours after the Center closes on November 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy free refreshments, holiday cheer, and visit their Giving Tree, which is an easy way to contribute in the name of a loved one for education, land acquisition, and Refuge research projects. Plenty of other great gift items and holiday ornaments are available too with a free gift for purchases of $25 or more.

Noah’s Ark Christmas Open House on Dec. 3

Noah Ark 2018Noah’s Ark, the popular island thrift shop on the grounds of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church (just west of SanibelSusan Realty), is redecorating and holding its first annual Christmas Open House, on Monday December 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the shop will sparkle with Christmas items and good cheer.

Called, NOAH’S NOËL, this new event features complimentary refreshments, photo-ops with Santa Claus, and fun raffle giveaways from the shop’s Christmas stock, plus many items for holiday shoppers. Decorated with twinkling lights from a forest of trees and ornaments from all over the world–many with beach theme, shelves will be lined with toys, Christmas books and gifts, and holiday decorations, while a special kitchen section will feature holiday cookbooks, cookie cutters and more.

For more than 50 years, Noah’s Ark has been run by the women (80+ volunteers) of St. Michaels. Proceeds from their sales, coupled with monies from the parish budget, go to more than 25 local, regional and global charities.

Noah’s Ark accepts donations (clean items in good condition), any time at the shop’s loading dock. Furniture items must be approved by the furniture chair. (Call 239-472- 3356). It is open weekdays and the 1st Saturday of each month, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be closed on Saturday, December 1, to prepare for the Open House.

Why A Housing Market Slump If The Economy Is Booming?

The_New_York_Times_logoPosted on FloridaRealtors© on-line on Wednesday, the below article is sourced to the “New York Times” (11/15/18), before the stock market tumble.

“Economists note the relationship between home sales and the incomes of the people who live there – or want to live there – has come undone over the last six years.

“Nationally, personal income per capita has risen 25% since the end of 2011, while the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index is up 48%. Although demographics are favorable for housing demand as millennials enter the prime years for home buying, that won’t help if prices are out of reach relative to incomes.

“Moreover, lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it’s been harder for people to stretch to buy a home.

“Industry observers say sellers appear to be trying to cling to the spring 2018 prices that their neighbors received, while there aren’t enough buyers in late 2018 willing or able to pay those prices.

“Economists say a strong economy makes it more likely that this housing slump will end without a steep 2008-style downturn. But in the meantime, it could be a soft few months or even years of standoffs between buyers and sellers.”

Sales of Existing-Homes Increases for 1st Time in 6 Months

Florida Realtors logoAlso posted on-line at FloridaRealtors© on Wednesday, November 21, 2018:

“Existing-home sales increased in October after six straight months of decreases, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), and three of the four major U.S. regions tracked saw gains in sales activity last month.

“Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – increased 1.4% from September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.22 million in October. Sales are now down 5.1% year-to-year.

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says increasing housing inventory has brought more buyers to the market. “After six consecutive months of decline, buyers are finally stepping back into the housing market,” Yun says. “Gains in the Northeast, South and West – a reversal from last month’s steep decline or plateau in all regions – helped overall sales activity rise for the first time since March 2018.”

“The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $255,400, up 3.8% from October 2017 ($246,000). October’s price increase marks the 80th straight month of year-over-year gains.

“Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased from 1.88 million in September to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, but that represents an increase from 1.80 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.4 last month and up from 3.9 months a year ago.

“Properties typically stayed on the market for 33 days in October, an increase from 32 days in September but down from 34 days a year ago.

“Overall, 46% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month. “As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully,” says Yun. “This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”

“Realtor.com’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time-on-the-market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in October were Midland, Texas; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Odessa, Texas; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.; and Columbus, Ohio.

“According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.83% in October from 4.63% in September. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99%.

