Sometimes “It Takes A Village”


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

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

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

Pricing a Listing?

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

Be Nice to Grandma

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

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

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

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

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

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

LCEC Info About Solar Power Systems

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

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

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

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

Call Before You Dig, 811

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

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society News

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

The Community House Shellcrafters

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

Here are links to the TV segments:

Shell Crafters Segment 1

Shell Crafters Segment 2

Shell Crafters Segment 3

Food Fun

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

9448 Begonia Ct in Gumbo Limbo

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $375K.

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

No new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Let’s Continue to Celebrate the U.S.A.


It was another wonderful July 4th on sunny Sanibel. Or at least sunny most of the day. We had a big turnout at the office at 9 a.m., ready for parade viewing.

Then 12 hours later, right at 9 p.m., as scheduled, the City fireworks show over San Carlos Bay was spectacular. How they coordinated it between downpours was amazing. Thanks to all who made it such a special island holiday!

Here’s hoping yours also was a fun festive one.

Sanibel Susan Realty Associates

A holiday week sometimes means it’s a slow one for island real estate and this was no exception. Beyond the holiday festivities, there is not much local news to report, but since it is beyond the ½-year mark, it is a good time to revisit the Sanibel and Captiva real estate market. Off-island, the local news stations and papers have been reporting what the county Tax Assessor expects for annual appreciation in each city. I shake my head every July when this occurs, because what happens in the first half of the year doesn’t always reflect what will happen in the 2nd. Last year was a good example of that.

Another twist with island sales, is that more high-end closings usually occur early in the year, just a factor in their usually being two to three times more qualified buyers here all winter than during the summer.

This year sales lagged a little in getting started, but with gulf and bay waters still glistening and many clean water initiatives underway, my crystal ball says 2019 will turn out better than 2018. With the economy strong and plenty of nice inventory available, I predict good sales all summer. At SanibelSusan Realty, our June and July closings already far exceed the first five months of the year.

Below is a snapshot of the today’s Sanibel and Captiva inventory, compared to sales during the same period last year. The statistics also are shown comparing sales year-over-year. (Info from Sanibel/Captiva MLS, disclosure below applies.)

Average Sanibel sale prices lag 2018 for condos, homes, and lots. The number of Sanibel condo and home sales also are less than last year.

On Captiva, average condo and home prices are up, but the samplings are small, with fewer Captiva condos and homes sold than during the same time last year.

 

Property Type

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 107 815,088 168 1,351,489 68 647,077 44 1,026,318 37 2,890,240 3 1,929,667
Under contract 15 654,837 28 870,916 1 149,000 1 469,000 6 3,360,832 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2019 78 683,609 125 983,314 9 451,222 14 1,201,557 8 3,002,188 0 N/A
Sold 1/1-7/5/2018 96 743,571 158 1,214,614 9 478,556 17 912,933 12 2,163,442 0 N/A
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500
Sold 2016 143 717,768 181 979,576 25 487,095 22 873,636 27 3,195,000 2 3,150,000

50th Anniversary of RPAC

As the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), their biggest supporters were recognized with a surprise to represent their commitment to promoting and protecting real estate ownership and this milestone in NAR’s history.

In Washington, DC, in May for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, their special guest speaker Phil Hansen unveiled an incredible piece of artwork that showcases all of the nation’s 2018 RPAC Major Investors – within the iconic image of the NAR building in DC overlooking the U.S. Capitol.

You too can see the image at https://realtorparty.realtor/rpac50#art. It was an honor in 2017 to be the first island Realtor® inducted to NAR’s Hall of Fame (those plagues are atop the same NAR building in DC). To then find my name on this amazing piece of art is exciting too. Either search for my name or zoom into frame “H3” and you will find it.

Commitment to RPAC equates to caring about real estate, personal property rights, and home ownership. Congratulations RPAC on your 50th anniversary.

Sanibel Bunnies

The July/August 2019 issue of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) member update includes info about island rabbits. Since last summer, their population here has increased dramatically. At Sanibel Square, I see at least two each evening when I close up and often make a game of counting how many I see driving home at night. My record count for that short drive (less than 3 miles) is 54 bunnies. At home in the evening just before sunset, at least one is munching my grass. They sure are cute! Below are some excerpts from SCCF’s article:

“The marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) is a native species in Florida and can be found throughout the state. Throughout most of their range they are considered a species of least concern for conservation purposes, but the Florida Keys subspecies, the Lower Keys rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) is both state and federally endangered. Though they are from the same family as cottontails, marsh rabbits lack the signature white fluffy tail of their relatives.

“Marsh rabbits are strong swimmers and tend to walk using all four legs rather than hop like most rabbits. Their predators include alligators, owls, hawks, bobcats, and coyotes. In addition to threats from predators, flooding and hurricanes can take a toll on rabbit populations by flooding out their nesting habitat.

“Rabbits breed year-‘round in south Florida, but the peak of breeding takes place between December and June. The marsh rabbit’s preferred home is in wetland habitat, especially freshwater marshes. Over time, the landscape of Sanibel has changed significantly, leaving much less acreage of freshwater marshes and cordgrass swales. In the absence of natural fire regimes, many of these marshes have begun to fill in with hardwoods like buttonwood. Our freshwater marshes are not only important for our rabbits, but also for our only endemic animal species: the Sanibel Island rice rat (Oryzomys palustris sanibeli). Both of these small mammals are also important prey species for our native hawks and owls, who also suffer the loss of this important habitat type.

“SCCF and other agencies on the island conduct occasional prescribed burns to maintain healthy marshes and swales for the benefit of all our native wildlife. In addition to prescribed burns, SCCF mows some of these areas during the dry season and engages in mechanical removal of buttonwood.

“As our city’s vision statement says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” Our native rabbit population is currently experiencing a natural boom, which will eventually subside. Below is a list of plants for your landscaping consideration. If you have questions about landscaping to attract or to naturally deter rabbits, please stop by our Native Landscapes and Garden Center at the Bailey Homestead Preserve….”

Plants that rabbits like to eat:

  • Firebush (Hamelia patens)
  • Gaillardia/Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)
  • Dune Sunflowers (Helianthus debilis)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Grasses-Muhley Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), Fakahatchee Grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), Dwarf Fakahatchee (Tripsacum floridanum)
  • Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) • Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii)

“Plants that rabbits don’t like to eat:

  • Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea)
  • Southern River Sage (Salvia misella)
  • Bahama Cassia (Senna mexicana var. chapmanii)
  • Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco)
  • Coontie (Zamia pumila)
  • Quailberry (Crossopetalum ilicifolium)
  • Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)
  • Several aqautics: Blue Flag Iris (Iris virginica), Canna Lily (Canna flaccida), Lizard’s Tail (Saururus cernuus)
  • Wild Coffee (Psychotria nervosa)
  • Gopher Apple (Licania michauxii)”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 28-July 5, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #12 2/2 $395K, Sundial West #I405 1/1 $435K, Sundial West #J201 1/1 $550K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 now $511K, Pine Cove #202 3/2 now $1.4M.

1 new sale: White Caps #5 1/1 listed at $499.9K.

1 closed sale: Captains Walk #F4 1/1 $315K (our listing).

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $499K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 $800K.

3 price changes: 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $725K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $750K, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.595M.

3 new sales: 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $738K, 6406 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 5313 Punta Caloosa 4/3 listed at $899K.

2 closed sales: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $875K, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 $1.085M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2486 Wulfert Rd $139K, 933 Strangler Fig Ln $495K.

2 price changes: 0 Island Inn Rd now $750K, 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.695M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5618 Baltusrol Ct $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $510K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.25M.

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.

May your holiday fun continue right through the weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Longest Day of 2019 on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It may be the longest day of the year, with plenty of sunshine on Sanibel today, but the island sure has thinned out. Looks like the last of the snowbirds have headed off to other summer locations. Too bad. The water is looking fantastic as evidenced by the below photos taken yesterday afternoon near the end of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay. The water was so pretty I couldn’t decide which photo to post.

Island weather this week has included partly cloudy days with on and off showers. It sure didn’t take long for the dry island vegetation to perk up. Before long, it will be “mow your lawn twice a week time”. But, before that happens, the forecasters say we are in for a hot dry weekend. Florida summer weather = continually changing.

Lee County Mosquito Control already is back to work, tracking when it rains, and keeping us skeeter-free, while the island is gearing up for the July 4th holiday with plenty annual celebratory events in the works. More details on the parade, scavenger hunt, and fireworks next week.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

This was an off week for the islands’ Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting. Instead teammate Dave accompanied a home inspection, while teammate Elise got her report ready with the Multiple Listing Service action since last Friday. Dave held several Open Houses again this week too. Attendance at those has slacked off, as have sales. There was just one new sale on Sanibel this week, none on Captiva.

The “Island Sun” gave me some good press with the following article on page 28 of today’s paper.

“Broker Makes Commitment to Excellence

“Susan Andrews, RSPS, SCIS, TRC, Eco-Broker, and Broker/Owner of SanibelSusan Realty Associates, Sanibel, FL, has earned the Commitment to Excellence from the National Association of Realtors®. This endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice.

  1. Client service
  2. Professional reputation
  3. Real estate law
  4. Realtor® Code of Ethics
  5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)
  6. Advocacy of real property ownership
  7. Trust and integrity
  8. Use of technology
  9. Data privacy
  10. Areas of practice

“Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business.

“The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables real estate professionals to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. As a broker-owner, in addition to demonstrating competency in all 10 areas, Susan Andrews was required to show a commitment to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes excellent customer service consistent with these standards.

““Earning the Commitment to Excellence endorsement is a true accomplishment and an affirmation to consumers that you stand for ethics and professionalism in your work,” says 2019 NAR President John Smaby. “Advances in technology and online user experience are making our business more and more seamless, and that’s fantastic,” Smaby says, “But with new technology can come vulnerabilities. A C2EX endorsement offers consumers the ease of mind that they have a skilled adviser, committed to conducting business at the highest standards, helping them through what may be the largest purchase or sale in their life.”

