Pelicans Diving, Dolphins Jumping, & Realtors® Learning


It’s SanibelSusan with a weekly update on Sanibel and Captiva Islands happenings. It is a gorgeous day here today, but most of us have our minds on those along the eastern seaboard who are experiencing the wrath of Hurricane Florence. Floridians, particularly islanders know too well the angst and worry associated with those events.

Here, though Southwest Florida’s water quality continues to affect visitor business, things are rebounding – even during what usually are the slower weeks of September. The gulf and beaches look sooo much better – and people and wildlife are out enjoying them again.

Only two real estate sales were reported this week on Sanibel, none on Captiva. Overall, island inventory remains low – with only 60 condos and 121 homes for sale on Sanibel, 30 condos and 33 homes on Captiva. The team and I are hopeful that when fall and winter visitors return, sales will be strong. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThe local Association of Realtors® had no weekly Caravan Meeting this week but hosted their annual 14-hour continuing education classes. Florida Realtors® are required to complete 14 hours every two years. This year, the Association also offered the Ethics class that all Realtors® nation-wide must complete before the end of the year.

It’s always fun to be the oldest student in the class. Wednesday’s 7-hour class “Environmental Considerations of Coastal Living” was especially fun in the afternoon when we boarded “Play Time” out of McCarthy’s Marina for a ride up/down Roosevelt Channel and around much of Pine Island Sound – viewing the water, wildlife, and mangroves.

Though we passed one small patch where red tide probably lingered as several attendees coughed simultaneously, by the time we got to the old fish houses just north of North Captiva Island (the ones on pilings that are on the Historic Register), the water was crystal clear right to the bottom. The seagrasses looked healthy and small fish were swimming among them.

Fish houses 09-12-18

Then within about a 10-minute span, we saw a flurry of wildlife – dolphins jumping, pelicans diving, a nurse shark, and a loggerhead turtle. It wasn’t perfect, but it obviously was an area where the water quality was much better.

Red fish house 09-12-18.jpg

Nearby, in front of Demere Key on Pine Island, we saw a huge group of swans, ducks, and geese swimming. (Yes, swans. They can live in salt water too.) It was a gorgeous day – vivid blue sky, bright white clouds, balmy breeze, and flat water.

demere key 09-12-18.jpg

Those white birds are swans!

Water quality specialist Dr. Rick Bartelson on board for questions with SCCF’s Director of Education Kristie Anders said that he and others from the marine lab had been diving recently several miles off shore in the same area he earlier had viewed as a dead zone. The news really went crazy with that information. (A “dead zone” is an underwater patch with no plant or animal life.)

Dr. Bartelson had reported back in mid-August that they started noticing an area like that off the island coast. Then, they measured no oxygen in the water about 3 to 5 meters down from the surface, in some places all the way to the bottom (about 8 meters). This week, he reported that from Tropical Storm Gordon breaking things up, the oxygen levels in that same area are “up” and improving. You bet we want that to continue!

East Rocks Water Main Replacement

Island Water reports that the East Rocks water main replacement project is almost done. The new main has been installed on most of East Rocks Drive and Boulder Drive. The last section to be completed is Durion Court. For this project, Island Water used a polyethylene piping for the boring under paved roads and driveways, rather than cutting up/then repairing driveways or removing/reinstalling pavers. Bet those owners appreciate that they weren’t inconvenienced.

Temporary Closings & Reopenings

  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold. A new restaurant “Malia” to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopened today.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – reopens Sep 17.
  • Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop – accepting donations at their loading dock. Ark to reopen Oct 2 and will be open Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10 through 20.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

International Coastal Cleanup

Postponed from Sept 15 to Sat Oct 13 (9 a.m. to noon) on Causeway Island B (island closest to Sanibel). Organized by Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Their van will be parked onsite.

Galloway Captiva Triathlon

captiva tri logoThe Captiva Triathlon held on the grounds of South Seas Resort scheduled tomorrow (youth segment) and Sunday (adult segment) has been changed to a duathlon due to concerns over water and air quality conditions due to red tide on the northern end of Captiva. The swim leg will be replaced by a run of the same length (approximately a quarter mile), followed by the usual 10-mile bike and 5K run. The children’s events will be the same format – run/bike/run. More info at packet pickup.

Spectators are welcome with parking available at the south end, with shuttles to take them to the north end. The public is reminded that Captiva Drive will close at 6:45 a.m. More info at www.captivatri.opg.

National Public Lands Day

ding darling goose logoCelebration at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Saturday, Sep 22, with free admission to Wildlife Drive (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), discounts at Tarpon Bay Explorers, and multiple activities at the refuge.

First Annual Flip Flop Family Scavenger Hunt

Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School will host this island-wide family event that will end with a bonfire celebration on the beach. Save the date, Saturday, Nov 3 at 10:30 a.m. Proceeds will support the Sea School’s scholarship fund.

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 $240K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #2A 2/2 $619K.

Boardwalk b.jpg

Mariner Pointe bay walk & private fishing pier

1 price change: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $535K.

3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $440K, Loggerhead Cay #434 2/2 $600K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.26M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 568 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 $749K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $845K, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $585K, 480 Las Tiendas Ln 3/3 now $749K.

1 new sale: 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $699K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $658K, 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,999.

1 price change: 1226 Isabel Dr now $1.695M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $340K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $4.95M.

No price changes, new sales, 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 bright skies with sunshine!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Beaches Sooo Much Better…


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report from sunny Sanibel Island.

Beach

The beaches here are looking much better this week thanks to the wind from Tropical Storm Gordon blowing the long-lingering red tide away from shore. The islands still are not getting many beach-goers but the water and beach improvement are obvious.

Beach

Unfortunately, putting a damper on that improvement is an article published Wednesday in “The News-Press” headlined “Red tide causing dead zone conditions in Gulf of Mexico”. In this write-up is a description of what local scientists saw this week on the ocean floor miles off-shore. Here’s a link to that sad article, if you’d like to read it.

One of the local experts quoted in the article is Dr. Rick Bartleson, a water-quality scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and their lead red tide investigator. Both he and his research assistant will be sharing their knowledge with local Realtors® during our continuing education classes next week.

More positive water news is that the vehicles and boats that, for weeks, have been cleaning local beaches and waterways were spotted leaving the island.

Causeway drivers and beach visitors all report that birds and fish are returning and dolphins jumping again. You know we all hope that the improvement continues.

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

bananasThe SanibelSusan Team is lucky and thankful that we had half of Sanibel’s new condo listings and condo sales this week. We had one of the three home closings too. We have always said that activity in this business happens in bunches – like bananas. We are ready for another bunch next week!

Re-Openings & Temporary Closings

  • Bailey Tract – has reopened (following a 3-month marsh habitat restoration project).
  • Bleu Rendezvous – closed for vacation, reopening Oct 5.
  • Blue Coyote Supper Club (Sanibel) – sold Aug 13. A new restaurant called “Malia” is expected to reopen there Oct 1.
  • Bubble Room – closed for repairs beginning Sep 24, reopening Mon Oct 1.
  • CIP’s – closed for lunch until Oct, still open for dinner.
  • Clam Shack – reopens Sep 14.
  • Gramma Dot’s – reopens Sep 27.
  • Island Cinema – closed for cleaning & maintenance until Oct 5.
  • Island Pizza – closes Sep 10 & reopens Sep 17.
  • Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow.
  • Over Easy Café – closed for vacation Sep 10-20.
  • Sanibel Community House – closed for maintenance Sep 10-14.
  • Sweet Melissa’s – closed for vacation, reopening Sep 12.
  • Tarpon Bay Boat Ramp – has reopened (following closure for nearly 2 years during construction of SSCF’s new marine lab, replacement of seawalls, and a boat dock).
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts & T2 (Traders 2) – to reopen Oct 2.
  • Traditions – reopens Sep 23.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – to reopen Oct 3.

Sandalfoot Kudos

Sandalfoot.jpgThrough the years, we have had listings and sales at Sandalfoot condominiums. One was especially memorable when Hurricane Charley seriously damaged a top-floor beach-front unit there that had just gone under contract a few weeks before the storm arrived. Their on-site staff have always been helpful, often going above-and-beyond, so it was great to see that their long-time employee Domingo Nieves was recognized recently at The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s 18th Annual Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards. It’s wonderful to see him recognized. Here’s the write-up from their website.

“Lee County’s EAwards were held August 30th to announce Outstanding Service Awards in the hospitality industry. The awards acknowledge excellence through extraordinary customer service and dedication to tourism throughout Lee County. The “Superheroes” themed Awards were presented by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau and the Fort Myers News Press.

“The awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs and celebrated local customer service professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. More than 670 nominations were received from residents and visitors from around the world recognizing the exceptional service and caring offered to visitors who come to Lee County.

“Sandalfoot Condominium is beyond proud to announce that one of its own, Domingo Nieves, was honored with the top award, the Honor of Distinction. Winners of this award exhibit exemplary service, leadership, work ethic, job knowledge, performance skills, familiarity with the destination and assistance during an emergency.

Domingo received a number of nominations for this award. One nominator described him as “one in a million.” Another described him as “tireless, self-sacrificing, humble, compassionate and an all-around exceptional human being.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico last year, Domingo was quick to respond. As a native to the island, Domingo sent six generators, at his own expense, to help people in his uncle’s neighborhood.

“Another nominee says he visited a guest in a local hospital every other day for a month while they were on Sanibel and he frequently cuts fresh flowers for guests’ special occasions. Domingo assists elderly guests with getting around on the property and attending special events held here. He gives guests rides to the grocery store if they don’t have a car and lends his own fishing equipment for guests’ enjoyment. Domingo also helped people living on Sanibel prepare for Hurricane Irma and helped clean up after the storm.

“Anyone who knows Domingo is aware that this award is richly deserved. We at Sandalfoot are honored to share this information and honored to know Domingo. He truly is a caring, compassionate individual who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of his own. Congratulations Domingo!”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 31- Sep 7, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #6D 2/2 $699K (our listing), Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 $759K.

View b

View from Sunset South #6D

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $499K.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 listed at $259K (our listing), Sandy Bend #4 2/2 listed at $738K.

A bldg stairs + river

Spanish Cay Bldg A

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $470K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 $487K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 $520K, Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 $569K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $825K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $1.075M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.125M, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.249M.

2 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $445K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $539.9K.

1 new sale: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $639K.

3 closed sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $525K, $5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $700K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $850K (our listing).

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0497.JPG

734 Anchor Drive to Sanibel Marina & San Carlos Bay & beyond

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 412 Tiree Cir $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $605K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 14860 Mango Ct 5/4 listed at $1.794M.

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.

Dolphin 11-6-15Until next Friday, here’s to more clear water, diving pelicans, & jumping dolphins!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Trying to Make Lemonade


It’s getting harder to make lemonade out of the lemons, but here is some island news. It’s not all good, but it’s real – followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Red Tide Numbers Stay High in Southwest Florida; Bloom Extends About 130 Miles

http___m.myfwc 08-21-18The follow article is from the “Fort Myers News-Press. It was posted on-line and updated on Wednesday. The picture shown here was downloaded from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“A strong red tide that’s lingered in the region since October is still producing high levels of toxins along the coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its latest red tide report Wednesday. Counts in Southwest Florida have upwards of 1 million cells per liter and more in the past two months and are still matching or exceeding that level in many areas.

“The bloom now extends about 130 miles, from south Tampa Bay area to Marco Island and can be detected from space. The National Weather Service extended a beach hazard advisory for Lee, Charlotte, and Sarasota counties through Thursday evening. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Monday issued a breathing advisory for Southwest Florida that says irritation will be intense for the public in coastal Lee, Charlotte, and northern Collier counties.

“Some experts have said the red tide may last until winter when cold fronts from the mainland and windy conditions often break up the blooms. Red tide season typically runs from October to January or February, but this bloom has lasted for 10 months and has shown no sign of dissipation.

“Counts along Southwest Florida have ranged from background levels to 1 million cells per liter and higher. Fish kills and breathing irritation in humans can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to FWC. This bloom has become much stronger along the coast since the first of June. Millions of pounds of fish and marine wildlife have been collected from Lee County beaches just this month. Hundreds of sea turtles have died in Southwest Florida from the bloom, so have manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

“High counts extend at least 15 miles offshore, according to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“The University of South Florida’s college of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will move to the south and toward the Naples area over the next three days.”

Wednesday Fishing Report from Charlie Sobczak

I bet some of you also are fans of local author (and Realtor®) Charlie Sobczak. He has written some terrific books including “Living Sanibel” which The SanibelSusan Team often gives as one of our closing gifts. Another of his, that I especially enjoy, is “Six Mornings on Sanibel” (published in 1999, but still available on Amazon). It takes place at the fishing pier. “Way Under Contract” is great too – particularly if you like real estate stories. If you read this one, you may think some of the characters are real islanders.

Charlie Pix 08-23-18Charlie is also a pretty serious fisherman so it was good late yesterday to see his below Facebook post. This is his pix too.

“While I seldom post fish pics I felt that since all we are seeing on Facebook these days are images of horrid, decaying fish it might be refreshing to see that the offshore waters are still untouched by this massive red tide and algae bloom. We had perfect conditions yesterday, August 22nd, 2018, when we headed out 32 miles west of Redfish pass with Captain Nate Buffam and crew. The water is crystal clear blue out there and the fishing was fantastic. The dirty water stretches from shore to about 15-18 miles then, after that, we saw “live” loggerhead turtles, dozens of bottle nose dolphins, flying fish, jellyfish, frigate birds and bait. Not everything is lost but if we continue to allow this unabated dumping of toxic water I fear the worst in the years to come. Please support the Captain’s for Clean Water Fundraiser on Saturday afternoon at the Clam Shack on Sanibel.”Clam Shack Flier

Thursday & Friday Water Reports from Local Gals

I know you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, but if it comes from folks you know and it includes videos, it’d pretty hard to beat it.

Last night after work, Royal Shell Vacation’s Kris Slagle posted: “Just saw two bait pods on the West side of the Sanibel Causeway C span, and birds feeding on them! NOT saying it’s all perfect, but saying it’s some positive news! And hundreds of birds feeding on the mud flats!”

Then, early this morning Sanibel Holiday’s General Manager, Rebecca Cosentino posted a video of her walk down the beach access and along the gulf in front of Loggerhead Cay condominiums. She said that they have several check-ins there scheduled tomorrow so a personal visit was the best way to report the conditions. Though she said she is sensitive to red tide, she noticed no smell and had no eye or throat irritation. The video was early 7:45 a.m., but she wasn’t alone. The video showed some folks in the water and a few joggers and shellers. Unfortunately, it also showed a few dead fish – several puffer fish, baitfish, and a couple of eels. With winds blowing onshore that isn’t surprising, particularly after reading Charlie’s posting from the day before.

Then a couple of hours later, Select Vacation Properties’ Patience Rodriguez posted a similar video of her beach walk taken today in front of Sundial Resort. The water here showing better color and looking clearer than it has recently. She said that she is asthmatic, but similarly noticed no smell and had no breathing difficulties. A couple of small pufferfish were along the waterline here too, but very few. She encouraged listeners to Text MYSANIBEL to 52886 to participate in the call-to-action to stop the Lake O discharges (which have started up again).

So, it’s probably safe to say that the beaches continue to look better, but we aren’t out of the woods. We all need to keep the pressure on and respond to each and every call to action.

After seeing these gals’ gulf-side videos, about 1 p.m. I checked the bayside beach near the lighthouse and fishing pier. It’s looking good there too – likewise no smell and I saw no dead fish or wildlife – just one lone fisherman on the fishing pier and a handful of beachgoers at Lighthouse Beach.

Yet, it’s a gorgeous day and we all hope that it only continues to get better.

Stopped at my house on the way back to the office to be sure the canal there is looking good. Taken today, this is sooo much better than just a week ago. Sure hope it continues.

Anchor Canal.jpg

Now to some other good news – taxes and hurricanes.

Lee County Notice of Proposed 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes

LeePALogoLee County property owners recently were mailed their annual TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices. In compliance with Florida Statutes, this document is required to advise of the property’s valuation as of January 1, 2018 and its proposed ad valorem taxes for the year. Ad valorem taxes are based on the value of the property with taxing authorities determining the tax rate, or millage, based on the money needed to fund their budgets.

If property owners have questions about their valuation, exemptions, classification or characteristics of their property, they are encouraged to contact the Lee County Property Appraisers Office (www.LeePA.org) at 239-533-6100. If unable to resolve a matter as to market value, classification, or an exemption, a petition for adjustment with the Value Adjustment Board may be filed. Online filing is available, but petitions must be filed on or before September 10, 2018.

Hurricane Season Peaks in Sept. – Got the Right Insurance?

hurricane-symbol-blue-hiWhile most of us are counting down to the end of hurricane season (Nov), Florida Realtors® posts reminders that the peak time is coming up.

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted in their on-line news on Tuesday.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2018 – Keeping up with property insurance coverage in hurricane-prone Florida can be tricky, to say the least.

“To help sort things out as summer and the storm season heat up, we spoke with Locke Burt of Ormond Beach-based insurer Security First and Doug Iannarelli of travel club AAA’s insurance division.

“Question: What do I need?

“After many hurricanes, including Matthew and Irma in the past two years, insurers said they saw claims filed under homeowners’ policies that could only have been covered under flood policies. Rising water that makes it into your home will only be covered if you have flood insurance, Burt said.

“But if a tree limb or other debris hit your house and creates a hole through which rainfall could enter, that likely would fall under windstorm coverage.

“Also, weigh the amount of coverage you need – and how low you need your deductible to be, given the savings or credit limit you would have available if an emergency hits.

“Although few studies have shown a strong link between hurricanes and increase in number of births nine months later, labor and delivery nurses say the phenomenon is the real thing.

“Question: What’s the newest flood coverage?

“Alternatives to the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program are increasing. More than two dozen insurers are issuing private flood coverage – which might save you money or might simply make it easier to file claims if a storm causes wind and water damage. Security First is among a few insurers that add flood coverage as an option, called an endorsement, on homeowners’ policies rather than require it as a separate policy.

“New mapping technology that breaks down the entire country into blocks about the size of a tiny house makes flood maps obsolete, Burt said, and enables private insurers to issue a flood-coverage quote more accurately and easily. The private policies are an expansion of those that traditionally have been written on $1 million-plus homes.

“Question: How do I fill in the gaps?

“Whether buying down the deductible of your existing homeowner and windstorm coverage or seeking another policy to plug that potential financial gap, you can reduce the financial risk storm damage can pose.

“New policies called parametric coverage can use mapping technology to determine the storm conditions that hit your location and quickly pay a flat amount directly to you. This can spare the trouble of waiting for an adjuster before getting a check, but it also is designed to just provide enough coverage to make up for your deductible. “StormPeace and Cat4Home are two such providers mentioned in a recent Sun-Sentinel story.

“Question: What are the rules?

“Keep in mind: Your property damage will most likely be your own claim. Unless you can prove the tree limb that blew over from someone else’s yard is sitting on your living room floor because your neighbor was negligent, you’ll be filing that claim on your own policy.

“Deductibles can be set for the calendar year, much like health insurance. So even if your deductible is $7,500 and one storm causes $6,000 in damage, get it on the record in case you have another claim later in the year.

Get claims filed quickly, as you might have only a few weeks to submit damage to your insurer. Check with your agent on the amount of time your policy allows – then don’t let busy signals or Internet outages deter you.

“You can’t buy insurance at the last minute. Whether you’re comparing rates or looking for coverage you’ve never had before, insurers have the right to wait until after a storm passes (or misses the area) once it’s coming close to Florida.

“Question: Should I shop around?

“Yes. Innovative policies, such as those mentioned above – or new insurers, such as Farmers which plans an August debut for Florida homeowners, according to its website – can help you save money.

“Use ratings companies such as A.M. Best or Demotech to see how financially stable the insurer is. The state’s Office of Insurance Regulation has this resource and others posted on its website.”

Copyright © 2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Bill Zimmerman. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

construction-site-clipart-7914449-under-constructionPre-Season Closings & Late Summer Projects

  • Island Cinema – will be closed for cleaning & maintenance from Sep 6 to Oct 5.
  • Pointe Santo – Pointe Santo’s building concrete restoration project Is underway. Buildings A and B were done last year. This year, from Aug 11 to Oct 19, Buildings D and E will be done. Building C is scheduled for 2019.
  • Sanibel Community House – will be closed for maintenance Mon through Fri, Sep 10-14.
  • Sundial West – Sundial West has had several projects underway since Jul. Completion is expected mid-Nov. Some buildings are being painted, pavers are being installed in parking areas, and electrical and elevator work are being performed. Also, their pool is scheduled to be closed Sep 24 to Oct 5, but owners/guests may use the resort pool then.
  • Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Is closing Sun, Aug 26, for their annual break. They plan to reopen Tuesday, Oct 2.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – Is already closed and reopening Wed, Oct 3.

Upcoming Events

crow-logoSat Aug 25 – CROW’s Walk on the Wild Side at Lakes Regional Park at 7330 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise awareness about the organization and continue the celebration of its 50th anniversary. Admission & activities free, fees for city parking. In the amphitheater: Wildlife Rescue 1012 at 10:30 a.m. and again at noon; Turtles of Florida at 11 a.m.; Owls of Florida at 11:30 a.m. Three pavilions will be set up with activities and info on different kinds of wildlife. CROW’s tent will offer info on volunteering and student programs. More info at www.CROWClinic.org .

Sat Aug 25 – Fundraiser for Captains for Clean Water at The Clam Shack on Sanibel from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring entertainment by local musicians, 50/50 raffle and Chinese auction. Captains for Clean Water is a non-profit organization focused on improving water quality. More info about them online at www.captainsforcleanwater.org .

sundial-logoSep 28-30 – USTA Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships will be at Sundial Beach Resort. This is their 3rd year hosting the event. The tournament includes a Saturday evening party and trophies. Players can register online at www.tennislink.usta.com , using tournament ID No. 150046618. Deadline is Sep 26.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors August Membership Meeting

Sanibel realtors logoAttendance was off and only three properties (including our new Pointe Santo listing) were open for Realtor® Caravan following yesterday’s Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting.

lee schools logoWe got good information, though, about the upcoming Lee County School Board’s Half-Cent Sales Tax referendum that is on the Nov 6 ballot. Speakers were the county’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory Adkins and School Board Member (& Florida Gulf Coast University adjunct professor) Chris Pattricca. Here are my take-aways, with some interesting tidbits:

  • Lee County is the 9th largest school district in Florida, also the 32nd largest in the U.S. It has 95,000 students
  • In 1886, there was just one school in SW Florida (with 56 students) and it burned to the ground. This area then was part of Monroe County so when students began running amok, a group of parents got together and went to Key West asking for a new school to be built. Their request was denied. Lee County was incorporated in 1887 with the need for a school being the driving force for that action.
  • Today, Lee County has 96 schools, 121 counting Charter Schools. There are 12,000 school employees (closer to 14K when counting substitutes).
  • School population is growing at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 students per year.
  • Florida is 50th in the nation in dollars spent on education.
  • Today 40% of Lee County’s students have English as their 2nd language.
  • When school money comes from real estate taxes, often a disproportionate amount is received from high-end communities, so their schools are better. Here, the county spends $7,700 per year per child which ranks us 47th in the nation.
  • Though enrollment has increased since 2006/2007 from 70K students to 95K, capital funding has gone down from over $300M to just over $100M.
  • This proposed amendment is to increase the sales tax in Lee County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% per dollar, to fund school capital projects. The proposal calls for a limit of 10 years with the tax expiring December 31, 2028. Approximately $59 million annually would be raised, paid for by everyone who purchases taxable goods. Exempt items like groceries and medications would not be taxed, and the additional half-percentage tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 for large purchases.
  • It’s estimated that 30% of the revenue generated would come from tourists.
  • The money from this sales tax will be used strictly for capital expenditures to build two new elementary and middle schools, one new high school, rebuild an elementary and middle school, to install school camera systems, hearing-impaired lock-down lights, fire alarm systems, and HVAC systems. It cannot be used to fund salaries, benefits, and training for faculty/staff/administrators, classroom materials, district and school services, administrative technology, or charter school buildings, repairs or improvements.

More info at www.leeschools.net/changeforchange.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 17-24, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial West #H209 1/1 $545K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $869K.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #320F 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Atrium #201 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $440K.

HOMES

No new listings.

8 price changes: 1520 Centre St 3/2 now $449K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $455.5K, 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $659K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $725K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $979K, 430 Glory Cir 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.442M.

2 new sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $759.5K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.598M.

2 closed sales: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 413 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $2.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 595 Piedmont Rd $209.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1407 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $399.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $284K, Beach Villas #2423 1/1 $535K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.499M.

No price changes, new sales, 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.

Here’s hoping for more good news next week!sanibel-island-sunset.jpg

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Beach Improvement & Pre-Season Scoop


SanibelSusan here reporting another quiet Friday on sunny Sanibel, with the red tide situation at the beaches improving and the islands settling into a more typical pre-season pattern.

Upper Deck

Roof-top view today at our new listing at Pointe Santo C43

Social media is encouraging the public to support local establishments, but it has been disheartening to hear of hotels, shops, and restaurants with little or no business. During my travels this week, I heard of zero occupancy at one West Gulf Drive hotel. The Island Store on Captiva is now closed through September and even Periwinkle Way traffic is limited. From fishing guides, to stores, to real estate, it all has been affected.

I ran into Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra this afternoon and she said that that though beach and waterway clean-ups continue, the need is diminishing, and she may soon be ending her daily reports. (Kudos to her, the Mayor, City Councilors, and the many employees and contractors that have worked so hard and proactively to mitigate the fall-out from the recent area water issues.)

The Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales activity since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® 102nd Convention & 2018 Business Meetings

787F5943-78D3-4D18-83D4-94D153CE1F38The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had good member participation last week at the state convention, tradeshow, educational sessions, and business meetings. From newbies to old-timers, many remarked that the educational sessions and speakers were the best yet.

Florida Realtors logoOne of my favorite appointments is to serve on the state Professional Development Committee. I have participated many times on their audition panel which evaluates prospective Florida Realtors® instructors looking to become new faculty members or to add additional state/nationally-approved classes to their curriculum. The panels hear a full day of oral presentations at both the January Mid-Winter Business Meetings and these meetings in August.

Each auditionee goes through a pre-screening process (which we handle through evaluations, and phone interviews during the year) and then is assigned to make a 45-minute presentation in front of a panel. Panelists are made up of current faculty members, association education directors, as well as brokers, agents, trainers and leaders from associations across the state. This time, with a record number of applicants (nearly 50), we had 40 panelists divided between five panel rooms running simultaneously all day.

2018 Pro dev CommitteePanel recommendations go forward to the Faculty Subcommittee and then the Professional Development Committee for approval. Congratulations to the 14 new faculty members and the 14 existing faculty members who were approved to add courses to the list of those they are authorized to teach. These classes cover the gamut from those required of new agents, to continuing education, to property management, construction, marketing, contracts, and the classes needed to become a graduate of the Realtor® Institute. Classes continually are added and updated both at the state and national level.

SanibelSusan also serves on the 2018 Program Development Subcommittee, Forms Content Committee (where we make recommendations to the state contracts), Legislative Think Tank, and Resort & Second-Home Specialist Breakout Group. Good progress was made at all the meetings. I got to serve as an education ambassador at several of the education sessions too – a good way for an old dog to pick up a few new tricks!

2018 clean waterAt the meetings, there was emphasis on water quality, rental restrictions, and flood insurance (which thankfully passed the Senate last week).

That National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) legislation had passed the House earlier and allows NFIP to continue renewing or issuing new flood insurance policies for four more months. It does not change NFIP operations, but simply extends the current guidelines to give Congress more time to work on a comprehensive package that deals with the complex issues of affordability with a program that is deeply in debt. Although the program is now extended through November 30, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable for the long term. The National Association of Realtors® continues to fight for these reforms.

Please Help Pass Amendment 2 – Vote “Yes”

amendment 2 logoAn important property tax amendment is on the ballot this November that is good for everyone in Florida. The 10% cap on non-homestead property taxes will expire in January unless voters pass Amendment 2. This cap helps sustain Florida’s communities by preventing big tax spikes for businesses and property owners who claim their primary residence elsewhere. Here are some highlights.

  • What is Amendment 2? It makes permanent the existing 10% cap on annual assessment increases for any non-homesteaded property. This affects all rental residential property, all commercial property, all undeveloped land, and residential property not claimed as a primary residence. The 10% cap (which currently expires in January 2019) is the only mechanism today that is protecting 5.6 million Florida properties from rapid tax assessment increases.
  • Amendment 2 requires 60% of the vote to pass. Please vote “yes” (or don’t vote at all).
  • If Amendment 2 fails, 2.2 million properties face an immediate tax increase in 2019 of up to $700 million (This is not money that the jurisdictions already are receiving from other sources. This is new money that will go to them and likely be used to create new or expand existing government programs. It will be difficult to stop or later reverse if this happens.)
  • If Amendment 2 fails, it will have widespread negative impact on business owners, renters, shoppers, jobs, and Florida’s economy.
  • According to Florida TaxWatch (www.FloridaTaxWatch.org), without extending the 10% cap, non-homesteaded residential property could quickly increase as much as 151% while commercial property could jump 85%. These new taxes could exceed $1 Billion and will affect everybody in Florida.

Scientists Unsure Why Red Tide Exists, How to Fix Problem

Here’s an interesting twist on the subject of red tide. It was posted Monday on sarasota herald tribune logoFloridaRealtors® on line. Copyright © 2018 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla., Carlos R. Munoz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

“SARASOTA, Fla. – Aug. 14, 2018 – While U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan discussed an $8 million grant to combat red tide at Mote Marine Laboratory on Monday, a senior Mote scientist just down the hall questioned whether the toxic algae paralyzing Southwest Florida beaches actually might be an important part of the ecosystem.

“Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sponsored the bipartisan legislation that was signed into law earlier this year. The funding was distributed to NOAA and will be dispersed to southern Florida researchers.

Mote scientists are expected to get a large chunk of the grant money, Buchanan said.

“The money will be used to research possible mitigation efforts, such as a field test of a newly developed method for destroying red tide using ozone, patented by Mote scientists. The device will be field tested in a Boca Grande canal this week. The patented technology was first used to clean water for sea turtles in a 25,000-gallon tank and has been scaled up to process at least 500,000 gallons of canal water.

“Is red tide necessary? Mote scientist Dr. Vincent Lovko, who works with Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology program, says there isn’t enough research to determine what would happen if red tide was eradicated or suppressed from the Gulf. Researchers must consider three factors when dealing with an aquatic toxin: prevention, control and mitigation, according to Lovko.

“”The control (in Lake Okeechobee) is straightforward,” he said. “You reduce the nutrients, and you reduce those (blue-green) algae blooms.”

“The same can’t be said for the Gulf, where a Karenia brevis bloom currently stretches for 150 miles from Manatee County south to Collier County. Any mitigation system would have to treat 1.5 trillion gallons of water to be effective. “You might not even get it all if you do that,” said Lovko, who pointed out that Mote doesn’t have permission to treat the bloom. “There is no literature to suggest what the ecological function of red tide might be,” Lovko said.

“Single-cell red tide is a protist cell that takes three days to divide. It consumes organic and inorganic nutrients and has flagella that help it move around. The cell is animal-like in nature but photosynthesizes plants and other algae. “They can actually swim; they are capable of movement,” Lovko said. “They can move up and down through the water column (to the sea bed).”

“Similar to a forest fire? One hypothesis suggests that red tide’s destructive nature could be similar to the effects of a forest fire, which cleans out underbrush and is somewhat restorative to a forest ecosystem. But it’s difficult to see what the ecological function of the toxic algae might be.

“There is little information to determine where Karenia brevis ranks on the algal evolutionary scale. There are about 12 known nutrient sources for the harmful algae blooms, which vary based on their location along the southern Florida coastline.

“Even if science can identify a course of action that would destroy red tide, there are fears that the death of the organism could release toxins into the water and cause a large-scale marine animal die-off. A similar incident occurred in Chesapeake Bay, where a nuisance bloom was suppressed with copper sulfate. Toxins released by the dead algal bloom poisoned the water and killed fish.

“Lovko says there is only one way to find out what can be done to mitigate red tides effects – research. “Whether or not trying to control red tide would create a dead zone, probably not, that’s something that happens over a long period of time,” Lovko said. “It’s an interesting thought. All those things we have to consider when we’re messing with the ecosystem. We do it all the time. We cure diseases … We do a lot of things that are otherwise natural but are a bother to us or a danger to us. There’s no reason not to pursue it, but there has to be realistic expectations.””

Trees Now Block My Ocean View. What Can I Do?

Sun sentinelThis subject comes up here often, particularly when Florida vegetation grows like crazy during the summer rainy season in front of gulf-front condos. The below article was posted Monday on Florida Realtors® on line.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Aug. 13, 2018 – Question: I own an oceanfront condo. When I bought it, I had an unobstructed view of the ocean. Palm trees are now causing a 90% view obstruction. Do I have any recourse? – Dorothy

palm tree.jpg“Answer: Questions about views are always complicated and involve many factors. The general rule is that no one is allowed to block your direct view. However, if it can be shown that the trees serve a useful purpose to the community or were pre-planned to grow in front of your unit, you may be stuck with them.

“To see if you have any recourse, you will need to review your condominium documents and the ordinances of your municipality. Many beachfront towns and cities have enacted rules protecting their residents’ ocean views. These palm trees may be a code violation best addressed by your city. If this is not the case where you live, check your condo documents since many oceanfront condominiums have rules regulating their landscaping and protecting their constituents’ views of the beach.

“Typically, view laws are designed to protect people whose property extends all the way to the high-water mark. Condominiums present a particular problem because while you own your unit, your entire community owns the land that reaches to the water. It may be further complicated because the unit owners below you in your building now have a better view than when the trees were shorter that they would want to protect.

“If it turns out that your local government will not be able to assist you, then your best bet would be to appeal to your condo board to come up with a solution that leaves everyone with a better view.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.

“Copyright © 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity August 10-17, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $269.9K, Lighthouse Point #211 2/2 $649K, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.295M (our listing, photos below).

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $265K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C34 1/1 now $550K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $534K, Sundial West #K105 2/2 listed at $897.5K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1 $314K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $415K, Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 $480K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $585K, Sundial N403 2/2 $812.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $597K, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.875M.

1 new sale: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K.

3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $539.5K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 $595K, 849 Birdie View Pt 4/4.5 $1.61M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1026 Fish Crow Rd $439K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1036 Bayview Dr $3.55M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $369K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $600K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 38 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 listed at $1.049M.

1 closed sale: 16575 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.45M.

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.

Best wishes for a great weekend!weekend clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Scoop on July 27, 2018


It’s SanibelSusan reporting just another sunny Friday afternoon on Sanibel – also another quiet week in the world of island real estate sales.

Teammate Dave and I checked a few properties this afternoon which took us out to Sanibel’s west end with a stop in Santiva and another near The Green Flash on Captiva. Here are a couple of photos overlooking Roosevelt Channel.

Green Flash 07-27-18 2Green Flash 07-27-18 1

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Our local Association of Realtors® makes good use of summer downtime, which is when our members promote and support several charities and non-profits.

Meals of Hope Pix 2018

Our “Meals of Hope” food packing event on Tuesday raised $7,455 and had 80+ volunteers (including Association staff, Realtors®, affiliates, friends and families) working together to pack over 20,000 meals – in less than three hours. Those meals go to local food banks and pantries which are low on food this time of the year.

Yesterday at our Association’s July membership meeting, colleague Anita Colletti from Naples told the group about “Silent Angels” which is a quiet behind-the-scenes non-profit that began in Florida to help Realtor® families in time of emergency.

guardian1Next month, the Association again will be collecting new twin and crib sheets for “Bedz for Kidz”, a non-profit started in 2001 by Realtor® friend, Cynthia Shafer, who through the course of her advocacy with the local Guardian ad Litem Foundation, recognized the need for beds/bedding when vulnerable children are moved by Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit. Cynthia and her husband often spend their Saturdays delivering beds and bedding to these needy kids. Though their identification is never disclosed, it is humbling to hear her stories of how the kids’ eyes light up when they get their own “stuff”. The Shafers travel our 5-county area and have assembled and provided thousands of beds. I got a message from her yesterday, that they are off to provide another eleven tomorrow. Donations and more sheets, bedding, backpacks, and small suitcases are always welcome.

What’s Happening With The Water

Big “thank yous” again this week go to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, Councilwoman Holly Smith, and City Director of Natural Resources James Evans who were in DC in back-to-back meetings with members of the Senate, Congress, and others.

07-24-18 Ruane Evans Holly Rooney

L to R: Mayor Ruane, Director Evans, Councilor Smith, & Congressman Rooney (pix from Congressman Rooney’s Facebook page)

 

Mayor Ruane also gave a presentation to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force about the conditions of Southwest Florida waterways. He asked committee members to maintain Lake “O” flows at or below 3,000 cfs for the remainder of the rainy season; accelerate critical CERP projects (the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, C-43 reservoir & Lake “O” Watershed project), and to use maximum operational flexibility to move additional water south. “We are at a critical state right now with regard to the health and safety of our coastal communities, the ecology of our estuaries, our quality of life, and our local economy,” he said.

Solutions to water quality problems are complicated, many, and some long-term. We all must continue to keep the pressure on. You can be sure the Realtors® on Sanibel and Captiva are, another fundraiser with proceeds to benefit water quality efforts at SCCF is scheduled next month.

Lee County Tax Appraiser Posts 2018 Property Values

LeePALogoIt usually is not until mid-August, that Lee County property owners receive the year’s TRIM notices (notices of proposed properties taxes) which are based on their new annual property valuation. The 2018 property values, however, already have been posted on the site. They are dated July 16, 2018.

If you are wondering about the change in a Lee County property value, go to www.leepa.org. Click on Database Search, then click on Property Data Search. Fill in either an owner’s name (last name first) or address, click search and up comes the data page for that parcel. Once you find the property, click on the blue link on the right called “Parcel Details”. Once on the property page, to the left of the photo is a heading called “Current Working Values”. Click on the little “colorful book” icon to the right of the words and up will come “Property Value History” showing by taxable year the assessed values for each year, including taxable values. If you want just the details on the 2018 value, further down on the data page is an expandable menu under “Values (2018 Preliminary)”. Click the plus sign and you will see the details of the 2018 assessment.

If a property owner disagrees with a value, the time to take that up with the county Tax Appraiser is just after the TRIM notice is received in August.

Upcoming Island Events & Closures

From tomorrow, Saturday July 28 to Sunday August 5 – Sanibel Recreation Closed – for annual maintenance projects including resurfacing of the gym floor, replacement of the pool heating and cooling system, and others.

Tuesday, July 31 – 1st Islander Wine Dinner Fundraiser – to benefit The Community House and at The Community House presented by Sanibel Catering Company (Bailey’s and Talbott Vineyards). Tickets at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

Friday, August 10 – Bag Day at Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop. This is their annual end-of-season sale. From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. shoppers can buy a bag for $4 and fill it with as much as they can. Any items that don’t fit in the bag are 80% off. Shoppers can buy as many bags as they want for $4 each. Proceeds go to more than 25 local, regional, and global charities and agencies. From August 10 to September 1, the Ark does not take donations. On October 2, Noah’s Ark reopens for business on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In November, the winter season full schedule resumes – open weekdays and the first Saturday of each month from 9: 30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service sancap GO MLS logoActivity July 20-27, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/1 $535K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $825K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 listed at $329.9K, Seawind #109 2/2.5 listed at $512.5K.

2 closed sales: Sandpiper Beach #506 2/2 $670K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 $705K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $995K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 $997.5K.

4 price changes: 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $695K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $729K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $899K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $3.295M.

3 new sales: 9028 Mockingbird Ln 4/3 listed at $799K, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed at $1.69M.

2 closed sales: 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $620K, 223 Daniel Dr 4/3 $825K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lot 27, Leisure Acres $35K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 $1.429M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 listed at $325K, Beach Villas #2614 2/2 listed at $614K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2,999,999.

1 price change: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $999K.

1 new sale: 11541 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $2.05M.

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.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island real estate market still is pretty quiet. Attendance was light at our Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday morning, with just a handful of new listings open for viewing.

Exterior Front CloseI was pleased to announce one of the few new sales and also advised attendees about our new listing at Moonshadows. With a reduction in the former price, but an increase in commission, it got their attention.

It’s a unique property, a half-duplex beach-front 3 bedroom 3 bath, with about 3000 sq. ft. of air-conditioned living space, plus covered parking, gulf-side patio and storage areas. In a small (12 owner) Property Owners’ Association with community pool and tennis., it’s like owning a home, but with the amenities of a condo. Only four Moonshadows homes are right on the gulf – all assessed between $1.9 & $2.2M.

View tweeked smallerAsking price of this one which is in an estate (lovingly enjoyed by the same owners since 1982) is just $1.695M. Neat clean, well maintained, and furnished, it’s by-far the lowest-priced Sanibel home on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s included in the islands’ Multiple Listing Service changes posted after a few news items below.

Summer Sunsets

There have been some spectacular sunsets this week. Clouds have been rolling onto the island from the mainland side almost every afternoon. Sometimes they bring a few showers, but often not until evening, so some of the sunsets before/after these quick storms are stunning. Here are a few from this week. They remind me of why there are both songs and drinks called “Sanibel Sunsets”.

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

  • Bailey Tract Restoration – The Bailey Tract remains closed due to the planned hydrological restoration project underway in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
    bennight restoration_1

    Photo from Refuge email

    Crews still are working on transferring fill to Ani March and are continuing to pump water as the marsh constantly drains into the pond. The other areas of the refuge remain open (though Wildlife Drive is always closed on Fridays). Check the schedule at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/ for days/times/updates.

  • Dunes Resurfacing Project Has BegunDunesEntrySignThe City’s annual street resurfacing project began on Monday with paving being done during normal daytime hours. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained at all times, but the public is reminded to use caution when traveling through a construction zone. Every year, the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and existing condition. This year’s contract involves full-width resurfacing of the following eight streets: Albatross Rd, Sand Castle Rd, Pelican Rd, Mockingbird Dr, Kittiwake Cir, Sandpiper Cir, Sanderling Cir, and Causey Ct. The contractor is required to complete the project within 45 days.
  • 2nd Half of Spanish Cay Paver Project – has begun. The asphalt is being removed from the east side of the parking lot now, but there still is plenty of room for the few occupants in town to park on the west side – including anyone showing our listing in Building A.

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, councilors unanimously approved a draft ordinance prohibiting the distribution of plastic straws on Sanibel. The prohibition would not apply to prepackaged beverages prepared outside of the city, medical and dental facilities, use of straws by disabled people who rely on their use to consume beverages or dietary supplements, multiple use straws or on land owned and managed by the Lee County School Board, Lee County, the state of Florida, or the federal government.

The idea of banning plastic straws on the island was brought before council in June by representatives of Coastal Keepers, whose Strawless on Sanibel (SOS) initiative began last year. Since then, more than a dozen island businesses have joined the initiative and eliminated using single-use plastic straws.

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SSCF) reports that 15 sea turtle nests have hatched so far this year. These early nests are the ones that were incubating when Tropical Storm Alberto hit, so they are encouraged that they survived the storm.

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

As of July 9, 2018, SCCF’s turtle patrol has identified a total of 532 loggerhead nests (68 on Sanibel’s east-end, 339 on the west end, and 125 on Captiva). Two rare green turtle nests also have been identified, both on Sanibel’s west end. Remember, until sea turtle nesting season ends on October 31st, please help keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:

  • Close curtains or blinds after dark.
  • Remove all beach furniture after 9 p.m.
  • Fill in holes after your day at the beach.
  • Turn off or shield ALL lights visible from the beach.
  • No flash photography or cell phone lights after dark.
  • Avoid using flashlights and NEVER shine them on a nesting turtle of hatchlings.

Alligators Also on the Move

This guy was crossing Casa Ybel Road this week, a good reminder that summer is alligator mating season too. Always good to be on the lookout for them wherever there are bodies of water.

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

Following eight months of downtime, Captiva’s Sunshine Café has reopened in a new location. Previously on Captiva Lane, the cafe had been leasing its space since it sold in 2004. Its new spot (the former home of Latte Da at 11508 Andy Rosse Lane) required significant rebuilding (not just remodeling) after Hurricane Irma so, the project took a little longer than expected. The new site has more inside dining plus room to sit at the bar and watch the operations in the expanded open kitchen.

More Water News

Water 07-12-18.jpg

On West Gulf Drive this week. You can be sure it doesn’t look like this in the river!

At Tuesday’s Sanibel council meeting, Mayor Ruane informed councilors that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to cut back on the frequency of water quality testing, including sample tests that are currently being conducted on a weekly basis at Bowman’s Beach. Sanibel’s lone testing facility, part of the Florida Healthy Beaches program, also is under consideration of being eliminated.

According to James Evan’s of the City’s Department of Natural Resources, the weekly tests which screen for bacteria harmful to humans and animals – cost $62.78 per sample.

In addition to requesting a call for action so citizens can get involved, council members authorized Councilor Smith to submit a request to the Lee County Tourism Development Council (TDC) for funding to continue water quality testing on the island.

Vice Mayor Denham also suggested that the City reach out to every homeowners’ association on Sanibel and request that they contact Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office, the federal government, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with a letter expressing concerns for water quality.

On Wednesday, a coalition of local real estate association leaders from Southwest Florida’s District 5 (which covers from Cape Coral to Marco Island) met in Naples with our local District VP and SCCF’s Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel to discuss cooperative efforts in the recent calls-to-action about water quality at our local Realtor® Associations. Presentations about the importance of water quality to real estate values are in the works for further discussion at Florida Realtors® upcoming governance meetings in Orlando in early August.

SCCF Notice Posted Today

SCCF logoThe below article is lengthy, but worth posting in its entirety. Some more good and some not-so-good “water” news. It was emailed this morning to SCCF’s members.

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

“A lot has been going on with water this week! We ask you to please take a moment to take action and read the good news and challenges on our waterfront.

“Increasing Flows

“Today, Caloosahatchee flows will be increased with releases up to 3,000 cfs from Lake Okeechobee. This water will be in addition to flows originating from the 45 miles of river watershed between Lake Okeechobee and the Franklin Lock in east Lee County. The past week no water was discharged to the Caloosahatchee or St Lucie from the lake. The harm threshold for estuary flow at the Franklin Lock is 2,800 cfs which has been exceeded continuously since May.

“Emergency Order – Link Here

On Monday SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel was invited to meet with Governor Rick Scott and Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein on a tour of the estuary to discuss the devastating conditions caused by the cyanobacteria bloom that extends from the Lake to our beaches. Later that day the Governor issued an Emergency Order that allows the Corps and South FL Water Management Districts to exercise operational flexibility in moving water south and through the system outside of the standard operational protocols.

“With this flexibility available, this week we requested the Corps and SFWMD redirect the harmful estuary flows south onto 484,000 acres of crop lands south of the lake, an area larger than the acreage of Lake O which is 470,000 acres. By spreading the water over this acreage, it will saturate soils on fallow fields and crop lands that can expedite evaporation and evapotranspiration. In addition, the organic load from the algae will enrich the soils instead of contaminating our waterways.

“We ask that you take action now by pressing the Send A Letter button at the bottom of this email that will direct you to the next page where a sample letter has been addressed to the Governor, state and federal water managers, and our Congressmen. We ask that they use this operational flexibility to stop the harm to our estuaries while agricultural crop lands are afforded complete flood control, exacerbating the problem. Why are coastal communities asked to shoulder the harm alone especially when AG lands are protected from any such losses? It’s time to demand new actions for better outcomes.

“Some Good News: Everglades Reservoir Approved by OMB and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“On a brighter note this week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Everglades Reservoir project, so it can be included in the 2018 Federal water bill, (WRDA) bill for authorization.

“This is a critical project that will create a new outlet from the Lake to send water south reducing estuary discharges by 40 – 60% and providing needed water supply for the Everglades and Florida Bay.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is online at the link here. Public comments on the plan will be accepted through July 24 and can be sent electronically to: EAAReservoir@usace.army.mil/

Send A Letter

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 6-13, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $589.9K, Loggerhead Cay #184 2/2 $789K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 now $435K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 now $534K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $648K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $775K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 listed at $889.5K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 $677K, Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 $1.325M, Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.73M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $462.5K; 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $599.9K; 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $759K; 480 Las Tiendas 3/3 $799K; 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1,295,555; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.299M; 1351 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.695M (Moonshadows #2C, our listing); 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $1,795,555.

4 price changes: 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $559K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $999K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $1.022M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 now $1.494M.

3 new sales: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $535K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $440K, 1627 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $585K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $745K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $335K.

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.999M.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $640K, Marina Villas #803 2/2 listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $5.295M.

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.

fishing pier sunset 07-12-18Wishing you a weekend of stunning sunsets!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy 1st Friday in July 2018!


It’s SanibelSusan with the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service. It follows a couple of news items below.

Lots of folks have been asking about the water, so there is more about that below too. Here’s a photo taken just before the holiday, the further west you go, the better it looks!

Beach 06-28

Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Parade 2018 beginningThe 28th annual island Independence Day parade Wednesday morning was terrific.

2018 parade judgesWith the judges set up right across the street from SanibelSusan Realty, we got to see the 50+ entries at their best.

The parade photo album posted on my personal Facebook page is available for public viewing (at Susan Andrews).

Later, following a huge early evening thunderstorm with heavy rain, the City was forced to cancel the fireworks.2018 Ding parade

Many boaters and causeway hold-outs were disappointed, as it is advertised as “rain or shine”.

The below follow-up notice was posted the next day on www.MySanibel.com.

“Please read this important news release regarding the status of the City’s 2018 Fireworks Display.

“Unfortunately, an early evening storm last night inundated the electrical components that are an essential element of the City’s annual Independence Day fireworks display, which is typically launched rain or shine.

“This morning, all unexploded fireworks were safely removed from the Island by 4 a.m.  Prior to last evening, the City had paid the vendor 50% of the cost of the $20,000 contract.  This afternoon, the City worked with the vendor who has agreed to credit the entire $10,000 down payment towards the City’s 2019 fireworks display.

This scenario eliminates the risk of a second cancellation due to weather during the rainy season as well as the additional labor expenses of a re-scheduled fireworks display.  The City of Sanibel again apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from last evening’s failure to launch.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoNo caravan of new listings this week, but next Thursday morning will be “open” Caravan.

Also next week, I will be working with the Association’s Communications & Public Relations Committee as they finalize plans for our upcoming “Meals of Hope” food packaging event on July 24 from 3 to 5 p.m.

meals_of_hope(1)Last year, we hosted our 1st event like this and packed 28,000 meals in less than two hours. It’s fun, fast, furious, and for such a good cause. The meals are distributed by Meals of Hope to local food banks, including F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva food pantry. Our goal this year is again to pack at least 20,000 meals. That requires 50 volunteers and $5,000 to defray the food cost. Teammate Elise and I have already contributed and signed up to help. If you’d like to participate too, contact Megan at the Association Office, 239-472-9353, megan@SanibelRealtors.com.

Island Summer Projects Underway

  • Bailey Tract still is closed with the restoration project which began in early June. Work was scheduled to be completed in four to six weeks, so should be done soon.
  • New Pavers at Spanish Cay – The west half of the parking lot is done, looks terrific. A nice improvement over the black hard-top.
  • Roadway Trimming continues along Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.
  • Temporary Library Closure The Sanibel Public Library will be closed for a few weeks beginning Monday, July 9. As part of the next phase of “Your Library Reimagined” project, this interruption is to complete utility work and relocate library materials. The Library’s eShelf for eBooks and downloadable movies, music, and magazine, will be available during this time, however the children’s special events on July 10 and 24 have been moved to the Community House. More info on the Library’s calendar at www.sanlib.org. No definite reopening date yet.

2018 Hurricane Season May Not Be So Busy After All

USATodayLOGOThis morning, FloridaRealtors® posted on-line the below article from USATODAY.com. Good news!

“Some good news from top hurricane forecasters: The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season should be quieter than normal, according to a new prediction this week.

“Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University – regarded as the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters – predict 10 named tropical storms will form, of which four will become hurricanes.

“That is a sharp decrease from their forecast in April, when they said seven hurricanes would form. One system, Subtropical Storm Alberto, already formed in May.

“If the forecast comes to fruition, 2018 will be a welcome relief after the 2017 season, which saw monsters like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria tear paths of death and destruction across the Caribbean and the U.S.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to develop and strengthen.

“El Nino is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, which tends to suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes. During an El Nino, strong upper-level winds roar across the Caribbean and Atlantic, tearing apart developing tropical storms.

“In its most recent forecast, the Climate Prediction Center gave a 50% chance of an El Nino forming in late summer or early fall.

“”With the decrease in our forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well,” Colorado State said. The probability of direct hit on the U.S. coast from a major hurricane – classified as a Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale – is down to 39% from 63%.

Sanibel’s “Sweet Melissa” Going to New Orleans

sweet-melissa-sHere is a notice for island foodies. Sanibel’s Melissa Donahue-Talmage, owner/chef of Sweet Melissa’s Café was just announced as one of the eight chefs participating in the 2018 Chef’s Taste Challenge on September 7 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Tickets go on sale next week for this one-night culinary clash called the “Battle-of-the-Gulf Edition” which is a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and culinary experience. Participating chefs include:

Wondering About the Water?

Sanibelcityseal logoBelow are links to the panoramic aerials taken on July 4th, posted on the City’s website. The reduced water releases from Lake “O” are helping in clarity of the water, but the news of algae up in the Caloosahatchee River is disheartening, so we must continue to keep the pressure on.

Thanks to Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and others for leading the charge. More details on www.mySanibel.com.

Lighthouse Beach Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Lighthouse Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Gulfside City Park Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Gulfside City Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Bowman’s Beach Aerial Image:

Link to 360° panoramic view of Bowman’s Beach Park taken July 4, 2018; SanCap Aerial

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 29-July 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #H108 1/1 $475K

No price changes.

2 new sales: St Croix #4 2/2.5 listed at $995K, By-the-Sea #C102 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $215K, Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $538K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 $615K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $815K, Sundial #Q404 2/2 $897K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $775K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 $879K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $899K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $989K.

6 price changes: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $569K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 now $629K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 now $690K, 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $797K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.369M.

2 new sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $569K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $899K (our listing).

7 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $400K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 $400K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $465K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $815K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $845K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $900K, 1316 Eagle Run Blvd 4/3 $1.23M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 1246 Sand Castle Rd $299K, 5170 Sea Belle Rd $334.9K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 6/5.5.5 now $3.5M.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

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

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


BonneParade

From a parade many years ago!

It’s Sanibel Susan, reporting that Dave, Elise, Lisa and I are counting down to the Independence Day holiday next week. Fingers crossed that some of the many vacationers arriving tomorrow want to view and buy real estate. The SanibelSusan Team is ready to help them, if they are.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

Pre-Parade All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast – 7 to 9 a.m. at Sanibel Community Church. Event is free with donations accepted to benefit the church’s Summit Christian Preschool Scholarship fund.

crow 2015 parade

CROW’s 2015 parade entry. With this year’s theme, their entry should be another winner!

office pix 09-12-1728th Annual Independence Day Parade – starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tarpon Bay Road in front of Bailey’s Center and travels down Periwinkle Way, ending at Casa Ybel Rd. Theme is “Wild About America”. Periwinkle Way closes at 9 a.m., so be sure and get to your favored parade-watching spot early. Good vantage points are in front of SanibelSusan Realty, both in the shade under the trees at City Park across the street or under the overhang in front of our office building. The office will be open.

Post-Parade Celebration – at Jerry’s Shopping Center, begins at 10:30 a.m.

39th Annual Road Rally – begins at noon from The Timbers parking lot. This automobile scavenger hunt has vehicles deployed every two minutes. Hosted by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club, more info at their website www.sancapoptimist.org.

fireworks clip artFireworks Cruise – by Adventures in Paradise departs Sanibel Marina “G” dock at 7:30 p.m. Call 239-472-8443 for reservations.

Fireworks – at 9 p.m. rain or shine, from the end of Bailey Road out into the bay, above the causeway. Sponsored by the City of Sanibel.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

Yesterday at our local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting, staff from BIG ARTS gave members a quick preview of some artists scheduled to perform in the upcoming season. BIG ARTS is celebrating its 40th year with their calendar filling up. Tickets often are sold out to see big name bands, singers, and musicians, so it’s never too early to plan to attend those events. Check out their full schedule at www.BIGARTS.org. Many tickets go on sale this summer and can be purchased on-line. Beginning in January 2019, here are a few mentioned that caught my eye.

Bumper-Jacksons1/5 – Beginnings (Chicago tribute band)

1/12 – DePue Brothers Band (named Musical Family of America in 1989)

1/17 – Bumper Jacksons (7-piece band known for their roots jazz, country swing, & street blues)

iLuminate1/30 – iLuminate (dance & acrobatic performance team featured on America’s Got Talent)’

2/2 – m-Pact “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (often called one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world)

LMLMP_Simon_Gar_CP

2/22 – Judy Collins

3/16 – Live in Central Park Revisited (recreation of Simon & Garfunkel’s performances on 9/19/1981)

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

The below article by Attorney Richard D. DeBoest was posted on-line this week at FloridaRealtors®:

Florida Realtors logo“July 2, 2018 – Question: We heard there were some new laws impacting condominium associations. Would you please give us a summary of the changes we need to know about? – B.T., Port St. Lucie

“Answer: Below is a summary of new laws as of July 1, 2018, applicable to condominiums:

  1. Official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Plans, permits, warranties, declaration, articles, bylaws, rules, meeting minutes and accounting records from the inception of the association must now be kept forever. Chapter 718 previously required these documents to be kept for only 7 years. All other records must still be kept for 7 years with exception of ballots, proxies and related voting material that only needs to be kept for 1 year.
  2. Access to official records – 718.111(12)(b)/HB841. Access to official records must be made available within 10 “working” days. Formerly it was 5 working days but since the penalty did not arise until after 10 working days effectively nothing has changed. Records must still be made available within 10 “working” days.
  3. Website creation – 718.111(12)(g)1/HB841. The requirement imposed in 2017 that condominiums (excluding timeshares) must create a website and post digital copies of most of its official records on its website by July 1, 2018, has been extended to January 1, 2019. The term “association” has been replaced by the term “condominium” thereby making it clear that multi-condominium associations that manage several condominiums each with less than 150 units but cumulatively 150 or more units are now exempt from the website requirement.
  4. Website records – 718.111(12)(g)2.e and g/HB841. A list of all bids in excess of $500 received by the association for materials, equipment or services within the past year must now be posted on the website if a website is required. Additionally, the “monthly income or expense statement” must be posted.
  5. Website records failure to post – 718.111(12)(g)4/HB841. The failure to post required records on the website is not sufficient to invalidate any action or decision of the association’s board or any committee.
  6. Board and members meeting notices on website – 718.112(2)(c)1 and (d)/HB841. In addition to sending and posting notices for board and members meetings by regular mail, the board may now adopt a rule to allow the posting of such notices on the website if a website is required. The rule must also require that an e-mail be sent to all owners who have requested electronic notice with a link to the posted notice.
  7. Term limits – 718.112(2)(d)2/HB841. The 2017 law limiting a director from serving no more than four consecutive two-year terms has been changed. The law now provides that regardless of the length of the term (one year or two years) a director cannot serve more than eight consecutive years unless no other eligible candidates run or at least 2/3 of those who vote approve the person to continue serving beyond eight consecutive years. The revised language also clarifies that if the governing documents so provide, directors may be elected to serve terms of more than two years each.
  8. Electronic notice – 718.112(2)(d)6/HB841. An owner who consents to electronic notice is solely responsible for removing or bypassing filters that block receipt of e-mails. This will prevent an owner from objecting to a lack of notice if the notice is stopped by the owner’s spam filter.
  9. Recalls – 718.112(2)(j)1/HB841. A director is recalled immediately at the conclusion of the board meeting held to consider the recall if the recall is deemed “facially valid.” Under the prior 2017 change in the law which created a number of procedural ambiguities, the director was apparently recalled even if the recall agreements were clearly insufficient in number to effectuate a recall. Note that a definition of “facially valid” is not provided.
  10. Recalls attorney fees – 718.112(2)(j)6/HB841. If a recalled board member files a petition for arbitration to challenge the recall and is successful, then the arbitrator may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. If the board member is unsuccessful, the arbitrator may award the other party its attorneys’ fees and costs but only if the challenge is found to have been “frivolous.”
  11. Material alterations – 718.113(2)(a)/HB841. Clarifies that any material alteration or substantial addition to the common elements that requires owner approval must be approved before the work is commenced.
  12. Electronic vehicle charging – 718.112(8) and 718.121(2)/HB841. Allows unit owners to install electronic vehicle charging stations in their limited common element parking spaces under certain conditions and subject to certain requirements. Among other things, the owner must pay to install a separate meter and pay for the electricity. Further, the owner’s insurance must also name the association as an additional insured, and if the association’s insurance premium goes up as a result of the charging station, the owner must pay the increase. Moreover, if the owner fails to pay the contractor that installs the charging equipment, the contractor cannot file a construction lien against the association.
  13. Contracts with directors – 718.3026(3) and 718.3027(2)/HB841. The 2017 change in the law allowing an association to contract with a director under certain circumstances but allowing owners to void any such contract with a vote at the next members meeting was removed from 718.3026 and relocated to 718.3027.
  14. Fines and suspension committees/Payment of fine – 718.303(3)(b)/HB841. Provides that the fining committee has three members and that the members cannot be the “spouse, parent, child, brother, sister or employee” of any director. Formerly, the condominium law did not set the number of members and only prohibited board members and persons residing with a board member from being on the committee. Oddly, the new law removes the prohibition that a member of the committee cannot be residing with a director. If the committee approves the fine it must be paid within five days of the committee meeting. The association must give written notice of the fine or suspension after the committee approves it by mail or hand delivery.

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

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

© 2018 Journal Media Group. Richard D. DeBoest II, Esq., is co-founder and shareholder of the Law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 22-29, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #36 2/2 $380K, Sanibel Inn #3 2/1 $779K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.398M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1611 2/2 listed at $489K, Seawind #A105 2/2.5 listed at $545K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 listed at $549K.

3 closed sales: Sandpebble #4D 2/2 $420K, Sundial West #I404 1/1 $455K, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.17M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4772 Tradewinds Dr 3/2.5 $819K.

15 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $429K; 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $499K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $549,999; 1304 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $570K; 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 now $575K; 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $599K; 836 Donax St 3/2 now $599K; 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K; 1043 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749K; 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $795K; 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $929K; 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $945K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.145M; 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 now $1.525M; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.574M.

3 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $440K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $779K, 805 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $945K.

3 closed sales: 9471 Peaceful Dr 3/2 $432K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $590K, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.1001M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1292 Par View Dr $369K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $239,999; 3354 Barra Cir now $379K.

2 new sales: 5723 Baltusrol Ct listed at $349K, 1036 Bayview Dr listed at $3.695M.

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 listed at $1.16M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 $635K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 48 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $839K, 15735 Captiva Dr 4/5 now $6.795M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 $1.465M.

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.

The SanibelSusan Team wishes you a wonderful holiday. Happy Birthday, America!more fireworks slip art.jpgT4thOfJulyWording

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Fathers Day 2018 on Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting just another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel Island. After a busy winter/spring, many colleagues are taking vacations – some stay-cations. Their timing couldn’t be better. It is really quiet! Probably contributing to that is all the recent press about the Lake “O” water releases which have resulted in tannin-colored water in the bay which is now wrapping around the lighthouse into the gulf.  Meanwhile, it’s still looking AOK on most of the gulf side.

I had lunch yesterday at West Wind Inn’s Normandie Seaside Cafe and ran into Kim from their Upper Pool Deck Bar. Wednesday, on Facebook, she posted her view from there (photo below). It’s a great spot for lunch or an evening pre-sunset libation. Music some nights too. Their food comes from the Normandie’s kitchen too. Both open to the public and secret gems favored by the Inn’s guests, locals, and maybe you too.

2018-06-13

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Following Sanibel Mayor Ruane’s call-to-action last Friday, demanding that these water releases stop – the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® created an easy way for concerned citizens and island lovers to respond. Using the below link and by just adding your contact info, emails on your behalf (with copy to you) will go to the powers-that-be at the Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with copy to the Governor. Everyone who is concerned, please do it. If you have ever enjoyed the islands or spent a penny here, this should be important to you. It takes only seconds to complete. Thank you! http://sanibelcaptivarealtors.org/cta/

sccf 14K checkAt our Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan Meeting, Association President Dustyn Corace presented a check for $14,000 to Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. The final tally is in with these monies raised last month at our end-of-season golf outing and auction. The funds are going to SCCF ear-marked for their use in improving local water quality.

What The Conservation Foundation Says

A message from SCCF received midweek has a good summary of what is happening with these water releases:

SCCF logo“It is premature to dump massive quantities of water to the estuaries at the very beginning of the rainy season when no water was being held by or discharged to agricultural areas to share the harm. Instead, agriculture on the east side of the lake and southwest of the lake have been allowed to backflow massive quantities of water into the lake instead of holding their own runoff. Quantities back flowed equal the amount that has been discharged to the estuaries that have also received too much rain. We ask water managers to identify these conditions and start requiring all landowners to manage storm water on their own land, not dump it into the lake, not usurp the entire capacity of publicly funded storm water treatment areas that harm public resources.

“Since the rain began on May 15 the Caloosahatchee estuary has been experiencing increasing levels of harmful flows. The first 2 weeks flows were watershed runoff from Hendry and Glades Counties, with no discharges from Lake Okeechobee. However, the lake discharges that started on June 1st nearly tripled the harmful high flows to the estuary… dumping dark fresh water and suddenly dropping salinities in the estuary all the way to the mouth of the river at Shell Point. The consequence of this sudden, drastic, and prolonged salinity drop has been a massive die off of estuarine clams and oysters at Iona just upstream of Shell Point and is fueling freshwater cyanobacteria, including Microcystis, that is visible beneath the water surface from Beautiful Island by I-75 to Iona Cove.

“This current event is the direct result of managing water selectively to allow agricultural landowners to dump their floodwater into Lake Okeechobee and into publicly funded storm water treatment areas, thus forcing discharges harmful to public resources.

“We need to express our strenuous objection to water managers and elected representatives because these harmful flows are the direct consequence of agricultural discharges that have resulted in harmful flows to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie, without consideration of the flood consequences on these coastal ecosystems.”

NKY Music Legends Welcomes Danny Morgan

dany morgan logoAs a long-time fan of Sanibel musician Danny Morgan, it was great to read recent news about his latest honor. Here’s some scoop from www.Cincinnati.com on May 24, 2018:

“Northern Kentucky Music Legends (NKY) is an organization that recognizes area musicians, vocalists and music industry people who have made a name for themselves locally and nationally. Jerry Gifford, a musician who is still playing after 50 years with his band Strange Brew, originated the idea of honoring talented Northern Kentucky musicians. So, in 2013 he met with Charlie Coleman, Campbell County commissioner; Jon Long, a longtime musician; and John Mendell, a concert producer. The group contacted The Cincinnati Enquirer to put out a call for Northern Kentucky musicians who would qualify. Criteria include birth in Northern Kentucky or longtime residency, played music for 20 or more years and made a mark in the community…. This year marks the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony….the Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 include…:

► Danny Morgan, who played in popular bands before taking off to Nashville and forming The Apple Butter Band with local legend Mickey Foellger (… the now-retired Campbell County juvenile court judge), Joellen Morgan and ex-Bengal Mike Reid. They toured with the Beach Boys and other major acts. These days Morgan plays five nights a week in Sanibel Island, Florida. “Danny Morgan has a keen sense of artistry and not only finding, but nurturing great talent,” said Stan Hertzman, retired music business professional.”

Danny Morgan from Cincinnati paper

Those like me who enjoy the Sanibel music experience often refer to Danny Morgan as our local Jimmy Buffet. We follow his performances, play his CDs, and know the words to many of his songs like “Sanibel Sunset”, “Captiva Moon”, and one of my favs, “Running on the Beach”. In addition to performing at many local special events, weddings, and parties, you usually can catch Danny and often his band, plus guest musicians (including sightings of Livingston Taylor & Pittsburg Mike) at the following locations:

  • Margarita Mondays at Sundial Beach Resort from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Nights at Traders Gulf Coast Grill beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday afternoons 1 to 4 p.m. at Casa Ybel Resort’s Coconuts poolside bar & grill

More about Danny and his offerings at www.DannyMorgan.com

Fun June Happenings at The Community House

If you haven’t yet been to Sanibel’s new Community House, you are missing out. Here are a couple of their events scheduled this month. Call 239-472-2155 or checkout their website at www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net for more info.

  • Adult Demonstration – Quick & Easy Meals using 5 Ingredients by Chef Jarret, June 15, at noon. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Adult Farm-to-Table Hands-On Cooking Class by Chef Jarred, June 22, Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Produce a delicious meal with ingredients sourced locally. Prepaid reservations needed.
  • Community House Culinary Education CtrHoliday Hog Roast – “Smoke on the Islands” by Chef Jarret, June 30, Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. $15, ice cream sundae bar $5. Also, kids “All American Red, White, & Blue Dessert Content”. Entry forms at the Community House. Judging at 7 p.m. & awards given for best tasting, best presentation, and best theme. Bring a 2nd dessert for their auction to help raise money for the Culinary Education Center. Tickets available at The Community House or Bailey’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle Way

Summer is a good time to get caught up, reflect, plan, and project. Our weekly report of the activity of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows my musings below.

Below is some food-for-thought for would-be sellers who are thinking of listing their island real estate. Some of these tips apply to selling anywhere.

How’s The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market? The housing bubble before the recession drove prices up on the islands. Back in that heyday of 2006, the average Sanibel condo sold for close to $900K and the average Sanibel home over $1.1M. On Captiva, the average condo was more than $1.3M and average home over $2.3M. Then, prices took a dive.

housing-bubble-1872350_960_720It has been nearly ten years since the recession and often I am asked if island real estate has recovered. That answer is complicated. Sellers on the islands are faced with more challenges than those in a traditional real estate environment.

Plus, it’s a small island with a big variety of property types and a wide span in price. Depending on the property, it sometimes takes months or years for a property to sell. Other properties, if the demand is right, could sell in hours.

How do you know where a property fits in? That answer is complicated too. First, there are fewer buyers for real estate in resort or 2nd home-type locations. According to the National Association of Realtors® (remember I teach the Resort & 2nd Home Market class to our local Realtors®), these sales account for fewer than one-fifth of all the home/condo sales each year.

These buyers, if they are financing, typically have to put down way more money than those buying a primary home. The lender criteria for buying a property like that is tougher too.

In this area of Florida, the selling season also is somewhat limited because the most prospective buyers are in town from December through April which also can be when properties are occupied or rented. With Sanibel homes having a monthly rental minimum, that can mean showings only on the 1st of the month, or with condos renting weekly, it can mean showings only on Saturdays between late morning and early afternoon when a property is being cleaned and often also when the buyers are coming/going.

With more baby boomers now retired and staying longer, many rentals – including those for sale – may be booked for extended periods, making showings in season even more unlikely. It also bears mentioning that many vacationing would-be-buyers only want to earmark a short time to look at real estate, preferably a day when the sun isn’t out or the weather is less than ideal. They want to buy, they just want to enjoy their vacation too (which is exactly why we encourage buyers to come back this time of the year when it’s easier to view property and they can concentrate on that task). These buyers also may not be in a hurry. They may be willing to wait until their next vacation or even next year, particularly if they don’t find a property that’s “just right” for them.

So, if there is no getting around some of these challenges, what can a seller do to get their island property sold sooner and at a higher price? Here some tips:

house-painter-clipart-paintersBe Ready for The Best First Impression – First impressions are huge, whether the first one is the driveway, the walkway, the entry, the front door, or the foyer. Be sure it is all sparkling clean and trimmed. Pressure washing the exterior and walkways are especially important here where heat and mildew can take a toll. A fresh coat of paint on a front door is an easy fix too. Also, nix and replace any nasty door hardware.

Invest in Upgrades – Think about when you purchased. Were you ready to do your own improvements or did you prefer a property that was move-in-ready? Most island buyers want the latter, so it pays to make a property so perfect that the new owner only needs to bring their suitcase. Nobody wants old and ugly.

If you can afford to do updating before a property goes on the market, do it. That updating could be as easy as going through every drawer and closet, organizing and tossing out old furnishings, or adding fresh paint or replacing old worn carpet. The trick is to make the property look bigger, cleaner, and brighter.cleaning-cloud-vector-illustration_k7551435

If you go as far as renovating kitchen and baths or even in minor redecorating and sprucing up, remember this is an island in Florida where most end-users are here in the winter. Pick a style that’s light bright and happy. That’s what most buyers want. They may say that they don’t need move-in-ready and island décor, but they really do. They sometimes figure that out as they proceed through the viewing process, after seeing the competition.

Four-Point-Inspection-Think About Replacing Big Ticket Items That Could Become Problematic – I know I’ve mentioned it before, but as a reminder, to get insurance today on a property that is over 20 years old, most insurance providers require a 4-point inspection. Insurance companies increasingly have become reluctant to issue policies on older homes. Their concern is that there may be conditions in an older property that could become a liability to them. For example, a home with a roof near the end of its service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may file a claim for damage to the home or its contents. A 4-point inspection describes the condition and age of the following four elements:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, & air conditioning)
  • Electrical wiring & panels
  • Plumbing, connections, & fittings
  • Roof

These may be expensive items and systems to repair or replace before selling, but rest-assured if a property has copper pipes on Sanibel, it will be flagged by a home inspector. (Sanibel’s water, over time can cause pinhole leaks in copper piping.) Federal Pacific electrical panels (which some insurance companies will not insure) are flagged here too. Even with “as is” contracts where seller repairs are not required and most buyers expect a number of minor defects, when a big ticket item comes up, the buyer often asks for a consideration in the form of either a price reduction or a contribution toward the needed repair or replacement.

home-inspection1.jpgGet A Home Inspection & Make Repairs Before Listing – Doing this might preclude the problems mentioned above. Most buyers will overestimate updating and repair costs. So, if they come to look at a property that needs new piping or a new electrical box, they will likely do one of two things. They will come up with their own inaccurate too-high off-the-cuff estimate which they then will deduct from their offer price. Or even worse, they will decide that it is too much money or more than they want to deal with. They then will move on to another property that doesn’t have problems.

realtor logoListen to Professionals – Realtors® are in the business of looking at real estate with a critical eye. They are not emotionally invested in a property like the owner. We try to be sensitive to an owner’s feelings and their decorating style, but they know the inventory and competition, and what is selling. Be prepared to tell your Realtor® the special things you like about your property but also be ready to listen to what they say may need to be done to bring you top dollar. As the island real estate market evolves through the calendar year, understand that your property may be one that appeals most to a winter buyer, so if it doesn’t sell in one “season”, it may take until the next.

Don’t discount summer buyers though. When winter inventory is low, serious buyers return in the summer. Summer also brings more families looking for year-‘round homes, vacationers looking for income-producing short-term rental condos, and Europeans looking for privacy and a good place to invest.

In every real estate market, price and appearance matter. In a seasonal area, like here, those factors can mean the difference between selling quickly or lingering for months. Regardless of the time of the year, it is usually two things that keep properties from selling. Either they are over-priced or they have not been updated and well maintained.

Gone are the days when buyers come into a real estate office with a list of their requirements and a Realtor® tells them what is available that meets their needs. Today’s buyers (close to 95%) do their island property searches online. If a property isn’t perfectly priced and doesn’t look great, it is not going to sell, because these consumers search in only their price range and buy through the pictures they see on the internet. Not only are professional photographs needed, but the property needs to be attractive. Almost every island Realtor® will tell you that they have sold property sight-unseen. I have sold many that way and this year even sold one that I had not seen (though I did look before it closed).

7832303--illustration-of-a-man-being-dragged-under-water-by-his-house-mortgage-which-is-chained-to-his-anke-Does It Make Sense To Take A Loss – Owners who bought at the peak or during the multi-year run-up before it, most likely are dealing with properties that are not worth what they paid. Now as they go to sell, they need to pay for improvements or repairs to get top-dollar, plus they will pay a real estate commission and other closing costs. They are not happy about it. They are losing money, even if they break even on the sales price. During the real estate boom, people wanted to be part of the group that flocked to own a vacation or 2nd home. That is not necessarily the case now. Prices are going up and the market is improving, but not as fast as some want.

That can make it a tough decision for an owner who bought high. Those prospective sellers need to decide whether they want to keep the property for another few years and see if values continue to go up, or instead say they are ready to just get out and potentially take a loss.

Island properties often are bought with discretionary income, so unless a buyer is compelled to do it now, it can become a waiting game. Just as buying an island property can be a life-altering decision, so can selling one.

The SanibelSusan Team tries to make buying and selling real estate easy and stress-free, but as these paragraphs describe, it ain’t always easy.

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 8-15, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 now $399K, Seawind #109 2/2.4 now $512.5K, Nutmeg Village #103 2/2 now $795K, By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 now $1.149M.

5 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #314 2/2 listed at $569K, Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 listed at $594.9K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 listed at $699K, Loggerhead Cay #163 2/2 listed at $779K, Sundial West #E310 2/2 listed at $890K.

5 closed sales: Sundial West #G407 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Moorings #1631 2/2 $570K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $675K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $780K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

10 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $525K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $550K, 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $569K, 746 Nerita St 3/2 $749K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 $749K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $834.5K, 438 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $859K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.099M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.16M.

11 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $440K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $459K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 now $549K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $624K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $674.9K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 now $924.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.099M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $1.5M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.595M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 now $2.448M.

4 new sales: 1126 Schooner Pl 4/2.5 duplex listed at $459K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 listed at $924.9K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 listed at $1.099M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 listed at $1.949M.

10 closed sales: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex $365K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $475K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $520K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $588K, 2521 Key Lime Pl 3/2 $565K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 $620K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $650K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $780K, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 $1.279M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex $1.95M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct $335K, 5251 Punta Caloosa Ct $580K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $1.375M.

No closed sales. 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5102 ½ now $369K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2/2 now $949K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 listed at $620K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3216 1/1 $305K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 listed at $4.198M.

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.

fathers-day-clip-art-jTx95RBTE1Until next Friday, here’s hoping your summer weather is as spectacular as on the islands! Best wishes on Sunday to all the Dads, would-be Dads, & Moms covering as Dads!

If you want to buy yours a piece of paradise for Fathers Day, I can help.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Quiet Friday & Island Real Estate Scoop


It definitely is quiet now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Below are my signs-of-summer observations, followed by a couple of news items, then what has been posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

SanibelSusan’s Signs of Summer

It has been both a good and a bad week on beautiful Sanibel Island. Here is my list of the pros and one con from the last seven days:

PROS:

  • With snowbirds and seasonal visitors gone, traffic is nil, traveling the island is easy-going, and there are no waits at restaurants – a great time to get reacquainted with your favorite local spots. I took a drive out to Captiva midweek with a stop for lunch at Sunset Grill. Below is a photo taken that day. I sure hope the gulf waters stay this beautiful color.Captiva beach 06-06-18
  • Since the winter drought is over, most vegetation is lush, flowering, and green again. Some beautiful sights include some royal poinciana roadway canopies which have been especially vivid the last couple of weeks. RoyalPoincianaTrees
  • Big white popcorn clouds coming from the mainland now are cropping up in the afternoon forming spectacular sights against the bright blue sky – and resulting in picture-perfect sunsets.

CONS:

Sanibel/Captiva Preliminary Property Tax Valuations

LeePALogoOn May 31, the Lee County Property Appraisers office released its estimated tax roll values. According to the June 6, “Islander/Island Reporter”, they “Indicate a 2.51% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 5.33% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The preliminary valuations for the fire districts on the islands also rose.

“The official numbers will come out by July 1, then be sent to Tallahassee for state approval. According to the estimates, Sanibel’s taxable value rose approximately $1.269 million – the 2.51% – to about $5.18 billion. The assessed value jumped 2.48% to $5.46 billion, up $131.99 million from 2017, while the just value improved by 0.04% to $6.08 billion, up $2.56 million.

“Obviously the estimates are lower than we anticipated,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. He noted, however, that the final number released in July typically comes in higher for the city than indicated by the preliminary one. For example, last year it went from 4.5% to 6.2%….”

Foodie Info

  • Jac 06-08-18The Jac – Sanibel Island Grille & Rum Bar is open. At the site of the former Jacaranda Restaurant, The Jac is officially open for business with plans to kick off weekend brunch for the first time tomorrow. The restaurant has been open for two weeks for lunch and dinner every day. This weekend it will open early, for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I had dinner there last week and can recommend the Citrus Fettuccine and Shrimp. Ads for the weekend brunches, say they will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include homemade bloody Mary mixes and an omelet bar.
  • Mud Bugs 06-08-18Mud Bugs Cajun Kitchen coming at the former site of the Sanibel Steakhouse remains under construction, but roadside landscaping went in yesterday and is beautiful. Appears that future parking will all be in the back as the new trees and plantings are big and plentiful. From the road, you can hardly see the new building.

Give Back Wednesdays for Community Housing & Resources

CHR-Logo-Hor-1Every other Wednesday, from May through July, Sanibel’s Community Housing & Resources (CHR) is hosting a Give Back Wednesday at one of its supporter’s locations where that restaurant will donate a percentage of its profits to CHR, the island’s affordable workforce housing program. In addition, Bailey’s General Store is donating a portion of its wine sale proceeds from every Wednesday.

So, if you are here in July, please join local Realtors® and others who will be dining at Sundial Resort’s Seabreeze Café on July 11 and at ‘Tween Waters Resort’s Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grill on July 25.

CHR’s Executive Director, Melissa Rice, also is a Realtor®. Kudos to her, her CHR team, and these wonderful businesses for coming up with such a fun way for us to support the community.

Successful Give-Back-Wednesday events have already occurred at Sanibel Café, Joey’s Custard, and Dante’s Coal-Fired Pizza. There also is one next Wednesday, June 20, at Sanibel Deli.

CHR’s, below-market-rate housing program began on Sanibel about 40 years ago when community leaders saw the need to subsidize housing costs to make it affordable for people who work on the island but couldn’t afford rent. According to an article in this week’s “Santiva-Chronicle”, “CHR currently has 74 properties in its rental program and another 14 properties in its limited-equity ownership program. The non-profit partners with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work full-time on Sanibel or are retired or disabled longtime residents of Sanibel.”

Homeowners’ Association Documents Versus Condo Association Documents

Florida Realtors logoIt has always irked me, that in Florida, condo buyers must be provided with a copy of the condo association’s documents, but that the same does not apply when buying a home in a community with a Homeowners Association. Here’s a question and answer as they appeared in the June 2018 issue of Florida Realtor® magazine.

“I heard that, pursuant to the Homeowners’ Association Disclosure law, the seller must provide the buyer a current copy of the HOA documents. I’m aware of the document delivery for condominium associations, but thought HOAs are different.

“Yes. Section 720.401 does not require the seller to provide a copy of the HOA documents to the buyer; it merely requires a disclosure summary that should be attached to and made a part of the contract.

Wondering what the SanibelSusan Team does when a buyer is purchasing in a home community with a HOA, and we are not required to provide those documents?

We – like anyone in the public – have access to the recorded documents through the website of the Lee County Clerk of Court at www.LeeClerk.org. There, under “Records”, then “Official Records Search”, is a link to “Official Records Public Search”. Searching by a community or subdivision name, one will find every document recorded about it, including the original community documents and plats, plus each subsequent amendment, restatement, or new documents. It also has easements, liens, judgements, deeds, etc. A similar search by an individual’s name will provide every recording about them.

Sometimes home buyers (like condo buyers) want a hard, printed copy of those documents (which can be voluminous). Others prefer just links to the documents, so they can refer to them electronically. Either way, we are happy to provide them.

It is important to note that just the recorded documents are at the courthouse. HOA financials, budgets, reserve schedules, and rules/regulations must be requested from an Association Manager, management company, or board member, similar to those for a condo association.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 1-8, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #D304 1/1 $460K, Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $589K, Sundial West #H203 2/2 $695K, Compass Point #161 3/3 $1.279M.

4 price changes: Tennisplace #A34 2/1.5 now $329.9K, Blind Pass #E205 now $425K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $529K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $544.9K.

4 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $229K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 listed at $489.9K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 listed at $625K, Nutmeg Village #205 2/2 listed at $745K.

4 closed sales: Kings Crown #312 2/2 $765K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $925K, Compass Point #192 2/2 $1.05M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $535K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $879K.

6 price changes: 1643 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $529K, 744 Marthas Ln 2/2 now $579K, 396 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $699.9K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $765K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $849K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 now $999K.

5 new sales: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 listed at $429K, 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $749K, Moonshadows #2F 3/3 half-duplex listed at $885K, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 listed at $1.299M.

7 closed sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $568K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $630K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 $630K, 4439 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $695K, 678 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $805K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.16M, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.95M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $895K.

1 new sale: 6000 White Heron Ln listed at $749K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas 2/2 $658K.

1 price change: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 now $1.16M.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #610 2/2 listed at $685K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 $939.25K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 now $1.575M.

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, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan (watching the water…sanibel-island-beach-white-sand