“”Rising interest rates and increasing home prices continue to suppress the rate of first-time homebuyers,” says Yun. “Home sales could further decline before stabilizing. The Federal Reserve should, therefore, re-evaluate its monetary policy of tightening credit, especially in light of softening inflationary pressures, to help ease the financial burden on potential first-time buyers and assure a slump in the market causes no lasting damage to the economy.”

“First-time buyers made up 31% of October sales, down month-to-month and year-to-year. In NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the annual share of first-time buyers was 33%.

“”Despite this much-welcomed month-over-month gain, sales are still down from a year ago; a large reason for this is affordability challenges from higher interest rates,” says NAR President John Smaby. “Prospective buyers looking for their dream home in this market should contact a Realtor as a first step in the buying process to help them navigate this more challenging environment.”

“All-cash sales accounted for 23% of October’s transactions, up from September (21%) and a year ago (20%). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in October, up from September and a year ago (both 13%).

“Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 3% of sales in October – the lowest percentage since NAR began tracking in October 2008. That rate is unchanged from last month and down from 4% year-to-year. Two percent of October sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales.

“Single-family and condo/co-op sales

“Single-family home sales sit at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in October, up from 4.58 million in September. They’re 5.3% below the 4.88 million sales pace from a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $257,900 in October, up 4.3% from October 2017.

“Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 600,000 units in October, up 5.3% from last month but down 3.2% from a year ago. The median existing condo price was $236,200 in October, which is down 0.2% from a year ago.

“Regional breakdown

“October existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 1.5% to an annual rate of 690,000, 6.8% below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $280,900, which is up 3.0% from October 2017.

“In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 0.8% from last month to an annual rate of 1.27 million in October, down 3.1% overall from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $197,000, up 2.4% from last year.

“Existing-home sales in the South rose 1.9% to an annual rate of 2.15 million in October, down 2.3% from last year. The median price in the South was $221,600, up 3.8% from a year ago.

“Existing-home sales in the West grew 2.8% to an annual rate of 1.11 million in October, 11.2% below a year ago. The median price in the West was $382,900, up 1.9% from October 2017.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 16-23, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #H309 1/1 $455K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-1 2/2.5 $675K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 $695K, Sundial #A306 1/1 $724.5K, Kings Crown #213 2/2 $829K, Sundial #A201 2/2 $949K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 listed at $440K.

1 closed sale: Sunset South #6B 2/2 $569K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $575K, 4290 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $595K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $640K, 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $750K, 2502 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.849M.

7 price changes: 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 now $749K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $875K, 501 Lagoon Dr 3/2 now $969K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 now $979.5K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.129M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.348M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.524M.

1238 isabel2 new sales: 746 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $749K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3.5.5 listed at $2.59M (our sale).

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1662 3/3 now $1.99M, Sunset Captiva #302 4/3 now $2.248M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 $2.495M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

This sunset pix was taken this week by teammate Dave’s cell phone. Southwest Florida sure gets some beautiful evening skies when there are clouds!

DFA sunset Nov 2018

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It You Are Looking For Sunshine Come Here!


Beach Chairs

Photo in front of Sanibel Arms West by Jim Anderson, JMA Photography

Woohoo! It’s another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel. You must get sick hearing that. The weather gurus keep promising cool fronts. Maybe next week, as they now are suggesting that temps may go down into the 50’s Tues night with our first day with a high in just the low 70’s on Wed. Temperatures are expected to slowly creep back to 80 by next weekend though. We will have to wait and see what next Friday brings.

Thanksgiving 2017It sure would be nice to be able to wear long sleeves for the Thanksgiving celebration which is Sunday evening, Nov 18 at The Community House. It’s always a fun spirited community event. BIG ARTS Sanibel Community Chorus will be joining the Seahorse Choral from the Sanibel School and you can be sure that a few pilgrims and Indians will be there too.

I have been out showing property this afternoon. No new sales yet but you can be sure I am working on it. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday are after a couple of news items below.

Election Madness

floridaMany colleagues – me too – thought that with the mid-term elections over, sales would improve. Now it seems that Florida’s outcome maybe be closer than first reported.

