Rain, Rain Went Away, But Probably Not For Long

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

The Rainy Season Is Here

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

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

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

Early June West wind beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

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

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

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

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

How to Keep Hackers Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shells – Shells – & More Shells

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events – Planning Ahead

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings & price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16950 Captiva Dr $2.7M.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping Up “High Season” on Sunny Sanibel & Captiva

Time for another Friday update from Susan and The SanibelSusan Team.

What a change here this week. Like magic as April 15 rolled around, the islands thinned out and traffic lessened, though the weather remains sunny and summerlike – mostly high-70’s low-80’s all week.

Many vacationing families continue to enjoy the bike paths, waterways, and beaches (spring break for several out-of-state schools), but if my “busy” gauge is how long it takes to drive from the office to my home either mid-day or during Sanibel rush hour, things here are back to what I call “normal”. I made the trip in nine minutes twice this week! (Compared to a record 1-1/2 hours on Presidents’ Day.)

Tomorrow is officially what is considered the end of “high season”, while accommodations over the next few weeks charge what are called “shoulder rates” for those looking to stay for less than in the winter. Later, “summer” rental rates will be even lower.

Seasoned visitors and locals often describe May as one of the best months on the islands – being just after the winter rush, but before schools are out. May weather often is some of the best since the rainy season isn’t in full swing, yet flowers are blooming and beach water is clear with sea turtles just beginning to nest.

Here are a few photos of what is flowering at my home. Great that longer days mean I get to enjoy the pink explosion when I get home. Can you tell I like that color? Had to compromise with the gardenia.

 

At Sanibel Susan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayAll’s well at SanibelSusan Realty, where we are finalizing things on three closings scheduled to occur next week and got another listing under contract. I was out showing a few times this week, including one on Easter Sunday afternoon – whatever it takes!

Teammate Dave held several open houses and we’ve opened some listings for showings too. Teammate Elise’s report with the details of the week’s Multiple Listing Service action follows a few news items below.

Next week, we will be working on updating data for our big post-season inventory mailout that will go to the printer in early May. It goes out to all island property owners and prospective buyers. Favored by many since it reflects current inventory as well as many “season” sale prices, if you are not already on our mailing list and would like a copy, please let us know.

High “season” may be winding down, but we have been in this business long enough to know that the next wave of buyers will be the serious ones who did not find exactly what they want to buy in “season” and they know that returning during the “shoulder” weeks is one of the easiest time to view properties – particularly those in rental programs. They know it’s a good time to make offers too. We are ready.

April Membership Meeting – Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday’s Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting was well attended, but only a handful of new listings were on the Caravan schedule that followed. Next month (May), the caravan meetings which are held every week in “season”, revert to a summer schedule – or every other week. Summer caravans also are not restricted to either east-end or west-end. When the traveling is easier, caravans are open to both islands. Upcoming caravans will be on the following Thursdays: May 4, May 18, and June 1, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Remodeling – Choosing/Replacing Windows – The meeting speakers were affiliate member business partners, Jeff Carroll with Tradewinds Custom Homes and Arthur Monahan with Seacoast Cottage Company. They each provided a short presentation on choosing/replacing/remodeling windows.

With most island owners buying for vacations, investment, or a 2nd or 3rd home, Jeff mentioned that he often hears new consumers, unfamiliar with Florida construction, say that they don’t really need good windows down here because “it’s not that cold”. He said, what they don’t yet realize is that “it is that hot”.

He also remarked that many buyers, new to the area will say that they expect to have their windows closed for just a couple of months each year, when in reality, he said that most will find out that they will only keep their windows open for eight to ten weeks, at best.

Art offered a hand-out with the following issues to consider when considering windows:

  • Insurance
  • Building Code (energy efficiency, turtle-friendly, 50% rule on remodels)
  • Cost (style, size, coatings, frames, manufacturers)

Here is some other info from his handout.

“Manufacturers:

  • PGT                 $
  • CGI                  $$
  • Anderson       $$$
  • Pella                $$$$

“With window frame types, always consider the warranty period when making a decision about frame type:

  • Aluminum or metal – Although very strong, light, and almost maintenance free, metal or aluminum or metal frames conduct heat very rapidly, which makes metal a very pool insulating material. To reduce heat flow and the U-factor, metal frames should have a thermal break – an insulating plastic strip placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash.
  • Composite – Composite window frames consist of composite wood products, such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber. These composites are very stable, they have the same or better structural and thermal properties as conventional wood, and they have better moisture and decay resistance.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass window frames are dimensionally stable and have air cavities that can be filled with insulation giving them superior thermal performance compared to wood or uninsulated vinyl.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl window frames are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. Vinyl window frames do not require painting and have good moisture resistance. The hallow cavities of vinyl frames can be filled with insulation, which makes them thermally superior to standard vinyl and wood frames.
  • Wood – Wood window frames insulated relatively well, but they also expand and contract in response to weather conditions. Wood frames also require regular maintenance, although aluminum or vinyl cladding reduces maintenance requirements.

“Glass types include:

  • Heat-absorbing tints
  • Insulated (which have less tendency toward condensation & the resultant growth of mold & mildew)
  • Reflective coatings (allow for “turtle friendliness”)
  • Spectrally selective coatings.

“Window styles include:

  • Casement – One-hinged sash that swings outward from the side.
  • Awning: One sash that hinges from the top to the outside
  • Double-Hung – Two sashes that slide vertically to open shut or position to provide more efficient ventilation. Raise the lower sash to allow in a cool breeze. Lower the upper sash to pull hot air from the ceiling outside.
  • Single-Hung – Looks like a double-hung window, but only the bottom sash slides vertically to open and shut.
  • Sliding — One fixed and one moveable sash that slides open or shut horizontally – ideal for difficult to reach areas.
  • Bay & Bow – Angled or curved combination of windows that extend outward to maximize view.

“Art further described casement windows as the best and that new windows should provide 60% energy efficiency.”

For further info:

Jeff Carroll with Tradewinds Custom Homes – www.TradewindsHomes.com

Art Monahan with Seacoast Cottage Company – www.SeacoastCottageCompany.com

FREE Summer Programs at J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge

ding darling goose logoWith season winding down, summer events are being announced. Here’s a summary of the summer programming being offered at the Wildlife Refuge from June 2 through August 5, made possible by support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society as reported in their spring newsletter. They are “offered weekly, with no pre-registration necessary.

  • Reading at the Refuge – every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Attendees at each 45-minute reading and crafts session learn about a Refuge animal and make a take-home craft related to it. Meet at the Visitor & Education Center Classroom.
  • Indigo Trail Hike – every Thursday at 10 a.m. Join Refuge naturalists as they lead a one-hour tour to the Wildlife Education Board to identify and discuss the ecosystem’s plants, mammals, birds, and reptiles – fun for adults and children alike. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Visitor & Education Center.
  • Family Beach Walk – every Friday at 9 a.m. The one-hour program convenes at Gulfside Park to explore the Refuge’s gulf-front Perry Tract. City parking fees apply. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • Wildlife Wonders – every Saturday at 11 a.m. Refuge education staff lead this 30-minute indoor program about the mysteries of manatees, alligators, crocodiles, and birds. Held in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium.”

tarpon bay explorers logoTarpon Bay Explorers Schedule

  • Tram Tours of Wildlife Drive  – April: Mon-Thurs: hourly 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; May & June:     Mon-Thurs: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., & 4 p.m.
  • Kayak Trail Tour (any & all times substituted with low tide paddle when trail not accessible) – April: Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; May & June: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sat & Sun: 10 a.m.
  • Sunset Rookery Paddle (2 hours prior to sunset) – April: Daily; May & June: Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat or Sun.
  • Breakfast CruiseMon, Wed, Fri at 8:30 a.m.
  • Standup Paddleboard Tour (all at 9 a.m.) – April: Mon-Sat; May & June: Tues, Thurs, Sat.
  • Nature & Sea Life CruiseDaily at 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
  • Evening CruiseDaily 2 hours prior to sunset.
  • Aquarium & Touch TankDaily at 3 p.m.
  • Rentals & Fishing ChartersDaily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Most Consumers Are Wrong About Home Insurance

realtor logoA “Daily Real Estate News” article published earlier this month and posted on Realtor® Mag News says:

“Fifty-six percent of consumers recently surveyed believe that a standard homeowner’s policy covers flood damage. But they’re mistaken, and their assumption could be a costly mistake.

“A survey by InsuranceQuotes of about 1,000 consumers shows a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to home insurance and what’s covered and what’s not.

“”Being misinformed about your home policy can be an extremely expensive mistake—especially when a few inches of water in a 1,000 square-foot home can easily cost over $10,000 in repairs,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes. “There are a number of widespread myths ranging from coverage for dog bites to items stolen from your car that frequently trip up policyholders.”

“Consumers tend to overestimate the amount of coverage they have when it comes to flooding protection, according to the study. Further, 81% of survey respondents knew that valuables stolen from their home were covered under most standard homeowner’s policies, yet only 28% knew that renter’s insurance would cover valuables stolen from their cars.

““It’s critical for consumers to thoroughly explore their options and really understand the protections that are included or excluded with a standard renter’s or home insurance policy,” says Adams. “Don’t wait until right before a big storm is headed your way to get coverage because there may be a waiting period.”

“Flood insurance is particularly a hot topic to address with clients lately. The National Association of REALTORS® has been warning its members about the threats to homeowners and property sales when the National Flood Insurance Program expires on Sept. 30. Policymakers in more than 22,000 communities nationwide rely on NFIP to protect them from flood risks, like torrential rain, swollen rivers and lakes, snow melt, failing infrastructure, and storm surges and hurricanes.

““When the NFIP expired in 2010, over 1,300 home sales were disrupted every day as a result,” NAR President William E. Brown recently said in a statement. “That’s over 40,000 every month. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in the 100-year floodplain, but without access to the NFIP, buyers simply couldn’t get a mortgage or vital protection from the number one cause of loss of property and life, flooding.”

“The National Association of REALTORS® is working with lawmakers to strengthen the program and also create a path for a private market to take hold ahead of the Sept. 30 expiration.”

Milestone in Sanibel Sewer Expansion Project

Sewer signs Phase 4 Shannen HayesAs reported recently in several island papers, including the “The Santiva-Chronicle” write-up below and photo to the right:

“Sanibel has entered Phase 4 of its sewer expansion project on Woodring Road, the city announced on Monday, April 17.

“Phase 4 will connect 19 properties on Woodring Road. The work began Monday and the city said work will continue into the fall. During that time, the Bock Peace Park parking area at the north end of Dixie Beach Road will have very limited parking, the city said.

“Phase 4 also includes five properties on West Gulf Drive. When Phase 4 is complete, it will leave only 20 properties in four different areas of Sanibel to be connected in the final phase.

“Sanibel City Council approved Phase 4 in January, 2016 at a cost of about $1.2 million. “This is a milestone,” City Manager Judie Zimomra said to the City Council on Jan. 5, 2016. “Sanibel has invested more than $70 million on sanitary sewers island-wide. That’s a significant accomplishment on a barrier island. “We have put ourselves in position to do this and today we are glad to move into the final phase,” Zimomra said.

“The council had two options before it as to how property owners would be assessed. One was to split costs equally and the second was to put a $10,000 cap on assessments with the city picking up the balance. In its unanimous vote to move ahead with Phase IV, the council went with the $10,000-cap option.

““Sanibel needs to continue to walk the walk and talk the talk about the environment,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. “Set the cap at $10,000. It’s important to finish what we started. We have the money in sewer reserves so we can do the projects as planned.”

“Many of the remaining unconnected properties are considered low-flow septic systems. They will be required to connect to the sewer systems when those septic systems fail.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 14-21, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 $475K.

5 price changes: Tennisplace #A31 2/1.5 now $299K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $759K, Pointe Santo #C36 2/2 now $786K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $799K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1,039,999.

4 new sales: Seashells #3 2/2 listed at $399.4K, Blind Pass #F106 2/2 listed at $409K, Sundial East #L401 2/2 listed at $749K, Beachcomber #A102 2/2 listed at $1.445M (our seller).

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 $860K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 714 Durion Ct 3/2 $619K, 1032 Lindgren Blvd 3/2.5 $895K.

6 price changes: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 now $474.9K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $699K, 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $848.8K, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 now $1.595M, 267 Ferry Rd 3/2 now $1.895M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.777M.

9 new sales: 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 listed at $477K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 listed at $520K, 2154 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $539K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 listed at $664.9K, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 listed at $765K, 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 listed at $879K, 941 Pecten Ct listed at $949K, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.899M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listings: 2356 Wulfert Rd $189K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 5687 Baltusrol Ct $300K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd $375K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $255.5K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #9 4/3.5 listed at $3.1M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $5.25M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you have sunny days where you are too!

I had family in town over their Easter break. Here’s my great nephew, Caden, enjoying Sanibel beach!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

2017-04 Caden Beach

Working Together to Make a Difference

All’s well again on another Sanibel sunny Friday as we push forward to what are traditionally the busiest real estate months of the year on the islands – February and March. That activity may even stretch a few weeks longer this year with Easter not until April 16.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

This week we had another nice condo closing, a home listing that went under contract, an excellent sprinkling of showings, and good Open House action. Once February visitors settle in inquiries should pick up too. We already are getting requests for viewings in March during spring breaks.

gatorI had lunch today with a client who made me a “gator”. Shown here on our office sofa, I intend to take him home where he will recline on a special spot on my red love seat, but in the meantime, she said he needs a name.

Now called “Gator #5″ because he’s the 5th one she has made, I need suggestions! He’s going to be a neck scarf on the next cool day too, sure hope I don’t have to wait until next January. Isn’t he great? Thank you, Dianne! What’s your name for my gator?

Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate

sancap GO MLS logoWith January over, it is a good time to look at market inventory. The report of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service activity over the last seven days follows a few news items below and includes many price adjustments. Here is a quick summary of the number of units for sale, compared to the activity last year.

How Many for Sale

Condos –  116 on Sanibel; 30 on Captiva

Homes – 186 on Sanibel; 38 on Captiva

Lots – 68 on Sanibel; 2 on Captiva

How Many Under Contract

Condos – 14 on Sanibel; 4 on Captiva

Homes – 27 on Sanibel; 3 on Captiva

Lots – 5 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

How Many Sold in January 2017

Condos – 11 on Sanibel; 2 on Captiva

Homes – 19 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

Lots – 5 on Sanibel; 0 on Captiva

How Many Sold in January Last Year

Condos – 15 on Sanibel; 1 on Captiva

Homes – 10 on Sanibel; 5 on Captiva

Lots – 3 on Sanibel; 0 on Captiva

Florida Realtors® PAC

rpacAs follow-up to my posting last week about the four awards that the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® won for 2016 at FloridaRealtors®.

Here are a few highlights of how those RPAC dollars work.

  • 92% of all endorsed candidates were elected (23 of 25 Senate candidates won, 23 of 26 Congressional candidates won, 67 of 73 State House candidates won).
  • Constitutional Amendments 3 & 5 passed (grant tax exemptions for disabled first responders and seniors, and a big WIN for homeowners)
  • Won victories for homeowners and Realtors® (removed regulatory fees (HB 303), helped pass statewide comprehensive water policy to effectively manage and protect Florida’s natural resources (SB 552), revised the Value Adjustment Board process (HB 499)).

Working Together To Make a Difference in January

Sanibel realtors logoWritten by yours truly, here is the first 2017 press release from the local Association of Realtors® Communications and Public Relations Committee. It was published in the “Santiva-Chronicle” this morning.

“Ever wonder what members of a Realtor® organization do other than list and sell real estate?

“This year “Working Together to Make a Difference”, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® will report each month highlighting some other things accomplished by its members. Association members include Realtors®, their brokers, office managers, staff and affiliate business partners (mortgage brokers, insurance providers, home inspectors, appraisers, title companies, decorators, builders, non-profit organizations, attorneys, etc.).

“This is the first monthly report. It covers volunteer activities that members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® did in January.

Mints for the Military – From January 9 until mid-March, local Girl Scout Troop 673 is collecting donations for boxes of Girl Scout cookies as part of their Mints for the Military drive. Association member Carol McCarley, Noack & Company CPA’s, and her daughters help in this effort, with hundreds of boxes expected to go overseas from their troop. Last year, the Girl Scouts Gulf Coast of Florida Council sent 57,854 boxes in total. That’s a lot of cookies!

Water Quality – On January 11 and 25, Association Past-President and Realtor® David Schuldenfrei and others attended and spoke in Tallahassee at Florida Senate subcommittee hearings on Lake Okeechobee discharges. The hearings went well, with Senator Joe Negron on January 27 filing SB 10 for the purchase of land south of the lake for water storage and cleaning before it goes south into the Everglades and Florida Bay. The bill now must pass the House and Senate, before being signed by the Governor. It has a long way to go, but is headed in the right direction. Thank you, David!

Collections, Contributions, Volunteers, & Donations – “Working Together to Make a Difference” the CRPC members will be reaching out to local organizations and non-profits to find: ways the Association may get more cooperatively involved in the community; if donation items are needed and if there is a time of the year when they are needed most; and if there are small hands-on projects that could use a team of 5-10 volunteers to get them done. An investigation already is underway to help the Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee, which is chaired by Realtor® Deb Gleason, with the new Sanibel Heritage Trail.

“If you have suggestions, please contact Association Communications & Public Relations Committee members: Realtors® Judie Anderson, Sarah Ashton, Deb Gleason, Kelly Huguenin, Cathie Lewis; Affiliate Business Partners: Nanci Berlin, Barrier Island Title Services and Angela Larson Roehl, Rosier Insurance; or Realtor® Chair Susan Andrews.

Watch next month for our February progress report.”

Cost vs. Value: Which Home Improvements Offer the Highest Return on Investment in 2017?

ris-media-logoThis article was posted on-line Jan 16, 2017 at “Housecall” which is RISMedia’s blog. Since we get asked this question too, it’s interesting to hear their take. Note the projects vary based on the geographic area and price of the property.

“With the many different projects reported annually in Remodeling Magazine’s Cost  vs. Value Report, not much has changed from last year…and that’s not a bad thing. The 29 projects found on this year’s report paid back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. Looking at the 24 most tracked projects (projects consistently tracked for the last six years), their payback for 2017 was also 64.3 cents—only three-quarters of a penny higher than 2016 projections.

“Why the little change? Simply put: the differences in underlying numbers was minimal year-to-year. The average cost for those 24 projects rose a meager 3%, while the value that real estate professionals put on said projects only rose 4.2%. Minor gains, yes, but we’ll take what we can get.

“Recent and long-time trends continued, reports Remodeling. Curb appeal projects like changes to doors, windows and siding garnered a higher ROI than work done inside the home. Replacement projects, like doors or windows, scored higher among real estate pros than did remodels.

“On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI), Average Cost: $1,343, Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI), Average Cost: $1,413, Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI), Average Cost: $7,851, Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI), Average Cost: $20,830, Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5. Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI), Average Cost: $1,749, Average Resale Value: $1,345

“The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI), Average Cost: $3,304, Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI), Average Cost: $3,276, Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI), Average Cost: $15,282, Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI), Average Cost: $18,759, Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5. Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI), Average Cost: $8,358, Average Resale Value: $5,855

“Regionally, the Pacific division (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii) saw an average payback of 78.2% for all projects, with 10 projects posting cost-recouped levels of at least 90%. The East North Central states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, however, saw an average of just 54.9%, with no single project offering a payback of as much as 80 cents on the dollar.

“At the other end of the spectrum are projects with the lowest returns on investment—improvements generally not in demand by the market. Again, on a national scale, the five projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Bathroom Remodel (64.8% ROI), Average Cost: $18,546, Average Resale Value: $12,024
  2. Master Suite Addition (64.8% ROI), Average Cost: $119,533, Average Resale Value: $77,506
  3. Backyard Patio (54.9% ROI), Average Cost: $51,985, Average Resale Value: $28,546
  4. Backup Power Generator (54.0% ROI), Average Cost: $12,860, Average Resale Value: $6,940
  5. Bathroom Addition (53.9% ROI), Average Cost: $43,232, Average Resale Value: $23,283

“The five projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Major Kitchen Remodel (61.9% ROI), Average Cost: $122,991, Average Resale Value: $76,149
  2. Master Suite Addition (59.9% ROI), Average Cost: $250,687, Average Resale Value: $150,140
  3. Bathroom Remodel (59.1% ROI), Average Cost: $59,979, Average Resale Value: $35,456
  4. Bathroom Addition (57.1% ROI), Average Cost: $81,515, Average Resale Value: $46,507
  5. Deck Addition (composite) (56.4% ROI), Average Cost: $39,339, Average Resale Value: $22,171

“The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 99 markets, the average cost of 29 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.”

Late January Island Weather

Sanibelcityseal logoWith January bringing serious cold/snowy/icy winter weather to so much of the nation, the islands got some residual effects. With Sanibel under tornado watch through the early morning hours of January 23, the local papers this week said the City reported no significant damage. The fast-moving storm brought little rain and wind, considering what had been projected. Though gusts of up to 60 mph were reported, in most areas the beaches gained sand.

pam-shells-01-25-17

Pam Rambo, local shelling expert, from her site iLoveShelling.com, called this photo posted 1/25/17, “Just a drop in the bucket”. So many shells on the beach!

Among the resulting beach debris were 250 crab traps which the City collected and crabbers retrieved from Public Works. It probably goes without saying that because of the storm, fishing was not the best, but the shelling was outstanding. After winter storms is often the best time for finding “big” shells.

 

The last few days of January were a little chilly – island sweater weather, but since then and for the next week temperatures in the mid to high 70’s are expected.

The Housing Crunch for Older Adults Nears

ForbesPosted on-line Tuesday at “Realtor®Mag” under “Daily Real Estate News” this article is sourced to Forbes.com:

“The 65-plus population is expected to surge from 48 million to 79 million in the next 20 years. Yet, the availability and affordability of housing to meet this blooming population is inadequate, according to a recent Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies report.

“The report shows that only 3.5% of today’s housing contains the following three key elements of “universal design”: zero-step entrances, single-floor living, and wide halls and doorways. Further, nearly 6.4 million low-income renters will likely need to devote more than 30% of their income to housing by 2035, the report notes.

Housing experts say builders are not growing the supply enough to meet future demands from older adults and instead are continuing to put most of their focus on higher-end construction.

““The Harvard study was a scary forecast,” says Lukas Krause, CEO of Real Property Management, the largest property management franchise in the nation. “The senior sector will be one of the hardest hit for affordability. The most important thing we can do is find affordable housing for older Americans and contemplate layout and design to accommodate the older population.”

“More homes will need to be tailored to older adults. For example, homes likely will need to be retrofitted as single-floor living with a master suite, wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, and walk-in showers with grab bars.

“Retrofitting needs to extend to the multifamily sector too. Landlord and property owners have not yet largely embraced retrofitting apartments to accommodate older Americans, Krause says. “As the older population grows, economic factors will change and it will be more attractive to build more versatile homes,” he says.

Also, expect some changes in the way people live as the older population grows. For example, cohabitation and shared housing may grow in popularity as affordability concerns brew. And, expect a growth in mother-in-law suites in single-family residences as well as grandparents living with their families like previous generations once did, Krause says. Furthermore, programs like the Johns Hopkins project, CAPABLE, may expand. The Johns Hopkins program seeks to help people age in place by assigning them a nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handyman.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 27-Feb 3, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $325K, Sanibel Moorings #931 2/2 $550K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/2.5 $620K, Bayview Village #1A 3/3 $789K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 $819K.

7 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1412 1/1 now $349.9K, Donax Village #3 2/2 now $464K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $498K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2 now $499K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 now $719K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 now $1.695M, High Tide #A302 3/2 now $1.725M.

5 new sales: Sundial West #F103 2/2 listed at $459.5K, Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 listed at $599K, Compass Point #222 2/2 listed at $689K, Sundial West #K203 2/2 listed at $879K, Somerset #302 3/2.5 listed at $1.65M.

3 closed sales: Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 $430K, Sundial East #P201 2/2 $760K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.4M (our buyer). 

HOMES

7 new listings: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $495K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $609K, 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 $714K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $719K, 3359 Barra Cir 3/3 $789K, 1294 Par View Dr 3/2.4 $949K, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 $1.795M.

15 price changes: 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $477.5K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $619K, 1073 Fish Crow Rd 3/2.5 now $699K, 4694 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $699K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $699.9K, 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $712K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $899K, 1174 Harbour Cottage CT 3/3 half-duplex now $1.05M, 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $1.295M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $1.295M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 now $1.649M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 now $3.495M.

5 new sales: 608 Boulder Dr 3/3 listed at $869K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $899K (our listing), 2920 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $939K, 935 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $696K, 3557 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed at $4.5M.

6 closed sales: 474 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $360K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 $570K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $650K, 5751 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $975K, 1665 Sabal Palm Dr 3/2 $1.05M, 800 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.625M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $185K, 5126 Sea Bell Rd $185K.

1 price change: 5687 Baltusrol Ct now $315K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2462 Wulfert Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 listed at $499K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1/2 $253K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 now $2.65M, 11551 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 now $4.9M.

1 new sale:13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $1.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 953 South Seas Plantation Rd listed at $2.1M.

No closed sales.

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

Until next Friday – enjoy the sunset, your weekend, & don’t forget to help me “name that gator”!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

sanibel-sunset

Happy 100 Years Florida Realtors!

SanibelSusan here with some scoop from the Florida Realtors 100th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meetings in Orlando.

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After some news, Elise, our SanibelSusan Team Listing Coordinator has added the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Teammate Dave is out in the field this afternoon, opening a listing for a viewing and then continuing to work with some prospects who started their home search with one of our listings yesterday. As our Closing Coodinator, he says all is on track this week with the progress on our sales in process. It sure works having a flexible well-versed team.

It was a week of activity during what is usually a quiet time on the islands.

Florida Realtors 2016 Convention & Trade Expo

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With some pals from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc at last night’s concert featuring Party on the Moon

I participated in the Realtor-Attorney Joint Committee meeting this morning. There are changes coming for the 2017 FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar contract, mostly related to financing contingencies and when deposits go “hard”. Changes in Federal banking regulations have made this process more cumbersome, but Florida has made great strides in improving their contracts. I have seen a lot of good changes during my 18 years attending these meetings. Another takeaway is that so far this year, the “as is” contract, which allows a buyer to walk away, has been used more than 80% of the time. We see that contract used more in our area too.

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Event co-chairs Nancy & Deborah with Jay Leno!

The General Session Keynote speaker today was Jay Leno. If possible, I think he is funnier in person. Entertained us for a solid hour plus just talking off the cuff. He ended by giving special recognition to the many charities in Florida that provide housing assistance. Offered a tour any time of his 250+vehicle auto collection in LA to the highest bidder, with the proceeds to these charities. When the bidding got up to $5K, he offered the same to anyone else at the same price. They had already raised $30K when I left the ballroom. Thank you, Jay Leno!
Tomorrow are Professional Standards Forum, Resort & 2nd Home Specialists Forum, and our District meetings in preparation for the Board of Directors meeting on Sunday morning.
Thanks to technology, we convention attendees also have an eye on the weather. Looks like the tropical disturbance between Cuba and the Bahamas has broken up some and is only going to bring rain to Southwest Florida, but conditions are right for redevelopment, so I will continue to follow it. Many of us will be driving home on Sunday so hope for good conditions.

Paul McCarthy – Captiva Cruises

imageWe were sadden this week to hear of the sudden passing of Captiva Cruises’s founder and island icon, Paul McCarthy. He instilled a desire to do more for the community in many, so his spirit lives on. His support toward furthering the education of island Realtors was quiet, but always appreciated. RIP, Paul.

Island Happening & Upcoming Events

Dunes Golf & Tennis Club – Recently reopened after a major summer renovation of the greens and bunkers. They are offering a $40 introductory rate for tee times until September 5.

BIG Arts Community Chorus – The music for fall/winter performances is in our singers hands – though it’s a little odd singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs in August. Dates for upcoming events are posted under the above “Upcoming Island Events” tab.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2016

Sanibel
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: Sandpebble #3D 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 listed at $1.595M, Somerset #A302 3/2.5 listed at $1.951M.
4 closed sales: Colonnades #C8 1/1 $218.5K, Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $510K, Oceans Reach #1A1 2/2 $915K.

HOMES
3 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 2142 Egret Cir 3/2 $499K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $1.295M.
4 price changes: 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1429 Jamiaca Dr 3/3 now $749K, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $870K, 918 Lindgren Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.295M.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 2115 Sunset Cir 3/2 $433K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 $1.15M.

LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $299K.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5240 1/2 $327K.
1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $619K.
No new or closed sales.

HOMES
1 new listing: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 $4.2M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.795M.
1 closed sale: 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $3.299M.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday…wishing good weather & clearing sailing to all…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Fathers’ Day Weekend 2016

It has been another quiet few days on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The weather has improved over last week, as the days have been mostly rain-free, but it definitely has been typical pre-summer routine.

BeachPath

There was no Realtor Caravan meeting yesterday, but SanibelSusan got a new listing that will be posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), once professional photography is done. It is Cottage Colony West #136, which is a top-floor gulf-front unit in the condo section of Casa Ybel Resort. If you know anyone looking for a good investment property, these 1-bedroom units are definitely that. Most gross $80K-90K/year with the resort fully handling the rentals and owners getting half. Since the resort is the venue for many weddings and parties, the units can be difficult to view, so often sell sight-unseen – making the internet presence and that photography so important. (Photo above of the beach in front of Casa Ybel Resort & photo below of the lawn before the beach.)

AnotherView

After a few news items, below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva MLS over the last seven days.

 Restaurants & More

diningVisitors are forever asking Realtors® for dining recommendations, so we try to scoop out what’s happening, particularly during the off-season. Sometimes that’s not easy, even for locals, but here’s a little.

The former Sanibel Steakhouse has been empty for months, the sign is down, and their web site says that restaurant is retired, but we occasionally see activity there. This week, I noticed a Benchmark Construction sign posted. Maybe a newly remodeled restaurant will be springing up there in the months to come. We’ll be watching.

The new Doc Ford’s on Tarpon Bay Road now is moving along quickly. Rumor has it that their CO (certificate of occupancy) is expected in a few weeks, with the restaurant probably opening later this summer or when their staff is trained in their wonderful new location.

1st Annual National Seashell Day is Monday

National Seashell Day 2016Don’t forget, that Monday June 20, has been proclaimed the 1st annual National Seashell Day. A new promotional vehicle, The Shell Love Bug, will debut then on the “Good Morning America” national broadcast. The Volkswagen Beetle will be driven by Pam Rambo, Sanibel shelling expert, who designed the vehicle with a team of shellers in partnership with the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

The Shell Love Bug is decorated with more than 19,000 local shells. It will be on display at Bailey’s General Store from 11 a.m. to noon and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. The Shell Love Bug will be on a county-wide tour the entire week. As it is illegal to collect live shells in Lee County, no live shells were used in the creation of the car.

Travelers who visit on National Seashell Day will have access to special travel deals and seashell activities including a social media-driven scavenger hunt. Visit the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau site, nationalseashellday.com to enter the Shell Yeah! Sweepstakes and view a full list of activities and accommodations participating in the 4th-night free deal.

Many Baby Boomers Plan to Move Again

baby boomersThis was posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on-line on Monday, June 13, 2016:

“About 60% of home owners age 55 or older say they would prefer to age in place if they had complete control over their living arrangements. That said, nearly 40% indicate they would prefer to move at least one more time.

“That means nearly 27 million home owners may move again, according to the Freddie Mac 55+ Survey. Of those baby boomers who expect to move, 13% say they will likely move within four years.

“”The decisions the nation’s baby boomers and other older home owners make will have an enormous impact on the demand for housing and new mortgage credit for the foreseeable future,” says Dave Lowman, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Freddie Mac. “Whether they buy new homes or decide to refinance and renovate their current ones, the size of this generation and the fact that they hold close to two-thirds, approximately $8 trillion, of the nation’s home equity makes it very important that we watch what they do.”

“Twelve percent of those baby boomers who would consider moving say they expect their next home to be more expensive than their current one. The survey showed that 37% believe their next home purchase will be in the same price range as their current home, and half say that it will be less expensive.

“Here are some additional findings from the survey:

  • 76% of baby boomers surveyed say they are confident they will be financially comfortable in retirement.
  • 59% of home owners say they are “very satisfied” with their communities, 64% with their current home, and 54% with their quality of life.
  • Nearly 25% of the respondents say they have already helped someone financially with a down payment for a home.
  • The top factors influencing whether to move and where to live: affordability of living in a particular community (46%); having the amenities needed to live there for many years after I retire (44%); less maintenance (41%); having a place where I was no longer responsible for caring for the property (e.g. yard work, snow removal) (30%); proximity to other family members (31%); being in a walkable community (28%); having abundant services for adults my age (25%); access to public transportation (17%); warmer climate (19%); having a place that is smaller than my current home (e.g. downsizing) (19%).”

SANTIVA TODAY: Rooms Need Constant Upgrading, Study Says

santiva chronicleThis article was posted yesterday on line by the “Santiva-Chronicle”:

“The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva are renowned around the world for their beauty. That’s why vacationers come in droves. But what about the time that isn’t spent at the beach, like time back in the room?

Lee Visitors Convention Bureau logo“The Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau has asked that question and then went seeking the answer. The result is the Highland Study.

“The Highland Study was completed in early 2015 by The Highland Group Hotel Investment Advisors of Atlanta and is intended as a tool to help Lee County, including Sanibel and Captiva, keep and build its market share and grow lodging revenue. Within the past year the Highland Study has been presented at, among other places, Sanibel City Council and most recently the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce.

“Using data compiled through the end of 2014, the Highland Study begins with five important numbers:

  • $16,627 – Vacation rental units in excellent condition average $16,627 more revenue annually than units that are in fair to poor condition, according to the Highland Group unit pair analysis. Renovation pays.
  • $2 – Lee County only gained $2 in hotel average daily rate between 2009 and 2013, well below gains in comparable counties. The national and Florida average increases were more than five times higher, according to Smith Travel Research. Improving revenue management can benefit both property owners and the county.
  • 24% – Only 24% of Lee County visitors are visiting for the first time and this figure has been dropping, according to Davidson-Peterson Associates.
  • 52 – Average age of visitors to Lee County is 52 and has been rising, according to DavidsonPeterson Associates. This is unusually high and puts the county at risk of aging out of a viable clientele and becoming identified as obsolete.
  • 10% – Only 10 percent of visitors identify Lee County as more expensive than anticipated, according to Davidson-Peterson Associates. This is unusually low and means that the county is missing revenue opportunities.

“The Highland Study puts it all together with the conclusions that the demographics of vacationers are changing. If we want younger visitors to continue to replace older ones then we can’t sit still. This means updating the rooms. It doesn’t have to be done all at once, but it needs to be done and the best way is a plan or program that keeps putting money back into updates.

Read the Highland Study here

“Everyone, no matter what age, wants a nice, clean, bright room. That always has been important. But needs of the younger generation are different. While older visitors might never expect, or even care, if their room is equipped with a flat screen television, the new generation of vacationers does. Older visitors have come here for years and never had Wi-Fi in their rooms and don’t care. The new visitors expect Wi-Fi and will start tweeting immediately that their room doesn’t have it.

“Lee County was compared to four other counties in the Highland Study. Hotel lodging inland in Lee County and on Fort Myers Beach tended be newer that other parts of the county, and that includes Sanibel and Captiva, whose “product is uniquely concentrated from the late 1960s and 1970s.”

“We suspect most hoteliers in Lee County have read the Highland Study, which flatly states, “lodging requires constant upgrading. Lee County lodging will need to be upgraded to be competitive in the future.””

The Real Estate Profession is Getting Younger

realtor logoIt’s always good news to hear that the Realtor profile is changing in the right direction. According to statistics released earlier this month by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the real estate profession – is getting younger! It says “There’s been big change in the average age of real estate professionals. In just one year, the median age of Realtors® dropped – from 57 last year, to 53 this year! That’s according to the 2016 NAR Member Profile…What’s driving the decrease? Well, Realtors under the age of 30 have more than do0ubled in the last year, from just 2% of all members to 5%, and the share of Realtors 65 and older dropped significantly—from 25% to just 16%”.

“As a result of the change, 20% of Realtors today—that’s one out of every five—have been in the business just one year or less. And a third of all Realtors have been in the business three years or less….”

Sanibelsusan LogoThat doesn’t mean that SanibelSusan is retiring any time soon, but it hopefully means that there will be more new members contributing to the health of the real estate family. As a member of the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee again this year, it can be challenging finding young members willing to volunteer their time for committee work which makes them eligible for our Board of Directors and future officer positions. Explaining to candidates how networking is key to a successful business helps.

EliseinShirt

BetterSusan

Wondering how many years The SanibelSusan Team has in this business?

Together, we have a whopping 72 years! And they really have been together too!

Four professionals for the price of one!

Dave CroppedLisa1Susan Andrews – 27 years licensed, 21 as a broker

 

 

Elise Carnes – 19 in real estate, licensed for 13

Dave Anderson – 17 in real estate, licensed for 4

Lisa Murty – licensed and in real estate for 9 years.

 

What Dads Want in Their Homes (all hail the man cave)

fathers-day-clip-art-HappysFathersDayClipArt1024x1024PB1Thanks to our client pal, Scott, for emailing me the following article that he shared with us in honor of the upcoming Father’s Day weekend. It was published on line today in the “Wall Street Journal” – “MarketWatch”. Best wishes to Scott and all those other man-cave loving Dads!

“This Father’s Day, when it comes to what dads want in a home, the answer seems clear: their own space.

While moms appear to be more practical when it comes to home design, dreaming of features like mud rooms so kids can change out of grubby clothes before tracking dirt into the house, or open floor plans so they can keep tabs on kids who are hanging out in the living room while they’re in the kitchen, dads want to get away from it all.

““We’ve been asked to search for homes with a separate snack kitchen, cigar lounge, a quiet napping room just for dad,” said Bruce Elliott, a Realtor with Regal Real Estate Professionals in Orlando, Fla. “Even room for a home brewery.”

“Barring the cigar lounge, at the top of the list for dads is — not surprisingly — the original man cave, namely the garage, said Elliott. Dads have also asked for cabinets on porches big enough to install a small fridge, a shaded platform for a grill, or storage sheds for pool games and floating toys, he said. Dads spend time really evaluating the potential a garage has and “will it fit their jet skis or other toys, a workbench or, of course, that mountain of kids’ stuff,” he said.

“Of course, plenty of dads, like Chad King, a 42-year-old marine biologist who lives in Gilroy, Calif., are all about being practical when it comes to what they want in a home. “Good school district, not near busy streets so there’s no noise pollution, low crime rates, quality construction materials and everything up to code and permitted,” he said. Still, King looked for a house with a large garage for at least three cars “plus a man-cave or office far from the kids rooms so I don’t keep them up at night,” he said.

“And if dads can’t find the ideal space in a home, they’ll make it. Or at least have somebody else do it, said Frederick Wilson, an architect who co-founded the firm Morgante Wilson in Evanston, Ill.

“Wilson, a father of three who himself, created a separate space in his house for his Lionel trains and railroad memorabilia, and reported that he’s been asked to create special spaces for dads, including one for a client who wanted to mount his trophies from big game hunting trips. “[His] wife didn’t want the stuffed heads anywhere near the house,” he said. So Wilson designed a one-and-a-half-story study off the main floor with lots of natural light but kept it separate from the main floor.

“Another client wanted to mount his guitars and have a place to jam. Yet another wanted the wall of his study knocked out so he could stare at his classic cars in the garage. “Most guys have something they want to celebrate, but they don’t know how,” Wilson said.

“And if it’s not a man cave, it’s access to the great outdoors that fathers want, said Jerry James, president of Glenview, Ill.–based Edward R. James Homes, a residential developer. His company’s town house designs outside Chicago feature a square private outdoor deck on the main level that’s easily accessible from the kitchen and family room and is accessed through a den.

““The connected den can be used as a kids’ playroom where dad can keep an eye on them while relaxing and reading a book on the deck,” said James. “Or, if the den is used as a home office, the deck makes a nice change of scenery if dad is working from home for the day and wants to work outside on his laptop.”

“Karen Schmid, sales manager at Red Seal Homes in Northbrook, Ill., said the company’s Willow Lake development, which includes waterfront homes with deck and water rights along two natural lakes, was particularly popular with dads. “That’s been a huge pull for the guys,” she said, many of whom prize it for fishing and kayaking.

“A little more down-to-earth dad amenity is the outdoor kitchen. “It’s a popular upgrade for dads who not only want a fully equipped, dedicated space where they can show off their skills as family ‘grill master,’ but also have a great area for outdoor entertaining,” Wilson said.

“Greg Lukianoff, a 41-year-old attorney and father in Washington, D.C., is one of those budding grill masters. He said any outdoor grill needs to be connected to the house’s gas line so you don’t risk running out of gas while in the process of cooking or have to swap out propane cylinders. It’s also important to have the outside grill area connected to the kitchen, he said. “As someone who loves blackened fish, it’s also great for keeping your house smelling good,” he added.

“Lukianoff’s wife, Michelle, declined to comment.” (I love that last sentence.)

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 10-17, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Kimball Lodge #263 1/2 $415K, Sundial #F208 1/1 $439K.

No price reductions.

3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 listed at $529K, Compass Pointe #222 listed at $689K, Sundial #M301 2/2 listed at at $749K.

1 closed sale: White Caps #5 1/1 $505K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 6111 San-Cap Rd 5/4.3 $27M

6 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $395K, 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $429K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 now $729.9K, 9468 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $759K, 726 Cardium St 3/3 now $775K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.1M.

4 new sales: 242 Christopher Ct 3/2 listed at $729K, 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $779K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $975K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $2.4M.

4 closed sales: 746 Cardium St 4/2 $599,998, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $660K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $950K, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $1.135M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $199K.9K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 5639 Baltusrol Ct $235K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price reductions.

1 new sale: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 listed at $1.875M.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas $5106 1/2 $275K, Bayside Villas #4301 3/3 $584K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend & Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

fathers-day-clip-art-FATHERS_DAY_HEADER

Baywaters Back to a Glistening Blue

It has been another nice weather, low traffic week on Sanibel. The Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® Caravan Meeting held yesterday had light attendance with several colleagues from the local leadership team and office staff being in DC as described in the write-up below.

After a few other news items is a summary of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days. Note our new listing at Loggerhead Cay. Known as Sanibel’s Rainbow, it earns phenomenal income!

Realtors® Gathered in Washington This Week

NAR_midyear_logo_hp2014_conventionThousands of Realtors® from across the nation met with legislators, regulators and industry leaders this week during their annual Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. More than 8,500 Realtors and guests have been in Washington, D.C. attending these meetings which began Monday and run through tomorrow. As posted earlier on “FloridaRealtors®”:

“There is a wide range of residential and commercial real estate issues that are of high importance to Realtors and are coming to a head right now, so we’ll be using the strength of our combined voices to remind members of Congress to maintain sound real estate markets,” says National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Fla., who served as Florida Realtors president in 2003. “Furthermore, we’ll be setting the stage for next year, after the elections, when House and Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle are expected to move tax reform proposals,” Salomone adds.

“Conference attendees will hear from industry and political leaders, including Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro, who will discuss student loan debt. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), will share perspectives on housing finance and student debt; political pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff will offer insights into the mood of the country and its impact on the 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns; investigative journalist and author Bob Woodward will share his thoughts on the presidential elections; and Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner will discuss financial and commercial real estate markets. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will also share residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts.

“Throughout the week, Realtors will also visit Capitol Hill and meet directly with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the legislative and regulatory environment’s effect on residential and commercial real estate. Among the high-profile policy issues that Realtors will raise:

  • Extending the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
  • Maintaining important real estate tax policies
  • Federal Housing Administration reforms
  • Ensuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage guarantee fees aren’t extended, increased or diverted for unrelated government spending

“Attendees will also be conducting in-person meetings with officials and staff at the White House and more than a half dozen regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service, Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Sanibel Plays Flood Insurance Points Game

santiva chronicleIt can be challenging describing to prospective island property owners how Sanibel fits into the federal flood insurance equation. These buyers often think that because Sanibel is a barrier island that flood insurance is not an option and if available it would be cost prohibitive. Homeowners and lenders, however, often want the protection of this insurance.

The below article was posted on line yesterday by “Santiva-Chronicle”. Written by their Editor David Staver, it is a good explanation of the changes that went before Sanibel Planning Commission this week.

“Flood insurance. It’s a points game. That means keeping score and it should be simple. It’s anything but simple.

NationalFloodInsuranceProgr“The Sanibel Planning Commission gave its approval Tuesday, May 10, to the removal from the city code of a pair of flood insurance-related restrictions that are no longer required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They are the five-year cost accumulation period and the 50% rule for substantial improvements.

There’s no use going into what those two restrictions are since they will come off the books in July when the City Council can give final approval to their removal. No one will have to worry about them after July and anyone who has been hampered by them knows how they work. But the complexity of them is a microcosm of flood insurance – the points game.

“The points game begins with a community’s rating which is somewhere between 1 and 10. Hitting it with a broad brush, a community with a 1 will never flood and a community with a 10 not only will flood, but doesn’t care either.

“Sanibel obviously cares and its rating is 5. That gives property owners here a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums. Recently the consulting firm TetraTech did a detailed analysis of the city’s flood insurance status. What the city learned is that 5 is about as good as its going to get here. TetraTech identified what Sanibel would have to do to achieve a 4, and, for that matter, a 3 and a 2 too. Most of that was out of the question. Hitting it with a broad brush again, any development in the city would basically have to go three feet more in the air than it is now. That’s something the City Council doesn’t think Sanibel can stomach without undue hardship.

“It’s all about points. Raising everything in the air would get a bunch of points in the Community Rating System. Towns and cities that aren’t flood prone get a bunch of points for just being where they are. Sanibel is an island. It will never score well in this critical category. So it has to go looking for points elsewhere to make sure it keeps its Class 5 rating in the CRS, which is constantly adjusting what and how many points it awards for this and that.

There are some low-hanging points. The CRS changed the way it provides points for telling prospective buyers more about the floodplain risk. TetraTech said the city could snag 20 points by preparing a flood depth map and then making it available and publicizing it. Sanibel has already contracted with Johnson Engineering to make the map and no city does publicity better than Sanibel, so that’s 20 points to be had.

“More points are also to be had with better public outreach, says TetraTech. Again, Sanibel is on the case. The city has coordinated with Lee County and surrounding communities to form a Multijurisdictional Program for Public Information. The MJPPI requires an annual commitment for public outreach and obligates the city to print brochures and do mailings throughout the year. That’s money and more work, but it’s points that can be had.

The TetraTech report found that the cost accumulation and 50% rules were no longer applicable and by July they will be gone. That won’t hurt the city’s rating. In the meantime Sanibel is trying to build up its point total from its sea level location. It’s all about location and when it comes to flood insurance, it’s about points too.”

Progress on Projects on Sanibel Island

SCA-View-2.jpg

Rendering of the new Sanibel Community House renovation

Community House Renovation – With its $3 million capital campaign nearly complete, the Sanibel Community Association board and staff members gathered Monday at The Community House to officially break ground on a six-month reconstruction, restoration, renovation and expansion project. Improvements to the nearly 90-year old structure will include: restoration of historic North Room; new exterior olde-Florida design including new roof, porch-style entry/drop-off area; redesign inside creating a more open flexible floor plan; kitchen redesign/update and expanded restrooms; new conference room; redesign of offices/storage spaces updating audio, video, – in 1927, more than 50 island organizations and over 50,000 attendees use The Community House each year. Congrats to my friend, fellow-BIG ARTS Chorus alto, and architect Amy Nowacki who completed the renovation design.

1927 Community House North Room

The Community House in 1927

 

AT&T Donax cell towerAT&T Cell Service – Gotta love it when you get info about island happenings from FaceBook. Tuesday, City Manager Judie Zimomra posted this photo of the work underway on the cell phone tower (aka tall flag pole) on Donax Street. AT&T is adding their equipment there. Those of us living on Sanibel’s east-end are all anxious for the work to be complete. For years, my home has required its own min-cell tower to get coverage. Hopefully when this is done, east-end cell service will improve.

LCVCB logoLee County Visitor & Convention Bureau – Yesterday, City Manager Zimomra also posted a photo taken at the local tourism board where she said they “voted to approve $2.43 million in grants from bed taxes to the City of Sanibel to protect and maintain our beaches in their natural state…thanks to our Mayor Kevin Ruane for his support through the process and the excellent work by all the staff on the teams that prepared our grant applications…our Friends at Ding Darling were awarded an addition $35,000 for educational purposes.”

Summer Vegetation Trimming Begins – On Monday, May 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., vegetation along the west side of Tarpon Bay Road will be trimmed from Island Inn Road to West Gulf Drive.

Water Quality Continues to Improve

bay May 2016

1st week of May 2016 – San Carlos Bay toward the causeway

 

Good news reported this week by the “Islander” when it was posted that “The clarity of the waters surrounding Sanibel Island continue to see improvements as less flow is released from Lake Okeechobee.

“James Evans, Director of Natural Resources said as of Monday, May 2, the elevation of Lake O was 14.15 feet dropping approximately 0.93 feet during the past month. He said as long as the dry conditions persist the lake should be 13.5 feet by June 1, which should put them in good position going into the rainy season.

“”There’s different weather patterns that are starting to form. The water managers are really focusing on a potential strengthening La Nina pattern and that could mean a drier wet season,” Evans said. “Obviously as we move into the raining season with a dryer pattern, there could be some concerns about water supply. It’s the balance between getting water out of the lake, but not too much water to make sure we have water for dry season flows next fall and winter and having water supply for the Everglades agricultural area and other parts of the system.”

“Because of the drier conditions in April, the Corps have steadily been cutting back on the release of Lake O. On April 22, they reduced the pulse released from 3,000 to 2,500 CFS. On April 29, further reductions were made from 2,500 to 2,000 CFS.

“If you have noticed driving across the causeway the water is getting quite clear out there and along our gulf beaches are really starting to clear up,” Evans said, which is great.

“He said although the target flows are around 2,000 CFS, they are seeing slightly higher average flows. Evans said the flows are closer to 2,700 CFS, so it is surprising that the water is as clear as it is out in the bay right now.

“He said about 90% of the water they are receiving right now is coming from the lake because there is no rainfall in the watershed. With the improved water clarity, he said they are seeing better salinity, which in turn is helping the oyster beds and sea grass.

“Mayor Kevin Ruane said they have divided responsibilities among the council to talk about water quality. He said the “white paper” walks about what they would like and what is necessary, all science based and adopted by Florida entities.

“Vice Mayor Mick Denham said one of the misunderstandings is that even if they could completely stop the flows from Lake O coming down the Caloosahatchee they would still get some issues with water in the estuaries that they do not want. He said they get a good amount of water from the Caloosahatchee Basin when there is a rain event.

“”If we could stop flows from Lake O we would still get flows from the Caloosahatchee Basin. A flow way south is part of the solution. I think call the flow way south is an incorrect statement. It really should be described as a storage treatment and conveyance system,” he said. “That would be part of the solution, but not the complete solution,”

“Ruane said their job is to be advocates and educate people.

“A revised draft of the “white paper” will be on the agent for consideration in June.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 6-13, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

ExpandedAerialFromGangl3 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 $598.3K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 $649K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 $869K.

3 price changes: Seashells #14 2/2 now $379K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 now $499K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.179M.

3 new sales: Sundial West #H110 1/1 listed at $299K, Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 listed at $495K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 listed at $665K.

6 closed sales: Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 $330K, Sand Pointe #213 2/2 $570K, Pointe Santo #C41 2/2 $795K, Tanglewood #3 3/3 $1.25M, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 $1.25M, Gulfside Place #306 3/2 $1.3575M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 $745K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $829K, 984 Oyster Ct 3/3 $2.1M.

7 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $399K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 now $679K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $699K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $789K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 now $938.5K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 now $1.249M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.945M.

5 new sales: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $379.9K; 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $489K; 3927 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $599,995; 830 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 listed at $1.545M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.548M.

6 closed sales: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $435K, 1139 Buttonwood Ln 2/1 $595K, 600 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $655K, 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 $700K, 1111 Schooner Pl 3/3 $885K, 6011 Clam Bayou Ln 3/3 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2133 Starfish Ln $439K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 6217 Starling Way listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 new sale: with Bayside Villas #5106 1/2 listed at $289K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here’s hoping the wonderful weather continues…Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beach (Medium)

What’s Happening After “High Season”

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayWinding up the second 2016 post-season week, The SanibelSusan Team already is itching for more action. We appreciate being able to drive down Periwinkle at the end of the workday without delays, but several days this week, even the phones have been too quiet.

More of our condo listings were vacant this week, for the first time in months, so my team has held a few open houses, but very few prospects visited. Even the island Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday was lightly attended. Details on the week’s action in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow some news items below.

The below article posted in the “Santiva Chronicle” last Saturday resonates a similar tone about the market. It was written by Realtor® colleague Sarah Ashton who brought the buyer for our listing at Compass Point, scheduled to close soon. We kibitzed then about island sales.

Does The Market Seem Slow?

santiva chronicle“This is a recurring question about Island Real Estate that has been circulating for the last month or so.

“Both 2014 and 2015 saw a return to an active market and an absorption of a good deal of our outstanding inventory. At the end of 2015, we were at lows in inventory that rivaled historic for the Islands. With this reduced inventory and the economy moving into recovery, we faced the real possibility that 2016 was not only going to be another active year, but also one with some measurable price increases. We were expecting “A Pop.”

“With the first quarter of 2016 over, and these questions about the pace of the market expressed, let’s take a look at where we are, by the numbers.

“In 2015 there were 68 houses and 48 Condos that closed in the first quarter. In 2016 we have seen 44 house and 40 Condos closed. Thus far in 2016, we have experience a roughly 30% reduction in the number of closed sales as compared to the same timeframe in 2015 and prices have remained primarily flat over last year.

“Will this trend continue for the rest of 2016? Great question and a crystal ball might help. What we do know is that a confluence of El Nino warm weather produced the wettest January on record which affected the water quality. Combine that with the warmest winter in the Midwest and Northeast in many years. Combine both of these with an Early Easter and perhaps a bit of pre-presidential election jitters and we may just have created the perfect storm for a mini-pullback in our Real Estate market.

“These conditions will all pass. However it may be that until we get to the 4th quarter of 2016 we won’t experience the “Pop”.”

Here’s An Interesting Statistic

realtor logoAccording to National Association of Realtors® President Tom Salomone’s message in the March/April issue of “Realtor” magazine, “one in every 220 adults in the U.S. is a Realtor®.”

For years, some colleagues jokingly have said that when a person retires here – right after getting their Florida driver’s license, they also take the real estate exam. With this national statistic, it must be happening elsewhere too.

The Upside to a Changing Market

Florida Realtors logoAs described in the April 2016 issue of “Florida Realtor®”, there has been a change in the international buyers and sellers doing business in Florida. As the article says “the international market is changing, but there are still opportunities….”

“International buyers and sellers accounted for 11% of the state’s residential transactions in 2015. The largest countries for global buyers were Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, China, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, and Venezuela….Because global buyers tend to buy higher-priced homes and condominiums, they had a 24% share of total residential sales volume.

“International buyers love Florida’s real estate market. It’s an attractive vacation destination with convenient air access from Canada, Europe, and Latin America…But Florida’s appeal to those buyers is affected by many factors, particularly changes in foreign exchange rates that can make Florida properties more expensive or reduce their cost. The recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar has slowed the pace of foreign purchases by Canadians, Europeans and residents of some Latin American countries.

“Immigration and visa restrictions can be problematic for potential buyers, who also pay close attention to U.S. attitudes toward immigrant groups….Here is a closer look at Florida’s most important global markets.

canada-flagCANADA –In 2015, Canadians were only 11% of international buyers, a steep drop from 32% the prior year, primarily because of a less favorable exchange rate. Canadian buyers in all income segments like buying homes in the Sunshine State. Traditionally, French-speaking Canadians from Quebec have bought along the I-95 corridor, while English speakers from Ontario and the western provinces have gravitated to Central Florida and the Gulf Coast….

UK FlagUNITED KINGDOM – U.K. buyers were 5% of the state’s international market in 2015, down from 7% in 2014 and 15% in 2010. A stronger U.S. dollar has led to a decline in sales to buyers from the U.K. and other northern European countries…That trend had had a greater impact on U.K. buyers investing in rental properties…But lifestyle buyers who want to spend six months in Florida are still purchasing here…U.K. buyers traditionally favor Central Florida and often buy relatively inexpensive vacation homes near Orlando’s theme parks….

Germany flagGERMANY – German buyers were 2% of the state’s international market in 2015, down from 5% in the prior year…In Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland, a real estate transaction is not valid until a notary signs the document in the presence of both parties….” So some education is involved here.

french-flag-largeFRANCE – French buyers were 3% of the state’s international market in 2015, unchanged from 2014. In the past decade, French buyers and investors have significantly increased their presence in the Florida market…When property values dropped during 2008-09, many European investors saw an opportunity here…Now, South Florida has a significant number of French, Italian, Spanish, Belgian and Swiss owners…. French buyers tend to purchase in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties….French buyers like Europeans are looking for residences with special features such as landscaping or interior design…They do not want cookie-cutter houses or condos…The quality of construction and the details of the architecture are very important.

china flagCHINA – Chinese buyers have increased their presence in recent years and now constitute 4% of international buyers, up from 1% in 2011. In the past few years, South Florida has attracted a growing number of buyers from China, as well as Korea, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and other Asian countries….In some cases,… parents will buy a home close to a campus, planning to hold it for four years or longer….Access to quality education and clean air are top priorities for Chinese buyers….

Brazil flagBRAZIL – Brazilian buyers were 9% of the state’s international market in 2015, up from 6% in 2014. For the past five years, Brazil has been one of Florida’s strongest international markets. Many affluent buyers purchased new condominiums and resales in the Miami market in all-cash transactions for personal use or investment. But the inflow of buyers from South America’s largest economy has been slowing over the past year, due to an economic recession, a political corruption scandal and the devaluation of the Brazilian real, which has fallen to record lows compared with the U.S. dollar.

Argentina flagARGENTINA – Argentine buyers were 7% of the state’s international market in 2015, up from 3% in 2014….

Flag_of_ColombiaCOLUMBIA – Columbian buyers were 7% of the state’s international market in 2015, up from 4% in 2014….

venezuela flagVENEZUELA – Venezuelan buyers were 18% of the state’s international market in 2015, up from 3% in 2014…. As Venezuela is one of the world’s major oil producers, its economy has been hit hard by the 2015 downturn in oil prices…and their recession is expected to deepen this year…”

What Does This Mean for the Sanibel/Captiva Market? And SanibelSusan Realty Associates?

Narrowing Florida’s recent international business to just the area of Sanibel and Captiva, European countries continue to dominate the islands’ buyer market. Most recent transactions with Canadians have been with them selling, usually because of the exchange rate. There is little business here with residents of Asia and South/Central America, but that could and, likely will, change.

Proxio logoProxioPro.com – SanibelSusan has a long-standing profile on www.ProxioPro.com which is a site known as the international MLS and global real estate network for referrals and sales. Comprised of mostly real estate professionals with internationally-recognized designations, through ProxioPro, I have personal connections with offers to pay referral fees to over 450 world-wide real estate professionals who have reached out to me indicating that they have buyers interested in Sanibel and Captiva.

My most recent ProxioPro out-of-country referral requests came from France and Canada, followed by Brazil, Greece, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. In-country requests have come mostly from agents on the other coast of Florida, particularly Miami. California and Texas are the two states that also have brought many recent requests.

world properties logo.jpgWorld Properties.com – Also powered by Proxio, www.WorldProperties.com is the official website of the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations – similar to a global version of www.Realtor.com. The consortium is comprised of real estate associations in 117 member countries which have set standards to facilitate real estate transactions and agreed to abide by specific codes of conduct. Here too, our listings are posted and translated into the various languages of the member countries.

juwai logoJuwai.com – This summer, my plan is to get a company profile and our listings posted on Juwai which is an international property portal for Chinese-speaking buyers looking to purchase property outside their country. On a national level, last year Chinese buyers surpassed Canadians in U.S. purchases, though most of these buys were on the west coast or in New York. Like most everywhere today, the Chinese economy is settling into a new normal. Considering that China has never been as large or powerful as it is now, my guess is that investment property here will appeal to them – if only they knew about it. Many in China are seeking not only safe monetary harbors, but also better educational opportunities for their children, so you can be sure that I will be touting the success of nearby Florida Gulf Coast University as well as other schooling opportunities here.

Why More Americans Are Heading South

From a recent posting on “Daily Real Estate News”:

RealtyTracLogo_166x32“A rising number of Americans are heading to southern states, lured by a combination of warmer weather, affordable housing, lower taxes, and less congested cities, according to a new report published by RealtyTrac called “The Next Great Migration of ‘Housing Refugees’ On the Move.”

“New census data confirm the findings. Since 2014 alone, more than 1.4 million people have moved to the Sun Belt, mostly from the Northeast and Midwest, according to Census Bureau data.

“That marks a stark difference to previous mobility trends. For more than a century, Americans predominantly headed west to cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle. But lately, that migration trend is taking a turn south.

““This 20th century movement west, which has dominated American demographic patterns for decades, may now be reversing itself in the 21st century as rising housing costs, stagnant job creation, restrictive land-use laws and no-tax states, pull Californians, Midwesterners and Northeasterners eastward and southward to less costly regions and more business-friendly states in the Sun Belt,” RealtyTrac’s report notes.

“Americans are fleeing pricey coastal states like California and New York and heading to states considered more affordable, such as Texas, Florida, and the Carolinas, according to a recent United Van Lines report.

During the Great Recession, populations in the Sun Belt saw a decline, but now analysts are saying there’s a renewed “Snow Belt–to–Sun Belt migration pattern,” notes William H. Frey, a demographer and senior fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

“Florida is especially feeling a heat wave of new residents. For the first time in nearly a decade, Florida added more people than California between July 2014 and July 2015, according to Census Bureau data. That helped Florida emerge as the third most populous U.S. state, jumping ahead of New York (and following California and Texas).”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 8-15, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #A8 2/2 $365K; White Caps South #5 1/1 $520K; Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $595,555; Sealoft Village #106 2/2 $599K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $549K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $595K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #1B 2/2.5 now $610K.

1 new sale: Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 listed at $795K.

3 closed sales: Seawind #A101 2/2.5 $495K, Sundial West #G404 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 $1.615M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 340 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $625K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $715K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $749K, 6188 Henderson Rd 3/2 $779K, 841 Lindgren Blvd 2/2 $899K.

7 price changes: 5131 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $465K, 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $529.9K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $679K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $875K, 232 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $1.285M, 6491 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.795M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $2.4M.

7 new sales: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $379.9K, 441 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 now $569K, 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 2459 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 listed at $949K, 460 East Gulf Dr 2/2.5 listed at $1.289M, 882 Beach Rd 4/3 listed at $1.395M.

4 closed sales: 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 $538.5K, 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $700K, 280 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $875K, 169 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $1.234M.

LOTS

1 new listings: 1304 Eagle Run Dr $339K (same lot that closed earlier in the week).

2 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $189,555; 6217 Starling Way now $1.295M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1304 Eagle Run Dr $205K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3231 2/2 $405K, Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 $510K, Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 $629.9K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 listed at $605K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 6790 Captiva Dr 5/5  multi-family listed at $5.25M.

1 closed sale: 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4.5 $2.15M.

LOTS

Nothing to report

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

Until next Friday, here’s a photo like the one so many folks post on social media, saying “It’s the road to paradise”.

It is… TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Causeway bridge

Savoring Another Sunny Sanibel Day

SanibelSusan here reporting more beautiful weather on sunny Sanibel Island. The beaches, bike paths, roadways, shops and restaurants continue to be filled with happy visitors and vacationers. Families on spring break are on the island this week, with more to arrive over the weekend as other states begin their school vacations. There are a few weary business folks looking forward to Easter being early this year, but at SanibelSusan Realty, we have our second wind and look forward to more “season” action.

The beach looks great and many were out enjoying it today. On my way back to the office this afternoon I stopped to take these photos at the Fulgur Street beach access. It was a breezy 81 degrees at 1 p.m.

Fulgur 1Fulgur 2Fulgur 3Fulgur 4Fulgur 5Fulgur 6Fulgur 7Fulgur 8

Where Is the Great White Pelican Now?

Great White PelicanAs follow-up to last week’s blog, this week it was reported that The Great White Pelican spotted at “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge from Feb 28 to Mar 1 has not been seen since. It may still be there, or moved on.

Congratulations to the birders and photographers that did capture sight of what they say is the “rarest” bird ever spotted at the refuge. It was ~4000 miles away from its native range.

 

Sanibel – The Smartest City in Florida

Sanibelcityseal logoI almost hesitate to write that the island made it to the “top” of another list, but why not. Sanibel Land Development Code only allows so much building and the infra-structure can only support so many vehicles, so why not toot Sanibel’s horn again?

Sanibel not only tops international and national lists for best family vacations, shelling, beaches, biking, healthy living, and schools, but now it also is Florida’s smartest city – or so says an article posted on Zippia zippia_logo_headerwhich is a career oriented web site (https://www.zippia.com/advice/smartest-cities-in-florida/). According to their recent article:

“These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In Florida…

  1. Sanibel
  2. Neptune Beach
  3. Gulf Breeze
  4. Key Biscayne
  5. Palm Beach
  6. Longboat Key
  7. Islamorada
  8. Cocoa Beach
  9. Parkland
  10. Maitland”

Robots Can’t Replace REALTORS®

realtor logoGood article posted on line at Realtor®Mag on Tuesday – sums my thoughts about the new wave in this real estate business.

“New technological advancements will never supply the human factor consumers need in the transaction.

“Every day, there’s a new threat to the way real estate professionals do business. There’s always a startup looking to rope in a chunk of the home-buying market by promising to undercut standard agent commission rates or even offering an online transaction platform that bypasses the need for an agent altogether….

“And there’s the advent of virtual reality in the real estate space, which has designs on offering consumers a fuller home-shopping experience with a virtual guide online.

“We’re only at the beginning of this transformative age where new technology and business models seek to reform the traditional real estate industry, hoping to gain the first mover advantage that comes with being the latest innovative brand. The rise of Redfin and even newer startups boasting other revolutionary models is an indication that the ranks of disruptors aiming to be game changers in the real estate space is only increasing.

“Despite their strong efforts, a total reboot of how real estate is done won’t happen quickly, and today’s top real estate companies won’t lose their command of market share anytime soon. But these newer “Walmart brokerages” — which grab attention with low prices and buyer kickbacks and operate with the advantage of a monstrous scale of resources — are putting change in the air and luring market share. How long can individual agents and brokers compete? Will they eventually have to throw in the towel? … New technology will only be able to make limited inroads into gaining consumer trust in managing the most important transaction of their lives.

“That’s where REALTORS® have won the game for years.

“Real estate continues to be — and will always be — a relationship-centric business. So practitioners must never underestimate the importance of the human factor in the transaction, and that’s where we need to master our skills the most. That cannot be replaced by algorithms and technology platforms, and drastic discounts on commissions aren’t enough to maintain a high quality of service. The professionals who will adapt most successfully to the changing landscape will be the ones who fulfill their role as a trusted guide and fierce guardian of their clients’ interests, not simply as a salesperson who just happens to be administering a transaction. These are some of the most crucial skills we need to master right now:

“High ethical standards: The Code of Ethics is the most powerful tool we have to differentiate ourselves from the competition today. Purchasing real estate will continue to be the most important transaction in the lives of consumers, so convincing to them to work with you requires demonstrating a strong sense of integrity and loyalty. You must fulfill a crucial role acting as both an honest professional to the public as well as a trusted guardian of your clients’ core interests. Now is an important time to live by the Code more than ever.

“Beyond fact and figures: Consumers are better informed about the real estate process than ever before because of the availability of information online. So while it’s even more necessary for you to know market statistics like the back of your hand in order to compete, you also have to focus on the skills that a computer can’t perform for a consumer: negotiating, understanding the nuances of sensitive situations, and conflict resolution. We have to be better at the relationship-building part to show our clients that a positive transaction requires some with social intuition, which cannot be replaces by technology.

“Understanding the technology that threatens us: Technology is changing the way everyone lives, and we can’t continue operating our businesses like it’s not. We must understand that the magnitude of change that we have seen in the industry is only beginning. So we need to be better prepared for it by continually updating our knowledge of new technologies and concepts, and finding the piece of the puzzle these advancements can’t perform better than a human. By understanding the methods and incentives which are driving these new challenges, we can adapt our business models to address new demands and survive in the industry of tomorrow.

“None of this is to say that a portion of us won’t lose to new technology. Part-time agents who don’t commit themselves to education and keeping their business up-to-date will likely fall to the wayside and be unable to sustain a business. Those who lack a strong work ethic or fail to focus on self-improvement will face increasing difficulties in earning a living as the traditional industry model faces an increasing barrage of threats.

Those of you who manage to survive and thrive in the real estate industry of the future will be the ones who have earned it.”

Sea School’s Octifest Celebrates 10 Years of Ocean Education

Sanibel Sea SchoolThe “Santiva Chronicle” recently posted the below article about Sanibel Sea School. That was a fast 10 years!

“Octifest on the Beach, Sanibel Sea School’s annual ocean celebration and fundraiser, will once again be held bayside on Causeway Island A on Saturday, March 19.

“This year’s celebration marks 10 years of ocean education and outreach on Sanibel by the nonprofit marine conservation foundation.

““It’s really incredible to look back at the past decade and consider how much our organization has grown,” says Dr. Bruce Neill, who opened Sanibel Sea School in 2006 with his wife, Evelyn Monroe Neill.

“What started as a tiny school offering ocean-themed day classes for kids now also offers summer camps, boat trips, adult programs, and more – and all outings are field-based, so students build meaningful connections with the marine environment while getting their feet wet, and leave feeling inspired to be better stewards of our seas.

“Sanibel Sea School has also forged strong partnerships with local organizations including the Heights Foundation, Pine Manor Improvement Association, and Gladiolus Center for Learning and Development, bringing hundreds of at-risk kids to experience the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants each year.

““We call them our landlocked kids,” says Neill, “they live just a few miles from the coast, but some have never set foot on the beach. Showing these kids a seahorse or a manatee for the first time is pure magic – it opens their minds to a whole new world.”

“It is thanks to support from the local community that Sanibel Sea School is able to provide these outreach programs, which are fully funded by donors. Octifest is the largest source of funds for the organization each year.

““We hope you will come out to enjoy the sunset, eat a delicious meal, and help us continue to do great things for our oceans and our kids,” Neill says.

“Sanibel Sea School is a marine conservation nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more about Octifest or to purchase tickets, visit octifest.org or call 239-472-8585.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity March 4-11, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sundial West #G404 2/2 $559K, Sundial West $A205 2/2 $829K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 $1.299M.

8 price changes: Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 now $559K, Sanibel Siesta #402 2/2 now $559K, Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 now $659.9K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $665K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $779K, Pointe Santo #C41 2/2 now $815K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 now $819K, Sanibel Seaview #A1 3/3 now $1.199M.

3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 listed at $429K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 listed at $784K, West Shore #3 3/3 listed at $1.699M.

3 closed sales: Sandpiper Beach 3101 2/2 $765K (our listing), Heron at The Sanctuary II #3B 3/2.5 $825K, Island Beach Club #350D 2/2 $1.025M.

HOMES

10 new listings: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $479K, 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $589.9K, 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $635K, 1858 Farm Trail 3/2.5 $649K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 $689K, 5279 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $695K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $1.079M, 169 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $1.249M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 $1.395M, 6192 Henderson Rd 4/4 $2.05M.

13 price changes: 848 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $379.9K; 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 now $464K; 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $539K; 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $639,999; 887 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $675K; 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $699K; 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 now $749K; 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $799K; 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 now $995K; 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.16M; 830 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 now $1.545M; 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $2.297M; 5125 Joewood Dr 3/4 now $2.95M.

7 new sales: 3870 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $585K, 1216 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $779K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $794K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed at $814.9K, 1270 Bay Dr 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 6011 Clam Bayou Ln 3/3 listed at $1.395M, 1688 Hibiscus Dr 3/4 listed at $1.849M.

7 closed sales: 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 $750K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $755K, 979 Oyster Ct 2/2 $800K, 437 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $852.5K, 3724 Agate Ct 3/3 $922K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 $862.5K, 1503 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4.5 $3.4M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5847 Pine Tree Dr $379K, 6159 Starling Way $619K.

1 price change: 2626 Coconut Dr now $297K.

2 new sales: 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $339K, 3723 West Gulf Dr listed at $2.775M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $305K.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 now $720K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed at $1.175M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Here’s to another weekend of great beach weather!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Columbus Day Weekend 2015 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

As another week comes to a close, SanibelSusan reports that although many new listings are coming on the market for “season”, there was not much sales action again this week.

Here is a quick summary of the Sanibel and Captiva real estate sales since the first of the year compared to last year and the year before. Also included is inventory today. Note these prices are averages.

SANIBEL   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale        84      $763,929                 101      $1,365,647           65         $462,128

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015            133     $674,347                 205         $876,028           36          $392,344

2014            132     $672,330                 174         $821,266           20          $452,903

2013            138     $563,493                 175         $922,938           18          $450,364

CAPTIVA   CONDOS # Average Price HOMES # Average Price LOTS # Average Price

For sale         37      $743,454                  36       $3,798,014           4        $2,234,750

Sold/closed Jan 1 to Oct 9:

2015              30      $1,112,050              19       $3,269,079            2          $2,847,500

2014              17           $660,471            23       $2,826,717            0           N/A

2013              27           $665,630           15       $2,642,267             1             $650,000

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

Here are a few news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Island Weather, Happenings & Upcoming Events

Farmers Market Girls 10-4-2015Between some occasional showers, the opening of Sanibel’s Farmers’ Market last Sunday morning was a great success. Lots of locals were in attendance with a terrific variety of goods available for those looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, prepared food, and much more. Big thank you to the market organizers, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura.

Farmer Market bagsThis year they have some new recyclable shopping bags too, I bought a few to hold some future closing gifts!

Sanibel Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through April. See you there!

Since last weekend, island weather has been pretty nice. Temperatures are in the low to mid 80’s, the humidity is down, and sunshine is expected every day for at least the next week.

Theater-in-SanibelTonight through Sunday – BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater – With a cast of 35 children, the debut of “Flat Stanley”, the 1st children’s theater show from Creative Theater Workshop is being performed at Strauss Theater.

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumOctober 20 – Sanibel Historical Museum and Village reopens with new expanded hours. Opening two weeks earlier than last year and adding an additional day to their schedule, the Museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

November 8 – 34th Annual Taste of the Islands – from 12 to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. This is CROW’s largest fundraiser of the year. Volunteers are needed, forms available at www.crowclinic.org

2015 Tast of the Islands

Through 2017, Market Should Stay Strong

More positive indicators in Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

Urban Land Insititute logo“You can expect at least three more years of favorable real estate conditions, with the overall housing market projected to continue expanding at steady levels from this year through 2017, according to a new survey from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, based on 49 of the real estate industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Still, compared to previous forecasts, the latest ULI forecast is less bullish on its outlook. Overall, real estate indicators are expected to be better than their 20-year averages this year, except among the following indicators that are forecasted to perform worse: commercial property price growth, equity REIT returns, retail availability rates, and single-family housing starts.

““The latest Consensus Forecast has picked up on recent growth concerns and stock market corrections around the world,” says William Maher, ULI leader. “The U.S. economy and real estate markets are in much better shape than most other countries, but global economies and capital markets are increasingly inter-related. Still, the vast majority of indicators in the forecast indicate favorable economic and capital markets in the U.S., as well as moderately strong real estate fundamentals and investment returns.”

“Additional highlights from ULI’s Consensus Forecast:

  • Commercial property transaction volume is predicted to rise for another two years and then level off to $500 billion by 2017.
  • Commercial real estate prices are forecasted to rise by 10% in 2015 and then slow to a 6% increase in 2016 and to 4.5% in 2017 – below the long-term average
  • Vacancy rates are projected to decrease slightly for office and retail over the next three years. On the other hand, industrial availability rates and hotel occupancy rates are projected to improve in 2015 and then basically plateau in 2016 and 2017.
  • Single-family housing starts are projected to increase to 745,000 in 2015; 842,000 in 2016; and 900,000 in 2017. Despite the increases, starts are expected to remain below the 20-year average.
  • Home prices are expected to moderate to 5% this year; 4.3% growth in 2016; and 3.9% in 2017.”

What Zillow Doesn’t Want You To Know

buildzoom logoPosted on BuildZoom.com on Monday, this was written by their Chief Economist, Issi Romem:

“Almost every home buyer begins searching for his or her dream home online. Today, that largely means looking for listings on Zillow Group portals, Zillow and Trulia, or on Realtor.com.

“But which one is the best place to begin that search?

“Depending on where you happen to reside — and especially if you intend to relocate — the portal you choose to search may be more important than you realize.

“The crucial point for homebuyers, realtors and investors to take away is that the number of listings being provided still varies widely from city to city.

realtor.com“According to comScore, Zillow and Trulia combined attract far more web traffic than Realtor.com. However, since News Corp. acquired Realtor.com the number of unique visitors to that site has steadily grown, and notably has now surpassed Trulia to become the second most popular portal.trulia-logo

“But Realtor.com has a different advantage. Before its recent acquisition by News Corp., Realtor.com operator Move, Inc. had a 10-year head start, backed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This advantage has translated into the Realtor.com site having more timely, accurate and comprehensive nationwide listings. This is a result of receiving and updating data from almost all of the 800+ multiple listing services (MLSs) in the U.S. every 15 minutes.

Zillow logo“The discrepancy between the number and quality of listings available on the Zillow Group portals and on Realtor.com attracted a great deal of attention in April, when ListHub — a key aggregator of MLS data, now controlled by News Corp. — terminated the contract, and stopped providing listing information to Zillow Group.

“In anticipation of the event, Zillow Group scrambled to negotiate its own agreements with individual MLSs to obtain listings which it had previously obtained from ListHub. By mid 2015 Zillow Group had signed agreements with just over 300 MLSs.

“In April, we tracked the overnight change in the number of listings on the different portals after ListHub’s agreement with Zillow Group expired. Although the number of listings on Zillow and Trulia fell markedly overnight, we gave Zillow Group the benefit of the doubt by expressing our belief that it was well poised to obtain many more MLS agreements.

“Nevertheless, we soon faced a string of cease-and-desist letters from Zillow Group’s counsel, ordering us to retract the blog post on the grounds that we collected the information therein in an automated fashion that violated the portals’ terms of service. Fearing the implications of a lawsuit by a large corporation — regardless of the ultimate outcome — we obeyed the order by retracting the blog post.

“Since then, we have recorded the number of listings on Zillow.com and Realtor.com for the core cities of the 51 largest U.S. metro areas. So as not to violate Zillow.com’s terms of service we have done so manually (hence the limited number of cities). On Friday, Zillow Group issued us a new order to cease-and-desist….

“As of September 21, Zillow.com has fewer listings than Realtor.com in 42 out of 51 cities. The discrepancy is often quite substantial: in 30 of the 51 cities, Zillow.com has more than 20% fewer listings, and in 15 of the 51 cities Zillow.com is behind by more than 60%!

“In a handful of cities, notably Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Detroit, Zillow.com provides more listings than Realtor.com. While this may indicate the absence of some listings from Realtor.com, it may also reflect data quality issues in Zillow’s database, such as incorrect listing details, or duplicate or expired listings. We encourage readers to compare listings in these cities and form their own opinions. Here is a link to the guidelines for comparing apples-to-apples on the Zillow.com and Realtor.com websites.

“At least superficially, the numbers appear to support Realtor.com’s claim of having superior data, but does Realtor.com’s advantage matter for Zillow Group?

“As long as Zillow Group continues to draw substantially more traffic than Realtor.com, agents and brokers will continue to feel compelled to advertise on its portals. As a result, Zillow Group revenue is less sensitive to its listing coverage than one might think. Yet the danger remains that consumers will eventually recognize the discrepancy and flock to Realtor.com or elsewhere in search of more comprehensive and accurate listings. If this happens, agent and broker dollars will follow.

“Going forward, Zillow Group has the ability to close the listing gap as it continues to sign additional local MLS agreements, but will it succeed? Judging by its limited progress on this front between April and September…it is destined for an uphill battle. The nature of relationships between the MLSs and Zillow Group’s portals are the subject of passionate disagreement, and it appears that Zillow Group is finding it difficult to win over “multiple” hearts and minds.”

San Cap LogoFYI – The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service does not syndicate its listings through Zillow or any third party site. Through the islands association of Realtors, listings are on-line to members at SanCapMLS.com and to the public on SanibelRealtors.com and Realtor.com.

Since SanibelSusan also belongs to the Southwest Florida Regional MLS (SWFLRealtors.com), our listings are posted twice on Realtor.com. Because the regional MLS also offers syndication. Our listings also are on Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate search sites. Additionally through the regional MLS, our listings are shared with other participating Florida MLS’s, through a cooperative agreement called MLS Advantage.

The 8 Biggest Concerns for Realtors®

realtor logoGood write-up in the October issue of “Florida Realtor®” which says:

“Realtors® are strongly confident about the housing market’s outlook although confidence has eased since the beginning of this spring, according to a recent Realtors® Confidence Index, a monthly survey…about local market conditions. The Realtors® Confidence Index survey stressed these concerns:

  1. The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure regulations, which took effect October 3, and concerns that they could delay closings.
  2. Tight inventory with a limited number of homes for sale.
  3. Affordability issues: Fewer affordable homes so sellers are also hesitant to move.
  4. Financing issues, such as difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage due to higher FICO credit and down payment standards, a protracted mortgage approval process and condo-financing issues.
  5. Appraisal issues: conservative estimates, out-of-town appraisers, and slow turn-around.
  6. Rising interest rates.
  7. Declining demand from international buyers due to a strong U.S. dollar.
  8. Uncertainty about flood insurance rates and reform.”

Casa Ybel Sets the Bar High for Sanibel Island Resorts

Thistle Lodge View USA TodayNice article about Casa Ybel and Thistle Lodge on Monday’s USA Today’s “10Best.com”. (Both of these photos came from that web site.)

I had lunch at Thistle Lodge a couple of weeks ago and the food and view continue to be magnificent. Some don’t know that most of this resort is comprised of timeshare units, but the five westerly buildings of eight units each are privately-owned 1-bedroom condominiums called Cottage Colony West. None are currently available, but there always are buyers for these income-producers. I got a request just yesterday. There have been three sales there this year with prices back into the 6’s. Here’s the recent article from 10Best.com:

Thistle Lodge USA today“To get the story of one of the most historic beachfront resorts in the Fort Myers area, you’ll have to go back to the late 1800s. That’s when former missionary George Barnes homesteaded nearly 500 acres on Sanibel, building the island’s first church, a cottage that evolved into the first inn and eventually the award-winning Casa Ybel Resort.

“When one of the missionary’s daughters married a resort guest, the two built a Victorian home on the property, naming it Thistle Lodge. Celebrities and dignitaries the likes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford visited the lodge.

“Recreated in 1979, today it is home to a beloved restaurant for both resort guests and locals. Diners not only love the view of the beach from its big windows, but also the partnership between Thistle Lodge and winemakers at Rutherford Wine Company in Napa Valley, Calif.; they’ve created a private label Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. The rest of the wine list spans the globe, offering valuable tasting notes and affordable pricing.

One menu item not to miss is the Lobster and Lump Crab “Diver” Scallops. In this signature dish, scallops are topped with lobster and crab, encrusted and baked. The dish is finished with a citrus buerre blanc and served with baby field greens and jasmine rice. The Pecan Seared Salmon is another hit.

“While the menu leans heavily on seafood, the lodge serves succulent steaks, hand carved in house, along with an herb-crusted lamb and a veal tenderloin in a smoked pomodoro romesco.

“Besides at Thistle Lodge, guests can dine around the pool bar at Coconuts. The smell of the grill is hard to resist, as the resort has a popular grilling station every weekend and almost every day during season (winter and spring).

“As for the rest of the resort, managers are constantly upgrading its amenities and accommodations. The one- and two- bedroom suites are spacious and well equipped. Their screened lanais face the water, creating the perfect space for your morning coffee or evening cocktails. New this season are upgraded kitchens in all of the units.

““Some of the same people have been coming here for decades, so we are always trying to enhance their experience,” says Casa Ybel’s General Manager Froilan Ramirez. Casa Ybel has it all; it’s perfect for romance, while still accommodating to families. The Kids Club offers daily themes and activities that range from lizard hunting to arts and crafts. The resort even offers babysitting services to allow parents a date night. If you must do some work during your vacation, the resort Wi-Fi has been shored up enough to reach the beach, for your office under an umbrella.

“Other amenities include tennis and basketball courts, along with clinics to improve your skills. Less strenuous activities include horseshoe and croquet, to name a few.

“However, some of the best things to do are on the beach. Casa Ybel’s striking, white-sand beach is full of shells and beautiful blue water. It’s also host to some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see.

“The grounds here are gorgeously landscaped, providing a calm, inviting atmosphere. Many guests like the fact that Casa Ybel is slightly off the beaten path, yet still a quick bike ride to shopping, nature preserves and other sites. One getaway here, and you’ll understand why visitors return year after year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 2-9

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $369K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $559.9K, Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.159M, Sunset South #5A 2/2 $1.224M, Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.295M, Sanibel Seaview #1 2/2 $1.349M.

3 price changes: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 2/2.5 now $625K, Sundial #T302 2/2 now $729K, Seascape #301 3/3 now $1.195M.

1 new sale: Sundial #F201 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $995K.

1 price change: 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 now $2.795M.

2 new sales: 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 1183 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 listed at $749K.

3 closed sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 $315K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $462K, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.2M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2501 Wulfert Rd $249K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2142 Starfish Ln $383.5K

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 $649K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 now $1.298M, 16697 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $8.05M.

1 new sale: 15172/174 Wiles Dr 7/5.5 multi-family listed at $7M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16297 Captiva Dr now $1.595M.

No new or closed sales.

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

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a terrific Columbus Day weekend 2015!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. Lots of new things to do have been added to the list under “Upcoming Island Events” above. Some get sold out early, so be sure to check the list often.

It’s Another Fabulous Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Although it was a fairly quiet holiday on Monday, this week flew by. While on our rounds today, Dave and I stopped in at Tarpon Bay Explorers. Below are a few photos snapped from their observation deck.

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoWe are happy campers at SanibelSusan Realty. Some of the team had the holiday off (actually Dave and Lisa were in the office with me over the weekend). Then, Dave put an off-island property under contract on Monday. Then, we had a big closing on Wednesday, plus received a nice new condo listing that day too.

Though island real estate activity has slowed down, some buyers are here and others coming.

The action posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Summertime Means Summer Storms

Lcec logoLast Saturday, we had our first good summer thunder buster which caused a short power outage. As part of the normal routine here in the summer, it’s a good time to be reminded that LCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) is known for its reliability. Not to mention that they have reduced their rates for the past two years and not had a rate increase in seven years. Their May newsletter mentioned that their rates are the lowest among Florida cooperatives.

EcoBrokerOriginalCertifiedLogo150pThat newsletter included the following reminder which also gets the approval of this certified Eco-Broker:

energy starYou can be an energy star! Energy is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to help you save money. An Energy Star label means the product or appliance will deliver great service and use less energy. This will not only reduce your electric bill, but it will also help the environment.

  • Energy Star air conditioners are 15% more efficient.
  • Energy Star televisions are 25% more energy efficient.
  • Energy Star refrigerators can save as much as $300 on energy costs over their lifetime.
  • Energy Star clothes dryers use 20% less energy.”

NOAA Predicts Below-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season

wall street journalWe love it when clients send us ideas for our weekly updates. Thanks to Scott, here’s a repeat of an article that was posted online Wednesday by “The Wall Street Journal”:

Weather agency predicts 3-6 hurricanes from June 1 through Nov. 30

Noaa“A below-normal Atlantic hurricane season is likely this year, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. For the hurricane season spanning June 1 through Nov. 30, NOAA predicts in its latest report a 70% likelihood of six to 11 named storms—of which three to six could become hurricanes and up to two may become major hurricanes.

“Named storms have winds of at least 39 miles an hour and become hurricanes when winds reach 74 mph. At 111 mph, a hurricane is designated category three or higher.

““A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan.

“El Niño is the main factor expected to suppress hurricane season this year, according to Ms. Sullivan. NOAA also said it expects sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic to be near normal. Warmer waters support storm development.

“NOAA said it would issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, ahead of the historical peak of the season.

“For the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA predicts a 70% chance of an above-average hurricane season with seven to 12 hurricanes including five to eight major hurricanes. The Central Pacific hurricane basin is expected to see an above-normal five to eight tropical cyclones this year, the agency said.”

REALTORS® Upbeat on Housing Outlook

A Realtor®Mag article posted on-line yesterday offered the following from “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

Map 12 month increases expected

realtor logo “REALTORS® remain mostly confident in the next six months of the real estate market, thanks to 30-year fixed rates still below 4%, continued job growth, and recent measures that have made credit more accessible and cheaper, according to the April 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, which is based on responses from more than 1,000 REALTORS® about their latest transactions.

“Across all property types (single family, townhomes, and condos), the number of respondents indicating the market as “strong” outnumbered those who viewed the market as “weak.”

“With stronger buyer demand and tight supplies, homes continue to sell relatively quickly, typically within 39 days in April, according to the survey. Also, REALTORS® increased their price expectations last month. Those surveyed expect prices to increase at a faster pace in the next 12 months with the median expected price growth to be 3.9% (up from 3.5% expectation in March’s survey). REALTORS® in Colorado were the most upbeat about price increases in the U.S., with median expected price growth at 6 percent, followed by the District of Columbia at 5%.

“REALTORS® also cited recent measures to open the credit box as having a profound impact on the housing market, such as with the Federal Housing Administration to lower its mortgage insurance premiums and the re-introduction from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to back 3% down payment loans.

“REALTORS® are the most upbeat about the overall housing market in states like North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, according to the survey.

“Also, REALTORS® outlook over the townhome and condo markets remained highest in Colorado.

“For-sale inventories remain tight in many states but seller traffic was reported as improving in many areas, particularly Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.

“While real estate professionals remain generally optimistic about housing’s outlook for the next six months, real estate professionals’ continued to have the following concerns about the market:

  • Tight inventory in most states especially for move-in ready and “affordable” units;
  • Financing issues, such as qualifying for a mortgage still remains tough and the underwriting process is slow, leading to delayed closings;
  • Appraisal valuation concerns and delays due to “questionable” comps, particularly for FHA/VA loans, use of “out-of-town appraisers”, and second appraisal requirements;
  • Impact of the new mortgage procedures (RESPA-TILA) on closings;
  • Negative impact of low oil prices in states with oil/gas production;
  • Slowing demand from international buyers (e.g., Canadians) due to strong US dollar;
  • Uncertainties associated with flood insurance rates;
  • Impact of upcoming interest rate increase on demand.”

Window Costs Likely to Spike After June

This article in The “Island Reporter” this week caught my eye. Did you know about the new Florida Energy code?

island reporter

“The Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code is a title not known by many, but it is something which will affect anyone with a house or business come June 30.

“It’s the new energy cost savings for Florida, which resulted after the state updated its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law, and it’s significant.

“”We are pulling permits now for our jobs in September and October,” said Kevin Munden, owner of Sanibel Glass and Mirror, Inc. “There is zero information out there about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code and if we don’t have our permits secured by July 1, the price of glass is going up.

“So how much will windows be going up after June 30?

“Try a 56% increase, due to the addition of insulated windows, which will be triple-silver-glazed, along with the already required high-impact glass.

“All this goes back eight years, when they passed a law which was going to reduce the consumption of energy in Florida,” said Dennis Chappell, who is Munden’s window contractor with Chappell Sales, LLC. “All homes need to get a certain number in a rating system, which involved air conditioning, insulation, etc. Each one is assigned a number. It is driven by the federal government to help reduce carbon emissions.”

““The ultimate goal is getting down to zero energy used in the home.”

“The new insulated glass which will be required after June 30, is the highest-priced which can go into windows. The new windows, will have a mirror-like look to it, which results from the triple-silver-glazed glass.

“That will be placed on the outside to reflect the sun and heat from entering the house, and goes along with the single high impact glass, which is already required of homes and commercial businesses.

“It’s been a code which has been in the making since 2010, but there have been postponements over the years delaying its enactment.”

“After June 30, all new construction will need to implement the high-energy efficient windows, which will force a rise in costs. But new construction is not where the problems will start popping up in the Fifth Edition Energy Code.

“Even if a window needs to be replaced in a current home or business, it needs to go through the property permitting process. That means, after June 30, to obtain a permit, the new energy efficient insulated windows will have to be used.

“It makes 100% perfect sense for new construction,” Munden said. “But the code also pertains to retro-fitting, meaning changing windows already installed in the house or business. It’s not going to be a cheap thing to change and could mean up to a 25% increase in a project.”

“For example, if a homeowner is deciding to replace their dozen windows in their home, they will need to replace them with the much more energy efficient insulated ones, which leads to another potential lurking problem – illegal installation.

“What this is going to create are illegal installations,” Munden said. “Unlicensed installers don’t have the property testing, the property installation and they don’t pull permits.”

“If a home or business owner cuts the corner and doesn’t properly obtain the permits to install windows, they will not be covered by insurance companies, which require the documentation before a claim can be settled.

“Now, if we get a hurricane, and those windows are not properly permitted, they will be denied their claim,” Munden added. “Claims will be denied without property permits.”

“The only way to gain the proper permits again, is to install the new insulated windows required by the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code.

“”We are having to give double proposals now, the first being the current price before June 30, and the other estimate post-June 30,” Munden said. “As long as you get your permit before June 30, you are fine.”

“There are some leeways the state is giving and that is the code is subject to authority having jurisdiction by the local building department.

“Sanibel Building Department’s Harold Law, couldn’t comment about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code, because officials are still learning about it, but he did say June 30 is the current deadline for the enactment of it.

“Which, of course with government, that isn’t a certain even.

“The Legislature of Florida went home already and the Builder’s Association submitted a bill to postpone implementation of the code for a year,” said Chappell, who has attended every association meeting about the new code this past year. “It wasn’t voted on and it looked dead. But now, the Governor has called a special session, and there is a possibility this bill could pass. It’s not likely, but a possibility.”

““They could extend it one year, if that bill passes. The reality is, though, until the session is over with, we don’t know when the code will be enacted.”

“Another big problem which could occur if the code is enacted June 30, deals with condominiums. With condo associations almost always requiring a uniform exterior, when the different windows start being put in, that will upset those rules.

“”Sanibel has a couple thousand units and they are stringent on outside appearance of building,” Munden said. “Ninety-percent of them have tinted glass, which is gray in appearance. With the new windows, the glass will look entirely different. The state is telling them they can use only one kind of glass. Now, you’ll see all of these windows which are going to be gray, and this new glass will be mirrored. It’s going to create a lot of problems with association, because the glass won’t be matching now.”

“With Chappel being Sanibel Glass and Mirror’s window salesman and informing his clients of the change, Munden said he has been preparing for it, when it comes. The permits he has been pulling now for his September and October jobs, can be extended for another six months, so his company should be prepared.

“”I just want people to be aware of this,” Munden said. “There isn’t a lot of information out there about it.”

“To learn more about the Fifth Edition Florida Energy Code go to https://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states/florida.” or here’s the code: shop.iccsafe.org/media/wysiwyg/material/5681L14-TOC.pdf

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22 

Sanibel

CONDOS

View of Sanibel River from Sunset South #9C

View of Sanibel River from Sunset South #9C

4 new listings: Sunset South #9C 2/2 $449K (our listing), Sundial #F103 2/2 $465K, White Caps South #5 1/1 $549K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 $2.395M.

2 price changes: Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 now $675K, Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 now $720K.

3 new sales: Sundial #C207 1/1 listed for $429K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 listed for $535K, Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 listed for $649K.

3 closed sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 $378K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-4 2/2.5 $650K, Seascape #104 3/3 $1.9M (our sale).

Seascape Boardwalk

Seascape boardwalk

 

HOMES

1 new listing: 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $489K.

5 price changes: 5131 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $499K, 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $598.65K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $695K (short sale), 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $699K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $1.149M.

8 new sales: 982 Main St 3/2.5 listed for $439K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 listed for $565K, 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $579K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed for $619K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/2 listed for $825K, 0 Sea Pines 3/2 listed for $849K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 listed for $899K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 listed for $3.795M.

8 closed sales: 766 Donax St 2/2 duplex $385K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $400K, 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 $520K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/3 $570K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 $675K, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 $1.23M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 $1.5M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $1.575M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sales: without contingencies: 915 Main St listed for $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1611 2/2 $1.275M.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 now $284.5K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4114 1/2 listed for $265K, Beach Homes #3 3/2 listed for $1.879M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 now $3.99M.

3 new sales: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed for $2.345M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 listed for $3.595M, 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 listed for $3.69M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 11545 Wightman Ln now $1.245M.

No new or closed sales.

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

In addition to wishing you all a great weekend, remember SanibelSusan will be in the office if you want to buy or sell any island real estate.

In the meantime, please enjoy this adorable photo of a baby blue heron – looks like a baby dinosaur.

(Pix borrowed from a Facebook posting by Eric Weiss, who is Executive Producer at “Better Living”.)

Baby blue heron - Eric Weiss -