Florida REALTORS & Sanibel/Captiva Scoop


Today, SanibelSusan is in Orlando finishing up at the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Here’s hoping this week’s blog doesn’t look too different – I am producing it using my iPhone and iPad. Gotta love this on-the-road technology!

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association’s leadership team was excited Wednesday night to make a clean sweep of the Florida PAC awards for a small board. Below is our 2018 President Dustyn Corace with the first of the trophies. Congratulation to our 2017 RPAC Committee co-chairs Realtor Tina DiCharia and Dave Arter (at left of Dustyn in photo) for leading the charge, and to our entire island membership for their participation and support! Also shown, in addition to the old gray-haired gal next to Dustyn, are our President-Elect soon-to-be-Mom Kasey Albright and her tall husband Realtor Brendan Albright, plus our Association Executive and CEO Bill Robinson.

D70948CC-3A31-45CB-916C-8C966A337407

My teammates have kept the office running smoothly the couple of days I have been here. Tuesday morning, I attended a preliminary closing just before heading out of town, while teammate Dave handled two others later in the week. The details on those, plus teammate Elise’s report of the week’s action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

East Rocks Main Replacement

Island Water logoHere’s some scoop about The Rocks from the Winter “IWA Pipeline”.

“The East Rocks water main replacement, a portion of which was planned for completion in 2017, will now be started and completed beginning in the Spring of 2018. Since a majority of the country’s raw material for manufacturing PVC and HDPE pipe originates in the Texas area, Hurricane Harvey put a serious dent in the supply and price of this commodity. The portion of East Rocks Drive that was planned for 2017 was put off until 2018 when it will be completed along with the rest of the project.

“East Rocks had some streets partially upgraded years ago when fire hydrants were installed. This current project will remove all of the remaining thin-walled pipe and add a fire hydrant on Durion Court. As with the Brine Sump Replacement Project, this project will be paid for out of our reserves, with no assessments to members. This project has a budget of $280K.”

Home Water Treatment Systems

island waterMore about Sanibel’s water from the same “IWA Pipeline”.

“It has recently come to our attention that plumbing companies are attempting to sell our members expensive whole-home water treatment/softener systems. There is simply no need to install such a system to treat our water. The mineral content of our water is very low. In fact, after running through the Reverse Osmosis membranes, there are no minerals in the water. We have to add minerals in the form of a small amount of raw water back into our water to bring the total hardness up to between 30 to 60, depending on which wells we use. The state considers a total hardness of between 80-120 to be optimal. Anything below 100 is considered soft. Do not let a water treatment sales person try to tell you our water is hard.

“If the issue is chlorine residual, which is required by law, buy yourself a charcoal filter for the kitchen faucet or refrigerator water line for drinking water and ice. If you buy a whole-house charcoal filter, you will be removing the disinfectant from your house plumbing, which could lead to bacterial growth in your piping.

“If you would like your water tested, bring in a sample in a clean plastic or glass bottle, and we can test for chlorine residual and hardness. It should be at least a pint, at room temperature, and brought here as soon as possible. Chlorine degrades over time.”

Sanibel Library Update

sanibel-library-logoThe latest issue of the Sanibel Library newsletter had some interesting info too:

“Sanibel Public Library was recognized with a 2017 “Four Star” rating by “Library Journal”, the fourth time Sanibel has earned this national award. In statewide rankings of Florida public libraries, Sanibel Public Library ranked:

#1 for Material Available Per Capita: 13.11 (statewide average 1.86) Books, Movies, Music, Magazines
#1 for Public Computers Available Per 1,000: 4.6 (statewide average 0.82)
#1 for public space (square feet)
#2 for Circulation Per Borrower: 21.65 (statewide average 11.04)
#2 for Program Attendance Per Capita: 7 (statewide average 0.23)
#3 for Library Visits Per Capita: 18.51 (statewide average 3.79).”

Wondering what’s happening at the Library now?

“The award-winning Sanibel Public Library is a community anchor that encourages discovery, enrichment, and lifelong learning. The Library began with volunteers in the 1960s and is currently in its fifth home, which opened in 1994. In 2004 the building was expanded to its current size. Both the appearance and the quality of the structure are outstanding, but the infrastructure – HVAC, fire suppression, plumbing, lighting, technology, and flooring – are being upgraded for greater efficiency and sustainable design.

“As we take care of the infrastructure, we looked at the current use of the building, and how that use has changed over the past several years and how it will change in the future. Your Library Board of Commissioners is responding to these ever-changing needs while maintaining what is good about the last 50 years of library service on Sanibel, with a focus on fresh, new, dynamic services and programs.

“Reconfiguring the interior includes a user-centered service design with flexible, multi-purpose spaces for reading and research, collaboration, multiple technology access points, children’s story-time space, and more. The Sanibel Public Library will be positioned for the next decade of exemplary, innovative, and responsive library service.

“Your Library Reimagined has been in the planning since early 2015. The Library Board set a budget of $5.9 million, which is being covered by Library reserves, grants, and gifts. The project is currently in Phase I, half the Library is open to the public during the remodel. Phase I is nearing completion, and Phase II is expected to begin in February, with full completion expected by September 2018.”

2018 Florida Real Estate Trends

97C7F585-3EEB-4DE8-9BFE-5F821247F52BHere are a few notes from the session I attended yesterday at the Florida Realtors Governance Meetings. This one included presentations by:

● Dr. Tony Villamil, who was Governor Bush’s first Director for Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Previously, he was President George Bush’s U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. Today, he is the founder and principal advisor at The Washington Economics Group, Inc.

● Kevin Foreman who leads INDRIX Big Data and GeoAnalytics. He is the General Manager of GeoAnalytics.

● Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida REALTORS Chief Economist.

The following snippets are from Dr. Villamil’s presentation: “National & Florida Economic Outlook”. Next week’s update will include info from the other speakers’ presentations: “How Self-Driving Cars Will Impact Real Estate” and “Florida Residential Resale Market Update”. All were interesting, and confirm the real estate business continues to evolve – in a good way!

According to Dr. Villamil, the overall international business climate will not change significantly in 2018.

Positive factors in Florida’s economy include the state being pro-growth with increasing population and growing employment. Global economy is expanding at a moderate pace and the U.S. economy also will grow this year at a good clip.

His 2018 economic outlook has U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) up 3% and world output globally up 3.5%. Canada is doing well. The economy is expected to be up India (under new prime minister (democracy)) and China. Brazil is expected to be back in action too, but there is mixed outlook for Latin America.

In financial markets, inflation may be up 2%, but household net worths are doing very well, consumers will continue to buy, and real estate will remain in demand.

Much of Florida’s economy depends on open global markets. Watch for the modernization of NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), and U.S./global markets going to “sunshine”.

Florida’s employment is growing faster than the rest of the nation. That should continue in 2018. Florida’s real GDP which is top among states also should continue to increase too and pass $1 trillion in 2018!

Dr. Villamil expects a positive environment for Florida’s 2018 real estate markets with the strong economic expansion to continue; population, employment, and visitor growth to be more than 2017; positive tax changes for Florida residents; and international visitors and foreign investment to increase.

Economic factors that need to be monitored include the Fed being less accommodating, inflation expectations, “hard” Brexit, the U.S. dollar exchange rate, trade/immigration policy, and 2018 national and state elections.

So overall, it should be another outstanding year for Florida business. Exciting changes are coming though. More info on that next week.

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

Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Donax Village #9 2/2 $499K, Pointe Santo #E35 2/2 $1.295M, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 $1.379M.
8 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $274K (our listing), Sand Pointe #122 2/2 now $649K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 now $999K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.175M, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.198M, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 now $1.398M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 now $1.225M, Poinciana #3C 3/2 now $1.725M.
5 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $499K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 listed at $765K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 listed at $799K, Sundial West #E208 2/2 listed at $1.15M, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 listed at $1.745M.
2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #109 2/2 $665K, Bandy Beach #A101 3/2 $1M (our buyer).

HOMES
12 new listings: 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $639K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $645K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $689K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $725K, 3825 Coquina Dr 3/3 $849K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $849K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $849K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $979K, 542 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $989K, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.198M, 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.199M, 1316 Eagle Run Dr 4/3 $1.299M.
13 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $549K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $599,995; 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $639K; 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $644K; 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $689K; 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $787K; 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $849K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 now $849K; 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $879K; 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $1.195M; 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 now $1.395M; 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 now $3.195M; 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 now $3.299M.
5 new sales: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 listed at $499K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $920K, 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.199M, 4641 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 listed at $3.295M.
5 closed sales: 1817 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 $385K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $585K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $685K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.71M, 1149 Paper Fig Ct 4/3 $2.179M.

LOTS
1 new listing: 1550 Centre St $225K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Lot 27, Leisure Acres listed at $59K.
No closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
3 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $620K; Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.648M; Seabreeze #1253 3/3 $1,999,999.
1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.
1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.195M.
1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #4B 3/2.5 $1.3745M.

HOMES
1 new listing: 16177/179 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.75M.
2 price changes: 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.395M, 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.695M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.725M.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

Until next week! Enjoy your weekends wherever you are & please contact the SanibelSusan Team for your real estate needs. We are always ready to help you!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Amost Mother’s Day 2017 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s Susan reporting another week of wonderful summerlike island weather, but no rain or at least not yet. Possible morning thunderstorms are forecast for Mother’s Day, otherwise more of the same sunny days are expected. Rain is needed though and May typically is when rainy season begins.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Sanibelsusan LogoTeamwork was the name of our game this week. Our 7000+piece annual inventory mailing arrived from the printer, so we have spent every spare minute stuffing envelopes. About half went out today, the rest will go out early next week. If you are not on our “snail” mail list and would like a copy of the “Sanibel & Captiva Islands Inventory & Sales History” updated May 6, please let us know. We are happy to send it by snail or email.

Only a handful of our listings had showings this week, but we happily received a new condo listing on Saturday, which we put under contract yesterday. Sales don’t often happen that quickly, so it was a nice surprise.

Teammate Elise’s report with the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Surprise Closing

Plenty of islanders were shocked Monday to read that Bennett’s Fresh Roast Sanibel shop closed unexpectedly. Their web site says that unused coupons, gift cards and certificates will be honored in their Fort Myers Store. The rumor mill says that it sold. Stay tuned.

Island Coyotes on City Council Agenda

Coyote_large

(From mySanibel.com) First coyote documented on Sanibel, observed in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Erwin Kraus, March 2011

From the May 10, 2017 “Islander” “…Holly Milbrandt, an environmental biologist with the City, provided a coyote update at last week’s City Council meeting, which was a follow-up from a presentation two years ago. Coyotes are not accounted for in all 67 counties of Florida. On the island images of them have been captured at the Community Park (across the street from our office), Gulfside City Park (off Casa Ybel Road), Pond Apple Park (off Periwinkle Way), and Sanibel Gardens (off Tarpon Bay Road). Most sightings occurring between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m…. 

“At the end of her presentation, she said the working group has recommended that they continue to monitor coyote impact on sea turtles, as well as implement sea turtle next protection measures; expand wildlife camera monitoring efforts; continue public education and track sightings; investigate methods and funding opportunities for additional protection of sea turtle and shorebird nests and evaluate feasibility and funding options to conduct trapping and GPS collaring of coyotes on the island.”

Realtor® Political Action

rpacEach May, our local Association of Realtors® hosts an event long-know by some old-timers as the “Over-the-Hump Party”. It is a fundraising event for the RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) as well as celebration that we again made it through high season.

Sanctuary orchids

Always blooming at The Sanctuary clubhouse entrance!

Held Wednesday night at The Sanctuary, this year it included a golf scramble, followed by silent auction, and then live auction.

 

Lobsters 2017SanibelSusan’s lobster dinner donation again raised close to $1K and of course I did my share of buying too.

The final tally raised has not yet been reported, but the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has a tradition of winning state and national RPAC awards for our participation – raised mostly because we have seen those RPAC funds work.

Congratulations to the many Realtors®, business partners, and staff members that made our 2017 event another success. Photo below is of the island’s hardworking 2017 RPAC Committee who organized the event. Committee co-chairs are VIP Realtor Tina DiCharia (center in black) & Affiliate business partner Dave Arter (2nd from right) with Private Client Insurance Services.

RPAC Committee

The below graphic is a recap of the Florida Legislative Session that just ended. A good representation of how those RPAC dollars can make an impact. The graphic appeared on-line this week on “SPB – SaintPetersBlog” which is one of Florida’s most-read political sites.

Florida-Realtors-2017-Legislative-Wins

7 Common Home-Selling Mistakes

Below is another good graphic, compiled for sharing through FloridaRealtors®

7 Common HomeSelling Mistakes_May17.jpg

Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service Activity May 5-12, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $359K, Loggerhead Cay #342 2/2 $599K, Cottage Colony West #132 1/1 $675K.

2 price changes: Nutmeg VIllage #211 2/2 now $699.9K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.495M.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #D1 2/2 listed at $369K (our listing & sale) photos below, Sundial West #D403 1/1 listed at $435K.

4 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #842 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 $770K, Sundial East #T306 3/2 $1.2875M, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 $1.6M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 $619K, 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $759K.

11 price changes: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $539K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 now $546K, 1212 Par View Dr 2/2 now $548K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $565K, 644 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $625K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $649K, 471 Las Tiendas Ln 3/2 now $744K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 now $899K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $924.9K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.695M, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.795M.

7 new sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $589K, 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $629K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $675K, 1315 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $689K, 687 Anchor Dr 4/3 listed at $1.495M, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 listed at $1.495M.

7 closed sales: 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $470K, 4694 Rue Bayou 3/3 $615K, 1772 Serenity Ln 3/2 $620K, 5305 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $660K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $675K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $910K, 5838 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.09M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4995 Joewood Dr $2.695M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 $348.5K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 now $375K.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 listed at $579K, Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 listed at $619K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $578K, Marina Villas #909 2/2 $749K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 952 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/5.5 $1.35M.

2 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $829K, 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $2.099M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/3 $1.62M, 15161 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $1.85M.

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.)

mothers-day-clipart-1A Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Kicking Off Florida Realtors 2017 & Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate is Hoppin’


Dream big.jpgSanibelSusan’s report today is mostly from the FloridaRealtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando. It has been a whirlwind few days ending with the Inaugural Banquet of the 2017 leadership team last night.

joel-trophy

Sanibel/Captiva Islands Assoc of Realtors 2017 President Joel Goodman with our awards for 2016.

It is always an honor to be on the audition panel for new Florida real estate instructors. That was my Wednesday workday from beginning to end – or at least until the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® was presented four RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) awards that evening. A recent water study funded with RPAC dollars was presented that very same day to state legislators in Tallahassee, as it continues to help our cause in working for more than 20 years to improve area water quality.

 

Yesterday, the morning Leadership Think Tank and later breakout sessions on Legislative Issues and Resort & 2nd Home Specialists zeroed in on several issues near-and-dear to us. The state legislature only had a small number of bills before them last week, but hundreds if not thousands more were expected by today. Of importance to us are those related to rental restrictions, water quality, insurance, and taxes. You can be sure FloridaRealtors® work every day to protect the rights of property owners.

During my few days away, business has been booming on Sanibel so I headed back to the island immediately after the Professional Development Committee meeting this morning. Thank goodness for technology and my teammates Dave and Elise who have been going above-and-beyond. Dave accompanied three showings this afternoon while Elise finished this update and summarized the week’s activity.  We are happy to report two closings and lots of showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Services follows just one news item below.

Real Estate Trends: Florida ‘Outperformed’ the U.S.

Florida Realtors logoThe following is a report from FloridaRealtors® online. It summarizes one of the meetings yesterday in Orlando.

“In 2016, Florida’s economy outperformed the nation in part because of better job creation, according to several economists who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of about 500 Realtors® at the 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.

“National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that the pace of U.S. home sales in 2016 at 5.5 million was “the best in a decade.” Since it’s nowhere near the 7.2 million sales peak in 2006, however, it leaves room for continued growth in 2017. And while interest rates are trending higher, it hasn’t had a dampening effect on home sales.

““A 4.2% mortgage rate is still a great rate,” Yun said. “As long as we’re around the 4 to even 5% mortgage rate, home sales are likely to stay on pace. As mortgage rates rise, job creation – which Florida excels at – could be a great neutralizer and good for home sales. In fact, Florida is outperforming the country because of better job creation.”

“Other speakers who shared their views on 2017 included Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a nationally known economist and former senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, chief economist for Florida Realtors.

““The good news, here in Florida, you’re in the right place,” Eisenberg said. “The South is the right division to be in – the economic recovery here has been much more robust. Florida is doing fine economically, unemployment is OK, and foreclosures are diminishing.”

“He agreed with Yun that while mortgage rates will continue to rise this year – albeit slowly – the markets will be fine as long as jobs are being created.

““Housing is improving, but in fits and starts,” Eisenberg said. “There’s not enough inventory of homes for sale, and builders aren’t building, especially at the entry-level. Bigger houses are being built, but it’s not profitable for builders to construct more affordable homes.”

“Eisenberg cited worker shortages, burdensome land-use regulations and costs – land, labor and regulation – as some of the constraints homebuilders face when it comes to building entry-level homes.

““We have to try a myriad of solutions, but getting the land costs down and easing land-use regulations will be the single most important factor in solving this issue,” he said.

“According to Eisenberg, forces at work in Florida and across the U.S. that are dampening real estate sales include:

  • Low inventory – December 2016 data, which is just a few days old, shows that the existing single-family home inventory nationwide is 3.6 months; in Florida, it’s 3.9-month months. A 6-month supply is generally considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
  • New model of renting – Six million single-family units have been taken off the market because institutional investors snapped up many homes during the Great Recession and created a new method of renting.
  • Mortgage rate lock – many people don’t want to sell because they’ll lose the really low mortgage rate they’re currently paying.

“When it comes to financing, lenders are in a technology race to provide a digital, user-friendly experience. Their goal is to make the mortgage process easier for the customer, said Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

““Today, 42% of homebuyers are millennials,” he said, “and with 92 million more millennials coming up, it will be an even bigger part of the housing market over the next five years. A recent survey found that 93% of those aged 18-34 intend to buy a house sometime in their future. Millennials are always online, so creating a digital mortgage experience for them is critical.”

“Johnston shared research showing that millennials value the expertise of Realtor professionals during the home buying process. “While they will go online to do home shopping, they do want to consult a trusted advisor along the way,” he said.

“The condominium market is an important part of the overall real estate market, and often offers an affordable option for buyers, according to Johnston. “In Florida, the condo market is healthy and robust,” he said.

““Condos make up 28% of all home sales in Florida; nationally, it’s 12%.”

“Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA), previewed elements of an economic impact study on Florida’s SHIP and SAIL funds by county that Florida Realtors commissioned CEFA to conduct. SHIP stands for State Housing Initiatives Partnership program, while SAIL stands for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program.

“As data is collected and analyzed, researchers will construct an economic forecasting model for Florida’s future affordable housing needs, and the data will also be used to compile statewide economic impact numbers for the SHIP and SAIL programs, Harrington said.

“Looking ahead to the coming months, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor announced to Realtors that the state association plans to soon release housing data metrics for Florida specific to cities and zip codes. Applause greeted his announcement. O’Connor anticipates having the new statistics starting on Feb. 9, which coincides with the release of the fourth quarter 2016 and 2016 year’s end data from Florida Realtors. The statistics will be available to members at www.floridarealtors.org/research (password-protected).

“Looking at all of 2016, the statewide existing homes market remained stable but was also relatively “flat,” according to O’Connor, though part of the reason for that year-to-year analysis was that “2015 was a pretty darn good year, sales-wise.”

“He also pointed out that a shortage of housing inventory in markets across the state, particularly for properties values at $200,000 or less, is impacting closed sales and putting pressure on median prices. Another factor: Sales of distressed properties continue to fall.

““In 2015, 10% of Florida’s housing inventory was distressed at the end of each month,” O’Connor said. “This past year, it’s been 5%, and it’s going to keep going down in 2017.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 20-27, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

9 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $535K; Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $535K; Loggerhead Cay #443 2/2 $549K; Loggerhead Cay #252 2/2 $589K; Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799,999; Sundial West #K203 2/2 $879K; Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $899K; By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 $1.695M; Somerset #E202 3/2.5 $1.699M.

5 price changes: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #253 2/2 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 now $899K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.495M, Tamarind #A102 2/2 now $1.595M.

5 new sales: Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Seawind #A108 2/2.5 listed at $519K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $619K, Sundial East #O401 2/2 listed at $729K, Sundial East #O407 2/2 listed at $1.199M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $485K, Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $538K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 $592K (our listing), Pointe Santo #E37 3/2 $1.375M, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 $1.3925M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499.5K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $554K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $659K, 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 $675K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.75M.

9 price changes: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $489K, 3008 Singing Winds Dr 2/2 now $499K, 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $535K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K, 2195 Par View Dr 3/2 now $750K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $799.9K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 now $845K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $979.9K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 now $1.195M.

3 new sales: 5105 SanibelCaptiva Rd 4/3 listed at $649K, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.199M, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.595M.

7 closed sales: 1411 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $430K, 1983 Roseate 2/2 $505K, 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $530K (our listing), 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $890K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $938K, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.325M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,555; 1415 Sanderling Cir $398K.

2 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $189,555; 1311 Par View Dr now $279K.

1 new sale: 2501 Wulfert Rd listed at $199.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 now $614K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1406 3/2 $995K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.049M, 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.575M, 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $1.795M, 16455 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.495M, 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 $6.995M.

1 price change: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.549M.

1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed at $1.549M.

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.)

Causeway sunset 1-18-17.jpg

Wondering what it’s been like on Sanibel? Here’s a recent sunset photo…beautiful as always! Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Another Weekend of Beautiful Weather Expected


All’s well again this week on sunny Sanibel Island. After days of seemingly summer-like weather, Wednesday brought the first shower of the rainy season. After much-needed downpours for most of the afternoon, a low-humidity cool front arrived which resulted yesterday in plenty of sun, but temperatures into the low 70’s with a nice breeze. Today temps crept back up to the high 70’s, then it likely will bump back up into the low 80’s for the weekend, which should be perfect for those here celebrating Mothers’ Day.

Both phone and island traffic were light this week. With the end of the school spring breaks, visitor traffic likely will be off until these same schools are out for summer breaks. The locals look at this as the perfect time to again enjoy The Over Easy Café, Gramma Dot’s, and other island eateries that can have long lines “in season”.

Many agree that May and October are their favorite months – little hustle bustle and the best weather.

This week at SanibelSusan Realty, several of our listings had showings, with a few more scheduled this weekend, and we had two closings. Some post-season celebratory events are happening now too. A few tidbits about them and some news items are below, followed by a report of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

“Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament

Ding-Darling-Doc-Fords-Tarpon-Tourney-5th-anniversaryTonight and tomorrow are the 5th annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament. The weather couldn’t be better and the water quality is good, so hopefully the first tarpon of the season have arrived.

The event begins with a captains’ meeting, anglers’ dinner, and auction tonight (5-9 p.m.) with the actual fishing tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. All sponsorships and gifts go to the “Ding” Darling Wildllife Society, while 100% of the entry fees go to tournament winners. Last year, it netted more than $50K for conservation and education at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

We have several friends and clients participating in the tournament. Here’s hoping that this year’s event brings more success and that our pals catch winners. (Note this is a “catch, release, & care” tournament. Tarpon weight/size is estimated by photo or video only, with all tarpon immediately released.)

Ding Darling Society logoFifty boats participate, with four to six anglers per boat. These anglers come from all over.

This year, there again are a couple of teams from the UK, including one called “Fish & Chips” and some of the local teams advertise their sponsors in their team names, like “RS Walsh Landscaping”, “Florida Weekly”, and “Diversified Yacht Services”.

Jensen-logoJensen’s Marina/Operation Open Arms always dedicates their team to veterans.

Then, there is the team of gals, called “Fishin’ Divas”. Follow the tourney and their results at http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/tarpon-tourney.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

rpacYesterday afternoon/evening was the 21st annual local association of Realtors® “after season” celebration which this year included a golf scramble, Cinco de Mayo party, and auction, all benefitting RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee).

Often held at The Sanctuary, this year because of their ongoing clubhouse remodel, it was moved to The Dunes where attendees, golfers particularly, were thankful that the deluge was the day before. It was a great day for golf – even with the cooling breezes.

RPAC 2016

A few colorful pals exiting RPAC event last night. L to R: Past-President of Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Bruce Cochrane & his wife Lisa (also affiliate member); 2016 Association President Lori Pierot, & Realtor Marlene Donaldson.

The total amount raised has not been announced yet, but the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® takes great pride in garnering awards each year from Florida Realtors® for their RPAC participation.

 

RPAC Lobsters 2016RPAC contributions by island Realtors® are high as we have seen the results of these dollars used close-to-home to support Realtor®- friendly legislators who protect property rights, to protect against ordinances which could harm real estate and promote those with positive influence (like build-back), to clean waterways, to provide competitive/affordable flood insurance, to protect the environment, and for beach re-nourishment. Another grant currently is in the works for another water quality study too. We love to see RPAC dollars at work!

For the auction, SanibelSusan Realty donated a jumbo Maine lobster bake dinner for six (gotta honor those Maine roots). It sold for a pretty penny and I purchased a couple of items too, both at the live and silent auctions.

DunesEntrySignAll-in-all, it was a fun time – super nice way to celebrate the end of “season”, and for a cause that helps us all.

The Dunes, our local RPAC committee, and our Association of Realtors staff, all did an excellent job.

Thanks to everyone involved, including fellow contributors!

Summer Hours at Sanibel Historical Village

Touring-the-Sanibel-Historical-Village-MuseumSummer hours have begun at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it will close from July 30 until October 18th when it will reopen again with full-time hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Wonder why? These buildings go back to pioneer days and are not air conditioned.

The Museum and Village were founded in 1984 to preserve, share, and celebrate Sanibel history. Its buildings and thousands of artifacts tell the story of the island from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on Sanibel in the 1800s.

Nine historic buildings have been moved from their original island sites and brought to the village with each building restored to its original state. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Current Events Will Meet Through Summer

Island Sun logoAs posted in today’s “Island Sun”:

“For more than 34 years, men and women of Sanibel and Southwest Florida have met weekly to enjoy civil discourse on domestic and international news. The group meets every Monday year-‘round for two hours in Phillips Gallery at BIG ARTS starting at 10 a.m. Current Events will continue to meet during the summer months….”

City May Eliminate Cost Accumulation & 50% Restrictions

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported in the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Wednesday:

“Sanibel took a step Tuesday, May 3, toward removing a pair of restrictions that will allow property owners to more easily make repairs without losing the city’s rating for flood insurance.

“The City Council directed the Planning Department to draft an ordinance that would remove the five-year cost accumulation period for improvements and what is known as the 50% rule for substantial improvements.

“The council sent the matter to the Planning Commission with a view toward an ordinance returning to the council for a first reading at the June 7 meeting followed by a public hearing and vote at one of two meetings in late July.

“Both the five-year cost accumulation period and the 50% rule were once part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for flood insurance, which Sanibel has been a part of since 1979. Both have been removed and the city’s consultant has advised the city that it will not lose its Class 5 flood insurance rating with FEMA if it removes both restrictions.

““We anticipate that this will help homeowners in projects such as impact windows, shutters and other things to make structures more sound,” Planning Director Jim Jordan told the council. “It removes a lot of the obstacles for homeowners to make improvements.”

“Mayor Kevin Ruane made the motion to send the ordinance to the Planning Commission with the “enhancements” of removing the restrictions.”

Causeway Traffic Numbers About the Same As Last Year

Although we all did plenty of complaining about traffic this winter, the numbers published this week in the local papers say that causeway traffic was not much more than 2015. Here are a few excerpts from today’s “Santiva-Chronicle”:

sanibel causeway“March is Sanibel’s busiest month, the month when the traffic is at its peak. It’s the month when, all else being equal, Sanibel can gauge how well it got through with its traffic campaign. The city has to like what it sees from the Sanibel Causeway.

“The causeway is a leading traffic indicator and numbers from Lee County for March show that traffic on the bridge during the busiest month showed only a slight increase over 2015. The numbers show that 356,633 vehicles used the causeway in March compared to 355,695 in March 2015. That’s an increase of 938 vehicles, a miniscule 0.26%.

“The three-month totals show a less than 1% increase in traffic for the year. Through three months last year, the causeway total was 963,446 and through March of this year it’s 965,586, an increase of 2,140 vehicles.

“Sanibel has taken several steps to calm the traffic on the island during the peak season. As it regards the causeway, the most important steps were the city’s messages to day-tripping tourists. Instead of coming here and driving around, come get a bicycle and stay awhile has been the crux of the city’s plea. It was delivered in a variety of ways, including a video with Mayor Kevin Ruane. The city also mounted three live traffic cameras that can be viewed at www.mysanibel.com.  One of them is on the causeway.

“The causeway numbers aren’t perfect indicators through three months. January was plagued with 16” of rain and that put a damper on tourism on several days. Causeway traffic fell 2.53% in January. The numbers show 299,519 vehicles went through the toll plaza in January and that’s down from 307,302 in January, 2015. It was the first time in 22 months causeway traffic fell. But city officials were hesitant to celebrate that number because of all the rain.

“Figures from Lee County show that 309,434 vehicles used the causeway in February. That’s up 8,985 vehicles from 2015 and technically goes down as an increase of almost 3%. But 2016 is a leap year and the 29th day skews the numbers.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 29-May 6, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial West #F105 1/1 $399K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A302 2/2 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $549K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $745K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $950K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 $1.495M.

1 price change: Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $589K.

2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #E2 1/1 listed at $375K, Lighthouse Point #325 listed at 2/2 $830K.

10 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 $410K, Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 $425K, Sundial West #B207 1/1 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $525K, Compass Point #203 2/2 $651K, Cottage Colony West #126 1/1 $620K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Village I #2-2 3/3 $650K, Nutmeg Village #309 2/2 $765K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 $900K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $970K.

 

CCW 126

Cottage Colony West #126

 

HOMES

10 new listings: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $489K; 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 $499,994; 3927 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599,995; 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $599K; 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 multi-family $639.9K; 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $669K; 726 Cardium St 3/3 $795K; 8995 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 $990K; 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.3M; 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $2.295M.

5 price changes: 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $529.5K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $699K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 1326 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $2.395M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.5M.

4 new sales: 1717 Sand Pebble 3/2 listed at $449K, 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $498K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at 599K, 1658 Sabal Palm 2/2 listed at $875K.

14 closed sales: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $400K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $560K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 $590K, 1475 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $725K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 $745K, 577 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $755K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $845K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 $885K, 460 East Gulf Dr 2/2.5 $1.289M, 907 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.95M, 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1018 Whisperwood Way 3/5 $2.2M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $2.59M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $294.9K, 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $299,555.

No new sales.

NewStraight

View from 837 Limpet Dr

2 closed sales: 6159 Starling Way $608K, 837 Limpet Dr $725K (our listing).

 

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 now $599K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 $280K, Lands End Village #1641 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 multi-family now $1.85M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.395M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $8.8M.

1 new sales: 15 Seascape 3/2.5 listed at $995K.

1 closed sale: 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.225M.

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.)

Dave & Mom 08-1976

When Dave & I were a lot younger, 1976

’til next week…Happy Mothers’ Day!

 

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

mothers-day-border-clip-art-5

Mid-July Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


HybiscusIt was a week of reverse summer weather on the islands, mostly hot days but with daily showers in the mornings, rather than late afternoon. The only exception was yesterday when we had rain “off and on” pretty much all day. A similar summer forecast continues with humid 90-degree days, more showers, and high 70’s at night expected for the next week. The good news is the island is green and “blooming”.

Although the island is not as busy this week as during the two weeks either side of the July 4th holiday, our listings had more showings and our Multiple Listing Service reported a couple of sales. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS follows a couple of news items below, including a report about our July Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayThe SanibelSusan Team is busy finishing the annual update of our database. Since most of the “season” sales now are closed, we soon will be printing and mailing our island inventory list booklet.

This booklet is organized by island (Sanibel and Captiva), property type (condo, home, lot), and community or subdivision. It includes details on current inventory, as well as recent sales – good info whether you want to protect your investment, learn about the market, or if you are thinking of buying or selling. If you are not on our mailing list, but want to be, just give us a call or send us an email.

Though the last few weeks have been unusually slow, island inventory is low. Back in 2004, though that August was the month of several hurricanes, it also was one of my highest production months. Sometimes island real estate activity is driven by different outside elements including early fall weather somewhere or island-lovers remembering how the weather was back in their hometown the previous winter. Sales will pick up again so if you want to be up-to-date on the real estate happenings here, contact us now for your no-obligation copy of the booklet.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogo2015 Nominating Committee – Monday had me finishing up my obligations on the local 2015 Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee. We interviewed several applicants for two upcoming board vacancies and have submitted recommendations for officers and candidates to the current Board of Directors. Election will be at our October annual meeting.

July Membership Meeting – During the professional development portion of the July membership meeting yesterday were two speakers:

  • SCCF logoJenny Evans, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Native Plant Nursery Manager, updated us on the progress at the 28+acre Bailey Homestead Preserve property which SCCF acquired in 2011. She knew we have been wondering when it will open and what has been going on there. That is the parcel across the street from the Donax Street/Periwinkle Way intersection. The back 19 acres of the property, which go as far back as The Dunes subdivision, will be undeveloped for wildlife habitat, while the front 9 acres bordering Periwinkle and where the old homestead sits, will be open by this fall (they hope). This is where drivers-by have observed plenty of activity over the last few years.
  • SCCF native Plant nurseryJenny said that much of the land was covered with invasive exotics – not so much Brazilian pepper which has been mostly removed thanks to the island-wide City Brazilian Pepper Eradication Program enacted in 1996. But, rather, covered with what she called secondary exotics which had choked out the native vegetation and the resulting wildlife habitat. So, their focus has been on removing invasives, repairing the old homestead structure itself (thanks to the Sanibel Hammerhead carpenters), building a new rest room (was interesting that SCCF had the same permitting problems that others experience here when trying to improve older non-conforming structures), preparing the parking areas, and building/planting around a large pond. The Native Plant Nursery will eventually be completely moved to this location with their new site plan providing for a variety of sample garden areas followed by the plants for sale. There also will be an open pavilion for classes and presentations. Although the Bailey home will be open for viewing too, the focus of the preserve will be conservation.
  • Pond-Apple-Park-071614_largeEntrance to the property will be shared and is where Pond Apple Park parking area is. The interior Homestead Preserve road once inside the property runs parallel to Periwinkle Way, which is why observers have seen so much activity there. Already open is the Shipley Trail which connects two City parks, Roadside City Park on Periwinkle and Pond Apple Park/Trail which begins at the Chamber of Commerce. The trails are connected by the Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk which was built in partnership with SCCF and the City.
  • Jenny reminded our members that each new island property owner receives a free 1-year membership to SCCF. They can get a property visit from a Landscaping for Wildlife expert too, to help them join in SCCF’s mission.
  • Sanibelcityseal logoJames Evans, Sanibel’s Director of Natural Resources (& no relation to Jenny), further updated us on invasives and offered some excellent tips on what to look-out for when working with new Sanibel buyers. Unfortunately, his presentation was cut short because of time limits, so we hope to have him back again soon.

rpacRealtor® Political Action Committee – Our local Realtor® association was mentioned in the Florida Realtors® July PAC update which came out last week. Although state goals are based on a calendar year with a few months to go, it was great news to read the following:

“Another Milestone for Florida…Each year the Realtor community sets new goals and challenges for each other to surpass – 2015 is no different! This year, the Sanibel and Captiva Island Association of Realtors (SCIAR) has set a new standard by raising $41,875 for the PAC. While this may seem small to some of our larger boards around Florida it represents raising 1193% of their goal AND 100% participation of SCIAR membership; this is a first in Florida and potentially a first for the REALTOR community nationwide.

Congratulations to SCIAR on their success in 2015!”

Our Sanibel/Captiva Association believes in this PAC because we have seen direct results. Our contributions support cleaning waterways, beach renourishment, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, protecting against ordinances harmful to real estate, and electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights.

LCEC Reduces Rates Again

Lcec logoLCEC should put me on their payroll since I mention them so often, and it is always positive news. Here’s the latest from their July “News”.

“During the summer, electric costs can sometimes rise due to high temperatures and increased use of air conditioning. But for the second time this year, LCEC customers will see their bills going down thanks to a rate decrease that will go into effect July 1. LCEC is passing on savings from a reduction in the cost of power, resulting from a 2.1% rate decrease for residential customers. LCEC rates are the lowest amount electric cooperatives in Florida. LCEC rates fall 11.6% below the state average of all utilities.

“This is LCEC’s third rate reduction in the past 18 months. Last year, customers saw a reduction and earlier this year rates were reduced again. LCEC has not raised rates in the last seven years. We are committed to providing excellent service and continuing to maintain and upgrade the electric system while managing costs.”

Mayor Ruane Joins in Announcing Water Projects

Ruane & scottAs reported in the “Santiva Chronicle” yesterday:

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane joined Gov. Rick Scott in Bokeelia on Tuesday, July 14, to announce the funding of eight local projects within the Caloosahatchee watershed aimed at protecting and improving local water resources.

“Attending the announcement at the invitation of Gov. Scott, Ruane took note that watershed runoff accounts for more than 50% of the water volume that we receive annually and therefore is one of our greatest challenges to restoring the quality flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.

““Our unprecedented collaborative efforts on all working together, State, local and regional governments has resulted in the funding of these important projects.” The $1.7 million in funding from the State of Florida for these projects will require a dollar to dollar match from Lee County.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Tennisplace E31 2/1.5 now $359K, White Caps South #5 1/1 now $525K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #1B 2/2.5 now $650K.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed for $239K.

2 closed sales: Seascape #201 3/3 $1.705M, Seascape #205 3/3 $1.705M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 760 Windlass Way 3/2 $1.089M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/3 $3.795M.

2 price changes: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $450K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed for $495K, 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed for $625K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 listed for $779K, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed for $999K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Sabal Sands Rd now $329K.

1 new sale: 1815 Ardsley Way listed for $197,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #161 3/3 $1.85M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 listed for $2.349M.

1 closed sale: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $8.6M.

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.

cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17Until next week, keep the umbrella handy – or just wait a minute – that’s about how long it takes for the summer weather to change here on the islands!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

What’s Happening Now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s SanibelSusan again with some Friday scoop. My team and I have been busy all week with action items on new listings, upcoming closings, and recently negotiated contracts, but new business was markedly slower this week, while traffic was markedly improved.

Yesterday’s Realtor® Caravan Meeting was lightly attended and showing activity/inquiries were down too. Below after a couple of news items is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Community House Renovation Plans Moving Ahead

Community Ctr renovationCommunity House logoIt was with interest that the April-May newsletter of the Sanibel Community Association “The House News” reported the following:

“The long-anticipated renovation of the Community House is moving forward, with building and site plans being completed this year and primary construction now expected to happen in the Summer of 2016. This will allow the House to host its normal schedule of activities during next season (2015/2016) without disruption.

“The renewal project will restore the historic North Room, in a manner consistent with its designation as a historical landmark, and the overall outside appearance of the Community House will be designed to be compatible with the “Olde Florida” style. Inside, the House will receive a major modernization, with upgraded electrical, plumbing, and audio-visual equipment, expanded and modernized kitchen and rest room facilities, and more flexible interior space, and a fresh look.”

A subsequent, email update today from SCA covered some points from their recent annual meeting including: that the last major renovation there occurred in the 70’s when the auditorium was added. After the upcoming summer 2016 renovation, the facility is expected to reopen in October. Local architect (& fellow Sanibel Chorus alto) Amy Nowacki has been appointed to design the project. Benchmark has been engaged as General Contractor. Cost for the project is estimated to be slightly under $2M.

“In the presentation to SCA membership, a new vision was outlined for how the Community House could participate in the Civic Core operations. “While SCA’s Board has decided to renovate its current building rather than construct a new Community House on the north side of Periwinkle at this time, we hope to be able to move SCA’s major outdoor festival-type events across the street to the planned Civic Core Community Green. This would include things like the major Arts & Crafts Fairs which operate over several days during the height of season. Locating those events on the Community Green would give them a more comfortable setting and make for easier parking and pedestrian access.

“SCA’s vision calls for the Civic Core project to include construction of an open-air pavilion on the Community Green that would serve as a base for the outdoor festival events and be available for other types of open-air functions, with parking provided by the new Civic Core shared parking lots. SCA plans to advance this idea with the City and other Civic Core stakeholder groups.”

Sweet Island Message

Facebook logoA couple of my teammates scowl when they hear that I have posted something on social media, particularly Facebook. But being a forward-thinking professional, I want to ensure that our business is marketed in whatever way necessary to best serve our clients and customers. Experts advise that younger generations rely on social media for business as well as pleasure, and since I have both received listings and found new prospective buyers through social media, my adventure into technology will continue.

What really irritates me though about social media, especially this week, is the amount of negativity that is posted and then perpetuated. My Dad always said “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I know that I don’t always follow that advice, so it is heartwarming to read what I consider a “sweet message” once in a while.

Seal_of_Maine_svgOn Facebook, there is a closed group called “Beautiful Sanibel Island”. The only requirement to join is that you “love Sanibel Island”. With over 6,000 followers, it is bound to have some naysayers occasionally and it does; but when I read the below message this morning from a gal who was here on visiting, I said to myself, “I must share this.” (Warmed my heart even more to see that the author is from Maine too! Those gals tell it like it is!)

“I returned home after another week in paradise a few days ago. The respect that everyone, young and old has for this magical island never ceases to amaze me. I just want to share 2 of my favorite interactions. I noticed a little girl, approximately 7 years old on a sandbar, holding the most beautiful, HUGE Lightening Whelk. I approached her to take a look and she, in a very matter of fact way says, “we can’t keep it, he’s alive”. It warmed my heart. The second was while I was taking a walk near the lighthouse. I saw a gentleman in his mid twenties, nice looking, nice physique, carrying something toward the water. I walked over to see what he had. It was a little Leopard crab. The handsome, young man says, “poor little fella, I need to get him back to the ocean. I hope he’ll be alright”. God, I love Sanibel…”

The Sanctuary Golf Club says “Please, Pardon the Dust…”

The Sanctuary Sign2July08As yet another indication that “season” is over, the following article was in the April issue of the “Sanctuary Sound”.

sanctuary golf club logo“The Members of The Sanctuary Golf Club have made a decision to remodel, redecorate, and refresh! …

“First, the Clubhouse will be remodeled. The integrity of the brand will remain but new furnishings, paint, carpet, decorations, etc. will be added to refresh the Club. Next, the outside dining will be enhanced to capture the magnificent golf course view. Lastly, the fitness center and pool will be removed for a 5,000 sq. ft. Tennis & Wellness building. It will include new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, an aerobics room, massage therapy rooms, and locker rooms. The lap pool will augment the exercise programs to include water aerobics…these changes will begin May 2016.”

Note: Their social membership is capped at 100 with 14 currently on the waiting listing. With normal attrition just 2 to 4 members a year, if you are considering joining The Sanctuary as a social member, it makes sense to complete an application and get your name on the list now. There are no fees for the applying. For more info, contact Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership, 239-332-5182 or statum@sanctuarygc.net.

RPAC Hair Color Challenge

rpacAt our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday, I challenged colleagues to change their hair color as part of our annual fundraiser for RPAC. RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) contributions support a variety of things affecting all of us. Those issues include electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, cleaning waterways, and re-nourishing beaches. Realtor® dollars contributed to RPAC are used: 30% to national issues, 45% to Florida (http://pac.floridarealtors.org), while 25% may be used by local associations.

SanCapAssnLogoEach May, after “season”, our Sanibel/Captiva Association hosts an event which originally was known as “The Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, the event includes advance raffle-ticket sales, a golf tournament, and both silent and live auctions with items donated by members, plus an after-party. The purpose is to celebrate that we made it through another “season” and to raise money for RPAC.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® may be small, but we recognize the importance of RPAC. SanibelSusan’s challenge adds just a different twist to raising a few more dollars this year. Those taking the challenge only need to color their hair wild and colorful before the event on May 20. If they meet the challenge, I will make a contribution toward their RPAC goal, provided they are more than 50% vested themselves. Goal levels begin at just $100.

If I am the only one on the island with pink hair in a few weeks, you will know that no one took my challenge, but I am hopeful that you will see some fun local color soon! Sanibel/Captiva took home four of the five state RPAC awards last year for a board of our size. This year we are hoping for five out of five! The gauntlet has been thrown.

Six Florida Islands That Are Better (And Usually Cheaper) Than The Caribbean

huff post travel logoHere is the intro to an article posted this week on the Huffington Post’s “HuffPost Travel”:

“If you’re craving an exotic beach escape to one of the best islands in the world, then head to Florida. Floridian islands made up three of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Islands In The U.S. this year. They’re so stunning that earlier this year, the tourism bureau of Ithica, New York even begged travelers to go, to forgo the city to visit Florida’s islands instead. While getting to the Caribbean can be a schlep for your luggage and tough on your wallet, visiting Florida’s islands will not require going through customs and are often, though not always, cheaper to get to.”

The write-up included the below photo and had this to say about Sanibel: “Sanibel Island – With no chain stores, no stoplights and a population of just about 7,000 people, this place is pure, quiet island bliss. Hunt for seashells on the beach, or chow down on chicken wings at the Lazy Flamingo.”

HuffingtonPost photo 4-28-15

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 24—May 1 

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $525K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $459K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $490K, Seascape #201 3/3 now $1.795M.

3 new sales: Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 listed for $670K, Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 listed for $899K, Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 listed for $995K.

2 closed sales: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $475K, Sundial #E408 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $649K, 588 Boulder Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 1251 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $824.9K (short sale), 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $849K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $879K, 660 Oliva St 3/2 $950K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 $979K, 750 Periwinkle Way 4/4 $1.998M.

8 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.65K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $719K; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $749K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $795K; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $998.5K; 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 now $2.175M; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $3,999,999.

6 new sales: 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 listed for $599K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $625K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 listed for $815K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 listed for $1.189M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 listed for $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $325K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $449K (our listing, photo below), 1691 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $469K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $570K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $630K, 5880 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $865K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $891K.

Front1

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sales: 223 Robinwood Cir listed for $195K.

2 closed sales: 2324 Starfish Ln $425K, 4334 West Gulf Dr $850K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $539K, Beach Homes 37 2/2 $1.795M, Beach Homes #8 3/3 $2.7M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed for $299.5K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1601 2/2 $1.225M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.025M, 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $2.175M.

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.

Best wishes for a great weekend, SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)

Almost Memorial Day 2014 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Just in time for a 3-day weekend, SanibelSusan is ready for some holiday real estate business. Island weather is almost in full summer-mode with a few afternoon showers expected to crop up inland. It is AOK if they occasionally hit the islands too since rain still is needed and the after-affects usually make for great sunsets.

Doris sunset

With the islands quiet earlier in the week, our listings only had a handful of showings. A report of the Multiple Listing Service action over the last seven days follows a couple of news items. You will notice that another of our Mariner Pointe listings (the 3 bedroom) went under contract this week and we had a nice Gumbo Limbo home closing this afternoon.

19th Annual RPAC Auction & After-Season Party

19th Annual RPAC event with 2014 Assoc Prez, David Schuldenfrei; 2014 RPAC Chair, Toby Tolp; & FL Realtors Sr VP for Public Policy, John Sebree

19th Annual Sanibel-Captiva RPAC event with 2014 Assoc Prez, Dave Schuldenfrei; 2014 RPAC Chair, Toby Tolp; & FL Realtors Sr VP for Public Policy, John Sebree

This annual Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® event was held Wednesday again this year at The Sanctuary Golf Club. It included a golf outing, silent, and live auctions, plus after-party, all to benefit RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action Committee).

Wondering what RPAC is or does? If there is a federal, state, or local topic related to real estate, owner rights, and property values, you can expect a Realtor® PAC to be involved. In recent years, on the islands, we have benefitted from PAC money helping with such issues as water quality, flood insurance, beach re-nourishment, and build-back.

Wondering how each RPAC dollar is spent? 30% goes to the national Realtors® PAC, 45% goes to Florida Realtors® PAC, and 25% goes to the local associations.

Florida Realtors logoFor many years, the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association has led the state in several fund-raising categories including the most RPAC dollars raised and the highest percentage of goal for a small board. Last year, we won four of the five trophies awarded, so you know what we want this year.

A special guest at this year’s event was Florida Realtors® Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, John Sebree, from Tallahassee. It was such a treat to have him update our members on what he and RPAC are doing. SanibelSusan’s “mystery basket” of closing gifts was auctioned off and SanibelSusan again was a major donor.

Tab for Captiva Beach Re-nourishment

Captiva Beach re-nourishment (10/13) photo by NBC-2

Captiva Beach re-nourishment (10/13) photo by NBC-2

According to an article posted Wed in the “Captiva Current”, “Captiva Island property owners are about to get an invoice in the mailbox. Owners holding some 1,108 properties are on the hook for about $5.7 million of a project designed to replace sand lost to erosion and storms. The 3-month Captiva Beach Re-nourishment Project cost nearly $20 million. The work replenished sand to nearly five miles of exquisite Captiva beachfront. The work ended in December. It is considered vital in protecting the region from storm damage, but nice beaches with fluffy sand also attract investment and tourists. Captiva is rated among the world’s finest vacation spots.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially had pledged $8 million towards the project, but yanked the funding due to technical issues related to easement and beach access, causing howls of resentment at the last-second decision. Lee County in 2013 upped its commitment to the project by $1 million to $7.1 million. Other sources covered all but $5.7 million in the restoration project.

“The bottom line is that Captiva must pony up the balance. Letters to individual property owners go out beginning May 19. There will be a June 5 public meeting at the ‘Tween Waters Inn/Resort, where property owners can voice concerns, applaud the decision. But it won’t change much, officials concede. The 5:01 p.m. meeting time has the flavor of a final notice.

“Some contention was raised May 13 by Mike Mullins, chair of The Captiva Community Panel, the island’s oversight group, voicing doubts about the formula for spreading the debt fairly among property owners. Mullins inferred he absorbed a large bill for a 2010 re-nourishment project, that homes were assessed differently based on the number of structures on a private residence, Mullins inferred he absorbed a large bill for a 2010 re-nourishment project, that homes were assessed differently based on the number of structures on a private residence, he said. Multiple structures could signify rental or multifamily, but not necessarily, Mullins said. The formula is largely based on home value, but the recreational and storm-benefit value also are figured into the complicated formula. “Homesteaders should be considered differently than second home (owners),” Mullins said.

“The invoice could be as low as $500, but go well above that figure considering the extreme value of some of Captiva’s beachfront homes. Each property will receive a bill. Property owners will have the choice fo paying the bill upfront, or spreading it over seven years, officials with the governing Captiva Erosion Prevention District said.”

National Flood Insurance Program Effective May 1

realtor logoWith flood insurance continuing to be a frequent question from prospective buyers and ground-level island homes popular, I thought it worth repeating the following article that was posted on-line by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) back on April 30:

“Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties (“pre-FIRM”) will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Instead of jumping to “full cost” for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller’s Oct-2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.

“NAR prevailed upon FEMA to implement this provision seven months early.  FEMA also extended the rate relief so all pre-FIRM properties (including 2nd homes and businesses) will begin paying Oct-2013 rates when they purchase or renew their flood insurance after May 1, including:

  • ALL buyers of a pre-FIRM property, not just those whose seller has an existing policy;
  • ALL recent owners who apply for a new flood insurance policy on a pre-FIRM property;
  • ALL recent owners who reinstate an old pre-FIRM policy that previously lapsed for any reason;
  • ALL recent owners who renew a policy on a pre-FIRM property bought or newly insured after the 2012 Biggert-Waters law.

“While expediting the rate relief, FEMA must still issue refunds to all those who paid more than their Oct-2013 rate.

“NAR will continue working with FEMA and Congress to quickly issue these refunds to anyone overcharged for flood insurance under Biggert-Waters.

“NAR Flood Insurance Resources on the Web:

The Resort & 2nd Home Market

ASSOC LogoSummer or the “off-season” is education time for most island Realtors®. This weekend, I will be updating the class that I teach in early June to students looking to get their “Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS)” designation. Earning that designation requires completing 12 different modules, each specific to buying and selling real estate on the islands. The module on the resort and 2nd home market is my specialty. I wrote this module three years ago and it has become more popular each year as that market has grown.

According to NAR’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, last year, vacation home sales were up 29.7% over 2012, with 38% of buyers paying cash. Nationally, vacation home sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006. Here on the islands, those numbers are significantly higher.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 16-23, 2014

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

5 price changes: Sundial #H411 1/1 now $277.5K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 now $475K, Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 now $499.9K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $540K, Sundial #E108 2/2 now $799K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #711 3/2 listed for $599.9K (our listing), Tamarind #A101 2/2 listed for $1.505M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Shores #2 2/1 $289K, Sanibel Moorings #1322 2/2 $400K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 $650K, Sundial #E208 2/2 $780K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $825K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 580 Birdsong Pl 3/2.5 $599K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $625K, 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $898K, 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 $965K.

5 price changes: 490 Elizabeth Dr 2/2 now $379K; 1504 Angel Dr 4/3 now $745K; 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 now $799,407; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $864K; 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 now $1.029M.

5 new sales: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 listed for $599.7K, 1063 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $675K, 1529 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $787.5K, 1058 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 listed for $849K, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 listed for $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 736 Cardium St 3/2 $385K, 1659 Serenity Ln 3/2 $600K (our buyer), 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $700K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.4 $784.5K, 5690 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $745K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 $788K, 2749 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $900K, 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 $944K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 3792 Coquina Dr now $339K.

1 new sale: 1325 Eagle Run Dr listed for $475,555.

1 closed sale: Middle Gulf Dr $525K.

 Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3111 1/1 $255.5K, Bayside Villas #5130 1/2 $275K.

2 price changes: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $975K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $1.195M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2634 3/3 $746.5K.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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.

flag-p-smHappy Memorial Day!