The good news is that the amendments supported by Florida Realtors® did pass. The candidates supported by them also are the ones that do look to be the ones elected. Let’s hope that the final results are verified quickly.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday, at Realtor® Caravan, there were a lot of surprised faces when not a single new sale was announced. There were plenty of new listings and price reductions reported though, so it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks shake out. Sales are in-the-works, so hopefully more will be reported soon.

Inventory is increasing as it usually does this time of the year. Below is a summary of the number of properties for sale, compared to those under contract, and year-to-date sales this year and total sales in 2017 and 2016.

 

Condos Homes Lots
Sanibel # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avt Price $
For sale 74 746,125 168 1,366,382 58 617,976
Sale pending 9 693,500 13 771,923 2 189,728
Sold & closed:
2018 thru 11/9 143 722,415 197 1,136,655 19 646,526
2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229
2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095

 

Condos Homes Lots
Captiva # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avt Price $
For sale 33 1,387,997 36 3,442,556 3 4,264,667
Sale pending 1 1,160,000 3 1,847,667 0 N/A
Sold & closed:
2018 thru 11/9 26 783,591 22 2,237,446 0 N/A
2017 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
2016 22 873,636 271 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

 

37th Annual Taste of The Islands

taste of the islands 2018CROW’s annual benefit is this weekend on Sunday, Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty) from 12:30 to 5 p.m. You-know-who will be in the office with the door open, enjoying the music and hoping for some walk-ins. This year 13 eateries are participating including: Blue Giraffe, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Il Cielo, Matzaluna, Sanddollar Restaurant (new at Sanibel Island Beach Resort (formerly the Holiday Inn)), Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Thistle Lodge, The Bubble Room, The Clam Shack, The Jac Sanibel Island Bar & Grille, & The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

Veterans Day Celebration & Sanibel Farmers Market

VeteransSunday also is the annual Veterans Day Celebration at City Hall. With the public invited and hosted by the Lee Coast Chapter of the Military Officers Association of American and the City of Sanibel, it will take place around the flag pole at City Hall (from 10:30 a.m. until noon). The program will feature patriotic music (the BIG ARTS Concert Band), local boy scouts and cub scouts presenting the colors, and guest speakers and veterans sharing their history.

Because of this event, Sanibel Farmer Market also on the grounds of City Hall is delayed until Monday, rather than Sunday, (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.). That change is for this week only.

Island Neighbors Hold Annual Turkey Drop

TurkeyThis is the 3rd year of the Sanibel East-End Turkey Drop & Roll, where donations are collected to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. At the home of the Petersons at 444 Lagoon Drive on this coming Wed Nov 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. donations of frozen turkeys and non-perishable food items are collected. Last year, they brought more than 450 pounds of turkeys to the food bank plus other items that would complete a Thanksgiving dinner (cranberry sauce, gravy, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, and canned vegetables. Call the Petersons with questions at 239-395-2476.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 2 – 9, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $585K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 $950K, Tamarind #B202 2/2.5 $1.749M.

1 price change: Sundial #G206 1/1 now $469.9K.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 $610K, Sundial #T402 2/2 $800K, Atrium #201 3/3 $1,209,711.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $415K, 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 695K, 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $889K, 1127 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $925K, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $949K, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $1.295M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2.5 $1.395M.

10 price changes: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $565K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 now $729.9K, 434 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $920K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.049M, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $1.09M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.1M, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.395M, 1561 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/4 now $2.395M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.436M.

3 new sales: 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 listed at $649K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $797K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3.5.5 listed at $2.59M.

2 closed sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $395K, 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $490K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2297 Wulfert Rd $229K, 2933 Wulfert Rd $379K.

1 price change: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $159.9K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 now $635K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $995K.

2 price changes: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.18M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $9.6M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 44 Oster Ct 2/2 $1.025M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beach Access

A Happy Sanibel November Friday


As I was composing this today and had written “it’s another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel”, my teammate son reminded me that this afternoon is forecast to be the worst weather of the week. He’s funny. We really don’t have much bad weather. Sure, clouds are expected to roll in and breezes to pick up, with possibly a few showers expected by sunset, but isn’t that what keeps Southwest Florida tropical and green? It looks to be just another mini-cool front with temperatures not expected to get out of the 70’s here tomorrow. That’s not going to be hard to take and it sure beats the freezing temperatures expected in the mid-west and northeast. Here’s hoping you have good weather too!

Below are some photos taken yesterday at Sanibel Arms West by Jim Anderson with JMA Photography. Our new listing, gulfside #E2, has the lanai view shown bottom right.

On Halloween, I had a surprise office visit from a client’s twins who also stopped in five years ago – in costumes then too. How much they have changed! Time flies as they are grown-up young ladies now – and beautiful in their costumes. A good reminder to always enjoy smelling the roses along life’s journey.

 

Speaking of that, I had a quick working lunch today at Normandie Seaside Café at West Wind Inn. Still a favorite spot discovered during my first visit to the island 30-some years ago. The beach there was beautiful with waves rolling in and plenty of shellers searching for treasurers. The gals working the café and the nearby Upper Deck pool bar are a hardworking bunch and the food and service terrific. If you are ever looking for an out-of-the-way spot favored by locals, try them out. You’ll see plenty of islanders there for not just breakfast and lunch, but dinner too. I have seen Willard Scott there more than once. Normandie has an outstanding $22 Sunset Menu from 5-6 p.m. (Be sure to save room for the crème brulee or key lime pie. It’s included.)

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThough business has improved a little, the real estate world here still hasn’t rebounded from the summer water woes. Snowbirds continue to arrive, but phones aren’t ringing much. I was out showing a couple of times and again met with owners thinking of selling. Teammate Dave has been out showing too and three of us will be out showing this weekend. Sure hope some of these lookers are real buyers.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

bill kristie becky 10-31-18

Association CEO Bill Robinson & Director Realtor Becky Mulka with Kristie

Representing the islands’ Association of Realtors®, I was honored to speak at Wednesday’s Farewell Luncheon at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation for their retiring Education Director, Kristie Anders. When she saw it was me, Kristie jumped right in and mentioned that I donated the money for her to buy her first SCCF laptop for education. That was a very long time ago. Today with technology changes, she carries more than 40 huge presentations on a tiny flash drive that fits in her pocket.

If you have ever listened to Kristie, I am sure you also know what an amazing gal and teacher she is. If you are wondering how she has helped island Realtors®, below is what I said.

I am here to give a big thank you to Kristie for all she has done for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors. We all know that Kristie is a terrific island steward & wonderful educator. What you may not know are the many times she has cooperated with our local Realtor organization, spreading her knowledge, & making us better stewards too.

For years, Kristie has taught a segment about SCCF at Sanibel & Captiva’s quarterly Orientation training for new Realtors.

Like most licensed professions, Continuing Education Classes are required of Realtors to keep their real estate licenses current. That curriculum & those approved to teach these classes must be approved by our state Realtor organization, Florida Realtors.

Back in the 90’s, Kristie worked with our Association in developing a 7-hour continuing class called Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living. The class was state-approved, as was Kristie, as a Florida Realtors instructor. Every summer since then, for 20-some years, she has updated the class & taught it. Her up-to-date info & passionate delivery so fire up attendees that many take her class every year, even if they don’t need educational credits.

With her help, the year after the class was developed, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors won an annual state Education Award.

In 2006, our Association developed another educational program for Realtors wanting to specialize in Sanibel & Captiva real estate. Today, it’s a 12-part series that is offered every summer & takes several days to complete with those completing the program earning an island specialist designation. Kristie has been an integral part of that program too – again, each year updating & teaching a multi-hour module on conservation.

She also often has been a speaker at our Monthly Membership Meetings, offering introductory memberships to new island owners. She authored & currently is rewriting the “Story of the Islands” booklets that Realtors provide to prospective new islanders.

To say that Kristie has made us all smarter is an understatement. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors will miss her but want to relay their heartfelt thanks & appreciation for all she has done & continues to do for us.

We have a little thank you for her including an association shirt. We hope with that she’ll agree to be an honorary member of our association & come back whenever she likes! Best wishes, Kristie!”

Florida Realtors® Signs Agreement with Panama RE Association

Florida Realtors logoToday in Boston at the National Association of Realtors® 2018 Conference and Trade Expo, “Florida Realtors® and the Panamanian Association of Real Estate Brokers and Promoters (ACOBIR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the cooperation of the two Realtor organizations in developing a mutually beneficial relationship for their respective association members. As posted on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“”As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Panama and throughout the world,” says 2018 Florida Realtors® President Christine Hansen. “Florida Realtors and the Panamanian Association of Real Estate Brokers and Promoters share common goals. We look forward to continuing our partnership and building more connections that increase trans-national business opportunities for all of our members.”

Water Resources Development Act of 2018

EAA Project SCCF 2018From the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF’s) email blast this week:

“With the President’s signature on the federal water bill – The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) – the EAA reservoir is one step closer to providing relief to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie estuaries and supplying needed water to Everglades National Park.

The bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin work on the critical water infrastructure project south of Lake Okeechobee referred to as the EAA reservoir. The project will create a new outlet from Lake Okeechobee that will direct a significant amount of water south reducing the harmful, excess discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.

In the days ahead we will begin our work to press for project funding in the federal budget to keep the project moving forward.

Congratulations to everyone who stood up and spoke out in support of this critical step forward. Stay tuned!

The 324 page bill for water projects all across the nation is available online here.”

New Beach Cam at Casa Ybel Resort

Thanks to Froilan Ramirez (aka JR), the General Manager of Casa Ybel Resort for posting the link to their new beach cam. Check out how great the water looks. www.casaybelresort.com/web-cam

CasaYbelSanibel.jpg

Casa Ybel Resort pool & beach

Island Events

Center 4 Life Annual Trash & Treasures Sale –tomorrow, Sat Nov 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Island Seniors, 2401 Library Way. 

Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – tomorrow, Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church

Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at Bailey’s General Store & https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379

37th Annual Taste of The Islandsto benefit CROW, Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands

The LaunchSat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 26 – Nov 2, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $729K.

2 price changes: Signal Inn #3 2/1 now $759K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 now $1.298M.

4 new sales: Blind Pass #G201 2/2 listed at $479K, Sand Pointe #117 2/2 listed at $799K, Sundial #T402 2/2 listed at $855K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 listed at $1.189M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 $649K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $695K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $729K, 9447 Coventry Ct 3/2.5 $749K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $875K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $1.189M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $1.295M, 6425 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.779M.

9 price changes: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $479K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $672.5K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $739K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $789K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $869K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $940K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.149M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 now $1.499M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $2.595M.

1 new sale: 1286 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $969K.

1 closed sale: 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $395K, Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $525K.

3 price changes: Beach Villas #2426 1/1 now $540K; Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1,899,999; Beach Homes 25 3/2 now $1.949M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $4.2M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your week! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Halloween Fun Begins Today


It’s another happy Sanibel Friday with islanders looking forward to a cool front arriving tonight, with morning temperatures expected to dip into the high 60’s. That should make it more comfortable for runners in tomorrow’s FISH 10K Race and the Halloween festivities beginning this weekend.fish 10K 2018

Island Events

  • 14th Annual Island Paws Howl-o-Ween Bash – today Fri Oct 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Over Easy Café Patio includes pet costume contest & fundraiser to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
  • 10th Annual 10K Race 4 FISH – Sat Oct 27, begins at 7:30 a.m. & ends at The Community House. I’m the Sanibel Square roadway volunteer, near the finish line. Give a wave if you are running!
  • Hallo-‘Tween Party & Costume Contest – Sat Oct 27 hosted by ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa: Crow’s Nest open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. with dinner 5-10 p.m., Gatlin 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Canoe & Kayak open for dinner 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Wakefield Room DJ/Dance Party 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wristbands $10 (21 and up after 10 p.m.)
  • Trunk or Treat at Sanibel Community Church – Wed Oct 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Center 4 Life Annual Trash & Treasures Sale – Sat Nov 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Island Seniors, 2401 Library Way.
  • Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – Sat Nov 3 to benefit Sanibel Sea School scholarship program. Starts at 10:30 a.m. at Sanibel Congregational Church
  • Sanibel Blues & Jazz FestivalSun Nov 4 in Bailey’s Backyard from 12 to 7 p.m. Tickets at Bailey’s General Store & https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanibel-blues-jazz-festival-tickets-50608163379
  • 37th Annual Taste of The Islands to benefit CROW, Sun Nov 11 at Sanibel Community Park from 12:30 to 5 p.m. www.crowclinic.org/articles/37th-taste-of-the-islands
  • The Launch Sat Nov 17 Coastal Keepers fundraiser at The Community House from 6 to 10 p.m. More info & tickets at www.sancapcoastalkeepers.org/the-launch

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe islands’ Association of Realtors® annual meeting last night included a report by President Dustyn Corace summarizing another good year for our healthy organization. Progress in the continued fight for better water quality and several fund-raising events for community charities were recognized, with contributors thanked for their help and participation. Congratulations to Realtors® George Kohlbrenner and Connie Walters, both elected to the incoming Board of Directors.

 

Our last benefit of the year called “Fall Into Christmas” for “Friends Who Care” followed the meeting with many unwrapped toys, gift cards, and cash donations collected for this wonderful organization. It’s founder, islander Tom Louwers provided a brief history. Beginning in the early 80’s when Sanibel law enforcement knew of a family in need of a hand-up, today, this charitable non-profit quietly helps island residents and employees cope with a range of small emergency needs. Through the year, it assists anonymously with such items as school supplies and gas cards, while over the holidays, particularly at Christmas it provides with holiday meals and presents from Santa delivering them directly to those in need. Funded by the generosity of islanders and organizations like the Association of Realtors®, every dollar collected goes directly to the people it serves.

2018-10-26 Fall Into Christmas

Some of the “Fall Into Christmas” elves and guests are shown above with Leslie Adams (center) who catered the yummy appetizers, while desserts shown were from Totally Baked on Sanibel). Service, libations, & decor were by the elves (chaired by Realtor Kelly Huguenin & Amanda Curran Corace) & Association staff. Tom Louwers with “Friends Who Care” is on the far right next to Association CEO, Bill Robinson.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayIt was quiet at our office this week and our open houses didn’t yield many lookers. Like our colleagues, we look forward to reverting to the weekly Thursday morning caravan schedule next week.

These Open Houses of new listings (Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon) will continue through “season” and are an island tradition.

The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

“Ding” Darling Wins America’s Best Restroom

This week, the refuge’s “Learning Lavatories” were voted American’s Best Restroom in Cintas Corporation’s nationwide contest. With nine other finalists, online votes were counted to select the country’s top-rated restroom. This contest is in its 17th year and certainly is a unique way to feature a facility. To become a finalist, judging criteria includes cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements. The refuge restrooms certainly led in several of those categories.

The Refuge restroom project was completed about a year ago and outside includes a mother and baby manatee sculpture (made of recycled bike tires) and floor-to-ceiling paintings depicting images of refuge wildlife. Inside, built to green standards, they feature an underwater motif with mangrove photo-tile murals and wildlife sculptures. Stall doors are wrapped in close-up professional photos of refuge birds, while educational teaser messages encourage visitors to learn more.

Ding bathroom

Positive Sea Turtle News

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blogThough Southwest Florida water conditions late this summer generated plenty of negative news, it was a good season for sea turtles nesting on Sanibel/Captiva and their hatchlings. According to SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Sea Turtle Program Coordinator and as reported today in the “Island Sun”: “This year’s nesting season was actually pretty good. We’ve had four record-breaking seasons in a row, and while we didn’t set any records this year, it was an above average season.”

Nesting season runs from mid-April until the end of October. According to 2018 statistics compiled by SCCF, a total of 721 sea turtle nests were laid in 2018, compared to a total of 871 laid during 2017. An estimated 38,579 hatchlings emerged from the nests and entered waters surrounding Sanibel and Captiva. “…hatchlings swim like crazy the first seven to 10 days of their lives before they start eating; they feed from the yolk sac, which gives them the energy to get far out into the gulf. In fact, FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) says that hatchlings may be the lone glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrible red tide season.” The agency requests that if the public witnesses sick, distressed or dead wildlife, they should call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (press 7 for the operator).

Thanks to the many island sea turtle program volunteers and SCCF staff members who in addition to their daily beach patrols, which begin at dawn, collect trash and debris left on island beaches. For more information or to adopt a sea turtle next to to www.sccf.org/our-work/sea-turtles.

Average Mortgage Rates Edge Up – 30-year at 4.86%

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors® on-line posted the below article yesterday (Oct 25) by The Associated Press:associated-press-logo

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged slightly higher this week amid continued anxiety in financial markets as interest rates rise.

“Home borrowing rates remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, with the key 30-year rate approaching 5%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86% this week from 4.85% last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94%.

“The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 4.29% this week from 4.26% last week.

“Anxiety over rising interest rates, which stem from strength in the economy, has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks and spilled over into the housing market.

“Stocks have swooned over the last three weeks as investors worried about interest rates, as well as trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and slowing economies outside the U.S. As of Wednesday, the S&P 500 index had plunged 9.4% in just three weeks, with two separate six-day losing streaks. It hasn’t had a streak of losses that long since November 2016.

“The combination of higher borrowing costs and increasing home prices has made homeownership less affordable.

“Sales of new U.S. homes plunged 5.5% in September, the fourth straight monthly drop as the housing market cools, the government reported Wednesday. The annual rate of home sales has dropped 15.3% since May, eliminating much of the strength in sales from the first five months of 2018.

“Builders had assumed that a stronger economy would boost sales, yet a greater share of new construction is going un-purchased.

“Interest rates on Treasury bonds, which have climbed to seven-year highs in recent weeks, were steady this week. The yield on the key 10-year Treasury note, which can influence mortgage rates, was at 3.14% Wednesday, down from 3.15% last week.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

“The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages also held steady, at 0.4 point.

“The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.14% from 4.10% last week. The fee remained at 0.3 point.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Oct 19-26, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Tennisplace #C23 2/1.5 $339K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $650K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $749K, Sand Pointe #117 2/2 $799K, Sunset South #5D 2/2 $1.189M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/2.5 $1.795M.

3 price changes: Sundial West #D304 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $747.5K, Compass Point #183 now 2/2 now $1.25M.

2 new sales: Seashells #43 2/2 listed at $329K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 listed at $634.9K.

2 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 $450K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.099M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 $549K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699K, 498 Surf Sound Ct 3/3 $885K, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.399M.

7 price changes: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $449.5K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $675K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $849K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.049M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 now $1.089M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.099M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.675M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $420K, 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $565K, 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed at $999K.

5 closed sales: 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $410K, 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $715K, 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $715K, 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $1.6M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 978 Main St listed at $179.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.12M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 listed at $1.499M.

1 closed sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 $1,698,500.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Dearie Trick or Treaters-colorUntil next Friday, remember at SanibelSusan Realty, it’s all about treats – no tricks here! Happy Halloween!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan