Wondering About Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate?


Happy Friday the 13th from SanibelSusan. It has been a very quiet week on the islands. Last weekend, when I manned the office, it was fun to write and negotiate an offer. Those are the best kind of surprises, particularly when it’s a sight-unseen purchase. That sale was one of the few posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) this week, actually the only Sanibel condo sale. Details of all the action posted since last Friday are after a few news items below.

Gulf & Bay Waters Around Sanibel & Captiva

Last weekend, the aftermath of Dorian created a little havoc with red drift algae washing up on some Sanibel beaches (mostly east-end) and creating a bit of a stink. Or the thought was that rotting algae was the cause of the smell.

After complaints, the City brought in equipment and started cleaning up the algae at Lighthouse Beach. Click on the link below to see the drone aerials taken for the City on Tuesday morning. If you pan onto the beach near the “green roof” on the south side at Lighthouse beach, you will see the equipment and workers then, removing the algae. https://cityofsanibel.s3.amazonaws.com/LH9-10-19/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3DSv2s_4RWlDscmsk_zRVIhkolOVaUaKd-wfI9avKwWn4WVxL5FxdQTyQ

As follow-up, the City posted condition reports for several days on www.mySanibel.com about each of the island beaches. But, by Wednesday the beaches were all clear with the nasty odors gone. Some say that it could have been the offshore water itself that was creating the smell, from decayed material on the gulf floor that was stirred up during the hurricane. Mid-week, the wind had changed direction. That is when it all changed – a good example of how the beaches, like the shelling, can be different every day.

The picture below was posted today on the “Sanibel Island” Facebook page and described as in front of the Sanibel Inn at 10:15 a.m. this morning. The Sanibel Inn is at the end of Lindgren Blvd which is a continuation of Causeway Rd, so the photo is a good representation of what the east-end beach looks like. Thank you to Gina Frasca for sharing her photo.

2019-09-13 Sanibel Inn

Comparing water quality this summer to last year, this year there has been no evidence of red tide. Though the water level is high at Lake O, there have been no water releases this direction for many months. Fingers crossed that no more tropical storms come this way or that rains linger over the lake.

Peak hurricane time passed this week, as we remembered Hurricane Irma from two years ago. Now we look forward to November 30, when the 2019 hurricane season officially is over.

It has been bright sunny and warm here pretty much all week, but a few showers just began and are expected to occur off-&-on over the next few days as the tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic travels up the eastern seaboard.

76% of All Home Buyers Use Their Phones to Find Properties

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Wondering how real estate is done in today’s digital age? The below article by Information, Inc. was published last month by the National Association of Realtors®.

“CHICAGO – Buyers turn to mobile devices to find properties and connect with real estate agents. This puts increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure websites are mobile friendly and connecting to clients in the ways that they desire.

“The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) that looks at technology use within transactions.

“Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device – and 17% said they found their agent on a mobile device. The younger the buyer, the more likely they are to use mobile searches. Eighty-one percent of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of younger baby boomers, the NAR report finds.

“Type of communication – Ninety-three percent of real estate pros surveyed said they prefer to communicate with clients through text messaging, phone calls (93%) and email (92%). The mediums were more popular than instant messaging (38%) and postal mail (27%).

“Websites – The website features respondents find most helpful are photos (87%), detailed information about properties (85%), floor plans (52%), virtual tours (46%) and real estate agent contact information (42%). Half or more of respondents also valued property listings, agent/staff profiles, customer reviews/testimonials, mortgage/financial calculators and information on the home buying and selling process.

“Additional report findings:

“Social media: Real estate pros cited social media as the top tool for generating high-quality leads (47%), followed by Multiple Listing Service websites (32%).The main reasons cited for using social media was to promote listings, help build and maintain relationships with existing clients, and a belief that they’re “expected” to have a presence on social media sites nowadays. The top social networks used by Realtors: Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), Instagram (39%) and Twitter (33%).

“Drones: Twenty-nine percent of real estate pros have hired a professional to operate a drone for their business, and 5% personally use one. An additional 14% say they plan to use drones in the future to capture aerial pictures or videos of their listings.”

iBuyer Perspective: Not New and Not Much to Worry About

Florida Realtors logoHave you heard about iBuyers? We have not seen them on the islands, though I have had inquiries from them. Here is an article about them, posted this week on Florida Realtors®: Realtor Bill Lublin, lead author of e-Pro and Florida Realtors® convention speaker, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. They’re “instant buyers,” and “we’ve had them for years.”

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Bill Lublin, a Realtor® from Pennsylvania, lead author of e-Pro and a speaker at last month’s Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. “It’s an ‘instant buyer’ and we’ve had them for years,” Lublin said. “That’s not new.”

“The big difference between flippers and iBuyers is the type of homes they want to buy. Flippers often want a fixer-upper they can improve and sell for a profit. iBuyers, however, look for value-added flips, said Lublin. “They want livable houses. Polish-and-buff kinds of buyers – minimal repair amounts.”

“New iBuyers continue to come onto the market, but the biggest – Opendoor, Knock, Offerpad, Zillow Instant Offers and Redfin Now – are “fueled by cash,” Lublin said. “Opendoor, the first one, has $1.3 billion in equity raised; Zillow has a $7.1-billion market cap; Offerpad has $150M in equity; Knock has $60.5 million equity raised (Knock is slightly different – buying and selling you another one.) Redfin has an $18 billion market cap.”

“As corporations, the iBuying concept is new, and investors want to get in on the ground floor. That makes them less concerned about profitability for now – and more concerned about becoming one of the dominant iBuyers in the U.S.

“Other iBuyer differences, according to Lublin: People go to the iBuyers websites, fill out a form about their house, and request an offer. An inspection might be requested, but “It all starts with someone raising their hand and saying they want an offer on their house,” Lublin said.

“iBuyers use algorithms. They calculate upfront what they can pay, what they need to sell the home for, and what the cost of holding is. Like Zillow home price Zestimates, iBuyers use an AVM (Automated Valuation Models) to calculate a home’s value. “It’s an educated guess,” said Lublin. “AVMs don’t include the things that make sales, such as views, neighbor’s flowers, etc.”

“Each iBuyer company has targets. Offerpad, for example, targets homes valued from $200,000 to $400,000. “They don’t want to buy everything. They identify a sweet spot in their business model, and that’s the only thing they buy,” said Lublin. “Just like Realtors have a market niche, they’ll stray from it if a potential sale comes up – but when iBuyers stray, it hurts their bottom line.

“Observers who wonder how the iBuyers make money may find out that they don’t – or not much money. “They’re only marginally concerned with profitability,” said Lublin. “They have tons of money to go out and experiment with a new business model. Redfin says they weren’t profitable in their first 10 years, and they made the most amount of money from their IPO. Speed of growth fuels profit in the beginning. None of these companies is profitable so far, and that’s a competitive advantage.”

“iBuying may not debut in all markets. Cities like Philadelphia have an older housing stock, for example. iBuyers are more attracted to metros, such as many in Florida, with a newer housing stock that’s easier to value. iBuyers with secondary companies – Zillow’s mortgage company, for example – could also benefit via their related industries.

“While the iBuyer share of the market isn’t expected to get large – Morgan Stanley projects a 3% market share by 2030 – it still could potentially pick up a large numerical number of sales.”

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Below is an update on the year-to-date sales posted in the islands MLS – first on Sanibel, then Captiva. It compares inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales over the last three years, and the sales during the market peak, 13 years ago, in 2006. Though averages, these statistics shows the market downturn from the water woes last summer. Even so, things are looking up!

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Sanibel
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 93 851,024 217 113 1,377,721 210 66 688,492 424
Under contract 6 652,816 204 20 1,097,970 146 3 311,166 782
Closed year-to-date 97 674,067 144 160 958,364 170 11 406,181 687
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold in 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504
Sold in 2016 143 717,768 217 181 979,576 176 25 487,095 571
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Captiva
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 35 1,269,990 219 35 2,808,568 262 3 1,929,666 496
Under contract 4 806,725 443 1 2,400,000 637 0 N/A N/A
Closed year-to-date 19 1,047,894 337 14 2,984,325 288 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2017 34 671,551 261 22 2,457,023 394 2 2,312,500 1,005
Sold in 2016 22 873,636 314 27 3,195,000 284 2 3,150,000 365
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307375 334 4 2,218,750 432

(Note: Average $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” and “Under contract”.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 6 – 13, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $885K, Golden Beach #3 3/2.5 $1.499M.

1 price change: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $395K.

1 new sale: Sundial #I104 1/1 listed at $469K (our buyer).

Sundial West from I104

From Sundial I104 listing, showing central pool at Sundial Resort & looking toward the buildings of Sundial West.

1 closed sale: Seashells #12 2/2 $360K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

8 price changes: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $475K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $498K, 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $509.9K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $549K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $648K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $699.9K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.095M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.199M.

2 new sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 listed at $539K, 725 Donax St 6/6 listed at $1.295M.

3 closed sales: 1520 Centre St 3/2 $409K, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.42M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.595M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $660K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.949M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $519.9K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 listed at $639K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $812.5K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 listed at $2.4M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you clear skies & sunny days!

36.

One of my favorite photos by our photographer Jim Anderson of JMA Photography. They are blue crested night herons. It reminds me of the ugly duckling story. Thanks for sharing, Jim!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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


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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Lee County Market Report for June

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

5 U.S. Beaches to Visit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help the Sea Turtles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, when this will be posted earlier!

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Lucky Friday the 13th on Sanibel


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

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

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

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

Summer Sunsets

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

bay sunset 07-12-18

Update on Sanibel Summer Projects

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

    Photo from Refuge email

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

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

Ordinance Prohibiting Distribution of Plastic Straws

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

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

Baby Turtles Are on the Move

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

Seaturtlehatchlings

SCCF photo of sea turtle hatchlings heading to the gulf

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

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

Alligators Also on the Move

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

20180710_101918-cropped-v2.jpg

Captiva’s Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar Reopens

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

More Water News

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCCF Notice Posted Today

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

“Speak Up About Caloosahatchee Flows

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

“Increasing Flows

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

“Emergency Order – Link Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send A Letter

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

1 closed sale: 1219 Periwinkle Way $750K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Looking Forward to July 4th on Sanibel Island


BonneParade

From a parade many years ago!

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

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

4th of July Happenings on Sanibel

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

crow 2015 parade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors July Membership Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

LMLMP_Simon_Gar_CP

2/22 – Judy Collins

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

New Condo Association Laws Go Into Effect July 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

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

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

1 closed sale: 555 Piedmont Rd $200K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Quiet Friday & Island Real Estate Scoop


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

SanibelSusan’s Signs of Summer

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

PROS:

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

CONS:

Sanibel/Captiva Preliminary Property Tax Valuations

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

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

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

Foodie Info

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

Give Back Wednesdays for Community Housing & Resources

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

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

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

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

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

Homeowners’ Association Documents Versus Condo Association Documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Island Real Estate, Sea Turtles, Freebies, & Other Sanibel Scoop


It was quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but with more gorgeous weather including reports of outstanding shelling thanks to stiff winds last weekend and some super low tides. Roadway and bike path traffic continues – though less of it – from visitors on spring breaks from some northern states that keep getting wintry weather. Here we cherish the balmy breeze days in the 70’s – like this week.

Spring events are in full swing. A few are mentioned below before a report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service this week.

Island Sales Statistics Year-to-Year

SanibelSusan loves statistics, so here’s a little info confirming my recent posts about Sanibel homes being the most popular product this year. The 83 Sanibel home closings that have already occurred this year are more than all of the other sales on both islands combined.

 

Closed Sales from January 1 to April 20

Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
2016 54 56 15 12 13 2
2017 44 66 15 8 12 1
2018 48 83 5 8 12 0

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.

2018 Sea Turtle Season Has Begun

kemp turtleAs reported on-line by The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation this week:

“On Monday we had our first sea turtle nest of the 2018 season!

“For only the 3rd time in the history of the SCCF Sea Turtle Program, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nested on Sanibel Island! The Kemp’s ridley is one of the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle in the world. We are beyond thrilled that our first nest of the season was laid by a rare Kemp’s ridley!

“Last year SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program had a total of 684 nests on Sanibel – 650 loggerhead nests and 34 green nests – and 189 nests on Captiva. Both the loggerhead and the green nest counts for Sanibel surpassed previous records. 2017 was the fourth year in a row that Sanibel has broken historic nesting records, so we are hopeful that conservation efforts from the past 20-30 years are starting to pay off and sea turtle nest counts will continue to rise. More information on SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program can be found here.

“Please keep our beaches sea turtle friendly:SCCF logo

  • Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs.
  • Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent predators from eating the eggs and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance.
  • Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night.
  • Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement.
  • Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings and nesting sea turtles.
  • Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles.
  • Pick up litter.

“If you have any questions or concerns about nesting or injured turtles please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline at (978) 728- 3663.”

Free “BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) on May 12

BYOBAs posted on-line at the “Santiva Chronicle” this week:

“Get a BYOB washable canvas bag from Coastal Keepers free of charge, while supplies last, starting at noon May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way.

“On May 12 at Bailey’s General Store, Coastal Keepers will hold an event to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags on our islands and educate locals and visitors about the harm plastic bags cause to our environment.

“More than 100 billion disposable plastic bags are used annually in the United States, making them one of the most common trash items collected on beaches worldwide. Plastic bags have a short usage time and are rarely recyclable, taking 1,000 years or more to decompose. They pose a threat to wildlife as countless animals become entangled or mistake them for food each year.

“The solution to this problem is simple – bringing your own reusable bags when you shop eliminates the need for disposable plastic bags! On May 12 starting at noon, Coastal Keepers and Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way, will partner to distribute reusable, washable canvas bags for free while supplies last. We invite everyone to come out, grab a bag, and go reusable!

coastal keepers loglCoastal Keepers, formerly the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of START, operates as an independent branch of Sanibel Sea School to create and implement conservation initiatives that promote and improve the future of marine resources and our coastal heritage. Additional BYOB events are being planned for 2018. For more information about Coastal Keepers, please contact coastalkeepers@sanibelseaschool.org.

Upcoming Events

  • Public Meeting on Blind Pass Inlet Management Study – April 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sea Pearl Room at South Seas Island Resort at 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd. Provided by the Lee County Division of Natural Resources. More info about the study at www.leegov.com/naturalresources/blind-pass-2016–inlet-management-plan-study.
  • Annual Seahorse Festival – May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park, 2231 Periwinkle Way, hosted by The Sanibel School PTA. With a “taste” theme this year, featuring local restaurants with food, desserts, drinks, raffles, silent auction. Entertainment by Wilder Sons, students performing skits, games, inflatables, & more.
  • Sanibel Sea schoolSanibel Sea School Summer Camp – June 4 to August 24 at three locations: Sanibel Sea School’s Flagship Campus, Sundial Beach Resort, & Canterbury School in Fort Myers. Programs for campers ages 4 to 18. Also space available in Pea-Sized Pufferfish Week, a program for 4- to 6-yr-olds; a coral reef expedition to the Florida Keys for 11- to 12-year-olds; an expedition to Belize for teens 15 to 18, and a variety of camps for 6- to 13-year-olds, each with ocean-related themes. More details at www.sanibelseaschool.org.
  • Captiva yacht clubSummer Junior Sailing ProgramJune 11 to 22 & July 16 to 27. A U.S. Sailing Certified program hosted by the Captiva Island Yacht Club at 15903 Captiva Dr. Open to children ages 8 to 15, of all skill levels. More info at www.captivaiyc/activities/sailing.

Changes Coming to Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center

Sanibel-Island-Captiva-Island-Visitor-Center-Exterior.jpgAs reported in the “Island Sun” this week, announced at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last week were plans to renovate the chamber’s Francis P. Bailey, Jr. Visitors Center on Causeway Road. “With work expected to begin in early fall, the visitor center “refresh” will include a redesigned interior that will increase visitor “flow”, incorporate a classic coastal design with enhanced visitor experience integrating technology.”

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rate Rises to 4.47% This Week

associated-press-logoThough most island sales continue to be “as is” and “cash”, we always watch the interest rates because we know that it “only takes one” to make a sale and that “one” may want/or need a mortgage. Here is the Associated Press article that was posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors®.

“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed upward this week, slightly worsening affordability for homebuyers.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.47% from 4.42% last week. This benchmark rate averaged 3.97% a year ago.

“With the start of the traditional spring home buying season, people shopping for homes are dealing with higher loan costs and fewer properties for sale. Rising rates could further erode inventories as existing homeowners renovate homes rather than putting them up for sale to avoid a more expensive mortgage that would come with a new house.

“If higher rates lead to fewer homes on the market, it could push prices higher and further squeeze would-be homebuyers.

“”These increasing rates will serve as an added challenge to home shoppers in what is already perhaps the toughest home buying market in recorded history,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

Home borrowing costs have risen in response to higher yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. The interest charged on this form of government debt has risen from 2.78% last week to 2.9% early Thursday.

“The interest paid by the government is up along with the federal budget deficit in the wake of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and plans by the Federal Reserve to raise short-term borrowing rates for banks.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose this week to 3.94% from 3.875.”

Apply Now If You Want Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Florida Realtors logoThe Atlantic hurricane season coincides with the Florida rainy season which is June 1 to November 30, so seeing the below article posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® was a timely reminder that it is just around the corner. If you want flood insurance or need to make a change to your policy, now is the time. See the article and some provider recommendations below:

“Nearly a million property owners filed claims for various insured losses from Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, with estimated insured losses totaling nearly $8 billion. More than 750,000 of the 900,000 claims were made by residential property owners.

“With 1.7 million National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, Florida has the largest percentage – 35% – of NFIP policies in the entire system. When Irma made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, many homeowners, renters and business owners had flood insurance policies, but many more did not.

“Flooding can occur anywhere, even in low-risk areas. Almost 25% of claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding and receive one-third of all federal flooding disaster help.

“Homeowners, renters and business insurance does not typically cover flood damage, making it important for Floridians to buy an NFIP policy now. An NFIP insurance policy becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased. Flood insurance pays policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration.

“Floods are the most common and most costly natural disasters in the United States. Without flood insurance, it may be too expensive for owners to repair or rebuild.

“NFIP policyholders have been paid more than $887 million to repair and rebuild since Irma. Many policyholders received up to 50% advance payments–nearly $121 million–to minimize waiting for money to start work.

“By mid-March this year, 97% of the more than 28,000 submitted NFIP claims had been closed, with an average payment of $49,000.

“Homeowners, renters and business owners who live in NFIP-participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in NFIP.

“To find out if a community participates in NFIP, ask an insurance agent or go online to fema.gov/cis/FL.html….

“To find an agent who sells flood insurance, contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 800-427-4661.

For more information on general flood insurance questions, contact your local floodplain administrator, NFIP at 800-427-4661, or your insurance agent….”

Here are the four local insurance providers on SanibelSusan’s Directory of Services & Utilities:

Freebies From SanibelSusan Realty

Sanibelsusan LogoIf you’d like a copy of our directory, mentioned above, just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. This list was compiled as a courtesy and is updated as we get recommendations. Vendors and service providers are included based on past service to us or our clients.

Also, if you are wondering when SanibelSusan’s next mass mailing of our inventory tables will go out, it will be soon. (With nearly 9,000 copies mailed, it makes our phones ring.) My team is confirming sales and updating our database now, while they also continue each Saturday to update the individual (Sanibel condo, home, lot, & Captiva) tables. To be added to our mailing list to receive a copy in early May (or anytime), just email Susan@SanibelSusan.com. (Easy to email these inventory lists too. ) They show the addresses and prices of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and, for comparison, sales over the last few years too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 13-20, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $379K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $489.9K, Mariner Pointe #533 2/2.5 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #143 2/2 $799K.

4 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 now $535K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $549.9K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $624.5K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 now $625K.

1 new sale: Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 listed at $999K.

2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $474.5K, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.765M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $549.9K, 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $899K, 3708 Coquina Dr 3/2 $909K, 829 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $1.25M, 725 Donax St 6/2.5 $1.548M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3.5 $3.395M.

12 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $509.5K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $549K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $669K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $695K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $635K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $809K, 5280 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $825K, 501 Lagoon Dr 2/2 now $979K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.449M.

11 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $499K, 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $565K, 1478 Albatross Rd 3/2 listed at $639K, 4439 Gulf Pines Drive 3/2 listed at $695K, 3320 St. Kilda 4/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.195M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 listed at $1.349M, 1033 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.495M, 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex listed at $2.075M.

6 closed sales: 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $540K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 $607.5K, 1295 Par View Dr 3/2 $640K, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 $1.497M, 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $2.85M, 1008 Bayview Dr 4/4.5 $3.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 412 Tiree Cir now $319,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1408 2/2 $1.195M.

1 price change: Marina Villas #610 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 listed at $375K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 listed at $950K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11506 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.339M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, here are a couple of fun photos borrowed from Facebook.

Thriller 04-19-18.jpgA mama & baby dolphin photographed this week during a Sanibel Thriller rider (departs from The Sanibel Marina, more info at http://www.SanibelThriller.com).

Plus another Sanibel sunset!

sunset 04-18-18.jpg

TGIF, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Summer-Like Sanibel February


12-28-15 Scott 7 White pelicanIt’s SanibelSusan reporting that all’s well on another sunny Sanibel Friday. I won’t mention the traffic which is worse than I ever remember it pre-weekend. It’s been a constant stream of cars tying up Periwinkle, coming onto the island until midday, when it changes to heavy traffic in both directions. From mid-afternoon on, as usual there is extra traffic heading off-island. Last night it cleared up by 6:30 p.m.

So, we grit our teeth, plan our days differently, don’t turn right, and remember that we are sharing fabulous weather with extra snowbirds and vacationers. It makes it a challenge when we are driving with prospective buyers. Those new to the island have a hard time believing that it’s like this for just a few weeks each year.

They sure love the weather though. It really has been amazing for February – bright blue skies with a few occasional clouds, daytime temperatures ranging from the low 80’s into the 90’s (record setting numbers), and sparkling water surrounding the island.

Beach

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayWe had good action with our listing this week, with several more showings scheduled tomorrow during turn-over in some of the vacation rentals. With the big annual Arts and Crafts Fair across the street from the office both tomorrow and Sunday, we hope for some walk-in business.

If you have a three-day weekend, we hope you enjoy it. If you are here, we hope you drop in.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoMonthly Membership Meeting – Yesterday was the February monthly Membership Breakfast Meeting and Caravan for the local Association of Realtors®. Guest speaker was Julie LePore with FIRPTA Solutions, Inc. FIRPTA is the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 and it covers the disposition of U.S. real property interest by a foreign person. I’ve covered it in my updates before, but she mentioned a couple of points many Sellers don’t realize.

firpta_solutions_logo_full-color_horizontalFIRPTA – If you are selling real estate in the U.S. and are NOT a foreign Seller, there still is a form required by FIRPTA. These Sellers must sign a Certificate of Non-Foreign Status which indicates that FIRPTA withholding is not required. So, don’t be surprised if the title company handling your closing asks you to sign a form that includes your social security number or tax identification number.

Alternatively, in the case where the Seller is foreign, more questions apply. If the Buyer does not have definite plans to reside at the property at least 50% of the time that the property is in use, the Buyer is required to withhold 15% of the sale proceeds. Yes, that is a requirement of the Buyer. Usually Buyers don’t know this. Here, the title company handles this withholding. If the Buyer will reside the property being purchased, depending on the price, there could be change in the amount needing to be withheld. Best to consult with an expert if you are a Buyer and the Seller is foreign. FIRPTA Solution is a good resource at www.firptasolutions.com.

Caravan Announcements – We weren’t lucky enough to get another sale this week, but plenty were announced at the Caravan meeting. One colleague who just listed a $2+M property announced that it went under contract in hours for full-price, cash, quick close. Just an example of what can happen in a situation where a buyer is waiting for an property in a specific location or of a certain size or condition.

What’s Happening With the Sanibel Real Estate Market?

sancap GO MLS logoUsing info from the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as described in the disclosure below, here are some summaries.

Number of Sanibel Price Reductions in last 30 days:  105 (71 homes, 7 lots, 28 condos)

Considering that there are just 362 Sanibel properties for sale, that’s a lot of price reductions.

How Many Properties Are Selling Compared to the Competition?

  # Available # Sold/Closed 2018 # Under Contract
SANIBEL CONDOS
Income-Producing 75 4 8
With 3 Bedrooms 12 4 5
Under $500K 23 3 13
Over $1M 21 5 4
SANIBEL HOMES
Canal-front 39 4 8
Near-beach 87 16 15
Gulf-front 12 5 3
Under $500K 9 5 2
Over $1M 91 18 19

No Rate Increase for 8th Year in a Row

Lcec logoLCEC (Lee County Electric Coop) posted this info in their February “LCEC News”. With most prices increasing, it’s great to hear that LCEC’s electric rates have remained the same. “Rates actually have decreased over the past four years…Even after spending more than $30 million on Hurricane Irma restoration, rates will remain the same for 2018. As a cooperative, LCEC is eligible for partial FEMA reimbursement for disaster recovery….”

Upcoming Events

  • rotary logoSanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 35th Art & Craft Fair – with over 100 artists & food court – tomorrow & Sunday, Feb 17 & 18 at The Community House and Sanibel City Park across the street from SanibelSusan Realty Associations. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • kiwanis logoAnnual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner – an island favorite for nearly 40 years, Saturday Feb 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Community House. Funds raised go to island youth education and recreation activities including scholarships. (If you are on-island and need a ticket, give me a call, I know who delivers… just got my ticket today.)
  • zonta logoAnnual Peek at the Unique – annual fundraiser tours of four unique island residences, hosted by The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva on Saturday Mar 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation by air-conditioned buses. Tickets required. More info at zontasancap.com, tickets at Eventbrite or www.zontasancap.com/events/peek
  • SCCF’s 7th Annual Beer in the Bushes – Saturday Mar 31 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the grounds of SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Nature Center. Attendees are encouraged to dress in “soul train” attire of the 70’s. Purchase tickets at http://www.sccfbeer.eventbrite.com

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 9-16, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 $425K, Sanibel Moorings #141 1/1 $475K, Kings Crown #312 2/2 $799K, White Sands #13 2/2 $949K, Sundial West #E104 2/2 $995K, Blue Gulf #101 3/2 $1.42M, High Tide #B102 2/2 $1.795M.

2 price changes: Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 now $455K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 now $799K.

8 new sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $239.8K, Captains Walk #D5 2/1 listed at $299.5K, Seashells #40 2/2 listed at $349.9K, Sundial West #J307 2/2 listed at $759K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 listed at $799K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 listed at $999K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 listed at $1.25M, Seascape #202 3/3.5 listed at $2.195M.

3 closed sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 $225K; Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 $435K; White Sands #32 2/2.5 $978,625.

HOMES

8 new listings: 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $599K, 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $679K, 5885 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $699K, 617 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $839K, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $869K, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 $1.198M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.339M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 2/2.5 $1.35M.

21 price changes: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 now $444.9K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $549K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K, 474 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $679.9K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 now $749K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $774K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 now $799K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $819K, 924 Beach Rd 3/2 now $895K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $899K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 now $899K, 1265 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $899K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $979K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $995K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 805 Sand Dollar Dr 4/3 now $1.295M, 1995 My Tern Ct 4/2 now $1.349M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.465M, 1525 Sand Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.575M, 514 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $1.895M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 now $2.599M.

8 new sales: 667 Spartina Ct 3/2 listed at $619,555; 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K, 3980 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $799K; 5657 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $895K, 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $995K; 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.379M; 1271 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.299M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 listed at $5.995M.

6 closed sales: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $480K, 1613 Sand Castle 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $610K, 900 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.015M, 1313 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $1.35M, 3945 West Gulf Dr 3/3 $3M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 412 Tiree Cir now $329,555; 2401 Blue Crab Ct now $679K.

No new sales:

1 closed sale: 2626 Coconut Dr $329K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5144 1 /2 $385K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $2.095M.

No new sales or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11531 Paige Ct 4/3.5 listed at $3.45M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Enjoy your weekend & Presidents Day!presidents day clip art

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island-Style Valentine Sights


 

Manatee mailboxDolphin mailboxboth mailboxesIt’s SanibelSusan, reporting another fine Friday here. This one, wrapping up a week of fantastic Florida winter weather. After expecting temperatures to be in only the low 70’s, locals and visitors have been “out and about” happily enjoying sunny days, with temperatures almost setting records – into the low 80’s.valentine

Early this afternoon, my car registered 82 degrees as I drove down Periwinkle Way. On my return, because of the traffic, I elected to go “the back way” and saw a sight that made me smile. Near one of the bends just off East Gulf Drive are two mailboxes across the street from each other with those big concrete-looking bases – one is a manatee and the other a dolphin. Here they are in their adorable Valentine’s garb. These island neighbors sure have the holiday spirit.

With Southwest Florida so nice and the news reporting ice, snow, sub-zero temperatures, and pile-ups in the northern states, I have been hit up several times this week with folks looking for help in finding last minute island accommodations. (Some are even having trouble looking for February and March next winter!) Very little is available for long-term stays, so we are trying hard to convince some of those folks to buy. We’ve got some listings with excellent income that could help pay the way when you aren’t using the property yourself.

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

NFIP Extended For Six Weeks – to March 23

Posted today by “Florida Realtors®” on line:NationalFloodInsuranceProgr

“As part of the just-passed continuing resolution to keep the government open, the National Flood Insurance Program now won’t expire until March 23, 2018.

“While the legislation only extends government operations for six weeks – including NFIP – Congress agreed to some long-term changes, including $90 billion in assistance for post-hurricane cleanup in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

“While the national flood insurance program isn’t a direct part of federal funding, its future has been tied to it recently because the flood insurance extension has been voted on alongside the larger spending packages.

“For at least the next six weeks, however, homebuyers and sellers in flood zones can stop worrying about the loss of flood insurance derailing their transaction.”

What’s Happening at Island Inn

island inn matthews suitesIf you’ve recently driven down West Gulf Drive, you may have noticed the construction at Island Inn. The historic Island Inn, the oldest hotel on Sanibel (established in 1895) began their latest multi-million-dollar investment last year when construction began to replace the Matthews Lodge, a 12-unit concrete-block building built in 1961. This week, they announced the opening of the new Matthews Lodge Luxury Suites (their photo above) which are 12 new 600 sq. ft. accommodations. Benchmark General Contractors was the builder. For more info on the Island Inn, Traditions on the Beach, or the new gulf-view luxury suites, visit www.islandinn.com.

Upcoming Events

  • 16th Sanibel-Captiva Art League “Clothesline Sale”, Sunday, Feb 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Community House, with ~30 artists participating. Some of these artists also feature their work at monthly events just outside Bailey’s General Store. Called “Art on the Veranda”, they will be there tomorrow, Feb 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Livingston Taylor – at South Seas Resort, Sunday, Feb 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 7. Tickets at www.livingstontaylorsouthseas.eventbrite.com.
  • 25th Annual Children’s Education Center of the Islands “Spring Festival” – Thinking ahead, if you have children or grands coming to town for Easter you might want to put this event on your calendar: Saturday, Mar 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Sanibel Community Park (next to The Community House).

How Fast Can Home Prices Rise?

In last week’s update from the recent economic analysis presentation at Florida Realtors’® Governance Meetings, it recounted how Lee county is one of the few areas in the state where the supply of residential real estate is greater than demand. An article posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors.org further describes what is happening to home prices throughout the rest of the U.S., with some cities breaking price records.

attom data solutions logoStrong demand and low inventories fueled home prices to record highs in 2017. The median home price in the U.S. reached $235,000, up 8.3% from 2016, according to real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions.

“Still, annual price appreciation showed signs of slowing; in 2016, the national median home price jumped 8.5% year over year, according to ATTOM’s latest housing report.

“Sixty-four of 112 metros (57%) set a new record for metro-level home prices in 2017, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Among 112 metros, each with populations of 200,000 or more, the cities with the biggest year-over-year price increases were Ocala, Fla. (up 14.3%); Kansas City, Mo. (13.4%); San Jose, Calif. (13.3%); Salem, Ore. (12.9%); and Nashville, Tenn. (12.5%).

“Among major metro areas with populations of at least 1 million, the cities that posted double-digit gains included Las Vegas (up 12.3%); Salt Lake City (10.9%); Seattle (10.8%); Orlando, Fla. (10.7%); Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (10.7%); Portland, Ore. (10.5%); and Jacksonville, Fla. (10.1%).

“Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach also ranked in the 1-million-plus category, with the area’s 2017 price rise at 8.9%.”

© Copyright 2018 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Webcam Back Up At “Ding” Darling

Paul collins roseate 04-13-14

As reported in the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter dated February 8, 2018.

“Our live Refuge Webcam, which was damaged by Hurricane Irma, is back up and running better than ever. The solar-powered camera broadcasts live scenes from the Wildlife Drive observation tower during daylight hours. So, now when you need your Refuge “fix,” just head to our home page and click on the live cam. It’s the next best thing to being here in person.”

Right to Inspect: The Devil is in the Details

Florida Realtors logoThough written to help Realtors®, the below article posted on Florida Realtors® this week by their COO and General Counsel (& fellow New Englander), Margy Grant, has good info for buyers and sellers too.

“Feb. 5, 2018 – One of the most common clauses buyers utilize when submitting an offer to purchase real estate is the “right to inspect.” Based on the number of calls to the Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, this also is one of the most misunderstood clauses – and one that could have serious consequences for buyers and sellers if it is not interpreted and enforced correctly.

“In the “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase approved by Florida Realtors® and The Florida Bar – the purchase contract most commonly used by members – the right to inspect clause contains the language “in the Buyer’s sole discretion.” This phrase is intended to mean that a buyer may cancel the purchase contract at any time during the inspection period for any reason. Occasionally, Realtors confuse this language. They interpret it to mean a buyer is required to discover a defect in the property or structure and only then is entitled to cancel. This is incorrect.

“A buyer may terminate the contract by delivering written notice to the seller for any reason, even something as minor as the color of paint in a bedroom. However, to be binding, the notification has to be made prior to the expiration of the inspection period.

“Another issue that is often misunderstood is the process for renegotiating a contract before enacting the right to terminate.

“Let’s say you are representing buyers who have signed a contract to purchase a home. An inspection has revealed the roof is aged and leaking in one section. Your buyers still want to buy the house; however, they want the seller to either fix the roof or reduce the purchase price to reflect the repair amount. Otherwise, they will have to cancel.

“Simply contacting the listing broker to communicate the problem does not constitute a cancellation under this section of the contract. If a buyer wishes to renegotiate then you, as the buyer’s Realtor, need to provide specific information to the listing broker. Explain exactly what the buyers want and explicitly say that if the seller refuses, then the buyers intend to cancel under the inspection clause of the contract.

If you fail to accurately explain what the buyers want as a remedy, and the seller does not respond before the time to inspect the property lapses, your buyers may be in jeopardy of losing their deposit.

“How do you as a Realtor protect yourself from situations like this? Simple: Communicate and watch the calendar. In writing, explicitly explain to the listing broker what your buyers want from the seller. At the same time, make sure your buyers do not miss the deadline to cancel the agreement if the parties cannot agree on repairs or a reduction in purchase price. Remember: The “As Is” form contract is calculated on calendar days, not business days.

“Real estate contracts vary in terms of when a buyer or seller can amend or cancel. You should carefully review each contract’s right to inspect clause. In the event there is confusion about which day is the final date to cancel, you should contact the other side and make sure everyone is in agreement. But when in doubt, err on the side of the earlier date to protect yourself and your buyer.

“In most transactions, a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell, so approach all negotiations positively and work toward a sale. But, at the same time, take precautions to make sure you do not inadvertently put the buyer’s deposit at risk.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 2-9, 2018sancap GO MLS logo

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $429K.

4 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $574.9K (our listing), Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $630K, High Tide #C101 2/2 now $899K, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.69M.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #E33 2/1 listed at $320K, Sundial West #F308 1/1 listed at $439K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 listed at $580K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed at $850K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 listed at $1.249M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

6 new listings: 962 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639K, 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 $650K, 753 Cardium St 3/2 $679K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $689K, 1582 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $699K, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 $1.995M.

15 price changes: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 now $439K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $460K, 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 now $468.5K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 4/2 now $549K, 5280 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 now $675K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $679K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $769K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $829K, 9028 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 now $879K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $899K, 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 now $1.095M, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.174M, 500 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $1.195M, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 now $1.994M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $3.1M.

5 new sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $545K, 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 listed at $787K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/5/2 listed at $1.349M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 listed at $2.295M.

4 closed sales: 915 Palm St 3/2 $445K, 1807 Buckthorn Ln 3/2.5 $615K, 1314 Par View Dr 3/2 $750K, 1255 Isabel Dr 3/3 $1.615M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 976 Whelk Dr $699K.

3 price changes: 4566 Buck Key Rd now $159K, 1550 Centre St now $205K, 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.695M.

2 new sales: 2626 Coconut Dr listed at $379K, 4767 Tradewinds Dr listed at $1.75M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Beach Villas #2625 2/2 $645K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 $2.595M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1657 2/2 $1.06M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $10M.

1 price change: 11531 Paige Ct 4/3.5 now $3.45M.

1 new sale: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln 7/8 listed at $2.799M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

valentineHere’s hoping that you and your Valentines have a great week!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

A Little Soggy Today in the Neighborhood


SanibelSusan here. Today the islands are feeling the effects of what forecasters are calling swirling weather patterns associated with a tropical wave which poses a threat for localized flooding across Southwest Florida today. Heavy downpours began Wednesday afternoon and have been sporadic so far, but the chance of rain is predicted at 100% right through the weekend. It finally drops to a 20% chance on Wednesday. On the upside, the temperatures are down into the high 70’s/low 80’s and the vegetation is lush.

With the ground already saturated, flash flooding warnings have been issued for Lee and Charlotte counties until 8 p.m. tonight. This wave is not related to Hurricane Harvey which is poised to slam the Gulf coast of Texas, but it nonetheless probably helped bring the greater-than-normal rain throughout the day.

Before a few news items, here is a photo shared with me earlier this month. Look who walked by and caught him by surprise when he was at his island home. (You’ve gotta be fast with an iPhone. Thanks for sharing, Scott.)

2017-08-12 bobcat

Florida Realtors 101st Annual Convention/Trade Show & Governance Meetings

2017 Convention LogoSorry I missed posting a blog last Friday. While in Orlando at the Florida Realtors® Annual Convention and Governance Meetings, it was great to play a part in the productive educational sessions Tues/Wed/Thurs, followed by committee meetings Fri/Sat, and ending with the Board of Directors meeting Sunday morning.

There are a lot of events, networking, and real work crammed into a few days so I always enjoy the drive back home when it is nice to get out in the fresh air again and rethink the week’s accomplishments.

2017 Sanibel Gang at Awards Luncheon

The Sanibel/Captiva gang at the Florida Realtors 2017 Awards Luncheon

 

I’ve seen lots of changes in the industry during the 20+ years that I have been involved in the state leadership team. Hot topics now are cybercrime, wire fraud, copyright infringement, automated valuation models, paperless transactions, social media advertising, artificial intelligence, and drones.

2017 chief financial officer cropped

Speaking at Florida Realtors Capital Club Luncheon – Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (with his handsome sons)

Though the real estate markets vary from one area of Florida to another, much of our work and problems are common. Staying involved in problem-solving and solution-sharing is key in staying ahead of the many changes that technology continually brings to this business.2017 Education Ambassador

 

Here are a few fun facts about Florida Realtors®:

  • Florida Realtors® is the 2nd largest state Realtor® organization in the country.
  • It is 170,000 members strong (in 2017)
  • It began in 1916 and now covers 13 districts, 54 local boards, and has 130+ employees.
  • In 2016, 61% of membership was female and averaged 52 years old. Members had an average of 10 years of experience and completed 9 transactions. They closed nearly 400,000 sales with over $105 billion in dollar volume.
  • In 2016 in Florida, there were $19.4 billion in international sales. The largest fraction of foreign buyers (39%) were from Latin America & the Caribbean. The top 5 countries of foreign buyers in Florida were: Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, United Kingdom, & Argentina.
  • In 2017, Florida Realtors® PAC successfully supported legislation that passed the first-ever cap on community association fees for estoppel certificates.

Because of the size of our local organization, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® only has two voting Directors at the state. There were 561 Florida Directors voting on Sunday. I was honored to be one of them, along with our 2017 Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® President, Joel Goodman.2017 BoardYou can find more info about Florida Realtors® at FloridaRealtors.org.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® August General Membership Meeting followed by biweekly Caravan. Once again, like two weeks ago, the meeting was well attended, but not much real estate action was announced. Our new listing at Spanish Cay was one of only two properties on the following Open House Caravan.

The speakers for the General Membership Meeting included a panel of four rental managers from ReMax of the Island Vacation Rentals, Royal Shell Vacations, SBL Vacations, and VIP Vacation Rentals. They fielded such questions as:

  • Who handles the prorations of rental income when a property sells? The rental managers do, this is not something that normally is handled by a title company since it’s not a physical part of the real estate.
  • How do you handle requests for showings when a property is listed for sale? Most of the managers prefer to make the showing appointments and only when requested by the Listing Agent. Particularly “in season”, when requests may be frequent, Listing Agents may want to ensure that the request is to a “serious prospect” before bothering a long-term tenant. VIP prefers that the Listing Agent calls the tenant so they can control who goes in/out.
  • Has the rental business increased or decreased? Some mentioned that particularly with homes, inventory is less than it was some years ago. Many in the large baby boomer population who purchased and rented before retirement are now using the property themselves.
  • Have rental rates increased? In most cases yes, but it’s often dependent on a property and its upgrades. The “best” properties are booked a year in advance with repeat longer-term bookings preferred. Particularly for reservations in Feb and Mar, they should be booked a year ahead.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

While away, I fielded some phone and email inquiries about a few of our listings. Then, this week, we got another new listing. It is a Sunset South top-floor riverside expanded 2 bedroom with elevator, garage & large private storeroom – a great opportunity for a buyer looking for easy residential living with gulf access, natural views, and handy to the causeway. Well priced too at $499,900 (view shown in first photo below).

Several of our listings were shown this week and a couple of showings are scheduled as next week many rental properties are vacant. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since August 11 (two week’s worth of info) is posted after a few news items below.

The islands are coming up on what some of the retail establishments say is traditionally the slowest week of the year. Many communities only allow construction projects in September so it could be a few quiet weeks with schools back in session and the rainy season in full swing. It is a good time to view property though. Some say, the best time to secure real estate before “season”.

Sanibel Fresh

Sanibel Fresh 08-24-17If you are looking to try some place new, “Sanibel Fresh” opened yesterday in the former location of Bennett’s Fresh Roast at 1020 Periwinkle Way. Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., their motto on their Facebook logo says “Healthy food for a happy you”.

We haven’t tried it yet, but our pals say it’s “great”.

Call for Action

NFIPWithout Congressional action by September 30, 2017, authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire. If NFIP lapses, more than 40,000 real estate transactions per month will be in jeopardy. The National Association of Realtors® has issued a call for action and made it easy for you to urge your member of Congress to pass “The 21st Century Flood Reform Act” H.R. 2874 as soon as possible.

H.R. 2874 contains several provisions of critical importance:

  • Reauthorizes NFIP for a full 5 years, avoiding the uncertainty of short-term extensions and potential shutdowns.
  • Caps NFIP rates at $10,000 per year for property owners.
  • Directs FEMA to develop more granular rate tables, to ensure fewer properties are overcharged
  • Sets aside $1 billion for flood mitigation assistance grants.

And increases access to private market flood insurance. Please follow this link to Take Action

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 11-25, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #6D 2/2 $499.9K (our listing), Sundial East #O405 2/2 $1.0995M, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.195M.

3 price changes: Seashells #40 2/2 now $359.9K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 now $449.9K (our listing) (photos below), Ibis at The Sanctuary #B302 2/2 now $468.5K.

4 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B201 2/2 listed at $475K, Sanibel Moorings #931 2/2 listed at $550K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6-2 2/2.5 listed at $649K, Lighthouse Point #327 3/2 listed at $849K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #B6 2/2 $380K, Blind Pass #F210 2/2 $444K, Blind Pass #B105 2/2 $450K, Sanibel Arms West #I3 2/2 $519K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 982 Main St 3/2.5 $489K, 4542 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $578K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/4 $985K, 1304 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 now $1,099,995; 411 Bella Vista Way 3/4 half-duplex $2.495M, 3945 West Gulf Dr 3/3 $3.195M.

7 price changes: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $499K; 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $589K; 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $715,888; 3354 Barra Cir 3/2 now $875K; 673 East Rocks 3/2 now $725,988; 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.25M.

6 new sales: 982 Main St 3/2.5 listed at $489K, 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $524.9K, 981 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $549K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 4/4.5 listed at $799K, 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed at $749K, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 listed at $3.45M.

1 closed sale: 981 Main St 4/2.5 $625K.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 3354 Barra Cir now $399K, 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $799K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #5228 1/2 $433.5K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2517 1/1 listed at $497.5K, Beach Villas #2623 1/1 listed at $530K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 listed at $1.795M.

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, I hope you enjoy your weekend & stay dry. That’s the plan here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Realtors Packing Meals of Hope


meals_of_hope(1)It’s almost the end of another quiet week on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. The SanibelSusan Team and I are getting our Friday work done early today, so we can head over to the Community House to help the Meals of Hope volunteers set up for our Association of Realtors® afternoon food packing event.

At last count, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has raised $6,000+ (enough for food/supplies to pack 28,000 meals) and will have at least 80 volunteers ready to pack from 3 to 5 p.m.

It will be fun to see how many we really can get done that quickly. Off to Harry Chapin Food Bank the meals go after that, where they are available to Southwest Florida food banks through the Feeding America Food Bank Network.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service

Sanibel realtors logoNo sales were announced at yesterday’s Association of Realtors® bi-weekly Caravan Meeting and only two new listings (one home on Sanibel and one on Captiva) were open during the Caravan that followed.

Our listings had some action this week though, including another condo closing and one under contract. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Online Home Value Estimates Are Not Appraisals

BradfordZillowCartoonWonder why your Realtor® tells you that a Zestimate of the value of your island property may be incorrect? First a little general info from NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog on June 29, 2017 and reposted on “Daily Real Estate News” June 30:

“Homeowners who seek an estimate of their home’s value online often find that it doesn’t match the actual value… The Economists’ Outlook blog, which is run by the National Association of REALTORS®, recently offered tips from data scientist Karen Belita. She notes that Automated Valuation Models, or AVMs, are based on computer algorithms and calculations that “take different sets of property data and look for patterns and relationships between property value and the input data.” This allows web visitors to find a home value estimate easily and quickly by just searching an address.

“But these estimates should not be confused or used as a substitute for appraisals, Belita notes. Appraisals use comparative market analyses and in-depth expertise of real estate professionals to draw a conclusion on the value of the property. Another caveat with AVMs is that they fail to take into account the unique qualities of a home, neighborhood, or local market.

Zillow’s “Zestimate,” for example, is computed using public and user-submitted data with “different accuracy levels depending on the data of the property and location,” Belita writes. Another source is the REALTORS Property Resource®, which provides two home value estimates: one from their own AVM model and another from REALTORS® Valuation Model. RVM pulls from the same data as the AVM as well as MLS data, providing estimates of confidence scores based on its accuracy level.

“As technologies advance and more data becomes available, the number of sites that provide home value estimates may grow,” Belita writes. “With the knowledge of where to find home value estimates online, it is important to note that these home value estimates are not interchangeable with formal appraisals, comparative market analyses, and they cannot be used as a basis for a loan. Most of these sites, if not all, reiterate the importance of consulting the expertise of real estate professionals to receive an in-depth and in-person analysis of the property and the local market.””

On island, it goes without saying that most property cannot be valued using calculations that might apply in large area of residential tract housing where location and construction are basically the same. Here, the islands are so unique that the same home in different gulf and inland locations, sometimes less than a mile apart, also can differ in value not just a few dollars, but millions of dollars.

Many Multiple Listing Services sell their data as a revenue source. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service does not. It neither gives nor sells its MLS data to Zillow or 3rd party sites, nor are the listings in the islands’ MLS sent to outside syndicated sites looking to make money.

Instead, the island MLS data is provided only to Realtors® performing under the umbrella of the Realtor® Code of Ethics. That includes sites: Realtor.com, our Association site SanibelRealtors.com, and individual member and company sites where our Association offers cooperation through Florida Realtors® IDX (Internet Data Exchange) like my site SanibelSusan.com.

So why, you may ask are your listing photos and data on Zillow. It’s because some island Realtors® and their clients want their properties to get broad exposure.

I do this by belonging to two MLS’s. I am a primary member of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® which requires that we post all of my listing on their MLS. I also hold a secondary membership at the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association which services other areas in Southwest Florida. This secondary membership allows me to also post my listings on the Florida Gulf Coast MLS. The Florida Gulf Coast MLS syndicates their listings to many 3rd part real estate search sites, including Zillow.

Does that mean that all Sanibel/Captiva listings are on Zillow? No, but you will find SanibelSusan listings there.

So, when various websites offer to tell you the value of your property, take it with a grain of salt. I have never and I mean never, seen an island Zillow that was not inflated.

A real estimate of value or what a property likely is worth at a point in time is best done by a licensed real estate appraiser or by a market analysis prepared by a licensed Realtor®.

If you want to know the real value of your property, it should be based on recent actual sale prices of ALL comparable properties (not just those in a particular database).

It should not be based on asking prices of what is for sale, not what sold a year ago, and not what a property like yours may be worth in another location.

The person that can perform this evaluation is someone who knows the value of real estate here and not just some of the prices for some sales, but all of them.

Mortgage Rates Fall Again – 2nd Straight Week

Florida Realtors logoFloridaRealtors® posted the following Associated Press article yesterday, July 27, 2017:

associated-press-logo“Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for the second week in a row, despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to lift borrowing costs.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slid to 3.92% from 3.96% the previous week. While historically low, that is still above last year’s average of 3.65%

“The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, eased to 3.2% from 3.23% last week.

“Mortgage rates haven’t increased much even though the Federal Reserve has boosted its benchmark rate four times in the past 18 months. That’s because mortgage rates follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is influenced by many factors. Greater demand by overseas investors can lower the yield.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 21-28, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.245M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach #102 2/2 listed at $799K (our listing).

Beach

In front of Gulf Beach

 

4 closed sales: Captains Walk #A1 2/1 $325K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 $550K (our listing), Sanibel Surfside #223 2/2 $730K, By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 $1.175M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $549K.

4 price changes: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $494K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $589K, 545 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $595.9K, 9113 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 now $599,999.

2 new sales: 519 Lagoon Dr 4/2 listed at $849K, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 listed at $1.7945M.

4 closed sales: 1036 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $595K, 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 $750K, 1032 Lindgren Blvd 3/2.5 $799.9K, 3402 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.3M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 461 Lake Murex Cir $349K.

1 price change: 1299 Par View Dr now $241.5K.

1 new sale: 5148 Sea Bell Rd listed at $199K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 $237,250.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11531 Paige Ct 3/3.5 $3.59M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed at $819K.

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.)

friday-yay.jpgUntil next Friday,

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan