September Weather Arrives on the Islands


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

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

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

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

September Island Updates

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

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

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

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

Upcoming Event Reminders

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

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

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

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

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

Island Beaches & Red-Drift Algae

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spot Locations Remain Dynamic & Ephemeral

Update on Algae Pilot Project

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

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

Status of In-water Algae Removal Pilot Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Numerous baitfish were observed at several locations…

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

“Florida Department of Health–Healthy Beaches Program

The Florida Department of Health samples 4 Sanibel beach locations weekly for fecal indicator bacteria. Samples collected on Monday 9/16/19 were all in the “good” range for enterococcus bacteria. Weekly testing results are posted here:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/beach-water-quality/county-detail.html?County=Lee&Zip=33916-2205

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

END”

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy a “cool” September!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Warm Grateful Friday on Sanibel Island


It is SusanSusan reporting that all is well on Sanibel after a fearful few days of Dorian-watching. It certainly was heart-breaking to see the devastation in the Bahamas. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has teamed with the Over Easy Café and is a drop-off point for Bahamas donations. The first two days of contributions at Over Easy have already been delivered to their next destination, with collections continuing for at least another week.

As probably expected, the holiday weekend here turned into a bust with many visitors/vacationers opting to cancel their plans. There has been very little traffic on Periwinkle all week. Some pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets, though.

Sanibel sunset 2011

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Though a quiet week, the team and I were happy to get a new listing in Sanibel Bayous over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, teammate Dave got all of our listing “for sale” signs back in place.

paragon black knight logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® transition to their new Multiple Listing Service continues for the second week with kinks continuing to be worked out as the system and its reports are fine-tuned to our geographic areas. If you previously received automatic email updates about a particular property type, those databases did not convert with the transition, but I am s-l-o-w-l-y setting up new searches so that you will begin receiving listings again.

The new system offers a Collaboration Center where both prospective buyers and sellers may access the system, make changes to their search criteria, save favorite listings, delete others, and request additional information. If you would like your email address to be set up for a search followed by automatic notifications, just let us know.

sundial-logoMid-week, Dave and I visited a couple of condos at Sundial Resort. It was surprising to see so few vehicles there, but like at other complexes in September, associations are making good use of the downtime. At Sundial West, the building walkways and stairs were being pressure washed.

At our listing at Sanibel Arms West, the building is being painted this month, with no rental bookings allowed until Oct 5. Showings still will be permitted, however, so we are trying to drum some up. It gets tough with income-producing properties to get access “in season”, so now is a good time for those investors to be looking.

View c

View from Sanibel Arms West #E2

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the islands’ Association of Realtors®, there were few announcements, and no new listings were open for viewings. That break in the usual program provided a nice opportunity for me to pass along a couple of the “giving keys” that I purchased recently at the Florida Realtors® RPAC Jamboree. “Giving keys” are typical-looking house keys, but each is stamped with an inspirational word. Worn on a chain around your neck. “Giving keys” are to be enjoyed, then shared, by passing them along to someone else who also may be inspired by their message. I passed along three keys, “hope”, “trust”, and “strong” to Association members Kasey Albright, Megan Rose, and Mary Lou Bailey, encouraging them to also “pay them forward”.

After a couple of news items below, you will find an update of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Temporary Closings

dining clip artThe Chamber of Commerce has posted the below list of island temporary restaurant closures. As in past years, many take staff vacations now, do annual deep cleans, and fix-ups before “season”.

Restaurants Closed
Blue Rendezvous French Bistro Now through Oct
Blue Giraffe Sep 2-16
Gramma Dot’s Sep 3-26
Il Cielo Now through Oct
Joey’s Custard Sep 20-Oct 3
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant Month of Sep
Over Easy Café Sep 9-19
Pecking Order Closed Sundays thru Sep
Sand Dollar (Sanibel Island Beach Resort) Breakfast only

Dinner only Fri & Sat

Schnapper’s Sep 3-16
Sweet Melissa’s Sep 8-30
Traders Sep 16-30
T2 Sep 16-30
Traditions Closed Sundays thru Oct 20

Closed Sep 1-22, & Nov 16

Island Cinema – Also closed temporarily for annual maintenance is Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center. It is closed all month and expects to reopen in early Oct.

rosieRosie’s Café & Grill is back. After a year-long absence Rosie’s reopened recently in its former location in Palm Ridge Place. The restaurant dates back a few decades when it went by the name Rosie’s Deli & Market and was on Sanibel’s east end. The 4th generation of owners, Joanne Fitzgerald and Irving Gavin, bought the restaurant in 2009 when it was still on the east end. (Gavin is the son of Eugene, of the well-known Gavin family that settled on Sanibel in 1914.)  The restaurant relocated to its current location, reopening in 2012 under the name Rosie’s Café & Grill. Currently serving breakfast and lunch; dinner will be available in-season starting in Nov. In addition to their former menu and Royal Scoop ice cream, Rosie’s now serves barbeque and soon will expand with a new bakery. Hours now are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues through Sat.

Upcoming Events

PrintCaptiva Triathlon – is this weekend, Sat and Sun Sep 7 and 8. As a reminder, Captiva Drive will be closed tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. and remain closed until the bike segment of the race is complete. The USAT-sanctioned adult sprint triathlon is a ¼-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile (5K) run on Captiva. The swim will be in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the bike will cover the length of Captiva on closed roads, and the run will be on the golf course path along the Gulf and Redfish Pass at South Seas Island Resort. On Sunday, there will be three age groups for the USAT National Splash n’ Dash race:

  • Ages 6-8: 100-yard swim, 0.5-mile run
  • Ages 9 & 10: 100-yard swim, 1-mile run
  • Ages 11-15: 200-yard swim, 1-mile run

The race is to benefit Community Cooperative’s Growing Healthy Kids and Mobile Food Pantry programs. More info at https://www.gearedup.biz/.

Sanibel Sea School2nd Annual Flip-Flop Family Scavenger Hunt – This Sanibel Sea School fundraiser will kick-off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 5, at Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church at 2304 Periwinkle Way. At check-in, each scavenger team (up to eight individuals) will be given a book of clues and challenges, each worth a set number of points. Included are clues that could be easily solved by younger children. Through the hunt, participants will use their knowledge of the island, marine biology, and local folklore to earn points. Along the way, teams will visit several Sanibel locations, where they may be asked to take a photo or bring back a specific shell or artifact to prove the visit. The Sea School says, “The key to hosting a successful scavenger hunt is creating clues that can be solved by anyone in the family, no matter their age.” The event is expected to be completed by 3 p.m. At the finish line check-in station, staff will tally all points collected by each team. Those teams will be able to “buy” letters with their points earned in order to solve the final puzzle. The team that solves the final puzzle correctly first will determine the winner, but that might not necessarily be the team that tallies the most points. Cost to participate is $25 per person. Participants must provide their own transportation. All proceeds will support the nonprofit’s scholarship fund which provides ocean experiences to thousands of area children each year. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.sanibelseaschool.org/flipflopfundraiser or by calling 239-472-8585.