“The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

“This is Susan’s 30th year as a Realtor®, first in Virginia and on Sanibel for 27 years. At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, she has served as their President and received recognition as their Realtor of the Year, “Top Gun”, Community Service Award, and she is a 26-year member of their Honor Society. At the state level, as a member of their leadership team since 1998, she also is a 20-year member of the Florida Realtors® Honor Society. At the national level, Susan is the first island Realtor® inducted into the NAR Hall of Fame. Now, she also is first to earn the C2EX Endorsement.”

Shell Market (Bourse) This Weekend

This weekend during the Conchologists of America 48th Annual Convention at South Seas Plantation, is an event known as the largest shell market, “The Bourse”. With free admission and parking, it will feature about 30 vendors selling marine-related items and shells from all over the world. The word “bourse” dates back to the 1500’s in France and means “an exchange”. The Bourse will be open from Saturday June 22 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday June 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the South Seas Island Resort Convention Center, next to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill, on Captiva. Several island Shell Club pals are volunteering at the event.

Sanibel’s Five-Star Library

Did you know that in 2018, Sanibel Public Library was given the five-star designation? One of just 257 libraries in the nation, Sanibel Library is the only Five-Star in Florida, and one of only three in Florida who have earned Star designation. This is an objective ranking bases on overall circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance and public internet computer use. With more than 140,000 visits per year and usage rates that consistently rank it at or near the top of all libraries in the state of Florida, locals and visitors alike treasure the Library as a vital community asset.

Library Hours in the summer are:

  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays & Thursdays
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Fridays
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here are some fun summer events and programs for children and youth:

These are all on Tuesdays in June & July at 3 p.m.

  • June 25 – Showtime for Kids – All family & kid show with comedy, magic audience participation, & balloon sculpting.
  • July 2 – Tampa Bay Bats – Educational presentation & chance to see live bats.
  • July 9 – Stories & Slime – Stories & slime-making (for school-aged children)
  • July 16 – Sculpture Craft with the Kellys – Styrofoam sculpture crafting (for elementary school-aged children)
  • July 23 – World of Reptiles with John Storms – With real reptiles, big & small.

Movie Matinee Mondays at 1 p.m. – June 24, July 1, 8, 15, & 22.

Wednesday Family Storytime at 11 a.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Wednesday VIP After-Hours for Teens at 6 p.m. – June 26, July 3, 10, 17, & 24.

Why Aren’t Boomers Downsizing Their Homes?

This article was posted on-line Monday at FloridaRealtors®:

“NEWARK, N.J. – June 17, 2019 – It’s always been a sort of final chapter of the American dream: Get married and have kids. Buy a house. Move to a bigger house. Downsize to a smaller one. But a growing number of aging baby boomers are saying, “No, thanks” to downsizing, choosing instead to remain in the same sprawling houses in which they raised kids and created lifelong memories. “We’re just not seeing that much downsizing,” says Alexandra Lee, a housing data analyst at Trulia, a real estate research firm.

“While many older Americans are still stepping down to smaller homes, they’re doing so later in life. The trend is contributing to a housing supply shortage across much of the country. A more modest home typically means less upkeep and a potential financial windfall as a big chunk of the proceeds from the sale of the larger property can help bolster retirement nest eggs. Boomers, however, are defying the traditional bounds of advancing age just as they rebelled against the establishment in the 1960s and work- and family-centered values in the 1970s in favor of self-fulfillment. “They have refused to follow what the traditional expectations were,” says Barbara Risman, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“There are other forces at work. Boomers, generally those age 54 to 73, are working longer and putting off retirement. Many of their millennial children are living with them well into adulthood. And there’s a dire shortage of less expensive, entry-level houses across the country, pushing up prices in that category and making the trade-off less appealing.

“Fifty-two percent of boomers say they’ll never move from their current home, according to a Chase bank survey of 753 boomer homeowners released earlier this year. Chase doesn’t have comparable data from an earlier period. An Ipsos/USA TODAY poll of 45- to 65-year-olds in 2017 found 43% anticipated remaining in their current residence through their retirement, possibly indicating the share of non-downsizers is rising.

“Many boomers are staying in their longtime homes and communities because they’re deferring retirement. About 20% of Americans 65 and older are working or looking for jobs, up from 12.1% in 1996, Labor Department figures show. Older people are staying in the workforce because they’re healthier and will need bigger nest eggs to finance longer retirements, according to Jennifer Schramm, senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public policy Institute. Also, many older workers’ retirement savings were hammered a decade ago, she says….

“The tendency to age in place is also rooted in boomers’ better health and desire to stay active.”Baby boomers don’t want to become old in a way that has negative connotations,” Risman says. “Remaining in one’s old house is part of remaining in the prime of one’s life longer.”

“Even when they retire, boomers are staying engaged through volunteer work and other activities, says Phyllis Moen, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota. “They are in the space opening up for the first time in history between the career-and family-building years and the frailties associated with old age,” Moen says. Boomers’ penchant to stay in their long-time homes is likely playing a role in low housing supplies, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. The crunch has improved since last year, but housing stocks are still well below normal levels.

“To be sure, many aging Americans are moving to traditional retirement havens like Florida and Arizona. But even among those who plan to move, 43% want their next home to be the same size as their current one, and 22% want it to be larger, according to a January survey of 50- and 60-year-olds by Del Webb, which builds communities for age 55-plus Americans.

“Trulia analysts believe older Americans are simply deferring downsizing. Both in 2005 and 2016, 5.5% of households 65 and over moved, with that share evenly split between those moving to single-family and multifamily homes, according to a Trulia analysis of Census Bureau data. But in 2016, the youngest age at which seniors moving to multifamily homes began to outnumber those moving to single-family houses was older (late 70s) than it was in 2005 (early 70s)….

Other reasons many boomers are staying where they are:

  • Millennial kids in the house – Millennials have lived with their boomer parents longer than prior generations as those graduating college between 2008 and 2010, in particular, struggled to launch their careers. In 2016, 16.1% of senior households had younger generations living with them, up from 14.4% in 2005, according to Trulia and Census figures.
  • Starter home crunch – The housing supply shortage is especially curtailing the inventory of the kind of smaller, less expensive homes that boomers may target, Hale says. That makes it harder to find a compact house and pushes up its price, reducing the net profits of any downsizing. From 2012 to February 2019, the bottom third of homes with the lowest prices appreciated an average 8.03% a year, versus 6.39% for mid-level homes and 5.01% for the most expensive units, according to a Trulia analysis.
  • Many upgrading, not selling – Many boomers put off renovations during and after the housing crash because they couldn’t take out home equity loans as prices plunged, says Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing officer for Chase Home Lending. Now that home prices have more than recovered from a skid in prices, the Chase survey showed nearly nine in 10 boomers are looking to make improvements. As a result, many boomers are focused on upgrades rather than downsizing.
  • Many boomers have finally paid off their mortgages and don’t want to start making house payments again.”

Copyright © 2019 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

Don’t Feed Algae

Did you know Sanibel fertilizer ordinances to protect waterways, they include a blackout period from July 1 to September 30. During that time:

  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus CANNOT be applied.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied within 25’ of a body of water.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Fertilizers cannot be applied to storm-water conveyance systems.

Lenders Must Accept Private Flood Insurance Policies After July 1

Posted on-line Tuesday on FloridaRealtors®:

“WASHINGTON – June 18, 2019 – The threat to home closings during a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) shutdown may be muted or nonexistent should Congress fail to extend the program in the future. After July 1, a federal law forces mortgage lenders to accept private coverage if it satisfies criteria outlined in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

“In February, five federal regulatory agencies – the FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, National Credit Union Administration and Farm Credit Administration – issued a joint final rule to implement provisions of the Act, which outlines the new private flood insurance mandate and the steps insurance companies and mortgage lenders must follow.

“The rule, which takes effect July 1, 2019:

  • Implements the Biggert-Waters Act requirement that regulated lending institutions accept private flood insurance policies that satisfy criteria specified in the Act
  • Allows institutions to rely on an insurer’s written assurances in a private flood insurance policy stating the criteria are met
  • Clarifies that institutions may, under certain conditions, accept private flood insurance policies that do not meet the Biggert-Waters Act criteria
  • Allows institutions to accept certain flood coverage plans provided by mutual aid societies, subject to agency approval

“Private flood insurance could be offered as a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement attached to a full property insurance policy. Lenders won’t have to verify that a flood policy or endorsement is acceptable, providing it includes the following endorsement: “This policy meets the definition of private flood insurance contained in 42 U.S.C. 4012a(b)(7) and the corresponding regulation.”

“However, the law also allows a lender to do its own due diligence if it prefers not to rely on the statement.

A full copy of the 90-page order is posted on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 14-21, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings

1 price change: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $699,999.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 $249K, Sundial #G405 1/1 $375K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 $1.59M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

7 price changes: 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 now $639K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $824K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $839.5K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $875K, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M, 1730 Jewel Box Dr 4/3 now $1.499M, 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.599M.

1 new sale: 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 listed at $569,555.

5 closed sales: 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 $620K, 406 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $630K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $845K, 434 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $850K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $980K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1048 Fish Crow Rd $414.9K.

1 price change: 0 Bunting Ln now $219,555.

No new sales closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 now $320K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.385M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #901 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M, 16596 Captiva Dr 6/8.5 now $6.499M.

No 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 that you enjoy your longest day of 2019 & say cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another warm sunny week on the islands with more perfect beach weather expected right through the holiday weekend.

Lots of real estate activity for The SanibelSusan Team this week with action items accomplished both with listings and properties closing. When I came into the office last weekend, as I was driving down Periwinkle Way, passing the 4-way stop at Causeway Road, I remember thinking, how could there be so little traffic when just a few weeks ago, it was all stop. What a difference a month makes!

Rarely are the island roadways this quiet. The office phone rang only once last weekend, so funny that things got busier as the week progressed.

Those here now, continue to remark about how clear and bright the water is – often that striking vivid teal color, like the Caribbean. The gang at Jensen’s Marina out on Captiva also have reported excellent tarpon fishing this week.

More sunny days, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, are forecast for the next week plus – a great time to be enjoying life in SW Florida. Or coming to buy real estate!

There was no Association of Realtors Caravan meeting yesterday and not much sales action was reported in the islands Multiple Listing Service. The weekly report with that info follows a couple of news items below. There were no sales on Captiva and no condo or lot sales on Sanibel. Five Sanibel homes went under contract, though.

Here’s wishing all a happy safe Memorial Day weekend. When I lived in Maine, this weekend was considered the first of “summer”.

It’s always summer here! Or close to it. Exactly why I love it! The below photo illustrates how clear the water is here this week.

Here is a progress photo of the new building construction at BIG ARTS. Taken this morning. The new stage area is already poured! It’s going up fast!

2019 Lee County Market Report

A media release this week by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association includes statistics from the Florida Gulf Coast MLS. Here are some excerpts:

“May 21, 2019 – Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the month of April in year-over-years sales of single family (-6.8%), but a nice increase over March with 1,362 closed sales, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®… Broken down by cities, single family in Fort Myers was the only city that showed an increase (in number of sales) at 5.3%, year over year. All of the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year with Fort Myers Beach showing the largest decrease at -52.4% compared to last year.”

Their breakdown by City shows the following changes for number of sales and median sales prices, comparing sales in 2018 to 2019.

City Change in Number of Sales Change in Median Price $
Bonita Springs -12.8% -6.2%
Cape Coral -9% 3.3%
Estero -18.8% -0.5%
Fort Myers 5.3% -3.9%
Fort Myers Beach -52.4% 32.2%
Leigh Acres -13.8% 7.4%
North Fort Myers -5.9% 5.1%
Pine Island -13.3% 17.7%
Sanibel & Captiva -15.4% -28.2%

Season’s End: Status Update on Water Quality Initiatives

Below is an excellent write-up on recent initiates to improve local waters. Published this week in the “Island Reporter”, the authors are husband and wife team, Sarah Ashton and Jim Metzler. Sarah is a pal and fellow Realtor®. She and Jim are the co-chairs for the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge.

“As the tourist and Florida legislative seasons end, there are reasons for optimism relative to some of the recent initiatives to improve the quality of the water that surrounds the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, that optimism needs to be guarded, because so much more needs to be done. This column will highlight some of what has been accomplished in the last few months and some of the key initiatives that still need attention.

Everglades restoration

One major bright spot is the budget that the Florida Legislature recently passed includes $682 million for water quality, Everglades restoration and other environmental projects. The overall appropriation for Everglades-related projects is $322 million. This money will go toward both Everglades restoration and the early planning, design, and construction of the EAA reservoir. The cost of Everglades restoration, however, is supposed to be split 50-50 between the state of Florida and the federal government. In late January, all 27 Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting $200 million in funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In February, Florida’s governor and both U.S. senators sent a letter to the president in which they requested his sustained commitment of $200 million a year in construction funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In May, the South Florida Water Management District sent the president a similar letter. The president’s budget, which until earlier this week had only called for $70 million for Everglades restoration, now calls for $200 million. The budget also includes $40 million to speed up and complete the final phase of the project to raise the Tamiami Trail. When complete, this project will restore the flow of more than 900 million gallons per day of water flowing south into Everglades National Park.

Blue-green algae

The budget includes $10 million for a blue-green algae task force. As specified by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the goal of the task force is to identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. The creation of the blue-green algae task force is an important step forward. However, a large open question is what proactive policies the state of Florida will enact to estimate or at least reduce future algae blooms.

Septic systems

The budget includes $25 million for septic-to-sewer conversions. The importance of that budget item was highlighted by the recently published results of the first phase of a study of the sources of water pollution in the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. The study sampled surface and groundwater in North Fort Myers and found significant pollution as well as widespread septic dysfunction. Florida House Bill 85 addresses the problem of septic dysfunction by requiring homeowners with septic tanks to have the tanks pumped out and inspected every five years. That bill was indefinitely postponed.

Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically keeps the level of the water in Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. To improve the health of the lake, the Corps is exercising a one-time exception to that practice and is in the process of lowering the level to roughly 10.5 feet. That process, which many groups strongly object, should reduce the likelihood that the corps will have to make massive releases out of Lake Okeechobee this summer.

Stay vigilant

In total, a lot of progress has been made since last year’s ecological disaster. However, restoring the quality of the water that surrounds the refuge will be a long, demanding process and we are only in the early stages.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 17-24, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $719K, Seascape #304 3/3.5 $1.289M.

5 price changes: Seashells #42 2/2 now $379.9K, Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $419K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $770K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $799K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.35M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass 3D205 2/2 $450K, Villas Sanibel #2G 2/2 $660K, Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 $725K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.22M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $549.9K; 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $629K; 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $639,555; 1800 Ardsley way 3/2 $695,555; 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $699K; 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $799K (our listing) (photos below).

9 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $399K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $595K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $649.9K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $650K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $738K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $799K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 now $900K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.15M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.989M.

5 new sales: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $529.5K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $549.9K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $679K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2listed at $897K.

14 closed sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $540K, 9446 Arum Ct 4/2 $544K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $570K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $640K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $700K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $700K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $840K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $900K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $900K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $975K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $990K, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1M, 5609 Baltusrol Ct 5/5.5 $1.31M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1,409,666.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.292M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.22M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 now $2.695M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.85M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4M, 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $6.3M.

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, don’t forget the holiday!

Also don’t forget Sunday is the last Sanibel Farmers’ Market until October. 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Almost Mother’s Day on Sanibel & Captiva


Another sunny Sanibel Friday has arrived. The rainy season may be beginning as the first of the big white summer popcorn clouds rolled in late yesterday which resulted in some island showers last night. This afternoon, after a morning of bright blue sky, it looks like those clouds again are forming on the eastern horizon. Early summer is when rain often come across the state & rolls onto the island from the mainland. The joke is that though the rest of Lee County gets wet from these showers, they always don’t make it to the island – as they don’t have toll money.

This was the first week of the Association of Realtors® off-season biweekly Caravan schedule, so there was no meeting yesterday. There has been some sales activity though, three condos and two homes on Sanibel went under contract this week. I got one of them done last Sunday with folks who viewed Saturday and were at the airport boarding. Gotta love modern technology!

Mom & child

The SanibelSusan Team wishes all the Mom’s a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follow a couple of news items.

A Look at the Real Estate Market Nationally

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Realtor® magazine’s May-June 2019 issue had another article from my favorite economist, Lawrence Yun. Though his comments are about real estate nationally, it has good news.

“Consumer confidence remains high and many people are saying now is a good time to buy. Inventory is also increasing, reducing buyers’ concerns they’ll be elbowed out of the way whey they try to buy.

“But the market is bifurcated. Moderately priced homes are in high demand while upper-end homes are moving slowly. Affordability is what consumers are looking for….

“With the economy set to grow this year, we expect to set a record with more than 120 consecutive months of GDP expansion. More than 20 million net new jobs have been added, and the average wage has increased to $23.18 per hour, up 3.5%, the largest annual rise in a decade. Consumer confidence is following suite; the index reached 124 in March compared to the 50-year average figure of 93. Moreover, 37% of consumers strongly believe now is a good time to buy, according to National Association of Realtors® figures for the 1st quarter of 2019, up from 34% in the prior quarter. Low mortgages rate help. But a good economy and more inventory are also boosting consumers’ outlook….”

“Existing home sales jumped almost 12% in February. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes the surge largely to the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low for the remainder of the year. The one-month gain is among the largest ever recorded by NAR.”

Want Flood Insurance for Hurricane Season? Hurry Up!NationalFloodInsuranceProgr

Good reminder article posted on-line at Florida Realtors® on Monday:

“WASHINGTON – May 6, 2019 – While some Florida homeowners have private options, national flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period in most cases – and hurricane season starts in 25 days.

“As it stands now, the entire National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expires on May 31, 2019. Should that happen, homeowners won’t lose coverage, but homebuyers may not be able to secure coverage even if it’s demanded by their lender. Congress may have a new plan in place for the program by then, or they may authorize a short-term extension as they have done in the past.

“In any case, homeowners and buyers should prepare for the possibility of another NFIP hiatus. NFIP issued the following commonly asked questions about flood insurance coverage:

Why do I need flood insurance? Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods, and it’s wise to consider flood insurance even if you are not required to purchase it. Even if you live outside a high-risk flood zone, called a Special Flood Hazard Area, it’s a wise decision to buy flood insurance. In fact, statistics show that people who live outside high-risk areas file more than 25% of flood claims nationwide.

“It’s often said that wherever it rains, it can flood. So, while flood zones are specific geographic areas where there is a higher statistical probability of a flood occurring, floods do occur elsewhere. Florida, for example, has exceeded that statistical probability, putting more homes and properties at risk than expected over the last five years.

“FEMA calculates that just three inches of floodwater in a home likely will require replacing drywall, baseboards, carpets, furniture and making other necessary repairs. If you don’t have flood insurance, your likely out-of-pocket cost (based on a 1,500-square-foot, one-floor home) is estimated at $15,000. For six inches of water, estimated loss jumps to an estimated $23,000. And 18 inches or more could require repairs to electrical, heating and cooling systems plus replacing doors, appliances and cabinetry. The estimated cost: $30,000.

“How does flood insurance work? If a community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), both building and contents coverage can be included in a policy for homeowners and businesses. Renters can get coverage for contents only. Policies issued by the NFIP pay even if a federal disaster isn’t declared.

“In Florida and other states recently impacted by hurricanes, NFIP streamlined the claims process, enabling policyholders to receive advance payments to jump-start rebuilding. Some policyholders were recently able to get advance payments up to $5,000 without an adjuster visit or additional documentation. Some received advance payments of up to $20,000 if they had photos/video evidence and receipts or a contractor’s estimate.

A Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate-to-low risk areas. This policy can be purchased for as little as $325 per year.

“When should I buy a policy? As soon as possible. There’s a waiting period. NFIP cannot pay a claim without a policy in effect when damage occurs. A new insurance policy from NFIP becomes effective 30 days after you buy it, unless the purchase is associated with the origination, renewal or extension of a federally backed loan on property in a high-risk area.

“Even if I’m not in a flood hazard area, can I purchase flood insurance? Yes, providing your community participates in NFIP. You’re eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area.

“Can I get flood insurance if I’m renting a property? Yes. If you live in a community that participates in NFIP as a renter, flood insurance covers the contents of your home, apartment or business at a rented location. An insurance agent can talk about the costs and ways to lower those costs.

“NFIP policy holders choose their amount of coverage. The maximum for one to four family residential structures is $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. For residential structures of five or more units, the maximum is $500,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage. The maximum for businesses is $500,000 in building coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage.

“How much will I get from NFIP after flood damage? There are some misconceptions about the amount a policyholder will receive following flood-caused damage. While a policy may state it covers losses up to a certain amount:

  • The amount paid to the policyholder on a homeowner’s flood insurance policy will cover only the cost of actual damage caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid on contents will cover only actual losses caused by the flood.
  • The amount paid to businesses covered for structure and contents will be only for actual losses by the flood.

“Where can I buy flood insurance? Contacting your insurance company or agent. For an agent referral call 800-427-4661 or visit FloodSmart.gov.”

SanibelSusan Realty has the following local insurance providers on their vendor list:

Visit the BIG ARTS Construction Site

If you are wondering about the progress of the new facility being constructed at BIG ARTS on Dunlop Road next to City Hall & the Historical Village & Museum, they have installed a camera on the construction site. You can click on the video all summer on at https://bigarts.org

 

Work is ahead of schedule with the grand opening expected in January 2020. In the meantime, BIG ARTS staff have expanded their temporary office space behind SanibelSusan Realty.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 3-10, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 $470K, Gulfside Place #326 2/2 $1.449M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 $1.55M.

5 price changes: Sand Pointe #111 2/2 now $684.5K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $739K, Sundial #P203 2/2 now $899K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 now $1.05M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 now $1.295M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $544K, Cottage Colony West #112 1/1 listed at $605.9K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $675K.

5 closed sales: Island Beach Club #310B 2/2 $635K, Oceans Reach #4B1 1/1 $680K, Sundial #A201 2/2 $825K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $870K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 $1.045M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $665K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $985K, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.949M.

12 price changes: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex now $549K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $599K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $649K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $810K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $924.9K, 1244 Par View Dr 4/3 now $979K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.169M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/3.5 now $1.189M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.299M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.349M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 now $3.199M, 6111 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4/3 now $16.895M.

2 new sales: 5869 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $595K (our buyer), 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K.

5 closed sales: 1018 Demere Ln 4/2 $599K, 1160 Junonia St 3/2 $700K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $1.15M, 928 Beach Rd 4/3 $1.295M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $5.25M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2438 Wulfert Rd $349K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6217 Starling Way $1.3M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.73M.

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.

mother-duckUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The clip art to the right is reminiscent of Dave’s open house yesterday on Limpet Dr. He found ducks frolicking in the swimming pool. “When the owners’ away, the ducks will play.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sanibel Bunnies, Easter, & Real Estate


Though the national news this week has been filled with reports of late snow and winter storms up north, on Sanibel and Captiva Islands the weather again has been almost summerlike, including a couple of midweek showers.

marsh bunnyHere at SanibelSquare the bunny population continues to explode. I haven’t been able to get to my phone quickly enough to get a photo of the entire group at once. Usually when I am leaving in the office in the evening, I am the last car out of the parking lot. That’s when they are out chowing down on the grassy area in front of my car.

I’ve seen as many as six together (three grown-ups and three small ones). They sure are cute. I’m featuring a few photos of them in my Easter ad next week in the “Island Sun”.

SanibelSusan’s Real Estate Market Predictions

An island homeowner who lives in Gumbo Limbo dropped in at the office recently and asked about the real estate market. He often bikes his neighborhood and was surprised to see so many “for sale” signs.For sale sign

Gumbo Limbo probably offers a good market representation. Today, there are 13 homes for sale there. In a community with fewer than 200 properties, to the passer-by, that may seem alike a lot for sale at once. Looking at the community’s sales history, in 2017, 12 Gumbo Limbo homes sold. Last year, only six, plus a vacant lot. Year-to-date one home has sold and closed, while two other homes and our lot listing are under contract.

Do these numbers reflect that inventory is up and are prices down? Yes, inventory is up and prices may be trending down, but it probably is too soon to make that prediction. I prefer to view the status of the market today as a correction to the downturn caused by the water quality issues of last summer.

When I stopped on my way home midweek to view the progress at our bayfront listing that is undergoing renovation, I couldn’t help but take a couple of pictures of the water in San Carlos Bay (see below). Unlike its appearance last fall, it was as beautiful as I remember seeing it, in all my 30-some years here. You know the look, sparkling clear and bright teal in color, like often photographed in the Caribbean.

04-10-19 San Carlos 104-10-19 San Carlos 2

Inventory is up because there have been fewer sales. Fewer visitors came to the island this winter. Traffic reports about causeway traffic indicate that fewer cars came onto the island last month which usually is the busiest month here. Late 2018 traffic was off even more. I’ll never forget the times last year that I drove across the causeway and did not see a vehicle (on land or water) or a person or bird in any direction. It was eerie.

The good news is that from that catastrophe, more positive “water” things are happening, more people are involved, more water solutions are in the works, more money is being allocated to fund solutions, and construction is underway on others. Unfortunately, the results of those efforts take time to implement. Seems that the good news takes longer to disseminate than the bad news – which seems to spread fast!

Perhaps some would-be first-time island winter visitors this year decided to vacation elsewhere. Can’t blame them for that, if they don’t really know what the beaches and waterways really are like. Future rental bookings with many income-producing properties are showing less income this year too.

What will happen to the islands’ real estate market in the upcoming months? That’s tough to predict. Often there are buyers that return in the spring who are folks that vacationed here in the winter but could not view all the listings that met their requirements. This year there are plenty of choices for those returning prospects.

In the spring, do these buyers sometimes try to negotiate better terms thinking sellers may not want to hold a property over the slower summer selling season which also is hurricane-prone rainy season? I’m sure you know the answer to that.

Some folks think the economy and political unrest are affecting the market today. They may be true to some extent, but I think that island lovers will continue to see the value in owning a piece of paradise where winter weather is tropical, development is controlled, island ambience is like stepping back in time, and concerned citizens are pro-environment and taking action to protect the areas we live in, work in, and love.

Some also say that the upcoming Federal elections in 2020 will affect real estate sales here. It could be that the islands are immune to that hype. Historical data does not support that elections affect sales, other than maybe the few days around and including the actual voting day.

crystal ballMy crystal ball says that provided there are no national emergencies or hurricanes, the Sanibel and Captiva market will continue to rebound from the downturn of last year. Yes, it’s a good time to buy because there is plenty of good inventory, but it also is a good time for sellers, particularly those that have their properties priced right.

Upcoming Holiday Happenings

In response to inquiries about events over the holiday next weekend, here is a summary:

Helping Those Needing a Hand-Up

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva is assembling Easter food and bunny baskets for those in the community needing a hand-up during the holiday. To donate items, please call 239-472-4775. Distributions will be on April 17 & 18.

Family Events

  • happy easter“25th Annual Spring Festival” to benefit The Children’s Center of the Island at Sanibel Community Park, across the street form SanibelSusan Realty, Saturday, April 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. with Easter egg hunt for children of all ages followed by pony & unicorn rides, face painting, slide, games/crafts, & more. The Easter bunny will be there for photos at 10:15 a.m.
  • “Community Easter Egg Hunt” at Sanibel Community Church, Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. includes thousands of eggs, pony rides, games, bounce houses, face painting, lunch, & more.
  • “Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Dolphin Cruise” by Adventures in Paradise aboard 45’ power catamaran departing at 9 a.m. Easter Sunday from Port Sanibel Marina, reservations needed 239-472-8443.Sanibel farmers market bike

Sanibel Farmers Market – open Easter Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall.

Easter Sunday Services

  • “Annual Sunrise Celebration on the Beach” by Sanibel Community Church on Causeway Island A at dawn. More info at www.SanibelChurch.com
  • Also, services at the church (Sanibel Community Church) at 8, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Captiva’s Chapel by the Sea at 11 a.m. More info at www.CaptivaChapel.com
  • Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ services at 7:45, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • Saint Isabel Catholic Church services at 7, 9, & 11 a.m.
  • St. Michaels & All Angels Episcopal Church services at 7:30, 9:30, & 11:30 a.m.

Easter Eats

  • “Easter on the Gulf” at Sundial Beach Resort with seating on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call for reservations 239-395-6017.
  • “Sunday Brunch Buffet” at The Fish House Restaurant from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • “Easter Dinner” at Traditions on the Beach from 4 p.m., reservations recommended 239-472-4559

Recession Fears “Over Blown”

Florida Realtors logoPosted Wednesday on FloridaRealtors® on-line, this article has an interesting perspective on how past recessions affect home values.

Arch-logo“GREENSBORO, N.C. – Apr 10, 2019 – Research on how past recessions affected home values shows current conditions – including a shortfall in housing construction – likely mean the next recession will have a less severe impact on housing than the recession in 2008 did, according to the spring edition of The Housing and Mortgage Market Review (HaMMR) by Arch Mortgage Insurance Company.

“Housing market trends are now nearly the complete opposite of conditions in the months prior to the Great Recession, according to Dr. Ralph G. DeFranco, global chief economist for Arch Capital Services. “A recession is inevitable at some point, but it’s likely to be far less severe for the housing market than the Great Recession,” DeFranco says. “We estimate that the current market is underbuilt by 1 million or more homes, buyers are more cautious and loan quality is far higher. In 2007, conditions were completely flipped: housing was hugely overbuilt, speculative demand was off the charts and the market was awash with high-risk loan products.”

“DeFranco also notes that home prices were overvalued by 25% or more then and are closer to expected values now. “In the 11 recessions recorded over the past 80 years, major price declines for housing have been more the exception than the rule, with home values only turning negative once in the five recessions since 1975,” he says. “The ongoing housing shortage is likely to limit price declines in a recession to 0-5% for a year or two before home values start to recover.”

“The quarterly Arch MI Risk Index, a statistical model based on nine indicators of the health of local housing markets, suggests that the probability U.S. home prices will be lower in two years is 9%, an increase from 6% in the previous HaMMR.

“In Florida, an Arch index infographic suggests that Florida home values have only a 6% chance of declining in two years. However, a higher risk (25%) in Miami suggests the chances are even lower in the rest of the state.

Nationally, the overall risk of a decline in home prices remains better than the historic average of 17%. Every state is expected to have positive home price growth over the next two years, continuing recent trends.

“The states with the highest risk of lower home prices in two years are North Dakota (27%), Alaska (24%), Wyoming (23%) and Connecticut and West Virginia, both at 22%.

“Among the 100 largest metros, the areas with the highest risk of having lower home prices in two years are Miami and San Antonio, Texas (25%), because of overvalued home prices. Those areas are followed by three metros in Connecticut – Bridgeport-Stamford, Hartford and New Haven (all at 22%) – which have shrinking populations of homebuyers and a state economy that lags behind the nation.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 5-12, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Seashells #15 2/2 $439K, Captains Walk #F4 2/2 $349K (our listing) (exterior photo below – professional interior photos & streaming video coming after estate sale next week), Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 $689K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $899K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.

9 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $339K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $465.9K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 now $499.9K, Sunset South #1A 2/2 now $720K, Sanibel Moorings #1111 2/2 now $969K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 now $1.05M, Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.299M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.595M, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.997M.

1 new sale: Gulfside Place #305 2/2 listed at $1.249M.

3 closed sales: Sunset South #9B 2/2 $565K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $740K, Pine Cove #204 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

13 new listings: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $479K; 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $495K; 9406 Beverly Ln 3/2 $629K; 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K; 1731 Serenity Ln 4/3 $699,999; 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $759K; 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $897K; 788 Nerita St 3/3 $949K; 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.169M; 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.329M; 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.444M; 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.699M.

17 price changes: 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $679K; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719.9K; 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $739K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $759K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $759K; 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $769K; 686 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $799K; 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $849K; 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $899K; 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $999,999; 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.15M; 430 Glory Cir 4/5.5 now $1.275M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.4695M; 6425 Pine Ave 4/3 now $1.489M; 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 now $1.539M; 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.995M.

9 new sales: 6141 Henderson Rd 2/1.5 listed at $424.5K, 1870 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $575K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $699K, 1217 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $729K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $850K, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $1.189M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.245M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 listed at $1.399M.

4 closed sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $580K, 1438 Causey Ct 3/2 $849.5K, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $889K, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $970K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2462 Wulfert Rd $229K, 2133 Starfish Ln $419K.

2 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $329K, 1219 Par View Dr now $349K.

2 new sales: 1204 Par View Dr listed at $329K; 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct listed at $377,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $829K.

No new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16798/802 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $5.75M.

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… enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

 

Update of Island Real Estate & Life on the Gulf of Mexico


It has been another week of beautiful summer-like weather on the islands.

Photos below taken by JMA Photography at Gulfside Place where The SanibelSusan Team has a new listing overlooking this beautiful Gulf of Mexico beach. On the 2nd floor, this condo was just remodeled top-to-bottom.DCIM100MEDIADJI_0893.JPG

 

Island traffic and occupancy are down a little, making the Periwinkle trek more manageable than in recent weeks. For buyers, now through Memorial Day is an excellent time to both look and purchase.

Sanibel realtors logoAt the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, a handful of new sales were announced, along with more price reductions. Just nine new west-end listings open for viewing. The east-end one week, west-end the next, Caravan rotation will end this month with new listings in any location allowed beginning May 1 and running through the summer.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items. Inventory on both islands remains high with vacation rentals tapering off as northern weather improves and snowbirds head home.

Sanibel Historical Village Remains Open During BIG ARTS Construction

Museum LogoThe Sanibel Historical Village will remain open during the ongoing BIG ARTS construction project. The project will continue through the remainder of the historical village’s season and into next season, with parking and access available for village guests and volunteers.

Last week, the traditional entrance to the village was closed off and a new temporary entrance made, just west of the former exit drive. That drive will now function as both an entrance and exit access. Signs were added at both places.

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumThe Sanibel Historical Village is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The village is at 950 Dunlop Road (next to BIG ARTS) and there is handicap access to the buildings. Admission is $10 for adults over 18, with members and children free. For more info or to donate, visit http://www.sanibelmuseum.org or call (239) 472-4648.

Condos, Rentals, Etc.: If You Break It, You Fix It

Florida Realtors logoSourced to Florida real estate attorney, Gary M. Singer, the below article was posted on-line at FloridaRealtors®.

“April 1, 2019 – Question: The tub in my condo flooded and my kitchen and the public hallway were damaged. I do not have insurance. My association wants me to pay for the repairs. Do I have to? – Alina

Question: I replaced the shutters on my condo with impact windows. Am I responsible for fixing the holes on the exterior? – Trish

“Answer: If your actions cause damage to another person or business, you are responsible. While your condominium association is responsible for repairing and maintaining the common areas, it is allowed to seek reimbursement if someone purposefully or negligently caused the damage.

“This idea does not just apply to condos; it is consistent throughout the law. If you drive over your neighbor’s mailbox, leave your tools out and someone trips, or are texting and bump into another car, you can be held responsible and be asked to pay for the damage you caused.

“If you purposefully caused the damage, like the reader leaving holes in the exterior of her unit, you will need to pay for the repair. If you do not, the association will hire someone to do it, and the bill will probably be higher than if you hired the contractor. It is always easier to spend someone else’s money.

“The analysis can be more complicated when the damage was not intentional. A flood can be caused by many reasons. If the tub overfilled because you left it on and forgot about it when the phone rang, you can count on footing the bill. If it flooded because a pipe burst that should have been maintained by the building, you may be off the hook. Sometimes bad things happen, and there is no one to blame.

“You should talk with your association about the damage and try to come to a compromise that you both can live with. See if they can get their insurance involved and offer to split the deductible or find a competent contractor that is more reasonably priced than the one your community wants to use.

“I cannot recommend strongly enough that you should get insurance even if you live in a condo. While no one likes to pay insurance premiums, it is much harder to pay for accidental damage or write a big check to a lawyer because your unnoticed leak ruined the apartment below you and they decided to take you to court.

“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. © 2019 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.”

What Does a ‘Normal’ Housing Market Look Like? This One

wall street journalPosted this week on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to the “Wall Street Journal” (04/01/19):

“NEW YORK – April 2, 2019 – The spring home-buying season could be the best in years, with falling mortgage rates and rising inventory already reducing bidding wars and resulting in price cuts.

“”It’s been a rough go for homebuyers since the bottom of the housing market, and there are signs we’re entering a period of normalcy,” says CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin.

McLaughlin believes current conditions could be the most favorable for buyers since the housing market bottomed in 2012.

“However, economists say that even as activity rises, it’s unlikely that the market will return to a period of booming home sales. Nationally, home prices have jumped more than 50% since the bottom of the market in 2012, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which has made affordability a challenge for many buyers.

“Economists note that inventory is rising – not necessarily because more homeowners are putting their homes on the market but because homes are taking longer to sell.

“”All the signs are pointing to the fact that people are just having a harder time selling their homes,” says Trulia chief economist Issi Romem.

“However, it appears that buyers are reaching deals faster, with Redfin data showing that the time it takes a buyer to find a home has hit a six-year low of 73 days.

“Mike McCann, an associate broker at Keller Williams Philly, notes: “It’s a good time to buy as long as you’re going to stay in the property five-plus years.””

Upcoming Island Events

SancapCares201919th Annual SanCap Cares Celebration – Sunday, April 7, at The Sanctuary, to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. More info at www.SanCapCares.org.

Annual PoetryFest – Monday, April 8, at 3:30 p.m. in Room Four at the Sanibel Library.

“Southern Comfort” – End-of-Season 5th Annual CROW Fundraiser, next Friday, April 12, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Community House. Includes dinner, games, auction, raffles.

Octifest2019“Octifest” on the Beach – Sanibel Sea School Fundraiser, Saturday, April 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Sanibel Causeway Island A. Tickets at www.OctiFest.org.

8th Annual “Beer in the Bushes” – SCCF fundraiser on Saturday, April 20 from 6 to 10 p.m., reservations at www.beerinthebushes.com

What You May or May Not Want to Know About Termitesroyalcoast_home_top_logo

From Nov 2018 “Connect” magazine by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association, by Jason Woodbury, Infinite Pest Solutions:

“If there’s one thing every homeowner dreads – it’s termites. It may be a topic you’ve heard a lot about but don’t necessarily KNOW a lot about. Southwest Florida is one of the “hottest” areas in the entire world for termite activity. Given that fact, there is a lot of misinformation about termites as well, so here are some fast facts about the different types of termites.

“Subterranean termites have very high moisture requirements, so they need contact with the soil. For this reason, mud tubes are created to move between the soil and wood. Inside damaged wood, you will see soil as well. A “mature” colony will have about 60,000 to 3 million individuals and takes 4-10 years to become mature. They can eat 2.5 feet of 2×4 wood in a year, and basically eat WITH the grain. Due to the high moisture content, these can be detected with visual inspection, moisture meters, and infrared cameras. Subterranean termites can be treated with soil or spot treatment, as well as fumigation and baiting. All new homes built in the state of Florida are required to be pre-treated for subterranean termites.

“Drywood termites are completely aerial, meaning they do not need contact with the soil. Due to lower moisture requirements, they are not as easily detected with moisture meters and infrared cameras. Visual detection such as finding termite swarmer wings or termite droppings is how a drywood colony is found. Drywood colonies will have up to 3,000 individuals and it takes up to 15 years to become fully mature. Being significantly smaller colonies, they eat much less wood than Subterranean termites. Drywoods eat ACROSS the grain of the wood. New construction in Florida is NOT required to be pretreated for drywood termites….

“There are also a couple of invasive species of termites that are less common but are taking over the habitat in this area. These are Formosan and Asian Termites. It has been confirmed that they have been able to hybridize in the wild (swarming at the same time). These termites are significantly more aggressive than native species, eating up to 50 feet of 2×4 wood each year, and having 10 million individuals in a colony. If you are interested in learning more, the University of Florida has an interactive map of locations where invasive species have been identified by an entomologist. This can be found at: http://www.flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/termites-in-florida/termite-distribution/

Note from SanibelSusan – Because most Sanibel/Captiva property is built on sand (rather than soil), termites here generally are the drywood variety. When I came to Sanibel over 27 years ago, rarely were termites discovered during a home inspection. Today, it’s more unusual for them NOT to be found.

The tropical rough-headed drywood termite swarms at night, from April through July. The tropical smooth-headed drywood termite can swarm any time of the year. Most of those colonies swarm in the afternoon between March and May. The western drywood termite has been identified during the day along both coasts in Florida.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 29-Apr 5, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells #31 2/2 $439K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 $579K, Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $599K, High Tide #101 2/2 $1.495M.

11 price changes: Sundial #H210 1/1 now $389K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 now $544K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 now $650K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 now $658K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 now $669K, Kings Crown #213 2/2 now $799K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 now $819.9K, Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 now $924.9K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 now $1.059M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.49M, Wedgewood #203 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 listed at $569K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-1, 2/2.5 listed at $640K, Villa Sanibel #2G 2/2 listed at $685K.

6 closed sales: Seashells #3 2/2 $425K, Spanish Cay #C2 2/2 $450K, Sundial #B407 1/1 $492K, Loggerhead Cay #233 2/2 $675K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $650K, Shorewood #3C 3/2 $1.31M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 6141 Henderson Rd 2/1.5 $424.5K, 1607 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $579K, 9401 Beverly Ln 3/2 $769K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $850K, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $3.4M.

17 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $436.5K, 1442 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $649K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $750K, 702 Durion Ct 3/2 now $779K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 now $799K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 now $824K, 501 Lagoon Dr 3/2 now $899K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $989K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.199M, 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.245M, 430 Glory Cir 4/5.5 now $1.295M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.298M, 532 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 now $1.298M, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #2C 3/3 now $1.495M (our listing – view in below photo), 815 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.649M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.67M.View c (2)

10 new sales: 9446 Arum Ct 4/2 listed at $549K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 listed at $599K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 listed at $739K, 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 listed at $895K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 listed at $954K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed at $999K, 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.195M, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 listed at $1.199M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.295M, 2502 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.849M.

9 closed sales: 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 $530.2K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $650K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $695K, 3136 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $865K, 225 Violet Dr 3/2 $925K, 1230 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $1.05M, 1248 Par View Dr 4/4.5 $1.1M, 1653 Hibiscus Ln 3/2 $1.3M, 2251 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.375M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 9345 Dimmick Dr $365K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln $699K.

1 price change: 6141 Starling Way now $947K.

2 new sales: 9441 Peaceful Dr listed at $249K (our listing), 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd listed at $649K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 $355K.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $839K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $4.5M.

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, here’s wishing you wonderful weather too! If it’s not, come to Sanibel & Captiva Islands where we love to share island life & the weather!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

MaliaLogoFINP.S. I had lunch today at Malia (located on Par View Drive within Beachview Country Club Estates, next to Sanibel Island Golf Club). Also had dinner there last weekend. Both meals were excellent. If you haven’t been & enjoyed a “poke bowl”, you are missing out. Those are only available at lunch or you can create your own at their sister establishment Spoondrift Bowls in The Bailey’s Shopping Center. Healthy yummy zippy crunchy!

Redfish Pass South Seas to North Cap Apr 2 2017

At Redfish Pass between South Seas Lands End, Captiva, & North Captiva

 

Wrapping Up 1st Quarter on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


BeachIt’s SanibelSusan with the week’s real estate update. As the end of “high season” approaches and with continued price reductions, it has become a great time to buy. Now that it’s almost the end of first quarter, below are sales statistics followed by some recent articles about real estate and the economy.

The number of new sales announced yesterday at the local island Realtor® Caravan Meeting was an improvement over the last couple weeks. We hope the trend continues.

A few rental organizations have reported that April reservations are off, so some have reduced their “high season” rates in hopes of getting more bookings. They say it’s working! So, it’s a great time to schedule an island spring visit. The weather here is fantastic – mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s to low 80’s.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate – First Quarter to March 29, Last Year Compared to 2019

1st quarter 2018 1st quarter 2019
Sanibel Condos
# of sales 33 30
Average sale price $749,628 $603,292
# of price reductions 68 80
Sanibel Homes
# of sales 60 35
Average sale price $1,269,355 $1,143,691
# of price reductions 194 228
Captiva Condos
# of sales 11 7
Average sale price $911,783 $1,292,571
# of price reductions 7 14
Captiva Homes
# of sales 8 1
Average sale price $2,462,500 $2,800,000
# of price reductions 16 30

Another Decrease in Closed Sales for February

royalcoast_home_top_logoShortly after posting the Friday update last week, the below press release was issued by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association. This county snapshot covers Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Leigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island, and Sanibel/Captiva.

“Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the fifth straight month in February, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®. Year-over-year, sales were down for both, but only by 4% for single family and 1% for condos.…The active listings have risen for the last six months, pushing inventory up to its highest since 2015…Broken down by cities, Single Family sales in Bonita Springs and Pine Island again saw an increase in the number of Closed Sales, year-over-year. All the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year, with Sanibel/Captiva showing the largest decrease at -45.5% compared to last year…”

Here’s Another Perspective – “Freddie Mac: Economy Dicey, But We’re Bullish on Housing”

FreddieMacLogo_3The below are article was posted on Florida Realtors® Wednesday and sourced to Freddie Mac. Today, Florida Realtors® also posted that mortgage rates just made their biggest drop in a decade.

“Lower mortgage rates are making for a rosy spring selling season, even if the economy is starting to show some sluggishness, economists note in Freddie Mac’s March forecast.

“”The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of gaining momentum.”

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to a 4.28% average last week – lower than the 4.45% average from a year ago, Freddie Mac reports. “Mortgage rates have dipped quite dramatically since the start of the year and house prices continue to moderate, which should help on the homebuyer affordability front,” Khater says. Freddie economists predict that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 4.5% in 2019 and increase to 4.8% in 2020.

“Home price growth likely will continue to slow, researchers note. Freddie is projecting annual home price growth increases of 3.5% in 2019 and then 2.5% in 2020.

““But with demand growing for housing, Freddie Mac economists are upbeat that housing construction will increase this year. Total housing starts will likely increase over the next two years, with the most growth coming from the single-family housing segment, according to the report. Total housing starts are forecasted to rise to 1.27 million units in 2019 and to 1.33 million units in 2020.

“However, while the housing market looks poised to gain steam, the economy overall is showing some signs of weakening compared with a year ago. A decline in consumer spending has lowered economists’ GDP growth rate forecasts for the first quarter of 2019 to 1.2%.”

seahorse-festivalSanibel School Seahorse Festival 2019

Tomorrow, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3840 San-Cap Road is the annual school fund raiser with food trucks, live music, silent auction, inflatable and obstacle courses and games for all ages.

Free admission with unlimited Kid Zone wristbands for $20. More info at http://TheSanibelSchoolPTA.com.

Sanibel Estates Annual Meeting

Last night was the annual meeting of my Homeowners Association, Sanibel Estates. Held at The Community House, as many of the meetings are, we were treated with City updates by both City Manager Judie Zimomra and Police Lt. Grace Towler, followed by and a community update by our Association President, Former Sanibel Mayor Jerry Muench.Sanibel estates mtg 03-18-19

A few tidbits include:

News You Can Use – Citizens were encouraged to receive City news electronically. Sign up today at www.MySanibel.com to get “news you can use”. You can specify your preferences, i.e. construction projects, travel, trash collection times, weather, traffic advisories, meeting agenda (City Council, Planning Commission), etc.

2019 Sanibel Hurricane Seminar – Scheduled for Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. at The Community House. If you can’t attend, it will be videoed and on the City website following the event. Be sure and keep your Hurricane Pass in your car glove box to ensure quick access back on the island after a storm.

When to Call the Non-Emergency Police Department # – For information on identity theft, to report an iguana or other invasive species, to put your property on the City’s dark home or vacation check.

Proposed Dredging Funding – The current City resolution adopted in 2011 estimated the need to dredge the canal entrance into the bay every two years with the City contributing 33%, property owners’ associations contributing 27%, and the marina 40%. With more summer storms and dredging underway now, the City is recommending that the homeowners’ assessment, currently $20/annually for each canal-front property, be increased to $40/annually, plus a one-time assessment of $40 in fiscal year 2020. The timeline for changing this special assessment includes working through the proper channels of City and county governments, presumably with the updated assessment reflected on property tax notices this November.

East-End Fire/Rescue Improvements – Studies are underway analyzing responses to east-end emergencies with consideration toward bettering those times and perhaps adding a facility or equipment on that end of the island. Mention was made of the kitchen fire last week at Sandalfoot condominiums and the quick response by both Sanibel and Iona/McGregor departments.

No HOA Fee in 2019 – With good resources on-hand and beach accesses and bridges in good condition, no HOA fee will be charged to owners in Sanibel Estates this year.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 22-29, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #11A 2/2 $639K, Tarpon Beach #304 2/2 $1.029M, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.429M (our listing). Bottom photo below is the view from #222.

7 price changes: Sundial #H108 1/1 now $438,999; Blind Pass #D205 2/2 now $460K; Sundial #H409 1/1 now $519K; Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 now $639K; Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 now $749K; Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 now $789K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.029M.

9 new sales: Sanibel Arms #D2 1/1 listed at $399K, Sundial #I401 1/1 listed at $489.9K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 listed at $525K, Sanibel Arms West #K1 2/2 listed at $569K, Island Beach Club #310B 2/2 listed at $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 listed at $859K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 listed at $929K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 listed at $1.095M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 listed at $1.25M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $225K, Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 $305K, Tennisplace #E24 2/1.5 $314K, Sundial #J101 1/1 $423K, Atrium #207 2/2 $1.484M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 $699K (our listing) (photos below), 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 6/2 $799K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 $949K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 $950K, 2510 Harbour Ln 2/2 $1.199M, 5089 Joewood Dr 5/4 $3.495M.

19 price changes: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 now $599K; 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $610K; 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $619K; 3350 Barra Cir 3/2 now $649,946; 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 now $739K; 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $747K; 4787 Rue Helene 4/3 now $895K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $899K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $954K; 510 Sea Oats Dr 3/2.5 now $969K; 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now 1.035M; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.15M; 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $1.199M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.27M; 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.649M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.685M; 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 now $1.95M; 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 now $1.997M; 4431 Waters Edge Ln 3/4 now $6.49M.

5 new sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 listed at $575K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed at $1.195M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1450 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.248M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $5.995M.

3 closed sales: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $525K, 659 Donax St 2/2 $537K, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 $1.55M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 898 Rabbit Rd $170K (our listing), 1303 Par View Dr $329K, 255 Hurricane Ln $395K.

2 price changes: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $236,999; 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd now $249K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.299M.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 now $975K, Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 now $1.225M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11541 Paige Ct 3/4/2 $3.9M.

2 price changes: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.75M, 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 now $3.65M.

1 new sale: 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 listed at $6.499M.

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.

Island Inventory Lists

If you would like a Sanibel & Captiva Islands Inventory list, The SanibelSusan Team has been tracking sales for more than 27 years and we update our list every weekend. Organized by island and property type (condos, homes, and lots), then community, complex or subdivision, it includes all of the property for sale in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

For comparison, it also includes recent sales – from 2017 until the present. Send me an email at Susan@SanibelSusan.com, if you’d like it emailed or mailed to you.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Bunnies, Real Estate News, & More


Reporting another sunny Friday on Sanibel following a week with mixed weather. After a cloudy Tuesday, Wednesday was mostly off-and-on showers. Rain needed by dry local vegetation, but probably not appreciated by visiting vacationers and Lee County kiddos on spring break this week.

Beach Path.jpg

When beautiful weather returned yesterday, the bike paths and roadways again were busy, with the City posting notice about heavy late afternoon/early evening traffic. I left the office at 6 p.m. after watching Periwinkle traffic at a crawl in front of the office since mid-afternoon. I took the favored “back way” and made it home on the east end in 17 minutes. Later, I read on social media that someone leaving the Shell Museum at the same time endured nearly 2 hours getting to the causeway via Periwinkle. Yikes! When in doubt, watch the traffic cams. (http://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams)

The forecast for the next seven days, says mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid- to high-70’s, so we can expect to continue to share the islands with extra visitors. We hope they are coming to buy real estate too.

March Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the monthly membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Membership meetings include a speaker in addition to the standard Thursday Caravan announcements.

Living with Island Animals – Holly Milbrandt, Sanibel’s Information Officer and an environmental biologist with the City’s Natural Resources Department, was the speaker. She is one of five biologists that work for the City. Her topic was “living with island animals including those that can be nuisance”.

Holly reminded attendees of the Sanibel Plan and its vision statement which says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the Island’s wildlife and natural habitats. The Sanibel community must be vigilant in the protection and enhancement of its sanctuary characteristics.” She talked about species that are native as well as ones that are exotic, which animals are here now and how the City deals with those that are a nuisance or safety issue.

Sanibel bunny

This is one of the many bunnies often seen munching behind SanibelSusan Realty.

The first critters discussed were the marsh rabbits that have increased in numbers in recent years. She explained why. They are able to reproduce when just two months old and can have up to seven litters a year with as many as seven young in each litter. Without a deterrent, that’s a lot of bunnies. She expects that natural evolution will take care of them, in the meantime she warned that young green shoots and grass are their favored snacks. She suggested using natural ground cover in landscaping to deter them.

Next, she spoke about coyotes. They were first noticed on wildlife cameras in the wildlife refuge in 2011. The worry with them, in addition to preying on small pets, is their interference with sea turtle nests. She said though they are noisy and sound like a huge pack when they howl, they have not documented more than four together. A University of Georgia study done here in 2015/2016 determined that there were 27 individual animals on the island. Based on that number, she said today that could be as many 29-64.

Exotic lizard control was her next subject. These are the critters that need to be trapped and removed. She showed pictures proving that Green Iguanas are not always green. She also noted that a Nile Monitor Lizard has not been documented here in many years. The non-emergency number to call for removal of exotics is to the Police Department at 239-472-3111. She said that though the City Iguana Control Office/Trapper is only on the island Wednesdays, if an iguana is in a neighborhood another day, chances are it will be nearby on Wednesday too. Please call to report them. Since 2015, the City has removed over 3,500 at a cost of nearly $100K. The way to keep the island safe is what she calls EDRR (Early Detection & Rapid Response).

She finished her talk with a fun photo quiz of what animals have been on Sanibel and which ones have not. Sanibel does not have and has not had any Burmese Pythons or Lemurs (though there are lemurs on display in Periwinkle Park). There was a black bear on Sanibel several years ago and today there are cane toads. These toads are dangerous to pets.

No venomous snakes have been confirmed on Sanibel in 40 years, though she said folks often mis-identify a Florida water snake which is native. Alligators are native too and found all over the island. They are removed when they are found to be a safety hazard. The two crocodiles on Sanibel today are thought to both be female.

Sanibel realtors logoReal Estate Announcements – It was another week of many announcements, mostly with new listings and price reductions, though a few sales were touted too. The activity posted this week in the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Flood Insurance Overhaul Starts Next Year

wall street journalThe below article posted on FloridaRealtors® on-line Monday is sourced to a “Wall Street Journal” article of the same day.

“WASHINGTON – March 19, 2019 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the rollout of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) updates that will become effective next year.

fema“While FEMA released few specific details about the new program, it appears to downplay the role of flood zones in determining a home’s cost of coverage in favor of other variables, such as the distance from a potential flooding source rather than an all-or-nothing “in a flood zone” or “not in a flood zone” test.

“As part of Monday’s announcement, FEMA noted important dates: The new program becomes effective on Oct. 1, 2020, and homeowners will find out how much their policy will go up or down on April 1, 2020.

“FEMA said the new plan would assess properties individually and consider multiple variables, such as the potential for hurricanes, the homes distance from a body of water and the risk from coastal surges. It would also consider new “loss-estimation technology” that can account for threats from climate change and a home’s replacement cost.

“Florida – home to about 35% of all NFIP policies – could see a big impact from the proposed changes. It’s likely that homeowners in current flood zones would see an increase in their flood insurance premiums, but the state already pays more into NFIP than it gets back in post-flood claims, so some homeowners should see their rates go down.

“NFIP currently expires on May 1, 2019, and Congress is working on a solution to extend it for at least a few years. Should lawmakers reach agreement, it’s unclear how a legislative fix might impact the just-announced FEMA regulatory fix. Under U.S. law, FEMA is limited in its ability to raise rates. It’s also unclear how those limitations might impact increases under NFIP’s new risk model.”

Fun Stuff

sanibel-fire-logo-e1539870118355Tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, Annual Open House at Sanibel’s Fire House Station 171 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with fire apparatus and equipment on display. Great time for children and families to interact with firefighters, get on trucks, and experience a fire smoke simulation. There will be Sanibel Police Department, County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, and LCEC vehicles there too, as well as booths with info/animals from CROW, Ding Darling, and a local animal shelter.

Poke bowlNew at Bailey’s Center – Spoondrift Bowls – Opened by same family that opened Malia Restaurant in Beachview Estates a few months ago, Spoondrift Bowls started at the Farmer’s Market and now is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bailey’s Center. The bowls are healthy and can be create-your-own with a variety of protein, base, topping, sauce, and finish options. Or you can select a predesigned combination or daily special. They also offer healthy homemade desserts and beverages. (www.SanibelSpoondrift.com)

Shell Harbor Dredging

Work began last Friday dredging the entrance channel to Shell Harbor. The channel will remain open during the project which may take a few weeks, but boaters are advised to travel slowly and cautiously.

Kick-Off for Kevin Ruane’s County Commissioner Campaign

RuaneI attended this event on Tuesday night at The Community House. It was great to see a huge turnout including mayors from Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers. Introduced by Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, followed by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, and Former Sanibel Mayor Marty Harrity, they offered insight into the experience and praised the accomplishments of Mayor Ruane, particularly in the areas of finance and water quality. The new Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, Chauncey Goss, was at the event too. (During his first meeting, the contract was signed to construct the C43 Reservoir. It will take four years to complete but will be usable after two.) All positive steps in the right direction, having these champions representing islanders is important. Please give them your support too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 15-22, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $699K.

8 price changes: Sundial #G205 1/1 now $455K; Sundial #C310 1/1 now $459,750; Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $468K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 now $714.9K; Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $929K; Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $995K (our listing); Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.359M; Wedgewood #203 3/3.5 now $2.595M.

View b

View from Pointe Santo #C43

5 new sales: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 listed at $309K, Sanibel Arms West #K5 2/2 listed at $579K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 listed at $749K, Sundial #E205 2/2 listed at $1.395M, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $590K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-4 3/3 $905K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $799,999; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $899K; 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 $3.495M.

19 price changes: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $517.5K, 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $519K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $519K, 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $575K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 now $649K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $735K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $748K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $759K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $775K, 3013 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2.5 now $799K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F 3/3 half-duplex now 799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $959K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $999K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.249M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.399M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $6.495M.

6 new sales: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $509K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $619K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 listed at $619.9K, 3832 Coquina Dr 4/4 listed at $995K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 401 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $2.75M.

5 closed sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 $395K; 4755 Ruelle 3/3 $734,630; 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 $750K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2E 3/3 $825K (our buyer); 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 $1.275M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd $449K, 976 Whelk Dr $660K, 4995 Joewood Dr $2.85M.

4 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $244K, 6411 Pine Ave now $341.7K, 1026 Fish Crow Rd now $425K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $650K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd $315K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 $425K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 $1.199M, Lands End Village #1613 2/2 $1.7M.

4 price changes: Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 now $405K, Beach Villas #2426 1/1 now $537.5K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $849K, Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.295M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M.

1 new sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.849M.

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

kiteboarding

Sanibel kite-boarders love a good breeze. Is that teammate Dave?

Sanibel Sharing, Singing, Shelling, Sales, & Scoop


Sanibelcityseal logoFamilies on spring break are on Sanibel – or at least those wanting an environmentally-fun outdoor vacation with fabulous weather. Traffic is challenging with the City encouraging no unnecessary travel from 3 to 7 p.m. That’s what happens in “peak” season. The City traffic app showing the cameras at the intersections helps us plan our routes which always includes turning “right”, not left.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoThe team and I got our Friday work done early this week to give me time to run home and change for our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Singers were/are required to be on-stage for pre-performance warm-ups at 6 p.m. and with the traffic being iffy, extra time was anticipated. It took me 45 minutes last night at 5 p.m. to drive the 3 miles from my east-end home to get back to BIG ARTS. Hopefully, it will be easier tonight. Last night’s performance was a sell-out!

Chorus Pic spring 2018.jpgThese concerts were early this year because the buildings at the BIG ARTS campus on Dunlop Road will be coming down in just a few weeks when the construction project for the new facility begins. Next year, when the new performance hall is complete, the entire chorus will fit on the stage and the audience will enjoy more comfy seating.

With our listings, teammate Dave held three open houses again this week and we had closings yesterday and today where they are both our listing and our sale. All of the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. You’ll notice that price reductions continue, but there also was good sales action.

1st Meeting of the New Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District

We heard excellent news yesterday following the first meeting of the entirely new board of the South Florida Water Management District. You may remember that just days after he took office, Florida’s Governor DeSantis called for the resignation of the former board members. Over the course of the last few weeks, Gov DeSantis appointed new board members.

Chauncey GossIn West Palm Beach yesterday, at the first meeting of this new board, they chose their new leaders to fulfill the District’s flood control, water quality projects, environmental restoration and water supply missions. The new board elected Sanibel’s-own Chauncey Goss as their Chairman. That is great for the 8.1 million residents of South Florida. Congratulations, Chauncey!

Shell Identification App

banner-shellmuseumappThe Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has announced that their shell identification app now is available. Many members of the local shell club including SanibelSusan helped for several months with the beta version as the shell library was compiled.

The app is available through the link below and is helpful in several ways. First it helps identify shells, provides a full-color shell guide, offers info from museum experts about shells, and provides info on the daily activities and special events at the museum, and beach walks. You can take a picture of a shell and quickly identify it using the app. That’s the part of the testing where I participated.

https://www.shellmuseum.org/shell-app

Florida Homes Are Hot

Posted on-line by FloridaRealtors® on Tuesday, this article is sourced to “Builder” magazine  (03/11/19) Sowers, Scott:builder

“Florida ranked as the No. 1 place for buyers, according to a recent Lending Tree survey. “Out of all mortgage requests made during the study, 9.1% were for homes in Florida, and moving companies that worked with out-of-state homebuyers reported that 12.4% of all requested destinations were in Florida. Builder magazine calls Florida’s growth “explosive.”

florida“The study broke Florida down into five distinct housing markets.

“”In Southwest Florida you have a lot of retirees. In central Florida you have retirees and international buyers,” says Tony Polito, Metrostudy’s regional director for the Tampa area. “In South Florida you have a lot of international buyers.”

“The largest pool of buyers in Jacksonville are first-time and entry-level buyers impacted by a lack of choices and affordability. In Central Florida, there is local demand as well as a diversified base of buyers that includes investors, seasonal residents, international and vacation homebuyers.

“High demand and low inventory have pushed prices up, according to Toby Hoff, Metrostudy regional director.

“Builders moving out of the core areas of Central Florida have been able to bring more affordable homes online. Buyers in this supply-constrained market are now willing to deal with longer commutes or less-than-desirable schools in order to find something that is both new and in their price range,” he says.

“Although Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg are all interconnected, they are very different housing markets, with Tampa booming and generating new jobs. “We have two counties that account for 90% of the housing activity. Hillsborough, which the city of Tampa sits in, and Pasco County to the north,” says Polito. “Between Pasco and Hillsborough County, today we have a 14.8-month supply of vacant lots. Market equilibrium in this market is 24 to 36 months. Anything below 24 months means land prices are still rising. You can’t even find a small orange grove to develop.””

Florida Realtors® & Dubai Land Dept. Sign Agreement to Encourage Collaboration

Florida Realtors logoHaving visited Dubai last year, it was fun to read the below Wednesday news release from Florida Realtors® – where friends President Eric Sain and President-Elect Barry Grooms represented our organization at MIPIM 2019.Dubai govt

“CANNES, France, March 13, 2019 — Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department today signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during MIPIM 2019, the international real estate and property investors conference held March 12-15, 2019, in Cannes, France.

dubai land dept“The MoU establishes the parties’ cooperation in developing a mutually beneficial relationship in the general field of real estate, building a foundation for future business opportunities.

““As professionals in the real estate industry, we take pride in providing our knowledge and expertise to clients in Florida, Dubai and throughout the world,” said 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain. “Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department share mutual goals for future success. We look forward to strengthening our cooperative efforts and building more connections to enhance business opportunities for all of our members.”

“As part of the agreement, Florida Realtors and the Dubai Land Department “affirm the value of international collaboration and agree to exchange information in the general field of real estate, promote professionalism in the real estate industry and engage in other activities that offer mutual benefits.”

“According to Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department, establishing this relationship with Florida Realtors enables the parties to develop a greater mutual understanding and more mutually beneficial opportunities.

“The MoU signing took place today at the Dubai Pavilion. Florida Realtors 2019 President-Elect Barry Grooms attended the signing along with President Sain; Her Excellency Ms. Majida Ali Rashed, CEO of the real estate investment promotion and management sector of the Dubai Land Department; Mr. Shadi Bteddini, CEO of AQARI Global, the USA Trustee of the Dubai Land Department; and Florida Realtors Director of Global Business Maria Grulich.

“Also in attendance: Spanish International Realty Alliance CEO Francis Fernandez Ariza, representing another global partner with Florida Realtors; André Perrissel, president of FNAIM Provence International Committee, FNAIM Aix Marseille Provence; Michel Platero, president of FNAIM Grand Paris; Ingrid Damoiseau, president of World Property Business Club; and Adam Scott, an international delegate also representing the last three groups, all highly regarded real estate organizations in France that also are global partners with Florida Realtors..

“Representatives of several sponsors and partners with Florida Realtors for this year’s MIPIM were present as well, including: Enterprise Florida, Florida Power & Light, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) and the Pinellas Realtors Organization (PRO).”

Island Water Reminders For Seasonal Residents

island-water-logoThere was a nice checklist in the spring issue of the “IWA Pipeline. Here’s the abbreviated version for keeping your water secure when you are away.

  • Take advantage of IWA’s annual free turn-off and turn-on of your water at the meter. If you don’t have a pool or irrigation system, it makes sense that you have IWA do this if you are heading north and won’t be back until next “season”.
  • If you don’t want your water turned off at the meter and don’t have a backflow prevention device, turn off your house water valve. That turns off all spigots inside the house. If you do this, it is wise to also shut off the hot-water heater valves and corresponding circuit breaker.
  • As a precaution remove any outside hoses that won’t be used while you are away.
  • Have your home-watch read your water meter to see if water is going through the meter or if you have high usage. IWA reads meters only once a month.
  • Check the usage and amount of your water bill every month.
  • Put a fresh battery in your irrigation controller. Power outages and surges are common in the summer. Irrigations system controllers have battery back-up for these instances, but if the battery is dead, some systems will default to water every day. Also check your rain sensor to be sure that it’s operating correctly for your property. Speaking of sensors, Sanibel irrigation systems are required to have a working rain sensor.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 8-15, 2019sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 $515K, Sanibel Siesta #109 2/2 $525K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 $1.095M.

6 price changes: Donax Village #10 1/2 now $349K, Sundial #H210 1/1 now $399K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 now $749K, Surfside 12 #A3 3/2 now $799K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 now $1.049M, Sanibel Surfside #231 3/3.5 now $1.25M.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $249K, Pine Cove #204 2/2 listed at $1.45M, Atrium #207 2/2 listed at $1.55M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $214K (our listing & sale), Lighthouse Point #128 3/2 $650K (our listing & sale), Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $715K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1418 Sanderling Cir 3/3 $699K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 $739K, 247 Christofer Ct 3/2 $825K, 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $975K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $1.195M, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

20 price changes: 9465 Coventry Ct 3/2 now $599,999; 573 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $645K; 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $689K; 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $689K; 678 Durion Ct 3/2 now $749.9K; 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $795K; 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $799K; 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 now $849K (our listing); 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $875K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $949K; 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $969K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $999K; 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.12M; 2984 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.195M; 2282 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.295M; 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/2 now $1.485M; 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4.5 now $1.495M; 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.499M; 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 now $2.59M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $2.95M.

Pool View

Pool & water view at 1050 White Ibis Dr in Gulf Shores

13 new sales: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 listed at $399K, 651 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $524.9K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $549K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $595K, 6143 Henderson 4/3 listed at $599K, 955 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 listed at $749K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 listed at $1.169M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.185M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 listed at $1.795M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $2.374M.

2 closed sales: 9448 Cotton Ct 3/2 $800K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 2/3 $900K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 223 Robinwood Cir $329K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $399,999.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $638K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2636 2/2 listed at $759K.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2428 2/2 $625K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 listed at $929K.

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! st pats day.jpg

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan