Another Friday On Sanibel


A steady increase in traffic is noticeable here on the island, which we expect to continue through Easter. The weather has been great this week, but an additional cold front is expected to arrive this weekend and is due to stay around all next week. Wednesday morning low looks to be in the 30’s.

Sanibelcityseal logoBoat Ramp Rehabilitation Project Complete

The City of Sanibel Boat Ramp Rehabilitation project is complete and now open to the public. The project consisted of removal and replacement of the deteriorated concrete boat ramp. The completed boat ramp includes modified slopes for improved boating access and a new v-groove pattern for added vehicle traction. The dock walkways were widened and a railing added for safety. Parking at the boat ramp is available as paid hourly or through a valid Sanibel “C” parking pass.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 5-12, 2018

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #J307 2/2 $759K, Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799K, Sanibel Arms West #D5 2/2 $849K, By-The-Sea #B202 2/2 $1.249M.

6 price changes: Lighthouse Point #220 2/2 now $450K, Mariner Pointe #521 2/2 now $475K, Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 now $499K, Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 now $589.9K (our listing), High Tide #C101 2/2 now $939K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 now $1.248M.

1 new sale: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 listed at $419K.

4 closed sales: Sundial West #G105 1/1 $425.1K, Loggerhead Cay #153 2/2 $870K, Sanibel Moorings #1221 3/2.5 $965K, By-The-Sea #9 3/2 $1.749M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 $489K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $679K, 1550 Centre St 4/3 $725K, 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $875K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $1.195M, 569 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.395M (our listing), 4641 Belle Mer 3/2.5 $3.295M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $5.795M.

6 price changes: 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $625K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $874.5K, 1470 Angel Dr 3/2 now $920K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.025M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.249M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.975M.

8 new sales: 9292 Kincaid Ct 3/2 listed at $489K, 5301 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $649K, 1323 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $649K, 1513 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $689K, 1314 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $800K, 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $845K, 1035 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $1.7495M, 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.789M.

4 closed sales: 1312 Par View Dr 3/2 $685K, 700 Nerita St 3/2 $675K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.15M, 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 $7.8M.

LOTS

7 new listings: 1313 Par View Dr $365,555; 809 Pyrula Ave $475K; 217 Violet Dr $575K; 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $699K; 6000 White Heron Ln $169K; 0 Sawgrass Pl $949K; 1321 Seaspray Ln $995K.

3 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $169K, 0 Island Inn Rd now $279K, 5251 Indian Ct now $729K.

No new or closed sales.

 Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listings: Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $650K.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 $830K, Beach Homes #7 2/2 $1.4M, Beach Homes #8 4/3 $2.35M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $989K.

1 price change: 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $2.149M.

2 new sales: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 listed at $1.495M, 16167 Captiva Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M.

1 closed sales: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 $850K.

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.

Have a Great Weekend!

Elise for The SanibelSusan Team

Friday at 2015 Florida Realtors Convention


Florida Realtors logoToday’s Friday blog is a little late and comes to you from the Florida Realtors Convention in Orlando. SanibelSusan teammates Elise and David have been covering things on the island this week since I headed north on Tuesday.

I spent all day Wednesday auditioning instructors for state-approved classes. We recommended several which we will vote on in commitee meeting tomorrow.

Yesterday, I attended a variety of technology and broker classses, plus attended the annual Keynote Awards Luncheon with entertainment by funny guitar virtuoso Mike Rayburn. There are some good recordings of him on YouTube.com.

Thanks to Florida Realtors and our convention work with Forms Simplicity, The SanibelSusan Team will be joining the electronic-signature age when I return to the island. Anyone with an email address will be able to sign our listing and sale contracts electronically, from computer, laptop, iPad, or smart phone. It’s pretty cool!

At the awards luncheon yesterday, several pals from Southwest Florida were recognized. Fort Myers Beach Realtor and friend, Cynthia Shafer, was awarded the state 2015 Humanitarian Award. For more than 20 years, Cynthia has volunteered helping children in Southwest Florida. Through the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit’s http://www.Voicesforkids.org, some years ago Cynthia started Beds for Kidz. With her husband, she spends weekends providing beds, sometime for the first time, to children in foster care. It was great to see this humble gal acknowledged for her efforts. Writing a check to Beds for Kidz makes me feel good as I know every penny and then some goes to children, often in dire need.

Today after acting this morning as Education Ambassador for two classes about financing, I attended the General Session where Lengendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz was the motivational speaker. What a great presentation!

image

The Professionalism Forum met later this afternoon, while tomorrow, I have three more committee meetings (Professional Standards, Professional Development, and Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Forum) before heading back to Sanibel Sunday morning. To say, we come away from these meetings fired-up and inspired is an understatement.

This year our local leadership team convinced several real estate newbies to come to the convention. Great to hear them say “they are glad they came and have learned so much already.” With multiple educational sessions occurring simultaneously all-day every-day for four days, not to mention the numerous forums, subcommitte and committee meetings, everyone here has plenty of opportunity for personal development and business growth. I’ve already collected a couple of referrals.

Elise and Dave prepared the remainder of this update, which includes a new listing we received yesterday. Not a lot of local real estate sales action was reported this week, but our local association has a membership meeting next Thursday, where we hopefully will have more.

All over the state in the other resort markets, reports are that business is brisk, inventory is low, and many are worried that we won’t have enough product to sell this winter. Good news for our listings!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 14-21

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sundial #B206 2/2 $579K (our listing).
1 price change: Tennispalce #E31 2/1.5 now $349.5K.
4 new sales: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 listed at $334,999; Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 listed at $449K; Island Beach Club #F230 2/2 listed at $649K; Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 listed at $720K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #C301 1/1 $282.5K, Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $305K, Oceans Reach #1A4 2/2 $925K (stats only).

HOMES
2 new listings: 1661 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $535K.
3 price changes: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $469K, 1644 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $479K, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 now $999K.
5 new sales: 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $675K, 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $805K, 1198 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 listed at $899K, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.54M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 listed at $2.175M.
1 closed sale: 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 $575K.

LOTS
2 new listings: 5706 Sanibel Captiva Rd $499K, 5048 Joewood Dr $625K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 592 Sea Oats Dr listed at $339K.
No closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: Marina Villas #707 2/2 $555K.

HOMES
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M.
1 closed sale: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex $1.75M.

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

Happy Birthday, America! From Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Lots of families are vacationing on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but not much real estate action. The market here continues to improve, albeit it slowly now that most of the “in season” sales have closed and not many buyers are in town. Below is a sampling of the statistics today compared to prior year sales.

Only 263 properties currently are available for sale on Sanibel; 397 sold last year. Considering those under contract too, there are 350 Sanibel sales already this year, a record number with only half the year over. Once those snowbirds get back, this might turn into a banner year!

Before a report of the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, here is some other summer, holiday, and real estate news.

Celebrating July 4th on Sanibel

Here for the 4th? The City website www.MySanibel.com posted the following special event permits:

  • 7 – 9 a.m. – Pancake Breakfast, Sanibel Community Church, 1740 Periwinkle Way, info (239) 472-2684
  • 9:30 a.m. – Independence Day Parade – “For the Fun of It” – Parade begins at Tarpon Bay Rd on Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Rd, info (239) 246-2981 (Good watching from SanibelSusan Realty if you are in the neighborhood.)
  • 10:30 a.m. Boy Scouts Independence Day Celebration (after parade), Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, water slide, food, & refreshments; info (239) 472-9300
  • 12 noon – San-Cap Optimist Club’s 36th Annual Road Rally, Timbers Restaurant, 703 Tarpon Bay Rd, info (239) 472-0836
  • 9:00 p.m. – Fireworks Display (rain or shine) – Sanibel & Captiva Islands’ Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this year. Fireworks will be launched from the north end terminus of Bailey Rd. Best viewing from Sanibel Causeway Islands and bay side of the island.
  • Holiday Sidewalk Sales – The following retailers and shopping centers obtained annual Retail Holiday Sidewalk Sales permits, so may be holding special sidewalk sales over the holiday:
  • Sanibel Square, 2200-2250 Periwinkle Way
  • Olde Sanibel Shoppes, 630 Tarpon Bay Road
  • Tahitian Gardens Shopping Center, 1975-2019 Periwinkle Way
  • The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way
  • Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, 2075 Periwinkle Way
  • Gene’s Books, 2365 Periwinkle Way
  • Palm Ridge Plaza, 2330 Palm Ridge Road #1
  • Ickle Pickle, 2427 Periwinkle Way
  • Bailey’s Center, 2477 Periwinkle Way

Weather Service Again Recognizes Sanibel as Storm Ready

2000px-US-NationalWeatherService-Logo_svgHere on the islands we don’t like to use the “h” word, but we also know it’s best to be prepared for those events. Posted on Monday on the “Santiva Chronicle” on-line”:

“The City of Sanibel has again been recognized by the National Weather Service as a “Storm Ready” community. This special recognition was first achieved in June 2009 and the City of Sanibel was the 8th community of the 410 Florida municipalities to be recognized as Storm Ready. Today, only 22 communities in Florida have received this designation.

“It is the goal of the National Weather Service to use the program to prepare communities for all dangerous weather. Storm Ready communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of hazardous weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.  Click here to see the notice received from the National Weather Service.

“”It is important to remember that this designation does not render us storm proof, but as a barrier Island in the sub-tropics it is important we prepare collectively for the worst Mother Nature can send us. There is no substitution for preparation and planning,” stated City Manager Judie Zimomra upon receiving notice of the designation.

“The City of Sanibel’s 2015 Hurricane Seminar can be viewed by clicking here.

Turn Out the Lights! Sea Turtles Starting to Hatch

Jewel JensenA great a photo posted on-line by Florida Atlantic University researcher Jake Lasala of Sanibel homeowner and SCCF Turtle Patrol volunteer, Jewel Jensen. It shows her checking a green sea turtle nest. Jewel and her hubby bought one of our listings a couple of years ago. Here’s the turtle news that was posted on the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Tuesday.

“Turn out the lights! It’s not because the party is over. It’s because the party is in full swing.

“The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reports that three of the reported 417 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and Captiva have hatched and in two of those nests hatchlings were disoriented by light and didn’t head into the Gulf of Mexico.

SCCF logo““Please observe Lights Out For Sea Turtles!” SCCF said in its weekly sea turtle report issued Monday, June 29, for the period ending Friday, June 26. “Three nests hatched last week but hatchlings from two of the three nests were disoriented.  Please shield lights on the beach; hatchlings head to the lightest horizon (which is normally the water).”

“The rest of SCCF’s report is good news. SCCF breaks down turtle nesting into three zones and all three showed healthy nesting activity in the past week for a total of 417 nests and false crawls approaching 1,000 for the season at 994. Here is the breakdown for the June 26 report, with the previous week’s statistics in parentheses:

  • Sanibel East: 82 (71) nests, 216 (176) false crawls
  • Sanibel West: 247 (193) nests, 617 (458) false crawls
  • Captiva: 88 (71) nests, 161 (110) false crawls
  • TOTAL:  417 (335) nests, 994 (744) false crawls

“Last year produced 535 nests, tied for second best since 1996 and just two off the record 537 recorded in 2000.

“SCCF also reports that 12 green sea turtle nests have been discovered, with 11 of them on Sanibel West and one on Captiva.

“SCCF continues to cover as many nests as possible to prevent raids by coyotes.”

The “Sanibel Plan” Now Available Electronically

Sanibelcityseal logoIf was great to read this news release on Tuesday from the City Planning Department:

The City of Sanibel’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, also known as the “Sanibel Plan,” is now available electronically in its entirety on the City of Sanibel webpage at www.mysanibel.com . To access the Sanibel Plan Click here.

“The original Sanibel Plan was adopted in 1976. The plan was amended and extensively revised in 1985, 1989, 1997 and 2007. In 2007, the American Planning Association recognized the Sanibel Plan with the National Planning Landmark Award.

“In 2013, the Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) for the Sanibel Plan was completed and adopted. This report concluded that the Plan is consistent with all State requirements including changes made to State Statutes contained in the Community Planning Act of 2011. In 2013, the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Division of Community Development, issued a finding that the Sanibel Plan, as adopted by City of Sanibel Ordinance 12-010, is in compliance with Section 163.3184(4) of Florida Statutes.

Questions regarding the Sanibel Plan should be directed to City of Sanibel Planning Director James Jordan at jimmy.jordan@mysanibel.com or 239-472-4136.”

The second volume of the plan includes what is called the “Future Land Use Map Series”. Realtors often refer to several of these maps, so it is great news to find that they are now handy on-line. The maps include: Ecological Zone Maps (remember, Sanibel’s different zones allow different development and coverage), Commercial Zoning Map, Resort Housing District Map (showing areas where short-term rentals are allowed), Wetlands Conservation Lane Maps, Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation District Map, and Development Intensity Maps. All good stuff. Thank you, Sanibel, for making these so easily available.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 26-July 3

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Colonnades #51 1/1 $219K, Sanibel Arms #B1 2/2 $525K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $859K.

5 new sales: Colonnades #51 1/1 listed for $219K, Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed for $250K (our listing & sale), Captains Walk #F3 2/1.5 listed for $289.9K, Sundial #H302 2/2 listed for $599K, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 listed for $1.745M.

At Spanish Cay

At Spanish Cay

2 closed sales: Seashells #27 2/2 $315,375, Pelicans Roost #101 2/2 $745K (our sale).

 

HOMES

3 new listings: 499 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $625K, 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 $699K, 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $1.995M.

1 price change: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $465K.

1 new sale: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 listed for $419K.

9 closed sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 $272.5K, 982 Main St 3/2.5 $420K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $540K, 2220 Camino del Mar 3/3 $570K, 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $660K, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4203 Dingman Dr 4/3 $2.8M, 2980 Wulfert Dr 4/6.5 $2.8M, 4525 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5K, $3.725M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2400 Blue Crab Ct $309K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: 3117 Tennis Villas 1/1 $244K.

1 price change: 3131 Tennis Villas 2/2 now $415K.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #30 3/2 listed for $2.195M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or sales.

2 price changes: 11490 Old Lodge Ln 3/3.5 now $1.329M, 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.395M.

1 closed sale: 11513 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.64M

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Best wishes from Susan & The SanibelSusan Team for a safe & happy 4th!

2003 BonneParade

Another Summer Sale by The SanibelSusan Team


SANSLogoIt’s great to be back on the island after a busy few days of meetings in Orlando. The SanibelSusan Team also was busy while I was away last week with Dave showing homes last weekend which resulted in a nice sale that was finalized today. Way to go, Dave!

Elise and Lisa fielded inquiries and listing showing appointments. Surprisingly for it being the first week of school here, there was a fair amount of action. Island traffic is expected to change significantly tomorrow though, when only a handful of check-ins are expected.

Here are a couple of news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Songwriters Bringing Tunes to Captiva

MusicThe 1st Annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest will bring nationally-acclaimed singer-songwriters to Captiva and Fort Myers Beach this fall. The festival will take place over two weekends with dozens of free shows. The Captiva weekend will be Sept 26 to 28, it then will shift to Ft Myers Beach for Oct 3 to 6. The complete schedule will be released soon, but Captiva venues already confirmed include South Seas Island Resort, ‘Tween Waters Inn (Crows’ Nest, Old Captiva House and the Canoe & Kayak Club), Captiva Island Inn, Keylime Bistro, Cantina Captiva, RC Otter’s, The Mucky Duck, and Doc Ford’s Captiva.

Contest Deadline Approaching

Ding Darling Society logoSept 15 is the deadline for the 27th Annual “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. Sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) it is held in conjunction with “Ding” Darling Days, which runs from Oct 19 to 25. More info on www.ding-darlingdays.com.

The SanibelSusan Team always enjoys receiving photos taken on the island by clients and friends. So get out your best photos, folks, and give the contest a try. Here is a photo that an island friend emailed us a couple of weeks ago. We call it “up close and personal with a red-shouldered hawk” (hope our bird identification is correct).

red shouldered hawk

SanCap Motor Club, Inc.SCMC-LOGOS-4CFinal

There is a newly-formed club on Sanibel. Members of the community are invited to meet with other car enthusiasts on Monday, Sep 1 for a “Cruise In” in the front parking lot of Periwinkle Place Shopping Center. If you have a passion for automobiles – antique to muscle, class to hot rods – join the SanCap Motor Club. This is their inaugural event!

Spring Was Healthiest Market in 3 Years

realtor logoYesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” posted the following positive news, sourced to realtor.com®:

“July housing data shows that price appreciation and inventory increases during the peak home-buying season helped the market to post the largest spring gains in three years, realtor.com® reports in its National Housing Trend Report. “In July 2012 and 2013, we saw external economic factors overwhelm the healthy gains established in the housing market during the spring home-buying season,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “This year, we’re ending the traditional season with high buyer and seller confidence demonstrated by price appreciation, increases in inventory, and quick home sales.”

“In July, housing inventories rose 2.3% year-over-year, as the median list price posted a 7.5% increase year-over-year, realtor.com® reports. The median list price was $214,900 nationwide in July. “Despite higher prices and more homes on the market, buyers are snatching up properties faster than last year,” realtor.com® reports. The median age of inventory in July was 82 days, three days less than 2013.

“This is the first time since the beginning of the recovery that we expect to see positive momentum throughout the second half of the year,” Smoke says. “While seasonal patterns are emerging in July month-to-month comparisons, all other metrics point to fundamental market health and a build-up of momentum.””

What About Sanibel & Captiva?

San Cap LogoLooking at the sales on Sanibel and Captiva Islands January through July, there was not such a huge jump in the number of sales, but good steady progress.

Here is how those statistics stack up – unit sales year-to-year.

Closed

Sales         Sanibel                                           Captiva                                          GRAND

1/1 to 7/31 Condos  Homes  Lots   TOTAL     Condos  Homes  Lots    TOTAL   TOTAL

2014           111         145       20     276           13           19          0         32          308

2013           109          142      14     265          23            14          1         38          303

2012           113          122      22     257          25            20          1         46          303

2011           106          113      12     231          19            15          0         34          265

Wondering how these sales compare to current inventory? We need listings – especially homes!

# for sale

8/22/14      126          149       88     364          43            34          4         81          445

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 15-22

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $349,555; Sanibel Siesta #502 2/2 $595K.

2 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $249.9K (our listing), Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 now $669K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms #C1 2/2 $485K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 $425K, 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 $434K, 3990 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599.9K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $798K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $2.175M.

1 price change: 1266 Isabel Dr now $1.795M.

5 new sales: 6451 Pine Ave 3/2 listed for $489K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed for $489K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $549K, 667 Nerita St 3/2 listed for $739K, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 listed for $799K (our sale).

3 closed sales: 5841 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $425K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $715K, 4444 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5749 SanCap Rd $399K, 6486 Pine Ave $459.9K.

1 price change: 861 Birdie View Pt now $339K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 $1.249M.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2628 2/2 now $639K.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 listed for $1.249M.

No closed sales.

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.

Enjoy your weekend! It’s gonna be another sunny warm one on the islands! SanibelSusan

sanibel-island-beach-white-sand

A Peek at Dinkins Bayou on a Friday Afternoon


It’s been yet another quiet yet sunny real estate week on Sanibel Island. There was a quick shower this morning and most evenings thunderstorms from the other coast as well as from the gulf side have tried to make their way to the islands, but it has rarely happened.

Here are a few snapshots that Dave took this afternoon while he was out checking our signs. This is Dinkins Bayou from the end of Henderson Road on the west end of Sanibel Island.

Now some news items from SanibelSusan followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Realtor® Happenings

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday had as many affiliate members in attendance as sales associates, so another indication that it is a slow time for island sales. Occupancy is expected to pick up for the upcoming July holiday, but in the meantime, it is a good time to play catch up.

Rental managers are doing their yearly property evaluations, Realtors® are beating the bushes looking for new listings, and the push with annual projects has begun with many condo associations beginning their maintenance and remodeling work early this summer.

realtor logoI was asked to Chair our Association of Realtors® Nominating Committee again this year so that will take a few hours of time later this summer. We have two board positions opening up this year. Sharing, like volunteering always comes back in business multifold, so I am happy to do it.

meals_of_hope(1)Next Friday Realtors® from our District will be in Naples with their sleeves rolled up teaming with Meals of Hope and the entire Florida leadership team to package meals and fill cases of food for distribution to food pantries in District 5 communities. 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows will be there to speak about the homelessness problem in Florida and how Realtors® can make a difference.

Another Best for Sanibel Island

USNewsLogoU.S. News Travel ranks the best destinations in the USA. They combine expert opinions and user votes to determine the best travel spots in a variety of categories. Under “Best Beaches in Florida”, Sanibel Island is #2. The others rounding out the top seven include: Destin, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, and Key West.

Florida Treasurer Lauds State’s Economic Turnaround

NW FL Daily News logoGood news, posted yesterday in the “Northwest Florida Daily News” in Fort Walton Beach, FL:

“Florida’s treasurer has called the state’s recovery from the economic downturn a story of the human spirit and of people who do not give up and quit. Jeff Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, was the guest speaker for Wednesday’s Power of Business breakfasting meeting hosted by the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. Atwater started his talk by thanking the business leaders for turning around Florida’s economy.

Florida-s-Chief-Financial-Officer_logo“You’re the ones who are building this economy,” Atwater said. “You’re the job creators of this state, you’re the innovators, you’re the ones that create the hospitality, the memories and experiences that people will talk about after they visit.”

“Atwater talked about Florida’s recovery by first talking about how far the economy fell during the recession. In 2006, Florida’s top line revenue from sales taxes, licenses and fees, corporate taxes and doc stamps was $27 billion. The average single family home price was $258,000 and 365,000 people moved into the state.

“Fast forward three years and top line revenue had dropped to $21 billion, the average home price plummeted to $119,000 and the number of people who moved to the state fell to 20,000. During this time, the state also received a letter from Standard & Poor’s downgrading the state’s credit rating from neutral to negative.

“”I don’t stare at the state books,” Atwater said.  “I can’t change the state books by staring at them and I can’t make your life better by staring at my books. The choices this state made were not to stare at our books in that nightmare moment, but to instead look up and look outward and ask what can we do to create the conditions for the fastest possible recovery.”

Since that time, the state has reduced its spending and debt as well as corporate taxes for small business owners to improve the economy. Atwater said the state’s top line revenue was back up to $26.5 billion, despite the lower taxes and debt, average home prices have gone back up to $175,000 and 287,000 people are estimated to be moving to Florida this year. S&P also upgraded the state’s credit rating back to neutral. “You didn’t give up. You hung in there,” Atwater said.””

Brazilians Make Their Mark on Florida & Beyond

fifa-world-cup-2014-logo-3Yesterday, to mark the beginning of the World Cup, Florida Realtors® posted the article below, sourced to The Associated Press. The article got me thinking about how many Brazilians own real estate in Lee County, so I did a quick property search. Answer: just 32 according to the Lee Property Appraiser’s website, www.LeePA.org.

“As all eyes turn to Brazil for the World Cup, Brazilians in the U.S. are also gaining notice. According to the U.S. Census, more than 325,000 people of Brazilian ancestry now call the United States home, but experts put the numbers higher.

“Most have come since the late 1980s, first landing in the nation’s traditional Portuguese-speaking enclaves around Boston and more recently congregating in central and South Florida. Still others have settled in New York, California and New Jersey….”

Will Stainless Steel Lose Its Popularity?

The following article posted on-line on Monday from REALTOR® Magazine doesn’t exactly answer this question, but this is a subject that comes up often from owners looking to renovate kitchens. Interesting to read what the future holds for kitchen appliances.

stainless-steel-kitchen-cabinets-ikea“Appliance manufacturers are providing home owners with modern finishes to their kitchen appliances, and some of the offerings have even been touted as the “new stainless steel.”

“Appliance makers are in the search for a potential successor to stainless steel, which some designers say will eventually wear out its welcome. But so far, no introductions have touched upon the popularity of stainless steel, and stainless isn’t likely to be doomed to the same fate as 1970s avocado-colored appliances anytime soon.

“Still, some home owners have complained about the annoyance of fingerprint smudges and the upkeep in keeping their stainless polished. Eventually, that annoyance may tempt them to look more closely at some of the alternatives popping up in the last two years. Some appliance makers are choosing to still channel the stainless look in their alternatives so that home owners could even make a gradual switch. Other manufactures, however, are opting to offer more bold alternatives.

“Could any of these finishes have the potential to dethrone home owners’ love for stainless steel one day?

Ice-Glazed – Whirlpool introduced last year its White Ice collection of appliances, and at the time called white “the new stainless.” The glossy white appliances feature silver accents. Whirlpool also offers a Black Ice version — black appliances with silver accents.

SlateGeneral Electric is offering up slate as an alternative. The low-gloss gray finish is “inspired by the rich texture of stone” and “provides a warm, inviting alternative to stainless steel,” GE says on its website. GE also notes that the dark matte finish hides fingerprints, smudges, and dirt.

Colorful Options – Viking Range offers several various colors of appliances, such as in cobalt blue. Viking Range Corp. which was a pioneer in stainless with its debut in 1987 of a stainless steel open-burner range is providing home owners a colorful array of options with appliances. It has 24 color alternatives, from cinnamon, wasabi, kettle black and Dijon to plum, sea grass, and cobalt blue. Or, the company’s graphite gray may be a little less bold for more home owners who are looking to make a switch from stainless.”

Builders to Widen Stock of Green Homes by 2018

EcoBrokerOriginalCertifiedLogo150pAs posted in the “Daily Real Estate News” yesterday, “An upswing in green building is expected over the next four years as more widespread adoption takes hold, according to survey respondents in McGraw Hill’s latest SmartMarket Report.

“More than one-third of single-family builders or 34% report that more than 60% of their projects are “green.” What’s more, 62% of builders say they expect that more than 60% of their single-family homes will be green by 2018.

“The multifamily market is also going green. The number of multifamily builders who say that 90% of their current projects are green is expected to triple by 2018, rising from 6% to 18%, according to the report. Forty-two percent of builders say that more than 60% of their projects will be green by 2018. (Currently, 23% are operating at that level.)

“Builders say that buyers are showing more willingness to pay for green features. In 2013, 73% of single-family builders and 79% of single-family remodelers said that buyers were willing to pay a 3% to 5% premium for green homes. For multifamily homes, 68% of builders said that buyers were willing to pay more.

“In the survey, builders identified the following main drivers to building more green homes: energy cost increases; code, ordinance, and regulation changes; and green-product availability and affordability.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 6-13

Sanibel
CONDOS

3 new listings: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 $249K, Blind Pass #D204 2/2 $445K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 $479K .

1 price change: Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 now $575K.

1 new sale: Sundial #D408 1/1 listed for $359K.

2 closed sales: Seashells #6 2/2 $340K, Pine Cove #302 2/2 $1M.
HOMES

3 new listings: 702 Donax St 2/2 $449K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 $785K, 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $1.295M.

4 price changes: 5141 San-Cap Rd 2/2 now $310K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $539K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $859K, 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.199M.

3 new sales: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed for $775K, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 listed for $4.399M.

2 closed sales: 696 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $560K, 9007 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 $960K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 643 E Rocks Dr $335K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

 

w gulf dr sanibel beach with peopleUntil next Friday, SanibelSusan hopes your weather is bright & sunny too!

It is Yet Another Gorgeous Friday Afternoon on Sanibel Island


It is another sunny Friday on Sanibel with the locals again enjoying island offerings. The beaches have been just beautiful this week with visitors posting terrific sunset photos and folks talking of dolphins jumping near shore. I heard a couple of vacationers say that the shelling is light, but Lighthouse Beach continues to bring raves from those collecting miniatures. Traffic is essentially nil with no one needed to direct at the 4-way stops the last few days. The shops and restaurants mostly are being patronized by locals too.

Over Easy logoWe can always tell that “season” is really over when colleagues and I go into an island hangout for lunch and know nearly everyone there. That is when other business owners quiz us about the real estate market and we compare notes. Yesterday, I chatted with Trasi, co-owner of “The Over Easy Cafe” and “Island Paws”. We always joke with her that her restaurant is one of the few places where we can count on getting “in and out” in less than an hour, but only after the snowbirds depart. The restaurant was busy, but patrons included several other Realtors® and many island worker bees. Like the rest of us, she and her staff are enjoying a little less pressure after a super busy winter season.

VIP rentalsWe are all very thankful for the upswing in business this year. Dave Schuldenfrei, Manager of VIP Vacation Rentals, also told us that their bookings continue to be up, more than 20% over last year overall, including more visitors in June, July, and August. I sure hope prospective buyers are heeding that news. It still is a good time to buy an investment rental. That inventory has good opportunities including several of our listings!

Our last home listing closed on Monday. If you have island friends thinking of selling, please tell them about us, as plenty of home buyers remain.

Below are a couple of news items followed by a report action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, but first a few photos that I snapped today on my way back to the office about noontime. The beach shots came from the boardwalk at Gulfside City Park. The bay views are from the park at end the end of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking San Carlos Bay. The turtle crossing the road was in Lake Murex and the pretty arbor is the entrance to the butterfly garden at West Wind Inn.

 

Sanibel & Captiva 2014 Sales Stats

With more high-end sales posted this week, it is a good time to update the sales statistics for 2014. Here they are with the closed sales reported through noon today:

 

Average Price $ Average Price $ Average Price $
SANIBEL CONDOS HOMES LOTS
  For Sale 138 697,768 174 1,332,100 86 521,561
  Under Contract Awaiting Closing 15 790,420 34 820,838 4 411,500
  Sold in 2014 thru 6/6 92 687,650 111 856,567 15 454,204
  Sold in 2013 161 573,557 197 910,321 26 416,502
  Sold in 2012 151 551,244 183 823,598 33 487,687
  Sold in 2011 142 591,861 179 826,130 19 363,729
  Sold in 2010 120 608,545 124 775,805 21 336,905
  Sold in 2009 87 670,489 144 755,003 11 333,136
  Sold in 2008 95 731,648 148 952,695 13 379,927
  Sold in 2007 86 791,163 143 1,024,007 17 854,803
  Sold in 2006 143 866,972 156 1,143,682 18 523,917

 

 

Average Price $ Average Price $ Average Price $
CAPTIVA CONDOS HOMES LOTS
  For Sale 42 876,664 38 4,307,934 4 2,428,500
  Under Contract Awaiting Closing 4 863,125 5 2,284,800 0 N/A
  Sold in 2014 thru 6/6 7 526,611 16 2,796,344 0 N/A
  Sold in 2013 36 659,185 18 2,522,056 2 675,000
  Sold in 2012 35 836,129 26 1,536,019 3 1,221,667
  Sold in 2011 24 737,754 22 1,782,059 1 485,000
  Sold in 2010 25 696,159 10 2,258,250 2 2,850,000
  Sold in 2009 22 804,818 16 2,573,016 3 2,241,667
  Sold in 2008 21 894,536 13 3,465,385 4 3,251,250
  Sold in 2007 12 906,042 19 3,270,300 1 3,575,000
  Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 10 2,307,375 4 2,218,750

 

This representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Assoc. 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 & does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in all of these transactions.

 

Resort & 2nd Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

RSPS LogoTuesday, at our Association office, SanibelSusan taught one of the modules needed for island Realtors® to earn their Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS) designation. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® offers this local education program annually. It is a good way for those working the island to learn what is different in selling real estate here. My 15 students included some brand-new Realtors®, some with many years of experience, some new here, and some that know the island well. It made for an interesting mix and good interaction.

As one of the 40 members of the 2014 Florida Realtors® Resort & 2nd-Home Specialists Forum and one of just six islands Realtors® holding the national RSPS certification, it always is fun to update my course material and get smarter myself, while sharing the knowledge. It goes without saying that the bulk of island sales are to buyers looking for vacation or 2nd-home property, rental income, or value appreciation.

Here is some info from my class. Some of the stats are based on the National Association of Realtors® “Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey 2014”.

  • The states with the largest number of vacation and second homes are Florida, California, Texas, and Michigan.
  • Nationally, 75% of these buyers get financing, here (Sanibel & Captiva) it is the reverse, with most buyers paying cash.
  • 60% of today’s investment buyers are likely to buy another investment property.
  • 55% of investment buyers are likely to buy a vacation property in the next two years.
  • Similarly in two years, 51% of all vacation property buyers are likely to purchase an investment property and 52% are likely to purchase another vacation property.
  • Among those buying primary residences, 37% are likely to buy an investment property and 40% a vacation property within the next two years.
  • By 2020, the number of second homes is expected to increase by about 200,000 units per year with the South projected to see about half of all the new 2nd-home growth.

Housing Market Reaching Equilibrium

realtor logoA “Real Estate News” article posted on-line on Monday, says:

“Home prices have already begun moderating over the past year and appreciation likely will continue to gradually slow over the next two years, according to a forecast of 31 analysts recently surveyed by Reuters. Analysts predict home prices to rise 7.5% this year and then curtail to 4% by 2016.

“That marks a sharp slowdown from the double-digit increases reported last year. Analysts surveyed by Reuters say they expect prices to slow in the coming months due to tight lending standards, slow wage growth, and a lack of first-time buyers.

“”Growth would be more robust if we saw more first-time homebuyers in the market,” says David Nice, economist at Mesirow Financial. “That would put the housing market on a sustainable growth trajectory.” Analysts surveyed expect existing home sales to reach a 4.75 million annual rate in the second quarter of this year and rise to 5.10 million in the first quarter of 2015. “We are seeing a state of equilibrium,” says Mark Goldman, a real estate expert at San Diego State University in California. “I don’t see any symptoms that would cause housing prices to go up or down significantly.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 30-June 6

Sanibel
CONDOS

1 new listing: Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 $675K.

5 price changes: Sundial #I103 1/1 now $349.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $523.9K, Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 now $769K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $829K, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 now $2.875M.

4 new sales: Sundial #I304 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 listed for $540K, Sundial #O302 2/2 listed for $699K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 listed for $750K.

5 closed sales: Sunset South #1B 2/2 $515K, Sandpiper Beach #505 $575K (short sale), Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $854.5K, High Tide #A102 3/2.5 $1.2M, Anglers Key #201 3/3 $1.62M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 621 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $509K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 $999.9K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.2472M, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M.

6 price changes: 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $579.9K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $799K; 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 now $869,999; 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.095M; 660 Anchor Dr 4/4 now $1.299M (short sale); 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $2.85M.

6 new sales: 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed for $458K, 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $579K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 listed for $649K, 949 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $775K, 2538 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 listed for $850K, 2279 Troon Ct 3/4 listed for $1.295M.

14 closed sales: 2007 Mitzi Ln 3/2 $399K, 9263 Kincaid Ct 3/2.5 $415K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $427.5K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $415K, 1625 Serenity Ln 3/2 $480K, 706 Emeril Ct 3/2 $679.9K, 2550 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 half-duplex $688K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 $726K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 $770K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $910K (our listing), 1759 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $917.5K, 5423 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 $1.337M, 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 $1.485M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 $5M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1311 Par View Dr $295,555.

2 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $159.9K, 4636 Rue Royale now $429K.

1 new sale: 659 Anchor Dr listed for $549K.

1 closed sale: 1325 Eagle Run Dr $395K.

Captiva
CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset Beach Villas #2313 1/1 $539K, Beach Cottages #1403 2/2 $1.085M.

2 price changes: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $699K.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 listed for $525K.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2338 3/3 $773.5K.

HOMES
No new listings.

1 price change: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $9.75M.

1 new sale: 11532 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed for $1.35M.

1 closed sale: 1129 Logifolia Ct 4/5 $5.3M.

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.

Beach1(Large)Best wishes to all for a terrific weekend!

It will be summer beach weather with those afternoon showers still likely here!

Mother’s Day Weekend – Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Island


With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it was another week of fabulous weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies, gorgeous teal gulf waters, unobstructed sunrises and sunsets, and temperatures in the 60’s/70’s at night and 80’s/90’s almost every day.

Donax Street Beach Access Today 05-09-14 at 2 p.m.

Donax Street Beach Access Today 05-09-14 at 2 p.m.

This also was the first week of 2014’s real estate “off-season”, with no Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday and very few showings this week. It’s true what the locals say about May and October being some of the best months to be on the islands – nice weather, little traffic, no waits, and lower rental rates – just not a lot of real estate action then.

Our pals in the vacation accommodation business advise that Sanibel is at only about 45% occupancy now. May is expected to be quiet right up until Memorial Day weekend, but reservations pick up in June when schools are out and families begin their summer vacations.

Beach in front of West Wind Inn on Tues 05-06-14 at 1 p.m.

Beach in front of West Wind Inn on Tues 05-06-14 at 1 p.m.

Below are a couple of new items followed by the action over the last seven days posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Survey: More Owners Think It’s a Good Time To Sell

fannie-mae-logoHere is some good news that FloridaRealtors® posted on line yesterday:

“Americans’ outlook toward the housing market continued to improve in April – and perhaps foreshadow an increase in housing activity in the coming months – according to results from Fannie Mae’s April 2014 National Housing Survey.

“The share of respondents who believe it’s a good time to sell a home increased for the third consecutive month to an all-time high of 42%, an encouraging sign since many potential homebuyers will need to sell a home before entering the purchase market.

“In addition, the share of respondents who say it’s a good time to buy a home remained steady at 69% following a gradual climb since the beginning of the year. Notably, although consumers remain generally split regarding their ability to get a mortgage, fewer respondents are concerned about losing their job – which may encourage potential homebuyers to enter the market.

“”Consumer attitudes about the current home selling environment have improved and now are at the most favorable level we’ve seen in the survey’s four-year history,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “These results are in line with our expectations for increased housing activity and gradual strengthening of the housing market going into the spring and summer selling season.””

Luxury Home Sales Soar Above Historical Average

realtor logoWhen I read the following Realtor®Mag on-line article this week, it crossed my mind that Sanibel sales this year mirrored some of these findings.

“Affluent buyers are feeling bullish about housing, as luxury home sales skyrocket, Bloomberg reports. Million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average, according to data released by the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Sales of homes that cost $1 million or more increased 7.8% in March compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, sales of homes that cost $250,000 or less — which represent about two-thirds of the housing market — dropped 12% in March year-over-year. “The real estate market is the ultimate reflection of confidence, wealth, and income,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.

“Transactions for homes costing $2 million or more soared 33% in January and February compared to a year earlier, according to an analysis by DataQuick of 25 of the top U.S. metro areas. The transactions were the highest for a two-month period since DataQuick began its tracking in 1988.

““The luxury markets are on fire,” Christie’s International CEO Bonnie Stone Sellers told Bloomberg. “The trends in luxury housing are similar to trends in other luxury goods. Whether you’re buying a third home in Manhattan as a pied-a-terre or another Picasso, these are acquisitions of passion, of lifestyle, and of experience.”

“There have been some blockbuster sales recently. The latest to grab headlines was the $147 million sale of an East Hampton’s property, which now carries the title as the priciest home sale ever in the U.S. This came two weeks after the sale of a single-family home in Greenwich, Conn., known as Copper Beech Farm shattered home records at the time at $120 million.

““The stock market is very strong, and this is a way to monetize and concretize some gains,” says Gary Wasserman, CEO of Allied Metals Corp., who is looking to boost his personal real estate portfolio. “We had quite a shock to our collective confidence in 2008 and 2009. The resurgence of the economy has underscored for us that this country remains a very strong place, and that the future remains strong.”

Source: “Million-Dollar Home Sales Thrive While Low End Stumbles,” Bloomberg Businessweek (May 2, 2014).”

10 Energy-Saving Tips for a Hot Summer

EBOriginalCertifiedLogo150pWhile reading my on-line Eco-Broker® newsletter this month, I noticed the following timely article which they sourced to “freshome Design & Architecture”. Since the islands have already had some 90-degree temperatures, these ten energy saving tips may come in handy:

“While we all look forward to the summer months for warmer weather, and enjoying the great summer nights, higher energy bills are not welcomed. Whether you are running your air conditioning more often, using more water to take showers, or you’re using more electricity to run fans to get a cool breeze, energy saving tips can help your pocket and the Earth. This summer before you crank down the air conditioning another 10 degrees, look to these energy saving tips to help you through this hot summer, your pocket will thank you!

“1. Replace your outdated air conditioning unit: If you live in a home that is over 20 years old, it may be time to consider purchasing a new unit that is more energy efficient. Even if you have lived in your home for a shorter period, but live in extreme climate areas, such as desert communities, also consider replacing your unit. Look for units that cost less to run and have energy approved program standards. This can differ depending on your geographic location.

“2. Alternate methods of cooking: Instead of using your oven everyday, consider using your microwave or grilling outside this summer. Heating your oven up daily adds more heat to your interiors and therefore requires your air conditioning cooling system to work harder and longer. If you do need to use your oven, consider baking in the morning hours when your air conditioning may not need to be used and it’s cooler outside.

“3. Automate your thermostat: If you are still using a manual thermostat to adjust the air conditioning in your home, consider replacing with an automatic one that can be programmed to keep your home warmer when you are not home. Then in turn, you can program it to come on before the family gets home.

“4. Keep the hot sun out of your home: When leaving your home, or in times of the day when the sun is at its hottest, pull your window treatments closed to block out warm rays. Your interior spaces will feel cooler and your air conditioner won’t work as hard.

“5. Give your air conditioning a break: Using a ceiling fan to move air around in your home instead of air conditioning can give a much needed break to your air conditioning. Save energy and cool your space down for less money with the use of oscillating room and ceiling fans.

“6. Take cooler and shorter showers: When taking a shower in your home, turn down the temperature of the hot water to save energy. Decrease the duration of how long you stay in the shower to save on your hot water tank usage. Consider installing a tankless water heater to heat water only when needed, as opposed to an entire tank, which sits in your garage, basement or utility space.

“7. Install more energy-efficient light bulbs: Change out your current incandescent bulbs to more efficient ones, for example: compact fluorescent bulbs use less energy to use as well as emit a brighter light. They also last longer, and therefore need to be replaced less often, in turn saving you money.

“8. Have you air conditioning unit serviced regularly: Ensure that you keep your air filters changed regularly per the manufacturers directions, and have a professional HVAC maintenance person service your unit every year. This will help your investment keep working properly for years into the future, while saving you money now.

“9. Ensure your air conditioning pipes are sealed: Examine the pipes, and connections, as well as vents in your home to ensure proper sealing and caulking between the connections. What’s the point in cooling your home, if half of the cool air is cooling the attic? If you’re not familiar with how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance person help you.

“10. Spend more time outside of your home: Summertime is a perfect excuse to get out and enjoy it! From swimming in community pools to having a picnic or getting exercise outdoors, spending less time in your house will help your energy consumption bill. While you can’t spend every minute outdoors, the summer weather should push you to the outdoors.

“Saving energy this summer shouldn’t be a major challenge. Use these 10 helpful energy saving tips to protect your wallet, save the Earth and keep you and your family cool this summer. There are hundreds of ways to save energy, do your part in making this summer enjoyable for all, and by keeping your energy consumption to minimum levels to give your pocket a break too!”

U.S. Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

The Washington PostHere are some excerpts from an article by Darryl Fears published in the “Washington Post” on Tuesday. Though this topic is not complete real estate related, perhaps these snippets will be a wake-up call to some.

“Global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy and dangerous.”

“The government’s newest national assessment of climate change declares that increased global warming is affecting every part of the United States. The report released Tuesday cites wide and severe impacts: more sea-level rise, flooding, storm surges, precipitation and heat waves in the Northeast; frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and the Caribbean; and more drought and wildfires in the Southwest.

“Temperatures at sea, on land and on ice all point to a warming trend over the past century, according to several indicators in the government’s National Climate Assessment. “For a long time, we have perceived climate change as an issue that’s distant, affecting just polar bears or something that matters to our kids,” said Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and a co-author of the report. “This shows it’s not just in the future; it matters today. Many people are feeling the effects.”

“The federal climate assessment — the third since 2000 — brought together hundreds of experts in academia and government to guide U.S. policy based on the best available climate science. The authors of the more-than-800-page report said it aims to present “actionable science” and a road map for local leaders and average citizens to mitigate carbon and other gas emissions that warm the planet….Echoing the findings of a recent global report by climate scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.S. scientists said that the climate is changing in the United States and that the warming of the past 50 years was primarily caused by emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans. Burning coal for electricity, using gasoline to fuel vehicles, clear-cutting forests and engaging in certain agricultural practices that remove carbon-trapping vegetation contribute to the problem, the assessment said.

“By the end of the century, temperatures could be up to 5 degrees higher, even if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It could be up to 10 degrees hotter if emissions are high. The higher the temperature, the more dire the impact. Extreme weather in the United States caused by climate change has increased in recent decades, the report said.

“The decade starting in 2000 was the hottest on record, and 2012, the year Hurricane Sandy followed an epic summer drought, was the hottest ever recorded in the nation’s history, the report said. U.S. temperatures are 1.3 degrees to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit higher now than they were in 1895, and most of that increase — 80% — occurred over the past 44 years, the assessment says.

“Alaska warmed twice as fast as the rest of the country in the past 60 years, leading to permafrost thaw that is causing highways and even airport runways to sink.

“The authors pointed to major concerns for the mid-Atlantic region, which includes the District, Maryland and Virginia. “As sea levels rise, the Chesapeake Bay region is expected to experience an increase in coastal flooding and drowning of wetlands” that protect against storm surge, the report said. That’s especially bad because the lower bay region is at higher risk as a result of sinking land. Water quality would decline and low-oxygen “dead zones” would increase.

“If there are higher greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of Maryland and Delaware, and parts of West Virginia and New Jersey, are projected to have 60 extra days per year of temperatures topping 90 degrees starting around the middle of the century, the report said.

“The effects sound alarming, but there are reasons to be optimistic that they can be mitigated, said David Wolfe of Cornell University, a lead co-author of the report’s chapter on change in the Northeast.

Business leaders are looking more toward investments in renewable energy, he said. This report, unlike the first two, has a Web site with interactive tools that show Americans how to reduce climate impacts.

“It will be a living document, a resource for people,” he said. “It’s a place to start….”

“The climate experts worked for several years, holding 70 workshops nationwide and revising the final drafts to reflect thousands of public comments. They were guided by a 60-member panel called the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee.

“Climate change is leading to heat-stress events, forcing people with respiratory illnesses to turn to devices such as inhalers or to hospitals, the federal assessment said. It is resulting in more severe allergies and waterborne illnesses as pathogens increase. Minority communities are particularly vulnerable….

“Thirty percent of carbon released into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, leading to acidification that’s killing coral and shell life. Coral protects young fish from predators, and tiny shellfish, at the bottom of the food chain, help feed entire ecosystems….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 2-9, 2014

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 $259K, Sundial #K105 2/2 $888K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 $2.2M.

4 price changes: Sundial #C301 1/1 now $325K, Sundial #I301 1/1 now $350K, Shell Island Beach Club #5D 2/2 now $759K, Sayana #202 2/2 now $859K.

1 new sale: Sunset South #1C 2/2 listed for $439K.

4 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1091 2/2 $375K; Sanibel Moorings #422 2/2 $449,999; Lighthouse Point #130 2/2 $440K; Beachcomber #C302 2/2 $1.6225M.

HOMES
2 new listings: 705 Oliva St 3/2 $799K, 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 $975K.

9 price changes: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 now $299.9K; 5289 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 now $499,995; 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $549K; 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $559,555; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $599.7K; 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 now $715K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $729K; 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 now $799K; 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $2.995M.

6 new sales: 2007 Mitzi Ln 3/2 listed for $399K, 736 Cardium St 3/2 listed for $439K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed for $779K, 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $825K, 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 listed for 1.595M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 listed for $5.999M.

8 closed sales: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $319.9K, 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $419K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/2 $500K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 $569.5K, 1356 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $645K, 4472 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $700K, 1818 Buckthorn Ln 3/3 $850K, 5795 SanCap Rd 3/3 $990K.

LOTS

1 new listing: Beverly Ln, Lot 19 $196K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 4309 Gulf Pines Dr listed for $299K, 1042 Blue Heron Dr listed for $449K.

2 closed sales: 3334 Saint Kilda Rd $280K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln $314.5K.

Captiva
CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $639K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $557.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11547 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.375M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 listed for $7.995M.

1 closed sale: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.65M.

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.

mothers-day-border-clip-art-5Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all

It’s Still a Great Time to Buy Island Real Estate as the Month of May Begins with Great Weather on Sanibel & Captiva


As SanibelSusan wraps up another real estate week on the island, there are 25 finalized Sanibel sales to report: 17 condos and eight homes. Two of the condos were SanibelSusan listings.

Those closings bring total Sanibel closed sales year-to-date up to 154 (69 condos, 75 homes, and 10 lots). Another 85 Sanibel properties are under contract (31 condos, 50 homes, and 4 lots). The total number of closed sales year-to-date are just a tad ahead of last year when 148 properties had sold by now (52 condos, 86 homes, and 10 lots). This winter the most popular product was high-end condos.

Our weekly report below describes the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, including our new listing at Mariner Pointe. (Below is a slide show of some of the amenities at Mariner Pointe.)

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First some island and real estate news:

Dunes Traffic Study Results  

DunesEntrySignIn preparation for The Dunes roads being resurfaced in the summer of 2015 (a project expected to cost in excess of $700,000) and as follow-up on the concerns of some residents that their community is being used as a “cut-through” for commuters during “season”, the City performed a traffic study of The Dunes and nearby roadways in March.

The results of the study were presented in a special meeting at The Dunes Pavilion this week when it was reported that 64% of the vehicles accessing the Dunes during the study’s peak period (4-6 p.m. March 19-21) were “pass-through” traffic.

Sanibel Public Works Director, Keith Williams, who spoke during the meeting, said “That total is higher than your typical neighborhood, but it doesn’t appear that speeding is an issue here, although we have heard several complaints about that.”  Interestingly, the study also concluded that through-out the 2-hour peak period, eastbound traffic along Periwinkle Way averaged 5 miles per hour. Many Dunes residents at the meeting completed a feedback survey and offered suggestions.

Island Night – Save the Date

Island Night Richard in Old CarSanibel’s 21st Island Night is Wednesday, June 4. This is the 21st year of the celebration which in 2004 was renamed Sam Bailey’s Island Night in honor of Sam whose vision was to bring the island communities together for a common purpose.

The fun begins at Hammond Stadium at 6:15 p.m. with a parade around the ball field.

The game is at 7:05 p.m. with the Fort Myers Miracle versus the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

Bubble Room cakesFree tickets are available from sponsors and at Bailey’s General Store. Contributions, which have totaled more than $150K over the years, have been distributed to help many local organizations, non-profits, and scholarships.

Mark your calendar on June 4 to enjoy a fun-filled night with the locals – camaraderie, baseball, your favorite ballpark concessions, plus cake from The Bubble Room!

Housing Recovery Ending? Not Yet

realtor logo“Realtor®Mag” on-line posted the following article last Friday:

“”Several housing reports out this week have painted a picture of a sluggish start to the spring-selling season. New-home sales plunged 14.5% in March, reaching the lowest level in eight months, according to the Commerce Department. Existing-home sales posted a slight drop in March, falling 0.2% from February, but the sales volume was at its lowest point since July 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

“So is the housing recovery ending? Not yet, housing experts say.

“Several challenges persist: Low housing inventories, tight access to mortgage financing — particularly for first-time home buyers — and the decrease in housing affordability as home prices and mortgage rates rise, notes Rick Sharga, an executive vice president at Auction.com who used to be an exec at Carrington Mortgage Holdings and RealtyTrac.

“Still, Sharga says the recovery remains on track. “This feels like a relatively normal market correction,” he notes in a column for HousingWire. “Prices rose rapidly and have stayed high due to limited inventory, causing affordability issues for potential home buyers. This has created a bit of a lull in terms of sales volume, but prices continue to go up, albeit more slowly. That, in turn, will create more positive equity and eventually result in more homes — existing and new — on the market, which will cause prices to soften, hopefully in tandem with somewhat more lenient lending practices.”

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, also sees an uptick in housing in the months ahead.

“With ongoing job creation and some weather-delayed shopping activity, home sales should pick up, especially if inventory continues to improve and mortgage interest rates rise only modestly,” he says.”

The Worst Is Over, But the Best Is Nowhere Near

realtor logoAnother “Realtor®Mag” article posted on-line this week offered good follow-up to the article above, when at a recent legislative and leadership summit for real estate managers, economists and industry leaders, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had more to say:

“The country isn’t likely to fall into a repeat recession, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun told real estate management professionals meeting in Washington, D.C., last week. But that’s hardly cause for celebration among economists.

“On the plus side, the country has added nearly 8 million jobs, replacing all those lost during the downturn, Yun said. Growth in consumer spending and high household net worth also bode well for the economy.

“However, Yun was quick to stress, the economy is not thriving by any means. Business spending is growing at the slow, steady rate of 2%, he said, rather than a sustained 5% to 10% rate that would suggest real economic growth. Yun said businesses are “flush with cash.” While corporations typically leverage funding to outspend profit levels, recent data shows business spending and profits to be nearly equal, as executives are leery of overspending. This has resulted in improved balance sheets for most organizations, including banks.

“Yun’s comments came during the Institute for Real Estate Management’s 2014 Legislative and Leadership Summit held April 5-9.

“Diving into real estate industry data, Yun said commercial real estate is slowly recovering from 2009, when transactions declined by 90%. Multifamily has steadily outshined the other sectors, partly because of the inability of many renters to convert to home ownership.

“Another factor contributing to the strong performance of multifamily real estate is the lack of supply. “New construction in all sectors has yet to recover in any meaningful way,” Yun said. Housing construction, in particular, would need to rise by more than 50% to be restored to previous levels. This persistent under production of single-family and multifamily housing will continue to lead to low vacancy rates and rising rents for this sector, Yun said.

“After sharing the market outlook, Yun was joined by real estate industry leaders Jeff Day, CEO of Berkeley Point Capital LLC, and Jonathan Miller, partner at Miller Ryan LLC and author of the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate.

“When asked where he would invest in the current market, Miller stressed the desirability of “24-hour cities — large cities in global pathways linked by international transportation hubs.” According to Miller, this is where the major part of the economy is growing and where most institutional and foreign capital is concentrated. Other areas are more lackluster, he said, with both market prices and rents for office buildings remaining stagnant for up to two decades in some cases. “It’s a have and have-not situation,” Miller said.

“Still, the panel said the big-city model is being successfully replicated in smaller markets, such as Reston, Va., where a town center is home to a vibrant community with condominiums, movie theatres, and other retail spaces, attracting young professionals.

“Yun predicted that both the Millennial and boomer generations will contribute to the desirability of condominiums in these 24-hour cities. “I’d invest in 24-hour cities that are developing. Look at areas where traffic is getting worse,” Yun said. “Build condos in 24-hour cities. Apartments are already there, but there is a pent-up demand for condos. A sizable number of renters will want to convert over to ownership. Therefore, property management of condos will be rising.”

“The panel also forecast continued economic success in Texas cities and up through the middle of the country in the so-called “energy states.”

“Addressing office-sector trends, Day told the audience to look for more amenities being offered on business campuses. The new model is to “glue them to the campus with dry cleaning, food, and so forth,” Day said, allowing workers to interact and complete personal business on-site.

“When asked about the demand for green features in commercial real estate, panelists agreed that generally, lenders are interested in making sure they make loans on sustainable income streams. To that end, green features can be desirable, but factor into more of a capitalistic decision than an altruistic one.

“Ultimately, the panelists agreed, the outlook for commercial real estate is good, with all sectors in recovery mode. Money is flowing again, they said. This will lead to continued growth in the industry — and demand for professional real estate managers to keep things operating strongly.”

Countries Where There’s a Rush for U.S. Real Estate

CanadaIf you missed the “24/7 Wall Street” article earlier this month, here is how it was reported in on-line “Daily Real Estate News” on April 15. Made me think about how my advertising budget is reaching these buyers.

“Foreign buyers are being lured to U.S. real estate due to what they perceive as bargain prices, economic stability, and a “safe haven for investors,” 24/7 Wall St. reports. Interest in U.S. real estate from international buyers in ten countries has soared since 2009 by 95% or more. In nine of those countries, the interest has at least doubled, according to data from RealtyTrac. “The U.S. real estate market is coming off of a rough patch and entering recovery mode,” says Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s vice president. “International buyers see it as a great time to jump in and catch the U.S. market on the upswing.” 24/7 Wall St. compiled data from RealtyTrac to find that the following countries are showing the highest increases in interest in purchasing American homes.

  • United Arab Emirates: Growth in prospective home buyers: 352.2%, Share of international prospective buyers: 1.1% (12th highest)
  • Switzerland: Growth in prospective home buyers: 269.7%, Share of international prospective buyers: 2.1% (8th highest)
  • Hong Kong & China: Growth in prospective home buyers: 254.2%, Share of international prospective buyers: 4.1% (4th highest)
  • France: Growth in prospective home buyers: 190%, Share of international prospective buyers: 2.8% (6th highest)
  • Italy: Growth in prospective home buyers: 178.4%, Share of international prospective buyers: 1.9% (10th highest)
  • United Kingdom: Growth in prospective home buyers: 153.8%, Share of international prospective buyers: 12.1% (2nd highest)
  • Australia: Growth in prospective home buyers: 121.9%, Share of international prospective buyers: 11% (3rd highest)
  • Canada: Growth in prospective home buyers: 107.7%, Share of international prospective buyers: 45% (the highest).”

Homes Are Getting Bigger

FLRealtors_newlogoThere were some fun statistics posted in the May issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine that arrived this week. This info is according to Census Bureau data and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

  • The average new-home size has continued to rise, from 2,362 sq. ft. in 2009 to 2,679 sq. ft. in 2013.
  •  The share of new homes with at least four bedrooms has risen from 34% in 2009 to 48% last year.
  • From 2005 to 2011, the number of annual new-home sales has dramatically declined, from 1.28 million to 306,000.

Lee County Meeting Venues

Occasionally, I am asked, “Where could my company hold a business meeting or conference on Sanibel?”

FinnimoresThat’s a tough question if your company is a large one, as even our 350+member local Association of Realtors® has had trouble through the years finding spots to hold our weekly caravan and membership meetings.

Several years ago, the Association purchased the commercial strip mall where Finnimore’s Cycle Shop is located and converted the upper floor into conference spaces and meeting rooms.

The April issue of “Gulfshore Business” magazine listed the largest Southwest Florida meeting venues.

sundial-logoHere are the ones in Lee County.

Note that only Sundial Beach Resort is on Sanibel and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva.

south seas logoSanibel Harbour is nearby, close to the toll booth before the causeway.

  • Germain Arena: 171,000 sq. ft.
  • Alico Arena:      120,000 sq. ft.
  • Lee Civic Center: 90,000 sq. ft.
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa: 73,000 sq. ft.
  • Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa: 45,000 sq. ft.
  • Harborside Event Center:  42,000 sq. ft.
  • Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre: 36,000 sq. ft.
  • South Seas Island Resort: 28,000 sq. ft.
  • Sidney Berne Davis Art Center: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Sundial Beach Resort: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at the Bell Tower Shops: 8,500 sq. ft.
  • DiamondHead Beach Resort: 8,000 sq. ft.
  • Holiday Inn Airport @ Town Center: 7,000 sq. ft.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 25-May 2, 2014

Sanibel

CONDOS
4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 $475K, Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 $500K, Pointe Santo #A21 2/2 $819K.
3 price changes: Sundial #H111 1/1 now $279K, Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 now $375K, Sunset South #1C 2/2 now $439K.
2 new sales: Breakers West #B5 2/2 listed for $459K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 listed for $599K.
17 closed sales: Donax Village #9 1/1 $248K, Captains Walk #C1 2/1 $280K, Sundial #H107 1/1 $298K, Beach Road Villas #104 2/2 $313K (our listing), Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $314K, Beach Road Villas #102 2/2 $330K, Seawind #102 2/2.5 $380K, Sundial #J108 2/2 $460K, Compass Point #212 2/2 $520K, Sundial #Q302 2/2 $625K, Nutmeg Village #105 2/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #121 2/2 $699K, Surfside 12 #C3 3/2 $750K, Sanibel Arms #F8 2/2 $775K, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $890K (our listing), Janthina #1A 3/2 $1.03M, Sedgemoor #103 3/3.5 $2.35M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 966 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 Half-duplex $398.5K; 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 $435K; 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $439K; 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $458K; 490 Christine Rd 2/2 $629,555; 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $724,999; 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 $1.675M.
6 price changes: 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $515K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $529K, 9228 Belding Dr 2/1.5 now $545K, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $599K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $685K, 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 now $3.15M.
8 new sales: 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $579K, 1019 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed for $769K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 listed for $799K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed for $895K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 listed for $899K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 listed for $899K, 6010 White Heron Ln 3/2.5 listed for $959K, 9007 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 listed for $1.075M.
8 closed sales: 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $500K, 710 Pyrula Ave 2/2 $569.5K, 460 East Lake Rd 2/2 $589K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 $575K, 977 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 $570K, 923 Pepper Tree Pl 3/2 $700K, 5049 Joewood Dr 6/7.5 $3.8M, 906 Snowberry Ln 4/4.5 $4.1M.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
 

Captiva
CONDOS
Nothing to report.

HOMES

No new listings.
1 price change: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.375M.
1 new sale: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed for $2.595M.
1 closed sale: 17201 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 $3M.
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.

Here’s to another cheerful Friday on Sanibel Island! Cheers! Susan

“Best Weather” Month Coming Up on Sanibel Island


 Chambere logoIt is official. “high season” in Florida is over. Real estate inquiry calls have slowed down and I heard that even internet and foot traffic at the Chamber of Commerce suddenly has dropped off. After 22 years on Sanibel, it still is always amazing how fast the islands go from gridlock to quiet. Related mostly to school breaks ending and spring weather arriving elsewhere, I guess. Too bad, as the month of May often has some of the “best” weather!

SanCapAssnLogoYesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan Meeting only one house was on tour, again indicative of the time of the year. Attendance was down too, with almost as many affiliate business partners there as real estate agents. Beginning May 1, these meetings will revert to the every-other-week off-season schedule. Between now and summer, the islands usually experience a return of prospective buyers who did not buy during the winter – often because they could not view all of the properties that interested them. SanibelSusan Realty associates are ready for them.

Below are a few news items, followed by an update of the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action over the last week. Of the two island condo closings this week, one was ours. We also had the only lot sale closing.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins May 1

Baby loggerhead

Baby loggerhead

The 2013 sea turtle nesting season on Sanibel and Captiva was the 3rd highest season on record according to the May-June issue of SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) “Member Update”. Last summer 26,641 live hatchlings were produced from the islands’ two beaches. Of the 483 nests documented, 23 were by green sea turtles 

SCCF also announced that Sanibel and Captiva now are using the online nesting and stranding databases found at www.seaturtle.org. This means that when the 2014 sea turtle season begins, the nesting data may be viewed in real-time throughout the season. 

Sanibel-Captiva-Rotary-Arts-Crafts-Show-Heart-Logo-300x225Sea turtles are among the world’s oldest creatures. On Sanibel and Captiva where the beaches provide subtropical nesting areas for threatened loggerhead and endangered green turtles, more than 100 island residents volunteer each summer as part of SCCF’s Sea Turtle Research and Monitoring Program which operates under a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Each day during nesting season, May to October, the 18 miles of Gulf beaches from Sanibel Lighthouse to the tip of Captiva are checked beginning at dawn. Nests are identified and marked for monitoring and protection. Later in the season, new hatches are evaluated and recorded. 

If your property is on the beach, remember sea turtles are threatened by light pollution. Bright lights can disorient nesting egg-laden female turtles. For hatchlings, instinct drives them from their nests on beaches towards the brightest horizon, ideally the waterline on an undeveloped coast. Lighting from buildings or even flashlights confuses nesting females and hatchlings, so please keep those lights out. 

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel’s city web site, www.mysanibel.com has an easy way to test if your property is in compliance with the City’s sea turtle protection ordinances:

“Stand on the beach on a moonless night and look seaward. If you can see your shadow cast towards the water, there is too much light behind you.” Check the web site for more info. 

Americans Prefer Real Estate Over Stocks, Gold

Like my Dad always said, “Put your money into real estate!”

gallup poll“RealtorMag” on-line posted the following article from a Gallup (Poll) article (Apr 17, 2014):

“Americans have renewed confidence in real estate as a great investment. In fact, Americans believe real estate is the “best” long-term investment, followed by gold, stocks, mutual funds, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds, according to a new Gallup Poll of … adults who were asked to choose the best option for long-term investments. Bonds were the least favorite investment among the options Gallup surveyed.

In 2011, Americans surveyed said the most popular long-term investment was gold. That also marked a time when gold was at its highest price and real estate and stock values were lower than today, Gallup notes.

““With housing prices improving across the country, Americans are regaining faith that real estate is the best choice for long-term investments,” according to Gallup. “Home ownership is also associated with views of real estate as an attractive investment opportunity.”

“Americans with higher incomes are the most likely to say real estate and stocks are the best investments – “possibly because of their experience with these type of investments,” according to the Gallup poll.

“Higher income Americans are most likely to say they own their home (at 87%), followed by middle-income earners (at 66%) and lower-income earners (36%).

“Home owners are slightly more likely than renters to say real estate is the best choice for long-term investments – 33% versus 24%, respectively, according to the Gallup poll.”

Earth Day & Your Diet

EBOriginalCertifiedLogo150pSanibelSusan’s EcoBroker certification requires renewal each year about the same time as Earth Day. With that renewal comes an educational update, so when I did that class work this week, I also read several of postings about Earth Day. Here is an extract from “National Geographics” with some of their Water Conservation Tips. These interesting facts were posted under their subheading, “Diet”:

water“The water it takes to produce the average American diet alone—approximately 1,000 gallons per person per day—is more than the global average water footprint of 900 gallons per person per day for diet, household use, transportation, energy, and the consumption of material goods.

200px-McD-Quarter-Pounder-wCheese“That quarter pounder is worth more than 30 average American showers. One of the easiest ways to slim your water footprint is to eat less meat and dairy. Another way is to choose grass-fed, rather than grain-fed, since it can take a lot of water to grow corn and other feed crops.

“A serving of poultry costs about 90 gallons of water to produce. There are also water costs embedded in the transportation of food (gasoline costs water to make). So, consider how far your food has to travel, and buy local to cut your water footprint.

Pig bacon“Pork costs water to produce, and traditional pork production (to make your sausage, bacon, and chops) has also been the cause of some water pollution, as pig waste runs into local water sources.

“On average, a vegan, a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day less than a person who eats the average American diet.

cup-of-coffee_w520“A cup of coffee takes 55 gallons of water to make, with most of that H2O used to grow the coffee beans.”

 

 

Many HOAs Are Underfunded

Kiplinger personal finance logoA step in the home buying process should always include a review of the association documents including their financials. The following article posted on Apr 22, 2014 at on-line “Daily Real Estate News” and sourced to “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” (April 2014) describes why:

“More homeowners’ groups may be operating with insufficient reserves, which could one day result in an unexpected increase in costs to home owners.

“An estimated 70% of association-governed communities are underfunded, a rise from 60% a decade ago, according to a new report from the consulting firm Association Reserves. Associations that lack adequate reserves may impose large special assessments for emergency repairs, says Robert Nordlund, Association Reserves’ founder. What’s more, home owners who don’t pay could then face liens against their property, or the association could even have the power to foreclose on them.

“Housing experts urge home buyers to ask for a copy of the homeowner group’s most recent reserve study and ask about the percentage of residents who are more than 60 days delinquent on their fees. It affects the association’s cash flow, and when “you’re buying into a nonprofit corporation, you need to find out if that corporation is stable,” Nordlund notes. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 18-25, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS

2 new listings: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 $324.9K, Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 $799.9K.

6 price changes: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 now $268.5K, Tennisplace #B24 2/1 now $299.9K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $499K, Sayana #103 2/2 now $715K, Shorewood #2B 3/3 now $1.395M, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.2M.

2 new sales: Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 listed for $699K, Compass Point #133 2/2 listed for $1.185M.

3 closed sales: Sundial #G305 1/1 $310K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 $850K (our buyer), Villa Sanibel #1G 2/2 $870K. 

Beach in front of Kings Crown

Beach in front of Kings Crown

HOMES

3 new listings: 2551 Sanibel Blvd 2/2 $489K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.25M, 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.695M.

7 price changes: 5141 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $320K; 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $595K; 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 now $609.9K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $749K; 917 Pepper Tree Place 4/3 now $829,407; 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $859K; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $4.399M.

3 new sales: 9263 Kincaid Ct 3/2.5 listed for $449K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 listed for $799K, 4622 Rue Belle Mer 4/2 listed for $809K.

3 closed sales: 1344 Tahiti Dr 2/1 $410K, 542 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 $1.8M, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $1.94M (short sale).

LOTS

1 new listing: 3338 West Gulf Dr $429K.

2 price changes: 2988 Wulfert Rd now $399K, 2993 Wulfert Rd $599K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1118 Sand Castle Rd $165K (our listing). 

Lot just sold in The Dunes

Lot just sold in The Dunes

Captiva
CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End Village #1655 2/2 $1.095M, Lands End Village #1657 2/2 $1.095M.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3229 1/1 listed for $235K, Ventura Captiva #4B 3/3 listed for $797.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2338 3/3 listed for $850K.

No new sale.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #310 1/1 $200K.

 

HOMES
No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed for $1.65M, 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 listed for $1.095M.

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.

SanibelSusan is ready for May – best weather month on the island!

It’s Spring-Ahead Weekend on Sanibel Island


Clock aheadIt’s another perfect Friday on Sanibel Island. We are all ready to turn the clocks ahead on Sunday so we can enjoy more of this wonderful weather, later in the evenings.

Here are a few quick news items, followed by the week’s real estate action as reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Florida Realtors® Applaud House Passage of Flood Insurance Bill

FLRealtors_newlogoFlorida Realtors® posted the following notice on-line on Wednesday: 

“Realtors across Florida support the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370, overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. House Tuesday, 306-91.

““This action in Congress will bring the much-needed certainty our real estate market has been missing since Biggert-Waters went into effect, and provide immediate relief to Florida homeowners who were facing financial ruin due to sudden and drastic flood insurance premium increases,” said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and the Villages. Meadows added, “While good-intentioned, the Biggert-Waters Act had the effect of stigmatizing properties that are in flood zones. Current property owners, as well as those looking to buy, didn’t know if a new flood map might be adopted next week or next year. This legislation will give property owners in Florida and across the country peace of mind, by ensuring a slow and steady phase-in of risked-based increases.”

“Cyndee Haydon, associate broker with Future Home Realty in Clearwater, noted that the unintended consequences of the Biggert-Waters Act was making Florida locations less attractive to families, retirees and others looking to move here because of the dramatic, soaring cost of flood insurance in many areas. “I’m excited that the legislation addresses the affordability of flood insurance and provides a ‘glide path’ for premium increases of about 15% a year (for those not paying the full rates yet),” Haydon said. “This takes out the fear and the unknown factor.”

“Brandi Gabbard, chair of the Pinellas Suncoast Association of Realtors and broker-associate with Smith & Associates in St. Petersburg, said that the House bill allows for homeowners of properties that currently have subsidized policies with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to be “grandfathered in” again. “That’s a huge win for homeowners,” Gabbard said. “We also hope to see more interest from private insurers to offer flood insurance policies. The Pinellas County area has seen good success with Lloyds of London and Homeowners’ Choice Property and Casualty Insurance Company. There are several bills legislators are introducing in Tallahassee to support the private market for flood insurance. Encouraging competition among private insurers will be the long-term, sustainable answer for this issue.”

“Under the U.S. House bill:

Immediate increases in flood insurance premiums up to 10 times the previous cost are eliminated.

Those who already paid such increases receive refunds.

Primary homeowners not already paying full rates could see their annual rate increases average 15% and be capped at 18%.

Second homes and businesses not already paying full rates could receive premium increases of about 25% per year.

Renewal increases are capped at 18% for homes in newly mapped flood zones.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a goal of having annual premiums not exceed 1% of total coverage provided by the policy.”

77th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival is NOW

Photo by Pam Rambo at www.ILoveShelling.com

Photo by Pam Rambo at http://www.ILoveShelling.com

Featuring shells, shell art, crafts and books, juried artistic and scientific exhibits, this annual event at The Sanibel Community House began on Thursday and runs through tomorrow (Saturday).

It unexpectedly got closed down early yesterday when Southwest Florida experienced a brief period of wind and heavy rain, but it is back in business again today.

New Sanibel Cell Tower is Up & Running

waving flagThe City’s new cell phone tower located on utility department lands just off Donax Street now is operational. Verizon built the tower on land leased from the City to boost cell service on the east-end. The tower doubles as a flag pole, with positive comments already received from those driving onto the island and viewing the huge new American flag waving. There are spaces on the tower for other carriers and rumor has it that AT&T is in negotiation for the 2nd tower slot.

News from The Sanctuary Golf Club

The Sanctuary Sign2July08Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership at The Sanctuary emailed her March newsletter this week. It announced that they have reached their maximum 100 Social Memberships. A Waiting List now has been implemented. Effective March 1, the Social Membership Fee is $15,000. The other membership categories include: Equity Membership $110,000; Introductory Membership $10,000; and Temporary Membership $5,000 for 1 month or $7,500 for 2 months.

Troubled by Tightened Lending Restrictions?

Money tightThat is certainly what I have heard more than once lately from well-qualified buyers, even those only looking to borrow a small percentage of the funds needed to purchase their new property. The following article by Michael Kodsi in the March issue of “FloridaRealtor®” magazine may explain why.

“Don’t be. Here are the facts about the new residential Qualified Mortgage rule and what you can expect.

“For the past few years, securing financing for your customers has been a challenge. Tighter loan restrictions and fewer lending programs have stymied many a real estate purchaser. So it’s understandable that real estate professionals are a little concerned about the new Qualified Mortgage rule that went into effect in January. How will homebuyers be impacted? Will this slow housing sales? Here are the facts to help you understand what a Qualified Mortgage is so you can prepare your customers for the changes. You’ll also know what to expect from lenders.

“Simply put, the new Qualified Mortgage rule – also know as the ability-to-repay rule – is designed to make sure that borrowers can repay their mortgage loans.

“As defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a Qualified Mortgage is a loan with a term no longer than 30 years, with the points and fees paid by the borrower not exceeding 3% of the total loan amount.  Lenders must also document the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and must confirm a debt-to-income ration of no more than 43%. Lenders may still make any loan they like. However, lenders who go outside the Qualified Mortgage rule lose protection against borrower lawsuits that claim the loan was unfair.

“Will Homebuyers Be Impacted?  The CFPB predicts that most homebuyers won’t be affected by the new rule because many lenders have already tightened their lending criteria. However, you should be prepared for a few changes relating to the mortgage process and be ready to advise your customers that lenders may increase the paperwork required for a home mortgage. Because lenders need to justify their underwriting decisions, many are requiring more documentation from borrowers.

“Some lenders may tighten their underwriting standards so that certain categories, including some lower- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, may find it more difficult to obtain mortgage financing. Self-employed homebuyers who don’t have a long history of consistent income may have a tougher time getting a mortgage. It’s certainly not impossible, but more paperwork will likely be required.
“Be aware that customers looking to buy more expensive homes will probably be affected because jumbo loans – those over $417,000 – may be more difficult to qualify for.

“The bottom line? Education and preparation will go a long way when working with homebuyers. By starting the mortgage process a little earlier – perhaps even before customers begin searching for a home – you can ease any anxiety they may feel over the new mortgage rules.”

7 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

bathroom-monitor“Home Trends” remodeling adviser Mellisa Tracey posted the following article recently in “REALTOR®” magazine:

“What’s trending in bathroom remodels? Houzz recently released its 2014 Winter Bathroom Trends Study showing the top bathroom remodel preferences of more than 7,500 homeowners in the U.S. and Canada. The report shows that 60% of homeowners are targeting the master bathroom for their bathroom remodels. The two main drivers for their remodels: To upgrade features and fixtures as well as to make space more functional.

“Here are some of the growing trends that emerged from the Houzz report:

“#1 Goodbye, bathtubs. The bathtub is starting to move out of the master bathroom. More than four in ten – 43% – are forgoing a bathtub in the master bathroom, according to the report.

“#2 Frameless glass is “in”. The majority of the homeowners surveyed say they prefer glass shower enclosures and frameless glass. Glass block is “out,” according to the report.

“#3 Let there be lots of light. Adding light was one of the top goals for homeowners with their bathroom remodels, from adding windows to skylights to LED lights in the showerhead.

“#4 Showing showerhead preferences. Rain and multiple showerheads are the clear choice for homeowners under 45, while the 55-plus age group tends to prefer hand showers and sliding bars.

“#5 Seeing white. White cabinets are the top choice in master bathrooms (with medium and dark wood coming in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). Maple is the most common type of wood used, followed by cherry and oak.

“#6 Silver bling. Silver-tone faucets remain the most popular, with brushed nickel topping the list. Polished chrome is also popular, while brushed bronze came in as the least popular choice for current bathroom remodels.

“#7 Unique powder rooms. The powder room is getting more unique features than other bathrooms. Hardwood floors, wallpaper, pedestal sinks, and furniture-like cabinets are more commonly used in these spaces than in other bathrooms.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 28 – Mar 7, 2014

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Sundial #I207 1/1 $324.9K, Island Beach Club #F240 2/2 $599K, Sandpiper Beach #505 2/2 $599K, Villa Sanibel#1G 2/2 $875K.
6 price changes: Sunset South #1B 2/2 now $534K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $885K, Pointe Santo #A2 now $898.5K, Pine Cove of Sanibel #302 2/2 now $1.15M, Seascape of Sanibel #104 3/3 now $2.37M.
5 new sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 listed for $299K, Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 listed for $589K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 listed for $590K, Sundial #O205 2/2 listed for $768K, Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 listed for $1.395M.
5 closed sales: Bind Pass #E102 2/2 $365K, Heron at the Sanctuary #2B 3/3 $610K, Island Beach Club #D220 2/2 $762K, Kings Crown #218 3/2 $1.070M, By the Sea #102 2/2 $1.285M.
HOMES
9 new listings: 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 $449K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 $669K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $699K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 $749K, 1021 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $775K, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 $839K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $1.049M, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 $1.129M, 749 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $ 1.295M.
8 price changes: 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 now $449K, 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $495K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $649K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $877K, 228 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $880K, 512 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $925K, 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $1M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $ 1.675M.
7 new sales: 1890 Farm Tr 3/2 listed for $449K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $479K, 450 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 listed for $599K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed for $599K, 923 Pepper Tree Pl 3/2 listed for $729K, 2498 Harbour Ln 4/3 listed for $825K, 1838 Buckthorn Ln 3/2 listed for $1.1M.
6 closed sales: 1809 Bowmans Beach Rd 3/2 435K, 579 Rabbit Rd 3/3 550K, 3205 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $570K, 9474 Balsa Ct 3/3 $860K, 1444 Causey Ct 4/4 $1M, 1664 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $1.075M.
LOTS
1 new listing: 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd $729K.
2 price changes: 4626 Buck Key Rd now $188K, 5749 Sanibel Captiva Rd now $399,555.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #708 2/2 listed for $595K.

No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.995M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 15127 Captiva Dr 8/8 listed for $1.595M. 

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. 

Looking for a Sanibel Condo? Here are a few photos of the views & amenities from some of SanibelSusan’s current listings…

Best wishes from Susan & The SanibelSusan Team for another great weekend!