Crow classic 2019Annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament – Also on Saturday, Oct 5 at The Sanctuary is the annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament. Shotgun starts at 12:30 p.m. with check-in at 11 a.m. and lunch at 11:30. Player registration is open to 100 golfers. It features 18 holes, a helicopter ball drop, and chances to score prizes. Players may sign up as a foursome, or as individuals and will be matched up as a team. All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the animals at CROW, their care, public education, training, etc. The community is encouraged to sign up to play or purchase some helicopter balls. Players can register to play (through Sep 16) and players/non-players can purchase balls (through Oct 3) at www.CROWClinic.org.

Positive Trends for Florida Real Estate

Posted yesterday on LinkedIn by local Realtor® colleague Wendy Humphrey with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty:

“SALT, the cap on state and local tax deductions, is likely to lead to a Florida population boom according to estimates from Demographic Estimating Conference.

“The controversial $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions encourages moving cash from high tax northern states to lower-tax states like Florida while it remains in effect. It is due to expire in 2025.

“Then there’s actually some relatively good news for Florida and other southern states regarding global warming.

“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which examines annual temperatures for the U.S. indicates warming is very uneven with some states barely warming at all.

The Washington Post“Northeastern states and Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have experienced extreme warming while many southern states have experience little change. Some have even cooled slightly. Florida has seen slight to moderate change. For the full report go to The Washington Post of August 13, 2019.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 30 – September 6, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $489K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.25M, Sundial #E108 3/2 $1.3M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Seashells #42 2/2 $375K, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 $1.185M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $539K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

3 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $424K, 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 743 Windlass way 3/2 now $669K.

2 new sales: 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $998.5K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/.5 listed at $2.875M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0180.JPG

Lot at 4566 Buck Key Rd in Sanibel Bayous

1 new listing: 4566 Buck Key Rd $149K (our listing).

2 price changes: 1219 Par View Dr now $299K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $599K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11530 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.797M.

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 fridayUntil next Friday, wishing everyone a great weekend & week,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

All Eyes on Dorian


What usually is a quiet week on the islands has turned into a bit of a worry with Hurricane Dorian expected to come ashore along Florida’s eastern seaboard early next week. Dave took a spin by all of our listings yesterday, removing and tucking away signs and items that could become airborne with strong winds. If all goes well he will be putting things back in place soon.

Sanibelcityseal logoAs I post this, a meeting is now occurring at Sanibel City Hall with a departmental operations update. Island partners in attendance include CHR, SCCF, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, Island Water, police, Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Disposal, Sanibel School, post office, FISH, CROW, LCEC, Ding Darling, plus both Sanibel & Captiva Fire & Rescue.

There is a separate meeting City Council meeting at 2 p.m. Listen live through the link on http://www.mysanibel.com Dorian Update #3 and follow the City website for more updates.

Island Real Estate

2017-09-12 OfficeUsually the Labor Day weekend brings a spurt of real estate business, but that is looking doubtful now with many 3-day visitors cancelling their plans.

But, if you are wondering, unless forecasts change, we will be open tomorrow and I will be there Sunday too. If we may help you with anything on island, please let us know.

For island Realtors®, this past Monday was the cut-over date for service with our new Multiple Listing provider, Paragon. It has lots of new state-of-the-art features and capabilities that we are learning.

A summary of the action this week in the islands’ MLS follows just a couple of news items below. Stay safe islanders!

At Florida Realtors®

CBAEEA3C-B9F0-4879-912A-44CB0A33B161Last week, at the Florida Realtors® 103rd Annual Convention & Trade Expo, first I served on the state instructor audition panel and then as an Education Ambassador where members had a choice of more than 40 educational sessions.

Following the convention, on Friday and Saturday, the Florida Realtors® leadership team held their governance meetings. This was my 22nd year participating, this year in the Resort & 2nd Home Specialist breakout group (which is part of the Legislative Think Tank), the Curriculum Subcommittee, and the Professional Development Committee.

Networking at these events is the “best” – especially after all these years. It was interesting to hear that water quality and short-term vacation rentals are two hot topics in every area – even those inland. These meetings were the first for our Association’s new Education Director. It was so much fun introducing her to some terrific instructors and her peers throughout the state.

At the Capital Club luncheon on Friday, we had a surprise visit from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. What a smart, energetic, thoughtful man he is. His priorities coincide with ours on the islands, “Florida 1st”.

Coastal Cleanup on Sept 21

Join the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Keep Lee County Beautiful as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s international Coastal Cleanup on Saturday morning, Sep 21. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 10.5 million volunteers have cleaned 350,000 miles of shoreline collecting 192 million pounds of trash in the more than three decades of this international effort.

If you would like to work at Gulfside City Park or Bowman’s Beach, sign up at http://klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.hmtl. For other Sanibel-Captivalocations or for more info, contact Alex Horn at ahorn@sccf.org or call SCCF at 239-472-2329.

SCCF will provide trash bags, data cards, gloves, water, and a tee-shirt to all participants before they head out for their beach assignments from 9-11 a.m. After collecting, documenting, and disposing of their trash back at the SCCF Nature Center (3333 San-Cap Road), volunteers will be offered complimentary lunch items starting at 11 a.m. (Thanks to Doc Ford’s Rum Barr & Grille as the 1st Lunch Partner for the 2019 Coastal Cleanup.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 23-30, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: White Caps South #8 1/1 $849K.

7 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $380K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $575K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $850K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 now $899K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 now $1.075M, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 now $1.229M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.44M.

1 new sale: Sundial #J201 1/1 listed at $550K.

3 closed sales: Seashells #31 2/2 $405K, Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $539K, White Pelican #133 3/3 $1.489M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 701 Nerita St 3/2 $749K.

8 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $429.9K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $492.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $592.5K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $650K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $759K, 1560 Royal  Poinciana Cir now $1.295M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.899M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $2.875M.

2 new sales: 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $585K, 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.045M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1044 Fish Crow Rd $399K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.799M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.275M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1.1 $316.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $745K.

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.

Until next Friday, may Dorian be kind!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

From Sanibel to Orlando


The Sanibel weather has been great this week, although hot and with a few quick afternoon rain showers. With news reporting dangerous heatwaves in other parts of the country, I hope you have been staying cool where you are.

1C69D697-8D51-416F-97DB-DF1EF4EC55CAThe SanibelSusan Team has been manning the office all week, while I am in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors 2019 Convention, Trade Expo, and Annual Meetings.C55AE7AA-E304-4086-86BC-8FAF51E87A34

The convention educational sessions and expo have wrapped up, with committee meetings today and tomorrow. The highlight today was at the Capital Club annual luncheon with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It was so inspiring to hear the many positive initiatives underway, thanks to his leadership, including in water quality. As he said, it’s all about “Florida first”. He is without a doubt, smart, energized, and working hard for our state.

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Below are a few local news items from the Sanibel team, before a summary of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity this week.

County Approves Wulfert Bayous Acquisition

Ding FundraiserAs reported in this week’s “Island Sun”: On August 20, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of supporting the acquisition of the 68-acre Wulfert Bayous parcel. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge have been working with the county on the collaboration for more than a year to make the acquisition a reality.

Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program will fund $6.5 million of the total $9.5 million cost to purchase the property. DDWS has raised the additional $3 million through private donations. The refuge, for its part in the collaboration, will manage the property as part of its complex.

The city of Sanibel had already approved development of the land with up to 28 new homes. To preserve the tract from such development, DDWS, in February 2019, kicked of its public campaign to preserve the acreage.

Located along Wulfert Road and Sanibel-Captiva Road and adjacent to refuge boundaries, the property is home to a number of species that would be seriously threatened by development of the habitat. The preserved acreage will also help protect water quality as a natural filter.

The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will forward the goals and objectives of the Gulf of Mexico and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration plans. In addition to 16 acres of existing mangroves, Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons, while serving as a natural water filter.

If you would like to help restore Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres, contact DDWS at 472-1100 ext 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

2019 “Ding” Darling Day

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 20, in preparation for the Refuge’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, this year’s “Ding” Darling Day is full of the best traditions and it’s FREE. Here’s a summary:

TOURS:

8 a.m.   Birding with a biologist

9 a.m.   Biking at the Refuge (4 miles)

10 a.m. Birding Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10-4     Tram tours on Wildlife Drive (every hour) sign up at the Tram Booth

ACTIVITIES

10 a.m. Nature sketching on Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10 a.m. Wildlife yoga (in classroom)

11 a.m. iPhone photography walk (meet at flagpole)

12 p.m. Wildlife origami (in classroom)

1 p.m.   Canvas painting (in classroom) limited to 1st 25

2 p.m.   Wildlife cartoons with Dave Horton (in Visitor & Education Center)

PRESENTATIONS

10 a.m. “Ding” Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest (in classroom)

10 a.m. & 3 p.m. Live animals with C.R.O.W. (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. Python talk (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Puppet show (in classroom)

12 p.m. Cartoon content award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

1-3 p.m. Federal & Junior Duck Stamp award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

2 p.m.   Snakes Alive (under the Big Top tent)

ON-GOING

Exhibitor booths, face painting, live music, nature crafts, archery, chalk drawing, hot dogs, butterfly house, fly-fish demos, art demos, plein-air artists, fire equipment demos

ON-GOING AT TARPON BAY EXPLORERS

Touch tank, stand-up paddle-boarding.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 16-23, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $450K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $605K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $437K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $499.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $599.5K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.189M.

4 new sales: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $549.9K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 listed at $800K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $899K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $134.9K, 9345 Dimmick Dr now $359K.

1 new sale: 933 Strangler Fig Ln listed at $495K.

1 closed sale: 1817 Longpoint Ln $269K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listing or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

No 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.

To those asking about the gulf waters, though not taken personally, here is a photo posted yesterday afternoon on Facebook’s “Beautiful Sanibel” page, from a West Gulf Dr beach. With a storm now stalled out over the Atlantic off the east coast, a rainy weekend is expected. Let’s hope it still looks like this next week! Enjoy your weekends!

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Until next Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


It is the end of another soggy week on Sanibel. Though there have been periods of sunshine, there have been way more clouds and showers, day and night for over a week. The news today, forecast rain at 100%. Humidity is high and temperatures like the tropics. On the plus side, vegetation is lush and green, from free irrigation. If this sounds like islanders are grumbling, I am. We are so spoiled here – with gorgeous weather so much of the time – that being Susie Sunshine today, is a stretch.

(As a remembrance, the photo below was taken LAST Friday by JMA Photography at our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours overlooking San Carlos Bay. The new landscaping had just gone in!)

Master View

Unfortunately, from runoff this week, tannins again have stained bay waters giving pause to those worried about a change in gulf water quality. Luckily, at least so far, it is just a visual change. The latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report shows NO red tide in Southwest Florida except a small concentration in just one water sample from Pinellas County, north of here near St Petersburg.

Once the rain subsides, the sand should settle out and the color clear again. From the City’s website, Click here to see the most recent aerial photograph of water conditions at Lighthouse Beach Park.

This week, The SanibelSusan Team finished up their classroom training sessions for the new Multiple Listing Service that goes live here July 26. Between now and then, while old and new systems are running in parallel, we are setting up new searches for our prospects and getting more familiar with the system’s collaboration center which will provide both buyers and seller access to the system data including historical info.

Now that local schools here are back in session, there are fewer vacationers on-island. Some also say that occupancy is off because of the water last summer. The return of part-time residents will pick up as summer wraps up elsewhere.

Schools Back in Session

Lee County schools logoRegarding Lee County Schools, it was nice to hear that breakfast and lunch will be free at all schools for the 2019-2020 school year. The school district also said that four specialized centers are included in the breakfast/lunch program: Buckingham Exceptional Center, L.A.M.P., Royal Palm Exceptional School and Success Academy. Parents do not need to apply, and “Free and Reduced” meal applications do not need be completed. (They were required in earlier years). Food and Nutrition Services Director Lauren Couchois said, “We realize if a student is hungry, their ability to learn is compromised, providing this benefit will help our students excel.”

Teammate Elise also mentioned that the County school schedule this year goes into early June (usually school is over before Memorial Day) with a few extra days off at Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to Sanibel’s Leaders!

florida league of citiesYesterday, at the 93rd Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando, Sanibel’s own Mayor Kevin Ruane was sworn in as President of the Florida League of Mayors. With his family and Sanibel’s entire City Council there, he was sworn in by Sanibel’s City Clerk, Pamela Smith. He also posted that Florida’s League of Mayors unanimously approved his priority for 2020 as “President for Water Quality & Water Quantity”.

At this same event, Sanibel Councilor Holly Smith sits on the Municipal Administration Committee of the Florida League. They have chosen “Vacation Rentals” as their priority subject for 2020.

Good things will come from this involvement by our City leaders. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for all of us!

2019 Shared-Use Path Repair Project Begins

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City posted today that the annual repairs to Sanibel’s Shared-Use Paths begins Monday, Aug 19. Every year the City inspects all 26.06 miles of paths and prioritizes repair needs. This year, they total $210K with the contractor required to complete the project within 30 days, weather permitting.

For safety, the areas being repaired will be barricaded off from users. Please take care!

Bailey’s Groceries On Demand

Bailey's Groceries on DemandHere’s a Facebook message I saw posted this week by Bailey’s General Store:

“We are excited to announce mobile shopping! With a click of a button, have your groceries delivered to your home, condo, or rental accommodations. Simply download our app “Bailey’s General Store” on the Apple App Store or Android Market, OR click here http://baileys-sanibel.freshopsites.com/shop, add the groceries you need, and have them delivered straight to your door. Shopping has never been easier!”

Why the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park Is So Cool

Ding Darling Society logoMidweek, I chatted with fellow Realtor Sarah Ashton who with her husband Jim Metzler co-chairs the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s Friends of the Refuge. They authored a “cool” guest commentary that was in this week’s “Island Reporter”. I offered my congratulations on the article which serves to educate as well as promote what Sanibel is all about. I hope you enjoy it too.

“The Sanibel Slough, known to most of us as the Sanibel River, feeds fresh water into low-lying swales to create Sanibel’s interior wetland system. As a result, the health of Sanibel Slough is critical to the health of the wildlife that inhabits the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, more than a decade ago, the slough was identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as being impaired for nutrients, meaning that it does not meet state standards for nitrogen and phosphorus. But we will describe a very cool project that is helping to reduce the nutrient concentrations in the slough.

“The somewhat recently opened Jordan Marsh is a filter marsh, one side of which abuts Casa Ybel Road. The creation of the marsh was funded by the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County impact fees, and the City of Sanibel. A pump located at the rear of the property pulls water out of the Sanibel Slough. The water meanders throughout the marsh before it is return to the slough. Within the marsh, plants such as cattails, bulrush, and pickerelweed, remove excess nutrients.

“If the water is pumped into the marsh at a low rate, it spends a lot of time there, and hence the marsh removes a high percentage of the nutrients. In contrast, if the water is pumped in at a high rate, it spends less time in the marsh and as a result, a lower percentage of the nutrients are removed. However, there is a trade-off. Since the water spends less time in the marsh, it is possible to pump more water through the marsh and hence the marsh can potentially remove a larger amount of nutrients.

“One of the reasons why the Jordan Marsh project is so cool is because it represents a close partnership between the City and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. One part of that cooperation is that the property on which Jordan Marsh was built is comprised of six acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve, and a 1.3-acre portion of the 8.5 acres that is within SCCF’s Wigley Preserve.

“The cooperation between the City and SCCF goes much deeper. The City is currently working with SCCF to collect data from the marsh relative to the amount of nutrients that are removed. This data is being analyzed by SCCF’s Marine Laboratory scientists and will be used to determine the overall effectiveness of the marsh and the optimal rate at which water should be pumped into the marsh. And speaking of cooperation, SCCF’s Marine Laboratory is located on property owned by the refuge.

“Another reason that the Jordan Marsh is so cool is that in addition to removing nutrients from the Sanibel Slough, the project also enhances the existing wildlife habitat on the site, providing recreational opportunities such as biking and birding, and educates park visitors on the various techniques being use to improve water quality.

“There is no doubt that solving the water quality issues such as cleaning up Lake Okeechobee will take considerable help from the federal government and the state. There is also no doubt that the biggest reason that Jordan Marsh is so cool is that it is a cooperative effort of many local groups to solve a problem in our own backyard.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 9-16, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 now $1.495M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Signal Inn #4 1/1 $490K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $495K, By-The-Sea #C1023/2 $1.525M.

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Still some other condos for sale at Signal Inn! Off the beaten path, yet right on the beach & pet friendly too.

HOMES

1 new listing: 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699.9K.

1 price change: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $439K.

2 new sales: 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

4 closed sales: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $860K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $875K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 $900K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $937.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 3308 St. Kilda Rd now $479,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #606 2/2 $739K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $450K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.95M.

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.

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, I hope your days are drier than here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

If School Begins Monday, Is Summer Over? Noooo! Summer & Vacations Go On Forever Here!


It’s already another Friday with the islands quiet. When there is no traffic director at the Causeway Road 4-way stop at both noon and 5:30 p.m., you know Sanibel/Captiva traffic has slowed.

Though The SanibelSusan Team was short one teammate this week, we had some nice accomplishments – a great new listing, a nice price reduction on another, an offer in the works, a great turnout yesterday at our Isabel Dr listing on Realtor Caravan, and though our photographer has dealt with many rain and cloud interruptions, I think he will deliver some special marketing photos this weekend. The full team is back to work on Monday (the same day that Lee County schools are back in session). Yikes! Does that mean summer is over?

At our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday recognition was given to the donors and helpers that contributed to the 20,300 meals that were packed in record time at last Friday’s Meals of Hope benefit event. Thank-yous also went to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, his wife Doreen, and City Councilor Holly Smith for their hands-on help. It is fast fun work often with competition. Part of the giggles relate to the required hair coverings. If packers don’t bring a hat, they are blessed with a hairnet. I’m sure the Mayor loved that. (Two photos compliments of JMA Photography below: First the packers. 2nd photo has the Mayor rocking his hair net at the end of the table. That assembly-line begins with his wife Doreen (on left in baseball cap) & Councilor Holly Smith(on right).)

Only two properties, including our listing, were open for the Caravan that followed yesterday’s meeting. The details of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System are after a couple of news items below.

Vacation Home Hot Spots Across the Country

Much of SanibelSusan’s business is with buyers who also own in another resort or 2nd home market area, usually one they visit in the summer. When owning here, if retired, they often claim Florida residency for the estate and tax benefits. Many island owners have properties in several resort & 2nd home market areas.

Holding the national RSPS (Resort & 2nd Home Specialist) designation, I follow our group newsletter for tidbits that will help not only in our business, but in the curriculum for the RSPS class that I teach each summer at our local Association of Realtors®. Here are some interesting excerpts from the July 2019 “RSPS Newsletter”. The article linked to http://www.IPX1031.com .

“Whether it’s a cabin in the woods or a beachside bungalow, vacation homes come in all shapes, sizes and locations. We took a closer look at vacation home destinations across the country to find which cities and towns have the most vacation homes. We also analyzed the overall percentage of vacation homes in every state. We researched vacation home data from more than 29,000 different census designated places across all 50 states and ranked the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state.

“Before we analyze the top three locations with the most vacation homes in every state, let’s look at the overall percentage of vacation homes in each state. When you think of a popular vacation home hot spot, images of sandy beaches in Florida might come to mind. While Florida ranks high in terms of its number of vacation homes, it doesn’t beat out Maine, which is No. 1 in the country. Surprisingly, 19% of all homes in the Pine Tree State are vacation homes. Vermont and New Hampshire round out the top three states with 17% and 12%, respectively. Florida comes in at No. 6 with 10% of its homes categorized as vacation homes, according to the Census Bureau.

“Apparently, the Midwest isn’t a hot spot for vacation homes. Maybe it’s the brutally cold and long winters, but Midwest states rank low on our list. In fact, Illinois ranks dead last on our list with just 1% of its homes categorized as vacation homes. Other Midwest states like Ohio (1.1%), Iowa (1.6%), Indiana (1.7%) and Kansas (1.4%) are at the bottom of the list as well.

“However, there is one Midwest state that ranks within the top 10. With its more than 15,000 lakes, Wisconsin is a haven for fishing, boating and vacationing, which explains why the state ranks No. 8 among states with the most vacation homes.

“After we looked at the percentage of vacation homes in every state, we analyzed the top three places with the most vacation homes within those states. While familiar vacation locations such as Copper Mountain in Colorado and Fire Island in New York are among the top vacation home destinations, there are also smaller towns that make the list as well. For example, the top 3 destinations in California all have less than 300 vacation homes. However, every home within those three places are classified as vacation homes. Atlantic City and Boudurant, Wyoming as well as Yellow Pine, Idaho and McCarthy, Alaska are the only other locations on our list where every home is classified as a vacation home.”

After reading their article, I checked their infographic which shows by state what three towns/cities have the most vacation homes. If you are wondering what it reports for Florida. They are Captiva, Horseshoe Beach, and North Key Largo. (If you are like me, you now may be wondering, where is Horseshoe Beach? Google says, it’s on the Gulf, about 315 miles north of Sanibel and west of Gainesville. With an area of less than 2/10 of a mile, the population is only about 200.

Turner Beach Project Into Permitting

As reported in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”, “The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

“Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the City of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline….The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it…The City has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District…The work is expected to take place in 2020. As the City manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The City is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.”

More Shoreline Project Applications Filed

In the same “Sanibel-Captiva Islander” issue, it reports that “The City of Sanibel recently submitted applications for the design work and a request for financial assistance on the emergency shore protection project south of Blind Pass, along Sanibel-Captiva Road…” Once a Construction Control Line permit is issued by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, work there can begin, hopefully as soon as sea turtle nesting season is over at the end of October. In addition to the permit application, “the City submitted an application… for funds through the DEP’s Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program, which accepts local funding requests for beach projects…The City applied for just over $300,000 in state assistance as part of 50-50 cost share. It would cover the cost of the beach re-nourishment or fill placement and dune restoration…It would not include the structure itself – revetment, sheet piping, riprap – to protect the roadway…The total project may cost approximately $612,000. The City intends to request funds from the Lee County Tourist Development Council to help cover the remaining costs of the project…The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the City deposits…That is why the City wants to get the project done by fall, early winter….”

“Earlier this year, the City had brought in Humiston & Moore Engineers to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. Later on, at a City Council meeting, the firmed reported the following:

“”Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability…It is the intent of the City to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400’ section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.

“”The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheet pile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400’ section of vulnerable highway….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 2-9, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $529K, Sundial West #K103 2/2 $920K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 now $589K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $759K.

3 new sales: Sundial West #I103 1/1 listed at $465.9K, Mariner Pointe #1041 2/2 listed at $484K, By-the-Sea #C102 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $595K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $999K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $613.5K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $444K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $725K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.195M (our listing) (a few photos below, including mama & baby dolphin swimming by the 90′ dock)

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4 new sales: 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $649K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 844 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 5723 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

4 closed sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $335K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $485.5K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.35M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5737 Baltusrol Ct $299K (our listing) (some drone aerials below, it overlooks 9th fairway & has conservation land across the street), 3945 West Gulf Dr 3.995M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 now $324K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,899,999.

No new sales.

No 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.

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Packing Food, Watching the Water, Island Scoop, Plus Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate


It’s an early Friday blog today as the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 Meals of Hope food packing event is this afternoon. Our Association-sponsored events have packed over 50,000 meals the last two summers and aim to add another 20,000 to the tally today.

There is no denying that the water woes of last summer affected island real estate sales, but as we carefully watch the weather, it is great to be able to report now that the view driving across the causeway is as good as I remember it this late in the summer. Here are some aerial photos taken for the City just three days ago.

With a rainy few days ahead, that sparkling blue may get stirred up this weekend, but it sure is different from a year ago at this time.

Below are the islands’ real estate statistics as of today (August 2, 2019). Inventory is low, with many island Realtors® looking for listings. Now really is the best to list for those wanting a sale during the upcoming “season”. (There are more closed sales last quarter and first quarter which often means contracts are written beginning in August so new owners will benefit from winter ownership.)

Sanibel Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 99 $820,294 145 $1,360,835 64 $657,673
Under Contract 11 $731,709 17 $987,647 4 $233,000
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 85 $662,618 147 $956,029 10 $419,900
Sold/Closed in 2018 155 $720,617 218 $1,112,748 21 $602,095
Sold/Closed in 2017 140 $728,793 186 $1,004,237 32 $327,229

 

Captiva Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For Sale 38 $1,115,343 34 $2,884,556 3 $1,929,667
Under Contract 6 $681,317 2 $2,112,500 0 N/A
Sold/Closed Year-to-Date 14 $1,201,857 12 $3,181,963 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2018 27 $797,532 25 $2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold/Closed in 2017 34 $671,551 22 $2,457,023 2 $2,312,500

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.

There was no Realtor® Caravan yesterday, but the changes in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service this week are after a few news items below.

Island Scoop

Lee County Emergency Management – AlertLee – The county recently released AlertLee which is an emergency notification system where the public can sign-up to receive notifications. This system replaces CodeRed.  Both the City of Sanibel and county use this popular tool to send targeted emergency alerts. You can receive alerts on multiple devices in your home and/or on your cell phones.  Even if you were enrolled in the old system, to continue receiving alerts YOU MUST SIGN-UP for alertLee.  Go to the city website mysanibel.com (in the Quick Links on the right side).

Noah’s Ark Annual Bag Day – is Friday, August 9 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bag day marks the end of summer season for the Ark which after this event closes for cleaning and repair – reopening on October 1. Deep price reductions lead up to the sale, when on Bag Day customers may buy marked bags in the parking lot for $4 each, fill them with store goods and walk away with as many items as the bags will carry. Any items not fitting in the bag are 80% off the regular price. Operated by the Women of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal for more than 50 years, Noah’s Ark offers all kinds of merchandise from clothing to housewares, to furnishings, and books. Proceeds go to local, regional, and global charities and agencies. (Note: Noah’s Ark begins accepting donations again on September 1.)

San-Cap Road Vegetation Trimming – from Rabbit Road to Bowman’s Beach Rd on the north side, now through August 7.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing Project – will begin August 5 with paving done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times.  The public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. The following streets are included in this project:

  • Wulfert Rd. (from Wildlife Dr. to Sanctuary Entrance)
  • West Rocks Dr.
  • Coquina Dr.
  • East Rocks Dr.
  • Emeril Ct.
  • Durion Ct.
  • Chert Ct.
  • Agate Ct.
  • Boulder Cir.
  • Palm Lake Dr.
  • Donax St (repairs to northbound lane)

Every year the City resurfaces selected roads based upon a time schedule and existing condition.  This year’s road resurfacing contract amount is $534,000 including full-width resurfacing of the ten streets above, and repairs to Donax Street.  The project is expected to be completed within 30 days.

SCCF’s Nature Center Closed for Minor Renovations – The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s administrative offices and trails remain open to the public, but the Nature Center on San-Cap Road is closed for two months – reopening September 16. During this time, the educational displays and exhibits will be updated,  new TV screens added, and videos will be replaced. The Nature Center will be turned into a multi-use space including an update of the education for the trail system. During the closure, the on-site trails and observation tower may be accessed from the parking lot rather than through the building. The trails are free and open to the public. The Bailey Homestead Preserve on Periwinkle Way remains open. More info at www.sccf.org.

Home Inspection Myths & Misconceptions

The August 2019 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine ends with a “share this” info graphic. It says:

“The inspection is pass/fail. Home inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails. They evaluate the condition of a home and report on defects. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether to buy the house.

Home Inspectors determine if a house is up to code. Inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.

The seller will repair every defect the home inspector finds. While the inspector’s report can be used as a negotiating tool, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an as-is contract. Note: If negotiating over repairs, focus on issues that could be costly to fix.

New construction homes don’t have to be inspected. New construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cuts corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed or workers simply make mistakes.

Home Inspectors determine the value of a house. The focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home; an appraiser determines a fair market value.

“Home Inspectors check for termites. In Florida, termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 26 – August 2, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $760K.

6 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $395.9K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 now $569K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $597K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 now $634K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $649K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $750K.

2 new sales: Seashells #12 2/2 listed at $395K, Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 listed at $625K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $230K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $470K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $565.4K, 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 $839K, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/4 $3.595M.

4 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $597K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1305 Eagle Run 3/2.5 now $998.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $1.049M.

5 new sales: 513 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $648K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.35M, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.499M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.539M.

6 closed sales: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $520K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $714K, 4460 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $747K, 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $785K (our listing), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $840K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.245M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2431 Shop Rd $249.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #21 3/3 now $3M.

4 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 listed at $754.9K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 listed at $800K, Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 listed at $919K.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 31 Urchin Ct 3/3 $950K.

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, Happy August!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Scoop, Realtors Packing Meals, & Other Island Stuff


It’s quiet on the islands now – the usual annual lull before local schools begin again on August 12. Even after living on Sanibel for close to 30 years, I still shake my head when schools restart so much earlier here than up north. When the weather is like summer, seems only right that the kids are off enjoying it.

Below are some photos of our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours. Filmed Monday by JMA Photography, a close look will show that the new landscaping is in, with exterior almost complete. The final interior punch-list items are being finished now. Looking for a new owner for this bay-front beauty which has just undergone months of renovations! It includes a lot with dock and lift in the nearby boat basin too!

Next week at this time, island Realtors®, families, and friends will be participating in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 2019 packing event for Meals of Hope. As one of the Super Sponsors, we helped the Association raise the $5K needed to buy the supplies, now the goal is to pack at least 20,000 meals in 3 hours. We have done it before (photo below from our event last year), so should be able to do it again.

This time of the year, the local food banks are low, yet the need is high. The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that we again can help! If you want to participate, just let us know. All helpers are welcome.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Also this week at the Association of Realtors®, our new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) went live. It will be run in parallel with the old system while final program kinks are worked out and our membership is fully trained. The final cut-over date is August 26. The new system has plenty of new bells and whistles, so the team and I are practicing with the new system and watching on-line webinars before some upcoming training sessions at the Association Office.

If you receive listing notifications through the old system’s automatic emails, those will continue, though beginning August 26 when the system cuts over, your saved listings will disappear. We are revisiting each prospect’s search criteria, so if your preferences have changed, please let me know. It’s a good time to update them.

Yesterday was the Association’s July Membership Meeting. Not a single new sale was announced and just five new listings were open during the 3-hour Caravan that followed. There were a handful of new sales though as detailed in the week’s MLS summary that follows some other news below.

The meeting speaker was Jeannine Joy, President & CEO of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee United Way. Here are some takeaways.

Each United Way organization is independent, so donations stay in the community. With this organization, 92.3% of each dollar donated is given to the 82 local agencies and 245 programs they support and provide. F.I.S.H. of SANCAP is one of these agencies. Mention was made of the additional emergency funding provided to F.I.S.H. after Hurricane Irma and again last summer after local water woes affected island business and livelihoods.

The United Way provides help from early childhood development through senior life. Below is info on a couple of their programs.

  • Dial 211 – United Way 211 is a free 24-hour non-emergency helpline for referral to health and social services that provide food, housing, child care, and veteran services in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties.
  • VITA – United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation by IRS certified volunteers for household incomes of $66,000 or less. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900 to schedule an appointment.

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

On Wednesday, the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association’s Florida Gulf Coast MLS emailed their June Market Report for the county. It reported that overall, Lee County sales slipped a bit in June. It further says: “June showed Medial Sale Prices were up slightly at 2.0% for Single Family, while Townhouses and Condos showed a decrease of -5.0%. Broken down by cities, Single Family in Pine Island (30.0%), North Fort Myers (29.2%), Fort Myers Beach (28.0%), and Estero (10.0%) had double-digit increases for June over 2018. There was a significant drop in sales for Sanibel/Captiva at -30.8% over 2018. All other cities showed slight increases or decreases for the month.”

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

I saw a blog posting this week by The Discoverer Blog. The actual posting title is “5 U.S. Beaches to Visit and 5 to Avoid”. It begins by saying:

“From the pristine sandy shores of Sanibel Island to the calm cool azure waters of Kapalua Bay, a trip to the beach is always a good idea. The United States has some of the most amazing beaches in the world. That doesn’t mean that all beaches are trip-worthy. There are some beaches around the country that are either overrated or just places you need to stay away from. So, we’ve put together a list of the five best beaches to add to your must-see list and five that you need to avoid like the plague.”

Since I prefer the positive, here are their five “best” beaches. Read their blog yourself to find the others.

  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii
  • Key West, Florida
  • La Jolla Beach, California
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

Potential Title Insurance Pitfalls When Transferring Property into a Trust or LLC

In an email this week from the Legal Scoop Blog of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Hold, P.A. by Caleb Hinton on July 23, 2019:

“As a real estate attorney, one request I often receive from clients is to prepare a deed to transfer their real estate into either a trust (such as a revocable trust for estate planning purposes) or an LLC (for liability purposes). At first glance, this may appear to be a simple request with no adverse effects or consequences. However, depending on when the property was acquired, transferring your property may have adverse effects on your owner’s title policy that you received when you purchased the property.

“Florida Title Insurance Policy Forms – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“Florida OIR”) governs the title insurance industry in several ways, including the rates charged and the title insurance policy forms issued by attorneys and title agents to purchasers of real estate.

“In 2011, OIR approved a new title insurance policy form for both owner’s and lender’s policies that is known as the ALTA 2006 Form (“06 Form”). The 06 Form includes an expanded definition of “Insured” under the policy, including transfers by the Insured listed on Schedule A (“Named Insured”) of the policy into a trust if the grantee is a trustee or beneficiary of a trust created by a written instrument established by the Named Insured of the owner’s policy.

“The 06 Form also expands the definition of “Insured” under the 06 Form to include the grantee of the Named Insured if the Insured on Schedule A wholly owns the stock, shares, membership, or other equity interests of the grantee.

“Potential Pitfalls – Before 2011, title insurance agents were using the ALTA 1992 Form (“92 Form”) which contained a narrower definition of “Insured.” More specifically, the 92 Form defined “Insured” as the Insured on Schedule A of the owner’s policy (which is the name in which you took title) and those who succeeded to their interest by operation of law including heirs, distributees, devisees, personal representatives (of an estate), or corporate fiduciaries or successors. Simply stated, your title insurance coverage would pass to your heirs in the event of death.

“Under the 92 Form, the definition of “Insured” does not expressly include entities (such as LLCs) where the Named Insured on the policy conveys the property to an LLC of which they are the sole member. Also, the 92 Form does not expressly include transfers from the Named Insured to a trustee of trust such a revocable living trust used in traditional estate planning.

“Accordingly, if you took title to your property prior to 2011 and subsequently convey the property to your trust or a LLC, you may lose your coverage under your owner’s title policy.

“Take-Away – There are many factors to weigh when transferring real estate and it is essential to understand the consequences of any potential transfer being considered. It is important, therefore, to have an attorney review your individual situation, including whether or not any proposed transfer would potentially create coverage issues with the title insurance company that issued your owner’s policy. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact me at caleb.hinton@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1125.”

Help the Sea Turtles

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted this yesterday on Facebook:

“Early Sunday morning 7/21/19, a very familiar face visited Sanibel. Jane, a green sea turtle we first met in 2017, came ashore to nest. Our sea turtle team had already seen her six times this 2019 season, and Sunday marked our seventh encounter and her fifth nest!

“When she finished nesting, Jane attempted to return to the ocean but quickly became disoriented. Lost in the dune vegetation, Jane began to crawl in circles and away from the water, likely mistaking the light from nearby cities for her natural lighting cue of moonlight reflecting off the water. Our team stayed with Jane until she was able to safely find her way back to the beach and return to the sea.

“On Sanibel we are very fortunate to be designated a “dark beach” with ordinances focused on minimizing light pollution. Nevertheless, we are seeing an increase in sea turtle disorientation events every year.

“But how can sea turtles become disoriented if every place on the island has their lights off? Light from nearby cities that do not have lighting ordinances spills across the sky, brightening the horizon from inland, a phenomenon we call “skyglow”. Skyglow is the leading cause of disorientation for Sanibel’s nesting females and hatchlings. Sea turtles are born with the instinct to crawl towards the brightest light. Skyglow disorients turtles causing them to end up in dune vegetation, swimming pools or even roads where they are struck by vehicles.

“SCCF is reaching out to local governments to combat skyglow. Recently, a member of the Cape Coral City Council joined our nighttime survey to observe skyglow on Sanibel and learn about the effects on sea turtles.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 19-26, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $625K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Seashells #42 2/2 listed at $379.9K.

3 closed sales: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $220K, Sundial #C310 1/1 $442K, Loggerhead Cay #562 2/2 $560K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $518.5K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/3 now $675K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $699K (our listing) (some aerial photos below), 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $750K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 534 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $899K, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.299M.

2 new sales: 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $3.699M.

2 closed sales: 993 Fish Crow Rd 3/3 $654.9K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 $835K.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $439K, 5251 Indian Ct now $649K, 2510 Coconut Dr now $749.9K.

1 new sale: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd listed at $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $825K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,974,999.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16825 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2,316,055; 16814 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $4.9M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $6M.

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, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

No 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.

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


On normally-sunny Sanibel, this week has been one with several “off & on” showers from the storm developing north of us in the Gulf. Thankfully, most have been short-lived, though some arrived quickly.

We had a doozy yesterday, where suddenly it poured on Periwinkle in front of the office, with barely a drizzle in our back parking lot. Minutes later, it was over. Photo below from the gulf beach right after one of the passing storms.

The good news is the bunnies are happy with plenty of bright green juicy vegetation to munch, the windsurfers and kite-boarders enjoyed the storm-fueled breezes, and the shops and restaurants parking lots have been packed when the usual beach-goers are looking for other things to do.

Now we are thinking of those in the north central Gulf Coast area where Tropical Storm Barry is making landfall. May it dissipate quickly.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful to report a two-closing week and recognize that sometimes “it takes a village”. The crew at Barrier Island Title and their remote notary went above and beyond in providing the services needed for today’s closing. Kudos to them, my teammates, and Realtor Kerri Maw at Pfeifer Realty for their hard work in getting another SanibelSusan listing sold. Thanks also to Evan DuPont with John Naumann & Associates for bringing the buyer for our mid-week closing, also with Barrier Island Title. Some are easy, others challenging! We are grateful for them all.

Congratulations also to teammate, Dave, for a new off-island listing today.

The activity on the islands this week posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Just one Sanibel condo and one Sanibel home went under contract, no new sales on Captiva.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

With some Realtors® on vacation, the Association’s Caravan meeting yesterday had a few empty seats. The Caravan that followed had just one property open for viewing.

During the off-season is when the Association makes good use of the downtime and holds some of its community service events.

  • “Love That Dress” Donations – Through the month of July, the Association is serving as a drop-off point for donations for the upcoming “Love That Dress” event which is an annual shopping spree to benefit the PACE Center for Girls of Lee County. If you have any new or gently-loved dresses, shoes, handbags, or accessories, please drop them off this month at the Association Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 which is the 2nd floor over Finnimore’s Cycle Shop in the Winds Shopping Center. (Or give me a call, and I’ll pick them up.) The actual “Love That Dress” event will be held August 21 at Embassy Suites – Fort Myers/Estero. Tickets go on sale August 1.
  • “Meals of Hope” Food Packing – This year will be the Association’s third Meals-of-Hope food-packing event. This time, on Friday, August 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. Our goal is to raise $5,000 for the supplies and then pack 20,000+meals that are later distributed to local food banks. Let me know if you want to join us or make a donation (checks made out to Meals-of-Hope). The meal packing is assembly-line-style, fast and fun. Again, thanks to The Sanibel Community Church for allowing us to hold the event in their Fellowship Hall. (It’s just impossible to get the supplies and equipment needed into our Association’s 2nd floor spaces.)
  • “Captains for Clean Water” Benefit – Then the next afternoon on Saturday, August 3, the Association is hosting its 2019 Corn-Hole Tournament to benefit Captains for Clean Water. Association members and spouses from our district (Marco Island, Bonita, Fort Myers & the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel-Captiva) will come together for a few hours of comradery and fun at Marlins Brewhouse. Here’s hoping that Sanibel-Captiva players come out ahead of our standings in the district softball and bowling tournaments.

Our local MLS Committee is working hard in preparation for the conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service in mid-August. Though we tend to get comfortable with old familiar systems, this new one has many new exciting features and will be more-user friendly for both MLS members and the public. The SanibelSusan Team is all signed up for their upcoming training, while as a member of the original task force reviewing system, I get access to the beta version next week.

Pricing a Listing?

Interesting tag line on an article in the Florida Realtors® July 2019 issue. It says: “Use the “Just Below” Pricing Strategy… you’ll get on average 2% more for your home than those who price it too high or just right. Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics”.

Be Nice to Grandma

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, authored the following article in the July-August issue of “REALTOR®” magazine.

“First-time buyers have not fully returned to the market. So far in 2019, they’ve accounted for only 31% of all home sales, well below the historic market share of around 40%. That’s why home sales are still running at an annualized pace of 5 million, essentially unchanged since the year 2000 even though the U.S. population has grown by 45 million and the number of households by 20 million.

“Though affordability has been hurt in recent years by fast-rising home prices, it takes a smaller share of monthly income to own these days then it did two decades ago, when 30-year mortgage rates were in the 8% range.

“There are several reasons first-time buyers are struggling to get in the market. Student debt has tripled over the past decade, starter home listings are in short supply because home-builders have focused on expensive homes; many affordably priced condos are not FHA-certified; and credit score requirements to obtain a mortgage are tighter than historic norms.

“As the National Association of REALTORS® works to ensure access to mortgage credit for all qualified Americans, individuals can position themselves for home-ownership. For example, military veterans continue to benefit from the loan guaranty program that started 75 years ago. For some in college today, a “gap year” of military service or any full-time job can reduce their student debt.

“Then there’s family, NAR research shows that a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members, and that share is likely to grow. Many of those that lived through the Great Depression, or heard their parents’ survival stories, have benefited from decades of careful wealth accumulation. The average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800. The lesson for millennials: Be nice to grandma and grandpa. They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.”

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

Some good info in the June issue of “LCEC News” (Lee County Electric Cooperative):

“A little more than 730 LCEC cusomers have installed solar power systems at their home or business. The benefit of these systems is that panels convert solar energy into electric energy. Although users rely on the electric grid during evening and less-sunny periods, they may reduce their electric bill. And the good news is that all LCEC customers are using solar power in one way or another since LCEC delivers power from FPL, the largest generator of solar energy in Florida.

“There are safety considerations that should be examined when installing solar power systems. Prior to purchasing the system, contact a licensed qualified electrician to ensure your electrical system can support the technology. Before net metering or putting power back on the grid, LCEC must be notified and an application process must be completed. This keeps electric workers and neighbors safe and ensures property credit for shared power.

“Once installed, solar power system may present unique challenges for first responders and firefighters, so it is important to notify local officials about the type of panels that have been installed. This will help to protect firefighters and minimize damage to the building if a fire occurs.”

Call Before You Dig, 811

“Did you know that homeowners are required by law to call 811 or report online to sunshine811.com two FULL days before digging in any easement, right-of-way, or permitted-use area? The information reported is used to compare the desired digging site to the location of any underground utilities in the area. The area will either be declared clear or will be appropriately marked for any underground lines. Not only does unsafe digging pose a rich to underground lines, it is extremely dangerous causing injuries and deaths around the world annually.” (also from the June “LCEC News”)

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

  • Acquisition of Wulfert Bayous – You may have seen the sign on San-Cap Road near the entrance to The Sanctuary where the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has been trying to raise $3 million in private donations to complete the $9.5 million acquisition of Wulfert Bayous, the last large parcel of unprotected and undeveloped land on Sanibel. This week, they announced that their donations goal was reached. But as they await the Lee County Commissioners’ August decision to approve $6.5 million to complete the acquisition, they are continuing to accept donations in case the 20/20 funds don’t all come through. If they do receive the full $6.5 million, extra funding will be applied to a restoration project to remove invasive vegetation from the tract and create improved habitat for wading birds. Click HERE to watch their video about the Wulfert Bayous’ preservation campaign.
  • Tues, July 16 – World Snake Day – Join the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in celebrating World Snake Day with lots of fun events at the refuge:
  • 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. – free guided Indigo Trail Walk (meet at the flagpole at Refuge entrance)
  • 11 to 11:30 a.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom
  • 12 p.m. – Movie “Invasion of the Giant Pythons in Auditorium B (60 minutes)
  • 12 to 2 p.m. – Snake crafts in the Education Classroom
  • 2:30 to 3 p.m. – Snake lesson in the Education Classroom.

The Community House Shellcrafters

On TV this week, ABC News 7 reporter Kristen Clark on Monday covered everything you need to know about Shellcrafters and the different creations they make – flowers, animals, jewelry – all from shells found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva. Shellcrafters meet at The Community House every Monday year-‘round (except major holidays). Class starts at 10 a.m. with doors open to view and purchase creations until 1 p.m. All ages are welcome, though children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No reservation required.

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

I hate to admit that I have eaten out three times this week, but since our restaurants always appreciate additional business from locals in the summer, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the three restaurants that created the following meals. Thanks also to my friend, Sheila, vacationing on Captiva.

On Wednesday night, we had dinner at Malia Island Fusion Cuisine. I saw three other tables of locals too. That night, I enjoyed this dish “Diver Scallop & Shrimp Curry”.

Not wanting to miss out on a meal with Christian and Mari at Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro before they close for their summer vacation, last night my dinner there was this yummy dish called “Filet – Frites”, the onion soup gratinee first, and the creme brulee after were equally yummy. Bleu Rendez-Vous will be back open in October. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Then today after our closing, teammate Dave and I stopped for lunch at T2, bringing back lunch for teammate Elise. I’m a huge fan of their spinach salad (which is even better with blackened shrimp), but today I tried their shrimp tacos. It is another winner.

The service at all three restaurants was outstanding. It really is hard to go wrong dining anywhere on Sanibel or Captiva, but this week Malia, Bleu Rendez-Vous, and T2 all get a special thumbs up from SanibelSusan. Now I need to walk a few thousand extra steps over the weekend.

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 5-12, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Snug Harbor #312 3/2 $658K, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 $1.3M.

1 price change: Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $591.5K.

1 new sale: Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 listed at $1.49M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #B4 2/2 $379K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $649K.

9 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $519.9K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3.2 now $569K, 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $599K,  9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 now $649K (our listing), 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $665K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $735K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $900K, 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $924K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.474M.

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

1 new sale: 1550 Centre St 3/2 listed at $599K.

7 closed sales: 398 Old Trail Rd 3/3 $485K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $530K, 1555 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $766.4K, 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $940K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 $1.177M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr, #2C 3/3 half-duplex $1.35M (our listing).

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $404K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 9270 Kincaid Ct $138K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 $1.439M.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2D 2/2 now $900K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 now $3.7M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $9.4M.

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, wishing you a rain-free weekend and happy days!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan