Bidding September Goodbye at SanbelSusan Realty


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another Friday of beautiful Sanibel Island weather. Today we continue to watch the track of Hurricane Matthew. It could miss much of Florida, but still bears a close eye.

This morning, there also was a news report that red tide which over the last few days has plagued Sarasota county beaches to the north, could be heading this way. There is a red tide watch through tomorrow for Lee and Collier counties. Fingers crossed that early Hurricane Matthew winds disburse it.

Teammate Lisa received the below “green flash” photos from a reader who noticed the one mentioned last week. She said she also saw one on her last island visit. (Thanks for sharing, Cheri.)

green-flash

On the “Upcoming Events” tab above, I have been adding fall/winter happenings as they are scheduled and announced. “Season” is filling up nicely with plenty of things to do.

Record Turtle Nesting Season

sea-turtle-nest

Those here this summer likely noticed the large number of sea turtle nests. As reported on-line at the “Santiva-Chronicle”, as of Monday, “SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) reports that 23,017 sea turtle hatchlings have emerged. With almost 100 nests left on the beach, this season could beat last season’s 26,727 hatchlings. A normally-developed nest yields about 100 hatchlings to offset a survival rate of about 1 in 1,000 once the turtles are in the water.

“Last year was a record-setting year here for nests with more than 600. This year has obliterated that mark with a new record total of 826 nests, two of which are endangered green sea turtle nests.

“SCCF turtle volunteers comb the beaches each morning during the nesting season to chart the nests, stake them off and protect them from coyotes and other predators. The volunteers have been busier this season than ever before in all three of SCCF’s designated turtle nesting zones. All three zones have set nesting records. The volunteers also log false crawls, where a female turtle comes ashore but for one reason or another doesn’t lay eggs. The previous record for false crawls has also fallen with 1,447 false crawls found this season….

“The nesting season took a hit recently with the passage of Hurricane Hermine. Hermine a tropical depression when it skirted past the barrier islands on Aug 30 hundreds of miles out to sea. It created a storm surge that SCCF said washed out 57 nests on Sanibel and 24 on Captiva, a total loss of just under 10%….”

New Places/Things & Re-Openings

DunesEntrySignDunes Speed Humps – To reinforce the 20-mph speed limit to travelers taking this alternate route during high season, four humps have been installed on Sand Castle Road in The Dunes subdivision.

Two are on the north side of the circle and two on the south side. Speeders beware!

Noah’s Ark – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market – The locals are ready and this is an indication that “season” is coming. Sanibel Farmers Market opens Sunday and will be open every Sunday through Apr 30 – from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the grounds of City Hall. The only exception is Christmas Day, when it instead will be open the next day, on Monday.

Restaurant Reopenings:

  • Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro – Reopens Thurs, Oct 6.
  • Blue Coyote – Reopens Tues, Oct 4.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – Bar renovation is almost complete. They reopen Tues, Oct 4.
  • Trader’s Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts – Has their sold-out Shell Museum fundraiser on Mon, Oct 3. Reopens the next day for lunch and dinner.

Coming Soon:

  • Totally Baked – in the Island Center, 2407 Periwinkle Way (former location of McIntosh Books) where construction began this week, is expected to open in early Nov. This week, Sanibel Planning Commission approved a variance and development permit that will allow them to have 16 outdoor seats.
  • Pasture & Pearl – The “Island Sun” posted that this new restaurant will open in early 2017 in The Village Shops as a “refined and modern dining experience…a more relaxed interpretation of the “fine dining” concept….”

 

Florida Ranks 4th as Business-Friendly State

Florida Realtors logoAs posted yesterday by FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.

“Wyoming once again took first place with the most competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintained its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.

“Overall, Florida ranked fourth. Only three other states were deemed to have a more business-friendly tax code. This year’s most competitive states include:

  1. Wyoming 2. South Dakota 3. Alaska 4. Florida 5. Nevada 6. Montana 7. New Hampshire 8. Indiana 9. Utah 10. Oregon

“This year’s least competitive states include:

  1. Louisiana 42. Maryland 43. Connecticut 44. Rhode Island 45. Ohio 46. Minnesota 47. Vermont and D.C. 48. California 49. New York 50. New Jersey

“States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes, and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state’s ranking can rise or fall in rank because of its own actions or actions taken by other states….”

The full report is available online

A Lesson for Sellers on Disclosures

realtor logoThe below article posted on RealtorMag® “Daily Real Estate News” on Sep 21:

“Sellers may feel hesitant to reveal any minor problems with their home; afraid they’ll scare off buyers. But here’s a warning for your sellers: They may land in legal trouble if they fail to disclose.

““Most sellers think it is in their best interest to disclose as little as possible,” Rick Davis, a real estate attorney in Kansas, told realtor.com®. “I completely disagree with this sentiment. In the vast majority of cases, disclosing the additional information (especially if it is something that was previously repaired), will not cause a buyer to back out or ask for a price reduction.”

“Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and sometimes even on a local level. (Florida is a full disclosure state.)

““In general, sellers should disclose any known facts about the physical condition of the property, existence of dangerous materials or conditions, lawsuits or pending matters that may affect the value of the property, and any other factors that may influence a buyer’s decision,” according to a recent article at realtor.com®.

“This includes disclosing issues that have been previously repaired, Davis says. Also, disclose any inspection reports.

““It is much better to lose a buyer by clearly disclosing all known issues than it is to spend two years and tens of thousands of dollars in litigation,” says Adam Buck, a certified real estate specialist with the Frutkin Law Firm in Arizona.

“Rest assured, sellers won’t be put on the hook for failing to disclose issues that they didn’t know about.

They should be careful not to make any guesses when prompted, particularly when it comes to the measurements of the home — one common problem area for disclosures.

““Even if you’ve had an appraiser check out your home, you may have no idea how many square feet it truly is because, as it turns out, there’s no single agreed-upon way to measure a home,” the article states. “Three different appraisers can come up with three different measurements.” Don’t make a guess or buyers can come back and accuse you of misleading them.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 23-30, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $799K, Atrium #201 3/3 $1.595M, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.

2 price changes: Tennisplace #D22 1/1 now $245K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.099M.

1 new sale: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 listed at $229K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $505K, Sanibel Moorings #1542 3/2 $750K, Sundial West #A205 2/2 $789.5K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $862.25K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 2401 Shop Rd 2/1 $298K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

3 price changes: 9209 Kincaid Ct 3/2 now $489K, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $1.049M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 now $2.295M.

4 new sales: 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $629.9K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 584 Kinzie Island Ct 3/4 listed at $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 774 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 $1.225M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2401 Blue Crab Ct $879K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva 

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 $507K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.295M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 $1.82M.

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.)

So as September comes to an end, the wonderful popcorn-like clouds won’t be seen as often. They seemingly jump from the sky & create the best sunsets! Here are a couple from this week!

2016-09-28

2016-09-27

Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Shhhhh…it’s September on Sanibel/Captiva


It is another Friday of beautiful summer weather on the islands, but it sure is quiet. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items and illustrates that real estate action is pretty slow too.

The Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Market

real-estate-clipart-rs13A couple of island brokers commiserated with SanibelSusan yesterday about the market. Our consensus is that we will have another strong “season”. But, surprisingly, it has been slow for most of the summer. Probably related to the press making it sound like all of Florida has red tide/blue green algae, Zika virus, flooding, sink holes, and anything else that makes for dramatic reporting. Of course, here on the islands do not have those things and hope that we never do, but we have heard plenty of these objections, particularly from inquiries from afar from those relying on the news. Election unrest has not helped either.

Closings/Openings/Renovations

doc-fords-managersThe new Doc Ford’s opened today. After last night’s heavily-attended Open House, staff and owners were happy today to have that behind them and be “really” open.

A pal and I had lunch there, seeing plenty of other locals also checking it out.

The décor is relaxing comfortable fish-shanty-style, yet delightfully new bright airy and spacious. (Photo above borrowed from their Facebook page. It shows the new flagship Doc Ford’s managers with co-owner Brenda Harrity in the center. From left to right: Katie, Kim, Brenda, Donna, & Liz.)

Now that it is September a few more restaurants may be closed briefly for their annual deep cleans, fix-ups, and/or staff vacations. Here is an update:

As reported last week, Bleu Rendezvous French Bistro is closed until Oct 6, and Traders Gulf Coast Grill & Gifts is closed until Oct 3. Here are a couple of additional closings. (There are still plenty of good eats open, though!)

  • Blue Coyote is closed until Oct 4.
  • Gramma Dots is closed until Sep 29.
  • Mad Hatter is closed until Oct 1.
  • Matzaluna will be closed Sep 12 to 18.
  • Over Easy Café will be closed from Sep 12 to 22.
  • Rosie’s Café will be closed from Sep 20 to Oct 7.
  • Sandbar is closed until Sep 29.
  • Traditions is closed until Sep 23.

If you like the outside of the new Huxter’s Market & Deli, be sure and stop in after Sept 27 to see the new interior. They are closed until then for inside remodeling.

fishing-pierThe Sanibel Fishing Pier reopened this week after a 3-month renovation that included installing new stringers, decking, and improved handicap accessibility. Work was funded by a grant from the Lee County Tourism Board.

Work now begins on the adjacent boardwalk. (Fishing pier photo at right borrowed from Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra.)

Sanibel Farmers MktSanibel Farmers Market opens again on Sunday, Oct 2, and will be open every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. until May 28, 2017, except it will be closed Christmas Day (but will be open the next day, Monday, instead). It even will be open on Easter Sunday.

Located on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

Sanibel’s Annual Street Resurfacing

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City of Sanibel’s annual street resurfacing project began this week. Each year the City resurfaces selected roads based on a time schedule and their condition. This year the effort involves full-width surfacing of twelve streets and a few other small paving projects. Most of the paving will be done during normal daytime hours other than a small section of Periwinkle Way from Palm Ridge Rd to Tarpon Bay Rd which will be done at night. The work is expected to be complete within 30 days. The streets included this year are: Main St., Fitzhugh St., Angel Wing Dr., Whelk Dr., Pecten Ct., Sand Dollar Dr., Kings Crown Ct., Oyster Ct., Conch Ct., Pen Shell, and Dixie Beach Blvd (3 sections at the road pipe crossings).

Shorebird Nesting Season Ends

snowy ploversShorebird nesting season which typically runs from February through August was more successful this year compared to 2015. Out of 28 snowy plover nests, seven produced a total of 17 chicks. Last year only nine hatched.

No nesting attempts were made on Captiva. Least terns were not as successful and did not produce any fledglings.

Five Fixes That Can Raise a Home Value

Florida Realtors logoThe following article was posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Information Inc., “This Old House.” It offers some good suggestions.

“For homeowners looking to spruce up their home before listing it, there’s plenty they can do to attract more buyers and potentially boost the value of their home too.

“Veteran real estate professionals recently weighed in at This Old House on some of the best home improvement projects they believe can help a home show better. Here are a few of their ideas:

“1. Open up the space. Create more space, whether that’s even removing a kitchen island or knocking out a non-structural wall. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” Kristin Wellins, senior manager of program development at ERA Real Estate, told This Old House.

“2. Light it up. Keep the home bright: Have windows open to let the natural light flow in, consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off, or install sun tubes, a reflective material that funnels natural light from a hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture in a room. “High wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces,” This Old House notes.

“3. Enhance the front door. “Don’t underestimate the power of a front door,” Willens says. “People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house.” Have an overhang on the front porch, such as an awning or portico above the front door, suggests Roger Voisinet, a real estate professional in Charlottesville, Va.

“4. Pay attention to the floors. Spend some money on the floors, suggests the real estate professionals surveyed by This Old House. Even a $600 to $900 investment could help boost the home’s value by possibly $2,000, they say. Get a carpenter or handyman to eliminate distracting squeaks from floors, repair any broken tiles, patch damaged floorboards, and remove wall-to-wall carpeting, they suggest.

“5. Tackle easy bathroom upgrades. Bathroom upgrades can quickly get pricey but a few upgrades can still make a big difference. For example, swap frosted glass for clear glass, remove any rust stains, apply fresh caulk, update doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replace faucets, buy a new toilet seat, or install a low-flush toilet.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2-9, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $449K (our listing).

(Photos below at Mariner Pointe with its many amenities (2 pools, private fishing pier, 2 tennis courts, boat dockage, shuffleboard, bbq areas, deeded beach access, plus resident manager. The view from #522 is the 1st photo.)

2 new sales: Sundial West #F105 1/1 listed at $399K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 listed at $599K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.49M.

4 price changes: 4452 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 now $699K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $799K (our listing) (photos coming next week – our photographer filmed today), 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.425M.

4 new sales: 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $439K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $6449K, 998 Beach Rd 3/3 listed at $899.9K, 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M.

No closed sales. 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 6411 Pine Ave now $375.5K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir $233,166.

Captiva 

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 $1.625M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 35 Sea Hibiscus Ct 3/2 $925K.

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.)

quiet-as-a-mouseIf you like quiet, now is a great time to come to the islands…just don’t tell too many!

Happy Friday! Until next week, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

“High” Season Over on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Yes, in the blink of an eye, it’s over. Early Easter this year made for an early end to “high season” here. This week, several of our normally-booked condo listings were vacant – the first time in months. Once the last of the spring breaks are over, it likely will be quiet here again until schools are out and summer visitors start to arrive.

The Realtor® Caravan Meeting yesterday was well attended. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® now has 31 broker offices with 284 Realtor® members. Announcements included a handful of new listings and a few sales, but mostly price reductions. The SanibelSusan Team had a new gulf-view condo listing go “live” last weekend. A few photos are below. It’s Nutmeg Village #303, top-floor, remodeled 2 bedroom 2 bath, with bright open kitchen, and views of the beach/gulf from all windows on both sides of the property!

View b

Kitchen bFront ViewMore snowbirds are departing daily and the recently-installed traffic cams are working, so roadways are easing up. I ran into the City Manager yesterday and as we were commiserating about “season”, she shared an email that she had just received from a happy winter visitor commending her and her staff and sharing some personal positive thoughts on the wonders of the island. Even in the throes of “season”, Sanibel is the “the best”. We too appreciate all the City does to make it that way.

After a couple of news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

2016 Predicted to Be Housing’s Golden Year

Posted last Friday on “Realtor®Mag”:

“Officials from mortgage giant Freddie Mac have made a bold prediction: This year housing starts and home prices will reach their highest levels since 2006.

FreddieMacLogo_3 “The main reasons behind its bullish forecast is low mortgage rates, an improving job market, and a gradual increase in housing supply. “Housing markets are poised for their best year in a decade,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In our latest forecast, total home sales, housing starts, and home prices will reach their highest levels since 2006.”

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains well-below 4% this year. This week it averaged 3.71%. “Expect the 30-year mortgage rate to remain very attractive throughout the spring home-buying season, staying below 4% until the second half of the year,” according to Freddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for March.

“For home sellers, they’ll be able to enjoy more home price increases. “In 2015, house prices increased about 6% on a year-over-year basis,” Freddie notes in its outlook. “Expect house prices to continue to rise, but at a moderating pace, with annual price appreciation slowing to 4.8% in 2016.”

“Also, gains in employment across the country will help to fuel hotter housing markets, according to Freddie Mac. The unemployment rate dropped below 5%.

That said, challenges remain for the housing market, particularly with wage growth. Wages remain “anemic, barely keeping pace with inflation,” Freddie Mac officials caution. “If wages and incomes do not start rising, then rising interest rates, home prices, and rents will squeeze households and ultimately slow housing markets,” Freddie Mac notes.

“Despite some headwinds, officials remain mostly upbeat. The “nation’s housing markets should sustain their momentum from 2015 into 2016 and 2017,” the outlook notes.”

Flood Insurance Rates Up April 1

NationalFloodInsuranceProgrThe below article was posted last week in the “Sun Sentinel” Fort Lauderdale and reprinted in FloridaRealtors® on-line last Friday, April 1. It’s long, but a good explanation of the changes this month in flood insurance rates.

“Flood insurance rates are set to increase for all policyholders today as the National Flood Insurance Program continues to dig itself out of $24 billion in debt incurred in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and other recent emergencies.

“That means policyholders and their insurance agents will once again be forced to wade through a bewildering barrage of bureaucratic lingo like “Lapsed and reinstated pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (Pre-FIRM) policies,” “Pre-FIRM primary residences,” “preferred risk,” “standard rated,” “Biggert-Waters” and “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.”

“And those phrases are from just two paragraphs of a news release Thursday from state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s office alerting Florida residents of the coming rate increases. McCarty says it’s important for Florida residents to carry flood insurance on their property. Of the National Flood Insurance Program’s 5.1 million policies, about 1.8 million are in Florida.

“”Although Florida’s hurricane season has been mild over the last 10 years, it is important that we not forget how easy it is for one storm to cause a great deal of damage and destruction from flooding,” the news release quoted McCarty as saying. “Tropical Storm Fay is a good example of a storm that made slow progress through the state leading to massive flooding problems for several Florida counties back in 2008.”

“Flood insurance premiums will increase an average of 9% nationwide, excluding some surcharges and fees, said Susan Hendrick, spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“But those increases will vary depending on whether buildings are primary homes, built prior to the 1980s, in flood hazard zones, or have been paying artificially low premiums since flood zone maps were first created in the 1980s.

“Flood insurance rates are based on flood zone maps developed and revised by FEMA for each county in the U.S. The maps estimate how high flood waters will rise after a storm likely to occur once every 100 years.

Homeowners with mortgages backed by a federal lending guarantor such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are required to carry flood insurance if they live in a special flood hazard zone. Flood hazard zones are typically near the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway or canals, or in low-lying areas….

“In 2012, after hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and other major storms plunged the flood program deeply into debt, Congress enacted the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was intended to remove government discounts and bring insurance rates charged for risky properties up to levels reflecting actual risk. But many owners of those risky properties were enraged by the increases in their renewal notices in 2014, and they pressured Congress to throttle back on the rate of increases.

“The result was a 25% annual limit on rate increases for properties in flood hazard zones, paid for with a new surcharge imposed on all property owners.

“Here’s a breakdown of the most-common property types and rate increases their owners will face as of Friday:

“Properties in flood hazard zones that were grandfathered into the program with subsidized rates will see premiums increased by 25% this year – and each year into the future until they are no longer paying subsidized rates.

“Totaling roughly 20% of the 5 million properties insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, these grandfathered, subsidized properties are called “pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (pre-FIRM)” properties because they were built before their communities’ first FEMA flood zone maps were created in the 1980s.

“”When the program first started, the government decided not to penalize homes built before the 1980s” by forcing them to pay actuarially sound (or fair market) rates, FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney said. Instead, the government allowed them to pay discounted rates until 2012.

“Properties subject to 25% increases include non-primary residences and business properties. Grandfathered-in primary homes will see increases up to 18%, as will properties that are neither homes nor businesses – such as churches, non-profits and schools.

“Preferred-risk policies – which are policies written for properties within moderate- or low-risk zones B, C or X zones and not required with government-backed mortgages – will see premium increases of up to 15%.

“The Federal Policy Fee introduced last year will increase from $22 to $25 for preferred-risk policies and from $45 to $50 for standard-risk policies, which are policies in flood hazard zones.

“Another charge known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Surcharge will remain at $25 for houses, townhomes and condo units used as primary residences by their owners and $250 for all other buildings, including vacation homes and businesses. This is the surcharge approved in 2014 to help offset the cost of distributing policy rate hikes over several years for properties in flood hazard zones.

“The Reserve Fund Assessment will increase from 10% to 15% for Preferred Risk Policies. The assessment is already at 15% for all other types of policies.

“Property owners should purchase insurance by May 1 if they want to be covered at the start of hurricane season on June 1, according to the news release from the state insurance commissioner. Coverage is now offered by several private insurers at rates comparable to the National Flood Insurance Program, and to cover values exceeding the federal program’s limit of $250,000 per home and $500,000 per business, the release said.

“For more information, flood insurance customers are urged to contact their agents or go to floodsmart.gov.”

The Dunes Will Get Four Speed Bumps

DunesEntrySignAs described in Tuesday’s “Santiva Chronicle”

“Sand Castle Road in The Dunes neighborhood of Sanibel will have four speed bumps on it next tourist season following a request by the Dunes Board of Directors and action by the Sanibel City Council on Tuesday, April 5.

The removable speed bumps are the second tier of traffic control recommended to the city and they will be in place during the peak tourist and traffic season. The Dunes is used as an alternate route off and on the island during peak traffic times via Dixie Beach Road on one end and Bailey Road on the other end….

“The city identified the problem of motorists cutting through The Dunes and contracted with Johnson Engineering to gather data and recommend solutions. Johnson recommended two tiers of traffic control. The city implemented Tier 1 in January 2015 by reducing The Dunes speed limit from 25 to 20 mph and reducing the speed in the curves on Sand Castle from 20 to 15 mph.

“Increased police patrols were part of Tier 1. Police Chief Bill Tomlinson said that in 14 months since the reduction in the speed limit that his department has spent about 10 hours a week patrolling traffic in The Dunes and has issued 206 traffic citations.

“The four speed bumps will be 14 feet long and will rise to a height of 4 inches above the road surface. On each side of the bumps will be a 2.5-foot buffer to allow passage of pedestrian and bicycle traffic….At its junction with Albatross and Bailey roads, Sand Castle goes both directions in a circle. Motorists can go either way and two speed bumps will be installed on each of the north and south portions of Sand Castle.”

Sanibel Farmers’ Market To Stay Open Through May

Sanibel Farmers MktFarmers Market Brussels SproutsBy unanimous vote on Tuesday, Sanibel City Council voted to allow the Sanibel Farmers’ Market to stay open this season through the last Sunday in May.

The popular market was slated to close down for the season at the end of April, but owners of market operator Local Roots, asked the city to extend to May 31 due to its great success this season.

The market is open Sundays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. See you there!

Stage a Baby Boomer Home the Millennial Way

The Washington PostAn article posted on “Daily Real Estate News” this week was sourced to “The Washington Post”, March 31, 2016. It has some good tips.

“Like every generation, millennials’ needs and tastes differ from their parents’ generation, as plenty of surveys have attested to. But as millennials become home owners, how can your baby boomer home sellers amp up their homes’ appeal to this younger generation’s tastes?

“David Charron, president and chief executive of the multiple listing service MRIS, offered up a few tips on presenting a home to appeal to millennials in a recent column in The Washington Post. Here are a few of his suggestions:

Entryway: “Millennials prefer their living spaces to be streamlined,” Charron notes. “A home’s entryway is one of the easiest places to make a good first impression.” For example, builders are adding shelves next to electrical outlets for charging stations in new construction. Sellers can do the same. Set up a dedicated command center near the door with a place to stow keys, mail, coats, and bags, and add a tastefully styled power strip or charging center.

“Common areas: Millennials place a high emphasis on socializing, so make sure the kitchen and living room show the spaces as great places to host a party. For example, a taller-than-usual kitchen table with bar chairs may offer up that picture. An open layout arranged with several seating areas also can help buyers visualize how the home can accommodate big group gatherings without feeling too crowded. For an open house, offer up a beverage and snacks station so that visitors can see and experience the entertaining aspect of the home.

“Children areas: Millennials span the ages of 20 to 35, and many are starting families or plan to soon. They are looking for places where they can keep an eye on young children as they play indoors along with kid-friendly areas. Display maps with nearby playgrounds, parks, and bike paths outlined to show the area has plenty to offer children.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 1-8, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

Spa

Beachside amenities at Nutmeg Village on Sanibel

 

3 new listings: Nutmeg Village #303 2/2 $799K (our listing), Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 $995K, Pointe Santo #E6 2/2 $1.25M.

4 price changes: Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $499K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 2/2.5 now $675K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 now $999K, Sanbel Surfside #127 2/2 now $1.095M.

4 new sales: Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 listed at $375K, Sundial West #B207 1/1 listed at $489.9K, Sanibel Siesta #402 2/2 listed at $559K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 listed at $1.349M.

7 closed sales: Sundial West #H408 1/1 $385K, Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 $425K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 $477.5K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 $750K, Sundial West #E205 2/2 $764K, St. Croix #4 2/2.5 $890K, High Tide #A301 2/2 $1.895M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1722 Serenity Ln 3/3 $525K, 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $525K, 702 Oliva St 3/2 $649K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 $1.1M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 $2.495M, 900 Snowberry Ln 4/3 $3.595M.

5 price changes: 1635 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $469K, 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $534.9K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 multi-family now $569K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 now $1.299M, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2.595M.

7 new sales: 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $425K, 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $479K, 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 listed at $535K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $649.9K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 listed at $998K, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $1.149M, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: 3870 Coquina Dr 3/2 $575K, 2499 Harbour Ln 3/3 $675K, 1259 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $840K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 $1.2M, 1688 Hibiscus Dr 3/4 $1.82M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 690 Birdie View Pt $399.9K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2933 Wulfert Rd $260K, 5407 Osprey Ct $465K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: with contingencies: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 listed at $287K, Beach Villas #2632 2/2 listed at $710K.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #27 5/3 $2.395M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 $1.695M.

2 price changes: 15161 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $2.495M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $3.585M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 $1.4M.

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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Expect Another Good Weekend for Shelling on Sanibel Island


It is SusanSusan reporting that it is pretty quiet on the island again this week. Here are a few news items followed by the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Southwest Florida Weather

Island weather sure has been mixed. After a cloudy and sometimes soggy weekend (there were no happy super blood moon eclipse watchers here), Monday’s excitement included heavy rains, sometimes torrential.

Patience was required while the island drainage system did its magic on land that was already super saturated. By late Monday afternoon, East Gulf Drive at the lighthouse end of the island was closed briefly when the high moon tide brought waves across the roadway.

(It’s all AOK and open now, here are some pictures taken by my cell phone earlier this afternoon.)

Sanibel Lighthouse beach Sanibel Lighthouse drive Sanibel Lighthouse

By Wednesday, the islands were back to normal with sunny weather and bright skies, as we tentatively watched the news of Hurricane Joaquin as it developed. With its path paralleling the east coast, just a breezy weekend is expected here.

Closing Process Changes: What To Expect

In an earlier Friday update I described the federally-mandated changes with new mortgage disclosure rules that begin tomorrow, this is just a reminder that they essentially are in effect. This will mean that offers with financing contingencies likely will have the closing date later than the typical 30-45 days. New contracts also may have a contingency about these disclosures.

Sanibelsusan LogoSince The SanibelSusan Team’s standard procedures from contract-to-closing include plenty of communication and early sharing of contracts and any amendments with lenders, title companies, and closing agents, we do not expect that these changes will impact us much.

With lenders, these changes may just be a temporary bump for the learning curve. Banks will need to provide consumers with more and earlier disclosures regarding their financing.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors members including mortgage company affiliates were advised of these changes at our August Membership Meeting where the details of the new Truth in Lending Act (TILA) regulation were discussed. Scroll down to my August 28th blog for a refresher.

The Baby Boomers Are Driving Growth

realtor logoThe Sanibel/Captiva real estate market loves baby boomers. Here’s what Monday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” had to say about them too:

“Baby boomers are the “driving force” of household formation, which is critical for real estate demand, according to a new blog post at the National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog.

baby boomers“The highest gains in household formation have been by 65- to 74-year-olds, who accounted for 860,000 new households alone from the first half of 2014 to first half of 2015, according to Census Bureau data. The 55 to 64 age group comprised the second highest at 391,000, followed by people over 75 years of age who formed 264,000 new households during that time period.

(According to a Kansas City Federal Reserve Census Bureau federal study: “Downsizing Boomers to Fuel Apartment Market – The number of Americans aged 70 and older will increase by more than 20 million in the next 15 years, according to Census Bureau estimates. Downsizing activity usually occurs around the age of 70 and becoming increasingly prominent by age 75.)

“Meanwhile, younger age groups had less. The 20 to 24 age group had negative net household formation numbers of 85,000. The 25- to 34-year-old age group, however, had 159,000 new households during that time.

Young professionals have been slow to form their own households. The share of the population living with parents has risen dramatically over the last few years. For the 25- to 29-year-old age group, the percentage has risen from 10% in 1980 to 25% by 2013. Also, the share of 25-to 29-year-olds who have never been married has dropped from 70% in 1980 to less than 40% in 2013.

“While young adults have been the main drivers of multifamily construction, the baby boom generation will lead the long-term demand for multifamily construction, according to Jordan Rappaport of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who recently spoke in a presentation at the REALTOR® University Speaker Series.”

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter

Ding Darling Society logoHere are a couple of tidbits from the October 1 issue of ““Ding” on the Wing” which is the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter.

“Ding” Darling 2016 Free Film Series includes eight films. Each film is free, but is limited to the first 100 guests in Auditorium A at the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center. See more details on the “Upcoming Events” tab on my web site, www.SanibelSusan.com.

Woodring Ding 10-2015Woodring Demolition – “Work began last week on restoring habitat to its natural state at the Refuge’s new Woodring Point property, purchased last year through funds raised by the DDWS Preservation Campaign. Crews took down one of the property’s derelict outbuildings and will continue work removing exotics later this year.”

Definition of a Bedroom

News Press logoIt was so quiet Wednesday that SanibelSusan used some of the downtime to clean out office files. One old stash is a folder of info and clippings that I thought might be good for future newsletters. Here is an interesting one that was posted in “The News-Press” Real Estate Section on November 28, 2008. It is from a “question and answer” column by Barry Stone who is a home inspector and nationally-syndicated columnist, known as the House Detective (www.housedetective.com).

In this business, Realtors® often encounter rooms that are described as bedrooms, but are not. Sometimes when showing property a prospective buyer will say “this cannot be called a bedroom.” Here is Barry Stone’s official definition:

“A bedroom must be at least 70 square feet in area, with neither dimension less than 7 feet in length. The minimum required ceiling height is 7 feet. When the ceiling is sloped, 50% of the ceiling can be less than 7 feet, as long as no portion of it is less than 5 feet.

“A bedroom must also have an openable window for light, ventilation, and fire escape. For light, the window size must be at least 8% of the floor area. For ventilation, the openable portion of the window must be at least 4% of the floor area. For fire escape, the window must be at least 5.7 sq ft. in area. The opening must have a minimum height of 24”, a minimum width of 20”, & a maximum sill height of 44”.

“And contrary to popular belief, no closet is required for a bedroom.”

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens Sunday

Sanibel farmers mkt 2015It will be like old home week when locals gather at the Farmers’ Market on the grounds of City Hall on Sunday morning. The market will be every Sunday from October 4 to April 24, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parking is available in lots at Sanibel City Hall, the Sanibel Library, BIG Arts, and Herb Strauss Theater. Bicycles can be parked at a designated area at City Hall. Handicap parking is located there too. The market also is pet friendly, for the well-mannered.

The market is my stop en route to the office on Sundays. If you are looking for local produce, seafood, and more, it is the place to get it. See you there!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 25-October 2

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $789K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 $795K, Sand Pointe #137 2/2 $1.095M, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $1.295M, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.895M.

No price changes.

2 new sale: Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 2/2 listed at $463K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 listed at $739K.

4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $300K, Sundial West #B408 1/1 $440K, Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #103 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $874.9K, 580 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $1.599M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 $3,999,999.

No price changes or new sales.

5 closed sales: 3965 Coquina Dr 2/2 $300K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 $436K, 580 Chert Ct 2/2 $550K, 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $605K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $650K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1820 Ardsley Way $175K.

1 price change: 6411 Pine Ave now $375.5K.

1 new sale: 1304 Eagle Run Dr listed at $219K.

1 closed sale: 971 Main St $180K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $629K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 listed at $580K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 $265K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.645M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 15295 Captiva Dr now $950K.

No new or closed sales

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

Until next Friday, here’s wishing you good weather with Joaquin far out to sea…

Here the shelling should continue to be fabulous! Here are some recent finds posted by local sheller Pam Rambo on iLoveShelling.com (which has great info on island shelling).Shells at beachcombing Bowmans Beach

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Colorful Leaves, Temperatures Dropping, & Snow – NOT HERE!


 

096

Islander Realtors® usually can tell when the weather changes up north by an increase in the number of real estate inquiries. This week was no exception. Leaves must be turning, temperatures dropping, and/or snow falling somewhere as SanibelSusan Realty all-of-a-sudden had busy days both yesterday and today with buyer inquiries.

Sun

Island weather has been exceptional for the last few days too, mostly summer temperatures mid-80’s and sunny. Enough clouds sometimes for some beautiful Sanibel sunsets too!

SanibelSunset 02-01-12

SanCapAssnLogoThe local Association of Realtors® again had no weekly caravan this week. Business activity has not picked up enough for that yet, but the caravan schedule will change back to weekly in early November.

Below are a couple of other news items followed the recent action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Upcoming Island Events

Farmer MarketSanibel Farmer Market – October 5 – Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., every Sunday through April on the grounds of Sanibel City Hall. See you there!

US Power SquadronsU.S. Power Squadron Safe Boating Class – October 25 – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Public Library. More about the Sanibel-Captiva Power Squadron at www.usps.org/localusps/sancap/

Bailey's merchant assocBailey Fest – October 26 – Sunday – from noon to 4 p.m. at Bailey’s Shopping Center featuring live entertainment, games, raffles, give-aways, face painting, pony rides, food & refreshments, local service organization info, & more. The opening singers again this year are with the Sanibel BIG ARTS Community Chorus.

SCCF logoWine in the Wild – November 8 – Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at SCCF, on the grounds of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center.

Children center of islands logoBeach Ball – November 16 – Sunday at The Dunes from 5 to 9 p.m. This is the ninth year for this Children’s Education Center of the Islands fundraiser for facility improvements and to benefit local families for scholarships.

Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida

Florida Realtors logoFlorida REALTORS® Research Division just released its 2014 Report (dated September 2014) showing the profile of International Home Buyers in Florida. For this report, foreign buyers are defined as non-resident foreigners – individuals who are citizens of another country and who purchase property in the U.S. but live in the U.S. only part of the year, typically using the property as a rental unit, vacation unit, or both. International sales are sales to these non-resident foreigners. Here are a few interesting excerpts from the report:

“Florida is one of the major U.S. destinations of international residential real estate buyers. Approximately 25% of foreign home buyers in the U.S. purchase property in Florida…Nationally, internationally home buying activity of non-resident foreigners was estimated at $46.7 billion during the period April 2013-March 2014…Florida’s sales to non-resident foreigners are estimated at $7.97 billion, accounting for 17% of total non-resident foreigner sales.

“The increase in international home buying activity was driven by the continued recovery of the world economy and the affordability of the U.S. properties. Both U.S. and Florida residential prices remain affordable to most international buyers. In fact, international clients continued to purchase properties that are on the average above the mean price paid by domestic buyers.

canada flag“Canadian buyers accounted for the largest share of international clients (32%), followed by buyers from Western Europe (24%; primarily from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany); buyers from Latin America/Caribbean (23%; primarily Brazil, and Venezuela), and buyers from Asia (10%p primarily from China).

Florida_state_map2“Florida’s location has been cited as the most important factor affecting the home purchase. Suburban areas appear to be gaining favorability with foreign buyers with an increasing share of buyers locating in suburban areas. Resort areas accounted for about a fourth of reported purchases, down from about a third in 2008.

“About half of foreign buyers in Florida bought a detached single-family home. Foreign buyers are more likely to purchase condominiums and townhouses/row houses since the owners are not staying at their property year-round….About 82% of Florida REALTORS® respondents reported all cash sales to foreign buyers….

“The top destinations for international homebuyers in Florida were Miami-Miami Beach, Orlando-Kissimmee, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Naples-Marco Island, Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater, and Palm Beach.

Cape Coral Ft MyersIn the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area, the origin of the reported international home buyers include:

Canada (45%), Germany (14%), United Kingdom (6%), Mexico (6%), Columbia (4%), Israel (4%), Norway (4%), and Switzerland (4%).

In the Naples-Marco Island area, the reported origins differ a little: Canada (55%), United Kingdom (7%), Germany (5%) and Russia (5%).”

TRC LOGOIcrea logoThe good news for SanibelSusan Sellers is that as a Realtor® with the TRC designation (Transnational Referral Certified), SanibelSusan listings are featured prominently on WordProperties.com which promotes and advertises properties through an international consortium of real estate associations and translates the listings into the languages of the member organizations. I am one of only ten Realtors®) on Sanibel/Captiva with this designation.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 27 – October 3

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sundial D307 1/1 now $239K.

2 new sales: Coquina Beach #4F 2/2 listed for $429.9K, Sanibel Inn #3425 2/2 listed for $664.9K.

1 closed sale: Compass Point #112 2/2 $1.11M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1238 Par View Dr 3/3 $799K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $989K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.2472M, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.595M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 $5.295M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed for $759K, 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed for $1.099M.

5 closed sales: 667 Nerita St 3/2 $719K, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $965K, 785 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $1M, 766 Sand Dollar Dr 4/5.5 $1.312M, 1307 Seaspray Ln 4/3.5 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 201 Robinwood Cir $759K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 223 Robinwood Cir listed for $195K, 1246 Sand Castle Rd listed for $225K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2417 1/1 $525K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/5 $1.99M, 17101 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $3.198M.

No price changes, new or 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.

2013 StarsUntil next Friday, happy weekend to all!

Susan

 

Almost-October Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It has again been quiet on the islands this week – few phone calls, only a handful of showings, no real estate caravan, and no new listings or closings for us. What are we doing you might ask? Yesterday, my pals and I had to make three stops before we found a restaurant available for lunch! We sure are looking forward to October!

IMG_0846copye

The islands had several cloudy/rainy days early on in the week, but nothing like the flooding reported on the other side of the state. Here we have had blue skies and sunshine for at least two days in a row now with the weekend weather expected to be much of the same. They have been not so lucky in inland Lee and Collier counties where afternoon and evening showers continue to prevail.

Island Beach ClubLots of deep-clean and maintenance/repair action continues at plenty of island properties, gearing up for “season”. Work around the floor-to-ceiling windows in a few Island Beach Club units is expected to be completed in early October. That has made for interesting showings at our new listing there.

sundial-logoAt Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, the second phase of their renovation is well underway with completion expected sometime in early November of a new state-of-the-art Fitness Center, Pizza Kitchen, on-site market and deli, and new soft tennis courts, as well as changes to the pool bar and main pool deck area.

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Some New Openings

The “Island Sun” reported this week that City permit approval was given for a new business going in at The Bailey Center. In the location formerly occupied by “Nick’s Yogurt” and next door to “Billy’s Bikes” new rental spot, will be “Beach Piez” featuring pizza for take-out and delivery.

Another eatery soon to open in the former location of “Island Barbeque” on Palm Ridge Road, next door to “Subway”, is “The Pecking Order” which will feature comfort and soul food.

lobster rollSanibel Farmers MktOpening next Sunday, Oct 5 (a whole month earlier than in previous years) is “Sanibel Island Farmers Market“. On the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Sunday through April, it is my favorite stop on the way to the office!

farmers mkt lobsterThis is beyond fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meats, baked goods, and more.

We are talking Maine lobster and lobster rolls!

The Scoop on Sanibel Homes as of 9/26/14

In doing some file clean-up this week, I found the below tables with data from mid-summer 2013. Always a fan of statistics, I updated them with today’s info. Divided by the same geographic areas as our Multiple Listing Service, this illustrates low Sanibel home inventory.

Bay-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 7 1,995,000* 648
Under Contract as of 9/26 1 1,795,000* 955
2014 Sales to 9/26 5 1,695,000 183
2013 Sales 7 2,190,000 679
2012 Sales 8 2,144,500 335

 

Bayou-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 6 1,470,000* 1,193
Under Contract as of 9/26 0 N/A N/A
2014 Sales to 9/26 10 860,000 425
2013 Sales 6 990,500 267
2012 Sales 5 1,649,000 472

 

Canal-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 19 1,273,500* 373
Under Contract as of 9/26 8 990,000* 365
2014 Sales to 9/26 30 912,000 272
2013 Sales 28 864,000 312
2012 Sales 37 749,000 275

 

Gulf-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 6 4,042,500* 311
Under Contract as of 9/26 1 3,900,000* 234
2014 Sales to 9/26 4 3,095,000 342
2013 Sales 16 3,245,000 335
2012 Sales 11 2,350,000 309

 

Inland
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 28 599,000* 198
Under Contract as of 9/26 4 527,250* 208
2014 Sales to 9/26 41 499,000 281
2013 Sales 52 512,497 252
2012 Sales 32 493,000 168

 

Near-Beach
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 65 829,000* 267
Under Contract as of 9/26 8 744,000* 621
2014 Sales to 9/26 72 676,950 201
2013 Sales 79 685,000 269
2012 Sales 86 567,000 330

DOM = days on market

* Asking price

Citizens Put an Early End to Storm Tax

Florida Realtors logoYesterday, Florida Realtors® posted an article sourced to “The Palm Beach Post” and distributed by MCT Information Services:

Citizens nixes storm tax, may expand clearinghouse

Citizens_logo“A 1% assessment or “storm tax” to pay off 2005 losses is ending two years early at state-run insurer Citizens, under a plan reported by The Palm Beach Post last week and approved by its board Wednesday. That will save customers of Citizens and other property insurers 1% on their bills starting July 1, 2015. The assessment, with a total cost of $1.38 billion, originally was scheduled to run until July 2017 but was collected from a broader base of customers than initially planned, making its early retirement an option.

“Meanwhile, executives turned to goals for 2015. Among them: put commercial properties including condos and apartment buildings into a clearinghouse designed to steer policies to private insurers. The clearinghouse, a computer system used by agents, began processing homeowner policies this year.

Citizens President Barry Gilway said he intends to work with state legislators to expand the system. The clearinghouse is intended to block new customers if a private insurer is offering coverage priced up to 15% more and kick out renewing customers if a private carrier is offering policies priced the same or less.

Twelve private insurers are in the clearinghouse for new customers and eight for renewing customers, counting two companies coming on board Wednesday.

“Another goal Gilway cited: Eliminate all risk of assessments from a 1-in-100 year storm, which Citizens has already reduced from more than $11 billion several years ago to about $2.3 billion now. Assessment risk has been falling in large part because Citizens has shrunk from 1.5 million customers three years ago, swelled by a pullback of large national insurers, to about 933,000 now. Transfer offers from private insurers, mostly small Florida-based companies, and clearinghouse activity are expected to reduce that to about 825,000 customers by year’s end and 750,000 by the end of 2015, Gilway projected.

“Smaller size alone reduces risk exposure, but one debate is whether to expand the purchase of private reinsurance, or back-up coverage, from firms in Bermuda and other places abroad. That is controversial in part because of foreign trips company officials say are necessary to buy reinsurance. The oversight of such travel has been criticized in an inspector general’s report and was the subject of Florida Cabinet scrutiny last month in the wake of reporting by The Post.

“But it’s also a question of whether big sums of money should go offshore or stay in the state-run company’s $7.6 billion surplus at home, where it can grow and remain available to pay claims year after year.

“Citizens, backed by its own surplus and a state hurricane fund, bought no private insurance at all as recently as four years ago, but has spent more than $1 billion on it since, including $311 million in 2014. The coverage it buys would reduce possible future assessments if historically rare storms hit. But there’s a slim chance it is needed in any given year and if not used in short-term contracts, it represents a transfer of $1 billion from its ratepayers to private hands.”

Jumbo Mortgages Are Cheaper, Easier to Get

CNN MoneyFrom “Realtor®Mag” on Monday and sourced to Sunday’s “CNNMoney” article titled “For Rich People, Mortgages are Getting Cheaper and Easier”:

“Wealthy home buyers are paying lower average rates on high-dollar loans (known as jumbo mortgages) and in some cases, they don’t even have to worry about a large down payment or mortgage insurance,

“For the last several months, interest rates on jumbo loans—mortgages that are $417,000 or more (or $625,000 or more in high-priced markets—have been lower than what average borrowers pay. For example, the average rate on jumbo loans last week was 4.24% compared to 4.36% for a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional mortgage, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“In some cases, lenders also have reduced their down payment requirements as well, requiring as little as 10%, which is about half the normal rate. Some lenders are waiving the private mortgage insurance requirement, too.

“Many banks have lowered their credit standards for jumbo loan originations. For example, many jumbo borrowers used to need at least a 700 credit score to qualify, but now lenders are considering applicants with credit scores of 650, says John Walsh, owner of lender Total Mortgage Services.

“Banks are on the hunt for jumbo customers in order to win them over as clients for other banking services too such as retirement planning, says Malcolm Hollensteiner, head of retail lending for TD Bank. Jumbo borrowers tend to have better track records in repaying their loans and have lower default rates, so more banks are willing to take the gamble on them.”

Household’s Net Worth Hits Record High

Here is an interesting tidbit from “Daily Real Estate News” last Friday. It says:

2000px-US-FederalReserveBoard-Seal.svg“Recent gains in the stock market and higher home prices helped Americans’ net worth soar to a record high in the second quarter, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve. Net worth was up 1.7% during the quarter, reaching a record high of $81.5 trillion.

“American’s gains in wealth have helped to lift consumer confidence and allowed them to ramp up their borrowing, which could soon prove a boon for the economic growth too. During the second quarter, household debt rose to its fastest pace since 2007, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%, compared to 2.2% in the first quarter.

wall street journal“Most of the nation’s largest wealth gains have gone to the affluent, who tend to own stocks, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 5% in the second quarter, while Americans also benefited from more modest gains in the real estate market. Home prices ticked up for the 12th consecutive quarter, rising 0.8% in the second quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home price index.”

Source: “U.S. Household Net Worth Rises to Record $81.5 Trillion,” Reuters (Sept. 18, 2014) and “U.S. Household Wealth Hits Fresh Record,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 18, 2014)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 19-26

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Colonnades #51 1/1 $184K, Sanibel Moorings #611 2/2 $449K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 $478.5K, Sanibel Inn #3425 2/2 $664.9K.

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 now $259.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $505K, Sandalfoot #4D2 2/2 now $619K.

2 new sales: Sundial #D207 1/1 listed for $239K, Poinciana #2C 3/2 listed for $1.1M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D407 1/1 $227.5K, Sundial #H102 2/2 $425K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 now $399K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $559K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.595M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.625M.

1 new sale: 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed for $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $2.45M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $179.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd now $399K, 5830 SanCap Rd now $399,555.

1 new sale: 861 Birdie View Pt listed for $339K.
No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $679.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $667.5K, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES
Nothing to report.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Until next Friday, here’s another picture of my favorite birds…

IMG_0737copye

Girls love those pink Roseate Spoonbills!

SanibelSusan